Paul Di Filippo on Radicalized: “Upton-Sinclairish muckraking, and Dickensian-Hugonian ashcan realism”
See the original posting on Boing Boing
I was incredibly gratified and excited to read Paul Di Filippo’s Locus review of my latest book, Radicalized; Di Filippo is a superb writer, one of the original, Mirrorshades cyberpunks, and he is a superb and insightful literary critic, so when I read his superlative-laden review of my book today, it was an absolute thrill (I haven’t been this excited about a review since Bruce Sterling reviewed Walkaway).
There’s so much to be delighted by in this review, not least a comparison to Rod Serling (!). Below, a couple paras of especial note.
His latest, a collection of four novellas, subtitled Four Tales of Our Present Moment, fits the template perfectly, and extends his vision further into a realm where impassioned advocacy, Upton-Sinclairish muckraking, and Dickensian-Hugonian ashcan realism drives a kind of partisan or Cassandran science fiction seen before mostly during the post-WWII atomic bomb panic (think On the Beach) and 1960s New Wave-Age of Aquarius agitation (think Bug Jack Barron). Those earlier troubled eras resonate with our current quandary, but the present moment under Doctorows microscope or is that a snipers crosshairs? has its own unique features that he seeks to elucidate. These stories walk a razors edge between literature and propaganda, aesthetics and bludgeoning, subtlety and stridency, rant and revelation. The only guaranteed outcome after reading is that no one can be indifferent to them…
…The Radicalized collection strikes me in some sense as an episode of a primo TV anthology series Night Gallery in the classical mode, or maybe in a more modern version, Philip K.