be human


person recommended just now egan’s latest collection, Instantiation. find him something of a mixed bag, interesting concepts, but don’t get much “feeling” the way would want out of fiction. that first story, though, is terrifying

not sure about the doctorow-ish ending, but it hurt to read, a modern kind of horror

and thinking again now of eugenia kuyda, and dead-friend-as-an-ai, and how that felt like something real, but how like 美空ひばり remade and singing someone else’s song, it pushes over a line into unsettling, and where is it that line ought to be drawn. talked a bit on this with boyfriend, and want to explore it further. parents using their dead children to push a political agenda

an aside, though, reading egan always makes me really wish for some sf with feelings in it. like not just “here’s this cool idea, and, oh, some characters to flesh it out”. but also something that’s not just a flash-gordon space opera, sed-replacing words over d&d

the things i’ve enjoyed best for sf so far are iain banks and gits: sac. but banks was a little hit-and-miss with his write-once-and-done attitude and being a guy-with-a-libido. this one quote of his, from state of the art, always felt like revealing that he could do more if he had patience/interest to re-write over moving forwards:

You somehow sense that vast, wasteful bulk underneath you, warping space itself and self-compressing, soil-solid or still half-molten, quivering in its creaky, massy press, and you; stuck, perched here on the outside, half-terrified that despite all you know you’ll lose your grip and go wheeling and whirling and wailing away.

that he could play with words this way but never-really-got-around-to-it, interests elsewhere

and sac, always loved some things, motoko’s body-alien feel done well, “this is a toy”, but gets over-into the highschool philosophy class imagery sometimes, beating you over the head with the symbolism like halfway to evangelion. could be that’s inherent in the medium, though; lain was nice, but not really the same animal. not watched any animu really in like a decade

maybe am just too picky and snob, or maybe just a weird

trying more women in sf recently, not done much before. ann leckie was almost there, nice ideas, but turned-too-far the sjw mary sue knob. connie willis feels so far a little like the cool aunt you never had who doesn’t quite get the kids these days but anyways wants to encourage them, carries a bit muriel spark feel tossed in here and there…

dunno, maybe there’s not really much of a “market” for that, sf + feelings, know the things i like best for human-experience are already well-on 100 years old, but anyways maybe can make something new of it; at least have got to try. it’s a little sad that enjoyment’s always split

song of the day:

Scott Matthew - be human