Randomness and revelation - Page 2

Zookeepers, eunuch Marines, flying explorers, and the lady formerly known as Huck Finn populate the pages of A Fictional History

Before you start browsing your favorite search engine for Marine recruitment chants, flying Chinese explorers, Anna Fuchs, drag prostitution, and zookeepers, though, it may be helpful to read the final story in A Fictional History, Daniel Alarcón's "The Anodyne Dreams of Various Imbeciles." This one takes place in the future, 2011 to be exact, during a war inside the United States, where the President has been injured in a hunting accident (!) and his leg amputated to prevent infection. Part fable and part cautionary tale, “Anodyne Dreams” evokes revolution but refuses to deliver the specifics — Denver is a stronghold of resistance, but why Denver? Instead of blueprints for sabotage, Alarcón treats us to an endless array of antiquated statistics about amputations throughout history, details contained in letters to the President from the doctor he's already executed. Nowhere is the tension between randomness and revelation more evident, and perhaps this is just the challenge to history that is needed. SFBG A FICTIONAL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (WITH HUGE CHUNKS MISSING) Edited by T Cooper and Adam Mansbach Akashic Books 300 pages $15.95 Readings by T Cooper, Adam Mansbach, and contributor Valerie Miner Sept. 17, 6 p.m. Cody's Books, 2 Stockton, SF (415) 773-0444, www.codysbooks.com Readings by T Cooper, Adam Mansbach, and contributor Daniel Alarcón Sept. 18, 7 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera (415) 927-0960, www.bookpassage.com Sept. 20, 7 p.m. Diesel, a Bookstore, 5433 College, Oakl. (510) 653-9965, diesel.booksense.com Mattilda, a.k.a. Matt Bernstein Sycamore (www.mattbernsteinsycamore.com), is the editor most recently of That's Revolting: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation.

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