Clarkesworld #68 plus PKD and Gnosticism

Clarkesworld #68 plus PKD and Gnosticism

cw_68_300The May  issue of Clarkesworld is currently online. Featured fiction: “Prayer” by Robert Reed, “Synch Me, Kiss Me, Drop” by Suzanne Church and “All the Things the Moon is Not” by Alexander Lumans.  There are also audio versions of all three stories, read by Kate Baker. Non fiction by Aletha Kontis, Jeremy L.C. Jones and Elizabeth Bear.  The cover art is by Jessada Suthi.

All of this is available online for free. However, nothing is really free. The magazine is supported by “Clarkesworld Citizens” who donate $10 or more. There’s also a Kindle edition.

One personal reaction to Bear’s very funny essay, “Another Word: Dear Speculative Fiction, I’m Glad We Had This Talk”: I agree that Lenny Bruce didn’t get funnier when he got angrier (his drug problems certainly didn’t help), but I found George Carlin to be more interesting the angrier he got. Maybe he wasn’t quite as funny, but his anger certainly resonated with me.  Sometimes having your “face pressed down into a trough of human misery until the bubbles stop” is necessary to remind people that life is not a television sitcom. At least the ones who haven’t already drowned.

Someone else who got less interesting when he started taking himself too seriously (and, once again, the drugs didn’t help) was Philip K. Dick. Simon Critchley examines Dick’s metaphysical worldview as expressed in Exegeiss, a posthumously published series of philosophical 133948681ramblings. While I tend to think all this stuff really is the result of a bad acid trip, Critchley as a professor of philosophy for the most part keeps a straight face. Some of you may laugh out loud not only at the source material, but the attempt at exegesis.

We last covered Clarkesworld with issue #67.

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Barbara Barrett

Your article conjured up memories. I saw Lenny Bruce live in a club in the North Beach section of San Francisco. As near as I can tell from my history and his, it must have been late 1965 or early 1966.

I don’t know about his anger in his later years. All I know is he was the most charismatic man I’ve ever seen. He had an incredible stage presence that I’m still aware of today. Haunting. I’ve seen John Wayne in person a couple of times and as tall and large as he was, it wasn’t the same thing. It was as if Bruce’s energy reached out to the walls and corners of that club and touched everyone there. At least that’s what I felt. I could understand some of what he was saying and his language was unimportant. I was married at the time. We were with another couple and happened to stop in the club where Lenny was appearing. After a few minutes, they got up and left, finding him almost incomprehensible and especially they were offended by the obscene language. They got about half way down the street before they realized I wasn’t with them. I hadn’t even noticed they left. I think if we had been alone, my husband and I might have sat through the show. As it was, I left reluctantly when he came back for me. The really sad thing about Lenny Bruce was he didn’t even need drugs to be a Presence. He was like a Singularity contained in a human body. And I was only in that club for less than a half hour.
thanks for the triggered memory…

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