Review of JUBILEE HITCHHIKER, a biography of Richard Brautigan.
One of my favorite authors in the Sixties, Seventies, and into the Eighties. I was stunned when I heard of his suicide on the radio and felt very guilty about not reading beyond THE HAWKLINE MONSTER. It was only because I’d started a business and was working sixty hours a week. I wrote a paper about TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA in college, and lines from IN WATERMELON SUGAR often spring to mind.
Anyway, of course I ordered this posthaste, being a biography junkie
May 25, 2012 1 Comment
The John W. Campbell Award finalist list for Best SF Novel of 2012 has been released, and it includes THIS SHARED DREAM.
IN WAR TIMES, the precursor, won the 2008 Campbell Award, much to my delight.
May 25, 2012 No Comments
ANGELS AND YOU DOGS can be ordered now from PS Publishing. This is the signed, limited-edition HC (100 copies). A paperback will be out in June.
May 25, 2012 1 Comment
Rob Thornton, author of the blog metawyrd, notes from a fan of fringe music, sf/f, and sustainable culture, wrote a nice post about the convergence of music and sf/fantasy. He mentions IN WAR TIMES, as well as George R.R. Martin’s AMRAGEDDON RAG, Norman Spinrad’s LITTLE HEROES, Patricia McKillip’s SONG FOR THE BASILISK, and Lew Shiner’s GLIMPSES.
May 13, 2012 No Comments
I think I’m (finally) getting ready to paint again.
I painted Pam’s Orchid for Pam Noles a few years back. Very few of my paintings are digitized; mostly, I just give them away. I’m going to be more diligent about that in the future.
May 1, 2012 No Comments
A link to Arlan’s excellent summary of SIGMA’s participation in the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh January 2012.
April 20, 2012 No Comments
Last week, I participated in Georgia Tech’s Neuro-Humanities Entanglement Conference. The event was kicked off by a Neuro Salon at the School of Architechture that featured many cool installation-style examples of the ways in which the arts manifest what we are learning about our own neurology.
I read a few portions of THIS SHARED DREAM, in particular a bit in Megan’s first appearance in the book, where she is thinking about her work in memory research:
Megan thoroughly enjoyed riding the Metro. She loved surrendering to motion; motion without attention. It also gave her two extra hours a day to read.
She read, with great enjoyment, things that few people enjoyed reading–scientific papers. Her field was memory research. Unlike her sister Jill, who had taken years to finally buckle down and finish her doctorate, Megan had gotten on the fast track while still in high school.
Why memory? Because that was all that there was.
Everything that you think is happening now already happened. You’re processing something that happened a few seconds ago. Our reactions are slow. We live among wavelengths. We are wavelengths. Wavelength is all there is. All right, I know I just said that memory is all there is, but now we’re getting down to the physics of it. All the bits and parts of us, the fabulous multiplicity of us, is what I want to know about.
Try using those lines at a cocktail party. She usually just said, “I’m in research.” When pressed, she said, “Scientific.”
After the reading, Lauren Brett from Technique, our very professional student newspaper, interviewed me about my affiliation with SIGMA and my recent trip to Saudi Arabia for the Global Competitiveness Conference. She wrote this great piece, which is in today’s (April 20 2012) Technique. http://nique.net/news/2012/04/20/prof-crafts-worlds-for-u-s/
April 20, 2012 No Comments
I am to be a speaker at 2012’s Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh. Past keynote speakers include Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. Attending are CEO’s of most multinational corporations. I will speak about my vision for inexpensive international community-based Montessori-type preschools. http://www.gcf.org.sa/en/.
December 29, 2011 No Comments
Kathleen Ann Goonan’s Novels Compared to those of Pynchon, Crowley, PK Dick, Priest, and Moorcock in Salon.com
Part of Paul Di Filippo’s marvelous review of IN WAR TIMES and THIS SHARED DREAM Nice to be in the same league as PK Dick, Pynchon, Priest, Moorcock, and Crowley!
IWT: “And her sly depiction of warping realities is worthy of Philip K. Dick. In short, this novel reads like Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, seeded with Christopher Priest’s The Separation and watered with some of Michael Moorcock’s multiversal inventions. It should really be on every fan’s shortlist of best books of the past decade. Additionally, there’s a kind of mythic, familial John Crowley ambiance, as the doings at the ancestral Dance homestead, Halcyon House, resonate with the magical affairs at the Drinkwater manse in Little, Big.”
TSD: “Goonan also gets a good Henry Kuttner vibe going — recall that writer’s classic “Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” in which toys displaced from the future cause children to evolve strangely. Goonan’s take: “The essential agents in Hadntz’s Device, which fostered altruism, were also in the cereal toys she had just sold to General Mills. These agents were transmittable through touch, and through the very air. They formed networks, which would grow. Their molecular design came from another timeline, one in which engineering had accomplished molecular replication. Should one be cut in two, each would regenerate a complete figure. This practically guaranteed worldwide distribution in a short period of time. . . .The urgent necessity for our species to master its worst impulses and take charge of its own destiny — a core tenet of the SF genre — has seldom been conveyed with such emotional and intellectual force.”
December 29, 2011 No Comments
I used the Serendipity Book Shop, where I worked (“which I inhabited” might be a more descriptive phrase) for several years in the early 1970’s as a template for the bookstore in This Shared Dream.
The original was in the Pickett Shopping Center in Fairfax, Virginia. It was across Little River Turnpike from Robert Frost Middle School, which I attended when it was brand new (we double-shifted at Woodson High until Frost was completed). As if it had been picked up by a tornado and deposited in Oz, I situated my fictional bookstore in Washington, D.C.
When you enter DC via Key Bridge, you see directly before you a row of townhouses on M Street, remnants of early Georgetown. As is the perogative of fiction writers, I used this picturesque location for my fictional bookstore. In the early sixties, when my family moved to the Washington area, these were decrepit, boarded-up squats. Presently, they are filled with tony shops. Sonny’s Surplus was right across the street, and was THE place to stock up on the military outfitting, such as boots and handy, many-pocketed Army jackets (I wore my father’s, but got my Army pack, boots, etc. there) that were de rigueur among certain circles in the late sixties.
Up Wisconsin Avenue was a tea and coffee shop where I made regular stops; I was a tea connoisseur and loose tea was essential. I also frequently hit an art shop that carried my green Morilla Clipper Ship blank spiral notebooks; all of my early writing is in these notebooks (easily a hundred of them, presently in boxes). I went to The Cellar Door, situated almost under the golden-domed Riggs Bank at the corner of Wisconsin and M as often as possible. In fact, in doing a search, I realized that I saw the premier performance of “Country Roads” there.
Georgetown seemed the perfect place for my fictional bookstore, and Serendipity was my home for a long time. The intellectual spectrum of the books Steve Aloi, the owner, stocked, was lovely, and the books, as they will, infused my being. I spent all of my pay there and at Giant Music, unfortunately in the same shopping center. My parents were understanding, and glad that they could afford me this incredible luxury. Steve Aloi opened several other bookstores, and I worked in two of them, including a closet-sized store in Springfield where I worked all one summer, alone, steadily devouring books, as there were few customers.
The Serendipity Book Shop was tragically destroyed by a tornado in the mid-1970’s. It never re-0pened.
I recently received a nice letter about Serendipity:
Ms. Goonan — I just started reading This Shared Dream, and found your note about Serendipity Books! My family lived in Fairfax from 1967 and shopped at Pickett. I graduated from Woodson High School, virtually across Little River Turnpike from the shopping center, and I have many fond memories of browsing in Serendipity. What great bookstore, and what a loss.
I’ve enjoyed your work ever since Queen City Jazz, and am delighted to have this chance to say thank you.
It’s always nice to hear from my readers, and I especially appreciated this note.
December 12, 2011 2 Comments