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Monday, May 08, 2006

[SF Opine] Stanislaw Lem Reviews Philip K. Dick - Brilliant if fashionably Anti-American

Mood: I suspect, not unlike Schroedinger’s Wildcat might feel.
Todays Random Thought: Flood the EPS Manifolds!
Track Injection:Lacuna Coil - Karmacode (full CD) <--- Click to Listen (WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER or New REALPLAYER v10.x+ Required)


Click Here to Read Stanislaw Lem's (author Solaris) Brilliant review of Philip K. Dick (author Ubiq)

Opine (mine)

(you don't say - Ed)

Go Away Ed.

*tug down on shirt*


Stanislaw Lem on PKDs America circa 1975 vs America 2006: The Rise of Thinking-Man SF - A Systems View

That was an by turns fascinating and maddening essay on one of my favorite SF authors by another of my favorites.

I feel I 'ave to say, (as British Mum taught me to be weary of) that I inhale the distinct aroma of that omnipresent terribly fashionable - at the time, and perhaps always so in certain European circles - `anti-Amercanism' in Lem's diatribe.

But, the analysis of Dick himself and his work, is utterly brilliant.

It would be interesting to see what Lem thought in particular of Neuromancer, The Matrix, and the New Battlestar Galactica.

or more properly of the subsequent rise of PKD's influence and work in _America_ ; ostensibly the rise of thinking-man SF.

..particularly given that the very items he castigates the Americans for NOT embracing (in 1975, though he speaks with an alarming sense of permanence through much of his essay) have become the very items that today hold an increasingly powerful influence on American SF.

Bottom line of my diatribe: The harcore SF sophisticate contrary to Lem's view, is becoming increasingly influential, in America.

Both in terms of his/her influence on public opine, and on the SFers ability to impact the creation (and success) of new American SF.

Take the new Battlestar Galactica, it is a success largely in my analysis because the SFer sang its praises, the media critics then followed suit, apparently buoyed at least in part by the security of the core sf'ers backing opine. ..from whence finally BSG's accolades spread to the larger public.

And this is solely in terms of traditional oldschool media methodology.

Perhaps more Interestingly, a great part of the rise of the thinking-man dynamic in American SF might be said to be due to The Internet and the (new found) ability for the hard-core SF'er to disseminate her/his opine to the masses, where it appears, it is finding substancial resonance.

What's fascinating here is that, "The Lowest Common Denominator will result wherever the masses gather" (in America) ., intellectual-postulate (and the subtext in Lem's essay) is steadfast proving to have been only half the story. If not less than half so.

While it may be true (it will certainly be self-fulfilling if Producers use it as a rational for creating LCD garbage), it appears that the masses are also well capable of gravitating towards quality work..too.

Ironically, the Internet, that medium of the unwashed masses has perhaps given the masses access to -better- criticism and analysis (and stunningly, more influential), than the establishment ever did.

And more tellingly, the public apparently recognizes quality opine as such, when they see it.

I admit I'm not sure how long it will last, we appear to be in a time-period in which the Producers (particularly of television) are willing to listen to Joe-Netizen but I hold to no delusion, the minute the suits decide it isn't profitable to produce quality work that meets the netizen's stated quality-criteria, we will no doubt return to rubbish materia faster than you can say LCD.

The next job is perhaps to figure out a way to see to it that that doesn't happen.

The Avante Guardian.