SFRA review

SFRA review

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SFRA review
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Science Fiction Research Association review
Science Fiction Research Association
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Eugene, Ore
Science Fiction Research Association
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Science fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Science fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
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S67-00039-n278-2006-10_11_12 ( USFLDC DOI )
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Editor: Chriscine Mains H3n3ging Editor: Janice M. BoasCad Nonfiction Reriews: Ed McHniahC Fiction Reriews: Ed Carmien The SFRAReview (ISSN 1068-395X) is published four times a year by the Science Fiction Research Association (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 TIN I N4 Janice M. Bogstad, Managing Editor 239 Broadway St. Eau Claire WI 54703-5553 Ed McKnight, Nonfiction Editor I 13 Cannon Lane Taylors SC 29687 Ed Carmien, Fiction Editor 29 Sterling Road Princeton NJ 08540 Science Fiction Research Association SFIUI Re"ie., III THIS ISSUE: SFRA Business Editor's Message President's Message Approaches to Teaching 2 2 Easterbrook on Plagiarism 3 Non Fiction Reviews Supernatural Literature 7 Companion to SF 8 History of SF I 0 Mad, Bad, and Dangerous! 12 Fiction Reviews Best of the Best 2 12 Keeping It Real 14 Bllndslght I 5 Renegade 17 Tlptree Anthology 3 18


) News Items: The nominees for the British Science Fiction Awards have been announced. The winners will be announced at Contemplation, this year's Eastercon, on April 7. Novel: Darkland, by Liz Williams; End of the World Blues, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood; Icarus, by Roger levy; The Last Witchfinder, by James Morrow; Nova Swing, by M. John Harrison. Short Fiction:"The Djinn's Wife", by Ian McDonald;"The Highway Men", by Ken Macleod; "The House Beyond Your Sky", by Benjamin Rosenbaum; "The Point of Roses", by Margo lanagan;"Signal to Noise", by Alastair Reynolds;"Sounding", by Elizabeth Bear. The nominations for the Crawford Award for best first fantasy novel have been announced. The award will be presented at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, to be held in Fort Lauderdale the weekend of March 14-18. A Shadow in Summer, by Daniel Abraham; Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead, by Alan De Niro; The Stolen Child, by Keith Donohue; In The Forest of Forgetting, by Theodora Goss; The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott lynch; Temeraire, by Naomi Novik; Map of Dreams, by M. Rickert. The short list for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, presented to the best science fiction published in the UK, has been announced. The winner, who will receive a prize of will be announced on May 2 on the opening night of the Sci-Fi-london Film Festival. End of the World Blues, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood; Nova SWing, by M. John Harrison; Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, by lydia Millet;Hav, by Jan Morris; Gradisil, by Adam Rob erts; Streaking, by Brian Stableford. ( SFRA BUSINESS EdHor's Message Christine Mains Well, this is the last issue of 2006, so obviously we're still running a wee bit late in the production schedule. We're hoping to get things back on track with the next couple of issues, with the intention of producing a Heinlein-themed issue in time for the conference of which President "-\dam Frisch speaks in his introductory message below. Fiction Reviews Editor Ed Carmien is hoping to hear from anyone with thoughts on producing reviews, either full-length or minireviews, on fiction by Heinlein, particularly new editions recently produced or forthcoming. Nonfiction Reviews Editor Ed r.IcKnight is the guy to contact if you'd like to review critical examinations of Heinlein's work and his contributions to SF. .-\nd I would absolutely love to hear from anyone who has ever taught Heinlein's work in the classroom, to any extent, for an article (or more tllan one) on .-\pproaches to Teaching Heinlein. Even if you don't feel up to preparing a longer piece for "-\pproaches, I'd like to hear from you; if enough SFRA members put together their brief anecdotes and bits and pieces of experience, we could probably end up with a substantial addition to tlle Approaches series. Speaking of tlle .-\pproaches to Teaching series (nice segue there, huh?), I'm delighted to include Neil Easterbrook's article on combating student plagia rism with SF scholarship. It's useful advice for all of us in the classroom, as well as an entertaining read. I believe that Neil would very much appreciate someone buying him a drink at the next ICE-\ or SFRA conference and explaining to him in detail what a tm!/; is. "-\nd I will happily buy Neil tllat drink in thanks for writing me an email message some time ago offering to share his classroom experience tllls way. Do you hear that, folks? A contribution to the Approaches to Teaching series gets you a free drink from tlle Editor. SFRA BUSINESS Presl1deni's Message Adam Frisch .-\s I begin this message that you'll be reading sometime early in 2007 (the mail carriers willing & the creeks not rising), I recall tlle opening lyrics of Will's song from the musical Oklahoma: I got to Kansas City on a Frid'y By Saturdy I leamt a thing or two For up to tllen I didn't have an idy Of whut the modren world was comin' to! Ev'rythin's up to date in Kansas City l1ley\"e gone about as fur as tlley c'n go! They went and built a skyscraper seven stories high .-\bout as high as a buildin' oughta grow EY'rythin's like a dream in Kansas City I t's better than a magic lantem show! SFR. -\'s 38th .-\nnuall\Ieeting begins tlus year on July 5th (note to all Wills: that's on a Thursday, not a Friday), and it will definitely be better than a magic lantem show! Our convention this year offers bOtll wonderful opportunities and )


( a hidden challenge. Held in conjunction with the 2-hotel-wide Heinlein Centen nial Convention (about as large as a meetin' oughta grow) and the prestigious Campbell Conference, SFR. \'s meeting will allow members to interact not only with its own guest authors such as Fred Pohl,James Gunn and .\llen Steele, but also with celebrities invited by the odler conferences, from astronaut Buzz .\ldren and NASA administrator Dr.I\1ichael Griffin to authors such as Spider Robinson and Arthur C. Clarke (via video). "\nd wIllie the "modren world" may have changed a tad since the days of Rogers & Hammerstein (and Robert Heinlein, who grew up in the area), Kansas City remains an exciting place to visit. Close to dle confer ence hotel are world-class art museums (the .\sian displays at the Nelson-"\tkins are unrivaled, as are the Modem art collections at the Kemper), charming shop ping districts (such as Country Club Plaza, with oodles of shopping, dining and entertainnlent just a short cab ride south of the \Vestin), family entertainment sites such as Union Station, connected by skywalks to the \Vestin Crown Center in case the dad-blamed weather is overheating the crops (no magic lanterns, but a 3-D + lots of interesting historical exhibits), and the best dam pork BBQ west of the Carolinas (such as Jack Stack's, nesded in dle heart of Kansas City's art-gallery area, just across dle tracks via an overhead walkway from Union Station. I ate there just dlis past October, and let me tell you ... ). The challenger-Our SFR..\ meeting could easily get lost amid all this com motion and excitement. So your challenge is: to attend if dut's at all a possibility (I<:C is cheap to get to), to take a few moments right now (or this weekend at dle latest) to send a short paper or a panel suggestion to Carolyn \Vendell ( or Phil Snyder ( whedler about dlis year's "Golden " of SF" theme or not; our 2007 program co-chairs will find an appropriate spot for any good proposal, to phone in your hotel reservations to the \Vestin so you can get confer ence rates, and to use all the synergetic energy of dus year's "multi-conference" meeting to make SFRA 2007 one of our best gadlerings ever. APPROACHES TO TEACHING Promocins SF, Ayoidins Plasiarism, and Seryins Scudenc Meeds Neil Easterbrook A few years ago, I'd lut rock bottom. I\fy general preference had al,vays been to give undergraduates the maxinlum freedom in dleir essays, bodl because of my anarchist commitments and because I've always dlOught dlat indepen dendy developing a strong, "doable" topic was a significan t portion of dle intel lectual work of any acadenlic essay. The previous term, I'd given a "topic open" writing assignment, and eight of dle students chose to write on ?\fary Shelley's Frankenstein. Of dle eight, seven committed plagiarism to ,-ariously disturbing degrees, something I was able to demonstrate for six. (I11ree years later, I saw dlat seventh student, now bartending at a spot frequented by my colleagues in the Department of History; she was very friendly with dle History profs, and so in a moment when dleir attention was distracted and she could not be compromised by her answer, I asked if in dlat Frallkellsteill essay she'd actually plagiarized. She delued even having written on Frankenstein, wluch I took as an implicit confirma tion dut she'd cheated, and was doing what cheaters usually do-taking the lie up one notch.) \'(,'hatever else it means, plagiarism means dle students aren't learning. It ( The nominees for this year's Philip K. Dick Award, presented for best paperback original. have been announced. The award will be presented at Norwescon 30 on Friday, April 6, 2007. Carnival, by Elizabeth Bear; Catalyst, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman; Idolon, by Mark Budz; Uving Next Door to the God of Love, by Justina Robson; Mindscape, by Andrea Hairston; Recursion, by Tony Ballantyne; Spin Control, by Chris Moriarty. The World FantasyAward winners were announced at a banquet at the World Fantasy Convention in Aus tin, Texas on November 4, 2006. Novel: Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami; Novella: Voluntary Commit tal, by Joe Hill; Short Fiction: "CommComm", by George Saunders;Anthology: The Fair Folk, ed. Marvin Kaye; Collection: The Keyhole Opera, by Bruce Holland Rogers. Femspec is pleased to announce the winners of the Best of Femspec's First Five Years Awards, with many thanks to our judges.They will be presented by founding co-editor Robin Reid at the Cultural Identity Caucus on Thursday night at the March '07 IAFA conference in Florida. BestArt: Beth Blinebury; Best Cover:Bridget Tichenor; Best Critical Essays: FirstGina Wisker, Second-Rebecca Hains,Third-Batya Weinbaum; Best Fiction: First-Rebecca Lesses, Sec ond-Judith Merril. Third-Samuel R. Delany, Fourth-Marilyn Gale. Fifth-Marleen Barr; Best Poetry: First--Barbara Mincheton. SecondKarenAlcaly.Third-Doreen Russell, Fourth-Tara Leonard. Fifth-Jane Liddell-King. Best Reviews: Janice Bogstad. Diona Shaw; Best Special Editor: Patricia Melzer. )


) The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database developed at TexasA&M University reached a sig nificant milestone with the loading of the updated database December 31, 2007. The database provides author, title, and subject access to over 75,000 individual items about the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and related material, drawn from books, journals, newspapers, fanzines, the internet, and occasion ally unpublished manuscripts. The database is based heavily upon the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection in the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives and collections in the Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M ,with the sub stantial assistance of the Interlibrary Loan department of the University Libraries. Material acquired for indexing from other sources is archived in "Science Fiction: Collected Papers," the research file of compiler and science fiction curator Hal W. Hall. That archive is housed in the Cushing Library Sci ence Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection. In addition to the files of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database, the Cushing Library Science Fiction Research Collection houses over 25,000 books, some 90% of the science fiction and fantasy magazines published in English, and manuscripts and papers of many science fiction and fantasy writers.The total collection numbers over 43,000 published items, and several hundred linear feet of archival material.The Cushing Library is open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday,and Sat urday 9:00 am to I :00 pm, during the regular semester. For more in formation, contact HalW Hall at the Cushing Library: 979-862-1840 or email hhall@lib-gw. ( also means that I was wasting hours and hours enforcing our Code of Student Conduct. Ok, I wasn't IIJastillg the time, but I was spending time that could be better spent in a thousand different ways, from blessing lepers to watching reruns of Deep Space Nine. Ok, time 1 could have spent tutoring students or writing my own smug little scholarly diatribes. So the very next semester, 1 did what all profs do in trying to avoid receiving plagiarism from tlleir students: I crafted st.\: very specific topics, think ing tlut each was sufficiently narrow that only a handful of published works addressed tllOse particular issues. Thereby students would be less likely to pla giarize, even if tlley tried. 1 warned them, 1 begged them, I promised them my everlasting trotll. (1 still don't really know what a troth is, but I was pulling out all the stops.) Still, a solid tlurd of the submissions copied from secondary sources. The patch-writers were suitably chastised and sent back to correct their faulty documentation. For tile real cheaters, such as the kid who didn't address any of the writing prompts but did copy verbatim six pages from Cliff's Notes, 1 wrote the appropriate letters to tile dean, requesting appropriate punishments. But even tllOugh the topics were carefully limited and the students suitably forewarned of my zero tolerance for plagiarism, 1 still had to spent hours and hours in tile library and on-line, in sub rosa conferences and in drafting memos. Worst was tile fellow who paraphrased the essay of his roommate. He'd initially told me he would write an essay on Solan's, tllen submitted some thing that followed Ius pal's essay in every respect; the original was ok and the otller was a pale paraphrase-precisely tile same points in the same order, but with slightly different illustrations. Now 1 read all student work "blind," without the student's name attached; only after I've commented and graded do I connect tile name to tile paper, even then all I knew was tlut tlley sat together in class. Checking addresses, 1 discovered they were roommates. \Xlhat apparently transpired was tllat tile first roommate had just set up a L\N in their apartment, and then gone off for a weekend Witll his family. This left the second student Witll full access to the first fellow's hard drive. The punch line of tills anecdote? Well, tile topic chosen was etllical integrity in Dick's DoAlldroid Dream 0/ Elearic Sheep?\X1ut's even worse, tile original author of tile essay stood by his friend, insisting tlut he "would not believe" his roommate would betray his trustwhile tile roommate simply denied every tiling. So the dean punished them both-for collusion. Please don't ask me which of those two students eventu ally graduated, and which eventually dropped out. 1 was furious-and seriously, deeply, astOlushingly frustrated. 1 tllOught about buying a subscription from a consulting service, such as, some tiling our dean had said tile college could not afford. (Too expensive for me.) I thought about dropping tile fonnal essay from my sopho more sun-eys. (Too close to an admission of defeat.) 1 tllOught about requiring that all essays address only one book, some tiling so recent or so obscure that there was not more tllan one or two secondary accounts. (Too linllting for the students, probably even for graduate students.) 1 also thought about going to law school. ("\las, too late in my career.) \,1lat 1 settled on has tumed out to be very useful to the students, very useful to the course work, very useful to me, and I recommend it to you. Rather tll;U1 asking students to write literary criticism, something that even the few English majors will probably never do outside tile academy, I now ask them to write a 6-8 page piece of pure analytic exposition that fully and completely con denses a 200 or 250 page work of secondary scholarship. Their task is to capture the essential argument and important detail 0/ all elltire specific desig nated portions of a book-in their own essay. Of course, tlley would present an )


essay with substantial direct quotation and paraphrase (all appropriately documented), but tbry would be the ones digesting and processing and thinking. That sort of task is very easy to conceptualize, and very difficult to execute: it takes significant time, effort, and intellectual commitment. .\nd it is very hard to plagianze. I ask them to conceive their task this way. lou bal'e been asked 0,' a l'CI]' licb and t'ery la:::;y student il1 llext year's class to Sal'e tbem tbe trouble if actual 1;' doillg tbe required )vork. Since tbe damn cJ)'Speptic jerk if tbe professor is requiling them to read _____ tbry bal'e bli"ed yOH, al1d at a l'Cly pretty pelll!J\ to do tbeir J/Jork: to read tbe book and capttlre el'e/ytbing tbat tbis lI)ealtby sod needs to knOJv, tben present it ill just a 6-8 page precis. With both accuracy and economy at an absolute premium, that scenario will be rather more like the sort of writing task they get out in the real world than the sort of writing task that their (especially English) professors often present. One of every 50 or so students will complain that they'ye had this kind of assignment in other classes, and loudly proclaim that it's b017l1g. I tell those students that I'd be happy to negotiate the writing assignment, but first they will need to present evidence that they have mastered the skill of analytic exposition. Bring me YOHr papers from otber dasses, I say quite cordially, and tben In'll talk. No student has ever tried to negotiate the assignment. About one student in 20 will simply not believe that I'm sincere in asking for a purely expository essay, and so will venture offin some odd direction; one in 10 will misunderstand tile assignment, and produce a book review. But in all my classes, I practice what a former colleague once called "tile infinite revision policy": I encourage students to revise and resubmit tlleir essays, so even if a student has gone off in tile wrong direc tion they will have to opportunity to correct and strengdlen tlleir work-and consequently, even these students learn more about SF and grow as writers. TIle books I've used have been several, and I change tllem on a regular basis because of two fears. One is that the body of secondary scholarship (re,-ie\\'s and commentary) will eventually catch me up, and me second is tllat tile fraterni ties and sororities will amass a database that will pennit brotllers and sisters to reach into a file and tllen merely retype a successful paper from a pre,;ous tenn. Here are the books I've used so far: .\dam Roberts' Science Fiction (Routledge 2000, soon to be available in a second, re,;sed edition), Brooks Landon's Science Fiction Since 1900 (1995, republished by Routledge 2002), Edward .I anles' and Farah I\fendlesohn's The Camb17dge Companioll to Science Fiction (2003), and Edward James' Science Fiction in tbe TII.'entietb Cmtll1]' (Oxford 1994, tllOugh now out of p'rint in the US). This spring, I'll assign Roger Luckhurst's Slimce Fiaion (polity 2005). (\'1/hen I used tllis assignment last year in a course called "Fable and Fantasy," my text was Richard Matllews' Fanta!)': Tbe Liberation if Imagination [1997, republished by Routledge 2002]-shockingly, the only such suitable text in fantasy.) .\11 of tllese books offer synoptic accounts of sf's historical development and sustained reflections on some of tile major figures, modes, and tropes. Several times I've offered as an optioll a book tllat has a specific, special ized focus, such as Vi,-ian Sobchack's Screellil1g Space or Carl Freedman's Gitical Tbeory and Sdmee Flition. Once I put 40 alternative titles on reserve (tile class typically enrolls 36 students, of which about 32 are still around at the time tile papers are due); about a third of the students choose alternatiyes tllat more closely matched their particular interests. \\'hen I posted tllat list to SFR. \-L requesting comments and corrections, tile only substantiye reply was that Brian Aldiss' Billion 1 ear Spree had been supplanted by T171lioll Year Spree (with Dayid \Vingrove)-so you already know those titles. Of course, some books can't be used tllis way, such as John Clute's and ( ( 5) Forthcoming Books: Crowley, John, In Other Words. Subterranean Press, 2007. Adams, Carol J. The Bedside, Bathtub andArmchair Companion to Fran kenstein. Continuum, May 2007. Nielsen, Leon. Robert Howard: A Collector's Descriptive Bibliography, with Biography. McFarland, 2006. Urbanski, Heather. Plagues, Apocalypses and Bug-Eyed Monsters: How Speculative Fiction Shows us our Nightmares. McFarland, 2007. National Geographic and Boston Museum of Science. Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination. National Geographic, 2006. Szumskyj, Benjamin (Ed.). Black Prometheus:A Critical Study of Karl Edward Wagner. Gothic Press, 2007. Hardy, Elizabeth Baird. Milton, Spenser and the Chronicles ofNarnia: Literary Sources for the C.S. Lewis Novels. McFarland, 2007. Squires, Claire. Phillip Pullman, Master Storyteller: A Guide to the Worlds of His Dark Materials. Continuum, 2006. Silvio, Carl and Tony M Vinci (Eds.). Culture, Identities andTechnology in the Star Wars Films: Essays on the Two Trilogies. McFarland, 2007. CfPs: WHAT: A Volume on U. K. Le Guin WHO: Paradoxa: World Literary Genres TOPICS: Paradoxa is pleased to propose the publication of a special Ursula Le Guin volume, which will be in part a collection of critical es says and commentary about her work. This call for papers requests abstracts or expressions of interest for essays dealing with her adult SF )


) and Fantasy, her critical writing, her books for children and young adults, and her poetry, including her no table translation of the Tao Te Ching, and ranging from overviews of her work to studies of specific texts. Especially welcome will be essays that assess the value or standing of this work or works to the field(s) as a whole and at the present. We are also seeking per sonal reminiscences or memoirs, from those who have known Ursula Le Guin firsthand, those who have worked in these fields, or simply those who have read her work and wish to record and/or honor the value it has had for them. Such memoirs will be very welcome, as a means of deepening the volume's perspective and extending the aca demic and critical picture to the personal and, of course, the politi cal. SUBMISSIONS: Academic papers may be from 4000-10000 words. We ask that reminiscences or memoirs be substantial, 1000 words or more, rather than paragraph length tributes. CONTACT: By email to DEADLINE: March 3D, 2007 ( IN FO: WHAT: Pathologies: Questions of embodiment in literature, arts and sciences WHO:The Inaugural International Conference of the Glamorgan Re search Centre for Literature, Arts and Science WHEN: August 20-21,2007 WHERE: University of Glamorgan TOPICS: Plenary Speakers: Tim Armstrong, Kelly Hurley & Jonathan Sawday.The newly formed Research Centre for Literature,Arts and Science, based at the University of Glamorgan, would welcome papers Peter Nicholls' The Ellcyclopedia of Sdence Fictioll or Neil Barron's Anatomy of WOllder (now updated in a fifth edition, 2005); no matter how wonderful such things are, and they are wonderful, their format isn't appropriate for the task. Other texts could be employed this way, but are too expensive for classroom use, such as Seed's A Compallion to Sdmce Fictioll at $100. Similarly, in the three terms I assigned The Cambridge Compallion I've modified the assignment. Rather than one paper of 6-8 pages, this time dley wrote two papers of 3-4 pages each, where the first addressed the book's four chapters of SF history (written by Brian Stableford, Brian Attebery, Damien Broderick, and John Clute), and then a second essay on just one of dIe 12 chapters from the book's concluding section on SF's major topics and subgenres. There are two obvious drawbacks of this general kind of assignment. The first is me need to rotate new tides in; while it's hard to think of a book that's perhaps dlree years from initial publication as "old," reviews and comments pile up in both journals and blogs, while fraternity archivists remain ever vigilant. Luckily, there have been many new tides to choose from, and several others are now in preparation with bodl US and UK publishers. "-1. second weakness is that one occasionally has to sacrifice a book that's more appropriate for a sophomore-level survey for (primarily) non-majors (Rob erts or James) for a book that's really a litde too sophisticated for the audience (such as Luckhurst). I've rationalized using the more difficult books largely by appealing to dIe kinds of students in the course; while dIe university catalog lists it as appropriate for sophomores, in a typical term at least three-quarters of the students are juniors and seniors, non-majors who have finally gotten around to satisfying dleir core curriculum requirement in literature. Here are dIe four obvious advantages: Students practice a writing/dlinking skill dIat they will use beyond col lege \nalytic exposition is the singularly most transferable writing skill that students can develop, whedler their major is engineering or nursing, accounting or recreation management. That's true even if the student's major is English! Students really ha,"e to focus on historical development and precise terms, so they learn more about SF. "\nd dley retain dIat information better. Recent works of sf scholarship find a larger audience and so increase sales, not only producing marginally stronger royalties for deserving authors but help ing convince publishers that such works remain viable and hence worthy projects. 'nle poor beleaguered prof gets to avoid student plagiarism, and the awful, terrible, wasteful hours spent tracking it down. In the eight years I've been giving dus assignment, plagiarism has plum meted, at least as far as I can detect. I've actually had just one instance since then. .-1.s it turned out, I didn't have to spend hours and hours tracking down the source of that plagiarism. I knew the source. I knew the author. It was me. "\las, that suggests a very different problem in student awareness and skill, and calls for a different sort of pedagogical response. )


NONFICTION REVIEW Superna-tural LIi-tera-ture 0' -the World Neil Barron Joshi, S. T. and Stefan Dziemianowicz. S'tpernatllral Lzieratllre of tbe World' An Enryclopedia. Greenwood Press, :WOS. Hardbound, 3 Yolumes, 1424 pages, $299.95. ISBN 0-2313-32774-2. Supernatural literature, perhaps because of its frequent links to religion, dates from the earliest years, and its appeal is therefore widespread, as extensively documented by S'tpenlatllal Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia, a balanced, dearly-written and wide-ranging survey. The editors wrote many of the entries, assisted by 64 other contributors, who include some writers of weird fiction, academics with an interest in the field, and knowledgeable fans. The front matter, repeated in all three volumes, includes British author Ramsey Campbell's foreword and a useful preface by the editors explaining the scope and organization of the guide. The approximately 1,000 entries are listed first alphabetically, then in a classified sequence, such as authors by 14 nationali ties, editors/ critics, genres (useful surveys of the supernatural in various national literatures), magazines/publishers, motifs like ClInes, haullted hOllse and I'ampires, and a list of short essays devoted to short stories and nOYels, which supplement 700+ author entries. The King entry, for example, is supplemented by entries on Came, The Shillillg and The Stalld. very detailed general index (131 pages) is supplemented by an index of fictional characters and a motif index (many motifs have their own entries). These multiple indexes and the use of boldface for cross references make the set easy to use and excellent for general reference. The super natural in non-book media like films, TV and comics is largely omitted, aside from many mentions of film/TV adaptations of major works. Some of the black & white photos are from films, most are of authors, and all add little to the guide. The set's wide scope results in entries for more than 700 authors, from standard figures like Dante, Shakespeare, Hans Christian and Borges, to a very large number-perhaps 500 authors-known to few save dleir small number of fans, and whose works were published in long-defunct magazines or as cheap paperbacks and/or by small specialty presses, all categories rarely acquired by libraries. The entries range from 250 to 3000 words, based on dle relative importance of dle au dlO r. 1\10st entries include briefly annotated critical bibliog raphies. Many audlOr entries also include codes for one or more "frequendy cited reference works," d1ree of which (volumes 178,255 and 261) are part of Gale's long-running Dittiollal]' of Literal], Biograp!!J' as well as Everett Bleiler's Slipernatll ral Fictioll Wn'ters (2 volumes, 1985), a standard in the field. Cited only in dle general bibliography is Bleiler's audloritative The Gllide to S'tpenlatllralFidioll (1983) and The Penguin EIli)'C!opedia of Hon1Jr alld the S'tpel7latural, edited by.l ack Sulli'"a1l (1986), a more popular guide to fiction and film. The set provides much specialized infornlation, but mostly for hundreds of minor writers of undistinguished supernatural fiction. Bleiler's two volume set provides cm'erage of 148 of dle most importa1lt audlOrs. COlltemporalJ' AII thors, widely found in libraries, is a current a1ld comprehensive guide to writers of all types, including some in dus new set, which is recommended only for dle largest libraries, especially dlOse lacking dle odler cited reference works. ( on topics falling under the title of 'Pathologies', To consider how the body has been pathologized is to ask questions of what it means to be human.As the originating site of humanity the body (extending from the individual to society and nation) is the phYSical. metaphorical and philosophical place for the inscrip tion of selfhood. identity. normality and change. The multiple patholo gies of the body invite us to reflect upon bodily conditions and behaviours that mark out the boundaries of the individual. the social and the national as well as their transgressions. Where does the self begin and end? How do we construct normality. deformity. and monstrosity? How do culture. society and the individual relate and connect across the many patholo gies that invade. infect, distress and reconstruct the human? This conference invites the submission of abstracts for 20 minute papers deal ing with pathologies (broadly de fined) across the intersections of lit erature and science or the arts and science. Papers may deal with any historical. artistic or literary period. Topics may include. but are certainly not limited to. the following: Repre sentations of disease;The Socio-poli tics of medical research;The art and science of early modern medicine! pathology; Dissection;The body and the machine; Gothic bodies; Cultural pathologies of identity; Pathologizing gender through sci ence; Neurasthenia and modernism; The degenerate body. SUBMISSIONS: I page abstracts to all:; DEADLINE: February 28.2007


(8 ) WHAT: Genre-Poaching in Literary Fiction WHO: MLA 2007 WHEN: 27-30 Dec 2007 WHERE: Chicago TOPICS: Despite the best efforts of many postmodern novelists, the literary/popular divide in fiction remains evident in book marketing, journalism, scholarship, and indeed the views of artists themselves.This panel will address works that have been shelved, reviewed, and studied in the realm of literary fiction but whose authors use tropes, themes, and ideas explicitly drawn from genres such as science fiction, de tective fiction, romance novels, tv, and superhero comics. Is such co optation destined to be condescending, reactionary, or nostalgic; or is it potentially generative of new liter ary forms and approaches?What can we learn by studying its genealogy? What do the authors have to say about the reprobate status of the forms they're drawing from? Possible topics: Jonathan Lethem and super heroes (Fortress of Solitude, Men and Cartoons),Ana Castillo and romance novels (Peel My Love like an Onion) or telenovelas (So Far from God), Paul Auster and detective fiction (The NewYorkTrilogy),Jennifer Egan and Gothic fantasy (The Keep), Colson Whitehead and noir suspense (The Intuitionist), Cormac McCarthy and science fiction (The Road). Connections to scholarship on postmodern fiction (Brian McHale, Linda Hutcheon,Joseph Tabbi, Leslie Fiedler) welcome, but any other criti cal apparatus may be of equal inter est. SUBMISSIONS: Josh Lukin ( DEADLINE: 20 March, 2007 ( NONFICTION REVIEW A Companion -C:o Science Fic-C:ion Neil Easterbrook Seed, David, ed. A Companion to Scimce Fittioll. I\falden: Blackwell, 2005. A"vi + 612 pages. Cloth, $99.95.1-4051-1218-2. Following a long, protracted, and frequently painful adolescence, SF criti-CIsm may be entering maturity. \,\lhile some might lament this transition-appeal111g prediCtably to the number 14 and perhaps invoking the trope of the gutter--others will rejoice in tl1e clarity, precision, and sophistication of a scholar ship equal in quality to that in more academically conventional genres and periods. ;\11 of us will rejoice in tl1e belated institutional approval signaled by the current spate of synoptic accounts of SF history and reference works from our premier academic presses. Last year in Extrapolatioll, Mark Bould enumerated a long list of recent tItles, as well as suggesting that many similar books were in production. One of tllOse is Blackwell's A Compallion to Science Fzdion, a hybrid of encyclopedia, casebook, synoptIc hIstory, and miscellany. Intelligently compiled by David Seed, the text presents us with 566 pages of small print, detailed discussion, and scholarly supplemented by a 45 page index of titles, autllOrs, topics, and tropes. ConfrontIng Its bulk (symbolic but primarily literal), Carol McGuirk set it on a scale: it weights 2.8 pounds. By my very rough calculation, it contains about 333,000 words. 111e John Clute / Peter Nicholls Ellcydopedia of Science Fictiol1 is longer, as is Gary Westfahl's three volume The Greell1/Jood Ellcyclopedia oj Scimce Fwzoll and FalltaFY, but Seed's edition is a hefty, substantial contribution to our field. 111e cover price will keep it from classroom use, but you'll enjoy reading and refernng to It, so make sure tl1at your library owns a copy. 111e book's 41 chapters are divided, general to specific, in 7 sections (I'll follow sect.ion titles with the number of individual chapters and their total in pages): "Surveying the Field" (4--75), "Topics and Debates" (7-110), "Genres and I\fovements" (5-75), "Science Fiction Film" (3-50), "111e International Scene" (3--40), "Key Writers" (9-100), and "Readings" (10-130). Most of tl1e 43 contnbutors have familiar names. Many have been members of SFRA., and 19 are current members: Mike "\shley, Marleen S. Barr, Russell Blackford Clute Crossley, ISMU1 Csicsery-Ronay, Donald I\1. Hassler, Veronica H;llinger: \an Ibn, Edward.lames, David Ketterer, Rob Latham, Farah I\fendlesohn, \Var ren G. Rochelle, .\ndy Sawyer, George Slusser, Brian Stableford, Takayuki Tatsumi and Westfal11. Seed begins witl1 a short introduction, noting that "No attempt has becn made to define science fiction. Instead, tl1e essays present it as a multigeneric field ... and Its narratIves as repeatedly challenging tl1e stability of boundaries between categorics and concepts" (Seed 6). Perhaps initiated in (or perhaps by) tl1e Ne\v \'\'aye, tl1lS heterogencity is not an etioliation of gotl1ic and scientific ro the rhlzomatic groWtl1 of the genre. Seed prefers the metaphor of a lattice (3), and has conSCIously structured his Companion on tlnt model. The first of the chapters, "Hard Reading," comes from Tom Shippey, who gnTs a breezy tour of sf's generic tendencies and tl1e reading protocols useful to Its analysis. In addition to a quick survey of sf's central conceitscontcntIous argument, exploration (both in outer and inner space), conceptual cxpcnmcnt: world building, information density, utopian dream or dystopian Jcrcnllad-Sluppcy's economical accow1t scnsibly condenses sf's conceptual modes to Just n\o: "111ings do not have to be as they are," and "Nothing is sacred" (18). )


( The remainder of the book seems both nicely focused and curiously hap hazard, comprising a quirky but interesting set of subjects. Here's the gist of the catalog: generic evolution, magazines, SF criticism, postmodemism, dle new wave, cyberpunk, monsters, religion, feminism, ecology, hard sf (twice!), and celluloid cyborgs. Then nine writers and ten texts, with no repeats. Key writers: \X7ells, Asimov, Wyndham, Dick, Delany, Le Guin, Clarke, Egan, and Gwyneth Jones. (It's interesting to note that only one of dlese names requires two words.) Indi vidual readings, all novels: Franke!lsteill, Her/and, Bral"e l\'ell.' U/orLd, Fahre!lheit.f. 51, The Female Crash, The Handmaid's Tale, 1\Jef(rOmaIlCer, Robinson's j\fars trilogy, and Banks' Excession. (Eight of which might frequendy appear on a typical SF course syllabus.) .Almost all of dle chapters are very good, and a few are simply superb: Csicsery-Ronay on criticism, Latham on the new wave, Stephen RL. Clarke on religion and sf,Jenny Wolmark on "Time and Identity in Feminist SF," Clute on Asimov, Chris Palmer on Dick, Carl Freedman on Delany, and Roger Luckhurst on Ballard's Crash. I suspect dut six or seven of dle other chapters ought also to be singled out for excellence, but I sinUlarly suspect dlat dlere are many cases where I know either too much or too litde about dle topic to be a completely objective judge. However, I can confidendy say dlat almost every chapter is accomplished and informative, subde and nuanced. I was surprised dlat the section of essays I enjoyed the most were the nine thoughtful overviews of individual writers. Clute's discussion of Asimov provides a good example. Here's a wonderfully economic, dear, comprehensive account of :\simov's impact on dle field; neither hagiography nor hatchet-job, Clute offers a fair assessment of :\simov's successes and failures, refusing to recuperate his fading reputation but also insisting on his pi,'otal im portance between 1941 ("Nightfall") and 1993 (FO/ward the Fo/llzdatlOlI). Weakest are the chapters dut immodesdy extol dle prescience of dleir own audlors, such as Barr's self-aggrandizement, or Hassler's crude reduction of the revived interest in hard sf to something like "Hey, look at all dlese novels on Mars!" }J.most as annoying as immodesty are dlOse moments where chapters, sometimes for pages, collapse into lists, indices or serial examples, items briefly touched and dlen quickly abandoned for anodler hesitant encounter widl a different tide. Several chapters (or portions) succumb to dlis lazy dei. .... is, a tendency to substitute lists and catalogs for analysis. W'hile it's nice to have an index of names and dates, one wonders if for $100 one can't expect something substantially more analytical. Alas, dle list is my basic strategy in dlis review-but dlen again you didn't pay $100 for it. Despite dle bulk, dle book has several glaring omissions. W1lere, for instance, is Heinlein? Though many of dle indi"idual chapters discuss his work in detail, does Seed dunk Heinlein's not among dle 19 top audlOrs or tides? McGuirk also makes dus point, and radler more comically dun I have (505-06). In his chapter on .\simov, Clute acknowledges Heinlein as dle "dominant figure" and "the undisputed fadler of dle modem genre" (367). Though James understands the "ideal" SF writer as .\.C. Clarke, surely ol1utting Heinlein is very odd, especially for a book that announces its "intent[ion] to serve as an introduction and guide" (1). SinUlarly, where's Stanislaw Lem, who receives only the most passing, tangential references? ;\nodler quibble is widl dle odlenvise laudable coverage of intema tional sf-since with dle exception of proto-sf precursors, the only discussion of non-anglophone sf appears in Tatsumi's welcome chapter on.Japan and China. And I keep wondering when, in the course of intelligent commentary on literary sf, we'll also have some really intelligent discussion of the importance of comic books (primarily before 1945, but still today) and, since 1985 or so, video games; ( 0) WHAT: Science Fiction and Fantasy inland the "Third World" TOPICS: This panel welcomes pa pers exploring representations of the "Third World" in science fiction and fantasy literature and film, as well as papers examining texts produced by "Third World" authors and filmmak ers. Possible avenues of exploration include science fiction and fantasy as literary forums for examining "Third World" issues; science fiction and fantasy traditions in ThirdWorld countries;ThirdWorld characters in works of science fiction and fantasy from theWest;ThirdWorld authors and filmmakers of science fiction and fantasy; and intersections of postcolonial theory and science fic tion and fantasy. SUBMISSIONS: Ericka Hoagland: DEADLINE: March I, 2007 WHAT: Academic Track WHO: NASFIC 9 WHEN: Aug 2-5,2007 WHERE: Collinsville, IL TOPICS: NASFiC is seeking to ex pand the discussion typical of a sci ence-fiction convention to include the broader academic and scholarly community.We seek proposals from a broad range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and welcome the partiCipation of academic, independent, and fan scholars to dis cuss science fiction (broadly defined) in any medium. We also invite professionals from the science-fiction community (writers, actors, other creators, producers, etc.) to participate as respondents to presentations.The academic track at NASFiC is designed to bring together sci ence-fiction scholars, academics, his torians, critics, and professionals and who wish to promote or engage in )


elO ) serious study of the genre. and to do so in a forum that includes the public. Presentation may take a criti calor historical perspective on science fiction (broadly defined) in any medium. SUBMISSIONS: Dr. Mark Gellis. Kettering University: DEADLINE: March 15.2007 WHAT: Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fan tasy WHO: Merril Collection of Science Fiction. Speculation and Fantasy WHEN: June 9. 2007 WHERE:Toronto. Canada TOPICS:We invite proposals for papers in any area of Canadian science fiction and fantasy. including: studies of individual works and authors; comparative studies; studies that place works in their literary and/ or cultural contexts. Papers may be about works in any medium: litera ture. film. graphic novels and comic books. and so on. For studies of the audio-visual media. preference will be given to discussions of works produced in Canada or involving sub stantial Canadian creative contributions. SUBMISSIONS: Dr. Allan Weiss. Department of English.York University. 4700 Keele St..Toronto. ON M3J I P3 DEADLINE: March IS. 2007 thesc constitute an enormous omission that neither Seed's nor earlier volumes, such as the James! i\!endlesohn companion from Cambridge, has addressedand I don't mean not addressed well, I mean not at all. Yet Seed's decision to avoid attempting "exhaustive coverage" (1) does provide room for some of the volume's specific value-its eclectic and some times idiosyncratic choices. Take, for instance, the case study of Ballard's Crash as a key nm-el. It's an odd, unexpected choice, but also refreshing to see an impor tant and neglected text-arowld which has circled much controversy-single out for attention. (TIlat Luckhurst presents us with an acutely insightful reading is, as tlley say, a plus.) Highly recommended for all university and public libraries. "\nd de spite fue unreasonable price, it's actually a volume tllat serious students and active teacher-scholars may want on their bookshelf. Even at $100. 46.4 \X,orks Cited Bould, Mark. Rev: of Science Fiction (Roger Luckhurst). Extrapolation (\,(Tinter 2005): 527-41. McGuirk, Carol. "Schooling the Monster." Sciellce Fillioll Studies 33.3 (November 2006): 505-11. NONFICTION REVIEW .,he His-C:ory 0' SCience Fic-C:ion Amy J. Ransom Roberts, .\dam. The History of Scimce Filli()ll. J3asingstoke!Ncw York: Palgra,-e i\!acmillan, 2006. Hardcover, 368 pp. $95.00. ISBN 0-333-97022-5. For the most part, Roberts' new work lives up to its ambitious title as Im of Science Fictioll. Not to be confused with the second edition of his Science Fictioll (also 2006, published in Routledge's New Critical Idiom series), tllis reference volume provides a tllOrough, erudite analytical history with a dri,-ing thesis. Wllile the reader remains sympatlletic to a writer who admits in his pre face that his own "previous cri ticism on SF has been marred by a too great degree of mistake and sloppiness" and that he has "endeavoured to do things better in tllis book" (xvi), a few significant gaps left me only partially satisfied with a study which, nonetheless, should grace the shelves of any respectable library OlOme or 11lstitutional). TIle work prm-ides extensive coverage of the history of science fiction (which many would argue represents its pre-history), tracing the form's roots back to tlle ancient Greck and Latin novel, observing a significant gap during the i\Iiddle .\ges, Witll an extensive renewal during the Renaissance and Reforma tion. This gap is explained in part by tlle work's central thesis that science fiction has dcveloped in tandem with fantasy, based on a "core dialectic" (154) between a "Protcstant" rational-matcrialism and a "CatllOlic" supematural-mysticism. Simi lar arguments have been made beforc, but Roberts does a decent job ofintegrat ing it throughout tlle lengthy study for which the best metaphor that comes to mind is that of the geological clock indicating tllat man has been present on Earth for only tllC last tlurty seconds (or less) of tlle twenty-four hour cosmic day. I say this bccausc the work dedicates fcwer than forty pages to prose SF since 1970, a pcriod many would argue to have produced the gcnre's most exciting deyelopmcnts. Granted, a historical study of anything tends by nature to focus on the prmTn past, and the study of contcmporary literatures remains fraught with risk, giycn that today's i\!ichael i\!oorcock, Bmce Sterling or Kim Stanley c __________________________________________ -J)


Robinson could be tomorrow's nobody. Yet, my hope for this brand new his tory was that it would provide me with some brand new information; that it would provide my students with greater background material for Oet's say) a contemporary literature course than the existing excellent histories already out there (Aldiss's Tnllioll Year Spree, for example). Overall, Roberts provides a sound definition of SF in a first chapter and follows with perceptive analyses of the texts he discusses; he maintains a high level of scholarly discourse that remains, howe\-er, lucid and jargon free; when he refers to titles or phrases in languages other than English he prm-ides translations without appearing condescending. He includes an extensive and balanced chapter on the tradi tional pioneers, Verne and Wells, which ree\-aluates the merit of tile French writer whose work is sometimes scorned as facile in comparison to his English counterpart. On tile otller hand, wIllie he acknowl edges science fiction's debt to Poe, I find a significant gap in Roberts' failure to include a discussion of H. P. Lovecraft (mentioned only as an influence on the recent "New \Veird" writers). In the area of Sterling's "slipstream," tllOse texts by so-called mainstream writers who use SF tropes or who flirt witll genre writing in other ways, Roberts' work becomes a little slippery itself. On tile one hand, he mentions Bartll, Vonnegut, and Nabokov, and argues tl1at Pynchon's Grmit./s Rail1bOlv"has a plausible claim to be tile greatest SF novel of tile 1970s" (295); on the otller, he fails to include \Villiam S. Burroughs (a major influence on writers of the New Wave) or Salman Rushdie. The question of Rushdie brings up ano tile r gap, or less a gap than a sort of random, hit-or-miss approach to inter national and postcolonial SFs. Roberts makes an important attempt to be inclusiye in his approach and mentions texts from around the world, includmg tile ob\-ious Kafka, Capek, Lem and tile Strugatsky brotllers, as well as an occasional French and Japanese writer. I most appreciate his parting comment on the work of Kojo Laing, which asserts Africa's potential for prm-iding tile next fresh, new SF. Yet Roberts makes no mention whatsoever of the rising sub-genre of "postcolonial science fiction" to which Laing's work would belong. Indian SF, recently overviewed by _-1.ndy Sawyer, bears no mention at all. Indeed, Roberts gi\-es short shrift to all of my own personal research interests: not a single writer from French Canada and beyond the marginally Canadian \'('illiam Gibson none even from _-1.nglo-Canada. He completely ignores tile recently popular sub-genre of alternate history and dedicates a mere tllree pages to feminist SF. (Two more related, but minor flaws appear in his failure to mention eitller Judith I\ferril or Doris Lessing.) Nm\, it might be argued that given limited space, choices had to be made; yet, all of tllese lacunae could have been filled had Roberts himself chosen to exclude lengt11Y discussions of '\-isual SF." Here lies tile most potentially contrm-ersial aspect of Roberts' history, which in some ways also aligns it with a cutting-edge cultural criticism as well. In addition to minor coverage of SF illustration, tile work includes extensive dis cussions of what purists might refer to as tile sci-fi ("skiffy") fields of film and television, arguing 01eretically?) that "looked at objectively, the SF novel is now a lively but minor cultural phenomenon" (295). Roberts argues tl1at instead SF's meaningful contribution to culture appears in its dominance in \-isual expres sion. This argument, made in what will be an important reference work pub lished by a respected i.nternational press, represents nothing less tlml a I"'::uhnian shift for tile field of SF studies .. -1.nd yet, perhaps it simply represents a shift alread, being made if we look at otller recent academic work produced by graduates of Cultural Studies, ratller than Literature progranls. (.-\.11 anecdotal example, I have read at least two articles tllat present B'lanna Torres of Star Trek ( II) WHAT: Science Fiction and Fantasy Session WHO: South Central Modern Lan guage Association WHEN: November 2007 WHERE: MemphisTN SUBMISSIONS: 500 word abstracts to Joe R. Christopher, English De partment, Box T-0300,Tarieton State University. Stephenville TX 76402

) [/o)'qger as a postcolonial, hybrid subject.) Uncomfortable as it feels to see works from the Renaissance and Enlightenment referred to outright as SF (as opposed to proto-SF or some other hedge term), Roberts' coverage of the field up through the Golden .\ge appears comprehensive .. \nd while I ha,-e to disagree simply on principle with Roberts' argument for "the creeping obsolescence of the SF novel" (295; and, by the way, how can someone who uses the phrase "creeping obsolescence" lIothave included a whole chapter on Lovecraft!), I am still going to forward my request for his book to my college's acquisitions librarian. NONFICTION REVIEW Mad, Bad, and Dangerous? Neil Barron Frayling, Christopher. Mad, Bad alld Dallgerolls? The Sdmtist alld the Cinema. London: Reaktion Books, 2006. Paper bound, 239 pages, $35. ISBN 1-86189-285-3. Our images of the scientist are conflicted. I\Iarie Curie, TIlomas Edison and .\lbert Einstein are generally admired fif..,'llres. But the figures presented in cinema are often much more equivocal, ranging from someone like the wizard of Oz, an amusing fraud, to Dr. Strangclove, a nightmarish symbol of the classic "mad" scientist. TIle evolution and meaning of these images arc explored in Mad, Bad alld Dallgerolls? The Sdmtist alld the Cillema by Christopher, chairman of the Arts Council of England and author of i\'igh!mare: Tbe Bil1b of Horror (1966), a study of the transition of FrallkellSteil1 from book to film. I ;rarling prm-ides a c1early-,vritten and balanced overview of his topic, emphasizing science in various periods, such as chemistry in the 1920s ;md biology since the 1980s. He summarizes how dle scientist was perceived in dle influential work of r.!argaret I\!ead in 1957, and updated 25 years later by a Montreal study which found dlat the stereotypical traits (lab coat, glasses, beard or unkempt hazr, symbols of research, usually male, etc.) are clearly obvious to children in dle second and durd h'Tacics, and arc fimllr established within the next few years. More than one hundred black & white illustrations from @ms, including posters and lobby cards, reinforce these traits. For Frayling, the "most influential scientist in the history of cinema" was Rotwang in I\[etropolis (1926-he is feahlred in the book's dramatic cover photo) azld he devotes a dlOrough azld fascinating chapter to him azld the influential film. Strange love's daznaged arm is derived from this figure, and odler elements in Metropolis are common in many I loll!'wood and European films depicting scientists. I\[any odler @ms, from dle obscure to the well known, are discussed wi th msigh t. Frayling is not the first to im-estigate this topic, and his bibliography is dlOrough if a bit difficult to consult because of its layout. Earlier, similar works include David Skal's Smams of Reason: !v[ad Science and Afodern CII/tllre (1998), Andrew Tudor's /I/rm.r!en alld Afad Saell!i.r!.r (1989) and Roslynn D. I-Iaynes' From Fallst to Strallge/oz'e: Representatiolls of the Sdentist ill Ire.rtl'l'II Literatllre (199-1). Frayling summarizes from I-Jaynes a useful list of sequential images of dle scientist the alchemist, absent-minded professor, inhuman rationalist, etc. Because films shape popular opinion so heavily, Frayling's comprehensive azld balanced azlalysis is a valuable contribu tion to our understanding. Strongly recommended to all save dle smallest libraries. FICTION REVIEW Besi 0' ihe Besi Volume 2 Jason W. Ellis DozOls, (;ardner, cd. flu.rt 0/ the He.rt l'o/Ilme 2: 20 lear.r of tbe Best Short Sdence Fictioll Noz'eLr. New York: St. Martin's, 2l )(l7. (,-12 pages, trade paperback, $19.95. ISBN 0-312-363-12-7 \s (;ardner Doz(lls ",ri tes in the "Preface" to Be.rt of the Be.rt T 70fllme 2: 20 1 ears of the Best S!J0I1 Sdence Fictioll NOl'els, "the nln-clla or short lloYci is a perfect Icni:,>th for a science fiction story: longenough ... to flesh out the details ... yet, still short l'IHlUgh to pack a real punch" (ix). \\'ith that 111 mind, he collected thirteen solid science fiction (SF) stories in this tome. \Vidlin c ________________________________________


( ( the collection, Dozois gives a short introduction to each novella describing the author and Ills/her work including useful information such as awards won and other notable works by the author. The length of the stories ties the collection togethcr, but there are also three observable dlemes: oceans, nanotechnology, and "odler." The ocean stories are among dle more spiritual of the stories, and include \XlalterJon \X'illiams' "Surfacing" (1988), Greg Egan's "Oceanic" (1998), and _\lastair Reynolds' "Turquoise Days" (2002). "Surfacing" is about alien oceans and relocated Earth whales helping to track deep-sea alien creatures known as dle Deep Dwellers, \vlllch I dlOught to be one of the more imaginative ideas in the group. "Oceanic" concerns human religious experience catalyzing as a result of blOchemical reactions with secretions from zooytes in the ocean's waters. Faidl is facilitated, not symbiotically, but tangentially by the interaction of humans widl the zooytes. This story is closely allied widl "Turquoise Days," which is about commUlllng \\'ith the "Pattern Juggler biomass," a worldwide biological entity on anodler world that is made up of many individual, cooper ating cells. Pattern Jugglers form a distributed computing system that can encode alien (read: human and odler non-Pattern Juggler) thoughts as well as entire minds. Reynolds never makes it clear, but dle Pattern Jugglers appear to be a biological and synthetic amalgamation. The author's ideas are sinllIar to those in Greg Bear's Blood but he pushes dlem out to dle stars -illother established theme in dle collection is dle naked use of nanotechnology, willch in many elicits imagcs of a rolling ocean of potentialities. This group of stories includes Ian i\IcDonald's "Tendeleo's Story" (2000), Michael Swanwick's "Griffin's Egg" (1991), and Ian R i\[acLeod's "New Light on dle Drake Equation" (2001). "Tendeleo's Story." arguably the strongest story in the collection, features sillfting narrative perspecti\-es about alien nanotechnological substances called Chaga consuming and transforming the land in "-1.frica as well as odler places around the globe. TIle Chaga gives thc oppressed the possibility of a bright future, but the power-elite aim to destroy it, because it eliminates existing power structures of control. _-1.dditionally, the audlOr's choice to have a female protagOillst interface widl dle Chaga shares similarities with Kathleen "-1.nn Goonan's Qlleen Ciry]a:::::::., but dle empowerment of socioecononlically disenfranchised women connects to Neal Stephenson's Tbe Diamond Age. "Griffin's Egg" is less of a "better tomorrow through nanotech" story and more of a threat from dle invisible air we breathe. The story takes place on a moon base inhaLited by workers cmbcdded with "tr:U1ce chips" that facilitates communication direcdy to the brain. \Var on Earth carries o\'er to dle moon base when an operati\T releases a nano-biotech weapon that creates havoc widlin the minds of the infected. Howeyer, redemption arrivcs for dle moon dwellers by an "atoms for peace" initiative whereupon dley choose to reengineer dleir minds with nanotech to face dlC challenges of dle future. "New Light on dle Drake Equation" is dle warmest piece of the nanotech stories. It features a scientist listening to dle sky for signs of alien intelligence who lives in a world impacted by commercial nanotech used for altering the nlind and body for such ends as bird-like flight and O\'ercoming alcohol addiction. TIle story is about the transformation of humanity into dle aliens sought by dle scientist, and breaching dle gulf between those most alien to uslovers, friends, and odler cultures. The final selection of stories is not a dustbin, but an expression of the \'ariety of stories that are contained within Best of tbe Be.rl T /oillme 2. These "odler" stories include Robert Sih-erberg's "Sailing to Byzantium" (1985), Joe Haldcman's "The Hemingway Hoa.x" (1990),James Patrick Kelly's "i\[r. Boy" (1990), Nancy I--=ress' "Beggars in Spain" (1991), Frederick PoW's "Outnumbering dle Dead" (1991), lTrsula I"'::. Le Guin's "Forgiyeness Day" (1994), and i\[aureen F. ?\IcHugh's "Thc Cost to Be \,'ise" (1996). "Sailing to Byzantium" is set in a far future populated by an altered hUlllanity along \\'ith robots and androids. It showcases a unique \'ision of hedonistic immortality where dle protagonist is faced \\'ith a dilemma of self and identity much like Deckard in Blade Rmlller: The Diredor's CIII. "The Hoa.x" fcatures a time tnlvcling O\-erseer \\'ho attempts to maintain a particular sequence of e\'ents, but is continually dlwarted by dle ability of a Hemingway scholar \\'ith eidetic memory to remember IllS experiences from one timeline to the next. TIlls story is the most fun out of the lot with its shifting timelines and a touch of Raymond Chandler. "i\[r. Boy" is a decidedly cyberpunk story that has a Paul Di Filippo feel to it. The story surrounds dle posthuman restructuring of bodies and nlinds as illustrated in .\[r. Boy's eternal state as a twelve-year-old boy and his best friend's existence as a dinosaur. In addition, dle story shO\\'S how a world constructed of simulacrums leads to the destruction of humanity's past. "Outnumbering the Dead" is the flipside of ":,\1r. Boy" in dlat odlerness is not freakishness, but apparent normality. In a future where e\'eryone lives forever, the oddity of death maintains the selling power of an aging video star. Lc Guin's "Forgiveness Day" also turns dle tables, but regarding gender and ownership. Set in dle same universe as her nO\Tls The Left Ha/ld of Darklle.r.r and The, a female Em-oy of the Ekumen attempts to navigate dle I...::ingdom of Gatay where "free" women are sequestcred indoors wlllic "sian" women are free to roam the streets. Breaking down the barriers between sex O\vnership and gender roles, a male tnU1s\-estite actor provides freedom for dle envoy from a political trap. "Beggars in Spain" is anodler story about political intrigue )


) surrounding genetically modified persons who require no sleep and therefore reap great rewards from their condition. This creates a diyide ofha\'es ,md h,lYe-nots between the Sleepless and the Sleepers. Kress' story presents a powerful image of the human fear of othemess, while revealing hope through desperate acts of kindness. "The Cost to Be \Vise" is a story of sacrifice that juxtaposes a chosen pastoral existence on an alien world, teclmologically superior visitors, and a malicious group of hunters. The marauding hunters decimate the agrarians, but the sunivors unselfishly deliver the last visitor to her kind with the aid of technology supplied by the village matriarch. The tragedy of the story derives from the apparent superiority of the off-worlders who retum the kindness of the "natives" by giving them a tuppence of food and blankets while their village smolders in ruins behind them. \,(11en Dozois says that these stories pack a punch, he's not kidding. It's a kaleidoscopic KO of hard-hitting SF. He assembled a strong group of stories that convey a wide \ariety of SF themes and ideas. TIlere is a weighting towards certain themes such as oceans and nanotechnology, but those stories combined account for less than half of the volUl11e. }\lso, the editor has done a thorough job of showcasing long-established authors through their more recent works, while also presenting works by newer SF writers. SF readers will find the collection a source of distinctive entertainment. The quality of the work and the range of speculation in these stories make this a fertile collection for SF scholars as well as a valuable addition to library collections. ;\.Iso, the spectrUl11 of ideas presented in the collection would make tillS a wortllY addition to university course syllabi ranging from biomedical issues to postcolonial literature to SF studies. /\. rich collection for SF readers and scholars alike. FICTION REVIEW Heepling lit Real Ritch Calvin Robson,Justina. Keepillg II Rea!. New York: Pyr, 2007.352 pp. $15.00. ISBN: 1-591-02539-7. \,(11en I first picked up and looked at the new novel by Justina Robson, I saw tile series title (Quantum Gravity Book One), a female figure decked out in leathers and heavy artillery, all superimposed over aA1at!i\:-esque cascade of green data. GiYen those three things and knowledge of her previous four works, it seemed as though she were going to, if not pick up where she Ie ft off with DI7"lg l",,'ext Door to the God 0/ Lol'e, then at least mine sinlllar territory. So wrong, so wrong. The novel features a female protagonist, tile latest incarnation of Joanna Russ's Jae!. .\s a government agent, Lila l3lack was badly beaten and left for dead. I-Ier agency reconstructed her with all tile latest teclmology, leaving her half flesh and half metal, and with a nuclear reactor to power it all. She has "Battle armour, multi-functional self-adapting guns, nllssile launchers, ,U1 extra five inches of height," silver eyes, and blades in her hands (217), or, as one character describes her, she's like "C;.1. Jane on acid" (2() 1). In addition, she has a built-in ",\I-self" tllat contains a vast amount of data and built-in conn('ctions to a communications web. But with all her abilities, not to mention all tile money and resources invested in her, her first assignment is guard detail for an elf, who is a rock star. '111(' prcfac(' to the nm'e!, entitled "Common I..JlOwledge," details tile "quantum catastrophe" tllat occurred be n('ath th(' Supnconducting Supercollider in Texas in 2015. It left a giant empty space and opened up a gateway to five other r('aliti('s or r('alms. Th('se other realms arc: Zoomenon, the realm of the Elements, "\lfheim, realm of tlle elves, Demonia of th(' demons, Thilllatopia of thc undead, illld Faery of the faeries. In the wake of this revelation, the human realm is now call('d ()topia. \\ l1il(' some traffic betwecn realms occurs, it is limited, as the realms are not entirely suitable to otller beings, but humans haye "diplomatic relations" with the e]yes in "\lfheim, and the demons of Demonia have helped Earth sCl('ntists discoyer "the physically real presence of cxtradimensional regions (I-space)" (2). "\t the opening of the novel, two k('y C\'cnts ha\T takcn plac('. For one, illl elf named Zal, despite tile fact that elves loathe all forms of machinery and tcchnology, has appcared 111 Otopia and becomc a hugely successful rock musician .. \nd secondly, .\lfheim has severed all diplomatiC tics with ()topia, ,md the ruler of ,-\lfheim is detennined to bring Zal back ( \Ithough th(' nm'c! contains ehTs ,md demons and faeries (and a dragon), although the novel contains "wild magic," incantations, and magical "binding," it is far from illl ordinary fantasy novel. On the one hand, the "elves" and "facllcs" eUl bc rcad as bongs from other, perhaps parallel, realitics that fit the traditional descriptions of elves and faeries and so gt\Tn thosc names. In other words, they Cilll be read as aliens and not "elves." On tile o tiler hand, since the novel is told )


( ( IS) largely from the perspective of Lila Black, the Otopian cyborg security agent, it becomes an attempt to posit and understand "magic" in scientific terms. For example, the opening between worlds is not the result of a magical spell but rather the result of a "quantum catastrophe" inside a supercollider. In addition, Zal ponders the cosmogonies in which the world was created by dragons spinning silk, but now, he knows, dragons have a scientific explanation: they are "creatures of the Interstitial" (204). Finally, the Interstitial "dragon" speaks to Lila and gives her a set of "magical" numbers, which she interprets as signifying "the numbers of electrons that completed each shell of an atom \\'ith three energy lewIs" (237). In this sense, it raises the Clarkean cliche that any technology sufficiently advanced will appear as magic; howe\-er, after an extended period in the "magical" realm of Lila describes magic as "the user and their will, no more tlun that" (247). "\nd while tlle novel does explore the relationship between magic and science, tlle larger tlleme of tlle novel is cultural purity and contanllnation. One of tlle primary reasons tllat has cut off diplomatic ties witll Otopia is tllat a group has come into power that believes that all of the changes, all of the e\-ils witllin the realm are a result of the influence and contamination from tlle Otopian realm. "\s "we, the ruler of _\Iflleim says, "Every degradation of has occurred ilirough contact with Otopia and Demonia, Faery, TIunotopia and tlle Void. In the days of earlier _\ges we were many times near destroyed by unwise and ignorant efforts to explore tlle distant places beyond our borders and eagerness to bring their treasures home Other races value what we abhor" (225). Here, an analogy with the current relationship with the \Vest and (portions) of tlle ?\1id-East seems ine\itable we and her contingent, tllOugh small, wield enormous power witllin tlle region, but a resistance force exists, including Zal. He is appalled by tlle provincialism of "\rie and her cohort, by the fact iliat she has selecti\-ely witllheld infornution in order to shape public opinion ("the truth does not matter''), and uses coercion and torture to achiC\-e her aim. He asks, "'\\1ly would you ally yourselves Witll this idiot, when tlle only solution she has to offer you is isolation and subsen-ience?'" (166), and he later argues tllat, despite her wishes, "No place can e\-er be pure" (225). But Zal is tlle antitllesis of pure. He had, at one tinle, been an .\gent of but on a mission to Demonia, he'd gone "all r"::urtz" and become contaminated by demon culture and practice. It is this contamination that enables him to exist and succeed in Otopia. But his very existence threatens .\ri<:,'s assertions that elves can only live as pure beings, and so he must be eliminated and made an example of. To be sure, tllis situation and tlle questions that it raises can ne\-er be far from our consciousness. \\11at happens when two (or more) cultures exist side-by-side? \,11at happens when cultural practices and beliefs come into conflict? How do we mediate or moderate tlle changes wrought by outside influences? \,lut happens \ .. hen tllOse influences and changes are completely antithetical to our own values and practices? what happens when an unscrupulous indi\'idual (or group of people) is able to manipulate tlle situation for her or his m1,'n gain? Do we desire and fight for purity or for and hence change? TIlis, in the end, seems to be tlle ultimate message. TIle two protagonists, one an elf-demon hybrid who has learned to live in Otopia and the otller a human-machine hybrid tllat has been shaped (and healed) by elf magic, sun-ive, both as "liminal beings" (270). Their tlleir hybridity becomes tlleir strength and their salvation, for gi\'en ine\-itable interplay between worlds, between cultural realms, between belief systems and practices, tlle insistence upon isolation and purity lead to death and destruction and only adaptation and acceptance lead to life. FICTION REVIEW Blindslight Carol Franko Watts, Peter. Blilldright. New York: Tor, 2006.384 pages, hardcm'er, $25.75 ($32.95 C\l'\) 0-765-31218-2. Peter \Vatts' latest hard science fiction novel is powered by puzzles, angry wit, and a first person narrator, Siri I"::eeton, who is bOtll special case and Everyman. \Vatts' title-Blilldrzgbt-indicates the contradictions of Siri's character and of the novel's take on the human condition, but how that works cannot be explained witllOut gi\'ing away the suspenseful plot. Siri Keeton is in part an interesting variant on a type-tlle character traumatized into humiliating selfknowledge by re\Tlations thrust upon him-revelations concerning his idiomatic blindness and sight. Siri is also a science-fictional nmllm, an extrapo lation of the radical surgery sometimes performed in cases of se\-ere epilepsy, a condition Siri was born with. It seems that when as a child, the left hemisphere of his brain is removed to save his life, Siri I"::eeton's lump of empathy and probably also his for happiness are cut out, too. alien among his species, he functions pretty successfully by interpretingpeoplc's )


) surfaces, and by researching typical emotional responses to \"arious stimuli. Technological implants (occupying the space where his left hemisphere used to be) enhance his information-theory topology-reading skills. Siri's reconstituted self is an emblem of the human condition as the special twisted state of ha\-ing to imagine what is already in fact real (see the nm-el's epigraphs). Siri also grows up to become one of the fe\v useful members of his not quite, and now, perhaps, never to be Singularity transformed society. \\11en truly alien objects appear in the sky, Siri's personal and professional acti\-ities encapsulate contradictions of alate 21 st century humanity that is enjoying a post-scarcity economy and hovering near a post-corporeal utopia, despite the ongoing \-iolence of "realist franchises" who oppose progress. :\s the globe-encircling artifacts take earth's picture with a massive click or crunch, Siri and the uxorious father he loves have just said good bye to Helen, Siri's horrible mother, who is ascending into the supposed cyber immortality of "Heaven" -a mental freedom marred, however, by the need for consciousness to be hooked to meat. So, happily wired in, despicable I-Ielen still needs her brain. Indeed her body is to be packed away, supposedly preserved entire in case she would ever need to be unplugged. True monster of selfishness that she is, Helen is also just a nasty version of most people in the world of this novel: she IS redundant. Machines mostly run tlungs. Since she is not needed to keep an economy, a culture, an army, a lab or even her old-style dysfunctional family operating, Siri's Mom might as well go to Heaven, where, like most of humanity, she is easy prey for whoever sent the alien probes. Not all of humanity is redundant and unemployed. :\ formidable combination of gm-ernment types and scientists arc keen to de fend Earth from tl1e ne\v factor. \\11en tl1e aliens signal their existence, Siri Keeton, now a professional mediator (termed Synthesist, or jargonaut) between "bleeding edge" scientists (modified, reconstituted, savant-like) and the "dead center" (everyone else), is invoh-ed Witl1 a project tl1at could bring tl1e dream of complete personality upload-no need for the mcat-the end of corporality and "tl1e usher[ingl in [ofj a Singularity that had been waiting ... fifty years (p. 42). That goal is apparently deferred; Siri at least is taken off the project to join tl1e crew of the artificially-intelligent ship, Theseus, whose \"()yage ends at a huge planet fondly called Big Ben, upon wluch broods the enormous torturous-spiny-shaped alien entity that lllitially calls itself Rorschach Oots of interesting names in Blilldsigbt). '111eseus is intelligent; it also is nominally commanded by a Vampire-a reconstituted member of an extinct, sentient, predator species that has special perceptual skills needed on this mission. The crew, except for Siri, is "bleeding edge" scientists and one soldier. '111e linguist has surgically created multiple personalities to increase the possibility of communica tion; the biolo)"''1st has a destroyed and recreated-augmented sensory apparatus which enables immersion in his objects of study; the soldier is complexly hooked into her remote-grunts (and occasionally has them perform weird, I, Robot-type ballet). Siri flits about the ship cOlwersing with and spying upon the crew, earnestly believing in his outsider status-that of the reporter, the mediator or translator who "merely" takes in and renders intelligible the inscrutable output of vampire and sa\ants. '111e adventures of Theseus' crew are interspersed witl1 flashbacks to Siri's past-in particular Ius ill-fated relationship with Chelsea, a redundant brain fixer/editor and a woman who seeks old fashioned face-to-face sex and conversation in a world gi\Tn oycr to the virtual-real. Chelsea apparently sees Siri as an ugly ducking just waiting to be brain-tweaked into a happy swan: she calls him Cygnus after he evades her question on the meaning of his name. (l\Iight tl1e unusual name Siri be an homage to Sir .\rthur C. Clarke, long time resident of Sri Lanka?). Memories of failed connections with Chelsea alternate \\i th increasing dangers on Theseus ;U1d Big Ben. '1l1e \-ampire and nominal or actual commander sends Siri with the crew into the spiny entrails of Rorschach where they arc poisoned by radiation, violated by magnetism, and forced into various hallucinatory states by the hostile atmosphere. They discm-er horribly interesting and inscrutable little aliens widlin the big one. They bring the littler ones back to tl1e ship and try to communicate Wit]l them. Tension mounts and a series of exciting and awful re\Tlations occur. These re\Tlations and the nm-el's reflections on tl1em came as surprises to me on first reading But the novel is admirably constructed and rewards re-reading. ( is a gripping novel. I don't know whetl1er I like or dislike it more. It is challenging and difficult in its dn'otion to a ngorous materialist world \-iew, combined with its apparent insistence on some sort of importance, if not core realness, for thin)..,,, like morality. Sun;\'alls the bottom line tl1at subverts assumptions when tl1e characters debate evolution ar!' puzzles, hut the hleeding edgers also feel thll1gs like guilt, responsibility, and affection and are not portrayed as only puppets and Slickers for haying such acti\T consciences. Siri the sun-ivor of empathy-excision evokes sympad1Y for himself and his cas t. )


( ( 17) Blilldsight seems a natural choice to teach, even if it didn't have the interesting afterward where \X'atts discusses sources. Its difficult science and its aggressively unsentimental (except about vampires) attitude would split its appeal .. \lthough I might just be projecting my own ambivalence, about half of a class I just finished teaching would ha\-e complained mightih' about either the science or the attitude, while the other half would have been greatly interested by tile same qualities. Senral of the texts we read-IFaro/" tbe IForidr, I, &bot, "The Girl \Vho \Vas Plugged In," "True Names," "Bloodchild," The Speed 0/" Dark-would combine intriguingly wi til Blilldsigbt. \Vhetller one wants to reflect on humans as dodos, as dupes or beneficiaries of smart machines, as aspiring to virtual godhood, or as entangled in relationships or identity issues tllat perpetually defer resolution, Blilldsightis classic science fiction. FICTION REVIEW Reneaade Amy J. Ransom Duchamp, L. Timme!. Rellegade: Book Two 0/" the Marq'ssa/l (jde. Seattle: .-'l.queduct Press, 2006. 616 pp. trade paper $19. ISBN: 1-933500-04-2. Reviewers praised tile first volume of Duchamp's near-future dystopia, which comments on tile (wrong, of course) direction that our country appears to have been taking since she penned the series' first draft in tile mid-1980s. Yet, for readers like me (that is, liberal feminist academics), Alall)'a toAlall)'aprm-ided a nearly perfect fantasy of re\-enge and empowerment, as a benevolent alien species made first contact to halt humans' self-destructive patterns of social and political beha\-ior as typified by those of the United States. (See Ritch Calvin's piece on Alall)'a to Alall)'a in SFRA Reliell' #275.) The series' second volume, continues \Vitll elements of feminist utopian fantasy, de\-eloping tile anardlist system of Seattle's Free Zone and meting out just punishment on the rest of tile United States, in tile tllroes of cln] and then world war. The feminist liberal's dream, however, soon becomes a nightmare as tlus novel stages tile capture, incarceration and torture of its heroine, academic and former security agent (now pulled forcibly out of retirement) I-'::ay Zeldin. \X1lile it unquestionably fulfills tile mission of Duchamp's own .-'l.queduct press to publish "challenging feminist science fiction," Renegade challenges not only tile casual reader of SF, who may find it a prosy, possibly preachy and, ultimately, unentertaining read, but also tllOse readers who have bought in to tile fantasy of its political agenda. Rellegade picks up where Alml)'a to Alall)'a left off, developing tile character of l\Iartlla Greenglass, a woman imprisoned for subversive political activities and rescued by the alien marq'ssall in volume one. She now steps forward to playa central role in tile development of a new social model in Seattle's Free Zone, free of tile oppressive political, class, gender and economic systems tllat pre\-ail in tile rest of tile Uluted States. In this second volume, Duchanlp slufts the focus in perspecti\-e, howe\-cr, from uniquely presenting tllat of "good" characters, like Greenglass, Zeldin, or tile marqhall i\Iaggyt, to exploring the mentality of characters on tile "wrong" side of tile series' conflict. TIlrough tile reflexions of two Executi\-e (tile dominant, oppressor class) women, Elizabetll Weatllerall and "\llison Bennet, Duchamp forces tile reader to see how deeply ingrained their patriarchal class system, its behaviors and taboos ha\-e become in tllese women who are otherwise highly intelligent. It also allows for (an albeit slow and only partial) groWtll and transformation in tllOse characters as weI!. TIlis \-0IU111e's particular narrative challenge to overcome, however, invoh-es tile brainwashing and negative transfonnation of l-'::ay Zeldin. \X1lile Alall)'a to Alall)'a involves plenty of action and introduces a fascinating alien species, after the brief dranla of her chase and capture, much of Rellegade takes place in Zeldin's prison cell(s) and relies largely on her battle of \vills with her gaoler, Elizabeth Weatherall. As Personal "-'l.ssistant to Zeldin's former Im-er and arcl1-\-illain, Chief of Security Robert Sedgewick, \Xcatherall had appeared to be only a marginal figure in volume one. She mm-es to the forefront of both the nm-el and the power structure it establishes for tile United States as Sedge wick plummets into a deep depression after being betrayed by Zeldin, the obY10m Rellegade of the work's title .. -'l.s the nm-el progresses, its title's point of reference becomes increasingly applicable not only to Zeldin, but also to Weatllerall's protegee "-\llison Bennett, who comes to realize and wlConsciously question the ugly realities of power relations and the Executive's exploitation of those "belmv" as she engages in a forbidden Im-e affair \\'ith \Xeatherall. (\Vhile Lesbian sexuality is tlle norm anlong female Executives, they must choose partners from tlle lower professional or service-tech classes.) Even the latter, a deeply indoctrinated member of tlle Executin, lacks respect for the males of her class and behaves in a manner that contravenes Sedgewick's wishes, leading her toward tile slippery slope of rebellion as welL )


(18 ) But e\-cn more fascinating than her construction of a buddingptise de conscience on the part of these female characters who begin to see that even as oppressors they are oppressed, is Duchamp's destruction of her own heroine's will to live in a state which denies her almost every basic personal freedom. In his review of Alatrya to AhllJa for New York Retz"elvof Science FIctloll (Dec. 2005: 21-22), i\[ichael Levy perhaps rightly asserts that Duchamp's talent as a prose stylist fails to appear in the Marq:r.rall Cyde. o\nd yet, tl1rough the last two thirds of Rellegade she successfully maintains narrative tension almost solely through the battle of wills between Weatherall and Zeldin. That Duchamp has also done her homework in the series' preparation appears in the scary verisimilitude Witll which she depicts tile intelligence sen.Jce sub-culture, its methods and their impact upon detainees. Indeed, the work at times reads much like a concentration camp narrative (Levi's Sf(17iral in Auschlllitz or Solzhentisyn's One Dqy ill rhe Life of [mil Dellisozich come to mind) in its lengthy, semi-philosophical passages about self preservation. While I ha\'e certainly been guilty of grousing about and skimming through such long-winded philosophical digressions in other works of SF, with Renegade, I devoured every word of every page. Besides the obvious comparisons witll tile feminist utopias and dystopias of the 1970s and 1980s, Duchamp's Marc/uall Cyde also reminds me of Doris Lessing's Canopf(s ill Al;gosnovels. Both depict a near-future dystopian earth, which allows for a social critique of tile current order, but also proposes a new vision and direction for human society offered by a benevolent alien species. Yet tllere are also clear differences between tllese multi-volume works, tile most evident being that while Lessing constructed each novel as a discrete entity that stands on its own, I tllink it would be difficult for a reader to enter Duchamp's cycle without starting at the beginning. "\ more problematic flaw, I think, given its political agenda, lies in its unbalanced or simply absent portrayal of male characters. Renegade's weak spot appears precisely where anti-feminist readers will attack it; just like in the Free Zone it depicts, while women have been liberated, men become either dis empowered or, like Robert Sedgewick and his cohorts, believe tllemselves to be all powerful, a belief that turns them into short-sighted ignorant beasts. Perhaps as the Free Zone grapples with precisely tllis problem, the forthcoming volumes of Duchamp's Marq'ssal1(ycle will deal with it, too. For if the highly pertinent political message it sends about the exercise of power and its abuse, particularly in the United States today is to be heard by tllOse who need to hear it, the work must transcend its liberal feminist fantasy. Otherwise, Duchamp will simply be preaching to the choir. FICTION REVIEW Award An-C:hology J linda Wight Fowler, I,-aren Joy, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin and Jeffrey D. Smith, eds. The James Tiptree Alvard Anthology 3. San Jirancisco: Tachyon Publications, 2006. xiii + 276pp. $14.95 Trade pbk. ISBN 1-892391-41-4. l1le .I ames Tiptree .I r. ,\ ward was inaugurated in 1991 to recognise science fiction and fantasy that "expands or explores our understanding of gender." If this mission statement seems somewhat vague, it is meant to be, as Jeffrey D. Smitil explains in Ius "Introduction" to TheJames Tiptree AIIJard A lithology 3. Smith sets tile tone for tills tllird annual antilology as he traces the evolution of tllis unique ,\ward that asks new jurors each year to determine what tills statement means to them and t-,'l:apple anew with such weighty questions as: \\1Iat counts as science fiction and fantasy? Should we recognise only novels and short stories, or exp,Uld the scope to websites and slash fiction? How important is gender content in comparison to a text's literary ,",uue? Do the stones ha\-e to be 'about' gender, or is it enough (or perhaps even better) to see gender issues woven into the background? ,\nd so on. ( Each year the ,Ulswers are different, resulting in an ever-evolving .\ward tllat is often challenging, sometimes controver sial, and always interesting. The same can be said of The James Tiptree AIPard A lithology 3. Picking up where the first two ,Ulthologies (re\-iewed in SPRA RelicII' 274 & 275) left off, this tllird volume draws togetller nine fictional works and tilree essays to gi\-e readers a taste of the wide variety of texts tllat have been acknowledged by the Tiptree Award \s befits an annual ,ulthology, four of tile fictional contributions are drawn from tile 2005 "\ward year (presented in 20(16), including an extract from Geoff Ryman's Tiptree ,-\ward winning Air (2004) and tl1ree short stories from the 2005 shortlist. In addition, the editors ha\-e included four short stories from pre\-ious "-\ward years, providing readers furtller 11ls1ght into jurors' e\-oh-ing notions of what constitutes a 'gender-bending' text. Considered individually, each story is enjoyable, well crafted, and explores gender in an interesting manner. However, the strength of the anthology deriyes from the the stories are juxtaposed to reveal complementary and varying approaches )


( ( to common issues of concern including female strength and self-determination, social expectations of gendered beha,-ior and family structures, and commodified standards of beauty. It is with this last in mind that the editors widen the pun-Ie,,' of the anthology to include James Tiptree Jr.'s own classic short story, "The Girl \\110 Was Plugged In" (1973). This story is grouped with Ted Chiang's "Liking W'hat You See: A Documentary" (2002) to show that thirty years on concerns still persist that many women base their sense of self-worth on corporate definitions of beauty. Each story asks what might happen if we could look beneath the surface to the true identity within, and Chiang's optimism contrasts with Tiptree's pessimism to raise some interesting questions. Geoff Ryman's "Have Not Have" (2001) is another canny choice for inclusion. Chapter one of Air, "Have Not Have," was originally published as a stand-alone story, as was "\imee Bender's "Dearth" (2005), an extract from her W'illjit! Creatures. l1lese selections successfully avoid the incomplete and partial feel that often detract from nm'el extracts .. \lthough "Have Not Have" does not contain the most talked-about gender-twist of Air, it thoughtfully questions the ,-alue of a technology that tllreatens to undermine tile respect, status and self-confidence of women and rural peoples by teaching them to see themselves as 'have-nots' in a world of 'haves.' Ryman's female protagonist fights against the imposition of these "alues, and demonstrates her determination to control her own destiny. Sinlliar images of female strengdl are also presented in Nalo Hopkinson's "The Glass Botde Trick" (2000) and i\fargo Lanagan's "Wooden Bride" (2004). Lanagan's young female protagonist gently draws attention to some of the unquestioned assumptions and expectations of feminism as she asserts her right to choose a life of strengdl and dignity that embraces traditional feminine values. In "The Glass Bottle Trick" (2000) women also fight against those who wish to control and deny their choices. In a re-working of tile Bluebeard fail)tale, tile wronged wives reject a fate of silent passivity to punish the man who sought to impose his unrealistic ideal of pristine femininity upon tllem. Much more tllan just are-hashed fairy tale, however, Hopkinson's tale also supports tile editors' claim tllat "we have always also cared about issues of race and etllnicity, even though they are outside our specific mandate" (91) .. \long with Pam Noles' essay, "Shame" (2006) and Dorothy "\llison's "The Future of Female: Octavia Butler's \fother Lode" (1990), "The Glass Bottle Trick" draws togetller issues of race and gender to reveal tile common concerns of all writers who oppose tlle oppression and suppression of anyone part of the human race. Commemorating tile passing of Octa,-ia Butler anotller icon of feminist SF tile antllOlogy reminds readers tllat as we expand and explore our ideas about gender, we must remain mindful of issues of race that often remain im-isible and unspoken. This review cannot conclude without mentioning what, to my mind, is tile most compelling story in tile antllOlogy, Ursula K Le Guin's "Mountain \\!ays." In this 1996 Tiptree .\ward winning text, Le Guin takes us back to her fictional world of '0' where marriages consist of four people and each person's sell:ual and marital choices are constrained by bOtil gendcr and moiety. "Mountain \Vays" reveals tllat in every society tllere are indi"iduals who experience guilt and turmoil because they do not fit tile social norm. Le Guin exposes the hard choices tllat such individuals are forced to make and presents a vision of hope for those witll tile courage to pursue tlleir desires .. \ wortilY Tiptree winner, "Mountain \\1ays" effortlessly wea,'es together issues of gendered performance, cross-dressing, and the constraints of masculinity, wIllie defamiliarising our own society's assumptions about 'normal' marriage. Defamiliarisation is also central to the final two stories of tile antllOlogy. Yonda i\fcIntyre's aliens in "Little Faces" (2005) disrupt everything we thought we knew about Im'e, male-female relationships, dependency, rape, reproduction, and parenthood, while Eleanor "\rnason's multiple-bodied goxhat in "I-illapsack Poems" (2002) work as an analogy for tllC multiple identities and genders that underlie each seemingly singular human identity. Combined with a complete appendix of Tiptree winners and shortlists since 1991, the range of stories in this tllird anthology will provide an excellent resource for any course on gender in SF and fantasy. General SF readers and libraries will also enjoy being exposed to a remarkable range of intriguing stories of high literary quality. Highly recommended and I look forward to tile fourtll instalment. )


Science Fiction Research Association www.s'ra.ora 111e SFRA is rhe olck:st professional organiZ1tion for me study of science fiaion and Emrasy lireraturc and film. Founded in 1970, me SFRA was organized ro improve d.1.\"irmm reaching; ro cnmurage and assist rlolarship; and ro evaluate and publicize new lx lob and rnag;yjne;dealingwim Emtastic lirerature and film, teaching methods andmarerial<;, andallied mediaperforrnance;. Among me meml:x.:rmip are people fium manymunrrics----mJdcnts, teachers, pmb)!;;, librarians, Iiuurologists, readers, authOI;;, lxxlbcllCI;;, edilOl>, publishers, archivists, andrlolars in many disciplines. Academic affiliation L, nor a requirement fOr membership. VISit the SFRA Website at . For a membership application, mnraa the SFRA T rcasurerorsecmewebsite. SFRA Benefits SFRA Optional Benefits FOllndatiun. Dismuntedsubsaiption ratefOrSFRAmembers. Three issues per year. British rlolarly joumaI, wim critical, historical, and bibliographical artides, reviews, and letters. Add to dues: $31.50 surface; $39 ainnaiL The New York ReviewofScience FICtion. Discountedsubsaiption rate fOr SFRA members. Twelve issues peryear. Reviews and fearures. Add ro dues: $26 domestic:; $35 domestidirst class; $28 domestic institutional; $32 Canada; $40 UK & Europe; $42 Pacific&Aust:raIia JOllmaloJthe Ftmtarticin the Arts (fFAJ. Discountedsubsaiption rate for SFRA E\1mpo/ati(m Four L'&Ie; per ycar.111e olck:st rlolarly journal in me fidel, wim critical, members. Four issues peryear. Scholarly joumaI, with critical and bibliohL'itorical, and bibliographical artides. book IcnCI;;, occasional special graphical anides and reviews. Add to dues: $30 domestic:; $40 overseas. ropicissuc.<;, and an annual index. Femspec. DismuntedsubsaiptionratefOrSFRArnembeto. Biannual publication. Scimee-Fiction Stlltlics. TIuu: Lssues pcrycar.111is rlolarly journal mcludes critical, Critical and creative works. Add to dues: $25. historical, and bibliq,rraphical articles, review articles, reviews, nores, letter>, international and an annual index. SFRA Anrl/ ml Direr/my One L'&Ie pery= Members' names, addresses, phone, e-mail addre;sc.<;, and int=1S. SFRA Relliew. Four Lssue; pcryear.111i.s newslcrrer/joumaI includes ex1ensive book reviews of both nonfiction and liaion, review article<;, lisrings of new and fl>rthmmingbooks. ThcRaiew akJ prints news aboutSFRA inremal afEriI;;,caIIs fl lr papa;;, and update; on works in progre;s. SFRAI.istsem 111eSFRAli'itSerVallowsu=wime-maiIaa.:ountsropcNe-mails to all subscribers of me listserv, round-robm style. It is used by SFRA members to discuss ropie; and news ofmt=t ro meSF mmmunity. To sign on ro the listserv or ro obram further Lnformarion, mlltact the list manager, Len Hatfield, at> or . Hewill subscribeYOlL An e-mail9.'!lt automatically ro new subscribers gives more Lnformation about me list President David G. Mead Vice President Bruce L. Rockwood Immediate Past President Peter Brigg Texas A&M Univ-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX 78412 Dept. of Finance and Legal Studies Bloomsburg University 400 East Second Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815 #120 Budgell Terrace Toronto, ON M6S 1 B4, Canada Treasurer Donald M. Hassler Department of English p. O. Box 5190 Kent State University Kent, OH 44242-0001 Science Fiction Research Association Secretary Warren Rochelle English, Linguistics, Speech University of Mary Washington 1301 College Avenue Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5358


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