Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summering in Belloma

A book I'm reading now is Dhalgren by Samuel Delany, which I got from the library. It's about a city that's cut off from the rest of the world. It deliberately goes into some disorienting passages, and back in the early seventies the science fiction world wasn't ready for the kind of sex it was presenting either. Actually, sci-fi elements are kind of spare. That said, the scorpions, which disguise people as huge mecha monsters, are a pretty badass idea. Even though Philip K. Dick reportedly threw his copy at the wall when he tried to read it, I think I may make it through.
Update: Minor (or not) correction. According to the Wikipedia article, Harlan Ellison is the one who claimed to have thrown it against the wall, although Dick didn't like it either.


susan said...

I read this one when it first came out and don't remember much anymore other than how strange it was and how enjoyable. Back then Bill (Wm) Gibson was someone I knew pretty well and I do recall sitting with him and a few other people discussing newer forms of science fiction. Of course, it isn't really sci fi in the classic sense but his descriptions of Bellona (?) and its inhabitants had some pretty mind bending aspects.

Ben said...

I keep forgetting you knew him. He actually wrote the foreword of the edition I'm reading. Keeps it brief, but talks about how it's a puzzle that wasn't meant to be solved.