When I hear of Schrödinger’s cat, I reach for my gun.
The other day I saw a battered Volvo station wagon downtown that had been refitted as an ice cream truck, with Good Humor menus stuck to the sides and the ominous snout of a deedle-deedle-deedle loudspeaker wired to the hood. It was, thankfully, silent. It lowered a moment in the mouth of Park, then jerked into a left turn onto Alder against the oncoming traffic.
There’s a lot of books I’m not really reading at the moment. One of them is Stone, by Adam Roberts, and I really do want to like it, not least because I picked it up on Miriam’s recommendation. —I really want to like it because what I want is a gonzo spicepunk genrefuck genderchuck kick-out-the-jams drop-your-jaw throw-back-your-head-and-yee-fuckin’-haw honest-to-God space opera, one that mainlines every color in a Bollywood rainbow through showboating Hong Kong action arias, that’s full of Doc Smith lantern jaws and William Gibson mirrorshades taking the piss out of each other, that’s wisely foolish enough to make you laugh when it breaks your heart, that dumps you breathless and shaken on the other side, ready to climb back in and read it again. And I’m enough of a mensch not to kick Stone just because it isn’t that book. (Maybe if Michael Chabon were to channel Angela Carter? Or Cordwainer Smith, or James Tiptree? Maybe if John Irving were to get with Neal Stephenson and they could work on endings together? Zadie Smith could team up with Vernor Vinge, sure, or maybe Samuel Delany could somehow heal the Splendor and Misery, which maybe isn’t quite what I’m on about in this parenthetical aside to a digression from an introductory sally, but hey, a jones is a jones, and while I’m at it I might as well wish Avram Davidson were slipping new pages into the Akashic record when no one’s looking. —Maybe what I need isn’t prose. God forbid. But maybe what I need is for Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta to get back to work already and live up to the premise this time. Maybe what I need is for the entertainment revolution to happen already and for television to collapse under the weight of manufactured reality and for epic digital video pop operas with Spike Jonez sword fights and mashup limewired dance numbers to get piped directly into our handhelds at 13 episodes a go.) —Confidential to whomever: Iain M. Banks ain’t doin’ it. At least, not yet.