Medusa Frequencies

Got an email with sad news today in the middle of yet another round of revisions for my “history of the post-apcalypse” chapter, via the SFRA mailing list. One of my favourite quirky authors, Russell Hoban, has died at age 86. Most people know him for his post-apocalyptic novel Riddley Walker, and while that is a fine novel indeed, my favourite of his oeuvre for a long time has been the strange and compelling Medusa Frequency, which has connected heads of cabbage to Orpheus ever since  I first read it. It has been out of print for a couple of years, and is one of those books I keep buying second hand copies of when I come across them, so I can lend them to or give them away to other people at random, or just leave a copy in a strange place, so some stranger can pick it up and be enchanted (and/or bewildered, depending on the stranger and her/his feelings about magic realism, Dutch painting, Greek mythology and/or the Kraken).

I met Mr Hoban once, he was kind to me on what was a very sad day, long before I decided to spend so much time of my life on researching and writing about the post-apocalyptic genre and its novels. If not for the fact that I specialized in American literature, Riddley Walker would have been one of the central novels of my work, and now that work is almost done, as I am handing it in on January 6th.

It’s strange, and sad, and feels like a door that was never open closing … … … and if you want to borrow a copy of the Medusa Frequency, I’m your woman.

Medusa Frequencies




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