__Earl’s comments in RED


Pat Cadigan’s Fools

I would say that Pat Cadigan’s book Fools is not
suspense fiction. It has many elements of suspense and suspense fiction
in it, but it is not suspense fiction because of the cyber punk element
in the book which makes it a science fiction novel. I suppose that one
could argue that Fools is a suspense fiction text because of one element
that is in the text. [Aren’t you arguing that very
thing, if you’re saying its science fiction because of the science fictional

The reason it could be considered a suspense fiction text
is the fact that we don’t know that the main character Marva/Mercine/Marceline/Marya
is going to survive [Is suspense generated on fear,
fear of the unknown, or just the pressure of the unknown? Are these conjectures
deriving from a conception of suspense as a genre?]
. A fact that
is supposed to be one of the things that makes suspense fiction unique
[A fact? Also the syntax is tortured in this sentence]
; you [substandard use of „you“. Not acceptable in
formal prose.]
don’t know that the main character will make it with
the certainty that you would in a murder mystery or western. In fact „she“
doesn’t survive [with everyone in flux like this,
who is the „she“ or does or does not survive? This is not an idle question.]

, in different points in the novel each of her personas is killed off [all
of them?]
in one way or another. Though the „I“ character [Does
a solid, central „I“ maintain a single identity, and does that identity
really maintain control over the narrative over and beyond the other vicissitudes
of personae? Could you chart this to show how this is done? Again, not
an idle question.]
remains threw [spelling!]
the entire novel to lead us through the story the character changes often
as she is either killed off [How does a single „I“
remain the same identity if all these other versions of her are killed
or added onto.

What makes Fools both different from suspense fiction
texts and not one of them [redundant: „different
from“ means „not one of them“]
is the cyber punk [spelling!]
element in the text [Define cyberpunk. Show how this
is a work of „cyberpunk.“ What are your reasons for assuming that cyberpunk
elements would disqualify this text from suspense genre? I’m not rejecting
the idea, I would just like to see you develop your position here.]
There aren’t many suspense texts that have characters getting mind overlays,
popping their eyes in and out, and getting mind sucked [Does
that mean any plot or situation that has not already existed is thereby
forbidden in the genre. And remember, a genre cannot depend upon a plot
or plot elements for its „nature“]
. Something that is usually contained
in the science fiction genre [Incomplete sentence].

Though [„though“ cannot begin a
that [antecedent?] is not
the only difference between the Fools and suspense texts in general. There
is also the strong cosmic irony [cosmic? Please explain]
in the overall character ending up almost where she started near the beginning
of the novel [Many people end up where they begin.
What is cosmic about that? And what do you mean by cosmic? And which „character“
ended up like who had been in the beginning? Please explain these observations
and cite passages to support your claims.]
. Not only in action,
but in mindset [Sentence fragment. And „mindset“
is not a word and refers to no concept]
. Something that is popular
to do in the science fiction genre; the character not really learning anything
or ending up back where they started for some reason or another [Again,
this is a sentence fragment. It’s popular not to learn anything? How is
„not learning anything“ an action? How can any actions be „popular to do
in science fiction“ since we can’t even stand still inside a fictional
text how could we perform and action? What are characters supposed to learn
at the end of a novel? Why do you attribute this pointless, unlearning
movement on science fiction? Please illustrate your claims.]

I can understand why you put Fools in the readings as
I think it is a good pair with The Talented Mr. Ripley in the changes of
personas that both of the characters go through [thank
. As well as the fact that Fools is a good example of not knowing
if the character will survive or not [sentence fragment],
and seeing the main character being killed off [the
main character wasn’t killed off, and I’m not sure that that event in a
text alone would constitute a genre or a reason for looking at it]

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