Sunday, April 19, 2009
Some guys approach 40 buying fancy cars and getting their jowls tucked. Me? I drive a second-hand piece of shit and I let my jowls flap in the breeze. I approach 40 by re-reading books I read when I was a teen.
Delany blew my mind when I was 16. Dhalgren totally took the top of my head off, and I read it again at 18 and again at 24. I read Nova back then but only had a vague memory of the book centered mostly on its cool cover. Reading it anew 24 years later I remembered virtually none of it, and spent much of my time trying to remember reading it, and how my bedroom looked back then.
Von Lorq is an obsessive star freighter captain, grandson of an interstellar pirate, and rival of the heir to a gigantic fortune. He decides to put his rival's family out of business by swooping into an exploding nova in order to capture a rare fuel source, cornering the market and demolishing the galactic economy. All the characters he recruits for his crew are familiar from the Tarot, and there are the lush prismatic psychedelics familiar to fans of Samuel R. I re-read this old Bantam paperback primarily to decide whether I should donate it to the free store; off it goes, along with about six other boxes of mass markets in my closet, this summer. Some other young kid needs the top of his head blown off.