nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Odd art and science fiction

Further thoughts about my previous post-- lj link because most of the comments are there.

It's possible that modern art wouldn't show up in a lot of science fiction which has serious world-building-- it's something of a minority taste, and the vast majority of art and styles of art get forgotten.

However, not all sf has serious world-building, Writers could include a little modern art because they like it themselves, and they get to have some fun with their worlds. Also, a lot of sf is set in the relatively near future, and even in the far future, you don't know what which art will be remembered.

More generally, I think that in large human cultures there's going to be a low status experimental art scene, and there might be a reasonable chance of a high status experimental art scene. Admittedly, it's harder to invent new sorts of experimental art.

Vaguely related: I just read Elizabeth Hand's Visible Dark, sequel to her Generation Loss. I liked them, but I'm not sure exactly who to recommend them to.

They aren't sf. Hand said there are some minimally fantastic details in the first book because writing naturalistic fiction was a strain. I didn't notice them. Still, the first book might as well be horror fiction, and the second has a lot of echoes of Poul Anderson. The latter is probably just the Scandanavianness.

Anyway, the books are about Cassandra Neary, a remarkably tough and pretty dysfunctional woman who made a brief splash as an art photographer. She gets a chance to interview one of her heroes on an island off Maine, and gets entangled in murders.

In book two, it's off to Iceland for a lucrative deal to evaluate some very creepy photographs. If you want to find out what it's like to love creepy photographs without having to look at them, this is your chance.... and there's more entanglement with murders.

When she talked about Available Dark at a PSFS meeting, she went into some detail about the Scandinavian death metal scene, which includes a lot of neo-nazis. As the musicians grow up, they're apt to shift from that to Norse paganism. However, the book has no neo-nazis, possibly because they'd unbalance the story, in which the Big Bad is the bankers who caused the financial crisis.

The books have high intensity, a strong sense of place (both for where Neary travels to, and her native New York City), and plenty of photography geeking.

A more sensible review of _Available Dark_.

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