I went to the South Street Seaport Museum Gallery to see two people read for the NYRSF (New York Review of Science Fiction) hosted by Jim Freund. Many friends from Alteredfluid plus Gordon Van Gelder were there and I got to show them the many unsafe-for-children-under-three toys I bought for my one year old nephew. After much deliberating, I found the only toys safe for children under three are
a) a boulder
b) a pillow
c) a book
Yet, none seemed quite appropriate. But on to the reading! The first reader was Terry McGarry, reading from her latest novel, Triad. There was this strange and mysterious ticking in the background while she read. I wasn’t sure if it was a clock or melting snow dripping eerily every second or so. Either way, it had this hypnotic rhythm which slowed Terry’s voice and my perceptions down. She seemed to pause for an extra long time between sentences (due to the clock?). Because of this, I found myself drifting in and out of her story. I love stories about performing musicians, and though Terry’s story enthralled at first, I kind of missed most of it. Sorry Terry.
The next reader was Kris Saknussemm reading from his Zanesville. An interesting guy whose life changed when he had an “hallucinogenic experience on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu” and “he came to the conclusion that he did not sufficiently understand the role religion played in his own culture to be credibly investigating and analyzing the beliefs of another, and so abandoned academia.” (his own words, I think.) Reminiscent of Gibson, but leering away from the technojargon and focusing instead on the pseudo-religious qualities of a homeless man who wakes up memory-less in Central Park, the story entertained as well as polemicized. At one disturbing point in the reading, Saknussemm turned bright red as he sung, then screamed part of a song. It was by far the oddest reading I’ve been to in a while.