Last month, I blogged an excerpt from The Land Across, a new novel from science fiction grand master Gene Wolfe. Now, Tor.com has a tantalizing review by Mordicai Knode (tl;dr: "Lonely Planet Meets the Necronomicon") that makes me want to rush out and read it RIGHT NOW.
Gene Wolfe asks you “who do you believe?” as you read The Land Across, and that question includes the narrator, our protagonist. People buzzed about Gone Girl but cyclical novels, recursive meta-fiction, unreliable narrators? Those are some of the well-worn tools in his torturer’s kit. I mean his doctor’s bag, I’m sorry, slip of the tongue. While you muse on that, muse on The Third Policeman—oh, I’m sorry, I mean the third policeman, no caps or italics. How silly of me. Gene Wolfe is musing, as well, on freedom and benevolence, on democracy and dictatorship. I’ve talked about Tolkien’s and that same subject previously, but here rather than hinging on the strange figure of Tom Bombadil, the exemplar of freedom, Wolfe focuses on an equally mysterious paternal—literally and figuratively—authority figure.
This is my first read through. I’m going to re-read it though, boy howdy, and how! Translate all the seemingly innocuous words, try to connect all the characters, to see past the trees to find the forest. To make a treasure map. I don’t doubt on further delves that I won’t discover new things. I took copious notes along the way, this read: the root tongues of names, taking careful note of the painting of the satyr’s and the nymphs, to the wolves in the wood. Then I realized how little any of that mattered to anyone who wasn’t also in the middle of reading the books. Like a series of coded chalk marks left in a labyrinth. To me, the reader, invaluable, but to anyone else not lost in the maze, meaningless…
Gene Wolfe’s The Land Across is Lonely Planet Meets the Necronomicon
Thanks to everyone who came out for last night’s final London event on the UK Walkaway tour, at Pages of Hackney with Olivia Sudjic; today I’m heading to Waterstones Liverpool One for an event with Dr Chris Pak, followed by a stop tomorrow at Waterstones in Birmingham and then wrapping up in the UK with […]
Last night’s sold-out Walkaway tour event with Laurie Penny at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road was spectacular (and not just because they had some really good whisky behind the bar), and the action continues today with a conversation with Olivia Sudjic tonight at Pages of Hackney, where we’ll be discussing her novel Sympathy as well as […]
The following is an excerpt from my new book, The PrEP Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir, now available from Lethe Press. The book chronicles the before-and-after of using Truvada PrEP, a recent breakthrough in HIV prevention that has prompted a new sexual revolution–except that most individuals have no idea it exists. Through sex positivity, explicit openness, and fun, I hope to make many more people aware that PrEP is an option for them in not just preventing HIV but having a better, braver sex life.
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]