Sunday, March 30, 2008

do my homework

From: Bloom

I am reading Slow River at the moment, and it's a wonderful book. though i must say, it is a bit confusing for me.. What would the concepts be in the novel, and would they ever be possible? thanx

I'm glad you like it.

However, I don't have a Cliff's notes version of Slow River. If I thought I could condense what I had to say in a paragraph, I wouldn't have bothered writing a whole book. Also, it always bothers me when people want to know about 'themes' or 'concepts'. It makes me wonder if I'm being asked to help with homework. As far as I'm concerned, Slow River isn't a paper waiting to be written, it's a story. Having said that, of course, I'd be fascinated by a precis of the novel. It would be a rare opportunity to see it through another's eyes. Speaking of which, last year I discovered a haiku version of Slow River at Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

As for whether any of what I describe in SR is possible, yes, I think people will continue to be kidnapped, parents will continue to abuse their children, profit will continue to be made (especially from monopolies; look what is trying to do with POD), people will love and protect each other, we'll have great sex and tender moments.

But perhaps you want to know if all the cool skiffy futuristic stuff will actually occur. Well, bioremediation is already here, in unglamorous ways (oil-gobbling bacteria, for example). As for the rest, we'll just have to wait and see.

One thing I raised in SR--or, rather, than my character, Lore, touched on, in passing--is the notion of a digital divide between generations. Apparently this is now a big issue, particularly with regard to pedegogy. But I'm not convinced the digital immigrant/digital native metaphor is as useful as many believe. Yes, it's an interesting starting point, but that's all it is, a beginning. Sort of like all good stories, when you think about it: they trigger the reader's imagination and let her build whole worlds to play in.

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