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SFRA review


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SFRA review
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Science Fiction Research Association review
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Science Fiction Research Association
Science Fiction Research Association
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Eugene, Ore
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Science fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Science fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )


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usfldc doi - S67-00036-n275-2006-01_02_03
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SFRA review.
n No. 275 (January-March, 2006)
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Science Fiction Research Association review
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#1TS lan./ Feb./ Ifareh Editor: Chrisine Mains Hiw3ging Editor: Janice M. Bossad Nonfiction Reriews: Ed McKnish fiction Reriews: Philip Snyder The SFRAReview (ISSN 1068-395X) is published four times a year by the Science Fiction Research As 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 Donald M. Hassler 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 SFRAReview. SUBMISSIONS The SFRAReview encourages all submis sions, including essays, review essays that cover 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 T2N 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 SFIUI Re"iew I ..... HIS ISSUE: SFRA Business Editor's Message 2 President's Message 2 Candidates' Statements 2 Non Fiction Reviews Speculations 7 On SF 8 Haunted Screen 9 Science in SF I I Social and Virtual Space 12 Unsung Heroes of LotR 14 Fiction Reviews Wandering Star Tiptree Anthology II Pretender 17 15 16 Cuckoo's Boys 19 Fiction Factory 20 Alanya to Alanya 21 Temeraire 2J


__ News Items: The World Fantasy Con has announced site selection for the next three years: 2006 in Austin, Texas, November 2-5; 2007, in Saratoga, New York, November 1-4; 2008, in Calgary, Canada, TBA. BSFA Awards for short fiction: "MagiC for Beginners" by Kelly link; novel: Air by Geoff Ryman; nonfic tion: Soundings by Gary K. Wolfe. The 2005 Philip K. D ick Award was given to War Surfby M.M. Buckner. The Crawford Award for the best fantasy novel by a new author was presented at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Fort Lauderdale on March 18 to Joe Hill for 20th Century Ghosts. The Lord Ruthven Award recogniz ing excellence in vampire fiction went to Elizabeth Kostova for The Historian, with Octavia Butler's The Fledgling as runner-up. The Dell Magazine Award for un published fiction by an undergraduate was presented at the Interna tional Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Fort Lauderdale on March 18. The winner was Meghan Sinoff. Four inductees to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in Seattle have been announced: George Lucas, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert and Frank Kelly Freas (the last two posthumous). The event will be held at the Science Fiction Museum on June 17. SFRA BUSINESS Editor's Message Christine Mains H:nmm. Still running a litde behind, so I'll repeat much of my message from last Issue. It goes something like dlis: Apologies, nagging of late reviewers, pleas for more content, wishes for good reading. SFRA BUSINESS Presideni's Message David G. Mead I am looking forward to our annual meeting in \Vhite Plains, NY, June 22I hope you are too. Please book your room, send in your conference registra oon, and -If dlere's still time for last minute submissions send in your paper and get on dle program. Oscar and Tom have great plans and a terrific slate of guest audlOrs, including -among odlers Norman Spinrad, Nancy Kress, and N alo Hopk11lson. I really can't wait to get dlere, and I hope to see you there too. We are planning to hold our 2007 SFRA annual meeting in conjunction with the Heinlein Centennial celebration in Kansas City, July 6-8, 2007. For our SFRA meeting, we need a Conference Chair and a Program Chair, or a team of SFRA folk who will take dlarge of dle meeting. I am making some preliminary arrangements, with dle help of Jim Gunn and Chris J'vIcKitterick of fue University of Kansas, but more help is needed. Please consider volunteering. Also, recruiting new members of SFRA is somedling we all can do. If you know someone who works in fue field but isn't a member, please invite him or her to join. Membership forms are on-line as \Ve'll do all we can to make dleir association fruitful and pleasant. I hope .spring fmds you all well and happy, and busy writing wonderful 11lstOry and cnousll1 of science fiction. PS. If you were in Las Vegas last year, you might have met my grandson Leo Jennifer, who came to help with dle conference. Leo is expect-11lg a slbhng 11l September. His doting grandparents are beside dlemselves widl joy, as are his parents Chris and Jen Shields. SFRA BUSINESS Candidaies' Siaiemenis For President Adam Frisch I anl honored to be nominated for the position of SFRA President. I have been a member of SFRA since 1978, and served as dle organization's vice president in 1999-2000. I have also served on several Sf'RA committees most recently the Pilgrim Award Committee from 2002-2004. I am currendy Pr;fessor and Chatrperson of English at Briar Cliff lllliversity in Sioux City, IA., from wl11ch poslt1o.n I have to do some scholarly work on dle audlOrs James Tlptrce,Jr., Ken and Kim Stanley Robinson. as well as on dle genre of SF film. If elected. I will do my best: 1) to keep the organization. its print and electronic publications, atId its annual meetings running smoothly, 2) to work \Vitll the other SF1L-\ officers to find new ways to increase our c ___________________________________


organization's diversity of interests, scholarly appeal, and membership numbers, and 3) to listen to individual members about how to make SFRA a more efficient and a more exciting organization. Bruce Rockwood My experience with the SFRA includes attending dle annual meetings in Schenectady, Guelph, and last summer in Las Vegas, and I will be participating again this June. After serving two years as SFRA Vice President, attending the executive committee work-session in Cleveland and participating in the panel on pedagogy at the meeting in Las Vegas last summer, where I also presented a paper, I have come to realize that the SFRA is an interesting and diverse group of people I enjoy working with, and whom, if elected, I would like to serve. My interests include dle intersections of SF and Fantasy with law, politics, and ethics. I am concerned about the political distortion of science by some who see it as a threat to their religious views, economic or political power, or all of the above, and see SF as a good place for critical and satirical commentary on the alternative presents and futures we endure, or hope to create or avoid. I would like to see the SFRA continue to encourage critical and creative dlinking and writing about what dlose futures are likely to be. We are already living in a period once regularly written about as "the future" by SF's leading figures--do we need to rewrite the past-future, or consider whether the present is an alternative time line? And what new futures are now possible that we wish to write about and, as Frederik Pohl has said, perhaps try to prevent? My professional experience includes my current role as department chair (Finance & Legal Studies) at Bloomsburg University, where I have taught since 1985. Law & Literature, and International Law are my favorite subjects, and I have used SF texts in various cla.<;ses, including my required "business law" course (I used Jane Yolen's "Briar Rose" one term in trying to get my students to think about dle implications of dle Solomon Amendment litigation). I attend various professional meetings, most recendy the centennial of dle American Society of International Law, and would work as SFRA President to get regular recognition of our work in academic circles to dle extent that it would help us expand mem bership, and help our members improve dleirprofessional opportunities. \Ve ran an ad for the 2006 Annual Meeting in dle summer issue of the CHE's "Events in Academe" at my suggestion, and got it listed in the January issue calender, which I hope will encourage participation. I also reach out to my peers on our campus to join and participate, and hope all who read tills will do likewise. If everyone who reads tllis notice gets one more person to join tile SFRA, it would be a great step forward. I endeavor to get my students to write well, and still find grading essays takes forever. This afternoon I tried to explain how Thomas Kuhn and John Rawls influenced my thinking about human rights to students who had heard of neither. It struck me tllen that SF, and tile SFRA as an organization dedicated to tile study and encouragement of SF, may botll need a Kuhnian paradigm shift now, to rethink dleir mission and metllod, and learn from ;md attract into dle SFRA the next several generations of writers and scholars who will carryon dle work. TIle world is not flat but it is multi-dimensional and interconnected. i\[y daughter and her partner Nick just visited from Edinburgh for their first visit since 9/11, which happened just after my son Natllan and I attended the 2001 Philadel phia \VorldCon. I exchange e-mail regularly with a former student now in Iraq over tile Internet, discussing Chris Hedges' "War is a Force that Us Mean-( ( The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund has been estab lished to provide a scholarship for writers of color to attend the Clarion Writers Workshop, where Butler got her start.The scholarship will be administered by the Carl Brandon SOciety, which earlier this year established the Parallax Award and the Kindred Award. The winner of the James Tiptree Award for gender-bending specu lative fiction is Air by Geoff Ryman. The award will be presented at Wiscon 30, from May 26-29 in Madison,WI. Forthcoming Nonfiction: (Spring, 2006) Anonymous, ed. St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers. St. James P. Battaglia, Debbora E T. Culture: Anthropology in Outerspaces. Duke UP. Brin, David and MatthewWoodring Stover, eds. Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of aI/Time. Benbella Card, Orson Scott, ed. Getting Lost Survival, Baggage and Starting Over in JJ.Abrams' Lost. Benbella Doughty.Amie A. Folktales Retold:A Critical Overview of Stories Updated for Children. McFarland. Eaglestone, Robert, ed. Reading The Lord of the Rings: New Writings on Tolkien's Classic. Continuum. Gerrold, David and Robert J. Saw yer, eds. Boarding the Enterprise: Transporters, Tribbles and the Vulcan Death Grip in the Original Star Trek. Benbella Gillis, Stacy, ed. The Matrix Trilogy: Cyberpunk Re/oaded.Waliflower. Larbalestier. Justine, ed. Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century. )


____ ) Major;Joseph T. Heinlein's Children:The Juveniles. Advent Publishers. Palen car. John Jude. Origins: The Art of John Jude Pa/encar. Underwood. Prucher; Jeff. Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction. Oxford UP. Richmond. Tim. Fingerprints on the Sky:The Authorized Harlan Ellison Bibliography.Overiook Connection P. Tatsumi,Takayuki. Full MetalApache: Transactions between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America. Duke UP. Wein, Len. ed. The Unauthorized XMen: SF and Comic Writers on Mutants, Prejudice and Adamantium. Benbella Yeffeth. Glenn, ed. The Man from Krypton:A Closer Look at the Man of Steel. Benbella CfPs: WHAT:When Genres Collide WHO: SFRA 37th Annual Confer-ence WHEN: June 22-25, 2006 WHERE:Crowne Plaza Hotel.White Plains, NY TOPICS: Guest of Honor: Norman Spinrad. Featured Guests: Nancy Kress. Nalo Hopkinson. R. Garcia y Robertson. William Sleator, Joan Slonczewski. MichaelWhelan. Readers of science fiction are well aware of the intense cross-pollination of SF and other genres. Science fiction has frequently dovetailed with fan tasy and dark fantasy. Even in hard SF. readers often encounter variations of "ghosts" and "gods" in the stories. With the ever-evolving cyberpunk movement. the rise of slipstream fiction and mysteries that hover on the cusp of mainstream even as they move into ( ing" that we read in law and literature together. Nathan is now a sophomore at and got a contributing author credit for the RPG g

meeting with the Heinlein centennial. No more useful hybrid concerning our organization comes to mind, and I sincerely hope our current leadership makes it possible for us to hold a combined event. As I mentioned earlier, making the SFRA more relevant to ongoing activities in our area is the handiest recruitment tool there is. I promised myself I would quit at dle end of one single-spaced page, and as I write dlis I can see tlle bottom margin. I will cheerfully answer any questions posed by tlle electorate: contact me by email Learn more about me and my work as a writer of SF by visiting: members / carmien/ index.html Lisa Yaszek I'm Assistant Professor in tlle School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech, where I also serve as curator for tlle Bud Foote Science Fiction Collection. My first book, The Se!flPind, explores cyborg writing as a new way to represent the impact of postwar technologies on American subjectivity. My forilicoming book, Galactic S "burbia, shows how women wri ting science fiction in me 1940s, 50s, and 60s developed a unique body of literature tllat critically en gaged emergent technocultural institutions and prefigured tlle literature we now recognize as feminist science fiction. My essays on gender, science, and science fiction appear in journals including Extrapolation, Signs: jOHmal of 11701l1eJl in ClIl ture and S odefJ', and electronic book review. I have been involved in SFRA since 2003 as a conference presenter, panel organizer, Pioneer Award recipient, and Pioneer Award judge. If elected Vice President I would work to raise tlle profile and increase tlle membership of SFRA by forging new connec tions wi tl1 in terdisciplinary academic and artistic organiza tions. At first we might simply announce our presence by advertising our confer ences, publications, and awards Witll such groups; later we could use me SFRA webpage, email list, and newsletter to circulate information about organizations amenable to science fiction studies and to organize panel submissions for tlleir conferences. The Society for Literature, Science, and tlle Arts, SIGGRAPH, and me National Women's Studies Association would all welcome our presence, and I'm sure tllat my colleagues in SFRA can identify a number of otller groups tllat would do so as well. I would also like to explore the possibility of advertising SFRA to stu dents in appropriate graduate and undergraduate programs and creating profiles of our organization in popular online communities such as and Extending our recruitment efforts in tllese directions will enable us to reach a wide range of up-and-coming scholars and artists botll witllin and outside the science fiction community. For Secretary Stacie Hanes Mv name is Stacie Hanes, and I'm a Teaching Fellow at Kent State Univer sity. I specialize in 19t1l century British literature, contemporary Brit ish fantasy, and Queer Theory; my most acute interests are in ethics and literature, in Terrv Pratche;t's Discworld and .loss \X,11edon's Buffyverse. I\'e been im'olved in the SFlv\ since sometime in 1999, when Joe Sanders asked me to be on the committee phu1I1ing the :WOO conference, which was held in Cleveland tll,lt year. ,\t the time I was an undergraduate, so you might say tllat I have grown up 'with the organization, presenting papers and chairing sessions in Cleveland, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Beginning my involvement by helping to ( 5) cyberpunkish territory, the bound aries between science fiction and related genres seem to be increas ingly blurred.With this in mind, the theme of SFRA 2006 will be "When Genres Collide." Papers on books that challenge traditional interpre tations of science fiction are encour aged. We also welcome essays that reinforce the distinctive nature of science fiction, especially the inter play between science fiction and the natural, physical and social sciences (cloning, global warming, resource management, gender, race and spe cies relations, for example). Other possible topics might include authors who have often burred boundaries in their stories (think of Norman Spinrad, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Bruce Ster ling, for example), fresh interpreta tions of classic writers (Arthur C. Clarke and RobertA Heinlein, for instance, in spite of their hard SF roots), and writers that move be tween science fiction and fantasy (Nancy Kress, Nalo Hopkinson, R. Garcia y Robertson, Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, Octavia Butler, Connie Willis, and Brian W.Aldiss). Further, we invite papers on the growingYA SF offerings. SF has long appealed to young people's sense of adventure. Many adult SF fans discovered the genre via Heinlein or Andre Norton. Contemporary writers are now reaching techno savvy generation raised on a steady diet of global crises.William Sleator, M.T.Anderson, Garth Nix,lsobelle Carmody, Neal Shusterman and others have successfully jumped generic boundaries while never los ing Sight of young people's fascina tion with whimsy and horror: SUBMISSIONS: ISO-200-word pro posals to: DEADLINE: extended May 1,2006


) WHAT: Kubrick collection TOPICS: We are soliciting contri butions for a collection of essays (to be published by McFarland and Company) which will address the work of Stanley Kubrick from a va riety of new and fresh perspectives. In general, we are particularly interested in essays that synthesize analyses of several Kubrick films as they relate to a particular topic, rather than single film studies. As an example, an essay is already underway on architecture and Kubrick's films.We particularly encourage original, groundbreaking analysis and discussions of over looked aspects of Kubrick's work. Preference will be given to essays that are already completed or nearing completion. Chapters will in clude, but are not limited to the fol lowing subjects: Kubrick as photog rapher; Kubrick as newsreel film maker; Kubrick and genre; Kubrick and gender; Kubrick and politics; Kubrick and technology; Kubrick and war; Kubrick and adaptation; Kubrick's unfinished projects; Kubrick's reputation as a filmmaker; Kubrick and Spielberg's A.I.; Kubrick's relationship to the other arts (painting, music, etc.). We are also seeking several essays on vari ous aspects of 200 I: A Space Od yssey. SUBMISSIONS: John Springer, Dept. of English, 100 North University Drive, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK 73034-5209. WHAT: Exploring the Multiverse:A Study of the Works of Michael Moorcock WHO: Editor:Thomas Fortenberry. TOPICS:Submissions are invited for a new collection of essays studying the writings of British author organize dle very first professional conference I attended was, I have to say, plung ing into ilie deep end. I've tried to keep up iliat involvement, most notably by spending 2004 and early 2005 helping to design and edit dle SFRA website, a task for which I, Samuel McDonald, and Elizabedl Monier-Williams volunteered at me Chicago meeting in 2004. Though ilie SFRA was ilie first professional organization I joined, I've been steadily involved wim major student organizations for a long time, always as a member of ilie directing board. At Lakeland Community College, I was presi dent of ilie Campus Activities Board for two years, while also serving as one of ilie nine Student Government officers. As CAB president, I directed teams of student volunteers who organized large-scale events at least monthly; we were responsible for a budget of over $30,000 per year, which we used to purchase promotional items and materials, pay performers, book ilie performers' accom modations, and assist oilier student organizations in funding dleir niche events. During mat time, I worked wiili student volunteers, college administrators, agents, artists, and ilie governing boards of odler organizations on a regular basis. I received several service awards from ilie college for my work widI CAB, which included writing its Constitution and bylaws. I've always taken ilie awards as signs of approval, but since two were clocks, perhaps iliey just valued punctuality. After I moved on to Youngstown State University, where I completed my Bachelor's degree, I had to look for some oilier organization iliat might need me. I found YSUnity, ilie campus gay/straight alliance. I performed sinlliar duties for YSUnity, but widlOut ilie budget. I designed promotional materials and a website that I still maintain. After about a year wiili YSUnity, I was elected president of ilie group; I held ilie office for two years, while I worked for dIe English Department as a graduate teacher. As YSUnity president, I ran meetings, produced documents, organized events, and built dle organization up from a handful of core members to a dlriving activist group of several dozen regular attendees. My two-year term (not reign of terror, whatever you might have been told) coincided widl my graduation from YSU's Master's in English program. \'Vhen I left YSU and YSUnity, I was given ilie Edna K. McDonald Cultural Awareness Award; it was a purely ornamental object, so I like to iliink dlat it wasn't for just showing up on time. Since ilien, I've been a part of odler organizations, such as Omicron Delta Kappa (a leadership honor society), Phi Kappa Phi, and ilie International Asso ciation for dle Fantastic in dle Arts; for dle last, I am now ilie Division Head of the brand new Visual & Performing Arts section of dle organization, wiili re sponsibility for building it into a successful division. The ability to take small or new groups, or projects, and help build iliem into thriving entities strong enough to stand WitJlOut me may be my greatest strengtJl; it's what I'd like to offer to tJle organization: a continued, perhaps intensified effort increase our membership. I would like to see grOWtJI for ilie benefit of younger scholars like me, who find mentors among tJle senior scholars in tJle field, for tJle secure perpetuation of the SFRA itself, and for a still broader exchange of ideas wiiliin sf scholarship; I see tJle continued improvement of our web presence as an important means to tJlis end, as might be increased develop ment of mentoring efforts toward graduate students and otJler young scholars. My last clualification might be tJlat I'm from the Volunteer State, and therefore helpless in the face of polite requests to serve---tJlease keep tJlat quiet, I don't want the MLA to know. Shelley Rodrigo I am currently a faculty member at J'vlesa Community College in Mesa, _________________________________________ )


( Arizona. I primarily teach writing and film studies classes. My scholarly interests all intersect under the umbrella of how technology interfaces Witll humanity. As a rhetoric and composition scholar tllls includes studies of usability, distance ing and professional development. As a film studies, and humanities scholar 111 general, tllls includes science fiction studies and what I call "cyborg tlleory." I have attended and presented at tlle annual SFRA conference, on and off, for me past seven years. I was also the co-editor for The SFRA Revielv from 2001 to 2003. I appreciate tlle open and welconling atmosphere of SFRA as a conference and organization. As a young graduate student tlle scholars at SFRA made me feel a part of a scholarly community. I believe it is important to continue SFRA's legacy of being open to young scholars, as well as scholars making connection from :md through other disciplines. As an elected officer I want to give back to the orgaruza tion as well as continue to promote tlle organization Witll otller scholars. I would especially like to see tlle organization target the various upconlingmedia scholars; much of their work can, and does, benefit from science fiction studies. For Treasurer Donald 'Mack' Hassler I have worked with this organization a long time because I enjoy the people and the projects so much. It is important to o.ur recor?s and our money straight. When I served as treasurer back in the eIghtIes, we dId not have the cool database software tllat we have now, and so in tllis past term I have had to adapt my 'file card' approach to the changes-not a bad idea for someone interested in science fiction. I think I know tlle new system now and would love to Witll it for two more years. Because of my age, if elected I shall be the Alan Greenspan of our community. Also, as you know he began as a disciple of Ayn Rand-and I of Heinlein. But perhaps I should stop now lest I lose more votes. Warren Rochelle I am honored to be nominated. This is a wonderful group of scholars and teachers, and I will continue to do what I can to help it flourish. I feel tllat active participation of tlle membership is essential for this to happen. I am pas sionate about tlle teaching and scholarly study of science fiction and want to be involved in the betterment of each. Service on the Executive Comnlittee is a way to do this. NONFICTION REVIEW Specula.ions on Specula.ion Neil Barron Gunn, janles and Mattllew Candelaria, Eds. SpeClfia/iollJ 011 SpeCliia/ioll: Theories o/Scimce Fictioll. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005.374 pages; $30 paperbound (ISBN 0-8108-4902-X). Science fiction writers, academics (many of them fomler SF fans) and outside critics have repeatedly exanlined and re-examined Sf' as it has evoh'ed from literarily suspect pulp-derived stories in the 1920s to one of today:s more popular genres, in which distinguished work is increasingly and more WIdely recognized. TIle latest example of tllese critical surveys IS SpeCII!a/lOlIS all SpeCII!atioll: Theories 0/ Scimce Fic/ioll. Gunn, professor ementus of Engltsh at Ie University of Kansas, has written SF like The LLf/mer.r and Some Dreams ...--Ire ( Michael Moorcock. Moorcock has had a long and amaZingly success ful career as both editor and au thor. Winner of numerous awards (including the British Fantasy Award, World Fantasy Award, and being shortlisted for the Whitbread [Mother London]), he is most famous for haVing created a vast and fantastic multiverse of intercon nected realities centered around the concept of a recurrent Etemal Champion.This collection endeavors to explore that multiverse on many levels and examine the many incarnations of the Eternal Cham pion. Moorcock, much like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and J. R. R. Tolkien, has created unique worlds and memorable characters that have become archetypal and influenced a generation of readers and writ ers. However, Moorcock's fiction and its Widespread impact have yet to be the subject of a major critical study, which this collection hopes to rectify. SUBMISSIONS: Abstracts and full essays welcomed by interested scholars, writers, and critics in all areas. Work should be of serious depth yet relatively jargon free for all readers. Because of the immense amount of topics, essays should be 10 pages or less due to space re strictions. Please include a cover letter explaining your proposed topic, with CV and bibliography included. Within a few months I will begin assigning topics, characters, and series, on a relatively first come, first serve basis. Be explicit if you are requesting a specific area for study. CONTACT:Thomas Fortenberry

(8 ) WHAT: Storytelling:A Critical Jour nal of Popular Narrative TOPICS: Th'e peer-reviewed, quar terly journal Storytelling is dedicated to analyses of popular narratives in the widest sense of the phrase and in the media and all aspects of cul ture.Although past essays have fo cused on children's literature, comics, detective/crime fiction, film, hor ror/gothic, popular music, romance, science fiction, and television, sub missions are by no means confined to these areas. SUBMISSIONS: 50-word abstract, 3,300 to 6,000 words, MLA: ElizabethFoxwell, DEADLINE: none INFO:www.heldref.orgfstor.php WHAT: Special Le Guin issue WHO: Extrapolation TOPICS: Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of a number of acknowl edged classics of science fiction and fantasy, among them The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and the A Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, but these early masterpieces were all written and published a quarter of a century ago. Even Le Guin's award-winning novel Tehanu is some fifteen years old. For this special is sue on the work of Ursula K. Le Guin we welcome essays on any of the author's published fiction, but would particularly like to see ex plorations of her children's fantasy, short fiction, poetry, or such recent novels as The Other Wind and The Telling. CONTACT: Michael Levy & Sandra J. Lindow and Extrapolation editor Javier A. Martinez at . DEADLINE: June I, 2006 Nightmares and has written extensively and perceptively about SF Ous The Science of Science Fictioll IPritillg. 2000, may be his best critical work). Candelaria, who's pursuing a PhD at Kansas, has written some SF as well as SF criticism. Many of the 24 essays here, grouped in six parts, are by those who know the field best, writers skilled not only as writers of SF but as skilled analysts of their chosen genre. Among dlese are Gunn, Barry Malzberg, Samuel Delany, Ursula Le Guin, Brian Aldiss, Alexei Panshin and .Michael Swanwick, several of whom have won the field's most prestigious awards, often repeatedly. Academic critics who don't write SF include Darko Suvin, Robert Scholes and Gary Wolfe. The publishing/ editorial perspective is capably presented by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. It was good to reread some of the best earlier criticism, which stands up quite well against dle more modem pieces (a reflection of the careful choices by the editors), some of dlem original to this volume. Some essays are especially valuable to the neophyte reader of SF criticism, such as Hartwell's "The Golden Age of Science Fiction is Twelve" (from Ius 1984 work, Age of IPonders), whereas essays by someone like Darko Suvin require both endurance and at least some fanliliarity with literary dleory. This varied and balanced survey will be of greatest value to veteran readers of SF and especially to teachers and would-be critics of SF. For larger public and acaden'lic libraries. NONFICTION REVIEW On SF Neil Barron Disch, Thomas M. On SF. Ann Arbor: University of .Michigan Press, 2005.271 pages; $60 hardbound (ISBN 0472098969); $24.95 paperbound (ISBN 0472068962). Thomas M. Disch is a respected writer of SF and other fantastic fiction, as well as a few books for children and a considerable body of poetry. He isn't a popular SF writer, perhaps because of his sharp and shrewd criticism of the inadequacies of much SF. Most of his earlier criticism is found in The Dreams Our SllIff is Alade OJ HOJJ} Science Fiction COllqllered the IPorid (1998). His most recent work is assembled in 011 SF, 41 pieces, many of them book reviews originally published in magazines or newspapers whose titles are shown in the acknowledgements but usually and irritatingly widlOut date or pagination (it would have required little effort to include tllis helpful information). Among the longer essays (10-15 pages) are two similar polemical pieces, "'Ole Embarrassments of Science Fiction" (1975) and "Big Ideas and Dead-End Thrills: The Furtller Embarrassments of Science Fiction" (1992). Both skewer the mul tiple and persistent imbecilities of SF, derived in part, Disch argues, from a provincialism of SF writers and readers trapped in a self-imposed ghetto of the larger literary world. Disch doesn't linut his targets to second-rate talents and has harsh things to say about revered figures like Bradbury (a widlering review of a collection of his short fiction), Jle praises Vonnegut's Galapagos (1986) and most of Cibson's cyberpunk works. J-Ie savages The Engines of the Night (1982), 36 ess;!,'s by Barry l\lalzberg. but gleefully omits the name of its author. One of dle fin sections of the book. "Crazy Neighbors," shrewdly exanlines some of tlle pseudosecientific barnacles tllat often cling to SF-UFO's, alien abductions, SF


( as religion, SF and its promotion of the militarization of space, and an acute analysis of the appeal of Spielberg's 1977 film, Close EnCollllters of the Third Ki"d The casual or uncritical reader of SF isn't likely to appreciate Disdl'S subtlety, wit and extensive knowledge of SF and literature generally. Ivfany of his reviews are of books now out of print, making it of little value for retrospective selec tion. But for tile reader who is able to maintain a sensible critical clistance from SF, this is a valuable and enlightening critical survey by one of SF's best critics. Recommended for larger libraries. NONFICTION REVIEW Jlhe Haunied Screen Mark Decker Kovacs, Lee. The Haunted Screen: Ghosts ill Literatllre and Film. McFarland, 2006. $29.95. www.mcfarlandpub.coml-800-253-2187 Sometimes a book reviewer must constantly remind himself tllat a book under consideration would not have been published if an editor wasn't confident tllat tllere would be people interested in buying it. Reviewers, after all, are not llie all-knowing arbiters of taste and refinement tllat tlleir position would suggest. Instead, lliey are members of an identifiable audience and tllerefore lliey share llie proclivities and prejuclices of tlleir peer group and may react negatively to a text because tlleyare not members of its intended audience. This advice is some tiling tllat tllis reviewer constantly repeated to himself when reading Lee Kovacs' The Haunted ScreeJl: Ghosts ill Literature and Film. Though Kovacs' book is crisply written and is beautifully illustrated willi many stills from tile movies under consideration, it is not a text that asks tile kinds of questions tllat academ ics would be interested in. Instead, Kovacs seems to be writing for intelligent fans who are not grounded in tile commonplaces ofliterary or filnlic criticism. And indeed, tile close readings and careful explanations of critical terminology will serve tllis audience well. In tllis way, Kovacs is bringing academic and popular criticism closer togetller. For example, Kovacs informs tllis audience tllat "ghosts of tile literary gotllic are fearsome creatures. TIley weep and wail, tlley hover about castles and moors, tlley are unrelenting in tlleir passion, and tlley are deprived of tlleir once-human foml" (3). There is much readerl), pleasure in tllis evocative line, but most academic critics know what "gotllic" means. Anotller exanlple of tllis per vasive popularization occurs when Kovacs explains tllat a "characteristic of tile Gotllic novel is its highly charged, highly stylized narrative" (25). Kovacs' tone is also somewhat unsettling to tllOse used to critique. and it sometimes descends to a cheerleacling tllat is more in line with enthusias tic movie review. According to Kovacs, the "film adaptation of The Ghost alld j\Jrs. l\1l1iris a remarkable and beautiful achievement. It is a film in which word, image, and music coalesce to project a fairy tale atmosphere" (42). He also notes tllat "Portrait of JeJII!)' is a work tllat has translated beautifully from novel to film" (56). These are cogent pitches that would conceivably convince a hobbyist to view DEADLINE: May 31 2006 WHAT: 31 st Annual Meeting WHO: Society for Utopian Studies WHEN: Oct. 12-15.2006 WHERE:Antiers Hilton Hotel.Colo rado Springs TOPICS: Scholars and artists from all disciplines are encouraged to present on any aspect of the uto pian tradition-from the earliest utopian visions to the utopian speculations and yearnings of the 21 st century. including art, architec ture. urban and rural planning. lit erary utopias. dystopian writings. utopian political activism. theorizing utopian spaces and ontologies. music. new media. or intentional com munities. SUBMISSIONS: 100-250 word ab stract CONTACT: Carrie Hintz. DEADLINE: May 1.2006 )


( 10 ) WHAT: Special Issue: SF and Life Writing WHO: Biography WHEN:Winter 2007 TOPICS: Guest editor John Rieder invites essays on the ways science fiction explores the recording of lives, including its estrangement and problematization of the construction of identities, issues of memory and identity, the integrity or fragmentation of personal iden tity, the social construction of personhood, and related topics; or papers that explore the auto/bio graphical elements of science fiction, such as the relation of science fiction to travel writing, captivity narratives, autobiographical ethnographiC accounts, or case histories. These lists of topics are meant to be suggestive, not exclusive. In gen eral the special issue will seek to ask how comparison between biography and science fiction can provoke useful theoretical and critical questions about both genres, and any work that under takes this task is welcome for con sideration. CONTACT: DEADLINE: submissions, August 15,2006. ample, Kovacs repeatedly references "Eban's conflicted se::-:uality" (55) and notes that using a child actress to portray Jenny "would have been morally unacceptable to the board of censors and would have thrust the film into the murky, sexual atmosphere of the novel" (60) because the viewing public could not accept the filmic depiction of a grown man attracted to a prepubescent girl. Despite detect ing this non-normative sexual energy, however, Kovacs does not make anyappeal to queer theory. This is an interesting omission in a reading of a narrative about a sexL1ally ambiguous man who is erotically attracted to a child. There have been queer theory texts that investigate tlIe literary eroticization of children, and Kovacs could have used tlIem to craft a more theoretically informed discussion. One text that comes quickly to mind is Cllnouser: On the Queerness of Children published in 2004 by Minnesota in time for Kovacs to consult while preparing The Hallllted S men for its paperback edition. Furthermore, many articles in that collection predate Kovacs' initial 1999 hardback edition. There is also a ham-handed postcolonialism in Kovacs' discussion of The Ullinvited that is sure to irritate those familiar with contemporary critical de bate. Kovacs suggests that the "deatll of tlIe English Mary Meredith and tlIe triumph of tlIe foreign invader suggests a political allegory, a fable in which the oppressed, real or perceived, manage to defeat their enemies" (98). The "foreign invader" here is from Spain, and it is a bit of a stretch to see the Spanish as essentially subaltern to tlIe English. Kovacs also sometimes ignores more tradi tional historical. scholarship. For example, his discussion of Thornton Wilder's Ollr TOIVII repeatedly points out that Grover's Comers is a dull and stifling place (e.g. 133), yet he makes no attempt to place this rural monotony within the critique of small town life that was a common theme in early 20th-century Ameri can literature. Beginning in the 1920s, writers like Zona Gale and Sinclair Lewis demonstrated ad nauseum and to great acclaim that small-town America wasn't what its proponents claimed it to be. If Kovacs wants to make Wilder's portrayal of small-town life so central to his argument, tlIe play needs to be read as a response to this literary movement. Kovacs also makes a crucial interpretive gaffe in his final chapter, suggest ing that tlIe 1990s saw tlIe end of filmic adaptations ofliterary ghost stories. He posits "an evolution of filmmaking that moves away from tlIe classics, from the literary canon, to define itself as a separate genre. The ghost of tlIe 1990s is no longer a 'ghost' of his textual image" (147). Tllis assertion is clearly problematic because not every ghost story made before 1990 was all adaptation of a literary work. More importantly, however, literary ghost stories continue to be adapted for the silver screen. Henry James' The Tllm of the Screw, for example, was remade as a theatrical film once and as a television movie twice during tlIe 1990s. The ultimate untenability of tlus statement is doubly wlfortunate because it serves to justify the inclusion of a chapter on tlle movie Ghost in a book tllat otllerwise consists of essays about literary works tllat have been made into films. This review is perhaps a little too hard on The Hallnted SCTeefJ, however. Despite the frustrations outlined above, I enjoyed reading it. So while academic critics will find tllis book ultimately disappointing, tllOughtful people who are interested in film and literature will enjoy reading a text tllat presents complex ideas in a non-condescending way. Additionally, tllis text may also be appropriate for a college-level classroom if tlle instructor were teaching general education courses and wantcd to use the films Kovacs discusses. Given tllC right audience, then. kovacs has created an engaging narrative that will entertain and challenge fans of ghosts who haunt tile page and screen. c __________________________________________ )


NONFICTION REVIEW ,.he Science in Science Fiction Thomas J. Morrissey Robert W Bly. The Science in Science Fiction: 83 SF Predictions that Became Science Reali[y. Consulting Editor James Gunn. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, 2005. 367 pages, $24.00 Qlardcover). 1932100482 Whoever concocted the dust jacket blurb and press release for this book was writing fantasy, and not the good kind. Far from being "the ultimate reference guide to inventions and discoveries that first appeared in science fiction," The Science in Science Fiction is an often engaging, quirky Cook's tour of science and SF, but it is not a scholarly book in concept or execution. Using dlis book as a research tool without knowing its limitations would be a colossal mistake, and any reader aware of its imitations would probably go elsewhere anyway. Bly's prose style conveys enthusiasm and, in some instances, commitment, but it is eminently clear tllat he has written a pop account of the science of SF and that to judge the book by scholarly standards would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The book is divided into an Introduction, 83 alphabetical entries from Energy" to "X-Ray Vision," nine entries devoted to "runners-up" (ideas that did not make tile final cut), a bibliography, and an index. Most items are short-two to tluee pages-but several, among tllem "First Contact" and "Interplanetary and Interstellar Travel," are two to tluee times longer. Traditional SF staples are well represented, among tllem androids, robots, black holes, faster than-light travel, force fields, and terraforming. Each entry features a discussion of SF works in which tile scientific idea originated or figures prominently as well as a brief layperson's explanation of tile science. There are quotations from pri mary and secondary sources. TIle bibliography is arranged in sections that match tile book's item headings. AltllOugh many bibliographical entries include page numbers, many do not, and tllere is no attempt to indicate tile page numbers of the quotations in tile main text. TIle book's greatest strengtll is its tone. TIle pleasure tllat Bly derives from SF and his interest in important and sometimes weird science is evident tluough out. Furtllermore, his respect for SF, bOtll print and ftim, might well entice some readers to give SF a try or to look at it from a new angle. He appreciates tile playfulness of SF and obviously enjoyed writing about out-tllere ideas like psionics and hyperspace. Finally, tile inclusion of inlmediately relevant scientific cllallenges, such as global warming or drug-resistant patllOgens, serves to remind readers tllat SF can be a futurist's literary laboratory, a place where the impact of science and technology are often pre-tested. Even judged by pop standards, however, tile book is flawed. The title promises more than it delivers. TIle phrase "The Science in Science Fiction" stakes out a vast territory, one more suited, perhaps, to an SF writer-scientist like Gregory Benford or Joan Slonczewski. TIle subtitle is pretty standard for pop expositions of almost anydling. Imagine that: SF has accurately predicted 83 scientific ideas or discoveries. Actually, tllOugh, tllat is not what Bly does. He tells us in his intro duction tllilt he used four criteria for selecting entries, only one of which is that SF has made predictions that have come true. He tells us tllat he has included ideas originating in science that were made fanlOus by SF. SF predictions that have not yet come true but might, and SF predictions that have not yet come true and might never do so, though they are tlleoretically possible. Even if one accepts the premise tllat what one reads in SF constitutes predictions (which is pretty dubi ous), casting such a broad net dilutes the argument for SFs far-sightedness. In ( I I ) c ___________________________________________ )


) any case, the subtitle misrepresents the book's content. If I were applying scholarly standards to this book, I would take issue Witll Bly's not-50-comprehensive lists of SF works that exemplify his claims and tile omission of tile science surrounding race and gender issues. Women writers do not fit,rure prominently in this book. However, accuracy is a problem too, and even popular non-fiction of this sort should be accurate. For example, he writes tllat in Hu:dey's Brave New World, "genetic engineering was used to create standardized humans." Not so. The chemical poisoning of fetuses is a biological act, but it is not genetic engineering, even if the visible results are similar. In the chapter "Immortality and Longevity," he repeatedly calls the global ruler in Robert Silverberg's Shadrach in the Fumace "Khan." "Khan" is his title, not his name (which is Genghis II Mao V). This is not a major point except that it might lead readers to confuse the character with tile wratllful Khan of Star Trek fame. Furthermore, it is one of a number of instances in which I questioned what Bly knows about some of the books he mentions. If you were asked to write one sentence about Plato's Republic, would it be this one: "His satiric utopia, known as 'Plato's Republic; was a city-state with communal living among tile ruling class"? In tile entry entitled, "Humankind Wiped Out by Plague," he inexplicably omits the greatest pandemic of all time-tile death of tens of millions of Native Americans from urban diseases against which tlley had no immunities. Finally, when I read tllat there are scientists who believe that SARS came from outer space (mediated by neither irony nor citation), I began to wonder how many of the book's claims are equally sensational; after all, tllere are "some scientists" who believe almost any tiling. I laving said all tile foregoing, I will add, perhaps surprisingly, that I did not dislike this book, however frustrating it is at times. I am all for books tllat seek to popularize SF by demonstrating its potential relevance to real life, especially if they effectively celebrate the genius of SF's outstanding scientific prognosticators or if they promote an awareness of the great scientific challenges and perils of our time. This book does bOtll of these, though only up to a point. Ultimately, I agree Witll Ursula Le Guin's assertion that SF is not primarily a predictive form. To use prescience as a criterion for judging SF writers can be an eye-opening pursuit, but it is not the be-all and end-all of a genre which at its best spins what H. G. Wells called "scientific romances;' what we might call new or modified mytIls of tile scientific age. Of course, some of the best mythic stories-beginning Wit1l Frankenstein-are cautionary tales, but t1ley, too, are often t1lought experi ments rather tllatl predictions. And, of course, someone could write a pretty funny book about all t1le science that SF has gotten wrong. Furtllermore, getting tllings technically wrong has been no impediment to t1le popularity or importance of writers such as Ray Bradbury (whom Ely praises lavishly). I tllink tllat Bly would have done better eit11er to make a narrower claim or to have c1lOsen a really good reason-such as examining possible futures before tlley occur-for talking about SF's predictive possibilities. The fuzzy focus does not appear to have provided him witll adequate reasons for autllOrial choices. Alt1lOugh occasionally engaging, tllis is not a book that SF scholars and discerning fans must run out and buy. NONFICTION REVIEW Social and YiMual Space Thomas J. Morrissey ( I.aura Chcrnaik. Sodal aJld T '"irtllal Space: Sdence FictioJl, TraJlSllatiollaliJlll. al/d the Alllenca!1 Nelt' Right. Madison WI, Tcancck, NJ: Fairlcigh Dickinson UP, 2005.208 pages. $46.50. Hardcover. ISBN: 0838640699 I.aura Chernaik has written an intricate, far-reaching, intellectually challenging, sometime arcane, lucid, well-docu mcntcd, ,md ultimately passionatc treatise on the dreadful (atld malevolently engendered) state of world affairs and SF writers' rcsponscs to it. Rcading it sometimes felt like negotiating a t11fee-dimensionallatticework in which foot1lOlds are alternatively sticky, grcasy, or bouncily resilient. If the tcxt feels like a maze, that is an illusion: it is remarkably cohesive given its grand scope. In spite of and thanks to its highly theoretical basis, Sodal alld T ,'ifll1al Space is both a radical feminist and Neo-Marxist critique of NeoConservativc imperialism and a celebration of personal and collective agency in the struggle against it. Her discussion of SF in general and specific works and writcrs in particular is important to her overall argument, but the book's focus goes well beyond literal)' analysis. Divided into a Preface, six chapters, and an Afterword-all of which comprise a mere 191 pages of text-Social alld I /{II1/(/IS/"h1: is an astonishingly pithy book. 'Ii) say it is short would be like calling a climb straight up a 30,000 foot mountain )


( a six-mile hike. Chernaik is a philosopher well versed in and enamored of theory. She can split hairs with the best of them. Not having cut my academic eye-teeth in the age of dleory, I admit to having to struggle at times to grasp fully Chernaik's logical moves. Also, I cannot readily judge dle accuracy of her assertions about dle work of dleorists widl whose writing she, as a philosopher and cultural critic, is far more familiar dlan am I. However, insofar as her project transcends dle dleoretical, it is sound and graspable. Although her conclusions about dle Bush-Blair war policy in Iraq and elsewhere are dependent on a complex argument based in theory, she makes it eminendy clear dlat she is not playing word games. In the \'Cry first sentence of chapter one she tells us dlat her book, "like dle work of philosophers Jacques Derrida and Emmanuel Levinas, links language widl action." No matter how rarified dle argument becomes, her goal is to say somedling meaningful and useful about living a conscientious life in dle era ofNeo-con ascendancy and consequent moral decline. From Derrida she adopts dle concept of undecidabilty as dle intellectual tool by means of which a space is created for multivalent discourse, even as political leaders strive to frame issues in binary terms. From Levinas she borrows dle idea of universal responsibility so important in Jewish ethical dlought. If dlere is room for dissent, and if dissent is called for, dlen one must act. Of course, making room for dissent is not easy. In chapter two she considers how consensus politics, dle post-war phenomenon marked by the marginalization of ideas or social movements dlat were deemed beyond dle political pale, impoverished the political process. Olernaik argues dlat dle success widl which the disenfrancllised-dle poor, women, racial minorities, and gays and lesbians---employed moral arguments to bring dleir ideas into dle political forum paved dle way for the right to do the same. The result "The New Right constructs a dleocratic space, radler dlan dle plural spaces of liberalism, the new social movements, and radical democracy." The second part of dus chapter, one of dle denser regions of dle text, treats transnationalism and technoscience. From David Harvey she gleans dle term "spatial fix" to describe how transnationalism serves dle interests of dle Neo-cons. Opening world markets, creating demand for goods, exporting manufacturing jobs to Third World countries where wages are low, unions are suppressed, and environmental regulations are weak or non-existent all provide outlets for an economy based on over-consumption and accumulation. If and when war is necessary to force dle fix, no problem. Then, citing dle work of Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze and many odlers, she introduces New Science Studies. The short version is tllat science must not be seen as apolitical, dlat postmodernity is marked by hybridization, and that one form of hybridization is the stifling and sinmltaneous augmentation of human agency via technoscience. Instantaneous communication (dle Internet being dle prinle example) and new production techniques promote transnationalism, but dley also allow for local and global information sharing and social action. Our interdependence widl technoscience has made us cyborgs of a sort, and herein lies the move to SF in the next two chapters. In chapters tluee and four, Chemaik gives close readings of Samuel Delany and Pat Cadigan. Binaries be damned; here comes science fiction. Delany, both as a tlleore tician and SF writer, theorizes and utilizes SF so as to create new spaces for dle radical deconstruction of "sexual identity, gender identity, and species identity." i\lost of Chernaik's emphasis here is on Delany's Neveryon fictions. Cadigan, the so-called "Queen of Cyberpunk," employs technoscience to leave behind conven tional thinking about alternatives and agency. Chernaik's in-deptll analysis of SYlllerJ demonstrates how tlle novel reconfigures and de-fangs traditional Judeo-Christian religious tropes. She argues that SYlllerJ is not an example of marginalized sniping but a frontal assault on and displacement of limiting concepts, anlOng them compulsory reproductive heterosexuality. Both of dlese chapters establish SF as a literary form that by its very nature questions given notions of reality. She never uses dle word "estrangement" to describe the turn from mundane fiction to SF. but it occurred to me dlat insofar as SF worlds are foreign and strange as compared \Vitll normative reality, the journey through dle SF texts Chernaik chooses immerses readers in foreign realities in which many will feel far more comfortable and far less alien. Creating such realities is one way that SF can be a counterweight to oppressive cultural hegemony. ( In chapter five, "Spatial Displacements," Chemaik rejects dle notion dlat divisions among left-wing opponents of Neo-con domination necessarily constitute "fragnlentation." In fact, it is embracing the diversity of tlle opposition by its various constituencies that empowers it. Complexity favors the disenfranchised. which is why she argues for the combination of "historical, fictional. and theoretical works as objects of analysis, ratller tlumlimiting oneself to either material or semiotic objects." In her final chapter Chemaik brings her brand of diversified argumentation to bear on the Iraq war in particular. Applying just war theories to both the justification for and conduct of the war. she concludes. as have many others, that the war is unjust on bOtll counts. Citing what she regards as the lies and distortions that led to war ;md the exanlplcs of brutality )


) and torture that have horrified much of the world, she sees preemptive invasion and cruelty in the name of safeguarding civilization as the Neo-con equivalent of the moral corruption that lies at the heart of the society depicted in Ursula K Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Ornelas." TIlis move was especially meaningful to me since I typically begin my course in utopian literature with "Ornelas" as a way of introducing questions of social morality and of scapegoating in the name of the general good. Perhaps the most shocking observation in the chapter is her contention that displaying footage of the beating and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners might have been designed by some as a means of titillation, a stimulus that might evoke from some viewers feelings of righteous vengeance: when you're up against sub-humans, use subhuman tactics. Such is the slippery slope to perdition. 11lis book was not my cup of tea, but it was my cup of unsweetened chocolate. Are tllere oilier possible routes to a critique of the Neo-conmen? Sure, but tllis book is tlle ethical anthem ofan honest and engaging anti-establishment mind, and it is wortll tlle effort to engage it. NONFICTION REVIEW Unsuna Heroes 0' ,.he Lord 0' -the Rinas Bruce A. Beatie Lynnette R. Porter, Unsling Heroes of The Lord of the Rings: From the Page to the Screen. Westport, 0': Praeger, 2005. xiV; 225 pages. Hardbound, ISBN 0-275-98521-0, $39.95. The conception of this book is much more promising than its realization, for reasons that, as we shall see, are perhaps excusable. Porter sets out to show, through analysis of seven of tlle secondary figures in the book and the fum, how an "everyperson hero acts during a crisis, whether tllat be on a battlefield or in the corner convenience store." (vii-viit) "To me;' she says, "Tolkien's epic is timeless, and Jackson's adaptation likely to become a classic. With respect to both," this book highlights "tlle heroic deeds of seven important characters" and indicates "the continuing relevance of The Lord of the Rings in modern popular culture." (xiv) Porter's first chapter, "Literary and Cinematic Heroes" (1-22), retains some of the promise of the title, though her use of multiple subtitles gives her argument tlle feel of a textbook. She summarizes tlle hero-definitions of Lord Raglan, Northrop Frye, and Joseph Campbell, following in large part Anne Petty's 2003 Tolkim ill the Land of Heroes; Campbell, however, is tlle only one to whom she makes repeated reference tluoughout her book. In an interesting section, she analyzes how PeterJackson uses tlle camera, lighting and especially music to define tlle heroes of his film, and comments on tlle way Jackson gives greater emphasis to female heroes tllan does Tolkien. She concludes Witll "a modern definition of hero" (20) based more on cinematic ,malysis thml on the literary scholars mentioned above (I quote only ilie topic sentences of the 2nd 4th and 5th defmitions): "1. 'They have tlle ability to act on tlleir convictions. 2. TIley can plan a strategy and successfully carry it out. 3. They sacrifice tllemselves if necessary, but they do not seek to become martyrs. 4. TIley grow as characters. 5. TIley value love of familv and home." The next five chapters discuss "ivlerry as a Knowledgeable Hero" (23-55), "Pippin as Impulsive, Youthful Hero" (56-89-there is an interesting chart comparing the narrative trajectories of Merry and Pippin on page 84), "Eowyn as Action I lew" (90-11-1), "Cahldrid and J\rwen as Inspirational Heroes" (115-143), and "Legolas mld Gimli as Intercultural Heroes" (I-I-I-IM)-the teml "intercultural" is more PC thrul accurate; Legolas and Gimli belong to fundamentally different raa:.s.). It is in these chapters that the promise falls short. TIlOugh Porter has done her homework well, ruld makes extensive use of prior critical writing (especially thorough in discussing tlle Jackson film), and makes useful comparisons between the literary ruld cinematic qualities of the respective "unsung heroes," her actual analysis is highly repetitive, not only from chapter to chapter, but wi thin each chapter. I tIS
  • o remarkably simplistic, bOtll in tlle over-frequent subtitles ruld, especially, in tlle fact tllat eadl chapter concludes with ,Ul evaluation of each figure against tlle five qualities defined in her first chapter. In spite of her occlslonal resenations as to the appropriateness of a particular quality for a particular figure, tllese repetitive analyses have a Pmcntstean feel. In particular they seem out of place in the otherwise less repetitive ,Uld simplistic chapters on tlle elves (and the dwarf)' The final chapter on "The Changing Social Definitions of Heroes" (167-18-1), however, is well wortll reading. Here Porter pull> together the points madc too diffusely in the preceding chapters, focusing on, as her "Introduction" promised,

    PAGE 15

    ( IS) the continuing relevance of The Lord of the Rings. "The themes in book and film illustrate the best that men and women can offer, and tile characters illustrate both tile heroism of past generations and the relevance of trying to do one's best, often against incredible odds, in modem life. Groups as divergent as veterans of World Wars I and II, U. S. hippies during the 1960s, videogill11e players in the early 2000s, and female fanfiction writers on tile Internet have read their own cultureand time-specific meanings into this tale of good and evil." (184) The book concludes with "Notes" (185-202), briefly annotated "Online Resources for Tolkien Studies" (203-207), a "Selected Bibliography" (209-215), and an index. The editing is generally thorough, if uncritical; an editor might well have worked with Porter on tile problems of repetition and style. The only editorial faux pas I caught was the sentence discussing "Frodo's gift ... a phial of light, which provides helpful in The Retum of the Killg ... (131)-it should read either "provides help" or "proves helpful," but it's the sort of error spell checkers don't catcll. TIle reference, by the way, is to Jackson's film, though Galadriel's phial plays a greater role in the book. Though there are few formal proofreading problems, tilere are some curious misinterpretations and outright errors that Porter or her editor should have caught. Her statement that "the events [of The Lord of the Rings] are set millennia ago" (17) may be simply a careless exaggeration; though Tolkien says that tile days of tile TIlird Age of Middle-eartil "are now long past" and tilat "tile regions in which Hobbits then lived were doubtiess tile same as tilose in which tiley still linger: tile Nordl West of tile Old World east of the Sea" (Fe/JOIvship, Prologue), neitiler Tolkien nor Jackson makes any clear chronological connection Witil our own time. Again, Porter's remark that "Elves ... can survive so long as to seem immortal." (145: a note refers, obscurely, to page 44 in The SilmarilJion) may be a possible interpretation deriving from Jackson's film; but Tolkien states repeatedly in The Szlmanlliofl that tile Firstborn of Iluvatar are in fact immortal in the Undying Lands, tilOugh not in IvIiddle earth. But her statement tilat, in tile book, "The Hobbits are detained by Maggot" (29) is simply not true; tile hobbit farmer offers them hospitality and (as Porter does note) help. And it is hard to accept her repeated reference to "tile battiefield at Cormallen"(58), 'jackson's Batde of Corrnallen" (59), "the Batde of Corm allen" in Tolkien's book (65) (106): tile batde she refers to is at tile Mor31111on, before tile Black Gates, willie tile Field of Corm allen is an Eden-like garden witiun Itililien, more than 60 nliles from tile Black Gate according to Tolkien's map, and Tolkien would be horrified at tile misidentification. It is due probably to tile fact that tile chapter in The Retllm of the King in which tile ballie reaches its clima., is indeed entitled "11le Field of Cormallen." This error fits witil a general impression tilat Porter has read Tolkien less carefully til31l she has viewed and studied tile film. The book, however, seems likely a labor of love; Porter is not by trailung or experience a literary scholar. TIle jacket flap lists her as "Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she teaches Honors Literature and Hum31Uties," and as autilOr of three otiler books. TIle Ohiolink catalog shows her in fact as autllOr or co-autilOr of four books published between 1993 and 2004, but tiley are all on pedagogy in tile technically-oriented classroom; her only entry in the MLA Ilitematiolla! Bibliograpl!J (tile st31ldard bibliographical source for literary studies) is a long 1984 article on "Teaching Linguistics to Technical Communication Students" -hence, I suspect, tile "textbook" feel of her study. The negative points I have raised do not mean tilat Porter's book is WitilOUt value. Her discussion of tile "unsung heroes" is often insightful, and her book is as far as I know tile first to discuss in any detail tlle relationships between Tolkien's book and Jackson'S @ms. Hernotes 31ld bibliography provide useful references to much very recent critical writing (from as late as May 2004). Indeed, if reissued in a less expensive paperback format, tile book nught sen'e very well as a textbook for a course on literature 31ld film. FICTION REVIEW Chronicles 0' ihe Wandering Siar Michael M. Levy lVIcCullough, Kelly. Chrollicles of the lFalldm'lIg Star. Illustrated by Carlos Lopez. Armonk. NY: It's About Time, 2006. 78 pages, paperback, $9.95.1-58591-405-3. This is a rather unusual volume. Its publisher, It's About Time, produces science books for classroom use. Chrollide." of the IFallriefillg Star is one small part of a multi-volume set of books and otiler materials called Inter:\ctions in Physical Science, a year-long curriculum for seventll or eightll grade students. The entire sheb,Ulg includes a $59.00 student textbook. a two volume student work book (available in two different configurations) at $18.90 or $14.95. and a three volume teacher's _________________________________________ )

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    ( ) edition at $199.95. Also available are various CDs, a board game, a set of posters, and wall maps. The entire set comes to around $800. I haven't seen the other parts of InterActions in Physical Science and have no opinion on their quality, aldlOUgh the fact that the whole program was in part supported by a grant from dle National Science Foundation seems promising. iv!cCullough is a young writer of considerable promise. He's been publishing short fiction in places like IJYeirdT ales and lPn"ters of the Flltllre for the past few years and his first novel, IPebMage, is due out from Ace dlis summer. Chrollicles of the IPal/deril/g Star tells the story of an interstellar exploratory ship which is damaged while traversing Fold Space and ends up barely operational in our solar system. TIle tale centers on four aliens, each of a different species, all the physical and emotional equivalent of young adults, who form the crew of the splintership Solar Wind. Their somewhat picaresque adventures include a mistaken attempt to understand Eardl politics via an uncritical sampling of the Internet, various not entirely successful attempts to fix their spacecraft and odler technology, a mission to capture an asteroid and return it to dle Wandering Star which nearly ends in disaster, and a vacation trip to Earth dlat goes awry when their expandable boat sinks in cold water. I'm sure you get the idea. Each chapter is a legitimate adventure, but they all follow a pattern. The young aliens get in trouble, but manage to save themselves (or figure out what went wrong after the fact) by means of eidler a careful application of critical thinking skills or basic experimental physics. This is the purpose of Chronicles of the Wal/dering Star, to provide a series of enjoyable tales that support dle lessons of the InterActions in Physical Science textbook, and McCullough succeeds quite well at his task. Students get a practical demonstration of one or more principles of physics and see young people not all that dissimilar from themselves struggling to develop dle critical thinking skills needed to master the problems presented. Obviously Chrollicfes of the IPallderil/g Star is not a book that you're likely to pick up and read for its own sake, but it should prove very useful to any middle school teacher who chooses to adopt dle InterActions in Physical Science program. FICTION REVIEW James ,.ipiree Award Aniholosy 2 linda Wight f'owlcr, Karen Joy, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin, and Jeffrey D. Smidl, eds. The james Tip/ree AJvard Alltholo!!), 2. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2006. xvi + 25Opp. $14.95 pbk. ISBN 1-892391-31-7. Since 1991, the James Tiptree, J r. Award has been recognising science fiction and fantasy dlat "expands or explores our unders tanding of gender." In dleir second arumal andlOlogy, dle editors encourage readers to exanline what gender means to the Tiptree Award by revealing some of dle widely varied approaches taken to exploring and expanding dle concept. I "ollowing from the highly regarded james Tip/ree ./-lIvardAflfho/.o!!), 1 (San Francisco: Tachyon, 2005), [reviewed in SFRA ReI'ie1/! 2741 The james Tip/ree Au'ard rll//hofo..p,y 2 brings togedler seven short stories, two novel excerpts and five essays to showcase the latest in "gender-bending" science fiction and fantasy. A.s expected in an annual andlOlogy, dle majority of fictional works are drawn from the 2004 Tiptree Award (presented in 2005). This provides an awareness of the breaddl of approach and style recognised by the 2004 jurors, supporting Debbie Notkin's clainl in the introduction, that "fluidity, flexibility and unpredictability are the hallmarks of the Tiptree Award." (xiii) The editors also include duee short stories from previous award years to further emphasise dle audlors' variant approaches to gender. Raphael Carter's "Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation," winner of dle 1998 Tiptree Award, is introduced as "the mos t direct exploration and examination of gender in the en tire Tiptree 'canon'" (15). Carter presents a fictional scientific report to emphasise the constructed nature of the gender binary, suggesting dlat we filter out contradictory aspects of the world that fail to accord \Vith our simplistic binary views. Proposing an alternative of twenty-two distinct gender categories, Carter encourages us to acknowledge differences and details that we are accustomed to ignore. II rsula I,. I.e Guin's, "!\nother Story, or A Fisherman of the Inland Sea:' (1994) is standout, a lesson on writing about gender without writing abolll gender. In a beautifully crafted story set on the world of "0," Le Guin exposes dle socially constructed nature of family, \m'e sexual relations, presenting a complex society where marriage consists of two men and two women, diyided into gender {lJ/{/into the l\lorning or E\'Cning moit\". Le Guin suggests that dle need to belong and be Imed is uniyersal, irrespective of the social construction of the famil\". Several stories explore gender through humour. Jaye Lawrence's "I'-issing Frogs" (20(H) is a delightful retelling of "The hog Prince" depicting gender as inconseclucntial in a world where the experience of having one's identity shaped by others' perccptions IS dramatically literalised. Carol Fmshwiller's """\11 of lis Can :\Imost ... (2004) is a quirky exploration of )

    PAGE 17

    ( 17) power relations between the sexes and the empty spectacle of masculine power. Her female protagonist -a waddling, flightless, predatory bird -must choose between emulating a showy, precarious masculinity, or pursuing an alternative path to genuine strengtll. Eileen Gunn and Leslie What's "Nirvana High" (2004) overflows widl grunge references, set in a pop culture world where kids attend Cobain (as in Kurt) High. Although not direcdy concerned witll gender, its stable status is problem atic in a world where a substitute teacher channels a dead scientist for a wry practical chemistry lesson, and dle principal, Mr Madonna, is "an x..,Xy." (122) L. Timmel Duchamp's "The Gift" (2004) and Jonatllan Lethem's "Five Fucks" (1996) complete dle short story contributions. A heart-breaking tale, Duchamp's story questions tile link between achieved manhood and functioning se::-"ll ality, revealing the tragedy of how deeply our assumptions about gender and se::-"llality are ingrained. "Five Fucks" presents a similarly tragic end, men and women existing as alien entities inexorably drawn to one anodler, but destined to destroy dle world. The two novels included in dle antllology are excerpts from Joe Haldeman's Camouflage (2004) and Johanna Sinisalo's, Troll: A Love Story (2004). Botll excerpts include tile first few chapters, introducing readers to dle novels; however neidler allows much insight into how dle texts deal witll gender, or why dley were chosen as joint winners of dle 2004 award. Sinisalo's depiction of dle troll is captivating, however, encouraging readers to seek out dle full text. Perhaps tile greatest strengtll of The James Tiptree AlvardAflthohgy 2 is dle critical essays, which provide intimate insight into tile Tiptree Award, dle Wiscon community, James Tiptree,Jr. (aka Alice Sheldon) and dle crucial dialectic between writers, critics and fans of gender-bending science fiction and fantasy. Julie Phillips' "Talking Too Much i\boutJames Tiptree,Jr." and Tiptree's letter to Rudolf Arnheim reveal dle characteristics which made Tiptree an ideal candidate for whom to name a gender bending award. In a 1945 journal entry, Tiptree wrote, "I am trying, from tile living urge of my own life, to force open channels of commwlication so far mostly closed. [ ... J To press out naked into tile dark spaces of life is perhaps to build a smaIl part of tile patll along which odlers like myself wish to travel." (9) It is along dlls patll tllat tile Tiptree Award has travelled, acknowledging works dlat have continued to force open dle closed channels of communication. Nalo Hopkinson and Gwynedl Jones also contribute essays. Hopkinson emphasises dle importance of communities such as \Viscon (dle annual feminist SF convention) and dle Tiptree Award for providing a place where people of dle "wrong" colour, gender, race and class can feel visible and imagine beyond ingrained assumptions. Jones suggests dlat wIllIe technology has made biological sex malleable, ideas of gender have become more resistant to change. It is fitting to conclude by returning to Debbie Notkin's "Introduction," as it is her insight as chair of dle James Tiptree, Jr. Award Modlerboard dlat franles the entire andlOlogy. Notkin emphasises dlat "tile main point of the Tiptree Award is not to prm'ide answers -but ratller to raise questions" (xvi) and it is on dlis point tllat The Jallles Tiptree All'ard Aflthology 2 succeeds. The andlOlogy does not provide consensus on what we mean when we talk about sex and gender, or whedler a gender-bending text is, or should be, feminist, but it does raise questions and provoke arguments, and continues tile work of building a science fiction and fantasy commwlity concerned widl grappling widl these ideas. As Notkin explains, "That's dle point, after all" (xvi). FICTION REVIEW Pretender Edward Cannien c. J. Cherryh. Pretmder. New York: DA\\l, 2006. Hardcover. 336 pages. $25.95. ISBN 075640374X In dlis eighth book of Cherryh's remarkably long-lived series dlat begml with Foreigflermore thml a decade ago, human trmlslator to the atevi Bren Cameron is swept up in events sparked by a coup that remm'ed the ateyi aiji Tabini from power. \Vill Tabini be restored to his rightful position as head of the \X,btern Association, dle alien gm'ernment dlat works most closehwidl the human enclaye sequestered on a nearby islmld continent? "'\II the usual suspects return to the stage for dlis "second book of the third Foreigner series." Can any author sustain interest in a series that nllls to its eighth book? The main challenge is to balance on a slender reed in bet\\"Cen "jumping dle shark" on the one side and spiraling into repetitious sameness on the other. It is possible. but it is certainly not common. Despite being a hearty Cherryh partisan for decades (see The C:berryb .. eyif one has doubts) it is with a heart I report Pretmder slips off the slender reed. ( )

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    (18 ) There arc no spectacular rearrangements of characters or settings in Pretender. The pot is not stirred for the sake of stirring it. Instead, Pretender simply lacks the components of a compelling story for readers not already in love with the charactcrs and thc setting. In Foreigner Bren Cameron is pitched into political controversy when the stable arrangement bctwecn atevi, who are nativc to the world in which the story takes place, and humans is jeopardized by the return of the interstellar spacecraft that delivered humans into orbit hundreds of years in the past. Cameron is faced with a political, lint,'llistic, and psychological challenge, that of doing the right thing in order to keep the peace. There is some external action, but the primary stresses are internal. In the second book the challenge to established order continues. Illvaderintroduces conflict between Cameron and his human government. The spacecraft in orbit is generally isolated from the surface, but two of the crew are landed in order to act as liaisons between the atevi and human governments and the ship, which desperately wishes for the ground-pounders to gain heavy-Ii ft carth to orbit transport ability. Again, Cameron must act correcdy to maintain dIe peace, facing down conserva tives both atevi and human who have powerfully negative agendas. /\nd so dIc series continues. As part of this review your trusty reviewer re-read Foretgllerand Invader (and made a good start on [nhen/or, but deadlines are deadlines) and found dIem compelling and interesting reads. Those new to Cherryh and interested in somc of the best dIe field has to offer in alien/human relations should start widl Forezgner and move on from there. Pretellder, unfortunately, lacks dIe juice to entice new readers on its own. Cameron is with his trusty bodyguards, including his lover,Jago, as well as the aiji Tabini's son and dIe aiji Tabini's grandmodler, IIsidi. In DestrV'erdlis cadre returned from space to discover that a pretender to dIe "throne" has chased Tabini into dIe hills. With Cameron's return, events are sparked that return Tabini to power. There is some politicking, as dIe assassin's guild puts in an appearance, but as dIe lackeys of the usurping power dIey arc soon disposed of. A local groundswell of support follows Tabini's tempestuous return to dIe capital. Cameron rides most of the way there in a bus along with Tabini's son. Changing to rail, dIey arrive at dIe seat of dIe government and Tabini takes over, declaring that none of the pretender'S actions were lawful and dIat any decisions taken by dIe pretender must be resubmitted to become legitimate. But where in earlier books Cameron has always played a central role in dIe success of Tahini's government, in Pretender he docs nearly nothing but struggle widI physical discomfort during dIe long bus ride to dIe capital. He is never in any particular danger, faces down no challenges, solves no problems. The charm of Pretmderis entirely in dIe soap-opera elements of his personal relations. Caught sharing a hot badI widl his lover, he worries dIat dIis impropriety (for he is the aIien in dIis context) 111 the house of a staunch traditionalist might de-rail Tabini's bid to retake power. Even dlat worry is short-lived, however. Notably lacking from Pre/ellder is mention of what dIe human government on the nearby island continent is doing during the rear the usurper is in charge. In previous books Cameron's absence for a day or two is enough for human conservatives to launch dangerous plots that threaten to rock the boat of cooperation dIat has served the two cultures well over more than two centuries. One of the dramatic mainstays of dIe series is dIerefore missing, Preteflderis dIereby less compelling. Series fiction presents a number of challenges to any audlOr. 11Iere is a certain contract readers expect to be followed: the mall1 characters, who become familiar over many books, enjoy a certain level of script immunity. Killing dIem off risks invoking thc "jumping the shark" effcct, and often it means such characters can't grow or change over time. Bren Cameron has certainly grown ovcr timc, and thc series is better for that fact. Yet Cherryh, apparendy unwilling to allow even secondary charactcrs to cxpcricncc much change, leavcs readers of Prelenderwith the too-comfortable feeling dlat all will be well. IIsidi gocs on a dangerous car journcy and escapes unscadIed. Tabini's son and his new bodyguards suffer no harm. (:amcron's )tcrie of bodyguards arc unhurt. Boobv-trapped fueling stations don't blow up. Politically valuable space shutdes aren't sahotagcd or dcstrored. The human island-contincnt isn't invaded. Tabini is denied the chance to face down dIe usurpcr, who escapes unharmed into the wildcrncss. In a culture dIat possesses some fourteen words for betrayal, none of (:amer()n ()r Tabini's staff prmT unreliable at a key, dramatic moment. Thcrc arc cutc moments aplenty. The atcyi leader's son has become Cameron's constant companion, and his youth prondcs "pp()ftl.lnit, for smiles for thosc familiar with the scries. Jago and Cameron have settled into a comfortable if socially unacccptable (to ateyi and humans at large) relationship. lIsidi is her usual cane-tlmmping self.

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    ( As widl Destrqyer, dlose who are reading dle series because (as is often true wim Cherryh's readers) dley MUST, will not need dlis review to continue enjoying dle series. New readers beware: dus is not dle right book to begin the exciting journey into dle world of dle atevi. Foreiglleris mat book. FICTION REVIEW The Cuckoo's Boys David G. Mead Robert Reed, The Cuckoo's Bqys. Urbana, II: Golden Gryphon Press, 2005. 315 pp. 24.95 hb. ISBN 1-930846-37-1 Aldlough dlis book is Robert Reed's dlird short story collection, until now I had read only a few of his novels. My first acquaintance widl his work was Down the Bnght W 0' (1991), which, if memory serves, was a candidate for dle Canlpbell Award. Since dlen I have read and reviewed (favorably) two more of his novels, (2000) and The IVefl of Stars (2004), bodl of wluch describe events aboard a planet-sized spacecraft \vluch is traveling dle Milky Way gala.. .... :y. He has published eleven novels to date, as well as numerous stories and novellas. The Cuckoo's Bqys collects twelve stories dating from 1993 to 2005, most published originally in AsilJJov's and The Magazine of Fanta!] & Science Fiction. TIle volume also contains a useful AJtem'ord. TIle stories are proof, if any is really needed, dlat Reed is a really fine writer of science fiction. He fully deserves the numerous honors his stories and novels have won. The stories here are technologically rich, emotionally intense and very interesting. Reed explores the interaction of humanity and technology 'from dle inside,' using first-person narrative to convey his characters' often painful. sometimes terrible struggles widl a world made strange by scientific change. Scientific and technological changes make Reed's stories possible, but hymning or damning these changes is almost never dle dleme. They just situate dle human drama. TIle first story of dle collection is fairly typical in this regard. "On dle Brink of dlat Bright World" imagines what someone might do when dle first messages from extraterrestrials arrive and all eyes are on dle stars. It really isn't what we usually expect from SF (explorations ofdecodingl translation, concems about alien intentions, the impact on culture, etc.), yet Reed's take on dlis traditional scenario seems plausible and bitterly insightful, and reminds us mat life and death are scaled processes, ongoing even in the midst of grand events. There's a tuce variety to the stories in dlis collection. One or two resonate widl contemporary issues, but Reed does not come across as a writer of simple parables about current events. "Savior," for example, calls to mind recent debates about the value of torture in dle 'war on terror,' and suggests dlat dle terrible deeds men do in wartime for the best of reasons, in dle fogofbatde may come back to haunt dlem later, when dle smoke clears and hindsight can see dle plain trudl, but dle story is not as much about dle policies of dle Bush adnunistration or any odler current event as it is about how we treat our heroes, dleir heroism, and our history. "The Children's Crusade" may remind us of NJ\SA's recent problems with dle space shutde and odler projects, and dle public's lack of endlUsiasm for the space shutde program after dle Challenger disaster. Given dlese and dle pressing needs here on Eardl, how will we get to l\!ars and Beyond, and who will go? Several of dle stories -"Night of Time" and "River of the Queen" arc set on the Great Ship. although we do not really need to have read !\I!arrOlIJ, The IFell of Stars, or other stories set in the Great Ship cosmos, such as the recent novella J'IJere, to appreciate what is going on, since what is going on is humanity's ongoing struggle with time, memory, life and love. TIle speculations about advances in science and technology in Reed's stories seem very consistent, functional. He imagines dle conquest of aging (deadl by violence is still possible) and dle evolution of humanity by means of technology into a wide variety of forms (clades). He imagines the development of autonomous Artificial Intelligences, and dle existence of a wide variety of starfaring, long-lived alien beings. Hence he can tell tales of seemingly endless life aboard dle Great Ship as it travels at relativistic speeds through the galaxy ("River of the Queen"), of evolving into god-like beings of many sizes shapes ("Coelecandl"), of humans kept as souvenirs by their own proud creations ("The Children's Cru sade''), of humans using viruses to clone themselves by the thousands how those cloned thousands cope ("11le Cuckoo's Boys''). Reed's writing is in the tradition of Heinlein at his best. and he deserves to be read widely. Stronghrecommended. c __________________________________________ )

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    (20 ) FICTION REVIEW The Fiction Factory Bill Dynes Dann,Jack, et aI. The Fictiofl Factory. Urbana, IL: Golden Gryphon Press, 2005.310 Pages, cloth. $24.95. ISBN 1-93084636-3. It must be a great deal of fun to write fiction with Jack Dann. That, certainly, is the impression given in many of the entertaining headnotes accompanying this eclectic group of short stories. Each of these stories is the result of a collaboration between Dann and one or more others. Gardner Dozois is the most frequent partner, involved in ten of the eighteen stories; Michael Swanwick, Barry Malzberg, and George Zebrowski are also represented. Each author has included a brief note describ ing the story's birth and development, and while creative writing instmctors may be intrigued by the methodologies described here, what comes across most vividly to the casual reader is the sheer excitement of working with close friends in a process everyone loves. Even when the collaborations aren't entirely deliberate Dann's description of stealing Dozois' initial idea for "The Clowns" is particularly entertaining, for example what is apparent is the manner in which dlese collaborators delighted in dle process of working togedler, challenging and supporting one another, and in most cases that energy and excitement translates effectively into the stories dlemselves. Originally published in sources as diverse as Pmthol/se, Amazing Stones, The TJJdight Zone and Isaac Asimov's Sciellce f'idiofl, Dann's stories range in setting from Mars and Eardl orbit to Faerie and the cliffs of Heaven, willi side trips to Niagara Falls and the C. Fred Johnson Municipal Pool. This diversity of place is matched by dle diversity of tone and style. Some stories arc wickedly funny, odlers just wicked, while "Down among dle Dead Men;' which features a Jewish vampire in a World War 2 concentration canlp, or "The Clowns;' in which a young boy is haunted by a clown who mayor may not be a ghost, show that Datm and his friends can handle horror expertIy. Only a few stories embrace mainstrerun science fiction; most notable is "High Steel," written with Jack C. Haldeman II, a Nebula award finalist in 1982. In this story dle protagonist,John Stranger, is a Native American training to become a medicine man. When he is drafted by a white-owned corporation to do construction work in Earth orbit, he struggles to hold on to his sense of purpose and self, even though that depends upon a hamlOny with a world that is now only a bright bubble off in the distatlCe. \'(/hen atl industrial accident threatens dle station he is helping to build, Stratlger's emotional and spiritual integrity are put to dleir most severe challenge. Although "Iligh Steel" is the only story in tIle collection written WitIl Haldeman, its central dlemes of identity and place arc important throughout the volume. It is interesting to read in the headnotes Datm's reminiscences of his own east coast childhood and his "pilgrimages" to meet, eat, talk, atld write widl his friends atld collaborators, especially now dlat Dann is living in Australia. 1'vhUly of the protagonists whom we meet in dlis volume are men or boys who have become disconnected from the places they consider home, and dle consequences of that disconnection are a vital dynanlic of dle stories. One of the best examples of this motif is dle brief "Playing the Grune," which Datln wrote widl Dozois. This story also suggests how successfully "hard" SF; ideas can function in a fantasy narrative; originally published in Tbe TJlilight Zone lvlagaz/m, dle impetus for the story was Dann's idea of a boy who could manipulate "quantum uncertainty," according to Dozois' note, to move among alternate realities. The result is Jimmy Daniels, who daily slips away from tIle house that isn't quite home and sneaks off to the cemetery, \vhere he struggles to reconnect witIl the one reality tIlat is truly his. \Vhat makes the story so effective is its decision to concentrate on Jimmy's familiar sense of dislocation, his awareness that his parents aren't quite the people he knows they should be. That anxiety, so fruniliar to adolescence, gains poignancy when Jimmy begins playing his "game," reaching out with his mind, trying to reconstruct the reality he'd lost. :\s effective as "I Iigh Steel" and "Playing tIle Game" are, they may not be the best choices on which a reviewer should concentrate, because the seriousness of mood that characterize tIlem is something of atl anomaly within the collection as a whole. ;\ few other stofles, such as "Down among the Dead Men" and "'Ille Clowns," alread)' mentioned, share dlat tone, but f()r the m()st part, the stories here are ... itt" and exuberant, reveling in an energy that must have carried over from dlOse brainstoflning sessions described in the headnotes. f\nother story of displacement and confusion, for instatlCe, resurrects tIle identity of .Iack the Ripper in the body of a New Jersey nebbish named Leon Schwartz, and tIle struggle for control between the two men suggests that the local prostitutes arc (Iuite safe. "'I (lUring" also explores the possibilities of life after deatIl, atld watching I ]\"lS Presley, Buddy 1 lolly, and Janis Joplin jam together is well wortIl the price of admission. Thl! hdioll / ';;,1(11)" is an appealing collection of high-spirited and thought-provoking stones. Not all of dle stories here ( )

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    ( are equally successful, but there is a delightful sense of being invited in to share the fun with a creative and committed group of writers. FICTION REVIEW Alanya .0 Alanya Ritch Calvin Duchamp, L. Timmel. AlallJa to Ala'ya: Book One 0/ the Marq'ssall (ycle. Seattle: Aqueduct Press, 2005.431 pp. ISBN: 0-9746559-6-1. #19.00 usn My "discovery" of the work of L. Timmel Duchamp was, as usual, pure serendipity. Granted, she has been writing for some time, and her work has appeared in a variety of places, including some well-known sources (including A.rimol':", Extrapolation, and The NeIll York Revielllo/ Science Fiction). However, her body of work is not extensive. For example, ISFDB lists only one novel and, oddly enough, no collection of stories even though she does have a collection out, as well as a number of other pieces, many of them in small market outlets (including La4J Churchill's Rosebud IVn:rtlet). Duchamp takes ideological issue with tlle mainstream publishing industry; in part, she rejects tlle way in which nearly all mainstream presses evaluate manuscripts based on synopsis or plot summary. She believes tllat such a practice is unfair and that it favors plot-driven works. This aspect of tlle publishing industry is just one of the reasons why she decided to start her own press (Lukin). So, one day, as I sorted tl1fough the day's junk mail (sorry, 4th class mail), I found a brochure from A.queduct Press, a publishing house specializing in feminist science fiction. In today's information age, I should never be surprised tllat someone (or some entity) gets a hold of my mailing address and reading tendencies, but I was surprised tllat tllis unsolicited mailing should be so well-suited. Apart from the work of Duchamp, Aqueduct Press also features odler writers such as Kim Antieu, Eleanor Amason, Rebecca Ore, Gwynetll Jones, and Nicola Griffith, among otllers, so I \vas quite interested in tlle press and its catalog. I purchased a copy of Duchamp's novel (she has also released a collection of stories, entitled Lol'e:" Borly. Dallcillg ill Time) and was quickly engrossed in tlle (massive) novel, which is dle first installment in a five-novel series. TIle remaining volumes, Rellegade, TSllllami, Blood ill the Fmit, and Streltf), will be published from June 2006 tllrough June 20(8). The novel is set in me near-future United States, picking up action in 2076. While much of the social structure is lluile familiar, one very significant change has taken place. TIle goveming structures of tlle world have become much more global, tllOugh nations retain tlleir autonomy, and societies have become more clearly hierarchized. TIle society'S leaders, bodl in gm'ernment and in industry, belong to tlle Executive class, one which not only enjoys a luxurious lifestyle tllat is unimaginable to tlle masses me "sub-execs"-but have also developed a distinct social structure. TIle sub-execs are mollified, in part, duough the entertainment/internet systems tllat are implanted in dleir brains. On the one hand, tlle novel's Executive class is an extrapo lation of current trends. Statistics suggest tllat, particularly here in dle US, tlle middle class is disappearing while the gap between tlle wealdlY ,md the working poor grows larger and larger. Indeed, today's privileged a standard of living that is unimaginable to the vast majority of tlle population. The E'\ecutive class has also, in some ways, reified traditional gender roles. \X'1lile females are members of the E.'\ecutive class, they hold no positions of power. All significant functions are fulfilled by males, and seem to hold vcr\' strong, very rigid sexist beliefs about women and tlleir abilities. \,(Ihile some Executive females work, they are always in supporting roles, and often undergo horrible abuse at the hands of dleir bosses. But in order to succeed, the male Executi\'es must undergo an operation. The novel is never very clear about tlle nature of the operation, although more and more hints about it appear as dle novel progresses. But one dung tllat it does do is render the Executive males eunuchs. TIle\' can no longer feel sort of physical pleasure (or pain) in tlle gelutals, wluch frees up their time, energ\', ,md thoughts for work. TIle Executive females, it would seem, do not undergo an analogous procedure. Instead, Executi\'C females are used primarily for reproduction, and many of dlem remain in the home to provide childcare. However, the women still have sexual desires, and tlley fulfill those desires with otller Executive women. In an interview, Duchamp cites Adrienne Rich as a formative and foundational thinker for her, and I would suggest that this aspect of the novel reflects that influence. In "Compulsory Heterosexuality ,md Lesbian Existence," Rich points out the ways in which the patriarchal household has controlled women, aIld this is quite clear in the non\. But Rich also asks "wh\, species survival, the means of impregnation, and emotional/ crotic relationships should cnr han become so rigidl\' iden ti-( )

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    ) fied with each other" (162). In tlus novel, tile two are quite separate: tile women have sex with tile males for the purposes of species survival, but their emotional and erotic needs and desires are fulfilled with one anotller. Illis arrangement, however, has not extended to the sub-execs, and it is kept secret from tllem. TIus aspect is one of tile ironies, or paradoxes, of tile novel. While Rich suggests that these other reproductive/erotic relationslups offer less oppressive and less exploitative alternatives to compulsory heterosexuality, and wlule Duchamp would likely agree, in this novel tile alternative arrangement is a product of a degenerate and oppressive ruling class. I look forward to seeing how Duchamp develops tllis arrangement in tile remaining volumes. Against tllis backdrop, tile aliens, the Marq'ssan, appear. Once again, direct information about the Marq'ssan is slow in coming, witll tidbits leaked out over the course of the novel. They possess advanced technology as well as the ability to alter the shape of things tllrough organic processes. For one, tIley alter their own appearance while in tile presence of humans in order to appear more palatable. \Vhether or not tile Marq'ssan are sexed beings remains, to tllis point, unclear, though they arrive on Earth w,mting to deal only wi til females. After announcing tlleir presence and demanding to meet wi til tluee female representatives from each nation, tlley disable all electrical and electronic capabilities on the planet (tilOUgh some few are spared by being hidden deep in tile Earth). U.S. officials, however, are never convinced thatitis an alien attack; instead, tlley believe it is the work of terrorists. Nevertlleless, tlleir hand has been forced, and they put togetller tlleir team of tluee women ambassadors, one of whom is tile protagonist, tile history professor Kay Zeldin. Once all tile women are assembled on tile ship, the Marq'ssan inform tllem tllat humans are on a destructive path. 'Illey arc appalled by tile crisis tllat lead to tile emergence of tile new E..xecutive class, and tile ways in wluch tile Executives were able to use tile crisis to exert even stronger controls over tile general population. TIley "demand" tllat the women on board negotiate a new government, a new social structure that will "end tile seemingly infinite cycles of conquest and domination and violence that characterize human history" (70). TIley argue tllat only the process of negotiation, organized from the bottom members of society, will be effective. While tile Marq'ssan have only now made tlleir presence known, they have actually been on Earth for many years, working among grassroots and feminist organizations allover tile globe. Apart from the formal representatives, tile activists and fenlinists are integral to the negotiating process. As tIlese negotiations take place, the events of the narrative taken place, largely. in tllese tllree loci: the US government's security department, tile Marq'ssan ship, and the feminist and activist community in Seattle. 'J 'he novel was published in 2005, and so many of tile topics and events seem custom-made to address living in the post-9/ II llS----cven more so after tile revelations about tile NSA wiretaps. But tile interesting fact is tllat tllese five novels were originally written in 1984. Duchamp asserts tllat tIley were written in response to Reagan-era government policies, particularly those regarding Central America. But tlley were also written in response to tile ways in which tile press was ccnsoring political commentary (Lukin). So, while tile Marq'ssan Cycle has an historical context, it seems more relevant tllan c\'er. I\S Duchamp writes in tile "Afterword," tlley have also been revised for publication twenty years later, so some of the references were doubtlessly added (tile omnipresence of tile internet, for example); nevertheless, tlley are remarkably pertinent at the moment. Even given all tile political and historical background, she contends that tile primary aim of tile novels is to dcvelop thc process of constructing a new. even utopian, society. A great many science fiction novels depict utopian societies, but the proccss of gctting there is missing. and. according to Duchamp, that's tile tough part. What does that road look like and how docs one gct on it? Duchamp has been described as a "scholarly" writer. And indeed, Duchamp Oike her protagonist Kay Zeldin) is traincd as an historian. though she describes herself as "not an academic" and "not an intellectual, eitller" (Lukin). Even so, a writcr who cites Nietzsche. de Beauvoir, \Vittgenstein, Kuhn, Rich, de Lauretis, and Adorno and Horkheimer as writers who have contributed to her analytical framework, a writer who has read (approximately) one academic essay per day for tile last thirt\' years (which totals roughly 11.000 essays), is bound to come off as a bit "scholarly." Nevertheless, her intellectual grounding and hcr political activism both contribute to create a novel tllat is lughly readable and as politically relevant as any novel I can recall. \\(lrb Citcd ( Duchamp, I" Timmcl. / J/aJ!Ytl 10 /J!aJ!)'a: Book Om of Ihe Alarq'JJIlIl Seattle: Aqueduct Press, 2005. l.ukin .. Iosh. "/\n Intcrview with L. Timmcl Duchamp." 2004. 10. February 2006. . Rich, .\driennc. "Compulsory Ileterosexuality and Lesbian Existence." FelllilliJI Frolilier:r Ill. Ed. Laurel Richardson and \'ertaTarIor. NcwYork: I\IcGraw-llill. 1993. 158-79. )

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    ( FICTION REVIEW 7emeraire Christine Mains ( N ovik, Naomi. Temeraire. London: HarperCollins, 2006. Trade, 330 pp, .99, ISBN 0-00721909-1. In the United Kingdom, TelJ1eraire is the titIe of the first volume of a fantasy series by new autIlOr Naomi Novik; in North America, Temeraire is the name of the series of which the first volume is titIed His l\Jajesty's Dragon, with tile second volume Throne of Jade and tile third Black POlvrier IParto follow shortIy after (in March, April, and May, respectively, meaning that North American readers won't have to wait nearly as long as readers in tile UK to read the rest of tile story). Temeraire is also the name of one of tile leading characters in tile series, an intelligent, compassionate, and fiercely loyal dragon in His Majesty's Aerial Corps. Novik's book has been getting rave reviews from an impressive array of autIlOrs in SF and Fantasy, said reviews being more tIlan well deserved. It's been a very long time since I last forced myself to stay awake long enough to finish any book on first reading, let alone a second reading, but even knowing how tile story ended didn't get me to bed earlier tIlan the wee small hours. Many of tile reviews have mentioned the nanles of Anne McCaffrey, autIlOr of tile Pern series about dragons and their riders, and Patrick O'Brian, author of the series upon which tile film Alaster alld Commallderwas based, a series set against tile backdrop of tile Royal Navy during tile Napoleonic wars. And it's certainly fair to describe tile book in terms of a Hollywood-style pitch, as "Aubrey and Maturin in Pern," perhaps, altIlOugh such a description wouldn't really do it justice. But tile bond between dragon and rider is central to tile characterization and the development of the plot, and the setting evokes an alternate history of sorts, what tile Age of Sail might have been like if dragons existed and served as a kind of Royal Air Force. Captain William Laurence commands HMS Reliant, proud of his career in naval service and looking forward to his engagement to a young woman in society, when his crew captures a French ship and takes as a prize a dragon's egg intended, although he doesn't know it at the time, as a gift from tile Chinese Emperor to Napoleon Bonaparte. But tile French ship has been becalmed and delayed by tile war, and tile egg is about to hatch; if someone does not bond wi til tile dragonet, it will become feral, useless to the Aerial Corps which needs every dragon and rider it can get. TIle Reliant is weeks away from landfall, and Will finds himself tile dragonet's choice as partner, which means tile end of his naval career and all his hopes for a normal life in his society, aviators are a breed apart and much looked down upon by men of social standing like Will's fatIler. At somewhat bitter and resentful (in a very gentIemanly way) about his change in fortune, \Vill comes to regard his growing partnership with Temeraire as a blessing, and in time begins to adjust to, and in man!' ways change for tile better, the dosed society tIlat is tile Aerial Corps. Those readers interested in historical fantasy, in the intersections bel:\veen the real past and the imagined past, \vill find much of fascination in tile way tIlat Novik blends what might be I:\vo very different narrative worlds. TIle battles at sea and in tile air are concretely detailed, tile result of much research and attention paid to tile historical period; if any kind of air support had been possible tIlen, battles might very well have been waged in just the way she describes. TIle only fanta,tic element is tile dragons, tile only 'magic' tIlat provided by tIleir different talents and abilities, yet the world in which tIleyexist is subtIy changed by their existence. TIlis is not simply a historically accurate world into which tile fantastic element has been forced. For instance, tile fact tIlat dragons are as likely to bond with women as WitIl men means that it is not unusual to find women riding dragons into battIe, dad in trousers rather than skirts and as likely to bear battle scars as their male counter parts. Will's comradely and openly sexual relationship with .1'Ule Roland is contrasted with the socially-bounded ,Uld now impossible engagement to Edith. \V'hile the focus is not on such issues as the treatment of women in society or the inequities of tile class structure Novik's primary concem is to tel1 a cracking good story such themes can be traced tIlroughout. But what makes this such a compel1ing read, ultimately, is tile attention paid to those old stand-bys, plot and dlaracterization. TIle events of tile plot move along at a perfect pace, with fast-paced action scenes giving way to tense moments of plotting (in tile other sense of tile word) and conspiracy, and moments of quiet reflection and humor for balance. And, thankful1y, while this is tile first book in a series, it doesn't fall victim to the cliffhanger ending; enough tIlfeads are tied to provide a satisfying sense of conclusion, enough left dangling to want more of tile story in the next book. It's tile characters that pul1 you in, tIlOugh, botIl human and dragon, and the interaction bel:\veen those characters. \'(lill Laurence is a complex young man, the product of his society but intel1igent enough and open-minded enough to see the flaws in his world and in himself; Temeraire is not a carbon cop" of ;\IcCaffre!"s dragons, or indeed of any other literar!' dragon. He's well read but can't resist the shiny, thoughtful and mature but with occasional moments of childish insecurity. In short, tllese arc fascinating characters in a \vorld that I can't wait to rC\isit. Naomi Novik is an amazing new talent, and I look fOf\vard to reading more from her pen in years to come. )

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    Science Ficcion Research Associacion www.s'ra.ora The SFRA is theoldcst probional organization for thesrudyofscience fiction and fantasylitcratureandfilm. Founded in 1970, theSFRA was organized to improve cl:assroom teaching; to cnmurage and assist scholarship; and to evaluateand publicize ocw books and magazinesdealingwith bntasticliterarureand film, teaching methods andmaternls,andaHUlmccfufdOlTrnI1CBArmngthemembershiparepeopiefiom booksellcrs, editors, publmers, archivists, and scholars in many disciplines. Academic affiliation is nota requirement lOr membership. VISit the SFRA Website at dlttp:l>. Fora membership appliGition, mntact the SFRA Trea.l1.m:ror = the website. SFRA Benefits SFRA Optional Benefits FOUl/datWn. Dismuntedsubscription rate for SFRA. members. 11uee issues per year. British scholarly journal, with critiGll, historical, and bibliographical articles, reviews, and letters. Add to dues: $3150 surface; $39 airmail. The New YorkReviewofScience Fidwl1. Dismunted subscription rate lOr SFRA members. Twelve issues peryear. Reviews and features. Add to dues: $26 domestic; $35 domestic first class; $28 domestic institutional; $32 Canada; $40 UK& Europe; $42 Pacific & Australia JOI01l1llofthe Fmlfastic in theAns (fFA). Dismuntedsubscription rate for SFRA Ext171pohtWn. Four issues peryear. Theoldestscholany journal in the field, with critiGIl, members. Four issues peryear. Scholarly journal, with critiGll and biblio-historical, and bibliographical articles, book reviews, letters, OCGISionai special graphical articles and reviews.Add to dues: $30 domestic; $4Ooverseas. topic issues, and an annual inch. Science-Fiction Shitlies. 11utt issues per year. This scholarly journal includes critiGll, historical, and bibliographical artides, review articles, reviews, notes, letters, SFRAAnn/laiDirrrtory. One issllcpcryeatMembers' names, add=, phone,e-rnail addrr=s, and special interests. SFPA Rel'iew.. Four issues per year. This newsletter/journal indudes extensive book reviews ofbocll nonfiction and fiction, review articles, listings of new and fDnhmming books. The Review prints newsaboutSFRA internal afEUrs, calls lOr fX1P:rs, and lIpdateson works in progress. Femspec. Dismunted subscription ratefDrSFRA members. Biannual publiGition. CritiGIl and creative works. Add toclues: $25. SFRAListseru TheSFRAListservaHows l.I.9.::rswith e-mailacrounts to to all subscribers of the lisrserv, round-robin style. It is used by SFRA members to discuss topics and news of interest to theSF community. To sign on to the listserv or to obtain furcller information, contact the list manager, Len Hatfield, at> or . HewiD subscribe you An e-mail sentautornaticaHy to new subscribers gives more infolllationaboutthelist SFRA Execucive Commiccee 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. ofFinance and Legal Studies Bloomsburg University 400 East Second Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815 # 120 Budgell Terrace Toronto, ON M6S IB4, Canada Treasurer Donald M. Hassler Departmen t of English p. o. Box 5190 Kent State University Kent, OH 44242-0001 Science Fiction Research Association Secretary Warren Rochelle English, Linguistics, Speech University of Mary Washington 1301 College Avenue Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5358