Thursday, December 26, 2013

A 'lost' Discordian novel by John F. Carr and Camden Benares

Adam Gorightly has been publishing lots of interesting material at his Historia Discordia website, but I was particularly interested in his new piece on the novel A Certain Flair for Death, unpublished for years after it was completed by John F. Carr and Camden Benares (author of Zen Without Zen Masters, etc.)

Although it went unpublished for years, Robert Anton Wilson apparently read it in manuscript. Here is RAW's quote: “The best psychological science-fiction novel since The Demolished Man…the tension mounts and mounts…I couldn’t put it down…it might do your head as much good as an Encounter Group with the Marx Brothers!” The book actually came out last summer after years in limbo,  but this is the first time I ran across any mention of it. The book has no reviews so far on Amazon, so maybe Gorightly (and my blog) can give it some much-needed publicity.

I have not read anything by John F. Carr despite my longtime SF reading habit; the Gorightly piece features an article by Carr which reminisces about Benares and the difficult history of the Crying Clown series (which includes A Certain Flair for Death; Carr plans to bring out two more completed novels.) I hope that at some point, Carr decides to pay attention to details. The formatting for Kindle for A Certain Flair for Death is not well done, as I discovered after buying a copy.

The SF Encylopedia entry on John F. Carr is here; interestingly, the only Carr book John Clute likes is Carnifex Mardi Gras, a prequel to A Certain Flair for Death. For more on Camden Benares, see Supergee's post. For more on the RAW connection to Benares, see my post. 

Rainbow Run is a Carr-Benares novel that came out last year.

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