Displaying articles for: November 2010

On Elegance While Sleeping

To poet Idra Novey falls the task of producing the first English translation of Viscount Lascano Tegui's 1925 cult classic novel from Argentina, and her modern yet timeless version of  On Elegance While Sleeping  fulfills the assignment splendidly,  bringing the bracingly mordant and sardonic voice of this nigh-forgotten contemporary of Picasso and Apollinaire to a new audience.

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Once Before Time

It is a bold and confident theorist indeed who can characterize his chosen field of research in the frank and humble manner in which Martin Bojowald speaks of "loop quantum gravity," the core subject of Once Before Time, his rigorously enthralling and speculatively mindblowing survey of this ultra-new physics "framework."

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The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction

Paul Simon's observation that "Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts" seems somehow applicable to the whole concept of canonical SF anthologies, of which the latest is The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction, assembled jointly by six savants who represent the editorial board of the prestigious journal Science Fiction Studies.  Every decade or two the field senses a need to redefine its history, both to itself and to outsiders, the latter of whom might wish to employ the resultant volume as a map of strange territories useful in a classroom environment.  But generalist readers also benefit from a fresh look at the classic tales, along with unearthed, obscure yet representative gems.

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.