SFRA Review

SFRA Review

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SFRA Review
Alternate Title:
Science Fiction Research Association review
Science Fiction Research Association
Place of Publication:
Eugene, Ore
Science Fiction Research Association
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Subjects / Keywords:
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 )
serial ( sobekcm )


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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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S67-00032-n271-2005_01_02_03 ( USFLDC DOI )
s67.32 ( USFLDC Handle )

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#1TI IM./FeII.'lflJfth 1H Nonfiction Reriews: Ed McHnliaht fiction Reriews: Phlillip Snyder The SFRAReview (ISSN 1068-395X) is published four times a year by the Science Fiction Researc:hAs sociation (SFRA) and distributed to SFRA members. Individual issues are not for sale; however, starting with issue #256, all issues will be published to SFRA's website no less than 10 weeks after paper publication. For information about the SFRA and its benefits, see the description at the back of this issue. For a membership application, contact SFRA Treasurer Dave Mead or get one from the SFRA website: . SFRA would like to thank the Univer sity of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for its as sistance in producing the Review. SUBMISSIONS The SFRAReview en=urages all submis sions, including essays, review essays that =ver several related texts, and inter views. If you would like to review non fiction or fiction, please contact the respective editor. Christine Mains, Editor Box 66024 Calgary,AB TIN I N4 Janice M. Bogstad, Managing Editor 239 Broadway St. Eau Claire WI 54703-5553 Ed McKnight, Nonfiction Editor I 13 Cannon lane Taylors SC 29687 Philip Snyder, Fiction Editor 109 Northumberland Road Rochester NY 14618 Science Fiction Research Association III 7HIS ISSUE: SFRA Business Editor's Message 2 President's Message 2 Minutes of the Executive Conference Approaches to Teachini ... Le Guln's The Lathe of Heaven & Non Fiction Reviews A Sense of Wonder I I Gernsback Days 12 Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold 12 Liquid Metal 14 I am Alive 15 Evolution of the Weird Tale I 5 The Vampire as Numinous Experience I & LotR and Philosophy 17 H.G. Wells: Traversing Time 18 Horror Reader's Advisory I 0 In the Zone 20 Stepping Through the Stargate 21 Fiction Reviews The World As It Shall Be 22 So Long Been Dreaming 23 Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days 24 Prince of Chrlstler-Coke 25 Flights 2& Natural History 27 Secret Life 28 Fiction Review-Essay The Shore of Women 20


) News Items: FEMPSEC announces its 4.2 section on SpeculatingJewish Women, containing: critical articles on women characters in Jewish sf stories, Jewish women artists reflecting upon Jew ish identity and issues relating to Jew ish heritage from the seventies to the present; contemporary Jewish women's speculative fiction and poetry from Canada, Israel and the US; reviews of literature, criticism and music. FMI see The shortlist for the 2005 Arthur C. Clarke Award: River of Gods by Ian McDonald; Iron Council by China Mieville;C1oudAtias by David Mitchell; Market Forces by Richard Morgan; The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; The System of the World by Neal Stephenson.The winner will be announced in a ceremony at the English Heritage Lecture Theatre on Wednesday II May. The winner will receive an engraved bookend and a cheque for S.The judges for this year's award are: Carol Ann Kerry Green and Mark Greener for the BSFA, Mark Bould and Justina Robson for the Foundation, and Dave Palmer for the Science Museum. Asteroid 200 I DA42 has been re named for Douglas Adams in part because the original designation referenced Adams's year of death (200 I), his initials (DA) and the number 42, which he popularized in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The Huygens space probe safely landed on Titan on January 14 and began transmitting images of the moon, Saturn's largest and the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere. ( SFRA BUSINESS EdHor's lIessaae Christine Hains To some extent, my editor's message for this issue echoes what I've said in recent issues: We really, really need contributors to get their reviews completed and submitted in a more timely fashion. This issue is running a bit later than usual, partly because as the deadline was quicky approaching, one of the editors informed me that he had NO reviews to send me at all. Eeek. Thankfully, there was a fairly prompt response to his pleas, and as you can see we managed to put together a good issue, but I hate that stressed-out, last-minute approach, and I hate the fact that we're running a little late this time around. So please, don't offer to write a review if you know your schedule's going to be a bear. On a happier note, I'm very pleased that we have some extra content, beyond the usual reviews, for this issue. Thomas Morrissey's review of Pamela Sargent's The Shore if Women, recently reissued by BenBella Books, goes beyond a review of the text to examine the sociohistorical context of the gendered utopias and dystopias of the 1980s. And Margaret McBride has been kind enough to share with us her notes and plans for a lecture on Ursula Le Guin's The Lathe if Heaven, a contribution to the ''Approaches to Teaching .... series. We would welcome further such contributions. SFRA BUSINESS Pres.deni:'s Messaae Dave Head The elected officers Peter Brigg, Bruce Rockwood, Warren Rochelle, Mack Hassler, and I -met in Cleveland in mid-J anuary to discuss what SFRA will do in the next few years. Mack and Sue Hassler were very gracious hosts for the meeting. There were a number of items on our agenda, none of desperate urgency, thank goodness. The Association is in sound financial shape now, thanks mainly to econo mies in producing the SFRA Review brought about by our Review Editors over the last few years. We decided to use some of our savings to help keep FEMSPEC going, donating $500 this year and promising another $500 in 2006. We also set aside a fund (m addition to the Scholar Support program, which offers SFRA memberships to worthy but hard-pressed scholars in the field) to help graduate students and faculty who want to present papers but need some help with travel costs to attend and participate in the annual meeting in Las Vegas. Applications for travel grants may be sent to me at We accepted an offer from Oscar De Los Santos and Tom Morrissey to host the 2006 annual meeting of SFRA in White Plains/Tarrytown, New York, near NYc. The meeting will be held at the Marriott Hotel, June 22-25, 2006. We have also accepted a proposal from Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James to hold the 2008 annual meeting in Ireland (somewhere near Dublin). We all agreed that we'd like to have a meeting in Oregon or Washingon (Seattle) in 2007, a region we've not been to yet. Would anyone living out thataway be willing to host the meeting? Please let me know. One big issue for SFRA is the need to build our membership. We need every member's help in finding and recruiting new members. To this end, we have just had a new membership brochure designed and a first run of 2000 copies printed. Our intention is to distribute copies of the brochure at meetings and conferences where we might find likely recruits. If you plan to attend a meeting )


( and would be willing to put some of our new literature out, please contact me; I will send you a bundle for distribution. We have a wonderful new web site. Please take a look at the new www.sfraorg; Sam McDonald, Stacie Hanes, and Elizabeth Monier-Williams have designed a very attractive, informative site. Thanks, team. Thanks also to Olrissie Mains,Jan Bogstad, Phil Snyder and Ed McKnight for their ongoing fine work in producing the SFRA Review. That's all I can think of for now. Except for a plea that you too will take an active role in keeping SFRA healthy and growing. Please help the organization by serving on our various committees, running for office, attending the annual meetings, and producing exciting new scholarship about science fiction and fan tasy literature and film. SFRA BUSINESS M'nu-ees of -ehe Execu-e'ye Comm,-e-eee Mee-e'na Warren Rochelle Call to Order: The Business Meeting of the SFRA Executive Committee was called to order at 9:15 a.m., Eastem Standard Time, 15 January 2005, at the Airport Comfort Inn, in Cleveland, Ohio, a few hours after the Hl!]gens space probe landed on Titan. The mission was a joint effort among NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian space agency. Present Peter Brigg, Dave Mead, Bruce Rockwood, Mack Hassler, and Warren Rochelle, Since this was the first meeting of the new 2005-2006 Executive Commit tee, Dave reviewed the roles of the various officers, as found in the Association's by-laws. He noted membership recruitment as the special task of the Vice Presi dent and this was followed by a discussion of renewal activities. The term limita tions of the officers were discussed as well. It was noted the Past President is the "election czar." Each officer noted their past activities. SFRA AWARDS AND COMMITTEES Peter Brigg reported on organizing juries for the various SFRA awards. Peter reviewed the President's responsibility to setup juries and recruit jury mem bers. He noted that all juries are in place and that the juries' memberships have been published. One award has already been given: the best graduate paper award. Peter noted that to serve on an award jury is to accept a three-year job. Peter and David reviewed each award and its description. The Committee took special note of the need for each jury to be fair and impartial. ANNUAL MEETINGS Upcoming meetings were discussed. For 2005, at the Imperial Palace Ho tel, Las Vegas, Nevada, Dave announced all was under way for the upcoming meeting. Everyone needs to stay at the Imperial Palace to keep the conference rate, which is a good deal. Programming was discussed. Ursula K Le Guin's atten dance as guest of honor is expected to be a special drawing card. Bruce inquired about advertising the conference in SF Week!>,. For 2006, an East Coast site is preferred for this conference, in late June. Oscar de los Santos and Tom Morrisey are working on this conference. They are considering locating the conference in the suburban NYC area, such as White Plains, NY For 2007: Ideas for this conference are needed. Dave said his dream was to have it "way west," maybe in Oregon or in Washington State. Bruce suggested Vancouver as a possibility. If not in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest was suggested, with Chicago as a possible site again. Dave will pursue a West Coast conference site, such as the Pacific Northwest or ossibly in California. For 2008, a meeting hosted by Farah Mendlesohn and ( _______ Nominees for the Lambda Award for Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual! T ransgender Writing in science fiction/fantasy/horror: Firelands. by Michael Jensen; Shadow of the Night Queer Tales of the Uncanny and Un usual. edited by Greg Herren; The Ordinary. by Jim Grimsley; The Wizard of Isis. by Jean Stewart; With Her Body. by Nicola Griffith. Nominees for the 2004 Philip K. Dick Award, recognizing works originally published in paperback and to be presented by the Phila delphia SF Society at Norwescon on Friday. March 25 at the Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel. Sea Tac.Wash ington: The Coyote Kings of the SpaceAge Bachelor Pad. by Minister Faust; Stable Strategies and Others. by Eileen Gunn; Ufe. by Gwyneth Jones;ApocaIypse Array. by Lyda Morehouse; Air. by Geoff Ryman; City of Pearl. by Karen T raviss; Banner of Souls. by Liz Williams. The winner of the 2004 Graduate Paper Award for best paper presented by a grad student at the an nual SFRA Conference is Melissa Colleen Stevenson. The preliminary ballot for the Nebula Awards have been announced.The membership ofSFWA will vote on these and decrease each category to five items. The Nebula juries may then add up to one additional item per category.The Nebulas will be awarded during the Nebula Weekend in Chicago from April 28-May I. Novels: Paladin of Souls. Lois McMaster Bujold; Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Cory Doctorow; Omega, Jack McDevitt; Perfect Circle. Sean Stewart; Conquistador. S.M. Stirling; The Knight. Gene Wolfe. Novellas: Walk in Silence. Catherine Asaro; Off on a Starship. )


) iIIiam Barton; Time Ablaze, Michael ABurstein; The Tangled Strings of the Marionettes,Adam-Troy Castro; Ser geant Chip, Bradley Denton; Arabian Wine, Gregory Feeley; The Cookie Monster,VemorVinge; The Green Leopard Plague,Walter Jon Williams;Just Uke the Ones We Used to Know, Connie Willis. Novelettes: Zora and the Zombie, Andy Duncan; Paying It Forward, Michael A Burstein; Basement Magic, Ellen Klages; The Voluntary State, Ch ristopher Rowe; Dry Bones, William Sanders; The Gladiator's War: A Dialogue, Lois Tilton. Short Stories:"The Strange Redemption of Sister Mary Anne", Mike Moscoe;"Travels With my Cats", Mike Resnick; "EmbracIng-The-New", Benjamin Rosenbaum; "Shed Skin", Robert J. Sawyer; "In the Late December", Greg van Eekhout; "Aloha", Ken Wharton. The discovery of a meteorite on Mars by the Rover Opportunity has led to a variety of new lines of inquiries for astronomers. The speci men, named Heat Shield Rock, would be the first meteorite discovered on an extraterrestrial body. Its presence may lead to new information about Martian surface processes. Amazing Stories will be going on hiatus follOWing the 608th issue in February 2005. The Locus Awards will be return Ing to Westercon in 2005, to be held In Calgary, Alberta Canada. The AuroraAwards were presented at Boreal on Saturday October 30: Best Long-Form Work in English: Blind Lake, by Robert Charles Wil son. Best Short-Form Work in En glish: "Scream Angel," by Douglas Smith. BestWork in English (Other): Julie E. Czerneda, editing Space Inc. ( Edward James in Dublin, Ireland seems pretty definite at this time. Various ways to increase conference attendance was discussed. Everyone was reminded that membership is not required to participate and/or attend Dave reviewed the general history of how SFRA conferences have been run in the past Traditionally, a member is found to run the show and be responsible for any losses. $1000 is provided by SFRA as seed money. It was noted that a conference checklist and guidelines were needed. Peter suggested a discounted "first confer ence" fee. He noted that the list of conference attendees was different from the membership and could be used for recruitment. There is a "collected wisdom" document on the running of conferences. It was noted that SFRA is committed to subsidizing grad students so they can attend. MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT AND MAINTENANCE: There was considerable discussion of what is being done and what could be done to recruit new members, and to maintain the membership. Warren explained what the Secretary has traditionally done: the renewal letter in Novem ber and the 2nd reminder letter, which has usually gone out in March. Dave requested that this letter go out at the end of February. It was also suggested that in the 2nd letter there could be a note or PS asking if the individual member belonged to other organizations that were, in some way, SF-related. If so, would the individual member be willing to recruit for SFRA? Dave said he would send out a listserv to those who had not yet renewed in mid-January and that this reminder would also go on the website. Bruce suggested that after March Emails, individualized as much as possible, could be sent to those who had still not renewed. He also suggested that there could be an ad exchange between the SFRA Review and Utopian Studies, Extrapolotion, the IAFA journal, and the New York Rettew 0/ Science Fiction. Dave suggested that recruitment could be done at the regional MLRs, as many have science fiction and fantasy literature discussion circles. Bruce suggested the membership could be asked that, if individuals be long to other organizations, would individuals be willing to pass out brochures at conferences. Peter suggested that we should contact contributors to the SF / fantasy academic journals who are not SFRA members. These non-members could then be invited to join. There was a general discussion of honorary and free memberships for award winners and the editors of the Review. Peter noted that we contact personally those we know on the non-renewal list. Bruce noted that the website should have information about financial support available for those who need such assistance to attend the conference. He also thought the website should have more links to other SF organizations and that here again was an opportunity to have an exchange ad. He thought that we should invite children's SF writers and teachers to future meetings. Are more panels on TV and media and SF a good idea at SFRA? Warren suggested some recruitment could be done at library organizations. Peter said the brochure should be available at the Merrill Collection in Toronto. Would a librarians' panel at SFRA be of interest? Bruce notes his connections to legal organizations could be useful. We discussed possible guest authors. MONEY ISSUES: BUDGETS, DUES/INCOME Dave, as past Treasurer, said that the organization is in good shape financially. He noted the Committee has discretionary funds for providing financial support for those who are going to present at SFRA and need assistance. $2000 is the current amount. If more is needed, it can be requested from the Executive Committee (Eq. Dave noted that the scholarship support fund has been very useful. He also noted that people can be nominated for support or can self nominate for conference support. Membership support has usually been for foreign scholars and graduate students. Should unemployed be a part of the )


lowered dues category, which has been just for students? It was felt the category did not need to be changed and that those who are unemployed could ask for scholarship assistance. Bills for the journals are about $10,000 annually. In addition, The SFRA Review costs about around $1000 per issue. Bruce suggested again that SFRA could sell CD's of speeches and readings and T-shirts. Mack noted that doing so would require a marketing officer. Dave said that this-the CD's and the T-shirtsshould be a suggestion for the conference organizer, but there would be an inter est in T-shirts Even so, he noted that as every guest needed a "minder," adding T shirts on top of this was adding a lot of work. Bruce thought graduate students or a grad student rep could do this. Peter asked why SFRA is holding $40,000 in savings at the present. Are we collecting too much? Should dues be lowered? Bruce noted the need to recruit younger members to keep the organization afloat, especially as the older "core" members are dose to retiring, and that maybe lower dues would help. Bruce suggested we use the extra money to endow public education to promote science fiction and good scientific thinking. Mack stated that in six months, at Vegas, we would have a better sense of our financial status. Peter felt we could lower our dues, say by $5 for 2006 for students, thus subsidizing our future. We decided to revisit the dues issue at the annual meeting in June. Peter inquired about testing PayPal. Dave said it worked and using PayPal was recommended for folks who do not have US dollar checking accounts or cash. SFRA'STAXSTATUS Currently SFRA's tax status is c(T); it should be c(3). The question is: why aren't we a c(3)?-a tax-exempt organization? Bruce is going to check this out with a colleague. OLD SFRA PAPERS: WHAT DO WE DO WITH THEM? Dave said that papers of SFRA-an organizational archive-are in the library of the University of Kansas at Lawrence. It is not known if there is a complete run of the SFRA Review there. ( PUBLICATIONS: SFRA REVIEW, WEB PAGES, AND FEMSPEC The EC received a report from Christine Mains, Editor of the SFRA Review. It is on schedule and still has some trouble in getting enough material for articles or features beyond the reviews. [The EC wondered if this is because it is not peer-reviewed?] Some pedagogical pieces are received, such as "On the Art of Teaching ... "Jan has expressed concerns about the tax status; it would be easier for her if the organization was c(3), as the university publishing the &tiew has tax exempt status. This would also make mailing the Review easier. Bruce asked if the editors would consider peer-reviewed essays and who would be the reviewers, if so? No change on this question was recommended. Bayta Weinbaum has submitted a request for financial support for Femspec. After some discussion, Dave asked for a motion to support Femspec for two years, for a total of $1000. Mack moved that SFRA support Femspec in the amount of $500 and if the journal continues publication, $500 will be given in the second year. This motion was passed unanimously. OTHER BUSINESS: Bruce asked if it was time for us to revisit our mission statement as science fiction is changing. He said he would ponder the statement. The EC left some topics for consideration later: Marketing conference shirts and mugs; should the individual marketing be done by the conference host, if at all? Should we develop a recruiting package? Recruiting is the Vice President's job. Could 15 extra Reviews be printed for such a package? Should there be a ( ______ 5---') Best Long-Form Work in French: Phaos, by Alain Bergeron. Best Short Form Work in French: "La Course de Kathryn," by Elisabeth Vonarburg. Best Work in French (Other): Solaris,Joel Champetier, red. The 29th Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship will be held at Eastern New Mexico University on March 3, 2005.The topic of this year's lec ture will be Posthumanity Evolving with guest lecturers Walter Jon Wil liams and Gregory Benford. The convener will be Connie Willis. Recent and ForthcomingTitles: Armitt, Lucie. Fantasy Fiction: An Introduction. Continuum, 2005. Ashley, Mike (ed.) Transformations: The History of the Science-Fiction Magazine I 950-1 970: Volume II. liverpool, March 2005. Barron, Nei I. Anatomy ofWonder (5th Edition). libraries Unlimited, 2004. Bly, Robert. The Science in Science Fiction: Real Inventions and their SF Roots. Benbella, 2005. Clark,Arthur C.and C.S. Lewis. From Narnia to a Space Odyssey: The War of Letters between Arthur C. Clarke and C.S. Lewis. iBooks, 2005. Cornell, Paul, Martin Day & Keith Topping. The Discontintuity Guide: The Unofficial Doctor Who Com panion. MonkeyBrain, 2004. Deuber-Mankowsky, Astrid. Lara Croft: Cyber Heroine. UniverSity of Minnesota Press, May 2005. Drew, Bernard A 100 Most Popular Genre Fiction Authors. libraries Unlimited, April 2005. Eckert, Win (ed.). Creative Mythography: An Expansion of Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe. Monkeybrain, 2005. )


("'--6 __ --') spenson, Jane (ed.) Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds, and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly. Benbella, 2005. Ferreira, Maria. I am the Other: Literary Negotiations of Human Cloning. Praeger, February 2005. Foster,Thomas. The Souls ofCyberfolk: Posthumanism as Vernacular Theory. U of Minnesota P, May 2005. Jowett, Lorna. Sex and the Slayer: A Gender Studies Primer for the Buffy Fan. Wesleyan, April 2005. Klock, Geoff. How to Read Superhero Comics and Why. Continuum, 2005. Nevins,Jess. The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana. Monkeybrain, 2005. Peeples, Scott. The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe. Camden House, 2004. Tucker, Nicholas. Darkness Visible: Inside the World of Philip Pullman. iBooks, 2005. Wheeler, Pat. Science Fiction:An Introduction. Continuum, 2005. Wisker, Gina. Horror Fiction:An Introduction. Continuum, 2005. Yeffeth, Glenn (ed.) AliasAssumed: Sex, Ues and SD-6. Benbella, 2005. Yeffeth, Glenn (ed.) Navigating the Golden Compass: Religion, Science and Daemonology in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Yeffeth, Glenn (ed.) The Anthology at the End of the Universe: Leading Science FictionAuthors on Douglas Adams'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Benbella, 2005. Yeffeth, Glenn (ed.) War of the Worlds: ( Fresh Perspectives on the H.G.Wells Classic. Benbella, 2005 student rep on the Executive Committee, who can address the interests and concerns of students? Bruce wondered if there should be a writers' advisory board, which could address the mission statement and ask where is SF going? Mack noted active writers have served, and are serving, on the EC; should they be set off as separate? Bruce wondered if an advisory board could be somehow useful for those seeking tenure. How should SERA celebrate our 35th anniver sary? The meeting was adjourned at 4 p.m. APPROACHES TO TEACHING Le Gujn's ,.he Lai:he ., Heayen Margaret McBride Ursula K. LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven (notes and handouts from a talk by Margaret McBride) The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin was chosen by the library staff of the city of Eugene, Oregon for its 2004 Readin' in the Rain celebration (don't ask me why they thought leaving off the 'g' would enhance the activity). I was asked to prepare a public lecture and questions for reading groups for the introductory activities a month before Ursula's reading, the showing of the PBS film of the novel, and other activities at the library. I asked the SFRA listserv for question suggestions and Christine Mains suggested I send the material for the newsletter. Although the library later got permission from the publisher to print out its reading group questions so I did not have to make up questions for the whole book, I nonetheless gave out a handout with some questions that were not on the publisher's list (part I below). The handout also included some quotations from other works by LeGuin that I thought might spark discussion for The Lathe of Heaven. With the help of Nina K. Hoffinan, Molly Gloss (whose Jump Off Creek was chosen for 2005 Readin' in the Rain), Leslie What and other Oregonians, I made a list of science fiction and fantasy authors who live or have lived in Oregon. I wonder how many other states could match Oregon's 60 plus (see Part I). I welcome any additions or corrections ( Part II is a slightly modified version of the notes I used for my introductory talk. It is not as formal as previous study guides published in SFRA Review but it may give some ideas for others who wish to teach The Lathe of Heaven. Part I-Handouts for the Audience. Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Who Live or Have Ijyed in Oregon 2illM Compiled by Margaret McBride, University of Oregon (with "a little help from my friends"-thanks). Kim Antieau, Michael Arnzen, Jean Auel, Steve Barnes, Dave Bischoff, Mark Bourne, Patricia Brigg, Mark Budz, Jo Clayton, Tananarive Due, Elton Eliot, Kate Eliot/ Alis Rasmussen, Sylvia Louise Engdahl, M.J. Engh, Elizabeth Engstrom, Ru Emerson, Nancy Farmer, Marina Fitch, Molly Gloss, Eileen Gunn, Nina K. Hoffinan, Dean Ing, K. W Jeter, Kij Johnson, Damon Knight, Jay Lake, Ursula K. Le Guin, David Lunde, Sonia Orin Lyris, Patricia A. McKillip, Devon Monk,Jerry Oltion, Kathy Oltion, Chuck Palahniuk, Kent Patterson, S.D. Perry, Steve Perry, Irene Radford, Alan Rodgers, Bruce Holland Rogers, Mary Rosenblum, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Sara Ryan, David Sandner, Tony Sarowitz, Robert Sheckley, Gary Shockley, Dean Wesley Smith, Stephanie Smith, Julie A. Stevens, Amy Stout, Theodore Sturgeon, John Varley, Ray Vukcevich, Leon West, Leslie What, Lori Ann White, Kate Wilhelm, Eric Witchey, Jerry Wolfe, M. K. Wren, Cristine York, )


( Steve York, Timothy Zahn. Some of these authors have short stories publishe but not yet novels. I apologize for errors or omissions. Discussion q.uestions for The Lathe of Heaven-m addition to publisher's website: 1. What is the effect of the dream-like confusion of the introduction? Particularly examine the jellyfish image-how do the dualities suggested connect with the rest of the novel, the alien, etc.? Reread the first three paragraphs after finishing the book. 2. What significance do you find in other elements that are repeatedvarious mentions of eggs, for example. 3. With a hero named George Orr, George Orwell and 1984 come to mind. What connections do you see? 4. Why is Haber such a fixed character, whereas George and Heather shift? 5. What is wrong with Haber's philosophy of doing "the greatest good for the greatest number" and how is the theme of balance presented? (questions 4-5 from Andrew Gordon) 6. How are the science and technical details revealed? Do they seem smoothly integral to the rest or are they too intrusive? What's the effect of Haber using nonsense words, "ergismatch and hormocoupler" in the last analysis scene of the book? 7. Why does Le Guin spend so much time on details of what Orr sees and hears the first time he visits Dr. Haber---Chapter 2? 8. Make a list of all the details revealed about the three main characters. How does our understanding of them deepen as we see the comparisons be tween them? What is added by Heather telling us her last name means coward? 9. What comments on our world are implied by each of the reality changes? 10. Should we see Lathe of Heaven as an attack on utopia or a more general Daoist critique of "the Judaeo-Christian-Rationalist West"-of which utopia is just a part? 11. Good Jews, especially those on the Left, should engage in tikklln olam: helping to repair, perfect, or heal the world. Social-gospel Christians should also help improve life for the wretched of the Earth, as should rationalist Liberals and socialists and communists-and even Le Guin's own communist-anarchists. Are all such efforts doomed to failure? If not, what's wrong with Dr. Haber's approach? (10 & 11 from Richard Erlich) ... Comments from other Le Guin books to conSider while reading The Lathe of Heaven "Some dreams tell us what we wish to believe. Some dreams tell us what we fear. Some dreams are of what we know though we may not know we know it. The rarest dream is the dream that tells us what we have not known." Changing Planes "Having no dreams, they tell no stories. The way to truth is though lies and dreams." Changing Planes "Fiction is an active encounter with the environment by means of posing options and alternatives, and an enlargement of present reality by connecting it to the unverifiable past and unpredictable future." Dancing at the Edge 0/ the Worid ''Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice we must not act without responsibility. Do what you must do." The Farthest Shore ''When the genuine myth rises into consciousness, the message is always 'You must change your life.'" "Myth and Archetype in Science Fiction" 'To reach the other, the artist goes into himself. Using reason, he deliber atelyenters the irrational. The farther he goes into himself the closer he comes to the other." Language 0/ the Night ( CfPs: WHAT: Academic Track WHO: Interaction/Glasgow Worldcon WHEN: 4-8 August, 2005. WHERE: Glasgow, Scotland TOPICS: It is traditional to host an academic strand within the World con. This year, the academic track is sponsored by the Science Fiction Foundation and will have its own home base.We are looking for: Papers, Panel Discussion ideas, Pre sentations of other kinds (suggest and we'll talk about it), and Poster displays.AII of the preceding are wel come on both the theme and any other topic which grabs your inter est. Theme:The Matter(s} of Britain. Papers on sf, fantasy and horror are all welcomed. All media (including music, art, gaming, etc.) are wel comed. Arguments about founding myths, competing political dis courses, alternative world narratives, regional conflicts, and views of Britain offered by British and non-British sf and fantasy writers are all wel come. Arthurian romance, fantasy and science fiction is expected to form one thread, but the overarching theme is to consider what other, competing ideas of the Matter of Britain might be. SUBMISSIONS: Proposals for short papers no more than 15 minutes to DEADLINE: March 31 st 2005. WHAT: George MacDonald Cente nary Conference WHEN: July 23rd, 2005 WHERE: International Centre for Research in Primary English and Children's Literature at University College Worcester,Worcester, UK. TOPICS: Keynote speakers include )


ref Rod McGillis. Calgary; Prof Maria Nikolajeva. Stockholm; Prof David Neuhouser.lndiana.Any subject con nected with George MacDonald. his life. work. writing for children or adults. the Victorian context, contem porary and current reception. SUBMISSIONS: 500 word outline of papers suitable for 20 minute pre sentation to Dr. Jean Webb. Graduate School. University College Worcester. Henwick Grove.Worcester. WR2 6AJ. UK or email DEADLINE: March 31 st 2005. WHAT: Comics And Fotonovelas. Second International Vernacular Col loquium WHO: Department of International Relations. University of the Ameri cas-Puebla. Mexico WHEN: October 26-292005 TOPICS:The Comics and Fotonovela area will accept submissions for panel and paper proposals related to the study and analysis of comics and fotonovelas. Proposals related to il lustrated texts and animation will also be considered. Papers and/or panels can focus on such aspects as the war on terrorism. historical development, globalization. post-colonialism. gender issues. censorship. publication and distribution. fans and popular Ity. and differing attitudes towards comics. Additional topics include educational comics. approaches to using/discussing comics in an edu cational setting and varying theoreti cal approaches to analyzing comics. Papers in English and Spanish will be accepted. SUBMISSIONS: Send a brief Cv. For paper submissions. send a 300 word abstract. For panel submissions. send a 150 word abstract describing the panel plus a 200 word abstract for each paper.lnclude requests for any audio-visual equipment needed or ( ''Those who refuse to listen to dragons are probably doomed to spend their lives acting out the nightmares of politicians. We like to think we live in daylight, but half the world is always dark; and fantasy, like poetry, speaks the language of the night." Language of the Night "In fantasy, there is nothing but the writer's vision of the world ... nothing of the commonplace to substitute for imagination, provide ready-made emotional response, or disguise the flaws of creation." --comment on the impor tance of style "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie" "I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my home world that Truth is a matter of the imagination." Introduction to Lift Hand of Darkness Part II-Notes for the Introductory Lecture I assumed significant portions of the audience were not science fiction readers and had not yet read The Lathe of Heaven so my goal was to help them become more active readers of science fiction and not give away too much of The Lathe of Heaven. I focused on four elements: History/definition of Science Fic tion, How to read SF more actively, Ursula LeGuin's life, and Things to pay attention to in the novel. HISTORY/DEFINITIONS OF SCIENCE FICTION Why does history or how we define SF matter? Some people's negative views come from its connection to pulp fiction origins--not Tarrinto's Pulp Fiction but the cheap magazines of the 20s and 30sand from SF's relationship to movies/tv especially B films of the 50s ... not par ticularly rigorous in scientific applications A. SF also has another connection, Frankenstein precursor of SF--common theme of unintended consequences of science/technology, extrapolation from science of the time, with new technology having potential of affecting large portion of population. Also utopian/ dystopian, satire like Gulliver's Travels, au thors such as Verne and Wells with some Poe, Hawthorne, and Fantasy/Gothic horror influences. SF can be seen as part of fantasy genre. B. 1926 Hugo Gerns back: Amaiing Stones to get young men involved in science through exciting adventures; cheap pay not much skill in writing so litera ture elements secondary, characters often stereotyped with a less informed charac ter (often female) to whom the hero could explain the science/new planet to at the same time as the reader could get the info-data dump, quickly evolved into less concern for the validity of the science with aliens becoming bug-eyed monsters who would carry off the scantily clad woman or anthropomorphized in problem atic ways C. John Campbell, editor & writer late 30s-60s, encouraged more emphasis on humanity, social problems as well as better writing and more accurate science D. 70's New Wave-less optimistic--humans not superior-and more experimental writing techniques, Harlan Ellison's Dangerous ViJions: freer in sexual content, dealing more directly with contemporary social problems and Feminismthought experiments. To imagine a future quite different--examine assumptions about oppressive gender system (push to limits), look at archetypes behind cul tural assumptions, revisionist myth-making, female utopias, etc. E. Definitions-several pages of different definitions in my class packet so not as simple as one might think; different splits into hard, soft, cyberpunk, etc. 1) Literature concerned with impact of scientific theory, knowledge, and advancement-Asimov OR 2) Literature which eases willing suspension of dis-)


elief with atmosphere of credibility as opposed to fantasy which doesn't give rational explanation. (examples: faster than light travel, ansible, beam me up Scotty, instant translation, time travel, ESP elements) but needs a kind of intellectual coherence and plausibility. Elements: future, past though time travel or alternate history, extrapolation from today's problems, other planets/ aliens, catastrophes, what if X changed. Today we expect stylistic competence and intellectual thought fulness with our sense of wonder. Campbell: stories that could be published in a magazine of the future without explanation (we don't do details of plane, slang zap/microwave). Givens of the new world enter the story as normal detail: The doorknob opened a blue eye and looked at him-1946 Henry Kuttner Intent-shake readers out of normal patterns, challenge cultural orientations. Reader has to think beyond the wordsDelany's idea that metaphors/ symbols can be taken literally: He turned on his left side. "I am an old man now and I can still see Helen as Dave unpacked her" Lester Del Rey ''Helen OLoy" "Martel was angry. He did not even adjust his blood away from anger." Cordwainer Smith "Scanners Live in Vain" & "I myself went into the hospital and came out French." ''Alpha Ralpher Boulevard Le Guin calls SF thought experiments, a pack of lies to tell the truth using symbol/metaphor/new realm to say something/raise questions in a way that couldn't be done in realistic mundane novel. SF attempts to help us interpret ourselves, in order to make conceptual frames more visible. HOW TO READ SCIENCE FICTION (genre conventions-Thurber story about mystery reader reading Macbeth) 1. Requires more active reader-must interpret clues-in medias resdelayed coding so sometimes we get partial impressions. Question is how important-sometimes just to let us know we're not in Kansas anymore Toto. Reader must be able to cope with the defarniliarization or estrangement effect-Miller's fallout shelter. 2. Must know something of science or at least be able to accept brief set ups about scientific premises (Le Guin does very smoothly and the scientists' names, techniques in Lathe are genuine-from what I've read) 3. Can require more of writer-accuracy in idea, setting, science 4. What makes the work SF-what are the novums; how important; how believable-social and cultural as well as science/tech-What are the effects of these differences? What purposes are the SF elements serving? Could the same ideas be conveyed in a non-SF way? 5. Ask what is being extrapolated from; what comments are being made on today's world? 6. Didactic elements--bother some readers Taking these extra steps is worth doing-ability to put reader into new frames of reference-literature of outside Toffler's Future Shock idea Sense of wonder/ reader participating in IT'S FUNI "SF is the most flexible, adaptable, broad-range, imaginative, crazy form prose fiction has ever attained" Language Of Nightp. 234 URSULA K LE GUIN-here are a few points of interest Biography elements--parents were anthropologists/ authors Theodora and Alfred Kroeber Ishi in Two Worldr-literature of outsider; attended Radcliffe and Columbia; married Charles LeGuin teacher of history; in Portland since 1959 Oregon-interest in environment & "Ones Who Walk Away from Ornelas" is Salem backwards. First fantasy publication 1961; first SF 63 ( ( Clesired. Send abstracts and propos als to: Jeff Williams, Area Chair for Comics and Fotonovelas Second In ternational Vernacular Colloquium Achaval Rodriguez I 146 5000 Cordoba, Argentina email submis sions: (make sure you put \"Puebla Conf Submis sion\" in the subject line). DEADLINE: March 15, 2005. INFO: WHAT:The 2005 Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy WHEN: Saturday, June 4, 2005 WHERE: Toronto, Ontario, at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy. TOPICS: Any area of Canadian sci ence fiction and fantasy, including: studies of individual works and au thors; comparative studies; studies that place works in their literary and/ or cultural contexts. Papers may be about works in any medium. For studies of the audio-visual media, preference will be given to discus sions of works produced in Canada or involving substantial Canadian creative contributions. SUBMISSIONS: Proposals for papers no more than 20 minutes long, and geared toward a general as well as academic audience to Dr. Allan Weiss, Department of English, York UniverSity, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON M3H 3N4 DEADLINE: March I, 2005 WHAT: Sci-Fi and Pop Culture, 1945-1965 WHEN: September 23, 2005 WHERE: Eastern Illinois University, College of Arts & Humanities, Charleston, Illinois TOPICS: Proposals are solicited for a one-day interdisciplinary sympo sium that will bring together schol-)


) ars, students, and community mem bers.Topics may include, but are not limited to: "Science Fiction and the Cold War," "Fifties Films and Litera ture," "The Red Scare in Film," "The Philosophy (or Psychology) of Film in or about the ColdWar Era,""Films and Literature from the Cold War to Civil Rights," and "Sci-Fi and Apoca lyptic Visions:' This one-day conference will coincide with a week-long community-sponsored film festival honoring William Edward Phipps, an Eastern Illinois University alumnus and character/B-movie actor whose filmography includes such classics as War of the Worlds, Five, Flat Top, Man on the Eiffel Tower, Lust for Life. Mr. Phipps's films will be shown on cam pus nightly the week prior to the sym posium and at the historic art deco Will Rogers Theatre on Saturday, September 24, 2005. Proposals are sought from all relevant fields, includ Ing film, communication, English, art, history, philosophy, psychology, so Ciology, linguistics, journalism. SUBMISSIONS: 300-500 word proposals with a short biographical statement to Robin Murray at DEADLINE: 3/30/05. WHAT: Foundation Science Fiction Essay Prize TOPICS: Essay submissions are invited for the annual Foundation Essay Prize. Authors must be graduate students at the time of submission. The essay, which must be in English, should be between 5000 and 8000 words long and may be on any aspect of science fiction.The judges for 2005 are: Brian Attebery (Idaho State University) Graham Joyce (World Fantasy Award winner) Dianne Newell (UniverSity of British Colum bia). The winning essay will be pub lished in IFoundation/; all entries to the prize will be regarded as sub-( Interest in Languages: studied French, recendy translated Argentine author Angelica Gorodischer's Kolpa Imperial from Spanish, using various translations reinterpreted Lao Tzu (lOterestin taoism--mutual interdependence of opposites, of being centered with nature, of a doctrine of inaction-to go is to return ... on going synthesis. True journey is return in The Dispossessed, Oodonion revolution). Philosophical/humanities seem to get more play over technology in her books. Variety: children's pictures books, fantasy Earthsea trilogy, SF, contempo rary mundane fiction, historical fantasy, New Yorker short stories, parable-"She Unnames Them;' "Ones Who Walk Away from Ornelas," Changing Plones, critical essays, book about writing SF & fantasy, poetry, translations, editing-Norton Book of Science Fiaion, dance/opera, does workshops & conferences, humor/ wit-the king was pregnant; responds to young scholars Awards: Hom Bk award, Newberry, Hugos, Nebulas, Nat'l Book Award, Tiptree Award (I discussed briefly its background and importance in science fiction). RECURRING THEMES AND THINGS I ESPECIALLY LIKE Environmental issues Gender-both in fiction and non-"Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction" 86 I particularly like her willingness, even courage to come back to a previous book/ theme "Is Gender Necessary" 76 Is Gender Necessary Redux 87 Left Hand of Darkness non-gendered : has new sections when re-issued. Tehanu, The Other Wind, Talesfrom Earthsea/even The Dispossessed is called an ambiguous utopia Age-Tehanu is a grandmother, "Space Crone" aliens learn from a person as example of the race, she'd choose an older woman who had children, grandchil dren, had worked and "accepted/acted the human condition of change" "Day Before the Revolution" in 12 Quarters Myth-actually came up with the myths, legends of non-gendered people of incredibly cold world, the archaeology of the future in A1IJ-'C!)s Coming Homlfstory telling and poetry (Stone Telling), Native America. Coyote stories in ''Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight" Style: scenes that stay with me-the wall image and scene of young child looking at dust motes in sunlight from The Dispossessed, Genly Ai trying to under stand the ungendered people of Winter, the fan with 2 images that combine in Tehanu, the caverns and labyrinth in Tombs of Atuan, after Eve unnames the ani mals/ aspects of nature to get rid of the separations: "My words now must be as slow, as new, as single, as tentative as the steps I took going down the path away from away from the house, between the dark-branched, tall dancers motionless against the winter shining." THE LATHE OF HEAVEN Film by PBS 1979 recently released on video. LeGuin finds the aliens stiff & mechanical but an interesting version. Recent cable-romance bothered me, but interesting bits with Mannie the janitor/ friend becoming a Greek chorus figure & the fun with the changes in the doctor's receptionist. Three Main Characters: George Orr, Dr. Haber, Heather Lalache Some aspects that might require careful reading: 1) Style: in medias res, dreamlike-reader is as disoriented as George-you might think he's drunk but you're reading science fiction so possibility that the floors becoming walls and the doors without keys have literal component (I suggest you reread first couple of pages after you finish the whole book). Satiric elements, colloquial with fragments and conversation, stream of consciousness--dreams, subjective with changes in point of view. Wit/ fun-tum gray to get rid of racism, dream the aliens off the moon-so they show up on Earth, close description of items in alien's store, including Beetles' "with a little help from my friends." Metaphors of jelly fish and other sea images-recur in Orr's last dream & George is called jelly fish. Recurring )


use of eggs. 2) The science and comments on today (psychology, biochemistry, socialized medicine, environment/over population) Haber's use of nonsense words late in book Use of quotations for each chapter, other allusions such as to 1984 George Orwell. The ways she lets you know changes after each dream-overtly and subtly make comments on today: "when protests were legal," "his family had the regular three-room flat when he was a teen but lucky enough to have private bathroom," Haber's hair is cut conservatively--shoulder length. 3) Character development-contrast with each other, commenting on use of power. Heather: "Only those who have denied their being yearn to play God". Haber makes judgments in 10 sec., has no close relationships, doesn't like to waste time on the means, treats Orr like an object, feels no reason to learn something if it's not useful, sees no need to mention inconclusive results. Readers can take notes to do personality summaries for the other two main characters. 4) Underlying philosophic question-when do we act/when do be with the world-how find a balance/ a center (which Haber is said not to have-just layers that can continue to be peeled). My own take: Orr does act--says no to Haber, pulls plug when Haber is dreaming. He talks about the difficulty of the simple act and the alien says "you have lived well." NONFICTION REVIEW A Sense 0' Wonder Janice M. Bogstad Jeffrey A. Tucker. A Sense rif Wonder: Samuel R Dela'!], &lee, Identity and DIfference May 2004. Wesleyan UP, 400p. ISBN: 0-8195-6688-8 $70 Hardback. ISBN: 0-8195-6689-6.24.95 Trade Paper I want to be clear on this. I was inclined to be favorable to this book because Delany has been one of my favorite writers as well as a favorite critic for most of my adult life. And this book features some ofhis less generically-classifi able fiction which has been the locus of discussion, dispute, dismissal and delight for a couple (at least) of generations of readers. I can now report that the work was not a disappointment. In Jeffrey Allen Tucker, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Rochester, Delany may also have found a truly worthy critic for these works, which include Dhalgren (mixed-genre, self-reflexive), the Return to Neveryon Series (high fantasy and science fiction including: Tales rif Neveryon, Neveryona, Flight From Neveryon, Return to Neveryon), The Motion rif Light on Water (Autobiography, in a style characteristic to Delany), Atlantis: Model 1924 and The Mad Man (futuristic fiction, gay pornography, philosophy?). Tucker's style, too, is unusual and also very effective. His interest is in explorations of race Delany's works (among other themes), and Delany'S interrogation of the sometimes-popular theoretical stance of identity politics. He demonstrates both Delany's interrogation and use of identity politics and his ultimate rejection of that personal position as a fixed perspective from which to view, and what is more important, to change the world. His second approach is to follow Delany's use of paraliterature as gay activism, and particularly, as gay AIDS activisim. So within this critical work you will find analyses of Delany's more recent fiction, autobiography and criticism, but also much information about the nature of race, gayness, and AIDS in the modem world. For example, in Chapter 6, 'A Revolution from Within,' Tucker includes facts from a range of health and inter-( ( missions to the journal, and will be considered for publication. SUBMISSIONS: MSWord to Michelle Reid DEADLINE: May 31 2005. WHAT: 'Borderlands of Science and Literature' WHO: Science and literature Panel at 2005 MMLA convention WHEN: Nov 10-13, 2005 WHERE: Milwaukee, Wisconsin TOPICS:This panel calls for papers which examine the interaction of sci entific and literary imagination in lit erature that is informed by the intersection of science, technology, mathematics, literature and culture. Some topics might address literature that lies in the borderlands between: Science and literature/culture; liter ary movements (example: Romanticism/Modernism/Postmodernism/ etc); Genre (example: novel/poetry/ fantasy/realism/nonfiction/etc); Gen der/sexuality as informed by science/ technology; Any other papers deal ing with boundary crossing as related to science and literature. SUBMISSIONS: abstracts asWord at tachment to DEADLINE: March 15 WHAT: "The Superhero Revised in Comic Books, Film, and Television" WHO: 2005 Midwest Popular Cul tureAssociation / MidwestAmerican Culture Association Conference WHEN: October 14-16 WHERE: St. Louis, MO TOPICS: From the time of their advent in the comic books of the 1930's, superheroes have been a dis tinctive part of the American expe rience. Some critics have suggested that the enduring presence of super heroes in comic books, film, and tele vision grows from the desire to re tain the classic heroic archetypes. )


) Others have suggested that super heroes are extremely malleable com modities that easily reflect and re inforce culture. This panel will ex plore the changes made to the superhero in general and particular throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. Possible topics include: Iconic superheroes; Well-known comic book heroes such as Spiderman and the Hulk and not such well-known comic book heroes such as Blade and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Radically revised superheroes such as Frank Miller's Dark Knight or Grant Morrison's New X-Men; Out sider heroes such as Batman, Dare devil, and Elektra;Alternative conti nuity versions of superheroes from titles such as Marvel's What If? and series such as DC's "Elseworlds"; Anti-heroic superbeings such as Alan Moore's Watchmen and War ren Ellis' The Authority; Relatively ordinary people living in superheroic worlds as in KurtBusiek's Marvels or Brian Michael Bendis' Alias and offering metanarratives on the meaning of superheroes. SUBMISSIONS: 300-word proposal to Terrence Wandtke , within the body of the e-mail or Word attachment DEADLINE: April 30, 2005 WHAT: Science Fiction and Fantasy Section WHO: South Central Modern language Association WHEN: 27-29 October 2005 WHERE:Warwick Hotel in down town Houston TX. TOPICS:The theme for the confer ence, in "Space City," is "Literary Space(s):'The theme for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Section is based on that: "Literary Times(s) and ( national organizations on the state of AIDs and its relationship to race and class in the u.s. and the world as contextualization for a fascinating, if sometimes too ambitious, critique of The MadMan. Additionally, the bibliography is a rich on its own, with a critical panoply to be envied by any Delany or SF criticism, race and identity theory or Feminist enthu siast. While Tucker has chosen, in this reworking of his dissertation from Princeton University, to focus on the above-mentioned works, it is clear that he's very familiar with other Delany, such as Stars in lIfy Pocket, Nova, Trouble on Triton, etc. and with other autobiographical and critical works. Some may find the meld ing of factual and politically-charged information not to their liking; Most, I think, will recognize that Tucker has tapped into amain root in Delany's work as a whole. In my humble opinion, anyone who tries to work on Delany, or on the more exciting aspects of modem science fiction's potential to engage with the world, will want to read this book. NONFICTION REVIEW ,.he Gernsback Days Neil Barron Ashley, Mike and Robert A.W Lowndes. The Gernsback Dqys: A Stu4J 0/ the Evolution 0/ Modern Science Fiction. Wilds ide Press, 2004. 499 pages; $29.95, paperbound, ISBN 0809510553. Bom in Luxembourg in 1884, Hugo Gemsback immigrated to the US in 1904 and founded and edited several electronic hobbyist magazines. In 1926 he founded and edited Ama:rjng Stories, the first all-SF magazine, was soon forced into bankruptcy and later founded several other SF pulps. Historians of SF recog nize the importance of Gems back but differ sharply on his influence. The dominant view is that he was a disaster, untalented as both an editor and writer of SF, who imposed a crippling philosophy on the early development of SE Ashley thinks more highly of Gemsback, and over two decades wrote this detailed study (250 of the book's 499 pages). His research provides much detail not previously revealed or placed in context. Lowndes (1916-98), an early pulp magazine editor, provides 132 pages of numbing summaries of the dreary fiction in Gemsback's magazines, 1926-36. Most of the remaining pages list issue-by-issue contents of SF in Gems back magazines published 1908-36. Gems back has been the subject of many articles and books (the selected bibliography runs 8 pages), including Westfahl's favorable The Mechanics 0/ Wonder (1998). But the final judgment is likely to be that of Bleiler in Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years, who concludes: "In general, apart from an occasional story, one must look back at the authors of 1926-1936 mostly as predecessors, rather than as authors to be read today apart from historical reasons." NONFICTION REVIEW Ghouls, Gjmmjcks, and Gold Rebecca Janicker Heffernan, Kevin. GhouLr, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American MOtie Business, 1953-1968. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press (2004). ISBN 0-8223-3215-9.61 illustrations, viii + 228pp. $22.95 (Pbk). The aim of this text is to place American horror films of the 1950s and 1960s within the broader context of production and marketing, as well as examin-)


ing their relation to the wider industry, both national and international, during those decades. It does so by providing evaluative accounts of a range of technolo gies prevalent in the industry at the time, as well as describing typical plots, motifs and directorial styles, drawing on a wide array of examples and illustrating them with black and movie stills, advertisements and cinema posters. Brimming with plot synopses and including an appendix 'Feature Film Packages in Television Syndication 1955-1968', this text serves as a reference guide as well as a critical work. The chapter topics include the updating of the cinema of attractions with the introduction of technology such as 3-D and Psycho-Rama, Hammer horror productions, Poe adaptations and art house cinema, concluding with a nod to the blending of classic low-budget horror themes with big production values and advanced special effects in contemporary Hollywood (226). The introductory chapter looks at the explosion in 3-D movies between 1952 and 1954, noting the tendency to decry such productions as "tedious linking scenes in between 'gimmick shots' of ... hurled objects" (17). Heffernan uses House of Wax(1953) and Creaturejrom the Black Lagoon (1954) as exemplars of the many changes taking place in the production and marketing of genre film. Chapters 2, 4 and 5 explore specific productions, including Terence Fisher's Hammer produc tion Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Roger Pit and the Pendulum (1961) and :Michael Powell's English-made art film Peeping Tom (1960). Of particular interest is Chapter 3, which addresses concerns in the 1950s about subliminal advertising and, as a corollary, further fears about the ability of filmmakers and other agents of the mass media to wield the power of subliminal suggestion in their products. Anxiety abounded concerning the "seemingly hyp notic powers that advertisers wielded over the public" (74), and Heffernan cites Vance Packard's seminal 1957 work The Hidden Persuaders as an example of the public's increasing awareness of the dangers of the media. The feeling was that it might have been possible for studios and cinemas to manipulate audiences without their knowledge or consent, exploiting their emotions, behavior and finances for financial gain. A surge of interest in 'depth psychology' and in the subconscious thus had potentially horrific implications for audiences of the era, as well as for characters in horror films that they watched, such as My World Dies Screaming (1958), in which the protagonist is forced to confront nightmarish repressed memories that tum out to be actual events from her past (73). The role of the subliminal is thus shown by Heffernan to have impacted hugely upon the popular psyche of the 1950s and 1960s, whether on or off the screen. Chapters 6 and 7 focus on wider trends and changes in film marketing and consumption, dealing with the growing phenomena of global marketing and television syndication respectively. Major studios began to realise that selling the more upscale, bigger budget pictures to overseas audiences, as well as to domestic, was required in order to make them profitable. Combined with the noted success of certain foreign productions with America movie-goers, this trend contributed to increased internationalisation of the movie market. Heffernan notes "Finally, by 1960 all of the major studios had established lucrative corporation deals with studios in Great Britain or Europe" (136). The author gives a detailed account of the technologies used to bring low-budget film productions to the small screen, explaining how certain developments, such as UHF television stations, played a partin the increased demand for feature productions and syndicated programs in the 1960s. Chapter 8 shows how the horror films of the late 1960s reflected "what had become a highly fragmented consuming public during a time of bewildering social change" (181). Cases here include Bai!Y (1968), in which Heffernan notes that the eponymous Rosemary is an independent, educated, modem woman who ( ( Space(s):'This is general enough to allow almost any discussion of science fiction and/or fantasy, albeit with some emphasis on setting; it also allows for some more theoretic dis cussions of science fiction/fantasy set tings-internal or external. In addi tion to that. the organizer would like _one_good discussion of _The Lord of the Rings-, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of _The Return of the King.... Anyone whose paper is accepted must be (or then join, becoming) a member of SCM LA. SUBMISSIONS: Joe R. Christopher, English Department. Box T-0300, Tarleton State University, Stephenville TX 76402; or to . DEADLINE: 15 March 2005 WHAT:The Uses of the Science Fiction Genre:An Interdisciplinary Sym posium WHEN: October 20-22, 2005 WHERE: Brock University, St. Catha rines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3AI TOPICS: Featured Speaker: Robert Sawyer, award winning author of Hominids, Humans, and The Termi nal Experiment. This interdiSciplinary symposium will explore the follow ing themes: What are the various uses of the Science Fiction genre in its multi-, cross-, and trans-disciplin ary deployments? Over the course of this three day conference, vari ous panels and workshops will be offered. Possible titles/topics include, but are not limited to: Science Fiction: The Mythology of Modernity; Virtual Worlds/Cybercommunities; Today isTomorrowlTomorrow isToday; (Science) Heroes/Heroines of the Future;The Children or Paradoxes of Technology: The Legacy of Fran kenstein;The Ideas of Cosmic Consciousness; Psychoanalysis in/and )


) cience Fiction; Traditions: "Retro"Aesthetics: Philosophy and Literature; Science Fiction and Femi nism; Social Ethics and Politics.This Is an open call for papers from all disciplines.We welcome panel/work shop proposals on specific themes, as well. SUBMISSIONS: abstracts (not more than 500 words), reading time of not more than 30 minutes, to Prof. Michael Berman, Philosophy Department, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A I, or DEADLlNE:April 15,2005 WHAT: Science Fiction (s): A Study Day on Science Fiction Film, Televi sion, literature and New Media WHEN: 19 August 2005 WHERE: University of Nottingham, UK TOPICS:While popular representa tions of science fiction have been granted a certain degree of aca demic legitimacy in recent years, this study day represents an attempt to rethink the frameworks in which the study of science fiction has been defined generically by industries, audiences and texts. The Science Fiction(s) event seeks to redress the balance in order to examine the cross over of sf spectacularity, and the intermediality of sf's intersection with television, literature and new media. This one day forum for de bate is intended to facilitate an interrogation of the cultural value of these peripheral and multidisciplinary engagements with science fiction(s), seeking to exam Ine how sf space has transmuted into divergent media. Our intention is to look specifically at the extensive cross over potentials that emerge between sf manifestations such as television, literature, DVD and video, as well as gaming and internet com-( IS dis empowered over the course of this traditional Gothic narrative which has been updated to take place in 1960's Manhattan. With Chapter 9, the author demonstrates how the controversial Night of the living Dead (1968) was derided for taking horror productions to new lows of explicit violence and bleakness, culminating in the gunning-down of the hero. Overall, this text achieves its goals in giving a detailed account of major changes, and reasons for them, in horror films and the American film industry during the 1950s and 1960s. At times the book appears to lean heavily upon explanations, facts and figures pertaining specifically to technology, and thus might benefit from more in-depth textual analysis. NONFICTION REVIEW Ljqujd lIetal Jeff D' Anastasio Redmond, Sean, ed. liquid Metal The Science Fiction Film Reader. London: Wallflower Press (, 2004. 352 pp (with Index). $65.00 hardbound ISBN 1-903364-88-4. $22.50 paperbound ISBN 1-903364-87-6. The editor's hook here is "the very first extended collection of previously published essays on science fiction film and, to a lesser extent, television" (x). Perhaps this is the very first anthology of already-published essays on science fiction films and TV shows, although there are numerous other anthologies specializing in the topic. Regardless of which book is the very first, my overall judgment of liquid Metal is positive. If academic essays about science fiction movies interest you, then you likely have already found this collection. But for a broader audience, particularly in regards to suitability as a required text for a college course, I have two qualifications. One concern is the design of the book, and the second relates to, for lack of a better word, marketing. Design: This book is crammed with information. Thirty essays are pre sented in eight subsections, including such critics as Vivian Sobchack (three essays), Susan Sontang, Scott Bukatman,john Tulloch, and Peter Hutchings among others. The subsections feature film utopias, disasters, time travel, and cyborgs. There is great value for money to be had here given the affordability of the paperback version, yet this density comes at the expense of readability. Each essay is presented in a two-column format featuring a microscopic font. I grant that this observation amounts to lamenting style over substance. I do not intend to fault the substance of liquid Metal, but there is something about the look of the text that suggests a slog. Perhaps I am imagining students' reactions too vividly; however, in contrast to the essays, editor Sean Redmond's contextual summaries at the start of each subsection are printed in a clear, regular sized font that makes these pages seem like a breath of fresh air. Redmond's insights about the essays and the science fiction genre as a whole are consistent, clear, and useful. Marketing: Rather than being "The" Science Fiction Film reader of the subtitle, the book is ''N.' reader whose main purview is films from the 1950s1980s, with Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World (1997) among a handful of 1990s films that receive any mention. Will Brooker adds a 2003 preface to his 1997 Star Wars essay, and Kurt Lancaster's 2001 critique of Bal?Jlon 5 fan fiction starts to end the book somewhat contemporarily-although why a final section on 1950s invasion films concludes an otherwise nearly chronological organization is dis tracting despite the editor's "case study" explanation. What my dateline quibbling amounts to is that if you are interested in )


Blade Runner (1982), Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), and The Terminator (1984), then you will find essays with at least one of these movies as the centerpiece. Anyone assummg that a 2004 Science Fiction Film Reader would include thorough coverage of the most recent Star War.r films, The Matrix and sequels, Spider Mcm, or any Star Trek movies or TV series beyond those with the 1960s cast, will be disappointed. Remarketing the book's focus and subtitle to encompass films through 1994 or 1995 would help potential readers and course adapters a great deal. Nonetheless, there is plenty here for anyone with an interest in science fiction film history and criticism, and my lament about the lack of coverage for the past ten years could be easily remedied with a Liquid Metal 2. NONFICTION REVIEW I am AUwe and You are Dead Neil Barron Carrere, Emmanuel (translated by Timothy Bent). I Am Alive and Yoll Are Dead: A JOllrnry into the Mind ofPht/ip K Dick. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2004.336 pages, hardbound, $26.00. ISBN 0805054642. The SF writer about whom more has been written than any other, with the possible exception of Ursula Le Guin, is Philip K Dick. He and a twin sister were born prematurely in 1928, and her immediate death haunted Dick's entire life. Only two of his five marriages lasted longer than a year: Only one of his realistic novels was published during his lifetime; most of the others appeared after his death in 1982. Several of his stories have been filmed, of which the best and best known was Blade Runner, based very loosely on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968), and the subject of many essays and several books. Dick was prolific, with more than fifty novels and 118 short stories published in a five-volume set. His anguish, recurrent psychological problems (including a lifetime addition to am phetamines) and frequent paranoia were transmuted into his fiction. Perhaps his most intense concern was metaphysical, distinguishing between the real and the ersatz (this theme is prominent in Blade Runner). Whether you would learn this basic information from Emmanuel Carrere's I Am Alive and Yoll Are Dead: A J01lT7lry into the Mind of Philip K Dick is doubtful. The author, a novelist and screenplay writer, has talked to people who knew Dick and has read about him, but his account is not that of a biographer or even a literary critic, but more of a usually sympathetic observer. Most readers, possibly excluding Dick fans, will find this a bore and unenlightening, in spite of Dick's importance to SR Much better for almost anyone else is Lawrence Sutin's Divine Invasion: The Life of Philtp K Dick (1989), which is documented, critically balanced and has an index, features lacking in this tiresome account. NONFICTION REVIEW 7he Ewolutjon 0' the Wejrd 7ale Neil Barron Joshi, S.T. The Evolution of the Weird Tale. Hippocampus Press, Box 641, NY 10156 (2004). 216 pages; $15.00, trade paper. ISBN 0974878928. S. T. Joshi is one of the major critics of weird/ supernatural/horror fiction, especially of the works of H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), who's attracted a cult fullow ing. Joshi's latest book is The Evolution of the Weird Tale (Hippocampus Press, Box ( ( IS) munity participation. Possible top ics might include but are by no means limited to: SF CrOSSing the Generic Divide; Science Fiction/Sci ence Fact; Science Fiction and Science Eventuality; Selling Science Fiction To Infinity and Beyond; Block busting SF SFX; Low Budget and In dependent SF;Time Travel and Quantum Leaps; Transgressive Hyperbodies; Internet Communities, Fandom and Collecting; Gaming and Console Creativity. SUBMISSIONS: proposals of 300 words and bio to Kerry Gough at . DEADLINE: 29 April 2005 WHAT: Inventing the 21 st Century: Many Worlds, Many Histories WHO:The 21st Eaton Conference WHERE: The Science Fiction Mu seum, Seattle When: May 5-7, 2005 TOPICS: Science fiction emerged in the 20th century as the literary, ar tistic and cinematic genre that dealt with scientific and technological ad vances and their relation to human institutions and aspirations. It shaped the way we see and do things, the way we dreamt of things to come. But what will be its role in the 21 st century? What does a look at the SF of the last decade and events leading to it, tell us about future directions and metamorphoses of SF? In a century where the themes and icons of SF have moved from literary origins to manifestations in all areas of society and culture, what might be the future forms of SF? In other words, to paraphrase Gauguin, where is it coming from, what is it today, where is it going? The confer ence invites informed papers on de velopment in SF over the last cen tury, both the scientific and cultural developments that have been shaping SF, and in the opposite sense, the )


) developments in SF that have been shaping science and, more broadly, culture. Scientific areas of compari son and speculation in which dis cussions are most sought are as follows: medicine, biology, nanotechnology, social engineering, information science, virtual reality, space travel and terraforming, ecol ogy and population biology, linguis tics and alien communication. The conference will have four sections, organized around the following ar eas of investigation.The Astounding Age:The Past, Present and Future of Hard SF; From Analog to Digital and Sometimes BackAgain:The SFWorid and ItsTomorrows;Remembrance of Things To Come: Future Histories and Alternate Histories;The Franken stein Century:TheAge of Biology. SUBMISSIONS: Proposals for 20 minute papers to Robert Heath or George Slusser DEADLINE: March I, 2005 WHAT: Science Fiction and Fantasy Discussion Circle WHO:SAMLA WHEN: November 4-6. WHERE: Atlanta, GA TOPICS: In speculating on and en visioning alternative pasts, presents, and futures, science fiction and fan tasy invite a readership interested not simply in escape but in critical, revisionary engagements with the "real" world, specifically with a sta tus quo that favors a particular so cial, sexual, economic, religious, and environmental order. Papers are in vited that explore the tendencies of SF and fantasy to subvert dominant paradigms by critiquing the hege monic order and/or proposing al ternatives to the socia-political norm. Possible paper topics include Ursula K. Le Guin's exploration of gender roles in The Left Hand of Darkness, ( 641, NY 10156,2004, $15 trade paper, 216 p.). Joshi has explored this territory before in The WeirdTale (1990), which focuses on Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, M.R James and Ambrose Bierce. The Modem Weird Tale (2001) covers contemporary writers such as Shirley Jackson, William Peter Blatty, Stephen King, Give Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub and Anne Rice. latest book reprints and revises a number of specialty magazine essays and some book introductions. His subjects range from American and British writers of the "golden age" (roughly 1890 to 1930), including Robert W Cham bers, F. Marion Crawford, Kipling, E.F. Benson and L.P. Hardey. Lovecraft is discussed in moderate detail along with those he strongly influenced, such as Frank Belknap Long, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber. Contemporary writers discussed include Rod Serling, L.P. Davies, Les Daniels, Dennis Etchison, David J. Schow and Poppy Z. Brite. Joshi is a stem critic, dismissing as meretricious most of the work of the "splatterpunks" and trendy writers like Brite. Libraries owning works by the better writers Joshi discusses with insight and, generally, fairness, could broaden the horizons of weird/horror fiction readers with this inexpensive and dearly written survey. NONFICTION REVIEW The Yampjre as lIumjnous Experjence Rebecca Janicker McDonald, Beth E. The Vampire as Numinous Experience: Spiritual journrys with the Undead in British andAmerican Literature. Jefferson, NC: McFarland (2004). vii + 200 pages. Paperbound, $35.00. ISBN 0-7864-1947-4. This text is a fascinating exploration of encounters between spiritual be ings and events within a literary context, using the enduring figure of the vampire in its various guises in poetry and fiction. The author draws on detailed case studies of both classic and contemporary texts to build up a picture of the unique function of the vampiric figure within the realm of the supernatural. Key themes include the importance of the individualistic nature of this quest and the implica tions for wider society. Chapter 1 sets the tone for the book by providing an overview of estab lished works on the numinous and using these to develop definitions of crucial concepts. Here, McDonald expands on Rudolf Otto's ideas about Gothic litera ture being a quest for the numinous, Tzvetan Todorov's insights into the nature of the uncanny and Devendra P. Varma's observations about humanity's enduring need to experience the infinite (19). The psychoanalytic theories of Freud,Jung and Kristeva concerning issues surrounding the uncanny, religion, literature and arche types, are also examined in some detail here. Overall, the author establishes where the study will take the reader, namely to an examination of how supernatural fiction must be experienced by the audience as a real and meaningful experience in order to challenge them to make reflections about the events and characters to which they become exposed (25). The next chapter takes "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as its focal point, examining the way in which the numinous provokes a quest for the self in an early text. The focus here is on the Mariner's decidedly individualised journey from traditional religion to a greater insight into the cosmic and divine (83), with an ensuing duty to communicate this knowledge to others. Chapter 3 moves forward to classic vampire text Dracula, where McDonald uses the works of reli gious historian lvfircea Eliade, amongst others, in her exploration of the novel's )


ore community-based attempt to restore the pre-existing social order by riddin society of the supernatural threat. The final case-study chapter provides an in-depth analysis oflate-twenti eth-centuryvampires, using Anne Rice's Vampire Olronicles and focusingparticu larlyon the development of her key vampiric character, Lestat de Lioncourt. Here, McDonald uses texts such as Christopher Lasch's "Culture of Narcissism" and Ernest Becker's "The Denial of Death" to bring to the fore issues within the psyche of1960s and 1970s America, such as a growing distrust for institutions and concomitant spiritual isolation, as well as the innate fear of death experienced by wider humanity (129). These ideas are used to posit that subjects of the numinous experience occupy an ambiguous position between life and death, thus enabling them to satisfy their instincts with a search for moral meaning and salvation whilst strug gling to hold back the threat of their own demise (133). McDonald notes Rice's own observation that vampires are a useful metaphor for the human condition, immortals in human form that can explore issues of a moral and spiritual nature (134), with the potential for good or for evil. Essentially, it is agued that Lestat's upbringing prepares him for his encounter with the numinous. He searches for meaning by combining his own aesthetic of 'goodness' with the aesthetic of 'love' engendered by his spiritual experience of 'joining' with his vampire maker, Magnus (146). A personal solution thus ensues for this vampiric protagonist, but not one that will satisfy him forever. This leads him to seek out others of his kind so that he may develop his ideas about how vampires should live. Lestat evolves morally during the course of his adventures, ultimately concluding that his own experience is all that truly exists (167). In concluding her work, McDonald unites her first two case-studies and contrasts them with the last by noting that their "sin lies in forgetting our sacred connection with the world ... in Anne Rice's vampire novels the sin lies in being forgotten" (171). The character of Lest at thus provides a vehicle for raising funda mental questions about how our individual human lives relate to the wider scope of life. It would have perhaps strengthened McDonald's arguments about this progression of human spiritual development even further if she had been able to link early twentieth-century texts with these later novels by addressing vampiric roles (or the lack thereof) in the intervening years. The book finishes with the observation that new centuries and new millennia form a numinous threshold that works to raise anxiety (169), and that writers have used the supernatural mode to address these fears. Furthermore, it is likely that they will continue to do so, as people in the twenty-first century seek out "a new spirituality to serve as a guide for the new century" (180). Overall, this book would be of great interest to scholars of Gothic and uncanny fiction, integrating hallmark theories on the subject with McDonald's fresh approach to classic and modem texts. NONFICTION REVIEW .,he Lord 0' ihe Rllnas and Phillosophy Christine Cornell Bassham, Gregory & Eric Bronson, eds. The Lord of the Rings and Philoso pf?y: One Book to Rule Them AU. Open Court, Chicago and La Salle, Illinois, 2003. xi + 240 pages. Paperbound, $17.95. ISBN 0-8126-9545-3. This book is another offering in Open Court's Popular Culture and Phi losophy series edited by William Irwin. Like others in the series, including The Matrix and Philosopqy (2002) and BuJIj the Vampire S0er and Philosopqy (2003), this ( ( e radical environmental conscience of the "Red" resistance movement in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books, or, more generally, the generic meth ods by which subversion in science fiction and fantasy has been achieved. With the general goal of this session being to highlight the critical poten tials of SF and fantasy, submissions from all theoretical perspectives are encouraged: Marxist interpretations, ecocritical stances, feminist inquiries, and so forth. SUBMISSIONS: one-page abstract to Eric Otto at . DEADLINE: March 31, 2005 WHAT: Romantic and Victorian Sci ence TOPICS: In George Eliot's Middlemarch, Mr. Brooke says,"1 went into science a good deal myself at one time; but I saw it would not do. It leads to everything." Mr. Brooke's dis covery that studying science "leads to everything" is arguably one that the nineteenth century itself made as science assumed unprecedented importance in the general culture.This panel will ask what science led to for writers of the Romantic and Victo rian periods: how did they incorpo rate, transform, or resist science in their work? Because the nineteenth century witnessed tremendous activ ity across the scientific disciplines, papers on all fields-from anthropol ogy to biology to physics-will be welcomed. SUBMISSIONS: 300-400 word ab stracts by email or USPS by to Anne DeWitt ( DEADLINE: 31 March 2005 WHAT:The Rhetoric of Anti-Science WHO: MLA Convention WHEN: December 27-30, 2005 WHERE:Washington, DC TOPICS:"Anti-Science" as a term of art and abuse in the science wars. )


) Anti-science not as not-science, but as science's Other.Anti-science as an argument at the stasis of definition. Anti-science as the pharmakon of science.The anti-science concept may name (among others) scientific fraud, species of creationism, global warming skepticism, science policy under the Bush administration, complemen tary/alternative medicine, and science studies itself. SUBMISSIONS: title, abstract, and brief bio to . DEADLINE: I March 2005 WHAT:WisCon 29 WHEN: May 27-30,2005 WHERE: Concourse Hotel in down town Madison, Wisconsin. TOPICS: We invite papers and pre sentations on science fiction and fan tasy, with an emphasis on issues of feminism, gender, race, and class. We especially welcome papers on the work of this year's guests of honour, Robin McKinley and Gwyneth jones. SUBMISSIONS: proposals of 50-1 00 words via email to joan Haran at DEADLINE: 28 February 2005 INFORMATION: WHAT:The Witching Hour:A Harry Potter Symposium presented by HP Education Fanon, Inc. WHEN: Oct 6-10, 2005 WHERE: Salem, MA October 6-10, 2005 TOPICS: Keynote Speakers: Henry jenkins, john Cech Special Guests: Marleen Barr, Vicky Dann, Eliza T. Dresang, Tamora Pierce, Nancy Farmer, Charles de Lint, Ellen Datlow, Holly Black, Charles N. Brown. The Witching Hour is an interdisciplinary symposium designed to allow schol ars and adult enthusiasts of the Harry Potter series to gather and share re search.The conference programming ( ook aims to make philosophical ideas accessible to a general audience an examination of ideas in works of popular culture. Gregory Bassham, Chair of Philosophy at King's College, Pennsylvania, and Eric Bronson, Head of Philoso phy and History at Berkeley College, New York Gty, have assembled sixteen origi nal essays primarily by those in philosophy with two by writers from English. The essays are arranged around five broad topics: the Ring. the quest for happiness, good and evil, time and mortality, and finally, ends and endings. The organization is at times a bit arbitrary; for instance, there is inevitably overlap between discussions of the Ring and the theme of good and evil in Tolkien's work. A reader might also wish for greater breadth among the topics; for instance, given the prominence of war in The Lord if the Rings there is surprisingly little attention in this collection to ethical or philosophical issues connected to the conduct of war. After the essays, the book includes six pages of proverbial quota tions titled "The Wisdom of the Philosophers" beginning with Lao-tzu and ending with Camus. It is not clear what purpose this serves, since it is not referred to in the essays. Much more useful is the index which includes references to phi losophers, works, and ideas. The strongest essays in the collection are those concerned with ethical is sues. In "Sam and Frodo's Excellent Adventure," J. Lenore Wright, drawing on the work of Martha Nussbaum, observes that "in portraying characters whose actions mimic the lived experiences of human beings, literature offers us a lens into the philosophical dimension of human action-ethical, aesthetic, and onto logical" (193). Eric Katz's essay, ''The Rings of Tolkien and Plato" is a good example of the careful consideration of the ethical consideration of The Lord if the Ringswhich some of the essays offer. Katz develops a comparison between Plato's story of Gyges in the Republic and Tolkien's text. In comparing Gyges with Boromir, he argues that Tolkien unlike Plato shows us the inner process of cor ruption as well as the resulting actions. At the same time, through Sam and Galadriel, Tolkien suggests resistance is far from futile. This emphasis on free will is another common theme in many of the essays. Two fine essays by Scott A. Davidson and Aeon J. Skoble pick up the theme of free will in their discussions of the nature of evil and in the development of virtue and vice respectively. The essays in the collection consider The Lord if the Rings in light of philosophical thinkers ranging from Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine, to Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche. The connections seem more strained, however, as the essays move into the existentialists. Eric Bronson's essay on existentialists and the elves, for instance, ignores Tolkien's own Christianity, making some of the conclusions unpersuasive. Many of the essays do make good use of Tolkien's other works, especially The Sifmarillion and On Faerie Stories. There are also references to Peter Jackson's film version, but there are no systematic comparisons with the text. A general reader will find much to think about in this book, but it would also be useful for students of Tolkien with little philosophical background who might like some idea of where to begin. I would also recommend some of the essays for use in undergraduate teaching because they are accessible and well writ ten. NONFICTION REVIEW N.G. Wells: "raversjna .,jme Neil Barron Wagar, Warren. H.G. WelLr: Traversing Time. Wesleyan, 2004.334 pages, hardbound, $34.95. ISBN 0819567256. If anyone could be appropriately tagged "the father of science fiction," it uld be HG. Wells 1866-1946 Wa aris one of man critics who ar e )


candidate, Jules Verne (1828-1905) is sometimes suggested, but-perhaps because he was trained as a lawyer, unlike Wells, who had considerable science training-his many voyages extraordinaires rarely go beyond the knowledge of his day. While his tales are energetic, they are intellectually cautious. When he wrote of a moon voyage, he included more ballistics than most readers cared to know (and they were wrong as well). Wells, in spite of his scientific training, was content to substitute "the ingenious use of scientific patter" to gain credibility for his stories, or scientific romances as he reluctandy called them (the term science fiction did not become common until the 1930s). Verne was annoyed that Wells would use an obvious impossibility (Cavorite, which was impervious to gravitation) as the pro pulsive force for his moon ship. Wagar says he was gready influenced by Wells as a boy in the early 1930s. He wrote his 1956 doctoral thesis on Wells, published in 1961 as HG. WetZr and the World State and wrote other books about Wells in subsequent years, including this new one, HG. WetZr: Traversing Time (Wesleyan Up, 2004, $34.95). Wagar's emphasis here is on Wells's penchant for setting present day concerns (many of which are today's major problems) "within a framework of evolutionary time," to quote another Wells critic. Wagar's first chapter provides an overview of Wells's life and major works, not only the scientific romances but his other fiction, journalism and essays as well. Later chapters flesh out this summary. Just enough background detail is provided to orient the interested lay reader, while the notes, bibliography and index will serve the scholar. Perhaps the best endorsement of the importance of Wells came from a short but acute 1941 essay by George Orwell (1903-50), "Wells, Hider and the World State," which Wagar doesn't cite: "Thinking people who were born about the beginning of this century are in some sense Wells's own creation ... I doubt whether anyone who was writing books between 1900 and 1920, at any rate in the English language, influenced the young so much. The minds of all of us, and therefore the physical world, would be perceptibly different if Wells had never existed ... here was this wonderful man who could tell you about the inhabitants of the planets and the bottom of the sea, and who knew that the future was not going to be what respectable people imagined ... If your library lacks either one of the two best biographies of Wells, David C. Smith's HG. Wetzr: DesperatelY Mortal (1986) or Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie's HG. WetZr:A Biograp0t (1973; rev. 1987 as The 4ft oj HG. WetZr: The Time Trm'CIfer), you should consider Wagar's balanced study, an excellent example of intellec tual history rather than of literary criticism or straight biography. But first you should own or acquire copies of Seven Science Fiction Novels oj HG. WetZr in the bargain-priced Dover omnibus reprint and The Complete Short Stories oj HG. WetZr, ed. by John Hammond (Dent, 1998; Trafalgar Square, US distributor). NONFICTION REVIEW The Horror Reader's Neil Barron Spratford, Becky Siegel and Tammy Hennigh Clausen. The Horror Reader's Advisory: the Librarian's Guide to Vampires, Killer Tomatoes, and Haunted Houses. Ameri can Library Association, 2004.176 pages; $36.00, trade paper, ISBN 0838908713. Becky Siegel Spratford and Tammy Hennigh Clausen are readers' advisory librarians at the Berwyn PL, west of Chicago. Their The Horror Reader's Adtisory: the Librarian's Guide to Vampires, Killer Tomatoes, and Haunted Houses is a chatty, cliche filled introduction for fellow librarians. A short potted history begins the 161 page book, whose list of horror authors, Gothic to contemporary, include most of the ( ( ....... ___ 19_) ill engage attendees in a broad ex ploration and understanding of the Harry Potter texts and phenomenon, as well as foster dialogue between academics and fans. The theme of the symposium is choice, moral am biguity and the darkness within everyone.We welcome proposals on any and all topics -whether aca demic, creative or fan relating to Harry Potter. In addition to formal papers, The Witching Hour is seeking a variety of presentation mod els, including pre-organized critical panels, round table-style discussions, and craft-based workshops. We intend that the round tables and work shops, in particular, focus on audi ence participation and interaction. Finally, our website contains a list of panels for which we are seeking par ticipants. SUBMISSIONS:Via the website. 400500 word abstract. DEADLINE: May 15, 2005 IN FO: WHAT: Special Topics Session in Ecocriticism WHO: Rocky Mountain MLA, WHEN: October 20-22, 2005 WHERE:The Coeur d'Alene Resort on the Lake, Idaho TOPICS: Proposals are sought for 20 minute presentations from scholars working in any aspect of ecocriticism, though investigations of literature, interdisciplinary approaches, the literature of war, travel literature, environmental justice, and theoretical discourse are of special interest. SUBMISSIONS: 300-word abstracts with title and brief c.Y. (in the text of the email or as attachments in Word) to Bruce Matsunaga at . Please include "RMMLA" in the subject line. DEADLINE: March I, 2005. INFO: )


) major figures as well as many decidedly minor talents. The next chapter provides tips on matching horror fiction to widel varying readers, who are not, they emphasize, mostly teenage boys. A set of 22 books, all pre-Stephen King's Corrie (1974), are designated "classics" and briefly described. The following ten chapters focus on subgenres such as ghosts, were animals, serial killers, witches and demons, splatterpunk, etc. Final chapters discuss collection development (weeding little-used materials as well as acquiring new books), marketing the horror materials, and sources of more information, print and online. One source they praise is Anthony Fonseca and June Pulliam's Hooked on Horror (Libraries Unlimited, 1999; 2d ed, 2003). It's a good guide for librarians but not as good as they argue. Although horror is only one of the genres explored by Joyce G. Saricks in The Readers' Advisory Guide to Gmre Fiction (ALA, 2001), its scope and balance make it the preferred choice if only one such guide is needed. ( NONFICTION REVIEW In i:he Zone Ed McKnight Albarella, Tony (ed). As Timeless as lrifinity: The Complete Twilight Zone Scripts of Rod Strling (Volume One). Gauntlet Publications ( 80922 (2004). 485 pages. Paperback, $66.00, ISBN 1-887368-71-X. Albarella, Tony (ed). As Timeless as lrifinity: The Complete Twilight Zone Scripts of Rod Strling (Volume Two). Gauntlet Publications ( 80922 (2005). 508 pages. Paperback, $66.00, ISBN 1-887368-76-0. Anker, Roger (ed). The Twilight Zone Scripts of Charles Beaumont (Volume One). Gauntlet Publications ( 80922 (2004). 436 pages. Paperback, $66.00, ISBN 1887369-73-6. If you spend every New Year's Day watching the Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel, eagerly awaiting the episode where William Shatner sees the gremlin or Burgess Meredith breaks his glasses, but refusing to take a break even for the one about the jetliner and the dinosaurs ... If you watch the Simpsons' "Tree House of Horror" every Halloween just so you can be the first person in the room to shout out the name of the Twilight Zone episode they're parodying this year (even if your pre-teen children are the only other ones in the room) ... If you're an English professor and you like to use the Twilight Zone episode about the man (oris he the devil?) locked up in an eastern European monastery to teach your composition and argument students about logos, ethos and pathos ... in short, if you're me, then this series of original Twilight Zone scripts from Gauntlet Press is for you. Each volume contains nine scripts by one of the two most influential writers behind the show's development, series creator Rod Serling and regular contributor Charles Beaumont. Every script is followed by an extensive and enlightening commentary by the editor, providing not only background information about the episode's production, but astute critical observations as well. These volumes include such classics as Serling's "Walking Distance" and "Eye of the Beholder", Beaumont's "The Howling Man", and the final draft of his script for the unproduced episode "Gentlemen, Be Seated". A more casual viewer than myself might ask "why bother reading the scripts when you can just watch the show?" The scholarly value of the original scripts is obvious to anyone interested in studying the creative process that led to the finished episodes, but I have to admit that what I like most about these books are the extra features, such as a facsimile of a memo from the CBS Department of Standards and Practices requesting that the phrases "going back to the womb" and "Oh, My Godl" be deleted from a script. All three volumes feature a number of black-and-white production photos, and while the most extensive selection of them is in the first volume of Serling's scripts, my favorite is one from the Beaumont collection featuring the devil from 'The Howling Man," in full costume and makeup, lighting a cigarette for the screenwriter. A third volume of Serling's scripts is scheduled for publication, and I hope to someday see a collection of Richard Matheson's Twiligbt Zone scripts as well. (Gauntlet Press is planning to publish at least two volumes of Matheson's non Twilight Zone scripts, including the Steven Spielberg-directed teleplay Duel) The most irritating aspect of these books is that, while the title pages and commentaries reflect continuous pagination, the scripts themselves include only the internal page )


( umbers of the original scripts, with no running titles, making it necessary to flip back to the beginning to know which script you're reading. Of course, that's because these are the original scripts. That's more than adequate compensation for a little page flipping. NONFICTION REVIEW Steppjna Throuah the Staraate Christine Mains Elrod, P. N. and Roxanne Conrad, eds. Stepping Through the Stargate: Science, Archaeology and the Military in Stargate SG-1. BenBella Books, 2004. ix + 244 p. $17.95, trade paper, 1-932100-32-6. In 1994, the film Stary,ate, written and directed by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich (who have also given the world Independence DC[Y (1996) and The DC[Y After Tomorrow (2004), appeared in movie theaters. Although the second half of the film was your basic 'good old American military heroes rescue oppressed masses,' the first half focused on the discovery of and investigation into an alien piece of technology, discovered by archaeologists at Giza in 1928 and turned over to the United States Air Force, which eventually, with the help of Devlin and Emmerich's archetypal glasses-wearing geeky scientist, is revealed to be a portal between worlds, a stable and controllable wormhole. A few years later, the premise was expanded into a weekly television series, starring Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks as the wise-cracking Air Force hero and the geeky genius; the show almost immediately developed a cult following, and is currently heading into its ninth season, with a spinoff series already underway. So far, the show hasn't garnered the kind of critical attention from academics that S tar Trek, Bal?Jlon 5, and X-Fifes have managed. That may be partly because the show's creative staff tends to the conservative and uncontroversial, rarely developing the potential of the show's mythology and fictional universe. Still, it's demonstrated its staying power and an incredible fan following, and scholarly analysis isn't lacking, just a tad delayed; the recently released American Television (2004) contains articles on the show, and a critical anthology devoted entirely to the Stargate phenomenon is currently in the works. In the meantime, Stary,ate fans interested in digging more deeply into the characters, narratives, and themes of the show have had to turn to less scholarly sources, such as the fun (and completely unauthorized) volume of essays put together by BenBella Books of Dallas, T.X. Editors P. N. Elrod and Roxanne Conrad, both SF authors and enthusiastic fans, have gathered a diverse collection of thoughts and analyses written by other SF authors, medical professionals, an astrophysicist, a philosopher, an archaeologist, an astronomer, an actor who plays a favorite recurring character on the show, a special effects wizard, and a female Colonel in the United States Air Force. The topics range from an exploration into the wacky love lives of the four main characters (with the show's hero, surprisingly, getting less action than the stoic alien sidekick) to a discussion of scientific technobabble (when the show gets it right and very wrong), from an archetypal analysis of the characters' functions in the mythic storyline to a scientific explanation of alien mind control as exemplified by the parasitic lifeform that is the show's major villain. This approach does lead to inconsistency in quality and style, but it does guarantee something of interest for every fan. Some of the highlights: Bill Fawcett, co-creator of The Fleet series of military SF novels and a designer of computer games, examines the capabilities of the Jaffa staff weapon from the viewpoint of an Air Force researcher writing a classified Top Secret document He concludes that the superheated plasma blast of the weapon possesses the unusual property of being able "to differentiate between a credited SG member and other, more expendable characters, only wounding said credited members even when fired at the closest range" (4). David Gerrold compares Stargate to Star Trek, noting that the chief difference between the two shows, in his opinion, is that while Star Trek takes itself too seriously, "Stargate SG-1 has a sly sense of self-mockery" and technology grounded in the everyday rather than the fabulous (16-17). SF author Catherine Asaro and astrophysicist John K Cannizzo team up to explain, in clear and understandable prose, the physics that would make possible the kind of wormhole travel portrayed on the show, with reference to the work of Michael Morris and Kip Thorne as well as to quantum mechanics and the properties of exotic matter. In "I Think his Name is Homer," Susan Sizemore speculates on the possibility that the reason the show is so popular and its fans so devoted might be its use of pop culture references, which ground the show in the viewer's familiar world; her title refers to one of the frequent references to The Simpsons that sprinkle the dialogue of the characters, along with references to The Wizard 0/ Oz and Star Wars. And, given that one of the primary characters is a kick-ass Air Force officer and brilliant scientific mind who just happens to be a gorgeous blonde, I enjoyed the reminiscences of Col. Gina McGuinness about her own experiences as a woman in this man's army. ( )


) I'm not even going to pretend that the articles in this volume are suitable research sources for scholars or teachers 0 science fiction television, although there are insightful comments and useful bits of information scattered throughout. But it does serve its purpose, which is to provide a voice for the many fans, from all backgrounds, who find something valuable and satisfying about the show, who have made it an anomaly in the world of series television, a show that is gaining, rather than losing fans as it grows older, that has demonstrated an appeal around the world. Stargate SG-1 is a show that deserves more critical attention than it's been receiving, and while we wait for that attention from more scholarly sources, Stepping Through the Star gate is a fun and interesting way to fill the gap. FICTION REVIEW .,he World as ji; Shall Be Edward Carmien Emile Souvestre. The WoridAs It Shall Be (EarlY Classics of Science Fiction). Middletown, Cf: Wesleyan University Press. Hardcover, 280 pages, 87 b/w illustrations. 29.95. ISBN 0-819-56615-2. It is 1846 and on the Continent (which one? Is there any possible answer at this time other than Europe?) Emile Souvestre publishes The World as it ShaU Be, a dystopic view of the year 3000 as shown to the amazed eyes of travelers through time who have slept away the centuries between Souvestre's time and the "now" of the story. Billed in this Wesleyan UP edition as the first "future dystopia in modem European literature" it is also one of the first if not the first illustrated texts of its kind. Reading fiction in translation can often be an awkward experience, akin to wearing one's shoes on the wrong feet or to brushing one's teeth with the hand unused to such exercise. The translator here, Margaret Clark, appears to have done a good job, and the only bar to enjoyment on the basis of language is the fact this is a text more than 150 years old and hence a bit old fashioned. This is the story of Maurice and Marthe, two young people pictured on page one in a window "dreaming about the future of the human race." They meet a fantastic figure who enables their dream to become reality by putting them into a state of hibernation that resembles death. They are briefly a sensation in the French tabloids of the day before being forgotten until the year 3000, when they awaken to a future that gives the impression of being a time of great progress. That impression wears away as the pair tour the future world, which has its capital in Tahiti and a travelogue of interesting characters and places for the time-travelers to observe and comment upon. To a contemporary reader the journey is rough and crude, but a thrilling tale told using the most modem of narrative conveniences is not the tale one picks this book up to read. Like later utopian and dystopian novels the point here is a review of the sensibilities of the time and culture of the author. That many of the comments Souvestre makes still apply today is reason enough alone for those who work in the field of science fiction literature to become familiar with this text--serious readers outside of the academy might also appreciate giving this text a look. Rather than work through the text, I instead collect a number of noteworthy quotes that seem appropriate to our contemporary society. Speaking of the workings of the justice system in the guise of instructing new lawyers in their craft "Was it a case in forensic medicine? One must speak of the inexactitude of the sciences. Was it a case of vindicating a thief? He must be portrayed as a victim of the police. Was it a case of saving the hide of a murderer? He must be presented as having been overcome by a fit of madness. As regards healthcare, in particular the cost of medical services: "'We give this name: replied the Doctor, 'to the economies made at the expense of the patients. Let the soup be a little less rich-we have a bonus; and the bread not quite so white, another bonus; if the wine is mixed with water, yet another bonusl We have perfected this method in order to make a bit out of the housekeeping money that provides for ten thousand meals. In this way institutions grow rich, and bursars eam gratitude and extra money. One can say that, in principle, a well-run hospital is one where the patients are uncomfortable enough to ensure that the institution makes some money out of them.'" And if Atwood's Oryx and Crakewasn't scary enough for you, consider animal husbandry of the year 3000: the species preserved there had been very much improved through a program of crossbreeding that had changed their characteristic forms. They were no longer creatures governed by a law of proportion and harmony, but living things modified to give greater profits to the butchery business. Bulls, bred to put on a great deal of weight, had lost their bones; cows were no more than ( )


( animated machines that turned grass into milk; pigs were no more than masses of flesh, growing larger before one's very eyes." And finally, in a clear forecast of the postmodern, these words upon the couple's observing a lecture describing the France in which they had lived prior to sleeping through time to the year 3000: "'From now on we will know what constitutes a scientific investigation of history,' said Maurice, 'and what we should think of established truths. I now understand why these truths change in each century. History is a tangle of threads that each scholar unwinds and weaves into his own interpretation. The thread is always the same, but the material and the pattern vary according to the workman.'" These remarkable examples point out the extrapolative power that Souvestre expressed in The World as it ShaD Be: each represents a logical extrapolation based on current events of his time. Legal battles worthy of media attention echo Souvestre's neat digest of approaches to courtroom defenses, his scathing statement about the medical industry will seem familiar to anyone who has been caught up in its clutches, today's animal husbandry practices aren't quite as extreme as Souvestre describes but surely we're well on our way with turkeys that can't walk and well-dosed cattle herds ... and most tellingly of all, perhaps, Souvestre expresses the very core of the postmodern sensibility when he notes how the nature of the worker changes the pattern of the scholarly output. This text is certainly not for the everyday, casual reader of fantastic fiction. It is not quite as enjoyable as Verne, being more polemic and less devoted to adventure and narrative. Even Swift seems a bit more readable, to mention an author who wrote in a similar vein as Souvestre. I highly recommend this text, and Wesleyan's early classics of science fiction series in general, for serious readers, scholars, and libraries. FICTION REVIEW SO Lona Been Dreamllna Joan Gordon Hopkinson, Nalo, and Uppinder Mehan, eds. So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and FanttJ!). (2004) Arsenal Pulp Press ( 270 pages; paperback, US$19.95; CDN$24.95, ISBN 1-55152-158-X. As Walter Mosley predicted about five years ago, there has been a boom in science fiction by African-American writers, with the success of Sheree R Thomas's two Dark Matter anthologies forming ample evidence and opportunity. This anthology is a different, yet harmonious, project It includes speculative fiction by authors of color from farther afield, from the postcolonial world, and their work directly addresses issues of postcoloniality. While the quality of the stories varies, the themes of the stories and the importance of the project are very strong. A brief introduction by Hopkinson and a brief conclusion by Mehan surround nineteen stories in five sections: "The Body," "Future Earth," ''Allegory,'' "Encounters with the Alien," and "Re-imagining the Past." The sections reflect a problem in the organization of the book-they do not form a coherent organization, since they are not parallel or complementary in subject. Having edited a couple of anthologies myself, I suspect that the lack of coherence has to do with the unpredictable nature of collecting original works from various hands. I do wonder, however, if there might have been some more coherent way to organize the stories. And then I wonder whether the sorting of stories into tidy categories parallels the sorting of sentient beings into tidy categories, an urge that has resulted in many of the wrongs associated with colonialism. I wonder also the extent to which my own status as a white American means that I am judging this book and its contents as a colonialist myself. For instance, are the stories I like the most the ones that most reflect my understanding of the world; or, am I judging according to repressive, or at least different, standards based on my upbringing? If I am wondering all of these things, then the anthology has been successful in at least one way--it has provoked the reader to destabilize her relationship to issues of race and ethnicity. Let's face it, I'm still going to judge this anthology, but with the caveats alluded to above. For me, then, the most successful story in the anthology was Vandana Singh's "Delhi." Admittedly, I was in Delhi six months ago and found it incredibly vibrant, and so I was happy to return to that city, past, present, and future, in this story. It takes place in a near-future Delhi in which the subways are running (they are being built at present) but the protagonist can see, briefly and hazily, past and future inhabitants of the city, and, rarely, can interact with them. That, by the way, is how I felt as a tourist in Delhi-past, present, and future existing simultaneously, as when I would see women in saris riding in auto rickshaws powered by low-emission alternative fuels Zipping by too fast even to take a picture. The protagonist, Aseem, in a moment of suicidal despair, is led to a computer service that is programmed to give him a reason to live. The computer, the city ( )


) f Delhi, Aseem's raison d'etre, and the story's speculations--each "transcends thesis and antithesis" (88). Each is ''like a beehive. Many bits and parts, none is by itself intelligent Combine together, and you have something that can think" (86). The resulting story is wonderfully vivid, humane, and thoughtful. In fact, the section from which this story came, "Future Earth," was the most successful for me. Eden Robinson's "Terminal Avenue," about a native people in a dystopic future Vancouver, movingly illustrates a yearning for one's own normalcy, impossible to recapture except through pain. Nnedi Okarafor-Mbachu's "When Scarabs Multiply" is a complex allegory about progress and fundamentalisms. Tamai Kobayashi's ''Panopte's Eye" manages to illustrate Foucault's model for discipline and punishment with strong characterization and a moving story about friendship. Many of the stories explore the difficulties and ambiguities of change. "Refugees," by Celu Amberstone, and ''Lingua Franca" by Carole McDonnell, both in ''Encounters with the Alien," are from the perspective of people resisting change, and in both the protagonists seem to have attitudes as insensitive as the attitudes of the people bringing change. While the reader is sympathetic with the protagonist of "Lingua Franca" when she says, "Others accepted us; they saw our gifts, not our lack" (214), we are also aware that she cannot see the potential gifts in other ways. This is the predicament for the native of any site when an intruder comes, the conservative and resistant danger of home that Levinas warns us of It is both the tragedy of the aboriginal person whose way of life is destroyed, and the frustration and anger of the status quo when immigrants with new ideas and customs move in. While I found the style of some stories clumsy, often with unwieldy expository lumps, and while I found some stories overtaken by their ideologies, the collection as a whole seems invaluable for the questions it raises and the ideas it explores. 'These stories question "binaries of native/ alien, technologist/ pastoralist, colonizer/ colonized," as Mehan says in the conclu sion. They engage in the dialogue about colonialism and its effects that Hopkinson calls for in the anthology's introduction. The sum of this book is greater than its weaker parts and worthy of its strongest. FICTION REVIEW Djamond DOllS, "urquojse Days Bill Dynes Reynolds, Alistair. Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days. New York: Ace, 2005. 240 pages, cloth. $22.95. ISBN: 0-441-01238-8. Alistair Reynolds has been garnering significant popular and scholarly praise for his sweeping space opera series that began with Revelation Space and has recently concluded apparently, at least with Absolution Gap. Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Dt!Ys brings together two much shorter novellas set in the same richly imagined universe. Both novellas have been published previously by PS Publishing and Golden Gryphon Press, respectively, and together by Gollancz in Great Britain. This Ace edition is their first US printing. Fans of Reynolds' novels will enjoy these much briefer visits to that universe; those who have been intrigued by reviews of his work but frightened off by the size of his novels will find these stories engaging introductions. Diamond Dogs tells the story of Richard Swift, an expert in non-human intelligences. He's reacquainted with old friend Roland Childe, who has found his own dark tower on a distant planet dubbed Golgotha. The tower, which he calls the Blood Spire, tests its visitors with increasingly challenging puzzles, and it deals harshly with those who cannot pass its tests; the dismembered corpses of scores of visitors lie strewn about its periphery. Childe is gathering a team to probe the Spire's secrets, and Swift cannot pass up the challenge. As the tower's tests become increasingly difficult and the penalties for error more severe, Swift, Childe, and their companions are forced to undergo increasingly radical changes, both in mind and body, if they hope to progress. Turquoise Dt!Ys depends a bit more heavily upon a familiarity with the universe of Revelation Space. Naqi Okpik is a young woman whose research among the Pattern Jugglers is interrupted by the arrival of a lighthugger whose passengers may have sinister motives. The legacy of an unknown past culture, Pattern Jugglers are "a mindless biological archiving system, a museum without a curator" (141). The Pattern Jugglers record the minds of those who swim among them, and sometime do more than merely make copies. Naqi and her sister Mina study the growth and organization of this strange entity, making a frightening and tragic discovery just as the news of the interstellar visitors arrives. Whether or not Naqi fully understands just what they've found recorded within the Jugglers' matrix may determine the fate of the Pattern Jugglers on Turquoise, and of ( )


( ( 25) the human colonizers there as well. Living on an isolated planet, the people of Turquoise await the arrival of the Ultra's interstellar lighthugger with a mix of anxiety and anticipation. Watching the crowd that has assembled for the embassy, N aqi is intrigued by the behavior of the children. She observes that "[a]t that age everything was both magical and mundane, and she supposed that the children were no more nor less excited by the prospect of the coming visitors than they were by the promised fireworks display" (168). That combination of the magical and mundane is central to Reynolds' successful noirspace opera style, blending political intrigue with mind-bending technologies well beyond the cutting edge of known physics. As Naqi works to understand how the biology of the Pattern Jugglers permits them to record and store the consciousness of those whom they touch, she's led inevitably to a closer consideration of how human lives intertwine: how we connect with those who are closest to us, and what we lose when they're gone. Richard Swift faces similar questions when he discovers that one of the members of the team Childe is gathering for his exploration of the Blood Spire is Swift's former wife, Celestine, whose parting with him was so painful that he had his memories of her artificially suppressed. Some losses are accidental or inevitable; Diamond Dogs is more interested in the losses and changes that its characters accept willingly. In order to meet the increasingly arcane challenges and vicious punishments of the tower, Swift, Childe, and their companions employ the services of Dr. Trintignant, a gifted cyberneticist whose reputation for experimenting on subjects without their approval has led to disgrace and isolation. Trintignant's ability to regrow severed limbs or replace them with wholly artificial upgrades, to infuse the mind with nanobots capable of boosting one's mathematical skills, or transplanting the conscious self altogether, makes him extremely useful to the mission. When Trintignant comes to regard his work less as a medical service and more as art, however, Swift's situation becomes a bit more complicated. Diamond Dogs could perhaps have benefited from tighter plotting, but Turquoise Dqys gathers urgency and drama while never losing track of the relationships that give it its heart. Perhaps more importantly, Reynolds' trademark vision and daring inventiveness are in clear evidence in both tales. Reynolds' central ideas here the interconnectedness of human life and the changes we endure ... sometimes seek ... in pursuit of understanding will be familiar to those who already know him through his longer novels, and should engage and reward new readers. FICTION REVIEW Prlince 0' Chrlistler-Coke Jeff King Barrett,Jr., Neal. Prince oJChristfer-Coke. Urbana, IL: Golden Gryphon Press, 2004. 244 pages, cloth, $25.95. ISBN 1930846-28-2. Neal Barrett,Jr.'s Prince oj Christfer-Coke is, as often happens with Barrett's work, somewhat difficult to categorize. Let's start with "good story" as a category then move to "satire," ''humor,'' "magical realism," and maybe even "science fiction fairy tale" (if such a compartmentalization exists). One description leapt immediately to mind after getting only a little way into this short novel "post-apocalyptic Gulliver's Travels." Barrett's satire is sometimes scathing, sometimes a gentle thumb of the nose, and sometimes a rapier thrust plunged into the heart of government or religion or racism or corporate greed. But it is unequivocal that Barrett, like Swift, does not suffer fools gladly. Swift said his chief aim was to "vex the world"; readers of Chnstfer-Coke will recognize that Barrett revels in doing the same. In this novel (part of which appeared earlier in different form within SlightlY OjfCenter, a Barrett short story collec tion), the United States exists as primarily a right-coast/left-coast dichotomy with a pathetic, dangerous, destitute no-man's land separating the two. American society has devolved after a nuclear apocalypse into rule by corporate states, and protagonist Asel lacola, the Prince of Christler-Coke, lives the life of a pampered-silly corporate aristocrat, replete with servants to feed and scratch him and generally insulate him from labor of any kind. The primary occupation to which he will ascend is conniving to prevent incursions into Christler-Coke territory by other family corporations. Barrett effectively taps a rich vein when he skewers corporate America, satirizing with a statement by Asel's nemesis what Enron executives all too clearly demonstrated: "Greed is the creed." The story opens at Asel's wedding, where his marriage will cement a deal to ensure Christler-Coke's continued )


(16 ) ascendancy while short-circuiting the scheming of Disney-Dow. DO's Machiavellian finesse, however, outdoes CC's, andAsel finds himself in an Oklahoma prison populated by other fallen corporate prissies. He is befriended there by Sylvan McCree, a former corporate puff and a black man, something of which Asel has seen little. The friendship offers Barrett multiple chances to fling barbs at the institution of racism. The pair suffer a series of encounters as they escape from the prison, escape from a band of vigilante human rust buckets (humans with varying parts of their anatomy replaced as needed by whatever mechanical contraptions can be scrounged), escape from a band of starved-into-insanity cannibals living in potholes in the deserts of mid-America no-man's-land, escape from pulchritudinous nuns (nones) who have tricked them into drug-induced slavery as gardeners, then go their separate ways only to reunite for the final show-down with the evil Disney-Dow. Along the way, Asellearns something about being human, experiencing love, and viewing other humans through a lens other than corporate entitlement. He also learns a lot about himself. This is a coming-of-age story of a corporate dilettante who ultimately learns to view the other 99% of humanity as humtm and not as "afterthought." Barrett has spun a tale in which one human (Asel) gains enough wisdom to understand that humans born under circumstances different from his own are not other. In the midst of this, however, the point is made that not everyone will take on such a magnanimous view of the world, and that there will always be those who want an otherto exist in order to grant to themselves superiority and the spoils that, in their own minds, should logically follow. Moving from such a viewpoint to one in which the former other is understood as human is what forms the backbone of Barrett's narrative. Christfer-Coke is similar in some ways to Twain's A Connecticut Ytmkee in King Arthur's Court -both are written by humorists-satirists who toy with SF tropes as part of their storytelling. Swift's Gulliver's Travels also fits this mold. Indeed, Paul Alkon, author of The Origins o/Futuristic Fiction and Science Fiction Before 1900, names the imaginary voyage, utopia/anti utopia, and satire on society as common elements distinguishing the forerunners of SF. Barrett continues that tradition. Perhaps a fruitful line of inquiry would be to search for the parallels among Swift, Twain, and Barrett as fantasy humorists who, in some of their work, create science fictional settings to satirize human institutions and the human condition. Barrett says that humor is his favorite way to tell a story. He is good at it and demonstrates the requisite skill in the use of language that such writers must possess, having fun with spellings, synecdoches, and neologisms, but doing so with a purpose to set a tone about the vacuous existence to which American institutions have devolved. He has been masterful in his use of the language in much of his work, and this novel succeeds at that level. Readers will go through an adjustment period at the start of the book but will quickly fall into the rhythm of the language and the unique approach to the satire it evokes. Barrett has done other post-apocalypse Americas (e.g., Through DarkestAmerica and Dawn's Uncertain light, though these were decidedly not humorist works) and other protagonist self-discovery narratives (like The Hereafter Gang, which Barrett has called his best work). Off-center characters and slightly bent viewpoints are Barrett's stock in trade, whether here with Asel in Christfer-Coke or in his Wiley Moss mysteries like Skinny Annie Blues or his delightful short story tellings like Deviations with lead character Jake who shares some similarities with Hereafter's protagonist. Though perhaps a cop-out when positioning any Barrett piece within his body of work, it is nonetheless true that Barrett's eclecticism makes it hard to sub-categorize individual works within his output. Cautionary tales abound in SF. A successful humorist's treatment, however, is far less common. The sublime and the ridiculous magically co-exist within Prince o/Christfer-Coke in a weird symbiosis that prompts the reader to consider how we all might avoid the dark side that may lie in our futures and on the other side of Neal Barrett, Jis. wit. FICTION REVIEW FUahts: Ex.reme V.s.ons ., Fan.asy Janice H. Bogstad Sarrantonio, AI (Ed.) Flights: Extreme Visions 0/ FantO[Y. Penguin/Roc. HB: June, 2004. ISBN: 0-451-45977-6. 560 p. $24.95 Trade Paper. June, 2005. ISBN: 0-451-46032-7. 592 p. $16.00. In a total of 29 unique stories, this collection carries the reader from the inside of an alligator (Reed's 'Perpetua,) to remote villages in Egypt (Attanasio's 'Demons Hide their Faces') and through the more prosaic mysterious woods of high fantasy (McKillip's 'Out of the Woods.,) Virtually all written by well-established and talented authors, these stories provide an pressive feast of themes, writing styles and types of fantasy literature. In some cases, like that of Asaro, Powers, Oates, ( )


( iven, Attanasio, Disch, Card, to name a few, the authors are also well known for their science fiction as well as fantasy. It's hard to pick a favorite among the stories although some will stick in the mind longer than others, I suspect For example Janny Wurts' play on royal success stories, 'Blood, Oak, Iron,' delights for its heroic action, in this case on the part of an outcas t son, Findlaire, who comes back only to ensure worthy succession not to take the dying king's place himsel Lansdale's 'Bill the Little Steam Shovel,' is told in the idiom of a children's story but from the perspective of pieces of earth-moving equipment that have desires and dreams of little interest to a child. P.D. Cacek's 'The Following' creates a new form of possession that incorporates the Internet into lively ghosts' efforts. Another favorite, Elizabeth A. Lynn's 'The Silver Dragon,' chronicles the generations of dragon-kin as they both become aware of and use their unique talents, across vast stretches of time, in favor of human and dragon alike. And I can't resist mentioning Charles de Lint's 'Riding Shotgun', which will make any sibling think twice before they interfere with brothers or sisters of whom they disapprove. As should be clear by this point, Sarrantonio's selections stretch the conventions of fantasy and, in many cases, reveal unexpected talents of the authors. Others represented include Feist, Powers, Gaiman, McKiernan, Hand, Turtledove, Modesitt, Hoffman, Barrett, Morrell, Schneider, Ford, Bisson, Wolf, and Sarrantonio himself who contributes a chilling little piece about children abandoned in a sort of limbo by parents who couldn't be bothered, thus engaging one of childhood's recurrent nightmares. Because each story is so well crafted, this is a book to be savored bitby bit. FICTION REVIEW lIa.ural Hjs.ory Philip Snyder Justina Robson. NaturalHistory. New York: Bantam Spectra, 2005.325 pages. Paperback. $13.00. ISBN 0-553-58741-2. Justina Robson belongs to that frustrating cadre of SF writers whose work garners immediate hosannas in the u.K., then seems to take forever to cross the Atlantic. Bravo to Bantam, then for bringing Robson's Natural History to u.s. shores as a handsome trade paperback. Here is a novel to holds its own with the groundbreaking work of Ken MacLeod, Alastair Reynolds, and Paul McAuley (whose own novels have often followed similar publishing trajectories). This latest addition to the steadily growing shelf of New Space Opera is very smart, exuberantly ambitious, and inunensely fun. If in some respects it still shows more signs of potential than of finished achievement, it is nevertheless potential of a very high order. In Robson's distant future, humanity has diverged into the Forged and the Unevolved. The Forged are posthumans who have modified themselves to go into space, matching their form to predetermined functions with the aid of genetic engineering, unions with machines, and a host ofhybridizing technologies (not all of them entirely successful). The Unevolved are "natural" humans "Monkeys," in the parlance of the Forged who resent their continuing political power and a civil war is brewing across the solar system as various factions of the Forged seek to break away from the constraints of their/ our evolutionary past. The conflict is brought to a boiling point with the discovery of a chunk of Stuff, a substance than can function as a drive, a wormhole, a jump gate, a teleporter -as almost anything, it turns out, that its user decides is needed. Voyager Lonestar Isol, who discovers the substance in a near-lethal brush with asteroidal debris, is a Forged who has chosen to be embodied as a spacecraft with incredible sensory and cognitive augmentations. She (for Isol is indeed a "she," gendered in mind if not in body) is described by another character as "nothing more than a desire to travel and meet new people fused onto a psychopathic preference for no company at all." Soon she is partnered with Zephyr Duquesne, an Unevolved cultural archaeologist, who is tasked with the mission of traveling to the home planet of the mysterious Stuff to learn its origins and significance. The scale is huge, the characters colorful, and the neat ideas just keep on coming. For seekers after spectacle, Natural History offers instantaneous space travel, scheming generals, exploding pirates, a brea thtaking spin through the wonky physics of ii-dimensional reality, and human minds that can access, within femtoseconds, billions of databased papers on the lyrics of Don McLean's "American Pie," to note just a few of the novel's choice entertainments. And although there are no true "aliens" on view the producers of the Stuff are implied, but never actually encountered face to face the humans we meet are variously reptilian, insectoid, corporeal presences, projected avatars, enhanced, defective, born, made, and multiple combinations of the above. It's an absolute delight to lose oneself in the sparkle and pop of the book, the sheer fun of hitching a ride on Robson's unflagging imagination. But even as we revel in the book's Cordwainer Smith characters and Jack Vance settings and lain Banks cleverness and ( )


(t8 ) M. John Harrison grittiness, we are enjoying only the bright surface of Natural History. In the depths beneath, Robson mines vein after vein of material for thought and speculation: To what extent are "natural" humans the prisoners of generational memory, forever at the mercy of the heritage embedded in our back-brains? How far maya personality be deformed by radical change in the body through which that personality is expressed? More ambitiously still, Robson teases out the political consequences, as well as the psychological, of posthuman possibility. Equally intriguing are the complex images which connect the novel's surface with its depths. Some of Robson's inventions take a familiar vehicle on a brilliant spin, as in Voyager Isol's reinscription of the Ship 'W'ho Sang as a tormented psychopath; others are daringly original, and in the richly allusive and conceptually challenging Shinjuku Library sequence. Art, politics, philosophy, and psychology join physics, biology, and cyber netics as invitations to urgent questions. If there is a downside to all this ambition, it is that Robson has designed a somewhat bigger novel than the book will actually hold. Reluctant to burden the reader with lengthy infodumps, she conveys some of her information in a shorthand that is not always adequate. 'W'hen one of her principal characters is introduced as a creature who was "once a Roc, Handslicer class," it takes a good many more pages before most readers have sufficient information to unpack the half dozen concepts which make sense of that description. Yes, we eventually get it; and yes, getting there can be part of the fun. But it's hard to shake the feeling, at times, that Robson has a much, much more complete knowledge of Natural History'S conceptual underpinnings than the reader is ever allowed to possess. Does the book need a Dune-like glossary to fill in the gaps? Or is Natural History perhaps a 325-page version of a 500-page novel that lost too much weight in the process of revision? But if Robson's reach exceeds her grasp, it's not by much, and her reach is decidedly impressive. Author now of three novels, she is edging ever closer to star status. Both Silver Screen (1999) and Mappa Mundi (2001) were shortlisted for the Arthur C. Oarke Award; Natural History was shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Award and was the runner-up for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Her next novel, on whichever side of the Atlantic it is published first, is sure to be anticipated with great pleasure. FICTION REVIEW Secrec Lj'e Nicholas laudadio Jeff VanderMeer, Secret life. Urbana, Illinois: Golden Gryphon, 2004.305 pages, cloth, $24.95. ISBN 1-930846-27-4. The brilliant little fictions that inhabit the covers of Jeff VanderMeer's collection S eeret Life press desperately at their own borders, eager to creep into other narrative spaces like the fleshy and insidious flowering vine around which the book's title story is constructed. These tales, which span a multitude of styles and genres (as well as the entirety of VanderMeer's career), are quick to drop precipitously into sharp footnotes, to rewrite personal and imagined histories, and to daub detail into the comers of the author's previous (and, presumably, future) works. But despite all these stylistic and thematic leaps and bounds, VanderMeer has managed to create a coherent document that maintains throughout an urgency and clarity remarkable for such a relatively new author. As a collection, Secret Life further highlights an intense annotative impulse deep at the heart of VanderMeer's workplainly exhibited here by the author's desire to end each story in the collection with a brief authorial gloss. But these annota tions only intimate a sharp desire to keep porous the narrative boundaries in the texts themselves, resulting in a series of beautiful interstitial spaces-from the 13th century to the 110th, from Florida to Cambodia to VanderMeer's own Ambergristhat stubbornly remain both biographical and bibliographical. Stories such as "Festival of the Freshwater Squid," which manages to balance a vaguely Ambergrisian tale with VanderMeer's very recognizable Florida; "Ghost Dancing with Manco Tupac" and "Flight is For Those Who Have Not Yet Crossed Over," which gently layer postcolonial critique with lived experience and imagined narratives; and "Greensleeves" and "Secret Life," which palimpsestically write the fantastical over the text of the mundane, form the true heart of the collection. These stories (and many others, such as "The Compass of His Bones," "The General Who is Dead," and "The Emperor's Reply'') demonstrate a wonderful new vision for fantastic fiction, one that revels in the slipperiness of the narrative constraints. In addition to these (mostly) "stand alone" stories, a relatively small but significant portion of the collection returns to the environs of VanderMeer's novel Veniss Underground ("The Sea, Mendeho, and Moonlight," "Balzac's War," ''A Heart for Lucretia" among others) and the Ambergris stories from his World Fantasy Award winning collection Cities of Saints and ( )


( Madmen (most notably "Exhibit H: Torn Pages Discovered in the Vest Pocket of an Unidentified Tourist" and "Learning to Leave the Flesh''). Those who come to this collection looking to these stories as extensions of VanderMeer's earlier works should be pleas andy surprised. At first glance, Secret J..4e suggests China Mieville's cramped and sweating industrial vision but with a far greater sense of isolation and expansiveness of environment that one might find in John Crowley or Gene Wolfe's fiction. VanderMeer's characters are lost in and locked out of the worlds that they can hardly identify--it seems that the stories themselves have far more freedom of movement than do the characters that occupy them. It is in this way that, in addition to Borges, the fantastical experiments of the Oulipians-that seminal French experimental collective whose members include such luminaries as Georges Perec, Raymond Queneau, Italo Calvino and Harry Mathews---quiedy serves as a useful model for reading VanderMeer's prose. One senses underlying structures and concerns that, while not immediately necessary to the demands of the surface narrative, beg to be unearthed and examined. The tales exhibit an architectural clarity, a fascination with things underneath that move slowly and insistendy, often against the wishes of those that must occupy these spaces. The tide story speaks of an office building that teems with Kafkaesque grotesqueries and surface banality, yet in the walls a flowering vine grows and destroys and overrides the little narratives that feed and nurture it. As an entirety, Secret life intimates a hidden force in not only the individual narratives of the collection, but also in VanderMeer's skill as a fiction writer. What we're left with here feels like the sturdy bits of a remarkable mythology being built piece by piece from momentous, if often innocuous, moments. REVIEW ESSAY Jlhe Shore 0' Women Thomas J. Morrissey Sargent, Pamela. The Shore oj Women. Introduction by Catherine Asaro. Dallas, TX: Benbella Books, 2004. Paperback. 469 pages, $10.17. 1-932100-36-9. After a hiatus of at least fifteen years, Pam Sargent's The Shore oj Women is back in print. Originally published by Crown in 1986, Shore is a most unusual and bittersweet love story set in a post-nuclear holocaust world in which women live in fortified enclaves and men subsist in the wild, exiled from polite society for the crimes of their fathers. Like Spartan moms of old, mothers of the same-sex citadels send their boys off to grow up in the company of men, in this case Stone Age men. The boys' male guardians worship the Goddess and periodically visit shrines where they don circlets through which the controlling women probe their thoughts and transmit ancient, interactive porn. Thus are the hapless worshippers aroused to the ''blessed state" in which they commune with images of the Lady. The men's fondest desire is to be called to a city, where they happily and unwittingly enjoy virtual sex, donating the semen the women need to carry on the species. At such visits the men receive the gift of boys whose young minds have been wiped of memories of life in the domain of women. I have long regarded Shore as Sargent's fines t novel, and that opinion was reinforced by rereading it after so many years. Narrated alternately by three characters, the book tells the story of a young woman exiled from her city, who must learn to live in the wild world of men, creatures she has been raised to believe are naturally violent and intellectually inferior to women. Sargent skillfully uses descriptors and logic borrowed from misogynist and racist discourse to illuminate the mindset of the ruling sex. The Essentialists who rule the enclaves are a small minority who do the thinking for the masses, most of whom seem to enjoy life in a one-sex environment, blissfully ignorant of the suffering their leaders impose on the fathers of their daughters. Any attempt by men to organize beyond the level of small hunter-gatherer bands is met with preemptive air strikes. The women of the cities regard men with the same contempt dlat the men of Suzy Charnas' Holdfast books show towards women: Sargent's women and Charnas' men both hope that one day they will find a way to live without the opposite sex. Charnas' men use Nazi tactics to control and punish women; Sargent's women incinerate men with heat rays that resemble those of H. G. Wells' invading Martians in The War oj the Worldr. The political intrigue and moral obfuscation of Sargent's women only heighten the sense that their rule over men is unjust and ultimately self-defeating since the result is a society built on violence and exploitation. Yet Sargent's women have legitimate fears. It is pretty clear that patriarchy did destroy the world as we know it, and that life in the sylvan realm of men is nasty, brutish and short. Deprived of creature comforts and indoctrinated by the VR temptresses to believe themselves bestial, the men often descend to acts of barbarism. These small-scale excesses prove to the ( )


) women that they are right to deny men access to settled agriculture and, of course, weapons of mass destruction. The novel's narrative technique allows for the exposition of three different points of view, each of which captures the consciousness of a person struggling with the results of the dominant ideology. Laissa, whose narration frames the story; is a privileged young woman whose desire to fit in is almost, but not quite, strong enough to extinguish her humanity. Her erstwhile friend Biranna is the unjustly punished exile who finds that her indoctrination has not prepared her to appreciate men's individual differences. Arvi1 is Laissa's twin brother who grows up among men and thoughtfully develops an ethical stance that gives the lie to the women's one-dimensional story of men's moral capacities. Each of these narrators grows in ways that demonstrate the human capacity for personal development, even in the face of dystopian hegemony. The 1970's and '80's saw the appearance of quite a few same-sex utopias and dystopias. Joanna Russ, Suzy McKee Charnas, Alice Sheldon (a.k.a. James Tiptree, Jr.), Joan Slonczewski and Sheri S. Tepper are, perhaps, the most prominent women writers of this period who explored the question of whether men and women can coexist peacefully and happily or whether women's happiness requires that men be held apart or even exterminated. When Charlotte Perkins Gilman published Herlondin 1915, women in the United States were still second class citizens, unable to vote or otherwise exercise many of the civil liberties afforded to men. By the mid 1980's, most of the obvious legal strictures on women had been dissolved, but the victories came at a price: the threat of true equality incited ugly rhetoric that continues to challenge egalitarian assumptions and championed patriarchy as the naturally and/ or divinely ordained social order. Surviving a strong anti-feminist backlash, the Nineteenth Amendment that granted women suffrage was ratified when a Tennessee legislator changed his vote after an appeal from his mother. First introduced in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was finally passed by Congress in 1972, only to die a decade later after feminism and other progressive causes were pummeled by a rising conservative tide. Slonczewski's A Door Into Ocean, Sargent's The Shore of Women (both 1986) and Tepper's The Gate to Womens Country (1988) all appeared in the aftermath of the ERA defeat during a time when the Reagan administration was deploying MIRV's and investing heavily in the hopeless dream of the Strategic Defense Initiative (popularly and unpopularly known as "Star Wars"). Each work is a thoughtful exploration of the psychology that leads to and sustains patriarchy, and each posits that patriarchy has been responsible for much of human suffering. Slonczewski's Sharers of the water world Shora are radical eco feminists who live in harmony with their planet and whose genetic technology allows them to take control of their own evolution. Shoran autonomy is threatened by a genuine Patriarch whose goal is to dominate the women and mine the seabeds. In Tepper's post nuclear-holocaust world, women have relegated most men to military garrisons, where they plan for the wars that the women hope will kill off the genetic tendency for aggression and hierarchy that most men carry. Door, Shore, and Gate can be and have been seen as companion pieces. Door is a fascinating parable in which it is only through complete sexual segregation that women can evolve socially and make a world in their own image. Shoran philosophy is simple and appealing, and the novel posits that some males are more than ready to give up the masculinist rat race and become male Sharers. Gate, the most imaginative feature of which is the creation and annual performance of a Greek-style tragedy "I phigenia at Illium:' also posits that some men are not tainted. Furthermore, Tepper's ruling clique of women call themselves "the damned few" because of the sins they must commit to secure happiness for the majority of women. Since there are no men on Shora, the women do not need to commit crimes in order to repress men, but their social system cannot coexist with patriarchy. Patriarchy is clearly the enemy in Gate and Shore too; hence, the political viability of the women dominated governments appears to require sexual segregation. Some disappointed ERA proponents might agree, especially given the bent of our current leaders. In case you are ready to stop reading, here's where I talk about sex. Mix a primal urge, millions of years of primate evolution, and an ingenious brain and you get a powerful force the attitudes toward which say much about societies and individuals. Insofar as sex is central to any potential man-woman power struggle, the political implications of how one views gender, sex roles, and sexual acts are profound. Slonczewski's Sharers produce children through same-sex relations and are literally allergic to semen. They are not lesbians, though, because sexuality on Shora has but one paradigm, and the term ''lesbian'' clearly suggests difference. Tepper's novel is more problematic. The woman of Women's Country has sex with men only at times designated by their rulers. These Carnivals are, for the most part, orgies where emotional intimacy between the sexes is discouraged. Furthermore, in this world control over their male and female subjects requires that the leaders retain the framework of heterosexuality. Their eugenics experiment would fail if men and women took up same-sex relationships. Although it's just about impossible to imagine that there isn't a lot of same-sex sex in the garrisons and in Women's Country, the absence of it in the narrative suggests that homosexuality would be inconvenient to the plot. The women of Women's Country are skilled in all reproductive health matters, and they actively seek to "cure" children who might have homosexual ( )


( tendencies. Although it is not foregrounded in the text, what Adrienne Rich has called "compulsory heterosexuality" is the order of the day. When it comes to sexual practices and allegiances, Shore is different from both Doorand Gote. The women of the cities practice enforced homosexuality. Since there are no men, there is no other sexual game in town. 1-.lost women have never seen a man, and so whatever their natural inclinations might be, there are simply no objects for any woman's latent heterosexual feelings. The men are conditioned to seek out the favor of spirit-women, the phantasms that come to them via the circlets, but for everyday sex, men have only themselves and each other. There are naturally gay and lesbian characters in Shore. No one thinks them deviant. Would that were true in our world. However, if heterosexuality were not the orientation of most men, then the women's hold on them would vanish, and likewise, if women could meet men in the right setting, there would no doubt be heterosexuals among them too, and the system of control would falter. The Mothers of the Cities are guilty of an enormous sexual crime: in order to protect women from the irredeemable males, they condition men to want what they can't have and women to want only what they are allowed to have. The mutual caring that can come from male-female intimacy has been banished from the world, and sex between a man and a woman is assumed to be a perversion that could only happen if a man forced himself on a woman. This novel features some truly erotic heterosexual scenes that attest to the power of good sex based on genuine caring. These scenes are not in any sense gratuitous, for they offer us a vision of heteroseAllal eroticism as an integral part of deep and meaningful relationships. Since the same status is afforded homosexual eroticism (albeit without graphic descriptions), there is no valorization of any sexual orientation over others, and the sexual tyranny imposed by the ruling women is itself a perversion. Of the three mid-1980's novels I have talked about, only Shore fell out of print for an extended period. This is probably due in part to Crown's weak efforts to promote the book, but it might also be the result of how complex Sargent's problematization of the role of sex in human relationships actually is. The novel put off some feminists because its women run a cruel regime (anyone remember Mrs. Thatcher?) Although she does celebrate the potential for good relationships between men and women, she also shows us how nasty sex can be when men have been conditioned to think of women as objects or means to an end. One more thing: Shore is a beautifully written book. Pamela Sargent's prose is almost always good, but it tends to be more or less invisible. That is to say, the clean, clear language does not draw attention to itself as one encounters a story. This novel is often quite lyrical; the language has the authenticity of skillful composition and is a pleasure to read. This reissue features a brief introduction by Catherine Asaro. I found this to be a disappointment, not because there is anything wrong with it but because I think this book deserved a longer treatment for its return to print. Asaro's cogent observations are accurate, but to sell the book as having "an introduction by Catherine Asaro" is a little misleading since it is barely a page long (yes, the GettysburgAddress was short too). I was also displeased to find that my book has two page 11S's and no page 117--luckily I have the 1986 version too. When I finished rereading Shan, I recalled a song we were made to sing in elementary school, "Reuben and Rachel." I distincdy remembered its tide characters singing of how much better things would be if the other sex were "all transported far beyond the Northern Sea." l\Iuch to my surprise, I discovered that this song was actually written in 1840 and that the lyricist is none other than Emma Hart 'Willard, a prominent nineteenth century woman educator who founded the prestigious Emma Willard School for Girls, which functions to this day. Although in the song Reuben and Rachel pledge devotion despite their objections to the other's sex, that its author founded a school that excludes boys suggests to me that Rachel's discomfort with Reuben's maleness probably never fully goes away. Unfortunately, there are certainly women for whom this is true, and often for good reason. I have taught The Shon oj Women several times in my science fiction class and will do so again if it stays in print. It is a historically significant text with contemporary appeal. The United States is a nation that is simultaneously obsessed with and repelled by sex. At the heart of the so-called "culture wars" is the question of whether people should be free to enjoy the happiness that can come from finding love with another person, regardless of sexual orientation, or whether government should enforce intolerance by forcing people to follow a one size fits all puritanical model. And, of course, there is the issue of whether women are really equal to men: if you're waiting for the ERA, to resurface, don't hold your breath. Sex and gender identity are central to who we are, and sexuality is perhaps the most intimate of human experiences. What one feels and what one is taught by one's culture may be different; the more repressive the culture, the more likely that is to be true. The reappearance of Sargent's sensitive, intelligent and artful celebration of the ultimate rightness of personal choice and the ultimate wrongness of sexual compulsion is most welcome. ( )


Sc.ence F.c n Research Ass.c.a n slra ra Th: SFRAis the oldest profesOOnai organizaOOn forthesrudyof9iena:ficrion and uuasy literawreand film. FOWldedin 1970, the SFRA was organized to == SFRA Optional Benefits newixld. fur a membership applicarion, 1heNew YorkReviewoJScienceFiction. DiscoWltedsuboiptionrnrefOr SFRA ronl:lCttheSFRA members. Reviews and features. Add to dues: $26 $40 UK&Europe; $42Pacific&AustraIia SFRA Benefits journalojtheFanttJsticintheArtsOFA). DiscoWlted9.lbaiprionrnrefOrSFRA E:trapo/ation.Foori.wJesperyeatlbeoldest9:holarlyjoumalinthefidd.withaitical, members. fuurissuespery=ScholadyjoumaI,with.aiticalandbiblio-historical, and bibliographical anides, book reviews, letters, oa:asionaI special graphicalanides and reviews. Addto dues: $30 domestic; $40 overseas. and an annual index. Femsptr. DB:ountedsulm:iptionrnrefOrSFRAme:mbas. Biannual publicnion. Science-FictionStudies. Three pery= This 9:holarly journal includesaitical, Critical andaeativewoIks. Add to dues: $25. historical, and bibliographical artides, review articles, reviews, notes, letters, intcmaOOnaI mvcrage, and an annual index. andsproalintere.ts. SFRA&vieu!. fuur issues pery= This newsletter/journal includes extensive book reviews ofboth nonfiction and fiction, review articles, of new and Onlmminglxxis. Th:&view aroprinc;newsabootSFRAintetnala/biIs,cdk fOr papers, and updates on >mOO in SFRAlistseru e-mailaa:uunl5topaite-mails to all subscribers of the Iistserv, roWld-robin style. It is used by SFRA membersto c:J&:us.; topics andnewsofmterestto the SF oommunity. To sign on to the Iistserv or to obtain further infOrmation, oontact the list manager, Len Hatfield, at> or .Hewillsuhrnbeyou.Ane-mailsentautomaticilly to newsubsaibers gives more infOnnation about thelist President David G. Mead Vice President Bruce L. Rockwood Immediate Past President Peter Brigg Texas A&M Univ-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX 78412 Dept. of Finance and Legal Studies Bloomsburg University 400 East Second Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815 #120 Budgell Terrace Toronto, ON M6S IB4, Canada Treasurer Donald M. Hassler Department of English p. O. Box 5190 Kent State University Kent, OH 44242-0001 Science Fiction Research Association Secretary Warren Rochelle English, Linguistics, Speech Mary Washington College 1301 College Avenue Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5358


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