Hiatus

My blogging will be sporadic for the rest of the summer during my book tour throughout select Indonesian islands to promote Codename Prague. I leave tomorrow. I'm keeping the tour more or less a secret in hopes that only unsuspecting Indonesians will attend my readings and signings. I will say that I have been to Singapore before and look forward to returning. It is a clean and beautiful country, although humid, and gum is illegal. Years ago, somebody spit a chewed wad of Doublemint onto a railroad track, derailing a train. Government regulation ensued.

Review of They Had Goat Heads

Kate Onyett has written a erudite review of They Had Goat Heads (vis-a-vis structuralism) for Sein und Werden. Here's the first two paragraphs:

"Getting to grips with this book is akin to those dreams one has when one knows it is important to run, to move fast, but cannot; a force holds one back; a binding, slowing force. It prevents independent flight and demands that one submit to the direction and timing of the dream. This can feel very threatening; what should be familiar (running, walking) becomes skewed, slanted and something alien and uncertain.

Wilson takes what we might think of as a story and then percolates it through a filter of his own devising. He is either a genius or an egotist; or possibly both, as they tend to be twinned facets of one jealous breath of description, and we are forced to play the game and read the book on his lines. Those lines are non-sequiteur comments, lined up after another, seemingly with little connection and wildly descriptive, contrasting landscapes of potential meanings. Any reaction is entirely in the eye and mind of the reader. Funnily enough, I would be willing to bet that despite this people could read the same messages embedded in this crazed fictional landscape; that though the message seems garbled, the gist would be similar to most readers. Those that bear with it and finish it, that is. For those to whom it is impenetrable, this reaction has already sorted them from those who can claim to find a meaning and would follow in understanding. And as random as the narratives seem, I doubt that there would be too many randomised readings."

And here's the Final Word:

"Come that day Wilson manages to create work that can direct specifically examined content with all the obscure working-out of his current style, he will truly be a speculative giant, indeed."

Ah, Bartleby ...

Technologized Desire Interview

Here is an interview I did last year with Russian author V. Ulea on my book of sf criticism and theory, Technologized Desire: Selfhood & the Body in Postcapitalist Science Fiction. The interview originally appeared online in Saucytooth's Webthology, which has since disappeared.

Science Fiction Criticism

This morning I compiled a list of some of my favorite books of science fiction criticism (shamelessly including my own Technologized Desire) at Goodreads. See it here.

Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

My review-essay on Anthony Miccoli's Posthuman Suffering & the Technological Embrace, "Enter the Posthuman," appears in the latest issue (22.1) of Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. There are also a lot of other compelling reviews alongside essays on Lost, Zombieland, Dune and I, Robot.

Battle without Honor or Humanity #7

Optics

There’s a scene in Snow White & the Seven Dwarves (1937), near the beginning, where the Queen orders a huntsman to kill the femme nature. The huntsman doesn’t want to do it, but he’s scared of the Queen, so he goes into the woods. Snow White is singing songs with birds. The hunstman takes out a knife and sneaks up behind her. He steps on a twig. Startled, she glances over her shoulder and we see the reflection of her widening eyes in the blade ...

“My daughter consistently misreads the scene,” I explain, “thinking the huntsman’s intent is not to murder her, but rather to measure her eyes. She neither cares nor knows what for. The knife thus emerges as an instrument of optical calculation intended either to improve or disprove Snow White’s quality of life.”

A voice the likes of the Magic Mirror, cavernous and dreamy, replies to me from the rafters, the sewers: “You don’t have a daughter. You never have. Additionally, that’s not how it happens. The huntsman doesn’t step on a twig. As he creeps towards her, his shadow grows and swallows Snow White, and she gets wise to the darkness behind her. Something else. We don’t see her reflection in the blade. And her eyes barely crack a smile, in a manner of speaking. It is the huntman’s eyes that inflate like kamikaze moon rocks and burn brightly with fear and self-loathing for being a coward and not standing up to the Queen.”

“The Queen?” cries Snow White ...

Mourning Goats Interview

The Goat (a.k.a. "The Goat") has interviewed me at Mourning Goats. This is possibly the longest interview I've done. In it, I discuss goats, the writing and publishing industry, getting your Ph.D., living abroad, teaching college, bodybuilding, and fictionalizing with a hammer ...