it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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this is not a manifesto

There is no such thing as the eco-gothic movement. *g* t's just a handy label Chelsea and I have slapped on certain writerly characteristics that intrigue us.

[21:57] cpolk: (is this why we're a movement?)
[21:57] matociquala: the eco-gothics? *g*
[21:57] matociquala: I think so.
[21:57] cpolk: yes.
[21:57] matociquala: I think Bob Wilson may be the founding father of the trend.
[21:58] matociquala: Although The Word for World is Forest is probably the ur-text.
[21:58] cpolk: and I camp myself firmly with the eco-gothics, because that's where my SFNal ideas lie.
[21:58] matociquala: I mean, I was joking when I coined the term. But there's something there.
[21:58] cpolk: yes.
[21:58] cpolk: and it will probably become common usage.
[21:59] matociquala: I dunno, there's been no assimilation of it so far.
[21:59] matociquala: but it's useful to me.
[21:59] matociquala: I mean, what is eco-gothic?
[21:59] matociquala: John Brunner is.
[21:59] matociquala: And Bob Wilson is.
[21:59] matociquala: And I think Peter is, and I am, and you are....
[22:00] matociquala: What do we have in common, though?
[22:02] cpolk: that we look around at the world
[22:02] cpolk: and we're fucking scared.
[22:02] matociquala: there's this underlying idea of the implacability of the universe
[22:02] matociquala: and the smallness of humanity.
[22:02] cpolk: because we were the secondclass geeks who took life sciences instead of physics with the hard line geeks.
[22:02] matociquala: heh
[22:02] matociquala: or anth, or psych, or medicine
[22:03] cpolk: we know that there is no guiding caring force. that life is amazing in its tenacity and persistence, but that ultimately, it's completely pitiless
[22:03] matociquala: Yes.
[22:03] matociquala: That's it, I think
[22:03] cpolk: and if you take it too far, if you unbalance it enough, it will crush you.
[22:03] matociquala: this idea of the tenacity of life in a pitiless universe.
[22:03] cpolk: and nobody else seems to fucking GET IT.
[22:03] matociquala: because life is tenacious
[22:03] matociquala: but.
[22:04] matociquala: humanity is disposable.
[22:04] cpolk: we are.
[22:04] matociquala: and you know what?
[22:04] matociquala: It's not a tragedy that the passenger pigeon perished.
[22:04] cpolk: there's a metaphor in spin - the outstretched arms metaphor?
[22:04] matociquala: And it won't be a tragedy when we go either
[22:04] matociquala: yeah.
[22:04] cpolk: yes, exactly.
[22:04] matociquala: I was on a panel with Lyda Morehouse
[22:04] matociquala: the SF Disaster Novel
[22:04] cpolk: we're the white stuff you trim off your fingernails.
[22:05] cpolk: we care if we perish.
[22:05] cpolk: life does not. it'll just keep being tenacious.
[22:05] matociquala: And at one point I was talking about the coolness of something incredible destructive.
[22:05] cpolk: mmm.
[22:05] matociquala: And Lyda looked at me and said "This woman is not on our side."
[22:05] cpolk: LOL
[22:05] cpolk: but that's the thing.
[22:05] cpolk: we are.
[22:05] cpolk: we'd like to see humanity live.
[22:05] matociquala: It got a huge laugh--
[22:05] matociquala: And of course I am.
[22:06] matociquala: I am totally invested in humanity.
[22:06] cpolk: it wouldn't fucking scare us down to the cells if we didn't.
[22:06] matociquala: But I also know that God doesn't care if we persist.
[22:06] matociquala: We're not special.
[22:06] cpolk: we're not essential.
[22:06] matociquala: No, we're not.
[22:06] cpolk: the universe doesn't love us bestest of all.
[22:06] matociquala: But we're special to us.
[22:06] cpolk: yes.
[22:06] cpolk: and so we have to take care of us.
[22:07] matociquala: Which is, oddly enough, something that gives me sympathy to ethnic literature.
[22:07] cpolk: and that means taking care of where we live
[22:07] matociquala: *insert scare quotes above*
[22:07] cpolk: and taking the blinders off because we've Got to Go.
[22:07] cpolk: here's your lunch honey, have a good time on your new planet.
[22:07] matociquala: Because you know, there's this critique that a Black Novel is not Relevant because it's about Blackness, not Humanity
[22:07] cpolk: and don't fuck it up this time, 'kay?
[22:08] matociquala: Which upon I call bullshit.
[22:08] matociquala: Because a human novel isn't relevant.
[22:08] matociquala: Because it's about humanity.
[22:08] matociquala: six point five billion ugly bags of mostly water on a second-class planet in an arm of a barred spiral galaxy
[22:09] matociquala: Pretending like Hell that we signify.

The rest of the conversation, which touches upon Butler, Le Guin, Watts, the future of SFF, and why Robert Charles Wilson's Spin just might be the book of the decade, is here.

Tags: book recs, literary wank, no sense of humor of which we are aware, so not kidding about the spoilers
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