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Options Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B00J90F016
- Publisher : Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (April 1, 2014)
- Publication date : April 1, 2014
- Word Wise : Enabled
- File size : 2749 KB
- Print length : 126 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,376,356 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Options (1975) formed the vanguard of my attempt to move into his later (substantial) 70s oeuvre. Although technically adept and dabbling in my favorite type of narratological metafiction, Options did not sit entirely well with me–and as I am still unable to put my finger on exactly why I put off the review for months. A novel about narrative, Sheckley creates the most preposterous narrative possible, and as it no longer can more forward on its own power must interject himself into the story to fix the morass he’s created.
The novel begins with a notice:
“The rules of normalcy will be temporarily suspended while new rules are being drawn. The new rules may not be the same as the old rules. No hints can be given concerning the new rules. The best thing to do might be to avoid conflicting situations, spend the rest of the day in bed, cool out. Or, if that sounds boring, I could take you for a ride” (11).
What followers are 77 short chapters that follow the misadventures of Tom Mishkin who crashes on the planet Harmonia. He most journey across the surface with a robot programmed for an entirely different landscape in order to find a parts stash to fix his ship. Mad synesthesiasts, multi-headed worms, self-loathing raemits, and other bizarre creatures encounter Tom at every turn. Sheckley’s shines forth on every page: a tour of an imaginary castle results in a discussion of the effects of imaginary food, “among the ignorant and gullible, for example, imaginary foods tend to be quite nourishing. Pseudo-nourishing, of course, but the nervous system cannot differentiate between real and imaginary events” (52).
Perhaps my frustration derives from an inability to ascertain what precisely about narrative Sheckley wishes to exposure other than its sheer artificiality… And if that’s the case, then what better way to demonstrate sheer artificiality than state that there are no rules. But “novel” without rules has the side-effect of abandoning the reader somewhere along the journey. It’s a virtuosic display that reads in many ways as a series of 77 micro-stories, each with their own punch line.
I still recommend the book for fans of Sheckley and New Wave SF.
Top reviews from other countries
Bonnes lectures !