FROM MY REAL-TIME REVIEWS TODAY —
THE HAUNTING HOUSE by Lynda E. Rucker
: remember that there was nothing that she had to get up for, and sink deeper Into the bed, deeper into sleep.”
What I was, in hindsight, hinting at the end of the previous story review seems here to be apotheosised. One house sublet in another woman’s name, and a lifelong recurring dream of a house haunting her from the few days days before Christmas, a house, with landing and grandfather clock, straight out of an Elizabeth Bowen Christmas (my favourite writer ever – my house for her here) and I wonder if Rucker is in Bowen’s soul, or vice versa, like the synergy of these two houses or two realities? Bowen also had a version of a fractured modernity in her fiction alongside the haunting and the aloneness to be disrupted by an Ames or a woman in the wood, like the Oregon reality here, a bus journey on a whim, leading from the hard edge of dream unreal to the soft edge of dream real, or vice versa. The tantalisation of never knowing. Sublet by time’s clock on the landing or blocked by modern contraptions, only thinking back through all these stories might give some clue of the whence and the whither of a deeper rhapsody. You’ll know when you get there.
PICTURE BOOK by Leena Krohn
” — I beg your pardon? A thousand pages! How vast is the whole book! I asked, confused.
— Thirty-two trillion pages, he replied as if he really were serious.”
I thought at first this might be the BIG BOOK OF SCIENCE FICTION edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer … But, no, and this is indeed possibly the oddest discrete story you are ever likely to read. The narrator who stays in a tank of brine has a salesman visit selling a book containing photographs of children, some hinted at as naked, some weirdly disfigured, all of whom turning out to be the narrator’s own children that he COULD have had with his wife, and one of them in fact is his real daughter. I could go on, with the fascinating extrapolations from this scenario. It is probably the most remarkable few pages I have ever read. Should anyone get this far into Leena Krohn’s turquoise tome (of rival size to the one being sold), they will discover that for themselves.
From here: https://cernzoo.wordpress.com/the-big-book-of-science-fiction/
THE MAN WHO LOST THE SEA by Theodore Sturgeon
“…for they were all one and the same thing . . . the thing called unreachable.”
A stream of consciousness like Joyce and Beckett, but one that makes exquisite sense, the boy with the beta model in his hand, a model gradually becoming more sophisticated down or up the Greek alphabet of prototypes, the sick man when he was a boy or the man is the boy himself: the extension model used to fit the sick man’s footprints in the sand, reconciling the seeming madness of some reality of what has happened, the mathematical conundrums of the satellite that brought him here. A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play. Rest in sand, play with model, work at summoning the sheathing swaddling sea…
A masterpiece. cf REPORT ON PROBABILITY A by Brian Aldiss…
Like real-time reviewing towards a gestalt. Not only this story on its own but this whole big book of stories. So Far.