Three Sci-Fi Books I’d Want My Life to Be Like
by Georgia Hardstark
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
What if you woke up one morning to find that your house was about to be torn down and, as if wasn’t bad enough, earth was about to be demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass? Total bummer, right? But!, what if after this horrifying news was delivered, it was revealed to you that a friend, who you previously thought to be an out-of-work actor, is in fact
- A friggin’ alien…
- Knows a way to escape the doomed planet earth…
- Wants to take you, of all people, with him?
If you wouldn’t react with pure, unadulterated glee, than I don’t think I’d want to be your friend, and you can just stop reading this now. Go on…I won’t be offended. I’ll give you a second to click elsewhere.
OK…now that it’s just the cool kids reading this, doesn’t it piss you off how bitchy and ungrateful Arthur Dent is throughout most of the “trilogy”?
I mean, as a person who is regularly threatening to become an ex-pat and leave this quickly crumbling country of ours for one with less “assholes” and “Super Bowls”, and more “un-pasteurized cheese” and “drinking beer in movie theaters”, the idea of a one-way, free trip to OUTER-fucking-SPACE would be like an injection of Ritalin directly to my brain, a euphoria I can only imagine is akin to having my own bathroom after years of having to share one with shockingly disgusting roommates and a (now ex-) boyfriend who never put the toilet seat down.
Finding your bare ass in a bowl of freezing water in the middle of the night when you get up to pee is guaranteed to make you fall out of love.
Where was I? Right, in space. Do you ever get that feeling that you’re destined for greater things? That your boring job, ten year old car, and unappreciative lover are temporary? That this life you’re living now is merely means for countless antidotal stories you’ll tell in the future when you’ve finally met your true destiny? Yeah, me too. But apparently Mr. Dent does not, and for that, I hate him.
Douglas Adams is, by far, my favorite person that ever lived. The fact that he ever existed, even for a mere 49 years, gives me faith in the entire human race. I love Arthur Dent because he’s a creation of Douglas Adams…but Jesus, I wish I were, too.
“Space Travel Is Boring” – Modest Mouse (mp3)
A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami
Murakami has this amazing ability to make mundane life seem temporary. Being someone who desperately wants to believe that reality is based more on perspective than concrete evidence, I accept Murakami’s idea that something along the lines of a black hole opening up in the side of a wall, and being able to walk though it and into another reality, to be much more feasible than what the majority of the population believes.
Since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to solve mysteries…still do. From begging my mom to buy me a metal detector to my now, what-I’m-sure-to-be-unfulfilled, fantasy of being a forensic detective is a product of this. More than anything else, A Wild Sheep Chase is a hardboiled mystery.
“Eve of Destruction” – Bishop Allen (mp3)
Imagine walking out of your home and away from your boring life with the intent of finding a mystical sheep for 30 days. I think that even if you didn’t succeed, you would have the inherent awareness that the attempt would change your life forever.
A funhouse-like hotel, cats being driven in limousines, and unapologetic chain-smoking are all things I would gladly welcome into my life. As a person who answers “Yes” before the sentence “Do you want to…” can be finished, a Murakami life is my kinda life.
Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
Recently a friend was relaying a story to me which involved him getting hit by lightening. The question that was on the tip of my tongue, which I may have asked had I consumed one more drink before the story was told, was “Can you tell the future now?!” There are a few speculations which hold true in my world:
- Daydreaming about something will automatically make it so that thing can never happen.
- Ghosts don’t exist until you’re lying in bed late at night, alone in a dark house.
- When some sort of phenomenon or unlikely event occurs to you, you will be rewarded with super-human capabilities.
This is how life should be. And apparently Douglas Coupland thinks so, too.
“I Turned Into a Martian” – The Misfits (mp3)
Falling into a coma for no apparent reason, having a baby while in that coma, and waking up almost two decades later apparently does, in fact, assure one the ability to see the future. Problem is, the future sucks. But not for the main characters in this novel, just for everyone else…haha, suckers!
As a fan of post-apocalyptic novels to begin with, the idea of roaming empty streets on motorcycles, fending off bands of hungry dogs, and being responsible for repopulating the earth and starting new, is orgasmic.
Georgia Hardstark is a writer living in Los Angeles. This is her first appearance in these pages. Her blog is here.
portrait of the artist next to a young building
“Where You’ll Find Me Now” – Neutral Milk Hotel (mp3)
ADAMS, MURAKAMI, COUPLAND
Adams on an artificial God
classic short story set in Hitchhiker’s universe
American atheist and Adams
Doug Adams quotes aplenty
Towel day is May 25th
Douglas Coupland’s NYTimes blog:
interview with Robert Birnbaum and Coupland
make money by adapting Coupland into a movie
McDonald’s versus Coupland
Murakami: Rebel in Japan, status in America.
Gods of the Mall: a murakami review
Walter Kirn on Murakami
Murakami’s After the Quake
where murakami was inspired to write his first novel
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