I’m a good chunk of the way into Feeling Very Strange, and… it doesn’t make me feel all that strange. The stories are good, quite good, on the whole, and worth reading, but the slipperiness of the idea of slipstream is leaving me a little cold on the category.
The only story that’s made me feel strange at all is the first one in the collection, and I’m not even sure what it’s called. I think it’s called “Al,” which is to say like some guy’s name, like the guy who owned “Arnold’s” in Happy Days. Which is just to give a reference, since what’s ambiguous about the title isn’t that it might be a reference to a 1970’s sit-com (it isn’t), but that the “L” in the Al, might actually be a 1, the digit.
Anyway, it made be feel strange because it was clearly the same story told from two different points of view, but… what they were describing, while the same, can’t be reconciled. It’s not that one POV is sane and the other isn’t. It’s not that one POV is a child and the other is an adult. It’s more like one POV is a woodland fairy and the other is a technocrat, and while they experience the same events in the same space at the same time, the space they occupy is actually quite different from one another.
Anyway. I’ll wrap up this post, because I’m about half-way through another story in the collection which is making me feel strange. I’ll write about that one next.