Galaxies // Barry N. Malzberg [Thoughts & Spoilers]



Author: Barry N. Malzberg

Setting: his living room

Plot: Malzberg can’t be bothered writing a novel so writes the notes for one

Subplot: Malzberg can’t stand whichever sci-fi writers he’s criticizing [Heinlein?], but sees them at conventions sometimes so doesn’t want to use their names

Sub-subplot: A ship falls into a black ‘galaxy’, where narrative descriptions are endless


The cover is good, the plot description is good, the 4 and 5 star reviews on Goodreads make good points, but the 2 star reviews are closer to how I feel about this.

Basically, the novel is a series of short chapters that function as notes on a future novel as well as Malzberg’s feelings on the state of 70’s sci-fi. Straight away this brings up two problems. 70’s sci-fi is era specific and, although some of the points remain valid [e.g. writing filler to bump up the word count, hard sci-fi writers hiding their lack of writing ability behind hard science], the era itself is long gone.

The second problem: if you’re going to write notes for a novel, you have to a] make sure the concept of that novel is interesting and complex, and b] keep your novel length down. Even at 180 odd pages, Galaxies is exhausting.

In fact, I haven’t finished the book yet.

Don’t know if I will either.

I’m on page 68, I think, and Malzberg is currently writing out potential dialogue between Lena, the main character, and another character who isn’t on the ship, it’s a flashback, a potential flashback, and I don’t really know either of these characters, I don’t care about them, and if this is the case then you better at least make the dialogue interesting.

It isn’t. Continue reading

German Post Office [a poem]

Interview: Charles Band Remembers Klaus Kinski in CRAWLSPACE ...


I’m a doctor not a sponge fuck daddy dot spunk hippy

tutorial centres make mistakes too

in evi   table


those were spaces between one word and the spaces were there they were there they were really there

weren’t they


volcano in town


but no shoes

pretty dead for a Spaniard

I vote blue

gas pipes can’t

use verbs


dictionary out late

cry slowly with

Russians nearby

bobby  push

yes that one

renames herself pushkin

yet [i]

don’t talk about duels

talk about

crown gob slum pet patriotism

jazz please

with a fence

and tickets for crown gob

remember her?

Four times

fanny jackal

roams supermarket

no trolley but fish with a face


jevil is devil with a j


mysteries are the best


Fairuza Balk can agree


no photos

later maybe