SFRA review

SFRA review

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SFRA review
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Science Fiction Research Association review
Science Fiction Research Association
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Eugene, Ore
Science Fiction Research Association
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Science fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Science fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
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University of South Florida Library
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S67-00006-n241-1999-08 ( USFLDC DOI )
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#141 AlIllllsr Coeditors: Nonfiction Reyiew Editor: Haren Hellekson & Craia Jacobsen Neil Barron PRESIDENrs MESSAGE [;J CONFERENCES: 2000 AND BEYOND Alan Elms Have you participated in any SFRA conferences lately? Close to sixty members came to the one in Mobile in June. Rather fewer came to the Scottsdale conference in 1998, probably because the program was firmed up quite late. A hundred or more members came to the 1997 conference in Long Beach, held in conjunction with the annual J. Lloyd Eaton Conference. Given the modest turnover in SFRA membership each year, and the fairly high numbers of repeat conference participants, I'd guess that half of you have never been to a single SFRA conference. I encourage you to change that status as soon as you can. The smaller conferences have their own rewards: you get to know the other members there more easily than at the big conferences, and you have more time to spend with the guest authors and editors. But the larger conferences are likely to be more stimulat ing, with a wider variety of papers and with increased opportunities to meet other members who share your particular interests. If you've never attended one of our conferences, you may have assumed they're similar to fannish conventions. There's some overlap, but not a lot. Most of the people on our programs do present serious papers, though we schedule fun events as well. Our guest professionals are usually more available for casual conver sations and thoughtful discussions, not just for readings and signings. We some times show films and video programs, and more often we talk about them, but a high proportion of our conference presentations continue to deal with print science fiction. We've never had a costume competition at any SFRA conference that I've attended, though you can usually see some interesting neckties and evening dresses at the awards banquet. (Attire at other conference events is varied and mostly cas ual.) So start planning your trip to an upcoming conference, if you've never been---or plan to come again, if you've already been. We have an impressive lineup scheduled for the next three years. In the year 2000, Joe Sanders (a recent SFRA president) will be running things in Cleveland, a city that's easily accessible to a lot of our members. Joe has already put together a strong list of conference guests, including Mary Doria Russell and Karen Joy Fowler-and maybe we can make a special expedition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Too late for the current El-The SFRAReview (ISSN I068-395X) is published six times a year by the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) and distributed to SFRA members. Individual issues are not for sale. For information about the SFRA and its benefits. see the description at the back of this issue. For a membership application. contact SFRA Treasurer Michael M. Levy or get one from the SFRA Website: .


vis exhibition, but maybe we'll run into him there anyway.) In 2001 we'll be in. Schenectady, a city significant in the SF of both Kurt Vonnegut (in Plqyer Piano, Schenectady is disguised as Ilium) and Barry Longyear (It Camefrom Schenectarfy), among others. jan (Wombat) finder, who's had a lot of experience with fan conven tions, will be the general chair for the Schenectady conference; Barbara Chepaitis will manage the academic programming. Then in 2002, we'll have our first confer ence outside North America-in New Lanark, Scotland, a fascinating location that's especially significant in the history of utopias. (See on the Web for its history and current status.) Farah Mendlesohn has been working hard to set up the conference there and to make it economically feasible for the full range of our American members. We also anticipate an unusually large attendance at the New Lanark conference by our European members, as well as by members of the Science Fiction Foundation who are not (yet) members of SFRA. We've already received a tentative proposal or two for 2003. But the 2000, 2001, and 2002 conference locations should be enough choices for right now. Do come to at least one of them, if at all possible; we'd like to see you there. And if you'd like to propose another location for a little farther into the future, let us know! EDITORIAL Karen Hellekson As I was stricken with some unspeakable illness (which my husband dubbed a "francophone virus," as I had been in Montreal the previous weekend for a trade show), I was unable to make the meeting in Mobile, Alabama. It sounds like everyone had a good time; my spies (that is, members of the Board, wearing false beards) reported back good words about the SFRAReview. Let's just say that some times it seems like no good deed goes unpunished; kind words were most welcome indeed! To that end, then, let me take the bully pulpit for a minute to give public thanks to my coeditor, Craig Jacobsen. I have never met Craig in person, and we have only spoken on the phone once. Despite this, thanks to the magic of e-mail and computers, we have managed to put the SFRAReview back on track. Craig's design and layout have made the SFRAReview the intriguing and readable thing it is now. And did you know that he hand-sticks on each and every label? Yes, a labor of love indeed. We all have Craig to thank for the great Approaching series, which was all Craig's idea (naturally, heartily endorsed by me, as I know a good thing when I see it) and which has been very popular with the membership. Craig has lots more great ideas, although sometimes I have to hold him back-they get too zany for a staid little organization like the SFRA! Look for some of them (and one or two of my own, of course) in upcoming issues. As always, the SFRAReview is here for the members. Take a second or two to give us some feedback-we live for it! And we particularly encourage members to submit. We need work for the next few Approaching titles in particular. Do please help us expand the contributors' base. We want the contents to be more re flective of the diverse crowd that calls itself the SFRA. EDITORIAL tI.A.S. AND tlORE Craig Jacobsen As the only member of the SFRAReview editorial staff to attend this year's conference, I was the beneficiary of members' praise of this publication (which is in part, I think, simple relief at actually getting issues). At the risk of sound ing like a Mutual Admiration Society, I would like to publicly spread that recogni tion around.


When I came aboard I was immensely pleased to find how well Karen and I mesh as an editorial team. Our skills seem to complement each other very well (which means she does the hard work), and our visions of the Review are eerily con gruent. Neil Barron is simply irreplaceable. I can't think of any better compliment than to say that I never have to worry about nonfiction reviews. I am certain that they could produce the Review without me, and equally sure that the reverse is not true. Well, you have certainly noticed already that you hold a rather beefy issue. We've got the minutes of the meetings held at this year's conference in Mobile, in cluding a detailed report on SFRA's treasury. We also have speeches from this year's award banquet. This year's winners are: Clareson Award for service to the SFRA: David G. Hartwell. Pilgrim Award for lifetime contributions to fantasy and science fiction scholar ship: Brian Stableford. Pioneer Award for best critical essay: Carl Freedman, "Kubrick's 2001 and the Possibility of a Science-Fiction Cinema" (Scie?Jce-Fiction Studies 75, July 1998). You'll note that David Hartwell's extemporaneous acceptance, expressing his gratitude to the Association and Tom Clareson (for whom the award is named), shall remain only in the memories of those who journeyed to Mobile (a reason to attend that Alan overlooked). This issue also has the first of the interviews conducted in Mobile, this one with Fred Pohl. Andy Duncan, our interviewer, helped Tom Brennan plan the Mobile conference, and had the cover story in July's issue of Asimov's, a novella en titled "The Executioners Guild" that made me think that if Harper Lee and Gene Wolfe had a love child, Andy Duncan is it. Look for more interviews in coming issues. Of course we also are chock full with the Approaching features and fic tion and nonfiction book reviews. SFRA NEWS = "EETIHG "IHUTES Carolyn Secretary Meeting of the Executive Col11111ittee Friday, June 4, 1999 Executive Committee Members present: Alan Elms (president); Adam Frisch (Vice President); Joan Gordon (past President); Craig Jacobsen (Coeditor, SFRAReview); Michael Levy (Treasurer); Carolyn Wendell (Secretary) The meeting was called to order at 9:32 .. COl!forence 2000 Joe Sanders reported that flyers for the conference are now available; the logo on them is from an art class at Sanders' college. The conference hotel is di rectly across the street from Cleveland State University, where the meetings will be held. The conference is being combined with IMAGINATION, a writers' confer ence, so the guest writers will include Karen Joy Fowler, Geoffrey A. Landis, Mau reen McHugh, Mary Doria Russell, Joan Slonczewski, and quite possibly Samuel Delaney. As the hotel is within walking distance of downtown, a list will be pro vided of things to do within walking distance. Joe is looking at attractions to visit: the John Glenn Space Center? A baseball game? The call for papers and sessions will start soon. Officers suggested a hos pitality suite, a way for people to find roommates, and recommended using the SUBMISSIONS The fFRAReriew editors encourage submissions, induding essays, Review Essays that cover several related texts, and interviews. Please send submis sions or queries to both coeditors. If you would like to review nonfiction or fiction, please contact the respective editor. The general editorial address for the fFRAReriew is: . Karen Hellekson, Coeditor 742 N 5th Street Lawrence, KS 66044 (for attachments) Craig Jacobsen, Coeditor & Fiction Reviews Editor 208 E Baseline Road #311 Tempe, AI. 85283 Neil Barron, Nonfiction Reviews Editor 1149 lime Place Vista, CA 92083-7428 Visit us at CALL FOR THE NEXT APPROACHING ... TITLE The next Approaching tide is Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. Please submit copy by September 15 for inclusion in the SeptemberlOaober issue. We are looking for teaching tools, study questions, essays, and the like. Please submit all entries to or snailmail them to both Karen Hellekson and Craig jacobsen at the addresses listed in these pages. LOCUS AWARDS Best Science Fiction Novel To Say Nothing of the Dog. Connie Willis Best Horror Novel Bag of Bones, Stephen King Best Fantasy Novel A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin


Best First Novel Brown Girl in the Ring. Nalo Hopkinson Best Novella "Oceanic," Greg Egan (Asimov's, August 1998) Best Novelette [tie1 "The Planck Dive," Greg Egan (Asimov's, February 1998) ''T aklamakan," Bruce Sterling (Asimov's, October/November 1998) Best Short Story "Maneki Neka, Bruce Sterling (F&SF, May 1998) Best Nonfiction The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World, Thomas M. Disch Best Art Book Spectrum 5: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic An, Arnie and Cathy eds. Best CoIIKtion Th,e AYr.l.m Davidson Treasury, by Avram Davidson; Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis, etitors Best AnthololY Legends, Robert Silverberg, editor 8est Artist Michael Whelan Best Editor Gardner Dozois Best Magazine Asimov's Best Book Publisher Tor Best '90s Author Connie Willis Web page as much as possible for keeping people informed (Adam Frisch will help if needed). Also, a conference continuity notebook is much needed Oet's track down the old one, and add to it). Locus Joan Gordon will send a list of award winners and guests to the editor of Locus, Charles Brown. New Membership Can we add a name and address form to the Web site? Or maybe a way to send an SASE to the inquirer for a check and the completed form? Add Mike's email address to his mailing address (Adam will see to it). Welcome packet for new members: Mike generally sends an e-mail wel come to new members, but it would be convenient and convincing to have a wel come letter that provides a brief history of the organization, who founded it, what its awards are (and how they're different), when annual meetings are held, etc. Web Page A Web director is needed to update, design, and create as needed. This person will be a nonvoting member of the Executive Committee. SFRAReuew Current issues are superb: the addition of material usable for teaching fills a gap and has been much praised by members. Directory: Mike Levy has sent .material to Karen, Craig will lay it out, and is adding a list of members sorted by subject interests. F1yer: Craig Jacobsen will put together a new flyer and send an original to each ofttcer, so each can make copies as needed. Bargo Press Farah Medlesohn (of the Science Fiction Foundation) is interested in sharing responsibilities with SFRA. Could a system be constructed to publish on demand over the Internet, available in the U.S.A and U.K? How could all this be handled? A committee to explore the practicality of this venture will be set upnames to Alan Elms. Farah also expressed willingness to offer an SFRA conference 2002 in the U.K Other Business An agenda for the next day's Membership Meeting and the make up of the Award Committees was covered. The meeting adjourned at 10:35. Meeting of the Membership Saturday, June 5, 1999 Executive Committee Members present: Alan Elms (president); Adam Frisch (Vice President); Joan Gordon (past President); Craig Jacobsen (Coeditor, SFRARetiew); Michael Levy (Treasurer); Carolyn Wendell (Secretary) Members present: Kenneth Andrews, Muriel Becker, Shelley Rodrigo Blanchard, Edra Bogle, Janice Bogstad, Tom Brennan, Peter Brigg, Alice Clareson, Solomon Davidoff, jan howard finder, David Hartwell,Joe Sanders, Brian Stable ford. A short secretary's report was given. Ditto the past president's report.


Joe Sanders reported on Cleveland 2000. Tom Brennan made a few cursory remarks about the Mobile 1999 confer ence. He said we'll break even, maybe even have a bit of a surplus. j. h. finder reported on Albany 2001 (Frederik Pohl and Betty Hull have been added, and the guests and hotel are booked). A site in the u.K. was proposed for the SFRA 2002 meeting. Brian Sta bleford recommends York as small and walkable. Concerns about the meeting date being later so as not to interfere with classes were raised; perhaps there is some way of raising money to support students who want to attend. The SFRA Webmaster will put it on SFRA's Website with a call for suggestions. Recommendations were made to combine SFRA's conference again with Eaton and perhaps with Readercon Peter Brigg says a conference in Guelph is a possibility (from audience reaction, this may require a course in Canadian geogra phy). Muriel Becker asked about the proposed high school anthology. President Alan Elms agreed to write a letter of inquiry to Tor about a "contract/deadline." Discussion was made of the formation of a SFRA Press, owing to Borgo Press's closure. An exploratory committee from volunteers was announced. Volun teers included Jacobsen, Hellekson, Bogstad, and Davidson. Discussion turned to the job of Website director, concluding in a call for recommendations, suggestions, and mention of Peter Sands' work. President's Report All is well, and there are no major crises, for the first time in a few years. Committees for 1999-2000 are as follows. Clareson: Muriel Becker (chair, 2000, then off); Edra Bogle (chair, 2002); Carol Stevens (chair, 2001). Pilgrim: Neil Barron, Elizabeth Davidson, Joe Sanders. Pioneer: Shelley Rodrigo Blanchard, Susan Stratton (chair), and one more needed. Vice President's Report Adam first reported his surprise at being vice president. A Web director is to be appointed. By the end of this year, the Website should be more complete, usable as a tool for research, teaching, conference publicity, and membership information. Please relay suggestions to Adam. We are working on a way to join through the net (without having to print out a membership application). David Hartwell advised keeping it simple. We also are working on a new members packet, including a brief history, a welcome to the organization, and an explanation of awards. David Hartwell urged that a copy of the SFRAReview should go out immediately, even before the packet. Treasurer's Report Copies of the report were distributed to members. Costs for Foundation are guesswork, as their billing is regularly late. The costs for the SFRAReview (SFRAR), 1997, are a result of the history of editorship: from Amy Sisson to Geoffrey Sperl and Karen Hellekson, a period when the SFRAR was not produced regularly for various reasons. Since Karen H. and Craig J. have taken over editorship, issues have come out both on time and under budget. The awards costs came in under budget because last year's Pilgrim, L. Sprague de Camp, could not come to the Arizona conference, so there were no travel expenses. The Directory is in progress and being put together. This conference received seed money. Costs were cut by the Executive Committee meeting in January via conSFRA2002 Farah Mendlesohn will be the conference organizer for the SFRA's 2002 meeting, which will be held in New Lanark, Scodand, U.K The SFRA Board is already thinking of ways to help graduate students attend. SFRA WEB DIRECTOR: JOB DE SCRIPTION I. Website Mission The primary purposes of the Sdence Fiction Research Assodation Website are to provide up-to-date information to the membership about SFRA activities, about SF scholarship and about the teaching of SF, and to aid in the recruitment of new members. It is the goal of SFRA that its Website should eventually become the primary location for research on sdence fiction. 2. Web Director Position The SFRA Website will be primarily under the control of a Web Director (subject to SFRA Board oversight), whose job it will be to create, maintain, update, and modify the SFRA Website in a timely fashion. The Web Director will be a nonvoting member of the SFRA Board and will have SFRA Board listserv privileges. The Web directorship is a volunteer position; the director is appOinted by the SFRA president with approval of the SFRA Board. 3. Spedfic ResponSibilities The Web director should update the SFRA Website at least bimonthly, with updates completed usually by the fifth day (and no later than the tenth day) of january, March, May, july, September, and November. In addition, the Web director should post general calls for papers and spedal announcements spe dfic to SFRA activities within ten days of their reception. 4. General Responsibilities The Web director should create, modify and maintain the main SFRA Website home page and all other pages and links in a fashion that he or she feels can most effectively accomplish the


various elements of the Website mission noted above. At a minimum, the home page should stress visually the academic orientation of the organization, should provide a direa link to the SFRARe view, and should contain information about how to join the organization. Other suggested home page links (to separate site pages) have included the foJ/owing: A page on the history of the organization (including a list of past or ganization award winners, e.g., Pilgrims, Pioneers, C1aresons, graduate conference paper winners, etc.). A page of scholarship links (serious academic links, e.g., to the SFRAReview archives, to SF journals, to SF magazines, to other SF organizations worldwide, to libraries with significant SF holdings, to universities with graduate SF programs, to significant Internet SF sites, etc.). A page with calls for papers. A page of teaching links and resources (including members' own home pages, syllabi, and interests, SF author sites and home pages). A page on upcoming conferences (future SFRA and related confer ences, e.g., IAFA). Interested candidates should e-mail Adam Frisch by September I at . CALL FOR PAPERS SFRA 2000: Cleveland, Ohio "SF and ... : The Many Dimen sions Of Science Fiction Cosponsored by the SFRA and Imagina tion, a writers' conference sponsored by Cleveland State University. June 18-July 1, 2000 Cleveland, Ohio at Cleveland State University and the Comfort Inn, 1800 Euclid Avenue The Sdence Rction Research Assodation so6cits papers, paper proposals, ference call, rather than a face-to-face meeting in California. This saving allowed us to offer fmancial aid to the SFRAR editors to allow them to come to the Alabama conference. For recruiting, new flyers are being designed. Under publications, funds are encumbered for a Pilgrim Awards volume that has never come out since no one can recall how that money became encum bered or what exactly the arrangements were, we are still responsible for the costs if it ever should come out. Under income, we have received royalties for the previous anthology (Greenberg'S), and payment for selling our membership list. Scholars' Support: we have supported a few scholars, plus this year paying membership dues for Robert Sheckley. Past suggestions for members' cost-saving have been to drop SFRA's in clusion of the journals, but the officers have agreed that SFRA is vital to the health of those journals. In conclusion, we are in a "responsible financial position." Members' comments included questions about proper tax filing and re cruitment of new members as well as encouragement of past members to rejoin. Expenditures '99 to '99 Pro-'98 '98 Pro-'97 Budget '97 Pro-Date jected Budget jected jected Extrapolation 3623.00 4400.00 3476.00 4500.00 3543.00 4500.00 SF SWdies. 4076.50 4400.00 4166.50 4500.00 4356.00 4500.00 Foundation I 0.00 2500.00 4284.00 2400.00 0.00 1600.00 NY Review 1783.00 2300.00 2229.00 1750.00 1708.00 1900.00 SFRA Review 2876.08 8500.00 3474.44 8500.00 5060.94 13,500.00 Awards 3 831.42 1100.00 221.98 1000.00 822.07 1100.00 0.00 1000.00 920.68 1600.00 1178.05 1600.00 Conferences 5 1195.20 500.00 1639.58 750.00 0.00 0.00 Office Expenses 25.89 300.00 391.18 300.00 266.95 500.00 Exec. Board Mtg.6 0.00 500.00 418.13 250.00 1969.77 2000.00 Recruiting 0.00 100.00 70.00 200.00 213.46 200.00 Publications 7 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Refunds 40.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Total Expendi14,451.09 25,600.00 21,221.49 25,750.00 20,855.24 31,400.00 tures: I Foundation is 21n the able 31ncludes 51ncludes 6Thiswas 71t seems perennially late hands of cost of is in procseed money scheduled to likely that with their billing. our new overseas ess. We for 2000 be a face to the long-We still expect to editorial airfare for expect the conf. Also face Exec. encumbered be billed approxi team, the Pilgrim bill to be includes Brd Mtg, but funds desigmately as budg-Review is on Award approxi. stipend to we handled nated for the eted. schedule winner. matelyas allow Reit by conferPilgrim and costing budgeted. view editors ence call to Award volapproxi to attend save money umewill be mately conf. See and allow spent this $lOoo/iss. note 6. travel stiyear and the pend for book pubeditors. lished.


Income '99 to '99 Pro-'98 '98 Pro-'97 Budget '97 Pro-Date jected Budget jected jected Memberships 21,782.23 26,000.00 26,378.00 26,500.00 20,573.00 20,500.00 Interest 256.92 500.00 464.19 200.00 171.77 300.00 Royalties 538.38 100.00 541.76 1500.00 1773.52 1500.00 Other Income 37 .. 00 100.00 287.00 300.00 3927.00 100.00 Total Income 22,714.53 26,700.00 27,670.95 28,550.00 26,445.69 22,400.00 Received Disbursed Balance '99 '99 RoyaltiesB 1345.98 807.60 538.38 Scholar Support 451.90 380.00 71.90 Fund Originally Disbursed Balance Received in Previ-ous Years Encumbered In3613.64 998.45 2615.19 come (Pilgrim Award Grant)9 I Cash Balance 611199 22,680.451 Member Count 1997:310 1996:306 1994: 301 awe were under the mistaken impression that the origi9"fhere is disagreement over this dis-nal SFRA anthology, SF as Mythology, had gone out of bursement print, so we weren't expecting these royalties. AWARDS CLARESOII AWARD Alan Elms The Thomas D. C1areson Award is narned for one of our association's founders and its first president. Indeed, Tom Clareson was our president for the first seven years of the group's existence and continued to playa very active role in it until his death. The Clareson Award's first three winners have been a distin guished lot: Fred Po hi, Jim Gunn, and Betty Hull: It is an award for distinguished service-more specifically, to quote from its formal description, the C1areson Award is given "for outstanding service activities: promotion of science fiction teaching and study, editing, reviewing, editorial writing, publishing, organizing meetings, mentoring, [and] leadership in science fiction and fantasy organizations." When that formal description was drawn up several years ago, the as sumption was made that each winner would have rendered distinguished service in anyone of those areas on the list, or perhaps two or maybe even three. We were not thinking that anyone awardee would be active in all nine areas.* But that's what we've got tonight, folks: a veritable Renaissance Man of service to the field. Out of a very long vitae, let me highlight just a few of this man's achieve ments. He is currently the top book editor in the field. He is one of the best and busiest anthologists in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. He is the editor and publisher of a distinguished monthly journal of scholarly (and sometimes semischolarly) papers and reviews, now in its eleventh year. I first encountered him and panel proposals from scholars inter ested in any aspect of sdence fiction. In particular, the 2000 Conference will focus on sdence fiction's current status as a genre (in relation to other genres, including mainstream, slipstream, fantasy, horror, and detective fiction), pros pects for the coming millennium, and connections to other disdplines (film and television, utopian studies, futurology, sdence, mathematics, the sodal sdences and history, children's and young adult fiction, classroom teaching ... and everything else!) Topics may include (but are not limited to) any author, including Richard A. Lupoff (the guest of honor), Karen Joy Fowler, Geoffrey A. Landis, Maureen F. McHugh, Mary Doria Russell, and Joan Slonczewski (spedal guests), and any topic that demonstrates SF's connection to, and relevance for, other disdplinary studies. Paper Proposal: For a paper proposal, send a 250-word abstract (There is a maximum 20-minute reading time for the finished paper.) Please include the presentation title, your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Receipt of proposal will be confirmed bye-mail. Panel Proposal: For a panel proposal, send a panel name and a 250-word abstract Please include the panel title, the panel chair (who may be one or more of the presenters), mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address of each presenter. Receipt of proposal will be confirmed bye-mail. Panels at recent SFRA conferences have considered the Year's Best Fiction, Alternative Futures and Counterfactual History, Teaching Sdence Rction, and Stanley Kubrick's Legacy. Mail or E-mail Submissions to: Joe Sanders, English Department, Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Drive, Kirtland, OH 44094; phone (440) 953-7215; e-mail . The deadline for all submissions is Saturday, April I, 2000. For more details, consult the SFRA's Website: .


CALL FOR PAPERS NEMLA 2000: Buffalo, New York Orientalism in Science Fiction: Per sistence or Resistance? Edward Said (in the opening page of Orientalism) has written that "The Ori ent was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experi ences." These characteristics, though, seem equally descriptive of a typical sdence fiction milieu; perhaps it is not coinddental to find Oriental iconography permeating sdence fiction texts (literary and filmic). The poetics and politics of a Western/Orientalist perspective on the East seem to speak to sdence fiction's traditional concerns with colonization and cultural contact with an alien Other (Said's comments that Orientalism ulti mately reveals more about the fears and desires of the hegemonic culture also seems apropos of the allegorical capacity of sdence fiction's extrapolations). The purpose, then, of this NEMLA panel will be to explore this analogous (compidtous7) relation of sdence fiction with Orientalist discourse. Although the panel will ask presenters to focus on spedf/c, exemplary texts, it will cohere into an account of the historical sweep, and generiC protocols, of sdence fiction. An Orienta list attitude or perspective might be seen to extend from the founding texts of science fiction (e.g., H. G Wells' The Time Machine, where the se/f-avowed "Ocddental" narrator encounters the deddedly "Oriental look" of the Palace of Green Porcelain) to contemporary manifestations in our popular culture (e.g., the Star Wars films-Jabba the Hutt as Oriental des ru6ng his pleasure palace on the desert planet of Tatooine). The panel, though, seeks not only to trace instances where sdence fiction appears "guilty" of Orientalism (the goal is not merely to charge sdence fiction with inherent radsm but to critique a perhaps lax imagination in regards to SF world-building); due consideration will be given to examples of sdence fiction's resistance of or response to Orientalism. What is or has in 1987, when he was an organizer of Sercon One and a very active participant in that initial readercon. What a neat idea, I thought at the time-a convention for people who actually read science fiction! One of my most recent memories of him is at last year's SFRA confer ence in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he took a list of the previous year's forty-six best SF novels (prepared by Michael Levy) and gave us brief characterizations and as sessments of each one, from memory. He is the author of a very informative book about science fiction, Age o/Wonders, written mainly for the non-SF reader; and he was the coeditor of our organization's most recent teaching anthology, Visions 0/ Wonder. On behalf of my fellow Clareson Committee members, Muriel Becker and Carol Stevens, and on behalf of the entire Science Fiction Research Association, I am delighted to present the 1999 Thomas D. Clareson Award to David G. Hartwell. [*Loter addendum: After the Awards Banquet, Alice Clareson told me that when the description 0/ the Clareson Award was first developed, its authors realfy did intend that each awardee would be chosen on the basis 0/ an outstanding record in all nine service areas listed. Our organization is fortunate indeed that David Hartwell and the other winners 0/ the award to date, as well as the late Tom Clareson himse!f, have been so wide-ranging in their services to the field. I hope filture Clareson Award Committees will be able to continue finding candidates who fullY embocfy Alice's vision (and Tom's model) 0/ the award. But I suspect that future committees will at times find deserving candidates who have rendered "outstanding service" to the field without doing so in every one 0/ those nine areas. -A. C. Elms] AWARDS PIONEER AWARD Pete Lowentrout The Pioneer Committee's task is always difficult-winnowing out a few essays for fmal consideration from among the many excellent essays published in the scholarly journals of the field each year is a hard, sometimes even a heart wrenching, task. And choosing one from among those final few can be very diffi cult indeed-akin to choosing at Baskin-Robbins between burgundy cherry, choco late, and pistachio. How to decide? Still, the Committee is charged with making a decision-and so it has. The Pioneer Award Committee gives honorable mentions this year to two especially strong essays: Roger Luckhurst's "The Science-Fictionalization of Trauma: Remarks on Narratives of Alien Abduction" (Science-Fiction Studies 74, March 1998) and Brian Attebery'S "Super Men" (Science-Fiction Studies 74, March 1998). Luckhurst reminds us of a thing scholars interested in SF might be ex pected to have trouble forgetting-that poking around in the odd, neglected, but often surprisingly important comers of our culture can increase our cultural parallax and quickly yield greater insight. No doubt many of us have made this very point in defending our interest in SF to sour and unsympathetic colleagues. Luck hurst turns the argument back upon us, challenging us to look without bias at cul tural phenomena allied with SF that he believes have too long been considered off limits: alien abduction narratives, UFO logy, and UFO mysticism. Luckhurst be lieves that an examination of the ongoing "science fictionalization" of many aspects of the broader American culture can tell us more about that culture and about SF. Brian Attebery examines the narrative traditions of the superman in SF. Exploring superman texts of the Campbell era, closely observing the ways in which Philip K. Dick deconstructed the stock supermen of earlier stories in his "The Golden Man," Attebery exposes the gender assumptions that have long underlain both the literary and scientific traditions or the superman. As always, this elegant Attebery essay is a pleasure to read; never showing its theoretical sinews unneces sarily, it remains thoroughly muscular.


The 1998 Pioneer Award goes to Carl Freedman for his essay "Kubrick's 2001 and the Possibility of a Science-Fiction Cinema" (Science-Fiction Studies 75, July 1998). Freedman writes of the "extremely problematic character of the conjunction between science fiction and ftlm." Shaped by their heavy reliance upon special ef fects, most SF films "overtly proclaim the supremacy of the visual image; and this drive toward supremacy is disinclined to allow any conceptual filmic space in which the image might be rationally contextualized. Freedman believes that "science fiction cinema tends toward a conservative acceptance of the status quo that is based on the anti-conceptual bias of its most fundamental formal resource: special effects." Our science fiction cinema is thus "structured on an immense and perhaps disabling contradiction." Literary science fiction, "the critical genre par excellence," cannot be matched by a science fiction cinema ''based on an aesthetic hegemony of special effects that is antithetical to the fundamental core of science fiction itself." Those films that we are most accustomed to calling science fictional, Star War.r and Close Encounters, for instance, "are not really science-fictional, or, perhaps more strictly, are science-fictional in only marginal and superficial ways." The greatness of Kubrick's 2001 is that, while Kubrick "grants to special effects an aesthetic he gemony unsurpassed in the whole range of science-fiction cinema," he avoids the intellectual banality and conservatism to which such hegemony leads other film makers "by dialectically raising the whole issue to the second power: that is, by making intellectual banality itself one of the major foci of the film and thus by mak ing what would otherwise be conceptual weakness into a self-consciously theorized component of the film's own conceptual dialectic." Thus, Freedman believes, "2001 is the first and last great masterpiece of science-fiction film." "Kubrick's 2001" is a seminal essay in science fiction film studies. Not everyone will agree with it-to do so would seem to necessitate accepting a Su vines que understanding of SF as cognitive estrangement and a corollary rejection of myth and fantasy for being, as Professor Suvin would put it, "not sufficiently criti cal." And some, perhaps many, will want to make more room for the possibility of a science fiction cinema than the skeptical Freedman allows. But whatever one's position on the possibility of a science fiction cinema, Freedman's clear and vigor ous essay is sure to become a touchstone in our ongoing discussion. AWARDS PIONEER AWARD ACCEPTANCE Carl Freedman I can't tell you how totally surprised I am. I had absolutely no idea that such a thing was even a possibility, and I'm glad I didn't: For if I had known that I was being considered for the Pioneer, I probably wouldn't have been having as much fun in Mobile as I actually have been having these past few days. It's obviously a great honor to win the Pioneer, and I feel especially hon ored when I look around this room and see that I'm receiving the award in the presence of some really major figures in the production and the study of science fiction. Fred Pohl, most obviously, has been one of the authentic giants of our field for many decades. And there are other people of major achievement here too; I won't name them just to avoid accidentally leaving anyone out. But I also see around the room a number of people who are at a much earlier stage of their ca reers: graduate students, mainly, who are just beginning to publish their ideas about science fiction. It's to them especially that I want to tell a little story about the essay that's just been so generously recognized here. When I first sent it to Science-Fiction Studies, the editors did the appropriate thing for a peer-reviewed journal and sent it to two readers. One reader (whose identity I eventually learned) said, in effect: This is great, this is wonderful, you should definitely publish it. The other (whose identity I never have learned, which is probably just as well) said, in effect: This is horrible, this is totally wrong, by no means should you publish it. Faced with a split between their referees, the editors been the cultural work of science fiction? Has science fiction learned anything from the emergence of postcolonial studies? Please submit 1-to 2-page abstracts (and a brief author bio) by September 15 to Joseph Nazare at . CALL FOR PAPERS PCA/ ACA 2000: New Orleans, Louisiana Science Fiction and Fantasy Area Who: Popular Culture Association (PCA) and American Culture Association (ACA). What: Panels and paper proposals for SFIF. When: April 19-22, 2000. Where: New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Marriott Hotel. Topics: Any disciplinary method or approach is welcome. Proposals on film, television, and written works are solic ited. Suggestions include any SFIF film or TV program; postcolonial SFIF; alternate histories; Joanna Russ; angels; Babylon 5; invented religions; all Star Trek series; Star Wars, Millennium, and utopiasl dystopias. What and how to submit: For a paper send a 250-word abstraa or a finished paper (15 minutes' reading time) with a 50-word abstract, a separate cover sheet with your name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, and the presentation title. For a panel send four 250word abstracts or finished papers with 50-word abstracts and a panel name. Include a separate cover sheet with the name, mailing address, and phone num ber of each panel member, the panel title, and an indication of the panel chair (who may be one of the presenters). Send to: Barbara Silliman, P.O. Box 19722, Johnston, RI 02919-0722; phone and fax: (401) 231-2679; e-mail <8SiIl8360@ao/.com>. Deadline: Saturday, September II, 1999. Special note: Only one submission is allowed per conference. Follow up e-


moil submissions with hard copy asap. ANNOUNCEMENT Graduate Student Award PCAI ACA 2000: New Orleans, Lou isiana This year, to celebrate the record of quality of graduate student presentations, we are instituting a new chapter in the history of SFIF at PCA. Monetary awards will be given for the best three papers submitted by graduate students at the 2000 PCAIACA Conference. The 2000 Graduate Student Award begins a yearly tradition to support the scholastic investigation of graduate students in the area of sdence Oction and fantasy. Graduate students who wish to submit a completed presentation paper for consideration should use MLA documen tation style; double-space all text, using one-inch margins and a 12-point font; attach a clean sheet at the end to be used by the Award Committee for notes; submit the paper blind; and write no more than 12 to 15 pages (exclusive of cover sheet and Works Gted). Submit four copies to Barbara Silliman, P.O. Box 19722, Johnston, RI 02919-0722; phone and fax: (40 I) 231-2679; e-mail . Include with a cover sheet containing the paper's title, your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Mark the envelope 2000 AWARD. The deadline is Monday, January 10, 2000. CALL FOR PAPERS Center for Twentieth Century Stud ies 2000: Representing Animals at the End of the Century Who: Center for Twentieth-Century Studies. What: Multidisciplinary conference call for papers and panels. When: April 13-15, 2000. Where: University of WisconsinMilwaukee. Topics: Papers might consider any aspea of the representation of animals of SFS had a judgment call to make and decided to publish. But it was presumably a fairly close thing. The point of the story is simple enough: You can get bad re views-and you probably sometimes will-but don't ever let the bastards get you down. AW PILGRIIt AWARD ACCEPTANCE Brian Stableford To Be a Pilgrim A pilgrim, according to the ftrst of the six meanings the word is granted by the 1934 edition of Webster's New International Dictionary is "one who journeys, especially in alien lands." I think, on the whole, that I prefer that meaning to any of the other ftve, especially number six, which reveals that pilgrim is "a neutral gray of low brilliance." Gray I may be going, and I am undoubtedly not the best judge of the intensity of my own brilliance, but anyone who has ever read any of my critical work will surely agree that I have never been guilty of neutrality. I can therefore stand before you now, as one who has journeyed to an alien land in actuality as well as metaphor, and gladly accept this offtcial recognition of my alienation. Webster's editors are, of course, absolutely right to separate out the pri mary definition of a pilgrim from any assumption as to his motive for journeying in alien lands. The common misapprehension that pilgrims must have religious rea sons has been a blight on common parlance for far too long, especially in combina tion with John Bunyan'S pious insinuation that religious pilgrims are the ones who make progress. In Bunyan's day, the word "progress" had not yet acquired the he roic modern meaning attached to it by the philosophers of the enlightenment, so we are fully entitled to regret the freak of mere chance that caused him to forsake the more familiar word. Had Bunyan called his book The Pilgrim's Journ'!J, as he presumably did in dozens of parallel universes far more likely than this one, it would have allowed people like us to visit the precious gift of obviousness on the contention that it is, in fact, only pilgrims who are not religious who actually make progress, or even recognize the possibility of making progress. (By "people like us" I mean, of course, all those who joumey to alien lands as curious explorers rather than as faith-afflicted delusionaries intent on remaking the alien in the image of the famil iar.) I could be mistaken about this, of course, but I have had some slight opportu nity to study pilgrims of the other kind and to make a rough-and ready estimate of their accomplishments. Last October I walked the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, following a Francis can procession full of hapless Polish tourists (some equipped with their own crosses) all the way from the Arab primary school now on the site of Pilate's palace (which closes early so that the monks and the children don't get in one another's way), through a maze of narrow alleyways ftlled with Arab shops selling plastic icons, cheap souvenirs, posters and T-shirts bearing such legends as ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES and DON'T WORRY AMERICA-ISRAEL IS BEHIND YOU, to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is jointly administered by six ri val Christian denominations (the Ethiopians got there last and had to put their pri ory on the roof, but the Protestants didn't get in at all and had to build their own church nearby), where one can see the alleged crest of Golgotha (the rest is buried, all Jerusalem being elevated at least thirty feet above its Roman level) a mere thirty yards away from the case containing the stone that allegedly blocked the entrance to the sepulchre before the pious caresses of hundreds of thousands of tourists re duced it to the size of a soccer ball. I am sometimes unsure as to whether I or any one else really knows the direction in which progress lies, but I am certain that no body on the Via Dolorosa is making it. Although the dictionary does not sanction any such further extrapolation,


it seems to me that the truest pilgrims are those who journey to alien lands because they feel themselves to be alien in their native lands. Clever pilgrims are those who use the imagination as a vehicle, partly because they have a wider range of alien lands available to them than the pilgrims who travel on trains, boats, and planes and partly because they run less risk of obliterating the alienness of those lands by the transfer of their luggage. Those who feel alien at home are preequipped for pil grimages to alien lands and are thus predisposed to impose that duty upon their imagination at the earliest possible opportunity. They may not, in the end, travel further than later starters, nor are they guaranteed to make any progress at all, but at least they try. I am, therefore, proud to report that this award is, in effect, the legacy of a wholly misspent youth. In the days when I was so resolutely misspending my youth, people pre disposed to be pilgrims of the best kind were routinely drawn to science fiction magazines, because it offered the most convenient route to the infinite. Now that reading has become so dreadfully inconvenient to almost everyone under the age of thirty, science fiction is far less attractive, because the kinds of science fiction that have colonized the visual media no longer lead to alien lands. Like the Via Dolorosa, they have been swallowed up and sterilized by popular culture. There has long been a misconception that all science fiction belongs to the realm of popular culture, but the cognoscenti have always known better than that. In the afterword to The Hex Files: The Bible qfGoth, Mick Mercer recalls a con versation he had with a courier who biked round some late information from the publisher. "Is it a book about Popular Culture?" the courier asked. "No," Mick re plied. "Unpopular Culture" (p. 227). It is the same with science fiction. Whether people recognize the term or not, the good stuff has always belonged not to popular culture but to unpopular culture, and always will. It could not be otherwise. Popular culture is obliged to be reasonable and inoffensive, fairly neutral if not dismally gray, and the best science fiction-which still clings to a fugitive existence in text form despite the ardent pre dations of popular culture-is unreasonable and provocative, polemical and color ful. As George Bernard Shaw pointed out in his Maxims for Revolutionists, rea sonable men adapt themselves inoffensively and neutrally to the world while unrea sonable ones persist in trying to adapt the world to them-with the result that all progress depends on unreasonable men (p. 238). One does have to remember, of course, that for every unreasonable man who assists progress, there are hundreds who merely make fools of themselves, but if that were not the case there would be nothing heroic in being unreasonable; the measure of success is partly determined by the risk of failure. Not all unpopular culture makes progress, but everything that does make progress belongs to the terra incognita of unpopular culture rather than the thoroughly civilized realm of popular culture. A famous anecdote recalls that Robert Scholes told an apprehensive Kurt Vonnegut in the early 1950s that science fiction is the lowest and most despicable of all the genres of fiction, the furthest away from the Holy Grail of Literary Re spectability (Leeds, p. 523). It was true when he said it and it is true today, and we ought to hope that it always will be true-not for the sake of our salaries or our reputations, both of which run the risk of being irredeemably tainted by any asso ciation with science fiction, but for the sake of our retaining some slight chance of making progress. The only thing that could do more damage to science fiction than the evil influence of TV and the cinema is winning the approval of the cultural elite, whose faces are so firmly set against progress that their stares are immovably fixed upon the glories of the past and the literary crystallization of mundanity. For this reason, I have always tried to take an especially keen critical inter est not merely in science fiction per se but in those examples of science fiction that are as unlikely to be tainted by respectability as they are by popularity. That, at any rate, is the kind of science fiction I write, and I think I can safely say that none of my publications has ever been more than slightly tainted in either respect. This is in nineteenth-and twentieth-century cultures. Suggestions include the exhibition of animals in drcuses, rodeos, zoos, and country fairs, and in artifactual displays in natural history museums, bars, living rooms, and grocery stores. Genres might include the bestiary, fables, allegories, the fairy tale, children's literature, nature movies, and science fiction. What and how to submit: Send proposals no more than 3 pages in length. Include a curriculum vitae with your submission. Send to: Nigel Rothfels and Drew Isenberg, Center for Twentieth-Century Studies, University of WisconsinMilwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201. Phone (414) 229-4141; fax (414) 229-5964; e-mail . E-mail submissions cannot be accepted. Deadline: October 22, 1999. Special note: Selected papers from the conference will be included in a book planned for publication in the Center series, Theories of Contemporary Cul ture, with Indiana University Press. CALL FOR PAPERS Science Fiction and Romanticism What: A spedal issue of Romantidsm on the Net When: To be published in 2000. Topics: Articles on science fiction's roots in romantidsm and romanticism's persistence in sdence fiction are welcome. Papers about scientific imagining in the period are welcome. How does seeing romanticism as "sdence fiction" enable us to see it differently? What and how to submit: Send completed papers. Send to: Contact Robert Corbett for more information. Michael Eberle-Sinatra, Editor, Romanticism on the Net, St Cath erine's College, Oxford OX I 3Ul, u.K.; ; U.S. mirror site: . Deadline: November 15, 1999. Special note: Potential contributors


might be interested in the bibliography "Fictional Representations of Romantics and Romantidsm," available at Romantic Ordes . CALL FOR PAPERS Hong Kong 2000: Technology, Identity, and Futurity in the Emerg ing Global Village Who: Chinese University of Hong Kong in conjunction with University of California-Riverside. What: Call for abstracts for paper presentation. When: June 19-23, 2000. Where: Hong Kong. Topics: TopiCS discussing Asian SF, Asia in SF, and the East-West axis are sought The organizers welcome papers in any disdpline that discuss the impact of Western technology and culture on the East or Eastern SF as seen from the West--()r conversely, that measure the impact of Eastern technology and culture on the West or Western SF, as seen from the East What and how to submit: One page abstracts, to be considered in mid October in a teleconference between the two organizing bodies. Completed pa pers also accepted. Send to: Via e-man send to both Wong, Kin-yuen and George Slusser . For postal submis sions, send two copies to George Slusser, Spedal Collections Ubrary, University of California, Riverside CA 92517; phone (909) 787-3233; (909) 787-6384. Deadline: October I, 1999, for one-page abstracts; December 15, 1999, for the ffnal copy. MEMBER UPDATES H. L Drake suggests ffnding some way to help those who have Borgo Press con tracts get their books published. obviously not the way to fame or fortune, but it does seem to me to be the kind of mission on which a true pilgrim ought to be embarked. I cannot claim to have jour neyed as far in my mission as I might have done, and I certainly cannot be confi dent that I have accomplished anything more than making a perfect fool of myself, but I hope that I have gone as far as I have been able to go in an altogether appro priate spirit of unreasonableness. Many thanks. References Leeds, Marc. The Vonnegut Enryclopedia: An Authorized Compendium. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995. Mercer, Mick. The Hex Files: The Bible qfGoth. London: B. T. Batsford, 1996. Noisome, William Allan, Thomas A. Knott, and Paul W. Carhart, eds. Webster's New International Dictionary qfthe English Language. Springfield, Mass: G. C. Mer riam,1934. Shaw, George Bernard. "Maxims for Revolutionists." Man and Superman. London: Constable, 1903. PLAYING NICELY TOGETHER: FRED POHL Andy Duncan [No career in science fiction has been more diverse, or more iifluentialon a host qf fronts, than that qfFrederik Poh4 whom the late Kingslry Amis called "the most consistentlY able writer science fiction, in the modern sense, has yet produced. Pohl's career began in New York City in the late 1930s, when Pohl was a memberqf the looselY organized band qfJans and aspiring writers who called themselves the Futurians. Their ranks included Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Oril Kornbluth, Donald Wollheim and, later, Damon Knight and Judith MerriL Pohl published ma'!J qf these aspiring writers, as well as him self, as editor qf Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories in 1940-41, at an age when most youngsters todqy are working on their BAs. The liberal politics qf the Futurians, and their cosmopolitan literary tastes, are still evident in Pohl's work decades later. After World War II service, he made use qf his ma'!J contacts in the SF world I?J becoming a succesiful literary agent; his close working relationship with innovative publisher Ian Ballantine helped lqy the groundwork for the SF book market as we know it todtg. In the 1950s, Poh! made a spectacular return to writing with such classic satires as 'The Midas Plague" (1954), 'The Tunnel Under the World" (1955), and, with Oril Kornbluth, The Space Merchants (1953). Also in the 1950s, Pohl edited, for Ballantine, the first series qf original SF anthologies, Star Science Fiction Stories, which included such classics as Arthur C Clarke's 'The Nine Billion Names qfGod" and Jerome Bixl?J's "It's a Good Life." Throughout the 1960s, Pohl was the editor qfGalaxy,for which he had been the most prolific contributor in the 1950s; he also edited its ilifluential sister magaifne, If, which won three Hugo Awards as best magaifne. Poh! was an influential book editor into the 1970s as well, working on manuscripts as diverse as Samuel Dela'!J's Dhalgren and Triton, Joanna Russ's The Female Man, and Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers, the inspiration for S tanlq Kubrick's movie Full Metal Jacket. He also was president qfthe Science Fiction Writers qf America (1974-76). When he returned to writingfull time, Poh! in short order produced the Hugo-winning novel Man Plus (1976), the Hugo-and Nebula-winning novel Gateway (1977), which launched the criticalfy and commercialfy succesiful Heechee series, and the marvelous and inspiring memoir The Way the Future Was (1978). The writing career that began in the earfy 1940s has continued,from strength to strength, into the 1990s; Gardner Dozois called the 1991 novella "Olltnumbering the Dead" "one qf the best things that Pohl has produced ... wise,fun'!J, madlY inventive, and ultimatelY quite moving. As is Pohl himself, in his eightieth year, in this interview recorded bifOre an audience June 5, 1999, at the Science Fiction Research Association Co'!!erence


in Mobile, Alabama.} Andy Duncan: You said last night that you returned-after swearing you wouldn't write any more Gateway books-that you returned to the Heechee universe be cause Robert Silverberg-Frederik Pohl: It's all Bob's fault. AD: But it seems, too, that that call sort of opened the floodgates for you, that there was a lot more Heechee stuff waiting to come out. FP: Well, there always has been-little bits and pieces of things that did not get into one of the books. And there turns out to be more of it that appears as soon as I start thinking about it. So I'll have a book at about 80,000 words, I guess. Which I do solemnly swear will be the absolute last. AD: I just wondered whether you had given any thought to, why now? You know, years after the last one-FP: It's Silverberg's fault. He was the catalyst that was responsible for it happening. Bud Foote: What's this book to be called? FP: It's out. It's called Far Horizons [edited by Silverberg]. It's got a bunch of good stories in it. Greg [Benford] has one. The intention was to get all the people who had written significant series in science fiction to write one more piece. That's how it came out. AD: I was interested to hear him [Benford], I think it was last night, liken such se ries as that-your Heechee series and Le Guin's Ekumen series and so on-to Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha novels. I wondered what you thought of that idea. FP: Yoknapatawpha County is an imaginary place, and I don't believe that people are as quite as-what shall I say?-primitive as they appear to be in his books. I guess that the idea of having a framework for a number of stories is nothing new. Besides Faulkner, there's Proust with Remembrance qfThings Past, not to mention things like Sherlock Holmes. So I don't think it's a science fiction invention, but it's convenient. I kind of deplore the idea of writing multiple stories set in the same universe. My wife says that it's a great convenience to the reader, because when you read a science fiction book, you have to accept a lot of game rules that aren't true in your own world, have to make yourself feel at home in a totally different world, and once you have acquired that knowledge, it's much more comfortable to read another book in the same series than to try to learn some other world. And it's great for the publishers, because they have presold copies. AD: Sure. And the new volume feeds the previous volumes, and they all stay in print. FP: Right. AD: Well, do you read for other things when you're reading? Do you not read for that sort of comfort level? Are you looking for something new and different each time? FP: I guess I'm looking for something new and different. I don't read as much sci ence fiction as I should. I don't know how many science fiction novels are pub lished a year now-four figures? I read maybe forty or fifty a year. I can't match Bud [Foote]-I don't do three books a day-but I have a one-book-a-day habit, New member Mavis Haut is working on examining SFIF primarily as literature and to e/uddate, apart from the obvious links with science, connections with other cuhural material and criticism. She thinks that the SFRA will decide to take on the publication of some of the Bargo Press fist Karen Hellekson is reviSing a book about the ahernate history for Kent State University Press. New member Joe Sutliff Sanders reports that he's currently working on transgressions of genre boundaries in Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace and will also be attending Garion West this year. ERRATA The SFRAReview editors apologize for some recent misspellings in #240 in the Do Androids Dream of Electric SheeplBladerunner bibliography section. Please note the follOwing correa spellings: Rob Latham and Paul Brians. The following URL is correct . RECENT AND FORTHCOMING BOOKS Andriano, joseph D. Immortal Monster: The Mythological Evolution of the Fantastic Beast in Modern Fiction and Film. Greenwood, March 1999 *Murray, Terry A. Science Fiction Magazine Story Index, 1926-1995. McFarland, March 1999 *Parkes, Michael. The World of Mi chael Parkes. Stehman, March 1999 *Van Hise, james, ed. The Fantastic Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft Author, March 1999 Wells, Stuart w., III. Science Fiction Collectibles Identification and Price Guide. Kraus Publications, March 1999 *Berger, james. After the End: Repre-


sentations of Post Apocalypse. University of Minnesota Press, April 1999 *Dick, Philip K Selected Letters 1982. Underwood, june 1999 *Smith, Elton and Robert Haas, eds. The Victorian Mind: The Supernatural in Victorian literature. Scarecrow Press, june 1999 Delany, Samuel R. Bread and Wine: An Erotic Tale of New York juno, july 1999. echoing his 1996 memoir, The Motion of light in Water Vinge, Vernor, and james eds. True Names and the Open ing of the Cyberspace Fron tier. Tor, july 1999 Gary and George Slusser, eds. Nursery Realms: Chil dren in the Worlds of Sci ence Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. University of Georgia Press, August 1999. Papers from the 1994 Eaton conference Frazetta, Frank. Frank Frazetta: Legend. Underwood, September 1999 Jude, Dick. Fantasy Art of the New Millennium: A Showcase of the Best in Fantasy Art Worldwide. Harper/Collinsl Voyager (UK), September 1999 Baxter, John. Mythmaker: The life and Work of George Lucas. AvonlSpike, October 1999 Fenner, Cathy and Arnie, eds. Spectrum 6: The Best in Contempo rary Fantastic Art Underwood, October 1999 *Leach, Karoline. In the Shadow of the Dreamchild: A New Under standing of Lewis Carroll. Peter Owen (U.K)IDufour (U. S. distributor), October 1999 Vallejo, Boris. Dreams: The Art of Boris Vallejo. Text by Nigel Suckling. Thunder's Mouth Press, October 1999 *8arr, Marlene S., ed. Future Females, the Next Generation: Femi nist Science Fiction's New Voices and Velocities in and I've had it for years. But a lot of what I read is not science fiction, and I can't really tell you what it is because it's pretty eclectic. I go to the library or the book store and look around for something I want to read. AD: That eclecticism may tie in with the next thing I was going to ask. I was struck by how what you read last night, like so much of your work, is so rich in characteri zation and so rich in voice, and those are the things that-according to the critical party line-science fiction writers of your era are supposed to be devoid of. We hear that a lot. Do you feel that you're sort of anomalous all these years, or that your peers got a bad rap? FP: I began writing science fiction when I was young, and I've done it all my life, but I didn't learn from science fiction writers. I learned from people like Mark Twain and Stephen Vincent Benet and a few others who had this beautiful limpid style, almost like conversation, and I think I'm trying to copy that myself. A lot of what they have in their books is building up characters so that you can believe that they're real, and I've always tried to do that. I don't think there's any reason not to do it in science fiction, although it's true that there is some famous science fiction in which the characters are cut out of tin. But the other parts of the stories were good enough to make that unimportant. AD: Were there not any science fiction stylists through the years, the occasional ones, who influenced you as a writer? FP: I think maybe there were. Heinlein, for example, influenced me. But in another sense, he and I shared the same influences. He was a Twain person, and a--can't think of the name of the writer I'm thinking of---he was influenced by other writ ers, and I was influenced by the same, and maybe the mechanism by which I came to use their speech rhythms came from Heinlein. Oh, Rudyard Kipling. That's the one I'm thinking of. Kipling influenced me a lot, too. Of course, he did write some science fiction. Not much of it, but pretty good. AD: I take it, then, that character and voice have always been preeminent to you when you're sitting down to write. FP: Not preeminent. I think a science fiction story has a number of ingredients, and I wouldn't put one higher than the other. What's going on at the frontiers of science has always interested me. The cosmologies, where they talk about the be ginning of the universe and the end of the universe and which of many possible scenarios is likely to happen-the shrinking back of the universe into the big crunch, or the permanent expansion until there's nothing but a sort of a thin soup with an occasional proton-and I like writing about that sort of thing. It's not al ways easy to put that into a story, but I like the challenge. AD: One of my favorite stories of yours-and I keep hearing about it this week, so it must be other people's favorite, too-is "Day Million" [1966]. FP: That's my own personal favorite. AD: Is it? FP: Yeah. AD: Why is that? FP: Partly because I think it's a good story, but even more because the childbirth was painless. I had been trying to sell some Hollywood idiots on a TV series called Dqy Miflion, wherein each week you would talk about a story that happened on the


millionth day of the Christian era, but it would be a different future. Have the same actors, but their parts would be quite different, because the world they lived in would be quite different. And I thought that was too good an idea to let go, so I thought at least I'd try to protect the title. And I went up to my office on the third floor of the house I lived in, and put the paper and the carbon-no, I just put the paper-in the machine, and typed "Day Million," and began typing. And I didn't have any clear idea what I was going to write until I wrote it. It was the easiest short story I ever wrote. I took about two hours to get it finished, and then I went down on the porch, made myself a cup of coffee, smoked a cigarette, looked at the river for a while, went back upstairs and typed a clear copy of it. That was it. Never touched it again. [pause.] This does not often happen. I wish it did. AD: Well, it does have this wonderful, pell-mell quality to it, almost-like the nar rative voice is thinking of ideas so fast, you know, that one is logically following from another. It's made of digressions, in a way. FP: I think most of my books are made of digressions. I think I'm a very discursive writer. I mean, that's the way I write. I do not defend it, but it's what I do. AD: Well, certainly Twain was, too. One of your models. FP: Very. I wrote an introduction to one of Twain's books. The Twain Society in Connecticut brought out a complete set of everything Twain had ever written, in facsimile editions, and I wrote an introduction for Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven, and as a result they gave me a complete set, so I now have every word Twain ever wrote, and I'm trying to read my way through. There's a lot of it! AD: Does he still surprise you, after all these years? FP: I think I've read all the surprising ones. What's left is the journalism that only occasionally surprises me, when he does things like venting his spleen on Mary Baker Eddy, at considerable length. I mean, I don't know why he was so mad at her. He had a whole book about her, and that's a little surprising, but no doubt it seemed like more of a problem in 1900 than it does now. AD: Although Sprague de Camp [whose memoir, Time and Chance, is harshly critical of Christian Science] might say it's still a present danger. FP: Yeah. AD: Was the selling of "Day Million" as easy as the writing of it? FP: It was too easy. I sent it off to Esquire, and the fiction editor there sent it back in high dudgeon. He said it made him feel queasy. Frankie Robinson was editing a men's magazine [Rogue] at the time. He knew about it, and he said, "Can I have it?" and I gave it to him. It was never shown to any science fiction magazine. Which was both good and bad. I got paid more by Frankie, but it never-In the Nebula contest of that year, where it took exactly one nomination to get on the ballot, "Day Million" didn't make it. AD: Do you think that people just didn't see it, because of where it was? FP: A lot of people didn't see it. And others-I mean, Damon Knight wrote me a fan letter about it, but he didn't nominate it. A fan letter's nice, but he could have taken it a step farther. AD: And know it's so well known and so oft anthologized. When did that get started on it, the reprints of it? Feminist Science Fiction Criticism. Roman and Uttle field, November 1999 (postponed from May). Flyer with prepub offer sent to SFRA members May 1999 Daniels, Les. Batman: The Complete History, the Life and Times of the Dark Knight. Chronicle Books, November 1999 *Fonseca, Anthony j., and June Michele, Pulliam. Hooked on Horror: A Guide to Reading Inter ests in Horror Fiction. U braries Unlimited, November 1999 Gwinn, Beth, and Stanley Wiater. Dark Dreamers: Portraits of Fear. Underwood, November 1999 *An asterisk indicates that the book was requested for review. RECOMMENDED FICTION Locus, May 1999: Qement, Hal, The Essential Hal Clement, Vol ume I: Trio for Slide Rule and Typewriter [3 reprinted novels] (NESFA); Hartwe/( David, and Glenn Grant, eds., Northern Suns (Tor); Lee, Sharon, and Steve Miller, Plan B (Meisha, Merlin); Robinson, Frank M., Waiting (Forge); Shepard, Ludus, Beast of the Heartland and Other Stories (Four Walls Eight Windows); Willis, Connie, ed., Nebula Awards 33 (Harcourt). Locus, June 1999: Mason, Usa, Pan gaea, Book I: Imperium without End (Bantam Spec tra); McCaffery, Anne, The Tower and the Hive (Acel Putnam); Priest, Christopher, The Extreme (St Martin's); Shinn, Sharon, Wrapt in Crystal (Ace); Tepper, Sheri 5., Singer from the Sea (Avon Eos); Williamson, Jack, The Silicon Dagger (Tor). Locus, July 1999: Chamas, Suzy McKee, The Conquerer's Child (Tor); Hartwe/( David


G., ed., Year's Best SF 4 (HarperPrism); Hartwe/t David G., and Damien Broderick, eds., Cantaurus: The Best of Australian Science Fiction (Tor); Marley, Louise, The Terrorists of Irustan (Ace); McMullen, Sean, Souls in the Great Machine (Tor); Poht Frederik, ed., The SFW A Grand Masters, vol. I (Tor); Silverberg. Robert, ed., Far Horizons (Avon Eos); Stephenson, Neat Cryptonomicon (Avon); Sterling. Bruce, A Good Old-Fashioned Future (Bantam Spectra); Turner, George, Down There in Darkness (Tor). Publishers Weekly, May 24, 1999: McAuley, Paul J. Ancient of Days: The Second Book of the Confluence (Avon Eos) Publishers Weekly, June 14, 1999: Alexander Besher, Chi (Simon and Schuster) Publishers Weekly, June 2/, 1999: David G. Hartwe/t Damien Broderick, eds., Centaurus: The Best of Australian Science Fiction (Tor) Washington Post Book World, May 3D, 1999: McHugh, Maureen F., Mission Child (Avon) SPOTLIGHT ON SF/FANTASY This is the title o( six sections o( the May 15, 1999, issue o( Booklist, the twice-monthly review magazine o( the American Ubrary Assodation. Booklist reviews print and nonprint materials (or public and school libraries, although many o( the books are equally valuable for academic collections. In addition to a number o( reviews o( new adult and young adult SF, (antasy, and a (ew horror titles, there are annotated lists o( the top ten SFIF books for adults published mid-I 998 to mid-I 999, and a corre sponding (antasy list (or young adult texts. Robert Anton Wilson is the subject o( an amusing online interview. Richard Bleiler annotates nineteen SFIF re(erence sources (or a core collection, including FP: Almost immediately, and I don't know how many times it's been anthologized. It's been read aloud for a tape three times, it's been translated into twenty or thirty languages-I've lost count-and I guess it's the most successful short story I ever wrote. Which is only fair, because it's the one I like best. AD: I guess a myth has grown up around it, that people say, "Oh, it wasn't in any of the science fiction magazines because it was too hot to touch, all the sex." FP: It might have been, at that time. I don't know. I think probably-Well, Horace Gold wouldn't have bought it, because Horace was nervous about that sort of thing. And Tony Boucher wouldn't have bought it. And John Campbell wouldn'tmaybe it would never have been published. But there were a lot of magazines at that time. One of them, I think, would have taken it. AD: You'd have bought it. FP: I'd have bought it, sure, if! had asked. AD: Did you publish yourself, when you were editing? FP: From time to time. My publisher [at Gafa>:y in the 1960s] asked me, please, if I was going to write as well as edit, at least to write for my own magazine. So I published a fair amount of my own stuff. Not as much as I had in Gafa>:y before, when Horace was the editor, when I had more stories in Gafa>:y than any other writer-I think twice as many as the next, under several pen names. AD: One person, even, was telling me a theory he had that "Day Million" was par tially a rebuttal to the gay-bashing that used to be so prominent in fandom, or in science fiction circles, for years. FP: I had no such conscious intention, but it could be taken that way. AD: I was curious about your editing days, and all the authors, and all the manu scripts, that you plucked from the slush pile and published through the years. I was wondering which discoveries you're most proud of-which authors, which manu scripts, that you look back on with a feeling of, "Hey, that was one of mine." FP: There are a lot of them. I guess the one that I am most proud of, in some ways, is Larry Niven. ["The Coldest Place," Niven's first published story, appeared in !fin 1964.] He sent me a story in the slush pile, and I bought it. And he sent me an other, somewhat longer, and I bought that one, too, though because of its length the paycheck was about three or four times as big. And he sent me another which was longer still, so I paid for that. And he showed all this to his father-this geo metrical progression, the kind of money he was getting-and his father said, "Maybe it's not such a bad idea for you to write like that." Because his family had strongly disapproved of his interest in science fiction. Larry and I were on a panel in Pasadena a few years ago, in connection with one of the Jet Propulsion Labora tory flybys, and at one point, while someone else was speaking, Larry leaned over and said, "You know, it's just occurred to me. lowe you at least half of my career." I said, "Does that mean half of the money?" He said, "No, just half of the ca reer." ... I thought for a while I'd published Ray Bradbury's first [''Pendulum,'' with Henry Hasse, published in the November 1941 issue of Super Science Stories], but it turned out I didn't. It was on my desk when I left the magazine, but my suc cessor [Alden H. Norton] was the one who actually bought it. AD: But you would have.


FP: [pause.] I think so. If only because Ray was wearing me down. He was writing a story a week. AD: Well, I guess at the time he was in California, so he couldn't pester you in per son. FP: No. But he sent them, and they were all sort of promising, but .... He kept getting better, which he needed to do. AD: Did you ever have any office pests, who came in person over and over and over-FP: Yes! AD: -who proved to be, sure enough, the stuff, eventually? FP: Well, not in that sense. I had office pests who carne in. Ray Cummings had my number. Ray, at that time, was one of the grand old men of science fiction [his first published story being the celebrated "The Girl in the Golden Atom" in All-Story Weekfy in 1919], who had lost the capacity to write. But he wasn't letting that stop him, and every week he would bring in a new story for me. And he insisted on get ting paid at the premium rate. So he was busting my budget something terrible with stories I didn't really like, because I couldn't say no to him Then I finally found out how to say no without making it my decision. I told him the publisher had com plained there were too many Ray Cummings stories in inventory, and I finally got out from under him. He was a nice guy with a great track record, but he really had forgotten what it was that he was trying to write about. There wasn't anything there. AD: Obviously, that has not happened to you. Did you ever fear that it would? FP: Oh, every day. I mean, that's the great fear of any writer, that you get into maundering, and you try to avoid that. But I don't know. I'm pushing eighty, and I know I've lost some of my marbles. But I still have some, I think, left. For a while. AD: We were talking, earlier, too, about so many science fiction writers who have disappeared from the bookshelves, or who were never on the bookshelves in the first place, if they were only published in the magazines. I wondered who some of your favorite forgotten science fiction writers are. Whom are we not reading, that we really should be reading, because they were great in their day? FP: Well, there are a couple that were, and still are, great, but I don't know if they're in print, or have been for some time. Most of them Englishmen, like S. Fowler Wright and Olaf Stapledon. There is no science fiction book that has given me as much pleasure as Wright'S The World Below [1929]. It's so inventive. It's not as inventive as it seems, because it's a retelling of The Ocfyssry, I guess, one of the old Greek things-but it's got wonderful characters in it, amazing descriptions of peo ple in the far future, and as far as I know it has not been in print in America for at least twenty years. It should be. It's very hard to keep a book in print, especially if there's not a long list of titles, all of which are successful, and then you have a sort of a brand name that you can keep in print. AD: And if the writer is deceased, and not producing more titles to come along-FP: That's right. AD: Well, one writer who has gotten some due in recent years, thanks partially to your efforts through the years, is [Cyril] Kornbluth, of course. the second edition of Science Fiction Writers, reviewed in this issue of SFRAReview. The retro color cover might have come from an issue of Science Wonder Stories. OLAFSTAPLEDON,MEET PAMELA ZOUNE Neil Barron writes: A June book from Free Press by astrophysidsts Fred Adams (Michigan) and Greg Laughlin (Berkeley), The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity ($25, ISBN 0684-85422-8), is a bit outside the SFRAReview's scope but o( assodotional interest They view time in logorithmic cosmological "decades," each decade I cr (1000) years in length. We're early in the tenth cosmological decade, ten to the tenth power, or I 0 billion years since the big bang. Our present Steliferous era of galaxies, stars, and planets will continue through the fourteenth decade, (ollowed by a Degenerate &a o( twenty-five decades o( cooling suns, leading to a Black Hole era more than sixty decades long (ten followed by sixty zeros). The final chapter is the Dark &a, ending in the famous heat death of the universe. The authors speculate on the survival o( intelligent life throughout this entire history. But wait, there's more: 10 to the I OOth years after the big bang. new universes will burst into existence. I( things aren't going well for you, stick around. PUBUC THANKS Thanks to Paula Courtney for her help keyboarding text for #240 and #241. BORGO PRESS WRITES ITS AUTHORS The closing of Borgo Press was announced in #240. SFRAReview coeditor Karen Hellekson received a letter dated June I, 1999, from Robert Reginald and Mary Burgess, the publishers of Borgo, cancelling her contraa for her book on Cordwainer Smith, which was under contraa at Sorgo. The text of


the letter, which was addressed to all authors as a form letter, is as follows: After much soul-searching, we've dedded to close the doors of Bargo Press in June, after 24 years of operation. Effective immediately, we are cancelling all agreements for Bargo Press books for which contracts have been issued, but which have never actually been published by us, and all rights in and to those works are hereby reverted to their authors, their heirs or assigns. If you wish your manuscripts returned, please let us know before the end of June. We wish all of you well in the future. As the poet says, Frustra laborat qui om nibus placere studet The SFRAReview wishes Borgo's publishers the best of luck. Stay tuned for more word on ways for SFRA to help fill the hole that Borgo's closing has cre ated. David G. Hartwell & Milton T. Wolf, editors A definitive classroom reading anthology of modern SF -endorsed by the Sdence Fiction Research Assodation David G. Hartwell, award-winning an thologist, and Professor Milton T. Wolf, past Vice President of the Science Fiction Research Association, present a carefully selected reading anthology reflecting the SF field in all its modem diversity. Here are Golden Age writers like John W. Campbell and Jack Williamson, and here also are towering latter-day titans like Gene Wolfe and Ursula K. Le Guin, along with up-to-the-minute popular writers such as Greg Bear, Robert Jordan, and Vernor Vinge. 800 pages. Paperback: $24.95 (0-312-85287-8) Hardcover. $35.00 (0-312-86224-5) lor Books 175 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10010 A portion orthis book's royalties supports the Science FlCtionResearch Association. FP: Yeah. AD: Do you feel that you taught each other something, as writers? FP: I think so, yeah. I know Cyril taught me a lot. When I'm stuck in a story, I sometimes think, well, suppose this was the end of the four pages I had written and then I'd turn it overto Cyril, what would he do next? And once in a great while, that helps. But he was an endlessly inventive, facile writer, who wrote beautifully in the ftrst draft. I don't think he ever did much rewriting. But he had the ability to create characters, as well as interesting science ftctional ideas and problems. AD: Do you think you taught him anything? FP: I hope so. I was his agent as well as his collaborator. One thing I tried to teach him was not to kill off all his characters at the end of the story, which he was in clined to do. AD: Do you think that was indicative of anything? FP: Yeah. He hated them. AD: There's some anecdote I read, where you were taking him to see Campbell, thinking it would logically help his career, ifhe met Campbell and made nice, but it didn't go well-FP: And he was extraordinarily surly to Campbell. And when we were outside, I said, "Cyril, what the hell was going on there?" And he said, "I just wanted to make sure he'd remember me." Actually, Campbell liked his work. He published a fair amount of it, some in collaboration with me. In fact, the only things I ever sold to Campbell were collaborations with somebody else-"The Quaker Cannon," with Cyril [Analog, 1961], and a couple of early stories with Milt Rothman, stuff like that. AD: Brett Cox asked me to ask you this, and I think it's a good question. You've been professionally writing about the future, now, for much of the twentieth century-FP: That's true. AD: -and we wondered, in what ways is the world today, as we crest the millen nium, better than the future you envisioned, back when-and in what ways is it worse? FP: I hope it's better than most of the futures I envisioned, because they were de liberately what-I'm having trouble with names today-the person who wroteSir-anyway, what he called "comic infernos." Who am I talking about? He wrote the first big critical volume on science fiction that actually sold copies to a number of people [New Maps qfHefl, 1960]. AD:Amis. FP: Kingsley Amis, Sir Kingsley. He called them "comic infernos," and I think that was a trademark of mine for a long time. Because they were infernos-they were kinds of worlds that nobody would want to live in, but people were stuck living in them. People have asked me if I thought my stories were going to come true, and I said, "My God, I hope not." AD: Is there any particular trap or pitfall for the year 2000 that we seem to have


avoided, a bullet we've dodged? FP: Nuclear war. An all-out nuclear war hasn't happened, and I wouldn't have bet a nickel on that in 1946. But I'm not sure that that's entirely a good thing. I mean, now we've got up to, what, 7 billion population right over the horizon? And maybe a nuclear war would have solved that problem for us. Or maybe it would not. I mean, World War II, something like a hundred million people were killed, but the world population at the end of the war was still higher than it was at the beginning. You cannot beat the human race for reproducing. AD: Are there any ways in which the world today is worse, in ways that you didn't anticipate in those "infernos"? FP: I hadn't anticipated the easy availability of rapid-fire weapons for kids. In 1950 or so, there was a lot of concern about teenage gangs, but they easily used knives or revolvers or something like that. Cyril and I wrote a story called "Gladiator-at Law" [1955], which is basically about teenage gangs, and A Clockwork Orange [1962] is also a response to the same thing--quite different response, but it comes to the same thing-by Anthony Burgess. And I think the most depressing thought we had about teenage crime, or even younger-than-teenage crime, would be that kids would beat each other up and steal from the grownups. We did not consider that somebody might walk into a high school with a bunch of rapid-fire weapons and decimate a whole class. In fact, I fmd that difficult to believe right now. Which is why I am an implacable foe of the National Rifle Asso ciation. AD: Did you ever have political run-ins with your fellow science fiction writers through the years, for your stances on various things? FP: Heinlein and I spent one long night arguing with each other, but it was friendly. He was really trying to help me out, and I was doing the same for him. AD: Out of your unenlightened states? FP: Yeah. AD: As one of the architects of science fiction as we know it, what's your view of the state of science fiction today? We read so much about that in the New York Retiew [0/ Science Fiction], and other places. And where do you think its future lies? FP: I'm not your best witness, because there's a lot of it that I haven't read, a lot of good stuff that I haven't read. I have books right now beside my bed that I think are going to be great-a new Vernor Vinge novel, for example, and a Sheri Tepper novel-all of which I have reason to believe I'm going to love, but I haven't been able to get around to reading them. But I think [Theodore] Sturgeon's Law has never applied with more strength than now. Ninety percent of science fiction is crud, but then ninety percent of everything's crud. And I think most of the science fiction being published now is derivative and uninter esting. Why people buy it, I don't know. But there's still that ten percent that knocks me out. Like Vinge. I mean, his ... A Fire upon the Deep [1992]-really grabbed me by the short hairs when I was reading. I never read a book that I was more taken with at first reading. And there are a lot of other great writers around. Connie Willis has written some very good stuff. Sheri Tepper. Ursula [Le Guin]. Quite a few. AD: How do you feel about the argument some make that Hollywood is this ultimately destructive force where written science fiction is concerned, with the tie-ins and imitations? FP: I think that may be a serious concern, that films and TV are going to suck away most of the audience for written science fiction, if not directly, then indirectly, by spawning Star Trek and Star Wa1J and all that stuff-related books, that fill up the bookshelves so there's no room for anything else. And that disturbs me. But a lot of things have disturbed me in my life, and most of them never happened. I'm not seriously concerned about it. I really resent, or dislike or fear, a state of mind that I come across at cons, and my wife [Elizabeth Anne Hull] comes across in teaching science fiction-people who think they're devout science fiction fans, but know nothing of the printed word. They only know Star Warr and Star Trek and The X-Files and that stuff. And they miss so much. AD: Do you think that snobbery can work in reverse, too? Because I hear a lot at cons from people that just denounce any thing that comes out of Hollywood, or who seek to distance themselves from S tar Trek fans or the Star Wa1J fans. And you have written about Hollywood science fiction, too, some, in books here and there [for example, Science Fiction: Studies in Film,


with his son, Frederik Pohl IV (1981)]. You have some appreciation of it, of course. FP: I have some appreciation for the sensual experience of something like the first Star Wars movie, when that giant mother ship came out over the screen right over your head. You can't get a feeling like that in a book. Can't happen. But once you've started the adrenaline flowing, there's nothing being said in any of these movies that hasn't been said better and earlier in printed science fiction. I mean, [E. E.] "Doc" Smith's estate really should be collecting a bundle from Star WaTJ and Star Trek, because he invented the whole genre. AD: We'd welcome any questions, from anybody gathered here. Bud Foote: You mentioned the rapid-fire weapons. How do you understand that? Kids doing that? FP: I understand that there has always been a sizable number of kids who felt neglected or dissed or badly treated by their fel lows and really hated them for it. But it's only since the spread of the Uzis and all those other things that it's been possible for them to kill a whole bunch of people because they were not feeling happy about themselves. Fifty years ago, the guys in the black trench coats who killed a dozen people or so at the Columbine school might have got into a fistfight on the playground, but no one would have died. And I wish it were possible to take all of the hand weapons in the country and drop them into the ocean. They serve no function except to kill people. They're not sporting weapons. You don't hunt with them. And that's why, as I say, the NRA and I are deadly enemies. F. Brett Cox: I wanted to follow up on Andy's question about current science fiction with a question about the current science fiction community, or maybe lack of it. The conventions and conferences I've been to over the past couple or three years, and the things I read in The New York Retiew and other critical places, seem to have an increasingly almost elegiac tone. A sense that there was a coherent science fiction family, dating from approximately when you and your contemporaries started writing, and that that was something that everybody knew and everybody understood, and like any family there were disagreements and fights and all of that, but it was still sort of within the family-and that that has largely disappeared. FP: That has been a continuing theme in science fiction criticism as far back as I can remember. In 1960, I think it was, the winner of the fan-writing Hugo was an essay called, "What Killed Science Fiction"? And that was half a century ago, and it's still around. I don't think science fiction is killable. I do think that a lot of it has been diluted and diffused by the heavy reliance on books that are marketing tie-ins with TV programs or movies, and I don't care for that at all. But as long as there are people around who have new ideas and put them into words, there will be books coming out that I want to read. F. Brett Cox: Do you think that there's going to be, though, a continuing sense of a science fiction subculture or community? I'm trying to avoid using the word "fandom," but I guess that's really what I'm saying. I mean, I've noticed that within the past two or three years I've been to regional conventions, it seems to me that the people who are attending the conventions are in creasingly gray. And I don't see kids at these conventions, but I do see them at multimedia events and things like that. So what I'm talking about is the sense that there was a coherent subculture-fandom, science fiction community, whatever you want to call it-and that things have gotten so fragmented that that's going to go away, and in going away is going to remove some thing from what we know of as science fiction literature. FP: I think that's the reason for what somebody spoke of as the attempt of science fiction fans to distance themselves from Star Trek fans. Because I have very little in common with Star Trek fandom. I knew Gene Roddenberry. I watched the first three years [of the original series] with gradual declining interest. And I'm glad that it's been a success. But it is not connected with anything I do for a living or anything I do for pleasure. So I have no reason to want to talk to the people who find it a way of life. I think that more and more, there will be attempts to have two kinds of cons-the simon-pure ones, which have to do with the printed word, and the ones which are media events. I've been to some of the media events, and I fmd them depress ing. There was one large one every year, near O'Hare Airport, which is not far from where I live, and against my better judgment I was talked into attending one, to sign books. And there were, I think, five of us writers sitting there, with our pens at the ready. And I think in the hour, I signed six books, which was the all-time top of any of the other writers. Some of them never signed anything at all. Because the people there really didn't care about books. So, God bless them, let them live their lives, but let them live their lives apart from me. Solomon Davidoff: Are there any of your works whose sheer popularity has surprised you? A story or book that you didn't think would become as popular as it did?


FP: I think The Space Merchants really exceeded any dreams I had had of it. It's been continuously in print for forty-nine years or so. It's been translated into forty-five languages. We've sold the movie rights, and it's been adapted as a radio program, and all that stuff. And you know, I've said this before, and some of you have probably heard it, but when Cyril and I wrote The Space Merchants, we wrote it as a serial for Horace Gold's Gala:q r'Gravy Planet," 1952], and it was only after we had fmished it that I thought, "Gee, maybe we could get this published as a book." I was a literary agent at the time, and I knew every editor in the business who published science fiction. And one by one I submitted it to them, and one by one they bounced it, sometimes quite harshly. One editor took me aside and said, "Listen, Fred, we're personal friends, so I'm gonna have to tell you the truth. This manuscript is not of publishable quality. You need to get some professional writer to pull it together for you." And we never got a professional writer to pull it together. We found a publisher who didn't know it wasn't of publishable quality. And Ian Ballantine brought it out, and it's been, as I say, in print ever since, all over the world. Every once in a while I see that editor, and he says something like, "It's been a while since we've met," and I say, ''Yes, since the last time you told me it [The Space Merchants] couldn't be published." There are some long-delayed gratifications. AD: What in the world was the rationale for the rejections? FP: I guess that most of the book publishers, who really knew very little about science fiction, thought it was not really a sci ence fiction story because it didn't have any invading aliens, and it didn't take place off the surface of the earth. And if that was not the reason, I don't know the reason. [pause.] The other reason is that they were all idiots, but, you know .... AD: The short answer. FP: Yeah. John Campbell, as I said a moment ago, never published a story that was all my own. And I've never really understood why. He and I were friends when I was an agent. Something like 60 percent of everything he published, I sold him as an agent. It wasn't that he didn't want to do business with me. But once I submitted a story to him and I got back a letter saying, "Dear Fred: This is satire. As you know, I hate satire. Why don't you write me something more like The Space Merchants?" I never quite understood that one. AD: As somebody who was an agent for so long, what advice do you give young writers looking for their first agent? FP: To be very, very, very cautious. The best agents really won't take on any more writers, unless there's some overwhelming reason to do so, because they have enough clients now to take up their time. They don't want to dilute their efforts. So it's hard to get a really good agent to take you on, and the agents you can get are not necessarily good ones. There are a lot of very bad agents in the field, who don't know anything about science fiction or about publishing. There are also some distinctly crooked agents-there's been an expose in The New York Retiew qfBooks and Publishers Weeky-------who will read your manuscript, or pretend to read your manuscript, and say, "This is really interesting, but it needs touching up. You should go to one of these book doctors." And they go to the book doctor, who will charge them a thousand dollars or so for touching it up, and give $250 of that to the agent. And there's no hope that any of these books will ever be come publishable. If they do, it will have nothing to do with what the book doctor does to them. And there's a lot of that go-mgon. But basically, a new writer doesn't really need an agent. If you want to sell to the science fiction magazines, they're not fussy. Stories come in in a slush pile, and they may not get devoted, concentrated attention, but if there's anything good there, it will be found. I mean, everybody came out of the slush pile. As far as the books are concerned, it's somewhat harder, be cause some of the book editors won't even read an unagented manuscript. But, nevertheless, what you do is, you take your story-book or short story-and you send it off to somebody who might publish it. And at some point, maybe the phone will ring and somebody will say, "Hey, I like your book, I would like to publish it. Can we talk terms?" And at that point you say, "I'll have my agent call you," and hang up real fast. Then you look through the New York telephone book for the name of an agent-a good one-and you call him up and say, "I have this offer. Will you handle it for me?" And at that point he will take you on. But before that, it's not too easy, and it's not too likely. AD: Here's a future-of-the-field question. Could the field survive the demise of the few remaining science fiction magazines? FP: It pretty well has. The science fiction magazines almost became extinct a couple of times in the history of the field. There were something like thirty-six or thirty-seven magazines in 1940, and I think only about four in 1950. And how come there are so many [today], I don't know. I can prove, with unerring mathematical accuracy, that it's impossible to make a penny on pub-


lishing a science fiction magazine. But apparently there's something wrong with my figures, because they keep on doing it. And I think that it's a good thing for the field that there are lively and, I hope, profitable magazines, because for a beginning writer it's much more sensible to try writing short stories first, because the investment of time is so much less. If you write a novel and it turns out to be a clinker, you've wasted a year of your life. Short story, you've wasted maybe a couple of weeks. And also, you get better at writing as you continue to write, so I think you evolve more quickly with short stories. Tom Brennan: I think you mentioned that you spent some time in the Balkans? FP: Spent some time in Yugoslavia-well, in Eastern Europe in general, yeah. Tom Brennan: What is your view of the present situation? FP: Sheer horror. I traveled allover Yugoslavia when it was a country-Macedonia, Serbia, allover. And all these people that I met, to me, were Yugoslavians. It wasn't until the country fell apart that they began becoming ancestral foes of each other. And it broke my heart, because Yugoslavia was a country I liked very much. They were feisty, intelligent, forward-looking people. And how they came to regress into what they have now, I don't know. But it bodes ill, in my opinion, for the future of the world. I think what happens is, that someone like Milosevich, or one of the other local petty bosses, builds a career on defending his little comer of the world from every other, and convincing his people that they have to kill the people around them to be safe. And that is unfortunately easy to do, and unfortunately, hopelessly destructive. Betty Anne and I were once being interviewed by some person from a radio program, and he asked me a bunch of questions. Then he turned to Betty Anne and said, "Can you say in a few words what the basic burden of your husband's writ ing is?" And without stopping to think she said, "He wants everybody to play nicely together." And I think that is the basic message that's been in everything I've written. Joanna Russ's The Female Man Joanna Russ, The Female Man Beacon Press Paperback 721 Oanuary 1987) $12.00 ISBN: 0807063134 APPROACHING THE FEMALE MAN 0:-STUDY GUIDE FOR IHE FEIIAlE IIAII Rich Erlich Settings: apparently all on Earth, but nominally on historical continua different from ours: (1) the U.S.A. in 1969, but on an Earth where there's been no World War II; (2) Whileaway, a "good place" (eutopian) world about 1000 years from now, whose dominant species is sexually "one-form human" (monomorphic) with that form the female: all women and girls (see 7); (3) a ncar-future Earth where Manland and Womanland war; (4) our world, or a world very like it, for some of the more essaylike sections. Major Cast: Jeannine Didier: a 29-year-old "good girl" (my term) from the (mildly) alternative and blatantly male chauvinist Earth in 1969. "Jeannine" = French form of Joanna and cognates. Janet Evason: a cop from Whileaway who finds herself in Jeannine's world and later with the group with Jae!. ("Janet": di minutive of Jane; "Eva-son" = "child of Eva" [=EveJ.) Jael (Alice Reasoner): a warrior in the future quite literal battle of the sexes, trying to recruit the other three "]'s" to aid Womanland. In the biblical Book of Judges, the prophet and judge Deborah orders Barak to attack Sisera and his forces, whom Barak defeats. Sisera flees on foot to the tent of Jael, wife of Heber, a Kenite, because Sisera's people and the Kenites were at peace. Jael greeted Sisera, invited him in, covered him with a blanket, gave him milk when he asked for water, and when he was fast asleep, "took a nail of the tent and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto


him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground." (4.4-22, Geneva Bible [1560]; I have mod ernized the text.) Joanna: Authorial voice and a fusion of the J's. The J's have nearly identical genotypes; the differences among them are the result of their different worlds. [Erlichian Note: One thing you should learn in college is the following: Environment Genotype Time That is, everything that can be observed about any individual organism is the product of the individual's genetic endowment interacting with the environment over time.] The following is based in part on Beverly Friend, "The Female Man": rfScience Fiction Literature, edited by Frank N. Magill (Englewood Cliffs, N.].: Salem, 1979), 2.766-69. Below, EB3 indicates Enryclopaedia Britannica (1974), Microand Macropaedia. Overarching Question: Is The Female Man Science Fiction? Can you take seriously in PM the theory of a plenitude of universes? (Does Russ intend us to take the theory seriously?) The science as such is OK: Dream up Herr Prof. Dr. Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961) and borrow his famous imaginary cat. Put the cat in a seal able box with a device that will kill the cat if triggered. Attach to the device a trigger that will go on if a quantum (very tiny sub atomic) event takes place and won't if it doesn't. There's a 50 percent chance the event will take place (within a reasonable time). Wait that reasonable time. Unseal the box, but don't look (or listen or sense at all what happened in the box). Is the cat alive or dead? One theory of quantum events holds that quantum happenings don't happen until they're observed. So until some per ceiver perceives what happened to the cat, the cat in the sealed box (in this theory) is both alive and dead. As Schrodinger hoped, such a conclusion was disturbing. He underestimated, however, the ingenuity of physicists. He was answered with the concession that, indeed, the cat is either alive or dead, and it can't be both ... in anyone universe. Obviously, we need two universes created by the experiment: one where the cat is dead, and the other where the cat is alive. Etc.-for every event since the beginning of time. But Lord Shiva has always danced the worlds into being, and the Hindu sages needed no quantum mechanics to imag ine a plenitude (if not an infinity) of worlds. Ditto for other mystic sorts. Does PM have the look and feel of science fiction? A fantasy where one just wills one's way among the worlds? Is PM fiction? More precisely, for all the make-believe in FM, should the Beacon edition be labeled "Beacon Fiction" and shelved in a bookstore with the novels? Can you agree with the potential critics Russ mocks for saying that PM is a "pretense at a novel" using various "tricks of the anti-novelists" (p. 141)? Would it be best to classify FM as a eutopia com bined with a dystopia to form one kind of fairly traditional satire, but one that gives more space than usual in men's writing to the (eutopian) norm? If you think that's the case, try comparing and contrasting PM with Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726): Gulliver goes to four different "worlds" and his consciousness holds together the stories. Gulliver ends the story (1) hating humankind and (2) both highly sane and very crazy-dissociated. Perhaps in PM, dissociation is the place to start. Or maybe PM is a phi losophical novel in the tradition of Mof::y-Dick and the Russian novels Woody Allen lovingly mocks in Love and Death. All of the above? None? APPROACHING THE FEMALE MAN .. PREYIEW AND COMMENTARY Bill Dynes Preview Before reading .... This novel will bear comparing with Le Guin's The Lift Hand rfDarkness, and indeed Edward James discusses some of the parallels between The Female Man and Le Guin's later novel, The Dispossessed, briefly (p. 185). But if some of the issues in The Female Man are similar to those in The Left Hand rfDarkness, it's equally important to see the very real differences between them,


both in style and conclusion. Before reading Russ' novel, it will help to review James' discussions of the New Wave in science fiction. Eric Rabkin and Robert Scholes placed Russ "on the leading edge of the American New Wave," because she "helped to make the fictional new wave genuinely new and experimental in literary form rather than merely modish and fashionable" (p. 97). When you be gin reading The Female Man, you will see just how substantially the New Wave in science fiction sought to break free of the rela tively mundane, unsophisticated prose and structuring of earlier works. Whether the effort was worth it will be something for us to discuss! Some of the reviews of the novel that I've seen comment in shock and horror about the bitterness and anger of the novel. That's not a sentiment I share, but I suppose I can see where the reaction comes from. Perhaps it would be helpful, then, to spend some time recalling the cultural context in which the novel was first written and published. Just how have condi tions for American women changed between the late 1960s and early 1970s and the present day? Web EXC1Irsion #1 For a little background, you might begin with the Women's Rights Movement . The Center for the American Woman and Politics supplies statistics, rosters, and facts about women office holders; gender gap statistics; donor networks and P ACs. For information that is more specific to workplace issues, look at Working Women Working Together (AFL-CIO) . The Glass Ceiling Commission works to identify glass ceiling barriers and expand practices and policies which promote employment opportu nities for the advancement of minorities and women into positions of responsibility in the private sector. U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau has online information and informative publications about women in America's paid workforce. You might especially look at their (graphic-intensive) page on "Women's Jobs 1964-1997." Feminist Utopia is meant to be a site that offers you vari ous feminism and activism resources. And here's the home site for the National Organization of Women . The stylistic freedom of The Female Man allows Russ to bounce back and forth between four different versions of Earth. Jeannine lives in a 1969 which is still suffering from the Depression because World War II never happened. Joanna lives in our own at least that of our recent past. Janet lives in Whileaway, ten centuries in a future, where men no longer exist. And the fourth main character ... well, I'll let you meet her in your own time. Web EXC1Irsion #2 Russ neatly sidesteps some of the paradoxes associated with time travel in this novel. But if you're interested in the idea, and how Russ exploits it, you might look at Time Travel for Beginners or Physics Meets the Problem of Time . Here's another thor ough discussion of the physics of time travel: If that's not enough, try this Scientific American article, "The Nature of Space and Time," by Stephen W. Hawking and Roger Penrose. A more optimistic site claims time travel is possible . And now you can buy your own time machine ! (Some people will try anything to separate you from your moneyQ Stmctllre "You will notice that even my diction is becoming feminine, thus revealing my true nature; I am now saying 'Damn' any more, or 'Blast'; I am putting in lots of qualifiers like 'rather,' I am writing in these breathless little feminine tags, she threw herself down on the bcd, I have no structure (she thought), my thoughts seep out shapelessly like menstrual fluid, it is all very female and deep and full of essences, it is very primitive and full of 'and's,' it is called 'run-on sentences" (Female Man, p. 137). Is there a "feminine diction"-is the very structure and usage of language gendered? Russ uses the freedom and self consciousness of the New Wave of science fiction to explore the relationships between identity and culture, and if that experi mentation leads to a novel that is difficult to read, we have to admit too that the questions themselves are immensely difficult. Discussing another Russ novel, And Chaos Died, Scholes and Rabkin write that Russ "has aimed at a language, a style, adequate to convey various extrasensory experiences from the inside, not merely narrating such events in staid, detached prose" (p. 97). I believe that this statement helps us understand the complexities of style and structure here as well. The novel is less about a sequence of events than it is about the iterations of identity, the anxious self-consciousness by which we form our sense of who we are. Reading with this premise in mind, two particular challenges are worth discussing here. One challenge is the novel's violation of chronological narrative. That's hardly surprising in a story about characters


from four different times-it would be rather hard to tell both Joanna's and Janet's stories in a conventional chronology! But even within this context, the sequence of events is often challenging to piece together. In part this is because Russ withholds from us the identity of the fourth character until quite late in the novel, Part Eight, and until we meet Alice-Jael Reasoner, many of the details of the movement through time and space are impossible to understand. As you read, then, don't get frus trated by this fact. Rest assured that many of your questions will be answered! The other challenge grows out of this one; because we don't meet Jael until more than two-thirds of the novel is be hind us, the identity of the narrative voice in many of the sections is obscure. This isn't to say that, anytime you can't figure out who is doing the talking you should assume it's Jael-that's not the case. But the ambiguity of the narrative voice, which is a deliberate aspect of the novel's thematic strategy, is increased by this mystery surroundingJael's presence, identity, and pur pose. I would suggest, however, that this feature, the ambiguity of the narrative voice, is also one of the keys to the novel as a whole. We'll discuss characterization further in the appropriate place, but here it's worth saying that the reader's effort to dis tinguish the narrator of any particular section may often be more trouble than it's worth. Ultimately, the novel is Joanna's. Per haps this question helps: in what ways do the various voices of the novel, whether Jael's, Janet's, or someone else's, reflect upon and further our understanding of Joanna Russ, the character and author? Characterization The characterization of The Female Man is no more conventional than it's style and structure is, as you may have already noticed. The key, of course, is Jael's assertion that the four women, Jael, Janet, Jeannine, and Joanna, are "essentially the same genotype, modified by age, by circumstances, by education, by diet, by learning, by God knows what" (p. 161). They are "less alike than identical twins, to be sure, but much more alike than strangers have any right to be" (p. 161). But of course the women are strangers to each other, even after the months they spend together and the "adventures" that they share. Their perception into and understanding of each other's perspectives are limited by the vast dif ferences in their backgrounds, true, but also by this very similarity. In other words, Joanna's resistance to Jeannine almost cer tainly reflects J oarma' s discomfort with what Jeannine represents to her about herself. Janet is far less dis turbed by Jeannine's emotional frailty because that emotional condition represents no threat to her, as it must to Joanna, who has been struggling against that conditioning most of her life. Thus we do not look for the kind of rich, complex characterization that we were afforded in Genly Ai or even Brother Francis. If these women are "different versions or potentialities of the same person" Games, p. 185), then we look for broader character types: Jeannine the timid "good girl," Janet the powerful Warrior-Woman, Joanna the troubled, struggling the violent and disturbed soldier/spy. What glimpses into the private histories of these characters we are given is more generic than specific, and this allows Russ to explore the forces in our own society that shape similar aspects in our own characters. And yes, the first person plural in that last sentence was intentional. To an extent, the novel argues convincingly that certain readers are necessarily distanced from a full emotional contact with these characters because those readers do not share any direct experiential link with them. As a male reader, of course, I can never fully identify with the subtle social pressures that Joanna fmds so debilitating, and I suspect that even female readers of the late 1990s will fmd some of the anger and frustration of the novel to be extreme. This should be an issue for us to discuss further; to what extent are we invited to share in the emo tional experiences of these characters, and to what extent are we simply expected to watch from a distance? My own sense is that, while specifics change, many of the general pressures that Russ is exploring here are constantly with us. I'd like to believe that women who are raped are no longer made to feel that they are responsible for the crime (pp. 192-96), and I'd like to believe that women are welcomed into the work force because they have something to contribute as individuals, not because their presence "adds a decorative touch to the office" (p. 43). But I do know that the games that "ethologists call dominance behavior" (p. 93) go on continually-and that they are not limited to gender inequity, although that is the aspect that this novel explores. Themes As the chief representative of the New Wave in our reading list, The Female Mall recommends itself not only for the ideas that it considers, but for the manner it which it considers them, too. As we move from this novel to Neuromancer or Red Mars, consider that in important ways neither of these books would have been possible had writers like Russ, Thomas Disch, and Samuel Delany not first explored new territory for the genre. Of Russ, Scholes and Rabkin write that "her contribution to the New Wave of science fiction is important in two respects: her language is among the most alive, vigorous and daring of any ... and her commitment to radical feminism ... is typical of the social consciousness of this movement" (p. 97). But of course I don't mean to imply that the novel is interesting or worth reading only insofar as it sheds light on the development of science fiction. What is most powerful here is the novel's passionate exploration of the manners in which so-


cialization-the pressures, both subtle and unsubtle, that our culture places upon us-shapes our hopes, our capacities, our very selves. Many commentators focus on the anger and frustration of the novel, and that element is certainly there. But there is also a strong current of humor here, too; many of Joanna's observations of the rituals and games of modern life are very funny. The little pink and blue books (pp. 45-47) that we all carry around with us strike me as a very effective insight; I just wish that my own little book were easier to read! We can also consider the novel in the context of utopian fiction; Whileaway, while hardly idyllic, does have some obvious advantages as a culture, while Jael's world is a frighteningly familiar dystopia. One of the recurrent themes in utopian lit erature is a politically conservative sacrifice of individual autonomy. In the first self-conscious Utopia, by Sir Thomas More, for example, citizens voluntarily spent years working in the farms outside the city, submitting to this labor in the name of the greater good. We see some of this in Whileaway, too; citizens follow a fairly rigors set of cultural expectations and require ments. Yet we should also explore the justification for this (see especially section 4 of Part Three). The traumatic sundering from the mother at age four "gives Whileawayan life its characteristic independence, its dissatisfaction, its suspicion, and its tendency toward a rather irritable solipsism," Janet explains (p. 52). But she also claims that "eternal optimism hides behind this dissatisfaction" (p. 52), and the list of "What Whileawayans Celebrate" (pp. 102-3) certainly seems inviting! Just how idyllic does Whileaway appear to you, and what do you feel to be the root causes of whatever strengths it has? In Part Seven, section 3, Russ rattles off a pointed and exhaustive list of critical reactions to her book, and what I find interesting here is not so much the fact that all the reactions are negative, but that they use critical, political, and psychothera peutic jargon to mask the fact that they are ignoring the ideas of the book altogether. To dismiss The Female Man as "another tract" or "shrill polemic," or to attack its "feminine lack of objectivity" is to get and miss the point all at once. The novel's po litical position is clear and unapologetic, but it shouldn't be read merely as politics. Is Russ advocating violent rebellion when she describes Jael's attack on The Boss, or even when Joanna confesses, "I committed my first revolutionary act yesterday. I shut the door on a man's thumb" (p. 203)? I doubt it. Novels aren't particularly good at starting revolutions, although another woman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, a novel that Abraham Lincoln jokingly referred to as the book that started the Civil War. If, then, the novel is at some level about the insidious process of socialization-a father telling his son that a cautious driver "drives like a lady" (p. 201), a young girl made to feel responsible for her own rape-then the themes here are political and more than political. In her "Farewell to her book" in the novel's closing pages, Russ borrows from a classic structure to peer into the future. Rather than claiming to write for all people and for all time, the author hopes for the day when her book becomes "quaint and old-fashioned," because "on that day, we will be free" (pp. 213-14). Do you feel that we've reached that day yet? Would you have answered that question any differently before you read the novel? Works Cited James, Edward. Science Fiaion in the 20th Century. Oxford University Press, 1994. Scholes, Robert, and Eric S. Rabkin. Science Fiaion: History, Science, Vision. London: Oxford University Press, 1977. 0=-BIBLIOGRAPHY Hal Hall The following bibliographical lists are based on the following texts: Hall, Hall W. Science Fiction and Fantary Riference Index 1878-1985. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research, 1987. ---. Science Fiction afld Fantary Riference Index 1985-1991. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1993. ---. Science Fiction and Fantary Reference Index 1992-1995. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1997. On The Female Man: Ayres, Susan. "The Straight Mind in Russ's The Female Man." Science-Fiction Studies 22, no. 1 (March 1995): 22-34. Barr, Marleen S. "Science Fiction's Invisible Female Man: Feminism, Formula, Word and World in 'When It Changed' and 'The Women Men Don't See.'" In Jllst the Other Dqy, edited by Luk De Vos, pp. 433-37. Antwerp: Restant, 1985. Pringle, David. "Female Man by Joanna Russ (1975)." In Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, pp. 175-76. New York: Carroll and Graf,1985. Sauter-Bailliet, Theresia. "Joanna Russ, The Female Man (1975)." In Der Science Fiaion Roman in der angloamerikanisch en Uteratur: Interprelationen, edited by Harmut Heuermann, pp. 355-74. Dusseldorf: Bagel, 1986.


Spencer, Kathleen L. "Rescuing the Female Child: The Fiction of Joanna Russ" Science-Fiction Studies 17, no. 2 Ouly 1990): 167-87. On Russ in general, including the above items: Allman, John. "Mothemess Creations: Motifs in Science Fiction." North Dakota QuarterlY 58, no. 2 (Spring 1990): 124-32. Barnouw, Dagmar. Die Versuchte Realitat, oder, von der Mglichkeit, glucklichere Welten if' Denken. Meitingen: Corian Verlag, 1985. Barr, Marleen S. "Science Fiction's Invisible Female Man: Feminism, Formula, Word and World in 'When It Changed' and 'The Women Men Don't See.' In Just the Other Dqy, edited by Luk De Vos, pp. 433-37. Antwerp: Restant, 1985. Bartkowski, Frances. Feminist Utopias. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989. Broderick, Darnien and Joanna Russ. ''Broderick-Russ Correspondence." Australian Science Fiction Review 2, no. 3 (May 1987): 9-18. Garland, Barbara. "Joanna Russ." In Twentieth-Century American Science Fiction Writers, Part II: M-Z, edited by David Cowart, pp. 88-93. Detroit: Gale, 1981. Gilliam, Rhonda K. Sexualiry and Setting: Modes if Characterization in Selected Novels if Joanna Russ. Master's thesis, Texas Tech Uni versity, 1988. Glenn, Ellen W. Androgynous Woman Character in the American NoveL Ph.D. dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1980 (DAr 41:4713A). Maddem, Philippa. "True Stories: Women's Writing in Science Fiction." Meanjin 44, no. 1 (March 1985): 110-23. McCaffery, Larry. "An Interview with Joanna Russ." In Across the Wounded Galaxies, pp. 176-210. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990. McCoy, Joan. "Women Provide New Twist to Science Fiction." Rocky Mountain News, August 7, 1976. In NewsBank literature 60 (1976): A6. Murphy, Patrick D. "Gender Politics: Epithet of Accolade? Or, Feminist SF and the Case of Joanna Russ." New York Review if Science Fiction 10 Oune 1989): 1,3-5. ---. "The Left Hand of the Pilgrim: Joanna Russ's Contributions to Criticism." New York Review if Science Fiction 18 (February 1990): 1,3-6. Platt, Charles. "Interview mit Joanna Russ" Science Fiction Times [Germany] 28, no. 4 (April 1986): 5-10. "Reflections on Science Fiction: Interview with Joanna Russ." Quest: A Feminist QuarterlY 2, no. 1 (Summer 1975): 40-44. Robinson, Sally. "The 'Anti-logos Weapon': Multiplicity in Women's Texts." Contemporary literature 29 (Spring 1998): 105-24. Spencer, Kathleen L. "Rescuing the Female Child: The Fiction of Joanna Russ." Science-Fiction Studies 17, no. 2 Ouly 1990): 167-87. Weber,Jean. ''Visions: Joanna Russ." Science Fiction: A Review qf SpeCtllative literature 10, no. 2 (1989): 64-65. [Whole no. 29] POETRY REVIEW SIXTY ODD Sandra Lindow Le Guin, Ursula K. Sixty Odd: New Poems. Shambhala Publications, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, April 1999. xi + 98 p., $14, trade paper, ISBN 1-57062-388-0. Le Guin's The Twins, the Dream-Two Voices was a collaboration with prize-winning Argentina poet Diana Bellessi, and it received considerable critical regard. SixtY Odd, her fifth book of poetry, is a smaller, more intimate work, each poem a tiny piece of the poet's inner life. She writes in her preface, "It seems to me that the connection of poetry with experience is more immediate and intense than that of prose, yet more oblique than mysterious-altogether more paradoxical. And that our poetry is often less inventive, more literal, than our fiction." She goes on to suggest that her poems begin in two ways that she calls "catching" and "following." A poem catches and holds an emotional experience like an insect in amber or, as in "Moming Ser vice," "a white butterfly / by the red fuses of fuschias." A poem also follows the sounds and rhythms of words that fit well together as they romp along, freeing the right brain to speak its own intuitive truth. "Hexagram 45" suggests this process: "Gather round me all my words / ... peasants, merchants, artisans, lords, / common nouns and working verbs." Le Guin sug gests the two processes eventually combine in the process of revision. SixtY Odd has two parts. "Circling to Descend" revolves around issues of life, death, and aging. "Old Age" is "a new country. A different weather. / Different laws, / punitive, drastic, any infringement / punished at once by torture." It is a dry country where she must "learn to live drily." The second part, "The Mirror Gallery," consists of poetic sketches of people Le


Guin used to know. She "wanted to reach back to them" in the kind of round dance "many of us dance in our minds as we grow old." These poems about odd relatives, her parents' visitors, her childhood friends and later lovers swirl around her like "the Grandmother Dance at the powwow, / the circling, the singing, and the endless drumming / the intent faces passing, coming past, coming round." They are not sweet nostalgia, for there is sadness, confusion, anger-the college lover who taught her "how to lie / both down and to / ... and why women have abortions." They are, perhaps, attempts at personal clo sure. The final poem, "You, Her, I," evocatively touches her complex relationship with her accomplished mother: "Shall I evade you all my life / and call it looking for you? / Words would never hold you. / To whom does an old woman say / Mother, let me come to you?" Accessible as memories and opinions shared over cups of tea in Le Guill's kitchen, these poems reveal the poet at sixty-odd years, an age where there is time to contemplate small creatures-acorn woodpeckers, blackcapped chickadees-and permission to speak out vehemently on the world's failings. For instance, "'The scarcity of rhinos on the television" pairs the near extinction of the rhino with the dearth of imagination on TV. In "October 11, 1491," she blames Columbus for Native American suffering: "You will see three ships coming sailing in / Out of the east the kinds will come. / And the world will grow old / that morning. It will begin to die." Le Guin takes the responsibilities of the grandmother/ crone seriously. If the poet-tea is a bitter sometimes, and some of these poems are overly didactic, the grandmother reminds us that they are, never theless, good for us. FICTION REVIEW A. CRYPTONOI1ICON Craig Jacobsen Stephenson, Neil. Cryptonomicon. New York: Avon. 1999. 918 pages. hardback, $27.50. ISBN 0-380-97346-4 Whether Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon is science fiction depends upon whether you think that a book whose tech nological speculation includes such improbable artifacts as fiber optic cable and notebook computers qualifies. Since the book examines how technology affects the lives of people individually and collectively, Cryptonomicon certainly qualifies according to some of the available definitions. Unlike Stephenson's earlier novels Snow Crash and The DiamondAge, Cryptonomicon's future lies no farther off than next Tuesday. In one plot line, the book follows computer,expert Randy Waterhouse as he leaves his job managing a college computer network and joins a business venture wiring Pacific islands for the internet. Soon Randy finds himself involved in creat ing a data haven (a sort of Swiss bank account for sensitive information), while simultaneously balancing intrigue amongst in ternational corporations and organized crime, helping recover gold bars from a sunken Nazi submarine, and falling in love with one of the recovery divers, America (Amy) Shaftoe, daughter of his gung-ho partner Douglas MacArthur Shaftoe. Meanwhile, a flashback story line tells the story of Lawrence Waterhouse (Randy's grandfather), a gifted mathemati cian recruited to help crack Axis codes for the Allies. Lawrence's work takes him through various odd assignments, including supervising a special unit designed to keep the Axis convinced that their already-compromised codes remain secure even when the Allies find German convoys with uncanny accuracy. The resulting missions show the absurd humor and ironic worldview that frequently get Stephenson compared to Thomas Pynchon. In fact, this book resembles a more accessible Gravity's Rainbow in form, voice and setting. The World War Two story line also introduces Bobby Shaftoe, Douglas MacArthur Shaftoe's marine father, whose adventures take him through both the Pacific and European theatres, and the novel's fourth viewpoint character, Goto Dengo. Dengo, a Japanese engineer, helps hide Japanese gold as MacArthur's troops retake the Philippines and later helps the general rebuild Japan. These characters' stories intersect ways that often can be recognized only by the reader, thanks to a distanced and privileged perspective. This complexly intertwined secret history novel remains funny, engaging, and even compelling while exploring ad vanced mathematics, the nature of language and cryptology, and the origins and implications of the computer age. Cryptonomicon begins a trilogy, but at over nine hundred pages it stands quite well on its own, leaving only a few (minor) obvious threads un resolved. The book's length probably prohibits easy classroom use, but it should interest anyone looking at intersections be tween literary fiction and science fiction, given Stephenson's affinities with Pynchon, Don DeLillo and similar authors. FICTION REVIEW A VIGILANT Warren Rochelle Gardner, James Alan. Vigilant. New York: Avon Books, 1999. 374 pages, paper, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-80208-2.


police procedural affect the reader? Of course, even as labels define, they also limit, and there are probably only a few books that don't cross or blur generic boundaries. Even so, labels are useful tools. The reader is given a frame of reference, or a con text, in which to place the story. Such a context will then generate reader expectations, and give the reader an idea as to just what territory he or she is entering. (Whether or not the writer works within or against such expectations is another matter, and a part of the pleasure of reading.) Now, what does my preamble have to do with Vigilant, by James Alan Gardner? A lot-as I tried, in a rather loose fashion, to label Gardner's novel, I found one was not enough. Vigilant is a science fiction mystery/adventure like his second, Commitment Hour. Who or what is killing the planet Demoth's government watchdogs, the Vigilants? Who or what is the force helping Faye Smallwood, the protagonist and new Vigil proctor? The adventure is part of this mystery, with the standard chase and-rescue, and a budding romance thrown in. Vigilant is also a disaster novel, specifically a plague, which raises such questions as how do these murders connect to the planetary epidemic that, twenty-five years ago, wiped out millions of the other of Demoth's two intelligent species, the Ooloms? The novel is also a Bildungsroman, as it is the coming-of-age story of the protagonist, Faye Smallwood, a story told from her perspective, in her distinctive voice. "I want to tell you everything, everything all at once," Faye says and thus the story begins, when she is fifteen, in the time of the plague, a time that leaves an indelible mark on all involved. The story that she tells is the story of the succeeding years of life, which are, for Faye, a long and gradual coming of age. There is one more genre, a fourth, for Vigilant: utopia. The society of the Ooloms, and the Ooloms themselves, are products, made to fulfill a billionaire's dream to "show the world he could design a utopia." The Ooloms, part of this package, are "a genetically engineered branch of the Divian race: basically humanoid, but with scaly skins that [change] color like widespectrum chameleons." They are also "equipped with glider membranes on the general model of flying squirrels." But the most singular part of the billionaire's utopia is the Vigil: "A constitutionally entrenched organization for watchdogging the govern ment. Empowered to open any government file no matter how secret, to interrogate public officials from the lowliest sewer worker to the Speaker-General, to scrutinize every department and bureau and commission and regulation board ... To monitor all the politicians, bureaucrats, consultants ... and to report unflinchingly when any of these petty emperors had no clothes." And the Ooloms made it work, their secret being that their brains have been rewired to have direct links to the plane tary datasphere. Secrets cannot be kept; all questions will be answered, or, in other words, think of the Vigil as SixtY Minutes with legal clout. Creating a utopia through genetic and/or social engineering is familiar stuff for SF readers; Barnes's Orbital Resonance and its neo-social construct is but one recent example. Gardner's fresh nuance is the notion one can order a complete society, as if there were some huge catalog. Equally as familiar as utopia in science fiction is the Bildungsroman. Gardner's Faye can placed in a direct feminine line of literary descent, beginning with Melpomene Murray in Barnes's Orbital Resonance, and then one generation back to Heinlein's Podkayne. AIl three are first-person narrators whose stories have the flavor of a confessional or retrospective memoir, or a per sonal diary or journal. They are telling their stories not just to keep a record, but also to make sense of their own experiences and to better understand themselves and the worlds in which they live. Each of these protagonists tell their coming-of-age story, exploring and testing the relationships in their lives as they try to figure out who they are and how they can participate in their worlds. There are other character parallels: conflicts and misunderstandings with their mothers (OK, this point does stretch a bit with Podkayne), sexual awakening, a mystery or mysteries to be solved, and so on. In a way, Faye's story is one of prolonged adolescence, a delayed coming of age. Her group marriage and the added responsibility of comothering her cowives' children-"being Mom-Faye"-brings inevitable change and growth and the slow realization "that [her] soul may not be an irredeemable cesspool." These changes eventually give Faye the emotional and men tal space to ask herself who she is and what does she want to do with her life. The answer is "To live in the real," and "To name the lies"-and so she enters the College Vigilant. So Faye grows up. Thus, growing up becomes the novel's primary theme and coming of age its primary genre. The other three-utopia, mystery/adventure, and the great disaster-are contained within Faye'S story. The mystery/adventure is her first case as a proc tor. The plague's origin turns out to be part of this mystery. The utopia provides the novel's background and history, a context in which to operate. Faye, as the narrator, the storyteller, creates and brings together all of these different elements of the world of Demoth. Demoth as a distinct world is evoked through details-and this evocation is perhaps the novel's greatest strength. Ramos's Explorer Corps is staffed only by those deemed expendable: those with physical handicaps or deformities. Oolom children run and touch humans on their butts to feel their relatively hotter bodies. When an Oolom is buried, the body is posi tioned at the root of a snake-belly palm, which grows up to enclose the corpse so that an Oolom cemetery has "no ornamental landscaping, no headstones, no crypts--just a forest of snake-belly palms, each one the height of a person." The idea of world weary elevators will make me think twice when I next ride one. Giggling nanites inhabit the "clear membrane" of windows. To


have Faye stop killer-attack androids by yelling "stop, you're making me allergic" is a nice twist to Asimov's Laws of Robotics. And the ancient source of the Oolom-killing plague itself, the Peacock and Xe, immortal godlike lovers, who act out their jeal ousies through the suicidal Greenstriders, previous inhabitants of De moth, makes an intriguing subplot. Faye herself is presented in rich and varied detail, a wounded soul needing, seeking, and finding redemption and new growth. There is her defiant anger and her adolescent and young adult sexual promiscuity-"having listless sex with anyone drunk enough to reciprocate" -and her self-mutilation. She cuts off so many of her freckles that she only goes bare-armed among those who know her well. However, even as such details make Faye Smallwood an interesting character, there are oth ers that distract the reader's attention from her to the details themselves. Faye's language, while admirably idiosyncratic, is, at the same time, annoying. Everything is blessed and her speech is liberally sprinkled with such adjectives as plod-patient, skin under, glossy-hard, flicky-brief, clown-stupid, and hold-your-breath-beautiful-hyphenation above and beyond the call of duty. Although these flippant compound adjectives do reinforce the idea of her delayed growth, they ultimately serve only to draw the reader's attention away from Faye and the story she is telling. Also too flip and too easy was the deus ex machina entrance of Faye's white knight to the rescue, Festina Ramos, Lieu tenant Admiral in the Explorer Corps. While adding an interesting subplot of the romantic attraction between the two women, it is seems a little too convenient for Ramos to arrive on Demoth just two hours after Faye has been kidnapped. As improbable are the motives of the arch-villain, archaeologist Maya Cuttack, who "knocked off a slew of proctors" just to kill Faye and thus relieve the pain of Maya's "dearest, dearest friend," Faye's mother. Maya goes crazy because Faye is an ungrateful daughter to her friend? And surely by the twenty-fifth century humans would have the medical knowledge to correct such c0ngenital de fects as a birthmark covering half a face. Overall, I enjoyed and applaud the ideas at work here, especially the Vigil and Faye's coming of age as part of the Vigil's story. Here is a society that fought its AIDS epidemic. The League of Peoples is perhaps one of the most civilized galac tic organizations I have yet seen: To be violent is to be nonsentient. Vigilant, of course, should, and will be added to the rich bibliography of utopian literature, and Faye is obviously kin to Podkayne and Melpomene, but Faye's language becomes less a way to demonstrate her slow growth and more of a hindrance. Although fast action is certainly called for in any good adven ture tale, too fast and too easy action strains the reader's credulity. There doesn't seem to be quite not enough space for all the parts-the different characters, the multiple species, the subplots, the four genres-to be as effective as they could have been. FICTION REVIEW .... SINGER FROM THE SEA Karen Hellekson Tepper, Sheri S. Singer from the Sea. New York: Ace, 1999,426 pp. $24, hardcover, ISBN 0-380-97480-0. Sheri Tepper's latest novel touches on familiar themes: feminism, ecology, love, loss, social analysis. Unlike Six Moon Dance, which played overtly with gender and had the masculine playfully pretending to be the feminine and vice versa, Singer from the Sea uses traditional gender roles raised to the nth degree to make its points. In this novel, women are shut away, killed, veiled, drugged, sacrificed, and tracked by dogs by the men who manipulate them. 1be very complexity of this novel makes it difficult to summarize. The theme oflove and loss, however, is the most pervasive. The novel begins in media res, with the protagonist, Genevieve, dreaming she has to abandon her infant child and run for her life. "The end was the only possible destination," the opening chapter concludes. "One could not, ever, go back to the beginning" (p. 13). Though the text then goes back to the beginning and starts telling Genevieve's story from girlhood on, the reader continually peers beneath the veneer of comforting, everyday life to find the shock and horror, the feeling that there is no going back, so evident in the opening section. When the events that Genevieve foresaw come to be, we know that Gene vieve can't go back; she must face a destiny she has been bred for. The reader peels through the hints and allusions Tepper provides to build a picture of Genevieve's world, Haven, a world hostile to its noble women while pretending to give them everything they could want. Noble women marry young, but they tend to die in childbirth, although common women do not suffer from this problem. Why are the noble women in such short supply? The men appear to be complicitous in the women's disappearance, but Genevieve can't figure out why. Gene vieve watches as one man, in love with one woman, marries another. When his wife dies, Genevieve realizes he has in effect sacrificed someone he didn't love to save someone he did. Men as well as women suffer; but the men suffer loss while the women lose their lives. Coupled with this love and loss on a human scale is love and loss on a planetary scale. Haven makes a drug called P'Naki, which can extend life to unimaginable lengths. The rulers of Haven give it to their courtiers as a mark of favor. It is Haven's chief export. But how is it made? Inhabitants of the nearby warlike planet Ares want to find out, and they send spies


to discover all, going so far as to go to war with Haven. Ares' world spirit has left the planet, with one result being that inhabi tants just wind down and cease to move, a condition horribly paralleled on Haven. Haven, as a planet, still has a capacity to love and protect its inhabitants, a capacity that Genevieve, with her visions and special powers, must learn to tap before it's too late. Her own courtship, marriage, pregnancy, and birth parallel her growing understanding of her self and her possibilitiespossibilities that may alienate her husband and that separate her from other women. Tepper's control over her voice is masterful. She uses Maori words in sections to evoke a sense of continuity from Earth culture to Haven culture. This sense of timelessness is mirrored by the timelessness of the sea that is so important to the plot. Singer from the Sea has an ingeniously constructed plot, a complex heroine (although certain information is withheld from the reader too coyly), and themes of real import. This coming-of-age story addresses hard topics directly and interestingly. FICTION REVIEW ....... MISSION CHILD Ellen Rigsby McHugh, Maureen. Mission Child. New York: Avon Books, 1998.385 pages, hardcover, $20.00, ISBN 0-380-9756-8. Mission Child is a future history of colonization. Earth achieved long-term space travel and used it to colonize a few relatively near planets, but then lost touch with the colonies for several generations. Now they have returned to reestablish con tact. The story begins with Jan/Janna, a young woman from an Innuit-like culture who is raised in a mission founded by "the off-world cousins." Jan/Janna begins her story as a young girl who is caught between her native people and her upbringing in a "mission," a village founded by the Off-worlders hoping to mitigate the effects of Off-worlder culture rapidly spreading to those native to the planet. Eventually her husband's death leads Janna to dress up as a boy to protect herself, and as she takes the male version of her name,Jan, she adopts a male persona that eventually becomes a part of her personality. She grapples with her gender identity through the rest of the book as she moves farther and farther from her native village and culture, first to the city of Taufzin, where she begins training to become a programmer to escape the life of the refu gee camps, and then further still as she moves south to try to escape the conflicts between the male and female sides of her gender and between the native and foreign aspects of the culture with which she identifies. Jan/Janna's conflicting identifica tions structure the rest of the novel. McHugh tends to write what one might call social fiction, in the way that one can write social history. McHugh's novels are full of ideas and caught up in social movements and revolutions, but her characters are never subsumed by them, nor do they cause them. All of McHugh's novels depict characters who lack agency or mastery over their fates; they are struggling to fmd a way to live in a world not of their own making. McHugh's characters are not little people chosen by fate to do great things; her characters keep their foibles and flaws throughout the novel, and while they may come to accept their fates, they do not master them. The lack of mastery of one's fate plays itself out in Mission Child under the sign of the upheavals that a colonized cul ture experiences. As Jan/Janna is forced from her home, she attempts to leave her past behind her as she flees from her village, but her inability to escape the presence of the Off-worlders slowly forces her back to confront the conflicting parts of her iden tity. Or, to put it another way: Martine in McHugh's China Mountain Zhang says, "I thought I'd start a new life on Jerusalem Ridge, but I hadn't counted on the fact that wherever I went, I'd still be there. And I hadn't changed just by getting on a shuttle and coming to Mars. I wasn't happy. I can't say it was a mistake. I wasn't happy on earth either" (p. 94). This theme reappears in Half the Dqy is Night and again in Mission Child. When Jan/Janna settles down in the Southern Islands, she meets Cha-li, another foreigner to the islands. He says, of moving to the Islands, "No matter how far you go, you can't escape yourself' (p. 296). And while Jan/Janna wants to deny her own complicated cultural connections both to her native village and to the Off worlders because they are painful to her, she reconnects to them every time as she makes new ties to people as she wonders from place to place. Jan/Janna catches herself in a web of conflicting cultural values where there does not seem to be any ultimate rule on which to judge one culture or another; neither damnation, nor ultimate redemption of the world is possible. McHugh does not depict the Off-worlders as evil invaders but as concerned people trying to get back in contact with their own people. Yet that attempt is destroying native culture and making it increasingly dependent on technology it does not understand. The reader is left with a sense of the possibility of survival in a broken world, a world in which foreign and native live together uneasily. Jan/ Janna's coming of age demonstrates the rifts in her world without offering a rapprochement in any but the most fleeting and personal of terms. Because McHugh refuses to ground any of the cultures in her book as the arbiters of truth, however, she is forced to


explain more about her character's cultural motivation. Without a moral ground from which to build different worlds, the lines between worlds are much less clear. Furthermore, McHugh has made the ethical and interesting decision that we discover Jan/ Janna's conflicts about gender and culture by letting her speak for herself. By "letting the subaltern speak" (in this case, a se militerate and confused young woman), the reader is given an authentic and touching vision of the effects of even the best intentioned contact with other cultures. But this means the reader is hit over the head with an interruption of the narrative to hear Jan/Janna's inarticulate observations about her experiences. Mission Childs narrative shifts in fluency between the silent Jan/janna's descriptions, which reflect McHugh's masterful prose style, and Jan/janna's vocalization of them, which reflect the semiliteracy of a displaced native person. The effect of moving between these perspectives is jarring and sometimes disquieting. At the end of jan/janna's story, she has a conversation with some Off-worlders, who will clearly be her friends and compan ions as she translates for them. They tell her the name of her planet, and of the other planets that the earth has colonized. "What is Koziko," I asked? Lisa and Henry looked surprised. Lisa said ''Your planet. That's its name. What do you call it?" Name a world? What a foolish thing. It was the world. I looked out at the water and shrugged. ''Home,'' I said. (p. 385) McHugh demands that Jan/Janna speak for herself because there is little mutual understanding. Her questions indicate that she does not understand the Off-worlder's perspective, even after growing up with some of them, and this is frustrating to the reader, who is looking for some kind of communication to be successful. McHugh sets a difficult task for herself because she needs to tell a complex and nuanced story from the perspective of an inarticulate, semiliterate character. One sees the shift in fluency in Mission Child most in its description of Jan/Janna's gen der conflicts. Jan/Janna ends up telling the reader what she is (man or woman) and how she feels about it rather than relying on the narrative to demonstrate her conflicts. Jan/Janna often says, "But I don't feel like a man or a woman." While McHugh deftly manipulates gender conventions in her descriptions of Jan/Janna as a woman and Jan as a man, when Jan/Janna de scribes herself in the narrative, Jan/Janna's vocalized words about herself come across without the same level of conviction and comprehension. The reader is given cues that Jan/Janna is a woman in the first half of the book: she has a child, she is at tracted to men, she identifies with behaviors assigned to women in her culture, and then in the second half of the book the reader is given cues that Jan/Janna is a man: she is alone, she carries a gun, a woman is attracted to her. Unfortunately, Jan/ Janna is not capable of expressing these differences with more words than "I don't feel like a man or a woman." McHugh almost entirely pulls off a successful and believable depiction of a character who really does change genders in the course of the narrative, but by giving Jan/Janna her own voice, she fails to completely articulate either the unbelievable power or potential of this transformation. By intending Jan/Janna to speak for herself, McHugh sacrifices her otherwise ele gant prose, but this decision opens the door for a fascinating look at the effects of colonization that is more complex and accu rate than any other attempts to write about it in the field of science fiction. The particularity of Jan/Janna's voice performs the difficulties of cross-cultural communication in a genre where we are inclined to take such a thing for granted. McHugh's latest novel reminds us that while we can never escape home, we can never arrive there either. FICTION REVIEW .... O"EGA Philip Kaveny Fiammarion, Camille. Omega: The Last Days of the World. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. 287 pages, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-8032-689-X. Omega was written by the French astronomer Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) in 1894. It is at first appearance a work about the end of human world which takes place as a comet smashes into the earth on Bastille day in the twenty-fifth century, but in reality it is an epic of future history that extends to the end of time and beyond. It is rich in metaphysical specu lation and not without subtle and ironic humor, which does much to lighten the somber tone of the work. Not a word has been changed in the reprinting of this 1894 translation, which includes a dozen period illustrations. The introduction by Robert Silverberg, which deftly contextualizes this long lost work, has been included. Though Camille Flammarion was a contemporary, perhaps even a rival, of Wells and Verne and a prolific and immensely popular writer in his own lifetime, much of Flam marion's work has was lost to the English reading world for generations. With this edition, the University of Nebraska Press makes this work available in a handsome and readable format. I jumped at the opportunity to review the University of Nebraska trade paperback edition of Omega, beautifully pre sented on acid-free paper and illustrated, since years ago, in the process of satisfying a French language requirement needed for graduation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I translated sections of Omega from the French. The most salient attribute of Omega is Flammarion's tone of celestial, dispassionate coldness. This coldness is occa-


sionally accented with a vivid richness and color that made his work shine with a cold and distant light. He was the reporter of events of a cosmic scope from a value-neutral perspective. He was the dispassionate observer who stood at some distant van tage point and only reported events as they happened. It is not so much that Flammarion's characters are stereotypes or cardboard-that would be too simply put-but more that Flammarion chooses to make his characters the ultimate objects of great forces rather than subjects in control of their milieu. We have come to think of characterization in much modern science fic tion much differently. But how does the text work, and how does one fmally approach a work of this sort? I think one should adopt a dif ferent set of reading protocols than one might use when reading modem science fiction or criticism, and treat this book as a kind of sociological, rather than literary, artifact. In doing this, we can grant that although in a lot of ways the science of a cen tury ago now seems quaint in terms of its understanding of some the basic process of the Universe, the work itself is still com pelling. But that is not what the book is really about. It is about ultimate questions, which are raised but cannot be really re solved. These questions are still of great interest, and this work gives us a glimpse into the questions which troubled the mind of the late nineteenth-century informed reader who, perhaps, saw past the technologically optimistic euphoria the fin-de-siecle world. I would highly recommend this work be read closely in its entirety, and it has a place on the shelves of public and aca demic libraries. It is my hope it will appear in a hardbound edition. FICTION REVIEW SPEAKING STONES Michael Levy Stephen Leigh, Speaking Stones. New York: Avon Eos, 1999.330 pages, ISBN 0-380-79914-6. Stephen Leigh's Dark Water's Embrace was one of the major surprises of 1998, a paperback original sold at a cut-rate price and sporting a hideous cover that turned out to be an enormously intelligent planetary adventure featuring well-developed characters, a nicely thought-out alien civilization, solid writing, and the fascinating depiction of the development of a third hu man sex. I still haven't figured out why the book wasn't taken more seriously as a candidate for the Dick and Tiptree awards. Now, in Speaking Stones, Leigh has created a worthy sequel to that earlier novel. A hundred years have passed since Anais Koda-Levin, the first human mid-male or Sa, discovered the truth about ker own sexuality and the vital role ke and those like ker would play in preserving humanity from genetic mutation on the planet Mictlan's highly radioactive surface. In this time, human beings, with human Sa help, have reproduced with increasing success. Equally important, the planet's native intel ligent species, the Miccail, once degenerated to little more than animals because of the mass suicide of their own third sex, have, with Anais's help, regained their Sa and recovered much of their civilization. Interactions between the two species are tense, however. Despite the development of a joint Human-Miccail religion and culture based around the Sa, many of the old human families still hold to their traditional hatred of both the indigenous race, whom they regard as little more than animals, and the human Sa, whose necessary participation in human reproduction they see as a perversion. The tension gains crisis status when a two-year-old human Sa, born to the Allen-Shimmura family, the clan most hostile to both the Miccail and the entire idea of the Sa, is kidnapped and later found dead. The QualiKa, a militant "Mictlan for the Miccail" group are suspected of having committed the murder, and the AIIen-Shimmura family orders repri sals that are, in turn, met with more violence by the QualiKa. As events begin to spiral out of control, Caitlyn Koda-Schmidt, a young human Sa of no very obvious talent, finds herself serving in the role of detective, working frantically to uncover the truth behind the murder and end the violence before it becomes genocidal. Leigh's Mictlan is a fascinating world and the various human and Miccail cultures are both well developed and highly believable. His characters, regardless of their species or their sexual apparatus, are intensely human, given to making errors and capable of both love and hatred. Even his villains are well rounded. Although I would recommend reading Dark Water's Embrace first (and in fact going out of your way to find it), Speaking Stones stands on its own as one of the better planetary adven ture novels published so far in 1999. FICTION REVIEW THE DIVINITY STUDENT Michael Levy Cisco, Michael. The Divinity Student. Tallahassee, Fla.: Buzzcity Press, 1999. 149 pages, $12.99 tp, ISBN 0-9652200i-X. To order, send $14.99 (includes postage) to Buzzcity Press, P.O. Box 38190, Tallahassee, FL 32315. Published with glowing blurbs from Thomas Ligotti, Paul Di Filippo, and Lance Olsen, Michael Cisco's first novel


calls to mind the work of Borges, Franz Kafka, Robert Aickman, Ligotti himself, or, for that matter, last year's Philip K. Dick award winner Stepan Chapman. Walking the borderline between surrealism, fantasy, and horror, the tale opens with the unnamed title character being struck by lightning. Brought back to the Seminary, apparently dead, he is cut open, his internal organs removed, and his body cavity stuffed with pages torn from old books. Miraculously returned to life (or was what came before merely a dream?), he receives orders to leave the Seminary and travel to the desert city of San Veneficio. There he takes a jo b as a wordfinder, spending his days looking through books for unique and heretofore unknown words. He also fmds himself sent on obscure errands to, for example, the high priest of the city, a man with the magical ability to allow others to experience life as a cat or a buzzard. Odd people (not all of them human) begin to say enigmatic things to him in public. The cars of the city seem to want his life. And at this point the strangeness is just gathering steam. A beautifully written, intensely enigmatic book, The Diviniry Student is unlikely to attract a mass audience but should have strong appeal for connoisseurs of the sophisticated macabre. As an added attraction, the book features an intensely at mospheric and incredibly well done double cover illustration by Harry O. Morris. ACTION REVIEW THIS ALIEN SHORE Kenneth Andrews Friedman, C. S. This Alien Shore. New York: Daw Books, 1999. 564 pages, paper, $6.99, ISBN 0-88677-799-2. In her acknowledgments, C. S. Friedman mentions her debt to Cordwainer Smith "for a few precious sparks of inspi ration," to Temple Grandin, and to Oliver Sachs. Grandin is an animal scientist with autism, the subject of an essay in Sachs's An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales (Vintage Books, 1996) and coauthor (with Sachs) of her own autobiography, Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from My 4ft with Autism (Vintage Books, 1996). We enter a world that has more than a passing resemblance to the Instrumentality of Cordwainer Smith. The hyperspace drive that opened the stars to humanity created genetic mutations in the descendants of the original offworld settlers. Some mutants are spiderlike, some are Medusan, with hair like flicking cattails, while others remain essentially human in form, deformed in body but enhanced in mental perception and capacity. (Like the Bene Gesserit in Dune, some mutants can read truthfulness and intentionality from one's expression.) In panic and revulsion, Earth abandoned the colonies, leaving them to live or die on their own devices and leaving behind lasting feelings of betrayal and hatred among mankind's mutant offspring. The Guild holds a monopoly on access to the ainniq (that is, hyperspace), and the Guildmasters are masters of the universe. Only the Guild knows what lurks in the ainniq and how to navigate through it. Lady Alya Cairo is head of the Guild: "the Mistress Prima of the Ainniq Guild, who controlled all transportation between the outworlds and therefore all commerce, was in fact the most powerful human in the galaxy. If not the most powerful human who had ever existed" (p. 87). A virus that impairs the Guild pilots has been set loose by persons or organizations unknown. Dr. Masada (modeled after Temple Grandin) is a professor and programming genius who is also an iru, a type of mutant genetically unable to fathom human emotions. His responsibility is to analyze the virus, discover how to destroy it, and trace it back to its creator. Into this mix add Jarnisia Shido, the teenaged female protagonist, who is on the run from her corporation, the Shido Corporation, which reared her after the death of her parents. The story, therefore, is structured around a rather uninteresting chase. There is much in the text to hold one's interest. Jamisia, unfortunately, is not one of them. She is too young, naive, and inexperienced to do much other than run. Although she has twelve multiple personalities implanted into her brain, none of them is particularly interesting either, and the only plan of action that she/they can come up with is ... well ... to run. One alternate personality is the "male" protector that activates when she is in danger, while another alternate personality is the seductress who uses her female wiles when needed. (Her alter nate personalities hold conversations among themselves, debate with her, or contend with her for control over their single body.) Shido Corporation believes that Jamisia has a secret in her head that will enable Earth to break the monopoly of the Ainniq Guild. Shido is after her, and the Guild becomes aware of her potential importance. So the Guild is after her too. And she runs. The political machinations and society of the story are engrossing. To be elevated to Guildmaster is not to rest on one's laurels. The underlings of a Guildmaster are loyal to the Guild itself, but they would betray their Guildmaster in an instant to gain promotion. Underlings are always vying for an advantage that will propel them upward. Guildmistress Chandras Delhi is a truly creepy and sinister character, and she dispatches an underling who betrays her in a cold, eerie, and snaky way. However, after having been introduced and seemingly poised to play an important role in the text, Chandras Delhi is never heard from again. Everyone in this future civilization has mechanical interfaces hardwired into his brain and online access to informa-


tion nets. Therefore, as a consequence, elaborate and pervasive spying takes place in the perpetual jockeying for position and authority. What is the secret embedded in Jamisia's multiple personalities that will enable Earth to navigate the ainniq without the Guild? What does Jamisia encounter in the ainniq that justifies the motivation for our story? Who is the nefarious programmer that has unleashed the virus that could wreck the Guild? What is the motivation? Will Jamisia live happily ever after? (On the last question, I can answer, "Who cares?'') I'll leave the answers to the other questions to the inquisitive reader. Friedman's climax borrows again from Cordwainer Smith's "The Game of Rat and Dragon." No, there is not a cat and human .linked in telepathic battle with the "dragons" of Cordwainer Smith's hyperspace, although Friedman should still pay royalties to his estate. Perhaps in her next book, if she wants to continue to exploit the universe of the Instrumentality, she can think of a story that has a protagonist that holds our interest. Dr. Masada, Lady Alya Cairo, and Chandras Delhi are excel lent examples of her ability to create fascinating and memorable characters. Let's hope, however, that we've seen the last of Jamisia Shido. Overall, I recommend this New York Times Notable Book of the Year. FICTION REVIEW ....L.. WRAPT IN CRYSTAL Karen Hellekson Shinn, Sharon. Wrapt in Crystal. New York: Ace, May 1999.324 pages, trade paper, $13.95, ISBN 0-441-00616-7. Don't let the cover and title deceive you: this book is science fiction, not fantasy. Shinn, well known for her Samaria trilogy, which began with Archange4 treads new ground here: this book is a murder mystery. Fans of Shinn will note familiar themes, however, including overt discussions of love and faith. The murder-mystery plot is workmanlike and little else. A private eye, Cowen Drake, is called in to solve a series of murders on the planet Semay. Priestesses of two religious sects are being killed alternately: first a Triumphante, then a Fidele. Drake sorts through clues and concludes that the killer is trying to find someone in particular. But why? As an outsider, Drake is our guide to this strange world. He argues matters of faith with priestesses of both orders while struggling with the Spanish based language. He fmds himself drawn to a Fidele, Laura, who seems bent on self-destruction even as the murderer strikes again. He manages to save the killer's target in a by-the-numbers shootout scene. Then it's time to leave, but he realizes he has fallen in love with Laura. The plot, however, is not the point of the novel, although I wish the murder mystery had been better structured, since there were few surprises. The book is about faith and people's struggles with faith. The two religious sects worship the same goddess, Ava, but in very different ways. The Triumphantes, the wealthy sect, revel in their plenty. They worship Ava in joy. The Fideles are the opposite: they are poor and given to deprivation and thankless good works. They worship Ava in selfless ness and duty. People tend to be drawn to one aspect of the goddess rather than the other, and whether they are a Trium phante or a Fidele reveals much about their characters. Drake, our outsider guide, finds himself more drawn to the Fideles, but as an outsider, he can ask both sides hard questions. Drake has several long conversations about the nature of God and faith. Though I approve of literature that speaks to matters of faith, since not many writers attempt to deal with this topic, I found the structuring of dichotomies in Wrapt in Crystal simplistic. The Triumphante-Fidele split was too obvious, too easy. However, Shinn's world-building and characterization are good. Drake and Laura, two complex characters, were particularly interesting. I like Shinn's readable style and tight plotting: every scene has something to add to the whole. This is the hallmark of Shinn's work. I'm disappointed that the plot didn't hold up to the promise of her style. This book discusses abstract philoso phical concepts in a simplistic framework that concludes too easily. The promise of the mystery genre is not fulfilled. This un evenness mars the book, but Wrapt in Crystal is worth reading all the same for the complex characters and the great ideas. FICTION REVIEW ....L.. CHANGER Erin Brenner Lindskold,Jane. Changer. New York: Avon Books, 1998. 498 pages, paper, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-78849-7. Jane Lindskold, a retired assistant English professor and member of SFW A, is the author of several novels, including Smoke and Mirrors, When the Gods Am Silent, and Donnerjack (with Roger Zelanzy). Changeris a contemporary fantasy story set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The athanor are almost eternal beings hu mans know only as folk heroes and mythological creatures. Their longevity is owed, in part, to their Harmony dance, which binds them in community with each other and the universe at large, "each swirling in his or her own orbit, each, like stars in a


spiral galaxy, each kept in place by the greater force of the whole" (p. 232). The athanor have hidden their existence from humans, taking on new identities in new places to keep their secret Their lives are often remembered in a culture's myths. Arthur Pendragon, leader of the athanor's Accord, was once Gilgamesh and Akhenaton as well as his most remembered persona. Eddie, Arthur's best friend and advisor, has been Bedivere to his King Arthur and Enkidu to his Gilgamesh. Changer, the title character, was once known as Proteus. With the ability to morph into any creature, Changer has lived many lives on the fringes of society and in the animal kingdom. At the book's opening, he is living as a coyote, with a mate and pups. The Trickster character, Sven (aka Loki), sets discord in motion among the athanor. Several of his plots weave them selves together throughout the book. The novel opens with Changer's coyote family being murdered, forcing Changer to re turn to the human world to seek Arthur's help. His search for the murderer becomes entangled with Sven's plot to overthrow Arthur and rule the athanor himself. The trickster instigates a movement to make the athanor known to the human world and helps anger the South American athanors' environmental concerns. Sven's plots turn a peaceful community into dissatisfied factions. The sasquatches, satyrs, and yetis want to come out of hiding. They believe humans are ready to learn that mythical creatures such as themselves are not myths at all. The South Americans are taking a bold stand on environmental issues. They want the athanor to be leaders in saving the rain forests and are willing to take drastic measures to get that message across. Sven rescues a magical tool of Lovern's (aka Merlin) known only as Head. Head wishes retribution for his years of imprisonment in the sea. The athanor have become stagnant during their years of hiding, and Sven's chaos results in an explosion of ideas and emotions. One question repeatedly addressed throughout the novel is, what would the athanors' role be within the human world if they made themselves known? Nancy Kress's Beggars in Spain raises the same question. Should the superior race help the weaker race up, give them handouts, or treat them as slaves? Who is one's community? While others grapple with this question, it is Changer alone who realizes that, whatever the answers, what the athanor need most is change. They need to be challenged just as humans do, and perhaps learning to live together is just what each community needs. One character remarks, "We [athanor] live for so long, but despite our abilities we still can forget, still can fear, still can make mistakes. What good is longevity if it doesn't lead to something like perfection?" (p. 148). The athanor are not so different from humans. They struggle with the same problems we do. They question whether they can live with those radically different from themselves. They test the boundaries of community, yet resist change. They are often at odds with each other and wonder about the meaning of life. The novel introduces several issues that bear thought, not the least of which is the ne cessity of change. Changer is a wonderful world mythology primer. Lindskold covers the gamut of heroes and creatures. Traditional Western characters like Arthur, Lilith, and Merlin appear, as do sasquatches, satyrs, and yetis. African culture is represented by Anansi (or Spider), Chinese by Confucius, Sumerian by Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and the classical world by Dionysis, Orpheus, Proteus, and Athena. The novel's premise begs a teacher to assign students the task of researching some of these names and stories. to:.t,; ... !:::l :.: .. .J GOTHIC FORMS OF FEMININE FICTIONS Terry Heller Becker, Susanne. Gothic Fonns of Feminine Fictions. Manchester University Press, distributed by St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY 10010, May 1999. x + 335 p., $79.95, ISBN 0-7190-5330-7. Trade paper, $25.95, -5331-5. Susanne Becker is currently an editor in the culture department of German television in Mainz, Germany. This is an impressive and well-informed study of how women writers since Ann Radcliffe have adapted Gothic tropes and conventions to produce a continuing and vital genre of feminine Gothic. Becker develops her book in three parts. In the first, she presents a characterization of feminine Gothic fiction as it develops before the 1970s as a modernist set of forms. In the second, she gives special attention to the development of the genre in Canadian fiction from 1970 to the 1990s, focusing on a chapter each on the work of Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, and Aretha van Herk. She sees these writers as developing a postmodern Gothic. In a short third part, Becker considers con temporary "neo-gothic" culture and glances into the near future of feminine Gothic writing. Becker's study confirms the generally accepted historical observations that Gothic fiction seems to flourish in periods of intense cultural uncertainty and to respond subversively to especially vigorous cultural assertions of ideology. The feminine Gothic reacts to ideological imperatives asserting a notion of "Woman" that violently restricts women's freedom to form their subjectivities. Notable is Becker's argument that feminine Gothic writing can see both traditional and radical notions of "Woman" as oppressive, so that one can find feminine Gothic fictions that subvert the notion of "Woman" as domestic angel


in the house and also such fictions that attack the pressure to "have it all" as perfect mother, wife, and professional. Becker's analysis sheds a good deal of light on the genre. She argues that the central characteristic of Gothic is excess and that its main reader effect is liberation, fundamentally by allowing readers to be uneasy about the given order of their lives. She shows how the genre came into being in questioning the prevailing ideology of female experience, reseeing the home as prison and allowing a kind of vicarious adventure by putting the heroine in motion. With Emily Bronte's Jane Eyre and related works, the genre develops a critique of romantic love. Another main characteristic Becker calls "interrogativity." The genre typically develops multiple plot levels that ques tion each other without producing a controlling discourse. In Radcliffe's The Mysteries qfUdolpho, the main plot is a romance in which the heroine's adventures lead to union with her lover. But there is also a feminine plot in which the heroine learns se crets about her mother that strengthen her identity and prepare her for marriage; in short, she benefits from her captivity at Udolpho, and the ideologically "pure" passing of the daughter from father to husband is called into question. Becker also fmds "filliation" to be a main characteristic of the feminine Gothic. This is a set of intertextual connec tions among the works within the genre. Becker sees the authors as in dialogue with one other, mutually recognizing common elements in their enterprise. Likewise, her discussion of the Canadian authors and her final look at contemporary popular cul ture bristle with provocative observations and arguments. This book pairs nicely with Robert K. Martin and Eric Savoy's collection of essays, American Gothic (Iowa, 1998), as part of an ongoing reevaluation of Gothic literature and culture in the light of postmodem history and theory. Becker's com mand of recent scholarship and theory is impressive, and she brings it to bear with a good deal of clarity. Still, this is not easy reading; it will be most accessible to teachers and graduate students in the humanities. Though one might wish for category headings in her bibliography, it is a very useful and extensive list. e..: J JACQUES TOURNEUR Walter Albert Fujiwara, Chris. Jacques Toumeur: The Cinema ofNightfaJI. McFarland and Co., Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640, 1998. Orders to 800/253-2187. xii + 328 p. $42.50, 0-7864-0491-4. Director Jacques Toumeur (1904-1977) is remembered principally for three films he directed for producer Val Lew ton's unit at RKO in the early 1940s (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, and The Leopard Man), the quintessential noir film Out qf the Past (RKO, 1947), and the late career Night qfthe Demon (Columbia, Sabre Film Productions, UK, 1957), released in this country as Curse qfthe Demon. These five films, however, represent only a small portion of his total output, which includes four features made in France (1931-1934) and twenty-nine American features from 1939 to 1965, as well as twenty short films he directed for MGM from 1936 to 1942 and numerous television credits. Martin Scorsese, in his appreciative introduction, describes Toumeur as "one of those directors whose work renews your enthusiasm for movies." He notes in particular the distinctive look ofToumeur's films, characterizing him as an artist of atmosphere, with the tone so controlled that "every small variation or nuance has an impact." Fujiwara'S finely detailed analy ses of the films are particularly alert to Toumeur's style, although with some of the more problematic films (The Leopard Man is the most notable example), he sometimes seems to be reaching to find the film that Toumeur wanted to achieve rather than the one he actually did. This intelligent, thorough study must be considered as defmitive by anyone who values Toumeur's work, and it is rec ommended for all libraries with comprehensive holdings in film studies. "e" .... ::i::. .J DISCOVERING DEAN KOONTZ Samuel Vasbinder Munster, Bill, ed. Discovering Dean Koontz; Essays on America's Bestselling Writer of Suspense and Horror Fic tion. Borgo Press, Box 2845, San Bernardino, CA 92406-2845, November 1998, 2nd revised and expanded edition, 184 p. $31 hardcover, ISBN 1-55742-144-7. Trade paper, $21, -145-5. Koontz's prolific output has placed him in a special category of writers. This is especially true when one reads the ten essays and one interview contained in Munster's book, whose contributors write with sympathy and scholarly passion, and who provide a detailed portrait of Koontz. He emerges as a writer so driven by ideas that he works continuously, sometimes desper ately, to get it all onto paper. Munster's interview asks many of the questions readers would ask. Elizabeth Massie investigates "Femme Fatales? The Women Protagonists in Four Koontz Novels." Two chapters are new, the others reprinted from Mun-


ster's Sudden Fear (Starmont:, 1988). The chronology and bibliography are updated for this edition. More inclusive is The Dean Koontz Companion (Berkeley, 1994), edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Ed Gorman, and Munster, which also shows how Koontz has refined his craft to become one of the most popular cross-genre writers currently writing. It: :; : .6 .) SPECTRU" 5 Samuel Vasbinder and Neil Barron Fenner, Cathy and Arnie, eds. Spectrum 5: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. Underwood Books, Box 1609, Grass Valley, CA 95945, 1998. xiii + 167 p. $35 hardcover, 1-887424-43-1. Trade paper, $25, -44-X. The approximately two hundred reproductions here were taken from books, comics, magazines, greeting cards, and posters, chosen by a committee of artists and designers from works submitted by artists, publishers, and art directors. These volumes attempt to give a comprehensive overview of the themes and styles popular in SF and fantasy illustration and fine art. Artists range from the well known-Whelan, Miatz, Wurtz-to neophytes. There's a wonderful cover by Donato Giancola, whose extraordinary attention to realistic detail and imaginative reach grabbed my eye immediately. An essay surveys the high points of the year. For unstated reasons, selection was limited to work by American artists and illustrators, a parochialism that should have no place in such a work. In spite of this, the first two annuals were Hugo nominees, and the first three won the Locus reader award for the best art book. Of value as a record of contemporary commercial fantastic illustration and recommended to fans and to larger fine art libraries. e ... ear: : :::':4\ .) WINDOWS OF THE I"AGINATION Richard Mathews Schweitzer, Darrell. Windows of the Imagination: Essays on Fantastic Fiction. Borgo Press, Box 2845, San Bernardino, CA 92406-2845, November 1998. 208 p. $33 hardcover, 0-8095-0921-0; $23 trade paper, -1921-6. This selection of twenty-nine essays on fantasy writing and related topics is filled with casual intensity. There is not exactly coherence to the book, but energy and engagement abound, as do flashes of wit and wisdom. Schweitzer writes with clarity and ease. I felt almost as though I had dropped into a friend's house in the middle of a lively conversation. The host has a habit of suddenly changing subjects, but he sticks to topics I share an interest in, so I have a great time listening. This isn't traditional academic writing. Most of the contents have been previously published as essays or reviews in such magazines as the New York Review 0/ Science Fiction, Aboriginal SF, Ama?Jng Stories, Lovecrrift Studies, and Science Fiction Review. Even though the subjects range widely over place and time, they are linked by the author's sensibilities and by an editorial ar rangement that works surprisingly well. The first four essays established Schweitzer's voice, taste, personality, and assumptions so effectively that it helps the rest of the collection seem connected. There are six short essays on writing fantasy, seven on H. P. Lovecraft and related authors, nine reviews of specific books, and three miscellaneous pieces. Schweitzer throughout punctuates his insights with deft one-liners: "New age mysticism is no more than Stone Age mysticism, only it costs more," as he contemplates the damage he might be doing to others as a "spook-monger." He con cludes that "the author cannot be held responsible for what a deranged person makes of his art." This is one of the book's strengths. Although Schweitzer says the author should not be held responsible, this concern for thinking, creating, and inter preting responsibility permeates his pieces. It affirms from first to last that imagination and creation matter, that neither crea tive nor critical commitments should be undertaken lightly, nor should their consequences be ignored. Although these pieces have little in common in their origins, they are rooted in the conscience and conception of a writer deeply committed to open ing windows of imagination. Recommended for fellow fans and inclusive library collections. .) THE DICTIONARY OF SCIENCE FICTION PLACES Neil Barron Stableford, Brian. The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places. Fireside/Wonderland Press/Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, April 1999. 384 p, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 0-684-84958-5. Milieu has always been important in SF, sometimes dominant at the expense of individual character, in the view of


some critics. Traditional fiction is also shaped by environment, such as the mean streets in detective fiction, Hardy's Wessex, or Joyce's Dublin. The 1985 shared world anthology, Medea: Harlan's World, edited by Harlan Ellison, supplemented its eleven sto ries with articles by Hal Clement on astrophysics and geology, Poul Anderson on geology, meteorology, oceanography, and Larry Niven on biology, ecology and xenology, with other authors contributing ideas. For obvious reasons, most writers have chosen "those parts of the multiverse in which humans can go most comfortably ... the vast majority of alternativerses of sci ence fiction have to be those where humans can not merely exist but can do interesting things" (p. 6). Gazetteers of imaginary places are nothing new. One of the most comprehensive was compiled by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi, The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, originally published in 1980, slightly enlarged in 1987, and revised and enlarged again in an edition due next November from Harcourt Brace. Its ground rules restricted its entries to places a traveler could expect to visit, "leaving out heavens and hells and places of the future, and including only those in our own planet." In a letter to me written in July 1997, Stableford remarked: "I'm currently doing the text for a science fiction rip-off of the Dictionary qfImaginary Places ... going through 8-10 texts per day strip-mining the factual information about their setting." The term "Rip off' is unjust; the earlier book simply served as a model, and there is no overlap in places covered. The index lists 293 authors, and the place log lists more than 700 places (the publicity sheet erroneously claims more than 1500), or about half an 8V2 x 11-inch page per entry. Each entry provides a moderately detailed description, followed by the author, title and year of publication of the source story (mostly novels, some short stories) and references to three similar sites. An author index lists the source title and the name of the place, and a place index lists the place, story title, author, and year. Jeff White contributed black-and-white line drawings of selected sites, of some of the life forms, and a few maps. I found the illustrations added little, unlike those in the Manguel work, and they pale beside the ten worlds vividly depicted in color in Alien Landscapes, edited by Robert Holdstock and Malcolm Edwards (1979) and the fifty aliens meticulously drawn by Wayne Barlowe in his Barlowe's Guide to Extratemstrials (1979). The coverage is thorough, from Edward Everett Hale's "The Brick Moon" in 1869-70 to Stableford's own Genesy's trilogy, 1995-97. The entry for the politically incorrect world of John Norman's Gor refers to Barsoom, Darkover, and Perno Readers with a more encyclopedic knowledge of SF than I may spot more omissions than I did (Barsoom and Carpar are here, but why not Pellucidar and Venus? no utopias appear to be present, but some dystopias are). The oddest fact about this enjoy able and useful Baedecker is noted on the verso of the title page: It was edited by John Campbell. Mildly recommended for larger public libraries and geographically challenged SF readers .Ii: ........ ::::.: :l::.: .J PIONEERS OF WONDER Neil Barron Davin, Eric Leif. Pioneers of Wonder: Conversations with the Founders of Science Fiction. Prometheus Books, 59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197, July 1999.402 p, $24.95, ISBN 1-57392-702-3. How old would you have to be to converse with the "founders" of SF? Two centuries to talk to Mary Shelley? A cen tury for Wells? Seventy-five years for Stapledon? Since Davin was born in 1947 and discovered SF via 1950s films and comic books, he had to defme "founders" a bit differently. Since the term "science fiction" was first used in the modem sense by Gernsback about 1930, the founders are defmed to date from this period. Earlier figures wrote "scientific romances" or "fantastic voyages" or "utopias," but none of it WilS really science fiction until Gernsback founded Ama:?jng in 1926, gave the kind of fiction he published a name, and tried to make it a distinct kind of fiction. He had to rely on reprints for the first few years, by such authors as Poe, Verne, and Wells, but by the time he lost control of Ama:?jng in the late 1920s, he'd attracted enough pulp writers to run mostly original fiction, whose work appeared in his successor magazines. Davin argues that "The genre was an American literary phenomenon until after World War II .... It was also a genre of magazine short stories or serials: The specialist pulp magazines of the '30s were not only the incubators and shapers of this new genre-they were also the only places it could be found" (p. 14). It's hard to believe that anyone could seriously make such an argument today, since it ignores a handful of well-documented histories of the field that clearly and convincingly show that SF, even without a name, was alive and well long before the specialty pulps began, with distinguished books published in the U.S.A., U.K., and elsewhere before and during the pulp era, owing little or nothing to the pulps. The argument is especially surprising since the publisher's sheet claims Davin was a former history professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Not quite; he took a masters in history in 1989, worked on but didn't complete a PhD, and was a teaching assistant in Pitt's history department. Davin also resurrects the hoariest of cliches, the "sense of wonder" supposedly stimulated by SF and allegedly found in its purest form in the early pulps. By interviewing these "founders" of SF, figures active in the 1930s and elderly when he talked to them in recent years (some died before he could talk to them, and others have since), he preserves their memories


and presumably reawakens his own "sense of wonder." Eight of his profiles appeared in Fantasy Commentator, whose focus is early American SF. Who are these "founders"? David Lasser and Charles Homigworked on Gemsback pulps in the '30s. R F. Starzl, Frank K Kelly, Raymond Gallun, Laurence Manning, and Stanley Weinbaum (whose widow was interviewed) wrote fiction justly little remembered today. Kurt Neumann and Curt Siodmak were associated with B movies, a few of them SF. Sam Moskowitz is "the immortal historian." Lloyd A. Eshbach founded one of the better and longer lived specialty publishers, Fan tasy Press, and his Over My Shoulder (1983) is a valuable account of the early specialty presses. In spite of his historical training, Davin favors the gosh-wow approach to SF history. His limited skills as a writer and interviewer and his uncritical attitudes toward his subjects, most of whom had insignificant roles in the larger history and devel opment of SF, are continuing embarrassments and no credit to their author. The subtlety of Davin's insights is suggested by his comment quoted in a Pittsburgh paper on The Phantom Menace: "I think this was actually a very serious film disguised as mind less entertainment." ... .... :. :a::.: .J NO GO THE BOGEYMAN W.A. Senior Warner, Marina. No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003, February 1999. xii + 435 p., $35, ISBN 0-374-22305-7. Chatto and Windus, London, December 1998. ISBN 0-7011-6593-6. Although it has no formal bibliography, a cursory scan of the index of No Go the Boglj)'man doesn't reveal any of the usual suspects of SF or fantasy scholarship. In fact, the library cataloging keywords announce its focus quite clearly: fear, hor ror, ghouls and ogres, folklore. British cultural historian Marina Warner's From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (1994; reviewed in #224) was very favorably reviewed. This new survey of our myths, folklore, popular fiction, and film have the common element of some form of monstrous consumption, often cannibalism. From the Ur-myths of such gods as Kronos, whom she labels "the cannibal patriarch of the Olympians," to fairy tales to nursery rhymes (one focus of the section on lulling), Warner builds a case that the varied monsters of our culture are interconnected by their desire to eat us, or, as one chapter title puts it, "My Father He Ate Me .... No Go the Boglj)'man is an enormously detailed examination that defies summary or even codification because of the variety of examples and sources that Warner includes. From reproductions such as that of Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Chil dren" to depictions of demons eating tormented sinners alive to William Hogarth's "Enthusiasm Delineated" (1761) to stills from contemporary films to pictures from street festivals, Warner emphasizes the terror that resides in so much of our art, folklore, and literature and its connection to food and drink. The first portion on scaring outlines Warner's thesis. The second analyzes ways of diminishing this threat through comfort. And in the third and longest section, "Making Mock," she shows the interdependence and relationship between hor ror and laughter, particularly in terms of the grotesque, from Rabelais to The X-Files: "The grotesque in all its variations, includ ing its Circean bestiality, presents one form of self-protective humor" (p. 350)-this comment by way of introducing a chapter primarily about bananas. Ironically, it's this very richness of allusion and detail that often gives the book the medieval, encyclopedic feel of Chaucerian cataloging. Warner rarely explores in depth any particular figure or character, such as the werewolf, and doesn't assemble a unified set of bibliographical references. However, to be fair, to do so isn't her aim, and one of the strengths of the book is that one can comfortably read the chapters in any order after reading the first one in each section. For instance, "See Fi Fo Fum" is a self-contained chapter on ogres and ogresses and follows a similarly independent chapter on song. This rich variety of information and its ramshackle arrangement produce some infelicities or errors. Warner refers to FI3I agent in training Clarice Starling of Silence qfthe Lambs as Officer Sparrow and makes an unconvincing case for the associa tion of the letter "b" with "the expression of bogeyman terrors." She asserts that the word "ogre" comes from the Latin "Orcus," but the OED notes only that Charles Perrault JJlf!j have used the word from a reconstructed Italian dialect form ogro for orgo, perhaps from "Orcus." And the arguments that "Rock-a-bye baby" may be the intimation of the child's fear of the loss of parents, represented by the metaphoric destruction of the family tree, is a headscratcher. Such nitpicking doesn't do justice to Warner's accomplishment. No Go the Boglj)'man is an interesting compendium of information on bogeys, monsters, ogres, cannibals, witches, and things that go bump in the night. A comprehensive and read able work, its methodology and tone offer a welcome alternative to the densely written, convoluted, and highly specialized aca demic tomes all too common today. From Beowulfs Grendel to Bluebeard to the aforementioned bananas, there is something in this for everyone to digest with pleasure.


.,;e.,; ..J THE TALL ADVENTURER Philip Kaveny Wallace, Sean and Philip Harbottle. The Tall Adventurer: The Works of E. C. Tubb. Beccon Publications, 75 RosslynAvenue, Harold Wood, Essex RM3 ORG, U.K. 199 pp. trade paperback; $22 delivered cost to U.S. ISBN 1-870824-32-6. Tubb, who began publishing in 1951, is probably best known to American readers for his long-running Dumarest series (1967-85) and the Cap Kennedy Series (1973-83) as by Gregory Kern, both published by Daw in the U.S.A. He has written under sixty pseudonyms, been translated into a dozen languages, and written historical adventure, detective thrillers, westerns, supernatural fantasy, and historical fiction in addition to his SF. This guide is well organized and very easy to use. The multiple bibliographic sections include approximately 200 magazine stories and 130 books, the latter arranged by genre. Two master indexes, of short stories and of books, conclude the book. Reproductions of many book jackets and an effective cover by Ron Turner add to the guide's visual appeal. The annota tions are well done, often lengthy, and mix plot summary with critical comment, sometimes negative. The supporting material includes an introduction by Wallace, a profile by Harbottle, a wealth of background information, and an interview ofTubb, now eighty, by Vincent Clarke. A useful tool for the book collector and possibly for large university libraries supporting courses in popular literature. [Tubb was one if the interoiew subjects qfCharles Platt in his Dream Makers, 1980. Most if his books are listed in his entry in The St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, 4th ed., 1996. -Ed.} .,; eli: eli: ..J AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY WRITERS Neil Barron Datnow, Claire. American Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers. Enslow Publishers, Box 699, Springfield, NJ 070810699, February 1999.128 p., $19.95, ISBN 0-7660-1090-2. Datnow is a South African-born teacher of gifted children. This book is part of the publisher's Collective Biography series, which includes volumes in a uniform format on topics such as American computer pioneers, jazz musicians, etc., all aimed at students eleven and up. Each of the ten chapters provides a brief (ten pages) fairly large-print profile of a writer: Heinlein, Asimov, Pohl, Bradbury, Herbert, Anderson, Norton, L'Engle, Le Guin, and Butler. Chapter notes indicate Datnow has done her homework, consulting both specialty sources and standard library tools such as the various Gale Research author series. The sixteen-item further reading list includes sound sources and oddities like Asimov's Space Spotter's Guide. The bibliog raphies for each subject are erratic. Five of Heinlein's adult novels are listed, but none of his influential juveniles, although they are discussed in the profile. Four of Asimov's nonfiction books have nothing to do with his SF. Most of the black-and-white photos of authors, and the cover color shot of Asimov, are by Jay Kay Klein. The profiles are only 1500-2000 words, necessarily limiting the detail that can be included. They're obviously written for junior and maybe senior high readers, and sometimes-probably unavoidably---oversimplify plots or the views of the authors. I sometimes had the feeling that Datnow hadn't actually read much of some author's works and relied more on secon dary sources. But for the target audience, this is an adequate introduction at a reasonable price and is mildly recommended. Aimed at approximately the same audience (grades 5-9) is Marie J. MacNee, ed., Science Fiction, FantaD', and Horror Writers, u.x. L./Gale Research, 1995, a two-volume set containing profiles of eighty authors, each roughly the same length as Datnow's, reviewed in #220. At $49 (up from its original $38) and 439 pages, it's a better value (55 versus $2 per profile) for most elementary-high school libraries. Ii: ....... ... ..J SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS Neil Barron Bleiler, Richard, ed. Science Fiction Writers: Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to Today. 2nd ed. Charles Scribner's Sons, Macmillan Library Reference, 1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019-6785, February 1999. xxvii + 1009 p., $125, ISBN 0-684-80593-6.


The 1982 first edition, edited by Everett Bleiler (623 p., $55), quickly established itself as the best biocritical guide to its seventy-six authors, most of whom had never been the subjects of such balanced, critically astute, and comprehensive es says. Seventeen years is a long time in SFs modem history, and this new edition, edited by son Richard, is likely to be judged equally authoritative and essential. All the original essays were of course updated or revised, nineteen of them heavily, and by the original contributors when possible. New to this edition are twenty-three additional profiles of authors who have become prominent in recent years: Bear, Benford, Bishop, Brin, Butler, Card, Cherryh, Cowper, Gibson, Haldeman, H. Harrison, MacLean, Murphy, Priest, K. S. Robinson, Shepard, Sterling, Tepper, Waldrop, Watson, Wilhelm, Willis, and Wolfe. Photographs were added to eighty-five of the ninety-eight articles, some of them many years old (a trim Bradbury in a crewcut is the most jarring). By nationality, sev enty-six authors are American, twenty are British (counting Shiel), and three are European-Capek, Lem, and Verne. Of the thirty-nine contributors (two deceased), six are British (including Clute and Stableford, who wrote twenty-seven profiles), two Canadian, and one Australian, the balance American. There is a welcome organizational change in this edition: the authors are listed alphabetically rather than chronologi cally, although a three-page chronology was added to show when the first SF works of the authors were published. The entries range from about 4000 to 8000 words and consistently include biographical information, comment on important fiction, his torical position, evaluation, and a bibliography. But the words ofE. F. Bleiler, from the reprinted introduction to the first edi tion, should be considered by anyone creating a similar guide: It will be observed that many different approaches are present among the articles, ranging from external biographical to cultural historical, psychological to literary-historical, depending upon which approach is best suited to the subject author. It will also be noted that there are differences of opinion from article to article, and from the position of the editor. We do not see this diversity as a flaw, but as a virtue, for science fiction is a varied, complex field, intricate in its intermeshed manifestations and still very largely unstudied. Rigidity of approach would only work harm. Both Bleilers note the difficulties in choosing which and how many authors to include. The St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers (1996) includes 640 profiles, but the commentary rarely exceeds three columns and has more plot summary and less critical evaluation. The fourth edition of my Anatomy o/Wonder (1995) annotates books by 595 authors of adult and young adult SF and annotates the better secondary literature. Bleiler's coverage of young adult SF is minimal, merely mentioning juve niles by adult authors like Heinlein, Asimov, and Silverberg. The three European authors are world class, but I think the Stru gatsky brothers also warranted an entry. I wouldn't have included Orwell, whose dystopia is of major importance to modem thought but of negligible importance in SF's history. As for other omitted authors, anyone can play the game: Bujold, Chamas, John Christopher (young adult ), H. M. Hoover (young adult), Lafferty, Powers, etc. Although the second edition has more than half again the number of pages of the first, it's almost the same thickness (2 inches), and the trim size remains 8'/2 x 11 in two columns. The different typeface isn't a smaller font. The only explanation must be thinner paper, although that's not easily detected. The designed cover has a reproduction of a colorful abstract Leger painting. Curmudgeon that I am, I'd have preferred George Grosz's savage 1920 watercolor/collage, The Engineer HeartJield. In the seventeen years between editions, there has been an explosion in the secondary literature, which is reflected in the secon dary bibliographies accompanying the profiles, plus a one-page bibliography listing general reference works consulted. As for competing works, there are few. The St. James guide mentioned above for the Clute-Nicholls Enryclopedia 0/ Science Fiction (1993) may suffice for some libraries. There are also three similar volumes in Gale Research's long-running Dictionary o/Literary Biograpqy series, Twelltieth-CellturyAmerican Science-Fiction Writers (David Cowart and Thomas L. Wymer, eds., 1981, ninety authors but badly dated) and a companion pair due next year, edited by Darren Harris-Fain, British FantaD' and Sci mce-Fiction Writers, 1918-1960 and 1960-1996. Libraries with the first edition may legitimately be concerned about excessive duplication, since they've been burned often by discovering that new editions are only cosmetically different from earlier ones. Rest assured: little in the first edition was unchanged, and more than enough was added to justify the cost of the second edition for most medium and larger libraries and individual scholars :. .J HOW WE IECA"E POSrHU"AM John L Murphy Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Uni versity of Chicago Press, 5081 Ellis Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60637. February 1999; orders to (800) 6212736. xiv + 350 p., $49, ISBN 0-226-32145-2. Trade paper, $18, ISBN -32146-0. Few scholars can produce readable and substantial studies of disciplines so disparate as the history of cybernetics and


contemporary literary theories of semiotics. Hayles, a University of California-Los Angeles professor of English who has pub lished works on chaos theory and scientific field models, brings these two realms together again in an ambitious introduction to three interwoven topics. As the subtitle to her book indicates, she explores cybernetics through its conceptualization of a bodi less embodiment of infoonation, its cultural and technological construction of the cyborg, and its challenge to the "liberal hu manist subject" as expressed in popular speculative fiction. Hayles seeks to fill the gap between what the scientific community has produced and what the literary theorists have investigated as they both have attempted to explain "how infoonation has lost its body." She mediates between the daunting postmodernist discourse engaged in often by cultural studies proponents, who may reveal little understanding of science, and the reports from the technocrats, who also may ignore the speculations of colleagues in the liberal arts. Hayles follows three approaches. In the first, she asks how infoonation "came to be conceptualized as an entity sepa rate from the material foons in which it is embodied." In the second, she explains how the cyborg "was created as a techno logical artifact and cultural icon" after World War II. Finally, she reveals how "a historically specific construction called the human is giving way to a different construction called the posthuman" (p. 2). What does Hayles define as posthuman? First, she argues a view that favors an "infoonational pattern over material instantiation." That is, whether infoonation exists within "a biological substrate" is seen more as accidental than inevitable. Second, this view regards consciousness as "an evolutionary upstart." Next, it treats the body as "the original prosthesis we all learn to manipulate." As a result, this view "configures human being so that it can be seamlessly articulated with intelligent ma chines" (pp. 2-3). For hundreds of pages, densely argued and carefully explained, Hayles then proceeds to guide the reader through this daunting intellectual terrain. The intricacy of many of the concepts she conveys may well be initially overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the details of her subject. For critics and students conversant with the philosophical and scientific background, Hayles introduces them to an extended analysis of the complex intersections where Descartes's mind-body prob lem meets Burrough's The Ticket that Exploded. For SF specialists, Hayles dissects such texts as Bernard Wolfe's 1952 underground classic, umbo, and Cole Perri man's mystery, Terminal Games, as well as some more familiar selections from the 1962-66 Dick era, along with Neal Stephen son's Snow Crash, Greg Bear's Blood Music, and Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2. Mixing rhetorical tropes and algorithms, Hayles exemplifies the meeting of the "two cultures" and proves how literature and science can blend. Hayles selects these "tutor texts" to construct "a semiotics of virtuality by showing how the central concepts of infoonation and textuality can be mapped onto a multilayered semiotic square" (p. 24). As with earlier scientific models, more recent texts continue Lo map change as occurring "in a seriated pattern of overlapping innovation and replication." Why does Hayles connect literature with science? Both types of "cultural production" gain resonance as they are paired. "The scientific texts often reveal, as literature cannot, the foundational assumptions that give theoretical scope and arti factual efficacy to a particular approach. The literary texts often reveal, as scientific work cannot, the complex cultural, social, and representational issues tied up with conceptual shifts and technological innovations." Beyond specializations, both fields provide self-understanding to us "as embodied creatures living within and through embodied worlds and embodied words." Hayles presents a carefully prepared, precisely written elucidation of embodiment. Her book, while lacking a bibliog raphy, provides exact references through a detailed and well-organized index to both her text and a thirty-page annotated sec tion of endnotes. For critics and advanced students, Hayles provides a compelling argument that we must now define the post human in our favor, "before the trains of thought it embodies have been laid down so fionly that it would take dynamite to change them" (p. 291). Her expansive vision of posthuman embodiment encompasses both biological and artificial life foons, and her study of their common traits expresses exactly how crucial the problem of embodiment will become to future genera tions. A demanding book most suitable for graduates and scholars in these fields. ".1Il e" ..) "PLANET OF THE APES" AS A"ERICAN tlJTH Javier A. Martinez Greene, Eric. &Planet of the Apes" as American Myth: Race, Politics, and Popular Culture. Wesleyan University Press, 1999. xvi + 248 p. $17.95 trade paper. Distributed by University Press of New England, 23 Main Street, Hanover, NH 03755-2048. Reprint of McFarland and Co., 1996. Greene's engaging study is one of the first book-length treatments of race and difference in SF. He argues that the five series ftlms are primarily about difference and how this leads to conflict. Chapter 1 focuses exclusively on Planet of the Apes. He points out that Taylor, the hero, played by American icon Char leton Heston, suffers continued abuse. This mistreatment has the effect of destabilizing white identity by transforming the classic white hero into an objective of ridicule. The closing revelation of a Statue of Liberty in ruin, claims Greene, represents how


the Other, in this case ape culture, has ostracized the white norm, Taylor, and left him in the ruins of his former glory. If Planet of the Apes portrays a reversal of power, its sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, shows how whites ultimately respond to their disempowerment. Greene states that the fmal scene of the flim-Taylor activates a nuclear warhead that effectively wipes out all ape and human life-implies that Western culture would rather annihilate itself than be consumed by a rising tide of difference. Chapter 2 concludes with an all too brief analysis of the third film, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, arguing that it marks a turning point in the series in that racial conflict begins to play an even more pronounced role. In chapters 3 and 4, devoted to the fmal two films, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battleforthe Planeto/theApes, Greene argues that these are intentionally the most political. He points out that images from Conquest are based on racial con frontations such as the Watts Riots, supporting his reading by referring to the original scripts, which model scenes after violent racial clashes between blacks and white policemen, and by interviews with the authors and directors, who felt themselves influ enced by the racial antagonism of the day. Greene reads Battle as a commentary on the desire for racial reconciliation that con tinues to go unrealized. Thus, claims Greene, the series depicts an ongoing race war with no victors. Finally, Greene argues that the TV series retains little of the political bite of the flims and is little more than compen satory fantasy for the post-Vietnam age. Similarly, the cartoon series is a simplified fantasy that paints the apes, or the Other, as corrupt and the U.S. protagonists as virtuous and militarily efficient. Green's study is a rigorous and accessible investigation of the function of difference and race in one of SF's most en during phenomena. Along with other recent multicultural readings of the genre, including Daniel Bernardi's "Star Trek" and History: Roceing toward the White Future (Rutgers, 1998) and Elisabeth Ann Leonard's collection of essays, Into Darkness Peering: &lce and Cowr in the Fantastic (Greenwood, 1997; reviewed in #234), this study reminds us that racial difference is a central, if much understudied, theme of SF. Green's excellent study contains detailed endnotes, an extensive yet easy to use index, and a bibliography that lists separately the books and essays cited and a detailed filmography. Recommended to large university libraries that emphasize SF studies, film studies, or black studies. [See also Gary Westphal's detailed review in #223. -Ed.} iii: e", e", : :a:& .) YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION Edgar L Chapman Sullivan, C. W., III, ed. Young Adult Science Fiction. Greenwood Press, Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881. xi + 247 p., $59.95, ISBN 0-313-28940-9. Orders to (800) 225-5800. This volume follows a useful predecessor, Sullivan's Science Fictionfor Young Readers (Greenwood, 1993), but its focus is on fiction for an older, apparently teenage audience. Not much attention seems to have been given to young adult (XA) SF, aside from Heinlein's juveniles. Eleanor Cameron treated some of the older children's SF in her The Green and Burning Tree (1969), and Thomas Clareson's U ndersta11(iing Contemporary American Science Fiction: The Formative Period, 1926-1970 (1990) gives attention to SF for children. Nevertheless, Sullivan explores some new territory but doesn't always map it clearly. To begin with, the concept ofYA fiction hasn't been clearly defmed in the world of education or even in the market ing of books. The problem is more complicated for SF scholars. Mainstream critics and reviewers have often treated all SF as essentially young adult or "adolescent" fiction, but this represents a cultural attitude rather than a reasoned effort at conceptual definition. However, many major SF works have exerted a powerful attraction for younger readers, who often ignore the YA labels and read whatever interests them. Sullivan's approach to YA literature is neither limiting nor eclectic, though he clearly treats the concept in rather broad terms. Historical surveys are provided of several national literatures and for formats such as film. The editor and con tributors treat YA writing as books (and film) written for and marketed to readers from ages twelve to twenty, although even this concept is not always strictly adhered to. For example, Martha Bartter's exploratory essay on "Young Adults, Science Fic tion, and War" deals not only with may obviously YA works but also touches on a wide range of novels dealing with future warfare which are clearly not YA, including Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold and works by Russ, Charnas, and Bujold. The essay on SF films aimed at young audiences and on comic books add breadth but seem the least satisfying part of the book. James Craig Holte's essay on SF film offers perceptive insights, but the subject requires more thorough treatment. Donald Palumbo's essay on SF in comic books reaches the pedestrian conclusion that SF concepts are used merely to enrich the fantasy element in comics, but Palumbo doesn't support his argument well. The most original and useful contribution is the series of essays devoted to major national trends in YA SF. Greer Watson offers an excellent introduction to Canadian YA SF, with a strong emphasis on Monica Hughes. K. V. Bailey and Andy Sawyer are helpful and enlightening about Great Britain's YA tradition, and Franz Rottensteiner offers a vigorous, if opinionated, survey of German YA SF. John Foster's essay on Australian SF will likely prove to be a revelation for many if, like


me, they've encountered few Australian works. American traditions ofYA SF are explored in a solid review of the Tom Swift era by Francis Molson and a lively, too brief essay on works after 1947 by Sullivan, which introduces readers to ambitious recent works such as Grace Chetwin's Col lidescope (1990) and Louise Lawrence's Dream Weaver (1996). The overviews of national traditions will be helpful to educators, librarians, general readers, and scholars, but the sec tion of "topical" essays on themes and authors will appeal mostly to scholars and critics. Michael Levy's discussion of Bildungsroman motifs contains analytical acuteness, and Marietta Frank shows courage in arguing persuasively that Heinlein's treatment of women in his juveniles is much more fair and balanced than polemical feminist critics, such as Janet Kafka and Marleen Barr, have conceded. A very useful feature is Michael Levy's extensive and well-annotated bibliography of fiction and secondary sources, which includes not only standard reference works but also numerous articles providing helpful resources for teachers of young adults_ Also included are some standard critical works on SF and entries on individual authors who have made major contribu tions to YA SF. Despite minor shortcomings and one or two weak essays, a useful survey for teachers, librarians and scholars_ i.: J GOTHIC FE"INIS" Robert O'Connor Hoeveler, Diane Long. Gothic Feminism: The ProfessionaIization of Gender from Charlotte Smith to the Brontes. Penn State University Press, 820 North University Drive, USB-1, Suite C, University Park, PA 16802-1003, October 1998. xix + 250 p., $40, ISBN 0-271-01809-7. Despite their comparative exclusion from other areas of publishing, women came fairly quickly to dominate British Gothic fiction, and much contemporary criticism has been dedicated to examining the cultural significance of this phenome non. Hoeveler's study is a particularly ambitious attempt to illuminate the meaning of the plot and character conventions found in some of the more important eighteenthand nineteenth-century Gothic novels by British women, and in discussing works by Charlotte Smith, Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, Charlotte Dacre, Mary Shelley, and Emily and Charlotte Bronte, she con structs an intricate and resourceful argument that scholars of the Gothic should come to know, whether or not they come to judge it completely convincing and successful. Using the term "Gothic feminists" to denote her subject authors (other than Jane Austen, whose Northanger Abbry is discussed in terms of its subversion of the Gothic genre), Hoeveler sees the Gothic feminist's purpose as "the fictional femini zation of the masculine world" (p. xiii). The heroine of the Gothic feminist novel not only survives every danger that assails her but triumphs over an aggressive and brutal patriarchy, eventually being rewarded for her suffering with a consolidation of her social standing and the love of a nonthreatening (and often wounded) male. She accomplishes this victory not by actively con fronting the masculine, and generally aristocratic, threat but by passively maintaining her bourgeois innocence in a corrupt and dangerous world, thereby creating the questioning tactics of victim feminism. Her virtues assure her the assistance of the right eous and the reward due to goodness, and her enemies' vices prepare their ways for inevitable destruction. This quick account of her central thesis does scant justice to the complexity of her argument, woven together of threads drawn from feminist, Marxist, and psychological theory, but it summarizes that argument's essential features. At its best, particularly in the analyses of Mary Shelley'S Mathilda and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Hoeverler's thesis draws the reader's immediately assent and seems to state obmous but previously overlooked truths, and even at its least compelling, as in the sometimes overstated discussion of the political implications of Charlotte's Dacre's Zqfloya, it gives the impression of being overly ingenious and excessively ideological rather than downright wrong. On the whole, the strongest elements of the study are those that address the wish-fulfilling purposes of these novels, their capacity to help female writers and female readers deal with the difficulties of being middle-class women in a threatening patriarchal world. The weakest elements, or at least so I found them, are those that suggest an active intent on the part of these novelists to reshape society by means of a Gothic feminist rewriting of class and gender norms. Symptomatic of this problem are at least some of the references of affmities between the purported bourgeois social project of these writers and the overtly reformist purposes of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication qfthe Rights qfWoman. Inclu sion of clearer evidence that these writers, beyond Mary Shelley, knew and were influenced by Wollstoncraft's book would give greater credence to this portion of Hoeveler's argument. But such quibbles aside, she has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of British Gothicism, and even at those moments when her study exasperates, it also challenges and stimulates.


NONFICTION REVIEW .) THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF H.P. LOVECRAFT Robert H. Waugh Van Hise,James, ed. The Fantastic Worlds ofR P. Lovecraft. Editor, 57754 Onaga Trail, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, January 1999. 187 p., $17.95 + $4 shipping, trade paper. No ISBN. Van Hise has produced a book whose contents don't quite match its professional appearance. Some of the twenty seven articles (four original) are written by important figures in the field of Lovecraft scholarship, such as S. T. Joshi, Peter Cannon, Donald Burleson, and Will Murray. It is Murray's work, however, that provides more than a third of the volume with its greatest interest. In six articles, he details the extent to which Lovecraft was involved in reading and absorbing pulp fiction; investigates how Lovecraft exploited the geography of New England in order to create the remarkably elastic geography of Dunwich, Arkham, and the Miskatonic river; disentangles another of Love craft's collaborations with E. Hoffman Price; and compares Lovecraft's comments on writing with those of Blackwood and Chambers. Because Murray is one of the most as siduous of Lovecraft scholars in placing the author within his cultural context, it is a pleasure to see a few of his articles col lected. Lovecraft himself is represented by two letters on the art of writing, one from 1929, the other from 1935, not readily available previously, though these letters do 'repeat what he said elsewhere. Robert Weinberg recounts the difficulties Lovecraft had in writing for Astollnding; Rusty Burke describes the correspondence between Lovecraft and Robert Howard, though this essay has more to say about the Texan than about the Rhode Islander; and Leon L. Gammell describes a 1917 novel that Love craft's work faintly resembles-but which he probably did not read. Some of the volume, however, contains articles that fight critical battles won and lost long ago; no important cause is served by August Derleth's description of Weird Tales, even less by John Brunner's 1956 diatribe against Lovecraft, or, given Brunner's generalities, by the responses of Sam Moskowitz and Fritz Leiber. Ben Indick's chatty history of the fan group out of which so much recent Lovecraft scholarship has grown is interesting as a memoir but not as a piece about Lovecraft. The Fantastic Worlds 0/ H. P. uvecrqft has no fantastic worlds, but it does have articles which a fervent Lovecraftian or a library with an interest in the history of weird fiction would find indispensable. It is not the equal to H. P. uvecrqft; Four Decades 0/ Criticism (1980) or An Epicure in the Terrible (1991), the classic anthologies, but it does collect illuminating work. [peter Cannon's milch lengthier selection 0/ pieces, Lovecraft Remembered, was reviewed in #240. -Ed.} .: ell: .) DARK KNIGHTS AND HOLY FOOLS Joe Milicia McCabe, Bob. Dark Knights and Holy Fools: The Art and Films of Terry Gi1Jiam. Universe Publishing/Rizzoli, 300 Park Avenue South, New York City, NY 10010, June 1999. 192 p., $49.95, ISBN 0-7893-0290-X. Trade paper, $29.95, -0265-9. This aptly named study surveys the work of Gilliam from his Monty Python animation days through 1998's Fear and uathing ill Las Vegas, devoting a chapter to each of the eight features Gilliam has directed (codirected in the case of Monry Py tholl and the HolY plus material on his various contributions to the other Python movies. McCabe aims his book at a nonscholarly market, writes unabashedly as an enthusiast, and includes enough praise filled quotations from writers and actors Gilliam has worked with to make the text read in places like a movie press kit. Still, he does offer a number of interesting interpretations of Gilliam's work, emphasizing that the director's earlier fantasy films are indirect critiques of the America he more or less fled in the '60s, while the recent trilogy of films made on American soil (including The Fisher Kiflg, McCabe's own favorite, and Twelve Monkrys) are more direct confrontations with the American dragon, not to mention with Hollywood itself. McCabe does find fault with The Advefltures o/Baroll MunchausC1l (in regard to its odd narrative structure), though he is a staunch defender of Fear alld uathillg. The book's most valuable offerings may be its profuse illustrations, color and black and white, and the lengthy inter views with Gilliam that form the last section of each of the major chapters. (Here Dark Kllights is in direct competition with the new Gilliam OIl Gilliam [to be reviewedJ.) There is also a fair amount of detail on Gilliam's early years, on a number of aborted or unfinished projects, and on the making of tlle films, including some how-they-did-it revelations of special effects, though the really avid fan may want to consult the more specialized books about the making of Bra:{jl and MUllchausen. McCabe's book could have been more carefully edited to remove some repetition, and it may not satisfy the reader looking for deeper critical analysis-a reader, say, who fmds Bm:{jl a masterpiece (in its European cut) and Fear and uathillg


almost unwatchable, and wonders how to account for such differing reactions when both works are equally saturated with Gilliam's instantly recognizable style and sensibility. Still, the general fan will appreciate the illustrations and a number of memorable quotations, such as Robin Williams' remark that the director "makes movies that people, I think, feel are made at night, and after they're asleep." CORRESPONDENCE LETTERS TO THE EDITORS Dear Karen/Craig: Let me get my two cents in on the blurb discussion over the past couple of issues. As an admirer of Lewis Carroll I have to admit that words mean what you want them to, but there is also the factor of communication, without Humpty Dumpty to explain. This said, a blurb (word coined by Gelett Burgess) is the publisher's description and sales pitch placed usually on the front jacket flap of a clothbound book or the rear cover of a paperback. Praise by an outsider is usually called a testimonial. Thus, Ursula Le Guin and others are not really concerned with blurbs, but with testimonials. As for payment for testimonials, I wouldn't doubt that it occurs, but in thirty years of New York publishing I've never personally run into it. Perhaps because I didn't work for the bestseller houses. I would also call it literary prostitution. I've been asked only once to five a testimonial for an unpublished book, sight unseen. I refused, at which the author was quite miffed and told me that others, citing names, would do it. I still refused. President Alan Elms Psychology Department U of California-Davis Davis, CA 95616-8686 Vice President Adam Frisch 2308 Summit Street SiollX City, IA 51104-1210> Yours, Everett F. Bleiler to the SFRAReview SFRA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Secretary Carolyn Wendell English Department Monroe Community College Rochester, NY 14623 Treasurer Michael M. Levy Department of English University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie, WI 54751 (resistance is futile) Immediate Past President Joan Gordon 1 Tulip Lane Commack, NY 11725 For an application, contact SFRA Treas urer Michael M. Levy or get one from the SFRA Website:


SCIENCE FIC,.ION RESEARCH ASSOCIA,.ION The SFRA is the oldest professional organization for the study of science fiction and fantasy literature and film. Founded in 1970, the SFRA was organized to improve classroom teaching; to encourage and assist scholarship; and to evaluate and publicize Dew books and magazines dealing with fantastic literature and film, teaching methods and materials, and allied media perform ances. Among the membership are people from many countries-students, teachers, professors, librarians, futurologists, readers, authors, booksellers, editors, publishers, archivists, and scholars in many disciplines. Academic affiliation is not a requirement for membership. Visit the SFRA Website at .An application for membership is available at this site. SFRA Benefits Extrapolation. Four issues per year. The oldest scholarly journal in the field, with critical, historical, and bibliographical articles, book reviews, letters, occasional special topic issues, and an annual index. Science-Fiction Studies. Three issues per year. This scholarly jour nal includes critical, historical, and bibliographical articles, review articles, reviews, notes, letters, international coverage, and an annual index. SFRA Annual Directory. One issue per year. Members' names, addresses, phone, e-mail addresses, and special interests. SFRA Review. Six issues per year. This newsletter/journal includes extensive book reviews of both nonfiction and fiction, review IFM Reyie" cio Craig Jacobsen 208 East Baseline Road #31 I Tempe, AZ 85283 Email: Web: articles, listings of new and forthcoming books, and letters. The Review also prints news about SFRA internal affairs, calls for papers, updates on works in progress, and an annual in dex. SFRA Optional Benefits Foundation. Discounted subscription rate for SFRA members. Three issues per year. British scholarly journal, with critical, historical, and bibliographical articles, reviews, and letters. Add to dues: $27 surface; $30 airmail. The New York Review of Science Fiction. Discounted subscription rate for SFRA members. Twelve issues per year. Reviews and features. Add to dues: $25 domestic; $34 domestic first class; $27 domestic institutional; $28 Canada; $36 overseas. SFRA Listserv. The SFRA Listserv allows users with e-mail ac counts to post e-mails to all subscribers of the listserv, round robin style. It is used by SFRA members to discuss topics and news of interest to the SF community. To sign on to the listserv or to obtain further information, contact the list manager, Len Hatfield, at> or>. He will subscribe you. An e-mail sent automatically to new subscribers gives more information about the list. PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID TEMPE, ARIZONA PERMIT NO. 45 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED


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