I am not, particularly, a sci-fi kind of reader. A couple of years ago I set myself a task: to read through the SF Masterworks series of books. How’s that going, you ask?
Well, this is the third book I’ve tackled.
I was expecting – largely based on decades-old memories of the flying-underpants film version – the book to be crap, so I didn’t have my expectations set to stun. Happily, the novel surpassed that, even if nobody tells you at the outset that you’re going to be reading a political, economic and ecological thriller about the universe’s most hotly-contested product: magic wormshit.
Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? by Mark Fisher. My rating: four stars
Well, this year’s been enough of a bummer so let’s do this thing.
I have wanted to read some of Mark Fisher’s longer writing – having been acquainted with his blog for ages – for some time, and I figured, given that 2020/21 had pretty much clocked the woe-meter, it was time. So I settled down for an afternoon of anticapitalist invective.
Novel with Cocaine by M. Ageyev. My rating: four stars
This is a strange one. It’s a novel set in revolutionary Russia that only mentions the fact twice, and then at an angle. Its title refers to David Bowie’s chief ’70s bodily compound, but it’s only really introduced (or considered) in the last quarter of the work.
Oh yeah, and it’s written by a seemingly anonymous guy, who only wrote this thing, submitted it to a French magazine for Russian émigrés, and then disappeared into the woofle-dust of history.
Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito. My rating: three stars
Junji Ito is known for being a bit, well, odd. I’ve reviewed some of his other works, and I’ve enjoyed them for the most part. This collection, however, didn’t seem to strike the same fantastic chord in me, and I’m still trying to decide whether it’s due to some duff stories, or because I’m a bit more tuned into his method of writing.