Showing posts from March, 2010

Dhalgren on Stage

Here's a nice birthday present: On April 1 — [Samuel R.] Delany’s 68th birthday — the Kitchen will begin staging an adaptation [of Dhalgren ] called Bellona, Destroyer of Cities . Its director and writer is Jay Scheib, an MIT professor and rising theater-world star who’s been obsessed with Dhalgren for years. He once devoted an MIT course to the book, and has even adapted it into a play in German. That news comes from a good, basic overview of Delany and Dhalgren in New York Magazine . I thought the description of the novel as "like Gertrude Stein: Beyond Thunderdome " was pretty amusing. (It made me want to see a picture of Gertrude Stein with Tina Turner hair.) The play is not strictly an adaptation of the novel, it seems: The Kitchen adaptation aims to be the next cycle of Dhalgren : It begins where the novel ends, with a new character—a woman instead of a man—entering Bellona. "In the novel," Scheib says, "when the narrator shows up, he has sex

Here and Back Again

I went twenty days without posting here, and it's been an eventful time, pretty much all to the good.  I took care of some giant final tasks for my father's estate, taught some classes, made progress with planning classes for the summer and fall, volunteered on a movie shoot , wrote a screenplay for a web series a friend hopes to make in Minnesota (more on that as it develops), started another screenplay I hope to browbeat another friend into filming, wrote a very difficult review of a book I'd hoped to be able to say more good things about than I was able to (more on that later), and submitted a couple of short stories to places that might be friendly toward them, since though I haven't written any new stories in quite some time, I do have a couple that have proved difficult to place with publishers because I stubbornly insist that their weirdnesses, lacunae, contradictions, and nonsense are not flaws, but charming and essential features. In amidst it all, there was

Jim Crace to Write One Final Novel

Jim Crace is about to publish a politically-oriented novel with what sounds like some science fiction elements, All That Follows , then write one more and be done with the whole novel-writing gig, he tells the Independent ( via ) : "Writing careers are short. ... For every 100 writers, 99 never get published. Of those who do, only one in every hundred gets a career out of it, so I count myself as immensely privileged. I will have written 12 novels when I finish this next book and it's enough. I'm going to stop. Too often bitterness is the end product of a writing career. I keep seeing writers who have grown bitter. And I know that I am just as likely to turn bitter as anyone else. So it's self-preservation." Most writers would say that they are driven to write and know no other way to fill their time or make sense of the world. Crace is amused by their presumption. "My belief is that I will be quite happy not writing. JD

A Few Oscar Thoughts

Posting is likely to continue to be sparse-to-nonexistent here for at least another week, but that really shouldn't cause you any sadness, because you've got a whole big series of tubes out there to explore.  You'll survive without me for a little while longer, I'm sure.  I have faith in you, dear reader. One of the things you should certainly read is the great Steve Shaviro's marvelous post about Kathryn Bigelow , who last night became, as y'all know by now, the first woman ever to win a Best Director Oscar.  I'm all for it, even if the whole situation, like The Hurt Locker itself , is complex in its meanings and implications . The Oscar show itself was pretty awful, but that's part of the fun of watching.  Every year, we get to say, "Wow, it's even worse than last year!"  A decade or two from now, I expect it all to be broadcast via the future equivalent of the Wii and to require all presenters to make fart jokes. I don't

Secret History Revealed!

Rain Taxi has posted online an interview I conducted with James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel , editors of The Secret History of Science Fiction . Most of the discussion took place in a Masonic lodge in southern New Hampshire, although at one point I was blindfolded and taken to an undisclosed location that smelled of patchouli and motor oil.  Jim Kelly ducked out briefly to launder some money vacation in the Cayman Islands, and John Kessel made me repeat long passages of Latin that made my skin itch.  But I let nothing stop my relentless pursuit of the truth...