… when you blame McCandless for being naive and failing to learn anything about the problems he would face in the “wild”; or when you blame Knight for living off the land the way a Yosemite bear or suburban racoon might, that is as “the land” now presents itself, you are really, if unintentionally, mourning an already vanished concept of wildness. Penetration of that pure space as an equally pure self-authenticatory act has become a game. It can no longer be romanticised. It is no longer the scene of the rite of passage–or at least not that particular rite of passage. Our irritation at Knight for “cheating” is a tacit acceptance of that.
M John Harrison sneaks up behind the social/natural dichotomy and kicks it in the junk.
The title says it all, folks – Mike Harrison rides again. Celebrate in whatever way you see fit.
As mentioned in FPB last week, tonight is the Arthur C Clarke Award ceremony up in the Big Smoke, and your loyal correspondent from the Styx is getting on the train in a few hours to hob-nob with the worthies of the science fiction literature scene.
To the right is a picture of M John Harrison receiving last year’s award for the inimitable and excellent Nova Swing [image by abrinsky]. Who’ll take the trophy this year? There’s only one certainty with the Clarke Award, which is that whoever wins there will be some degree of controversy about it … the good Mr Harrison being the exception that proves the rule, of course.
So, yours truly will be on the scene, a-Twitterin‘ anything of note. As there’s only the one award, that probably won’t be a great deal; I think I’ll be too busy chatting with people (and showing off my awesome new Asus Eee) at the drinks afterwards to do any heavy reportage. That said, I’ll try to get some decent photos of various people … bodyguards permitting, naturally. 🙂
Oh, and while we’re on the subject, the Orbit books gang are celebrating the Award and lamenting the passing of its founder by giving away a hardback edition of Arthur C Clarke’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. You gotta be in it to win it, as the saying goes.
Today is also notable for a much bigger reason (or at least one that more people beyond the boundaries of the sf echo-chamber will care about) – the World Wide Web is fifteen years old today.
It’s ess than half my age, and yet I already spend more than half my time using it – there’s a scary thought for ya. 😉