Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weird Fiction

Painwise, by James Tiptree, Jr. This has to be one of the weirdest stories I've ever read.

I also read Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" but the narrator's description of the only female character almost put me off of the whole story. I'd heard the guy was kind of a jerk/misogynist, but... I didn't expect that in what I'd always heard described as a great classic sci-fi piece.

For what it's worth, I've liked all of the Tiptree that I've read, but had trouble finding more... then again, I have trouble finding fiction that appeals to me, period. Everything has to be full of crappy romance subplots nowadays-- either that, or in sci-fi/fantasy, played-out macho wankery. (The female-written stuff I tried to look up is mostly romance-saturated.)

I'm not fictionally well-educated anymore. Mostly, I read nonfiction. If there are good recent fantasy or sci-fi writers without boring tired out crap or juvenile wanking, I'd be glad to hear about them. For a long while, I've pretty much stuck to reading old things I never had the chance to. I like things such as Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Ursula leGuin and Angela Carter, and can't remember the last fiction book I read, unless you count reading online archives of Lovecraft or 19th century weirdness like Dunsany. I've seen recommendations of Joanna Russ and Shari Tepper for so-called 'feminist' sci-fi, but has anyone read them?

More fiction links:
Tiptree - The Screwfly Solution
HP Lovecraft Archive
Arthur Machen - The White People, The Great God Pan
Robert W. Chambers - The King in Yellow


Here's an image from a book I had picked up some time ago called "The Devil Wants Me Fat!", a Christian weight loss guide. I think I gave it to someone as a gift, so i don't have it anymore.

The post on vintage nature illustration resources will have to wait until I have the brain energy, because I have massive amounts of 19th century ephemera and web archive links in my reference folders.


  1. I'd recommend Charles de Lint's books. He writes well and has wonderful female characters (seems to like writing from their POV more than men).

    If you don't mind stepping out of the genre, I think you'd enjoy Sarah Waters' lesbian Victorian romps as much as I did. She's one of the better novelists out there. Let me know if you have any prob getting her books, k?

    Hm there's a wonderful site that's got most of the who's who of English/translated fiction and nonfic, run by some anonymous kind soul

  2. Oh, it's funny I used to read de Lint obsessively but it lost its charm for me. I liked his short stories a lot, but tried to read a couple novels and... ugh. I don't know, I think one was The Little Country. Seemed good enough at first but towards the middle I realized I didn't give a crap if any of the characters lived or died, and I put it down. Not sure what as wrong with it but it went really wrong ith me so I got out of reading his newer stuff after that. It is interesting ho much he used a female POV.

    I've never read Waters, maybe I should...

    I used to read Jeannette Winterson a lot, but had really no interest in the later stuff she put out.