Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sci Fi

I don't generally read much science fiction, though I watch quite a few sci fi movies.  Don't know why that is.  I prefer, for instance, reading crime fiction to watching it.

While writing the last novel, which had some sci fi elements, I read none, not wanting to pollute the waters.   Now that I'm finished I've been reading lots of it - new writers, not the old masters - to get a sense of the current state of the genre.  Most have not been very good (though Caitlin Kiernan has some game).  But I just finished Charlie Huston's Sleepless, and was impressed with it.  I think it's being marketed as a zombie apocolypse, but that's just commerce: there are no zombies, no undead, no brain eating.  It's sort of a sci fi/noir hybrid, concernings a mad cow disease type prion finding its way into the food supply.  What it lingers on is a crumbling American infrastructure.  The growing gulf between rich and poor, the digital and the real.  It's a good book.  Thoughtful and disturbing.  I recommend it.

If anyone out there knows of any other good current sci fi writers out there, gimme a shout.


meno said...

I got one of his books as a Kindle freebie, the first in his "Urban Vampire" series. It was pretty good and i even paid cash money for the next one. I'll have to check this book out.

Irrelephant said...

Not sure if it comes under the tried and true "sci fi" category but Jonathan Lethem's "Gun, With Occasional Music" is excellent. Neo Noir, with lots of Chandleresque passages (the whole idea is from a Chandler one-off line) and some light science to boot. Cory Doctorow is my ONLY hope for the new generation of science fiction writers.

Clowncar said...

meno, I thought the vampire detective thing sounded pretty corny, but after reading this I might go back and check em out. Joe Pitt, right? The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death is good too. But not nearly as good as this.

Irr, you're back in Blogland! I've read and loved two Letham books, Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude. I'll check out Gun, With Occasional Music. And Mr. Doctorow as well.

Shayna Prentice said...

I was reminded of a favorite movie of mine called 'The Scent of Green Papaya' when you spoke of the way in which 'Sleepless' was marketed. "Papaya' was visually marketed so as to appear to be ultra 'steamy', when in fact it was like visual poetry ... marketing is a trip! We need to experience things for ourselves to see what the makers really meant.

Clowncar said...

Absolutely, Shayna. The frustration is that marketing is often the only way you can get to know about a book, a movie, a play in the first place.