Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

‘Lieserl’ by Karen Joy Fowler

with 6 comments

This is what I guess you would call speculative biography. (Not that it isn’t all.) Seven pages of nothing. Niall Harrison would have it that:

Despite being set in 1902, the story re-creates its chosen historical moment as seen from the vantage point of its writing. The narrator is clearly a modern woman who knows that Einstein is standing on the brink of the twentieth century, and imagines what it might be like for him to (metaphorically) look down, and what kind of vertigo he might experience.

If I am unimpressed with the idea that slipstream is about stories that make the reader feel very strange I am even less impressed with the idea that it is about stories that don’t make the reader feel very strange but are about Einstein having a bit of a turn.

Quality: *
Slipperiness: *

As an aside Fowler is mentioned in Rosenbaum’s story under the bizarro world pseudonym of Karen Despair Robinson. I am unsure who Howi Qomr Faukota is though.

Part of Feeling Very Strange

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Written by Martin

7 October 2008 at 16:29

6 Responses

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  1. “I am unsure who Howi Qomr Faukota is though.”

    Harry Turtledove, I believe.

    Niall

    8 October 2008 at 09:55

  2. Oh, and surely Karen Despair Robinson is Karen Joy Fowler + Kim Stanley Robinson, rather than just KJF?

    Niall

    8 October 2008 at 09:57

  3. Okay, I’m having trouble getting from Qomr Faukota to Turtledove.

    By the way, do my blockquotes look alright to you? They seem okay in Internet Explorer but funny in Firefox. I might have to change scheme.

    Martin

    8 October 2008 at 10:57

  4. Well, Turtledove is what I was told. I assume it’s some kind of transliteration thing.

    I’m in Chrome at the moment, and your blockquotes are obviously blockquote-shaped. With a giant ” on their left.

    Niall

    8 October 2008 at 14:29

  5. Who is your secret source? I thought it must be a transliteration too but googling revealed nothing.

    The problem I saw in Firefox was that sometimes the blockquote left a line break afterwards and sometimes it went straight into the text below it despite the HTML being the same in both cases. It seemed to be something to do with the size of the quoted text.

    It goes a bit funny when you re-size the browser too. Oh well, I’ll get there eventually.

    Martin

    8 October 2008 at 14:57

  6. My secret source is David Moles, when he wrote that piece for Vector.

    I’m in Firefox now, and it doesn’t seem to be doing anything particularly wrong. Doesn’t resize properly, but I’m pretty sure that’s the style rather than the browser.

    Niall

    8 October 2008 at 22:14


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