Saturday, July 01, 2006

Who wants to be

I just saw a commercial that began "From the executive producer of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire..." I didn't see the end of the commercial, but I had a vision of another amazing TV show. This one is a reality show called Who Wants To Be A Producer. 14 people live in a house and work on teams taking turns learning to produce the next-to-final two episodes of the show. Every week the team with the worst work product has to vote someone off. It's a dazzling reality show behind the reality show. After it becomes a big hit, we can have Who Wants To Produce Who Wants To Be A Producer.

I haven't been writing much, because I have been stuck in my own reality show, Who Wants To Be The Guy With A Kidney Stone. The rules are very simple. Experience blinding abdominal pain and see the doctor. Make an appointment for a second opinion when the doctor prescribes narcotic painkillers and antibiotics. Don't take the antibiotics. Take the painkillers. Get the second opinion. Take the painkillers. Follow instructions that are too intimate for this blog. You win when the stone comes out.

I finished my first Gene Wolfe book, Castleview. I don't know how to recommend it, because it's about the intrusion of Arthurian Britain into small-town Illinois. It's been written lovingly, and it hums with life. (Whenever I say writing hums, I'm always reminded of a passage in King's On Writing.) Not really fantasy, not really normal. It ends in the right place, but it's sort of an odd place. So I know not everyone who reads this would like it. But it's two snaps and an around the world.

Ok, you know what it reminds me of, on reflection? The fiction of Charles Williams. Williams only wrote seven novels, but they might be a little hard to get your hands on. Even my dad only had six of them.

Williams wrote strange supernatural thrillers, admired by TS Eliot, and separately by CS Lewis and his crew. His novels are reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's novels, where fantasies intrude quite realistically into the workaday world, but Williams' are more (searching for a word) dense than Gaiman's, and sometimes more opaque for that reason. Many Dimensions is one of my favorites. He also wrote an often-surprising history of the Christian church, called The Descent of the Dove, and The Figure of Beatrice, a Dante interpretation of unique depth and vision.

All that digression to say I plan to go back to the library for more Gene Wolfe. And, come to think of it, for rereads of Charles Williams. And, side note, I finished the Dan Simmons short story book, and boy do I want to read more Dan Simmons. While I'm in the

Here's our next question on Who Wants To Be The Guy With A Kidney Stone?
"Who Wants To Be In Bed On Hydrocodone? Is it
a) Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
b) your mom
c) a nearby hydrocodone addict
d) me

Final Answer?

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