Tag: books

My first best friends.

Harlan’s Secret

“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in…

Huck’s Luck

IN ORDER TO WRITE ABOUT “niggers,” I should introduce myself as a “kike.” Or perhaps, in this context, a “shylock.” How did you feel reading That Word? I felt soiled writing it, just as I do when I hear it…

First Graf: Moby-Dick

SO FAR, IT HAS TAKEN me two years to read Herman Melville’s classic of monomania and cetology, mostly because I don’t want to finish. And so I haven’t, yet. It’s the language. Melville rolls so many word-clad notions around his…

First Graf: Ringworld

SINCE 1970, LARRY NIVEN HAS written four books and a number of articles concerning the Ringworld: an Earth’s orbit-diameter ribbon made from disassembled planets and populated by its builders with all manner of adaptive species, each with its own culture…

First Graf: Winnie-the-Pooh

“GENTLE FUN FOR ENGLISH TAOISTS” is as good a description as any of A. A. Milne’s two booksful of stories of the Hundred-Acre Wood’s most famous resident. These are not children’s tales any more than “Bullwinkle” or “Le Morte d’Arthur”…

First Graf: VALIS

IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH OF 1974, science-fiction author Philip K. Dick had a series of experiences which might have been psychosis, hallucination or divine grace. Phil often tended toward the last explanation, at least in print, and based a handful…

First Graf: The DQ of UK

THIS TITLE DOESN’T REFER TO either German nobility, soft ice cream or the British Isles, but the first paragraph (“graf” in news-speak) of one of my favorite novellae, H.P. Lovecraft‘s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Though mostly famous for his…