Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir Sci-fi

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 27 Oct 2007

Mark wrote:

But a flotilla in Snow Crash? It's been a while since I've read it, but it was set in a futuristic city
(LA?) with walled communities and also in cyberspace. Where was the flotilla?

*************** It's somewhere around the middle of the book, Mark. I'm certain I've got the right novel. Before I totally gave up I came back to it a half dozen times. I remember a comment in the book about pirates looking for captives who could suppress the gag instinct. Wonder what that meant?

I made a tour through my library looking for it but I was fairly certain I pitched it when we moved a few months back and I didn't find it. I did, however, dig up a few other sci-fis that could be called noir. This is all old ground (we had a hardboiled/noir sci-fi month way back when, didn't we?), but we go over the same thing over and over again anyway, so what the hell. Here are the ones I can remember:

Slow River, Nicola ??? Neverwhere, Gaiman Perdido Street Station, Mieville Clockwork Orange, Burgess Carlucci's Edge

I haven't read Clockwork Orange, but I don't have to since I saw the movie. I was most impressed by Gaiman's Neverwhere. Slow River and Carlucci's Edge amounted to little. Perdido Street Station was absolutely fantastic until the end, when he flushed the whole thing down the shitter with a crummy ending.
 I read another by Mieville on the power of the first part of Perdido, but King Rat had none of the magic. That finished Mieville for me.

Patrick King has already mentioned Gibson's Neuromancer, which I thought was brilliant even though I am still trying to figure out what happened at the end. I read another half-dozen by Gibson but none came close to his magnum opus.

I've still got a couple by Bester that I bought back when we were doing the sci-fi month. One's The Demolished Man, or something like that, and the other one has something about stars in the title. One by Tim Powers that I tried to start but couldn't manage more than a few pages.


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