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Book notes 9: Redemolished, by Alfred Bester

I found this in the local library, having never heard of it before. It is a relatively recently-published (2000) collection containing some of his short fiction, some essays, and some interviews he did with people as diverse as Isaac Asimov and Woody Allen.

The title is, of course, a reference to his famous novel The Demolished Man, and appears to have been chosen mainly because the ‘deleted’ prologue to that novel is included here.

The non-fiction is interesting, not least in showing part of what Bester did for a living after he more-or-less dropped out of SF for a long time (he made most of his money by writing for TV).

The fiction, on the whole, is slightly disappointing. I enjoyed it well enough, but it hasn’t aged well: most of it reads as quite dated.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the stories was the one which taught me the meaning of the word “fugue” (both musical and psychological) many years ago. I recalled that I had learned it from a story, but not what story it was: ‘The Four-Hour Fugue’. Who said SF wasn’t educational?

[tags]book notes 2006, books, alfred bester, bester, fugue, library, redemolished[/tags]

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