Powers vs. Jobs

Lucky folks in Seattle get to see Richard Powers speak and read a short story on Wednesday night. There’s a quick Q & A with him in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and it reminds me that Powers’ plots can seem forbidding on paper but often are quite elegantly turned. (“Often,” not “always”–I couldn’t hack it through Prisoner’s Dilemma.) Here’s the plot summary:

It’s about music in the iPod age and what happens to old music (in that age). It’s a kind of quartet for four voices about a virus that’s aimed at portable music players. It’s a fantasy, but those types of viruses do exist. I just create four different people with four different musical tastes, on the advent of this event, and what the appearance of the virus does to these people’s need for music.

If it was anybody but Powers writing this, I’d be terrified.

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