Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Some good links from SF Signal this morning, including a promising trailer for the infinitely prolonged I Am Legend and a fantastic 1979 essay from Stanislaw Lem on the nature of sci-fi that declares Philip K. Dick “a visionary among the charlatans”:

The peculiarities of Dick’s worlds arise especially from the fact that in them it is waking reality which undergoes profound dissociation and duplication. Sometimes the dissociating agency consists in chemical substances (of the hallucinogenic type—thus in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch); sometimes in “cold-sleep technique” (as precisely in Ubik); sometimes (as in Now Wait for Last Year) in a combination of narcotics and “parallel worlds.” The end-effect is always the same: distinguishing between waking reality and visions proves to be impossible. The technical aspect of this phenomenon is fairly inessential—it does not matter whether the splitting of reality is brought about by a new technology of chemical manipulation of the mind or, as in Ubik, by one of surgical operations. The essential point is that a world equipped with the means of splitting perceived reality into indistinguishable likenesses of itself creates practical dilemmas that are known only to the theoretical speculations of philosophy. This is a world in which, so to speak, this philosophy goes out into the street and becomes for every ordinary mortal no less of a burning question than is for us the threatened destruction of the biosphere.

There’s also a link to what is probably the best indexed ever, as well as the only worthwhile comment on the whole “Dumbledore is gay!!!” fiasco that I’ve seen:

Written by gerrycanavan

October 26, 2007 at 2:39 pm

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