Sunday, August 19, 2018

Totalitopia Plus ...

PM Press has a series of small books on "Outspoken Authors." They are a mix of short fiction (usually at least one previously unpublished story), perhaps some essays, a lengthy interview, and a more than decent bibliography. This time I've read the John Crowley one, as I've read a number of his previous books with considerable pleasure.  For me, the interview was revelatory, and the overview of Paul Park's books made up by far the most interesting items in the volume.  Oddly, the fiction just seemed to me too diffuse--well-written but without real heart.  The new story ("This Is Our Town") which opens the book is sets the tone for all that follows, and later stories like "Gone" (a curiously passive account of aliens) and "And Go Like This" (headed by a Buckminster Fuller quote which was clearly the springboard for the story) seem pointless exercises. Crowley can be excellent, but this volume is neither representative of his work, nor a good starting point, despite its undeniable literary qualities. 

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