Why Burroughs' Naked Lunch is a science fiction classic

Illustration for article titled Why Burroughs Naked Lunch is a science fiction classic

People worship Burroughs' Naked Lunch, but don't give it its props as a science fiction classic, argues Rudy Rucker on his blog. Rucker, whose new novel about Alan Turing includes Burroughs as a character, describes Naked Lunch as "Transreal SF."


Transreal SF, which Rucker has talked about before in various forums, is "a form of autobiography in which one's experiences are made more vivid by transmuting them into SFictional tropes."

So why don't people recognize the science fictional goodness of Naked Lunch? Rucker speculates:

Perhaps it's that so few SF works aspire to such a high literary level, or that Naked Lunch doesn't have a straight-through plot-line. But if you look at the tropes in the book, it really is SF¬-aliens, imaginary drugs, telepathy, talking objects … the gang's all here.


Rucker praises both the book and David Cronenberg's movie adaptation for taking the real-life weirdness of Burroughs' life and transmuting it into weird science fiction. [Rudy Rucker]

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zed nought!

Woah, somebody made Naked Lunch into a movie? And it's on Netflix Instant! I know what I'm watching on Sunday afternoon.