Friday, April 6, 2012

"The Great Lover" by Michael Cisco

My review of Michael Cisco's "The Great Lover" is up at Strange Horizons.
"The fact that this is not just a novel, but rather some kind of urtext, is in one sense really problematic. Whenever I hear about Michael Cisco, it's usually accompanied by a lament that he's not better known, or a declaration that he's the godfather of next-generation Weird fiction. But to be totally frank, he's probably not all that well known because he's stupidly hard to read and he doesn't even write fiction the way people expect it half the time; and the history of the novel, of writer's workshops, of literary awards, of all the structures and processes surrounding literary art are of a sort that have made readers stupidly unable to read things they don't expect. People want "great stories," don't they? And "good characters," right? And this isn't even a story, not really, and the characters don't have solidity, not in their most important aspects. This book isn't trying to tell you something: it's trying to do something to you."