Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Remembered Dreamlet


I hardly ever remember my dreams, and when I do I generally only remember fragments. This one from the other night was interesting:

I'm showing Ursula K. Le Guin my chickens. No, that's not a euphemism. We're standing next to my chicken enclosure and admiring the Buff Cochin rooster and the little black Silkie hen. There are a bunch of feathers scattered around inside the enclosure, which must mean a raccoon has got to the Red Cochin hen.

So anyway, we're looking at the chickens, and I tell Le Guin that I really, really wish she would re-issue The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction or at least release one essay from that collection, "The Stalin in the Soul," as an e-book or something. And she smiles and shakes her head in the negative and says "everyone seems to want that essay lately; I have no idea why."

Usually my remembered dream fragments aren't overtly/coherently topical to something I've been thinking about, but this one is. The other day I was wishing I still had my old paperback copy of that book, specifically for that essay, because I can't remember its contents well at all but keep thinking it might have real bearing on current "safe spaces"/"political correctness"/free speech/identity politics issues.

I may have to spring for a new (to me) copy of The Language of the Night. I bought it when it first came out, but my copy is long gone (and worn to ribbons before I lost track of it anyway). It must be fairly popular or collectible -- used copies of it go for quite a bit more than the original cover price as I remember it, at a time when many used books sell for a few cents plus "shipping and handling."

Anyway, odd dream fragment. I can't recall that I've ever before dreamed of talking with an author before. And something about this dream that I can't quite put my finger on has the quality/feeling about it of Moh Kohn's virtual reality encounter with Trotsky in Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction. Which is both weird and cool because I tend to bundle that novel (and the others in the "Fall Revolution Cycle") into the same category and rank as Le Guin's The Dispossessed when it comes to novels that have personally/politically influenced me in particular ways.

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