I just started reading The Artificial Man, a collection of Clare Winger Harris stories recently revived and published by the Midwest-based indie press, Belt. Harris, who was born in 1891, wrote most of these tales in the 1920s, for publications like Amazing Stories, while she was raising three sons outside Cleveland. I don't often read this generation of science fiction, so my mind went to Asimov first, but even he was born thirty years later. The introduction, excerpted here, gives a glimpse of the life of this woman dreaming of Mars, Paris, and Frankenstein-like cyborgs from Ohio, with a lifeline in these pulp magazine—a sort of "early typeset Internet."
Oh, to be too mundane for stargazing:
Last week, I went to Dollywood with my sister and saw the hologram and the bald eagles. It's an ethical hologram: Parton consented to its creation, and it was built while she is still alive.
We listened to the podcast Cocaine & Rhinestones while driving through the Smokies. I had no idea the Judd family's history was so tumultuous.
Later I watched Synecdoche, New York, which is now on Netflix. I like it better each time I watch it and I loved it the first time I watched it. So raw and real, elegiac, funny, and devastating. It is only two hours long but it feels like two years and passes like twenty minutes. While it demonstrates how vulnerable it is to be that ambitious with a work—like a quotidian Angels in America, in a way—it succeeds. It does not let up and grows in intensity to the very end (the way Dianne Wiest shows up, out of nowhere, in the last 15 minutes and carries it gently to its landing.) What a movie. "Where will it take you?" "Home."
Thanks for reading.