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Mel Hopkins

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"the devil in silver" by Victor Lavalle.  

I just started it so please no spoilers (smile).  

This is my first title by Lavalle - so I'm just getting to used to his style.  We meet the  protagonist "Pepper" as he is being escorted to a mental institution in Queens, NY.  He allegedly got into a fight with a man who was attacking his neighbor - (the man was his neighbors  ex-husband. It appears he has a crush on her.) When the plain clothes cop arrived on the scene he started fighting them too. 

Now, he is being admitted to the institution for a 72-hour observation.  In addition to being locked up with no way to contact an attorney or next of kin - he's already beginning to possibly hallucinate.  He thinks he's heard and smelled something snorting that smells like sulfur.  One of the cops heard and smelled it too.  But the cop left as soon as Pepper was admitted.   


Looks like this one is going to get under my skin. 

 

 

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I'm reading Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier -- which I'm sure does not surprise anyone here 🙂  I just finished reading, 

Raisins in Milk by David Covin and interesting story based upon his family. I also in the middle of Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”  by Zora Neale Hurston, which is out online book club pick.    

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I love science fiction so I'm always ready to read a decent science fiction novel written by a Black person. I will be frequenting this section for interesting reads.

 

" Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier" sounds like a good read, but this should be common sense, especially when it comes to Black people. I don't understand the behavior. Of all people, Black people seem more addicted to Facebook than anyone else. Then complain about the level of activity on Black social networks. Like, hello, maybe it's because you are all on Facebook! LMAO! Speaking of science fiction, the behavior here would be a great script. I'm sure the author could have a lot of fun with that concept. It would probably be more like sci fi comedy.

 

More comedy... did anyone know that Facebook has been caught red-handed using the data they collect on their site, to not only discriminate against Black people on their website, but also discriminate with housing. It's like Black people purposely sign up to an FBI website to be further discriminated against! I don't have the words to describe whatever is going on. But the irony is that's where you find tons of information that is supposed to empower Black people. LOL The contradiction is too much!

 

I wish someone could explain the behavior to me. Just about any Black website I attend is like a ghost site. Even though Black Planet is a white owned site, I sure miss those days when that was the spot. Sentimental I suppose.

 

Has anyone read from a Black sci fi author who writes about an alien invasion? I would love to experience an alien invasion from a Black author's point of view.

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Hey I'm sorry I missed the fact that this was The State of Black Science Fiction club -- my bad.  I'll stay on point next time 🙂

Hey I'm sorry I missed the fact that this was The State of Black Science Fiction club -- my bad.  I'll stay on point next time 🙂

 

That said @NubianFellow, regarding getting rid of social media; (1) is not common sense, people really don't know what is happening and if they do know the implications of what this means are lost on them and; (2) social media is addictive (think cigarettes or crack) -- people can't live without their handheld devices.

 

People have written in a humor way about the impact of social media.  Now getting back to science fiction; have you seen Black Mirror. They had a brilliant episode, of not too distant future, where people rate each other on all interactions -- not too far fetched, because we are doing this today:

 

 

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I'm currently reading A Plague of Shadows by Gerald Coleman. It's the second book in his 'The Three Gifts' series, sword and soul epic fantasy written in a style similar to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. It centers around his character Bantu and his private army known as The People's Company. Very good epic fantasy and a dense read.

A Plague of Shadows

A plague of shadows.jpg

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On 8/29/2018 at 4:51 PM, Troy said:

Now getting back to science fiction; have you seen Black Mirror. They had a brilliant episode, of not too distant future, where people rate each other on all interactions -- not too far fetched, because we are doing this today:


Excellent episode!  Especially since a few anger management classes would have worked wonders.  The sad part is this episode is allegedly a reality in the People's Republic of China... Actually, we here have a similar system - FICO

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Your social footprint has been a factor in how you are assessed and has been for a longtime.  Do you remember Klout? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klout

 

Still the number of "likes" and "shares" is the same thing, no likes you feel worthless; more likes you are happy. Both moods are hollow and fleeting, so people get caught up in sharing to the point of even lying.

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2 minutes ago, Troy said:

so people get caught up in sharing to the point of even lying

 

Or even be mean just to engage and get attention.  I now spend more time reading fiction  than reading “thoughts” and “commentary”... I still want to know what others think I just prefer it have a narrative structure.

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Yeah that actually works as long as you don't don't care what kind if attention you get... and many people don't.

 

Indeed some seem to enjoy it... Stormy Daniel's, Omarosa, 45, and of course your classic trolls.

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On 8/28/2018 at 1:37 PM, Mel Hopkins said:

Looks like this one is going to get under my skin. 

 

I was correct  "The Devil in Silver" did get under my skin.  In fact, as the book nears its climax - I actually cried real tears and woke up the next morning with puffy eyelids. 

Here's what I tweeted to @victorlavalle in response:

" When I met LeClair, I cried.  Just like in the air duct, I didn't know where it was leading. Then I was like, "wow, this is how it feels to experience a moment of genius." "I was blown away...To say "pivotal" is an understatement [in reference to the climatic ending]  - I had no words.  Just tears. "

 

Lavalle is a brilliant storyteller. Full Stop.   As I mentioned, I decided to buy this book in 2012 at @Troy recommendation here on AALBC.  I have no regrets.  I'm thankful he introduced me to this author. 

 

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I just finished  Victor LaValle's novella "Lucretia and the Kroons"  which is like a prequel to "The Devil in Silver."  It is the story of a 12-year-old girl who lives with her mother in an apartment building in Queens, NY. No mention of a father but there's an older brother that lives on his own.  Anyway, we meet Lucretia as she prepares to celebrate her 12th birthday with a party.  

 

Long story short, things don't go as planned since she invited "mean girls" from her class and then has to tell the "whores" to get out after they make fun of her.

 She ends up celebrating with her mother - with a look towards the future to celebrate when her best friend "Sunny" is stronger.  Sunny is suffering from cancer and about to succumb to the effects of chemotherapy

 

Sadly, things don't get much better.  We, the readers, do learn how Lucretia wound up in the psychiatric unit of New Hyde Hospital with the protagonist "Pepper" a 40-something day-laborer.   

 

One thing I'm loving about LaValle's writing is he makes me fear to turn the pages of the books he has written. 

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