SFRA review

SFRA review

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SFRA review
Alternate Title:
Science Fiction Research Association review
Science Fiction Research Association
Place of Publication:
Eugene, Ore
Science Fiction Research Association
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Science fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Science fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )


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Place of publication varies.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
S67-00042-n281-2007-07_08_09 ( USFLDC DOI )
s67.42 ( USFLDC Handle )

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#1., luly/Aug/SeptJOOT Editor: Chrisi:ine Mains Hanilging Editor: Janice M. Bogsi:ad Nonfiction Reriews: Ed McKnighi: Fiction Reriews: Ed Carmien The SFRAReview (ISSN 1068-395X) is published four times a year by the Science Fiction Research As sociation (SFRA) and distributed to SFRA members. Individual issues are not for sale; however, starting with issue #256, all issues will be published to SFRA's website no less than 10 weeks after paper publication. For information about the SFRA and its benefits, see the description at the back of this issue. For a membership application, contact SFRA Treasurer Donald M. Hassler or get one from the SFRA website: . SFRA like to d1ank 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, Rction Editor 29 Sterling Road Princeton NJ 08540 Science Fiction Research Association SFRII III THIS ISSUE: SFRA Business Editor's Message 2 President's Message 2 Conference Chair Report 3 Exec. Board Minutes 4 SFRA 2007 Grad Student Paper Award 9 Mary Kay Bray Award 1 0 Clareson Award 10 Pioneer Award 12 Pilgrim Award 14 Presentation: Collision Course 20 Special Features Approaches to Teaching Non Fiction Reviews Brave New Words 24 22 Monsters of our Own Making 25 Plagues, Apocalypses, and BEM 26 The Ways the World Ends 27 Tolklen and Shakespeare 29 Fiction Reviews Sixty Days and Counting 32 The Kip Brothers 32 Plague Years 34 Birthstones 35 Brasyl 36 Yaddlth, Yuggoth, Doom and Slime 38


('--2 __ --"") News Items: The following are the members for the SFRA awards committees: Pilgrim: Charles N.Brown (c); F. Brett Cox; Elizabeth Anne Hull Pioneer: Lisa Yaszek (c); Chrissie Mains; Larissa Koroleva Clareson: Bruce Rockwood (c); David Hartwell; Doug Davis Mary Kay Bray: Tom Morrissey (c); Ritch Calvin; Patrick Sharp Graduate Student Paper: Paul Brians (c); Pawel Frelik;Jim Davis The John W. Campbell Memorial Award was presented at the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet in Lawrence, KS the weekend of July 6-8 to Ben Bova for Titan. The winner of this year's Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short story is "The Cartesian Theater," by Robert Charles Wilson. Locus Awards, based on the read ers' votes, were awarded to: Best SF Novel: Rainbow's End, Vernor Vinge. Best Fantasy Novel: The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner; Best First Novel: Temeraire (the trilogy), Naomi Novik; Best Novella: "Missile Gap", Charles Stross; Best Novelette: "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth", Cory Doctorow; Best Short Story: "How to Talk to Girls at Parties", Neil Gaiman. The Sidewise Award for Alternate History have been presented to: Long Form: Charles Stross, The Family Trade, The Hidden Family, The Clan Corporate. Short Form: Gardner Dozois, Counterfactual. The British Fantasy Award winners were announced at Fantasycon 2007 in Nottingham, England on Septem-( SFRA BUSINESS EdHor's tlessaae Ed Carmien I t has fallen to me once again to write on behalf of Chrissie !\fains and the SFRA Reliell! staff. In issue 280 I commented about that special Heinlein-focus issue, timed to coincide with our co-conference in Kansas City. \Ve provided more than 450 copies of issue 280 to Heinlein Conference attendees, and an editor's message that highlighted the special Heinlein content was thought to be useful. This time, as host of the informal discussion panel about the Rezielll, I've been called on to comment on that experience which our hard-working editor was unable to attend (but look for her in Dublin come June, 2008!) RezieuJveterans such as Karen Hellekson, Bruce L. Rockwood and Janice Bogstad joined with the still newish fiction review editor (yours truly) and a number of SFR..c\ members old and new to talk about our fine publication-not to mention a few drift-ins from the Heinlein part of the conference. Bruce L. Rockwood presented an enlightened version of his Sixty Dqys and COlllltillg review, enlightened by way of the illumination he cast on the process he used to arrive at the finished and polished product he sent to a grateful fiction review editor. I spoke briefly about fiction reviewing do's and don'ts and with luck encouraged future participation in the audience. Karen Hellekson provided a similarly revealing discourse about writing non-fiction reviews, basing her' comments on the different approaches she em ployed in the writing of her two reviews in issue 280. Janice Bogstad provided an excellent overview of the inner workings of the Relleill. Of course many others contributed interesting thoughts to the discussion as well. I thought the informal discussion was well worth the time, and I hope others in attendance agree with that assessment. The Retieillplans a similar session in Dublin under the capable guidance of Christine !\fains, Editor-and we hope to see you there. In the meantime, on to the current issue, which features words like "incompossible," "blastemata," and "prelapsarian" in addition to selections from this year's conference and a much-appreciated contribution to the Approaches series by Eric Otto. Happy hunting! SFRA BUSINESS Presjdem's tlessaae Adam Frisch The more perspicacious among you may have noticed that our SFRA RetZ-elll is now encouraging serious scholarly reflections about SF in a variety of media, including everything from SF gaming to film. The key words in the previ ous sentence, of course, are "serious scholarly reflections." "\lI of us can read the latest N. Y Times or Nelt'sll)eek action and acting reviews about recent releases, but once a film (TV miniseries, graphic novel, whatever) has had some time to perco late down into our subconsciousnesses, there to interact with those "monsters of the id" that destroyed the Krell natives in Forbidden Planet, small but significant details may begin to emerge regarding the work's relationship not only to other works in its own genre but also to its SF predecessors in print. This past year two films about tum-of-the-last-century magicians, The I/lIlJiOllist and Prestige, appeared in U.S. movie dleaters simultaneously-almost as if by magic? (by design? by greed?) \"\'hether either of these pieces of entertainment has enough logical plausibility and consistency to challenge its audience in )


the truly "speculative" way that solid SF functions remains an open questionpersonally, I enjoyed both films but had to strain my intellectual facilities mightily to maintain any sort of Coleridgean suspension of disbelief. But both films should remind us about the vital importance of "illusion" in our lives. In these troubled times, when many of us worry about waking up to news about another killer hurricane driven by record warmth in Caribbean waters, or a terrorist attack with nuclear weapons, or a stock-market total collapse, it is easy to become dis illusioned with our contemporary world in general, a world that certainly hasn't lived up to the wonderful utopian visions we had for it when we were growing up reading SF juveniles. "-1.nd d1e apparent postcontemporary pessimism of much mainstream literature and film these days does litde to dissuade us from such disillusionment. But our SF genre owes its very existence to a juxtaposition of "science" and "fiction," using our logical faculties to establish connections be tween d1e world as we are experiencing it and the amazing fictional visions con jured up via d1e printed page or on a film, TV or computer screen. \V'hile some of those visions paint discouraging apocalyptic portraits about where our current world is headed, especially when conjured up by more mainstream artists such as novelist Cormac McCarthy or director Cuaron, their and most other SF works/illusions almost always give us some way to escape complete dis illusionment, some reason to continue to strive towards using our rationality to challenge and change d10se contemporary global social structures seemingly bent on attaining entropic conditions as soon as possible. It is for d1is reason that your SFRA RezieJ// welcomes serious scholarly reflections on SF "illusions" from all media. "-\.nd in the meantime, dream sweet dreams about your own future amazing visions that will surely occur at our 2008 meeting in Dublin, Ireland. SFRA BUSINESS Conference Chalir's Report -SFRA 2007 David Mead TI1e annual meeting of the SFR.. -1. in Kansas City seems to ha\-e been an academic and financial success. Including several new members who joined at the door, we had eighty-one participants, including our wonderful guests r--.:ad1leen Ann Goonan. Jim Gunn, Fred and Betty Pohl, and "-\.lIen Steele. TI1anks to d1e Robert i\. Heinlein Centennial, we had a great venue at d1e \\btin Crown Center Hotel, where bod1 guest rooms and conference spaces were comfortable and easily accessible. The conference ran a small surplus, half of which has been donated to d1e Heinlein Centennial to help offset d1eir deficit. TI1e od1er half has been returned to the "-1.ssociation to support future conferences. TI1anks to all d10se who helped bring this meeting to a successful conclu sion. Special d1anks to Carolyn \vendell and Philip Snyder, d1e program CoChairs; to Tina Black and Jim Gifford of the R.. \H Centennial, who did almost all the 'heavy lifting' to make the joint meeting a success; to Jim Gunn and Chris McKitterick, for coordinating our meeting wid1 the Campbell Conference; and to my wife Joan j\[ead, for being d1e Conference's gracious and efficient staff. I look forward to seeing you all next year in Dublin. ( ( er 23.The Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award: Joe Hill; Best Non-Fiction: Cinema Macabre, by Mark Morris; Best Artist: Vincent Chong; Best Small Press: Peter Crowther, PS Publishing; Best Collection: Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman; Best Anthology: Extended Play:The Elastic Book of Music, by Gary Couzens; Best Novella:"Kid," by Paul Finch; Best Short Fiction: Whisper Lane," by Mark Chadbourn; BFS Special Award: 'The Karl Edward Wagner Award': Ellen Datlow; Best Novel:'The August Derleth Fantasy Award': Dusk, by Tim Lebbon. When Genres Collide: Selected Essays from the 37th Annual Meeting of the Science Fiction Research Association is now available for ordering at Amazon and other bookstores. ISBN-I 0: 097477093, ISBN-13: 978-097477096 Clarion has announced the faculty for its 2008Writers Workshop, the second to be held at the Univer sity of California, San Diego. The workshop will run from July 29-August 9, 2008.The faculty will in clude James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson, and Geoff Ryman. Guests of Honor for Anticipation, the 2009Worldcon in Montreal, in clude Neil Gaiman, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Taral Wayne, David Hartwell, Tom Doherty. Julie Czerneda is Master of Ceremonies. The Hugo Awards were presented at Nippon 2007, this year's Worldcon, on September I. Best Novel: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge; Best Novella:"A Billion Eves" by Robert Reed; Best Novelette: "The Djinn's Wife" by Ian )


) McDonald; Best Short Story:"lmpos sible Dreams" by Tim Pratt; Best Re lated Non-Fiction Book: James Tiptree,Jr.:The Double Life of Alice B Sheldon by Julie Phillips; Best Dra matic Presentation, Long Form: Pan's Labyrinth. Best Dramatic Presenta tion, Short Form: Doctor Who "Girl in the Fireplace." Best Editor, Long Form: Patrick Nielsen Hayden; Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder; Campbell Award: Naomi Novik. The nominees for the World Fantasy Award, which will be presented at World Fantasy Con in Saratoga Springs, NY on the weekend of No vember I A, are Novel: Lisey's Story, by Stephen King; The Privilege of the Sword, by Ellen Kushner; The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch; The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden, by Catherynne M. Valente; Soldier of Sidon, by Gene Wolfe. Novella: "Botch Town," by Jeffrey Ford;"The Man Who Got Off the GhostTrain;' by Kim Newman; Dark Harvest, by Norman Partridge; "Map of Dreams," by M. Rickert; "The Lineaments of Gratified Desire," byYsabeau S.Wilce.Short Fico. tion:"The Way He Does It;' by Jef frey Ford; "Journey Into the King dom," by M. Rickert; "A Siege of Cranes," by Benjamin Rosenbaum; "Another Word for Map is Faith," by Christopher Rowe; "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)," by Geoff Ryman. Anthology: Cross Plains Universe: Texans Celebrate Robert E. Howard, by ScottA. Cupp & Joe R. Lansdale, eds.; Salon Fantastique, by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds.; Retro Pulp Tales, by Joe R. Lansdale, ed.; Twenty Epics, by David Moles & Susan Marie Groppi, eds.; Firebirds Rising, by Sharyn November, ed. Collection: The Ladies of GraceAdieu and other ( SFRA BUSINESS Execu-C:jye Board Nee-C:jng Shelley Rodrigo Date/Time: July 5, 2007; 6:00-7:30 pm .\ ttending: Frisch, President Lisa Yaszek, Vice President Shelley Rodrigo, Secretary Donald M. Hassler, Treasurer David G. J\fead, Immediate Past President 1.Motion to approve minutes from January 2007 meeting; seconded, passed unanimously 2.0 fficer Reports 1. President 1. Received a letter and check ($100, for Mary Kay Bray Award) from Wt.!-ham He expects to continue funding in the foreseeable future. 2. Both the President and the Treasurer received thank you notes for SFRA's $250 donation for Jamie Bishop memorial fund. 3. President wrote personal letters to award winners and committee mem bers for service 4. Received request thatJim Baen's Universe magazine be linked from our website. They provide free subscriptions to various school and public libraries. 5. Continued action items: 1. archives 2. tax status 3. support a scholar 2. Vice-President 1. \Vrote renewal letter 2. Ordered promotional bracelets 3.Compiled list of possible members. 1.Looked at list of past Pioneer nominees 2.Tracking authors of new books books of SF scholarship posted at .\mazon -L Curren tly revising the SFR. \ brochure: heavily revised language on sup port a scholar and tile addition of the complex pricing of adding LoCHS to the membership option. 3. Secretary l.Revised and submitted minutes of the January 2007 executive board meeting 2. Sent renewal letters in March 2007 3. Updated addresses Witll Treasurer 4. Treasurer 1..\s of July 1,2007 2. Balances 1. Certificate of Deposit (18 montll at 5.21 %): 30,265.50 2.Sa,-ings 25,239.00 3. Checking 7,585.26 4.Total on hand: 63,089.76 3.2007 Members: 287 (5 more in last day, more current total is 292) 4.Incomes amounts other than dues and pass-through )


( 1. Book royalties (anthology edited by Warrick & Greenberg): 374.00 2. Scholar support 455.00 3. Bank interest 374.99 5. Unusual one-time expenses: 1. Promotional wristbands: 360.00 2.James Bishop I\femorial: 250.00 6.Comments on demand for pass through journals: addresses are sent as they come in and tabulation is done at end of the year 1.Foundatioll is up a few at approximately 80. 2. NYRSF is just a few below last year at approximately 65. 3.FEMSPEC and]FA both are behind in schedule and much less demand at approximately 20 each 5.Immediate Past President 1. Need candidate recommendations for the 2008 election from the board and membership 3. Convention Updates 1.Action item: recommend that conference organizers set up ParPal accoun ts for re gis tration 2.2006 \Vhite Planes: Conference proceedings are at the publishers 3.2007 Kansas City Un-Progress Report (Dave I\fead) 1.l00ks like we'll either break even, or make a little bit of money 2. So far, 79 paid participants, a couple of Heinlein people joined on Thurs day; 81 participating, 5 guests and Joan as staff; 52ish folks attending banquet, 1.Action item: Treasurer needs to give Dave money towards the graduate student subsidizations (approx. $1,400) 3.To help keep the Heinlein conference in the black, and since they gave SFRA participants a reduced rate on the banquet tickets, Mack moved that half of any overage for the conference be donated to the Heinlein; seconded; passed unarumously. 4. Conference has not yet made provision to take guest authors to dinner. We can probably give them a small cash honorarium to contribute towards per diem. 5.After the awards ceremony on Friday, SFR;\ will split the cost of a light beer/wine/munchies event for the award winners. 2.Awards Banquet (_-\dam Frisch) 1. Planned who will read various introduction and acceptance speeches for the awards ceremony 2. Will present the awards in the following order: Student Paper, Mary Kay Bray, Clareson, Pioneer, and Pilgrim. ments 4.2008 Dublin (FarallI\fendlesohn) 1. Theme: "Good Writing" which is catching attention and facilitating com2.Dates: lWle 24-27,2008 3. Locati;n: Trinity College, Dublin 4. Guests: Karen Joy Fowler, David Mitchell, and Zoran Zivcovic 5.Cost for conference excluding banquet $185 USD (w / 0 banquet) 6.Deadline for proposals: February 29, 2008. 5.2009 _-\tlanta (Lisa Yaszek & Doug Da\-is) 1. l1leme: Engineering tlle Future 1.soutllern fried strand 2.Dates: hopefully Late June, 2008 3. FWlding Sources ( 5) stories, by Susanna Clarke;The Em pire of Ice Cream, by Jeffrey Ford; American Morons, by Glen Hirshberg; Red Spikes, by Margo Lanagan; Map of Dreams, by M. Rickert. RobertJ. Sawyer won the Chinese Galaxy Award, for Most Popular For eign Author of the Year. The award, voted on by Chinese fans, was pre sented to Sawyer at the Chengdu International Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, the largest fan gath ering ever held in China. The MythopoeicAwards were pre sented at Mythcon in Berkeley, Cali fornia. Adult Literature: Solstice Wood, by Patricia A. McKillip, Children's Literature: Corbenic, by Catherine Fisher. Inklings Studies: The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, by Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond. Myth and Fantasy Studies: Gemstone of Paradise:The Holy Grail in Wolfram's Parzival, by G. Roland Murphy. Elizabeth Moon was presented with the Robert A. Heinlein Award on July 7, 2007, the centennial of Heinlein's birth,at the Heinlein Centennial celebration in Kansas City. The Heinlein Award was established in 2003 to honor outstanding pub lished works in hard science fiction or technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space. Recent and Forthcoming Nonfiction (Fall 2007) Ashley, Mike. Gateways to Forever:The Story o( the Science-Fiction Maga zines (rom 1970 to 1980. Liverpool Up, 2007. Carr, John F. H. Beam Piper:A Biogra phy. McFarland, 2007. Davidson, Joy. The Psychology o( Joss )


) Whedon: Unauthorized Exploration ofBuffy,Ange/, and Firefly. Benbella, 2007. Espenson, Jane. Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe. Benbella, 2007. Grazier, Kevin. R. The Science of Dune: An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science behind Frank Herbert's Fictional Universe. Benbella, 200B. Grazier, Kevin. R. The SCience of Michael Crichton:An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science behind the Fictional Worlds of Michael Crichton. Benbella, 200B. Kerslake, Patricia. Science Fiction and Empire. Liverpool Up, 2007. Kowalski, Dean A. The Philosophy of the X-Files. Kentucky Up, 2007. LoCicero, Don. Superheroes and Gods: A Comparative Study from Babylonia to Batman. McFarland, 2007. Nichols, Ryan. Nicolas D. Smith and Fred Miller. Philosophy Through Science Fiction. Routledge, 2008. O'Neil, Dennis. Batman Unautho rized:Vigiiantes,Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City. Benbella, 2008. Pearson,Wendy,Veronica Hollinger and Joan Gordon. Queer Uni verses: Sexualities in Science Fiction. Liverpool University Press, 200B. Rateliff, John D. The History of the Hobbit. Houghton-Mifflin, 2007. Roberts, Robin. McCaffrey:A Life with Dragons. UP of Mississippi, 2007. Rosenberg, Robin. The Psychology of Superheroes:An Unauthorized Ex ploration. Benbella, 2008. Sanders, Stephen M. The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film. Kentucky University Press, 2007. Thompson, Kristin. The Frodo Fran chise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood. U of Califor nia p, 2007. Whittingham, Elizabeth A. The Evo-( 1. Georgia Tech: costs of a couple of authors, some events, a webmaster, and, if needed, shuttles. 2.Doug's school; faculty development grant money to support him planning the conference 3. Georgia Humanities Council grant 4. Hotels 1. Georgia Tech Conference Hotel--can be difficult, advantage is global learning center attached to hotel 2. another conference hotels the department uses-mid-town, Georgia Tech will pay for shuttles 5.Possible Events 1.Lab Tours 2. CDC 3. Smart Home 4.Robotic Labs 5.Bud Foote collection 6.Possible Guests 1. Paul di Filippo 2. Kim Stanley Robinson 3. directors 10. games designers / developers 6.201O-Phoenix/Tempe (CraigJacobsen & Shelley Rodrigo) 1. Theme: The Year We Make Contact 1. con tac t points-physical and virtual 2. virtual presence 3. pedagogy track 2.Dates: hopefully late June 3. Funding Sources 1. Mesa Community Cullege, still need to seek support 2 \rizona Humanities Council 4. Hotels/Transportation 1. Tempe TvIission Palms, possibly others that are currently being built 2. By the conference there will be a metro train from the airport to a station walking distance from the hotel 5.Possible Events 1.ASU's Mission to Mars 2. Planetarium 3. Others places of interest: 1. Bio-Sphere 2. Desert Botanical Garden 6.Possible Guests L\rtists: Robert McCall work at both ASU and I\fCC owns art, gaming mock up artists 2. \,\'riters: Alan Dean Foster (novelization), producers/ franchise coordinators, literary estate organizers 3. TV /Film/ Gaming: screenwriters, editors and other production crew 4. Science/Technology: ASU Institute of Human Origins and/ or.Mars 7.2111-Poland (pawel Frelik): moved, seconded, passed unanimously 4.01d Business 1.SFR. -\ Review: give latitude to current editors to organize and accept Media re,-iews with an emphasis that they are appropriate to the scholarly SFR..-\ Re,-iew audience. If they decide they want/ need another editor to facilitate Media reviews, we will support that decision and act accordingly. )


( 2. Website-have not yet recruited a support person 3. Support a Scholar l.Lisa added the following to the new brochures: members are in vited to contribute to and apply to research, travel, and/or membership relief grants." 2. Action item: develop a more detailed Call for Proposals and Evaluation Guidelines for the three types of grants: research, travel, and membership relief grants. 5.New Business l.Board Recommendations 2008 membership dues structure stay the same: moved, seconded, passed unanimously Respectfully Submitted, Shelley Rodrigo SFR..\ Secretary 7/7/07 SFRA BUSINESS General Membershllp Board Meei:llna Shelley Rodrigo Date/Time: July 8, 2007; 9:00 am Agenda 1. Pass Out Executive Board 1\!inutes 2. Officer Reports Adam Frisch, President Lisa Yaszek, Vice President Shelley Rodrigo, Secretary Donald 1\1. Hassler, Treasurer David G. Mead, Immediate Past President 3.Convention Updates 2007-Kansas City-Dave Mead 2008-Dublin-Farah MendIesohn 2009-Adanta-Lisa Yaszek 2010-Phoenix-CraigJacobsen & Shelley Rodrigo 2011-Poland-Pawel Frelik 4. Old Business 5.New Business Number of conference participants present 17 plus executive board General Announcements: Jim G/lilIl-thank support for .\bout SF website and program; report on activities: Hal Hall's repositories by library and author online course in SF aimed at HS teachers, traveling roadshow (1-2 day workshop on teaching SF); able to get support SF\V.\, Tor, SFR.\, and odler individuals, university provides office space, clerical help, oversight; we hope it is a service to SF; next project we would like to get is a repository of information about academic programs Action item: have membership submit undergrad/ grad programs in science fiction to be added to database/website .\genda I terns Passed out copies of minutes from 7/5/07 executive board meeting Reports lution of Tolkien's Mythology: A Study of the History of Middleearth. McFarland, 2007. Williams, Keith. H. G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies. Liverpool UP, 2007. Wright, Peter (ed.) Shadows of the New Sun: Wolfe on Writing/Writers on Wolfe. Liverpool UP, 2007. CfPs: WHAT:The Sublime in the Fantas tic WHO:ICFA29 WHEN: March 19-23, 2008 WHERE: Orlando MarriottAirport Hotel, Orlando FL TOPICS:The focus of ICFA29 is on the relationship between the sense of wonder embodied by the sub lime and the fantastic in literature, film, and other media. The sheer magnitude of the universe gives rise to the amazing, the astonishing, the astounding, the thrilling, and the wondrous. Edmund Burke argued it is "infinity [that] has a tendency to fill the mind with that sort of de lightful horror which is the most genuine effect and truest test of the sublime." It then should come as no surprise that the sublime has been a mainstay in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other related fantastic modes. In addition, we especially look forward to papers on the work of our guests: Guest of Honor: VernorVinge, author of "The Tech nological Singularity" and Hugo Award-winning A Fire Upon the Deep. Guest of Honor: Greer Ilene Gilman, author of the Crawford Award-winning Moonwise. Guest Scholar: Roger Luckhurst, author of The Trauma Paradigm (Routledge) and Science Fiction (Polity Press). DEADLINE: October 31, 2007 (submissions will still be considered to Nov. 30) )


('--8 __ --') INFO: for registration info and contact info for Division Heads WHAT: Life, the Universe, and Everything XXVI WHO: The Marion K. 'Doc' Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy WHEN: February 14-16, 2008 WHERE: Brigham Young University TOPICS: Guests include Gail Carson Levine.We are especially interested in papers in the folloWing areas: literary criticism/analysis of sf&f and related literature (medieval, renais sance, mythology, magic realism, etc.); Science and technology (especially new or unusual);Analysis of sf&f relating to poetry and/or theatre; Mormon culture, literature, and society in relation to sf&f; Serious analysis of sf&f in cinema, television, radio, and other media SUBMISSIONS: Submit papers to . DEADLINE: November 16, 2007. INFO: WHAT: Special Issue on Geoff Ryman WHO: Extrapolation WHEN: Summer 2008 TOPICS: Ryman is increasingly rec ognized as an important writer in the field of science fiction, the author of six novels and numerous other works and the recipient of the James Tiptree,Jr.Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the John W. Campbell and Arthur C. Clarke awards (the latter twice). His writing inspires consideration as science fiction, especially in the contexts of gen der, sexuality and embodied technologies, but also compels us to consider questions of generic conven tion and definition, particularly in the intersections between science fiction, ( President-began in January executive board met late January, made donation to Jamie Bishop'S memorial and received letter; wrote letters to everyone who served on five awards committees and award w1l1ners; new things: try new renewal system, rather dlan wait until end of year, send out mid September widl follow out October add membership option Lams magazine Support a Scholar--changing guidelines to not only support international; Setting aside funds to make interest for support a scholar fund thank Sam for work on website and work on updating website; general request for a scholar to check once a month to ID need for updates and/or revision Vice President-recruitment strategies: revise reminder letter; -\ bracelets; updating brochure: shortened up organizational history, trying to target other groups, such as multi-media, ganling, and science studies. "-\ction item: send updated brochure as PDF for website) reyising support a scholar fund, more inclusive three groups: research, travel, and membership relieE "\1so greater incentive to contribute when renew. .. \etion item: membership, let Lisa know of anyone who should be targeted in her direct targeting membership campaign "-\ction item: possible adds in other journals/organization President's Informal membership goal--400 members Secretary-take and publish minutes as well as send out renewal forms Treasurer-finances look good; keep track of trickling membership; annual directory; "-\ction item: in our promotion rhetoric mention the directory as motivation question about honorary members: pilgrims, past-presidents after retirement (up to change in dues); suggestion: useful parts of directory is members categorized by location; it would be nice to include a directory categorized by interest; difficulty is in terminol ogy suggestion about online version of the directory with partially stripped information and password protection; suggestion to use some money for award winners to attend the confer ence (esp. going over seas next year) Immediate Past President action item: would appreciate member's suggestions/ nominations/ vol unteers for officer elections; living organization needs youth and new energy; Conference Updates note to membership: each conference is its own financial entity; however, each conference director is in no jeopardy because the organization supports. proceedings at press 2007--current conference update from Dave l\fead 78 participants pre-register; 5 are guests; two members from heinlein cen tennial; 80 persons contributed; 19 graduate students who got discounted/ sub sided registration (1,400ish dollars), looks likely some money will come back to have decided if any overage give some back to Heinlein, they gave us a wonderful price action item: send thanks to Tina Black, local coordinator for all the arrange-)


( ments (as well as Jim Gifford); we gave our guests a small cash honorarium to buy breakfasts and lunches; paid for transportation; paid for hotel rooms 2008 Dublin (Farah Mendlesohn)--expensive conference rate; experience many people saying want to go to; get a lot of European attendees; 2009 Atlanta (Lisa Yaszek & Doug Davis); Georgia Tech extra offers (esp. Kim. Stanley Robinson); vans, and webmaster; Gordon College (grants for bro chure, etc.); Georgia Humanities Council; Hotels school or Marriott; lab tours; CDC; Bud Foote Collection; scientist & engineers 2010-Phoeni.x/Tempe (CraigJacobsen & Shelley Rodrigo); contact points; interactive online in advance, Tempe i\fission Palms; tion 20ll-Poland (pawel Frelik) Action Items: keep website and listserv updated on conference informaOld Business media reviews in SFRA Retiew-of appropriate scholarly interest support a scholar New Business due structures stay the same, some subscription rates for options going up due to increase in mailing suggestion: to increase exposure of SFRA, put the reviews up at and then link to SFRA review; drive people to website; it would construct us as an authority on and about SF; Mack thinks negotiation with Amazon is done with the editor Action item: contact Chrissie to contact "\mazon Action item: index SFRA Rezielv on the website; archived at Spencer Library Action item: figure out rights of older issues comment: peculiar function listserve functions as memory; listserve is encyclopedia of 300 minds; how is the listserve arcluved; only accessible to mem bers; announcement: David Mead-want to thank Carolyn Wendolyn & Pilli Snyder as program organizers Action item: thank you note/ gift card Question: are there sections/tracks for the conference? Section organiza tion would assist in setting up tracks. Maybe people can self-identify tracks; maybe cross-fertilization can be healthy adjourn-moved, seconded. Respectfully Subnlitted, Shelley Rodrigo SFRA Secretary 7/23/07 SFRA 2007 Gradua_e S_uden_ Paper Award linda Wight I\ly apologies that I cannot be witll you today to accept tlus award. How ever in my absence I would like to extend my sincere tllanks to tlle SFR.. -\ for providing such important encouragement and recognition of graduate student work. Since becoming a member of SFR.. -\ two years ago, I have receiyed U1\'alu able support and advice from many SFRA members. Just knowing tllere is a ( 0) fantasy and history. Indeed, Ryman's brief discussion at the end of Was of the importance of using fantasy and history against each other has been widely taken up in the discussion of sf and fantasy more generally. The editors of this issue invite consider ation of any aspect of Ryman's work, including his hypertext novel 253, and his involvement with the 'Mun dane SF' movement, which calls for an emphasis on near future and present day 'realist' sf. SUBMISSIONS: Essays should be ap proximately 4000-9000 words, writ ten according to MLA standards and include a 100 word abstract. Neither embedded footnotes nor gen erated footnotes that some software systems make available should be used, Please send an electronic submission in either MS Word or WordPerfect CONTACT: Wendy Pearson or Susan Knabe at DEADLINE: 15 October 2007 WHAT:Women in the Sciences Area WHO: Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond WHEN: October 30-November 2, 2008 WHERE: Chicago, Illinois TOPICS: When former Harvard President Larry Summers asserted that women lack the scientific mettle to compete with men, he provided only the latest example of misogyny in the sciences.Women continue to face real obstacles, even at research institutions like WISELI (Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute). Unfortunately, the occa sional appointment of women to high-ranking positions at technical universities (such as MIT and Lehigh) does not offset these cultural hurdles, which draw so much of their weight from film and television. Ranging from )


( 10 ) early the book-to-film successes of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and Diane Fossey's "Gorillas in the Mist" to the solution-seeking documenta ries"The Gender Chip Project" and "Women Who Walk Through Time:' from sexed-up television fantasies featuring bionic women. crime science investigators. spaceship per sonnel. and aliens to the questioning heroine embodied by Marlee Matlin in "What the Bleep?!. ... this area will examine the portrayals of women in the sciences or science fiction. How has the feminist movement been incorporated. represented. revised. or rejected within these constructs? Are there other social. cultural. or ideological move ments that have served to under mine or support the female presence in science? Does the future for women appear to be brighter through these lenses? SUBMISSIONS: 200-word proposal CONTACT: Sally Hilgendorff.Chair. Women in the Sciences Area. Prin cipal Historian Show Me History! 43 Wakefield Street Reading. MA 0 1867 DEADLINE: November I. 2007 WHAT: Science Fiction in British Film and Television WHO: 2008 Film & History Confer ence WHEN: October 30-November 2. 2008 WHERE: Chicago. Illinois TOPICS: The consistent quality of science-fiction films and television programs in Britain has won audi ences for generations. both in the UK and around the world. One rea son for this sustained popularity lies in the ability of British cinema and TV to constantly reinvent the genre. keeping it socially and philosophi cally elastic. How. for example. has ( community of like-minded people out there makes an enormous difference for a beginning academic living in a small "-\ustralian city. My experience at the 2006 SFR. -\ Conference was entirely positive. I left inspired and eager to contribute to this exciting field. In particular, my thanks to everyone who was involved in the judging of this year's .-\ward. Your positive feedback was much appreciated. I am very sorry that I can't be with you this year, but I keep my fingers crossed that I will see you all again in Dublin in 2008. SFRA 2007 Nary Kay Bray Award Edward Carmien Thanks for the honor. Unlooked for, it is all the sweeter. I was completely surprised by .-\dam's call announcing I'd won this award. I'd also like to thank David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer for providing great grist for the mill. There are good books one wishes to hang onto, and then there are great books one is compelled to give away-and I gave my review copy of Space Opera RI1aissaltce away during the holiday season last year. I echo Adam's call for all to partake in the RelielJ)-You, too, can have a voice in our printed conversation. Too many of our voices are never heard, so make it happen! SFRA 2007 Clareson Award In_rodue_lIon Donald M. Hassler I have two minutes to speak on the topic of IvIichael M. Levy because we want to honor him this year with the Thomas D. Clareson Award that recognizes service to the community of science fiction. One must know what this commu nity is, and one must know what service is to comprehend this award. lvfike is the epitome of bodl sorts of knowledge. He is, also, a fine and productive scholar. But today we honor him for a different sort of knowledge. He knows what priorities are. He knows what work is. He knows what love for human organiza tion is. Mike has devoted hours and days and months to the skillful work of keeping both SFRA and L-\FA viable as organizations. He has arranged and pre sided over conferences and meetings. He has reviewed books continually. He has created and maintained websites. Now, in a month or so, he will take over duties as one of dle lead editors of the journal founded nearly fifty years ago now by Tom Clareson himself. For many years, i\like has been a strong presence in most everydling we dlink and do in this genre, this family. \\1e like to say sometimes that massive amounts of work like his is "self less" work. But we know dlat it is always i\like Levy doing this work for us. And so with great pleasure we want to honor i\like Levy for this work of love and commitment at this time. SFRA 2007 Clareson Award Speech Michael levy Last week I hurt my shoulder and hand helping a new faculty member at my wuversity move into her apartment. For this reason I've essentially had to type tlus "-\cceptance speech one handed, so it's on the short side, which is probably for the best. )


Thank you very much for this award. I am, of course, honored to receive any award named after Tom Clareson, particularly when I look at the list of past winners, people whose work I've admired for years. I would also like to give my special thanks to the Clareson "-\.ward conunittee members: Martha Bartter, Mack Hassler, and Neil Easterbrook. Mack Hassler (who warned me that he was going to roast me by the way) has read you a list of things I've done in the field of science fiction and, like most of the past winners, I suspect, I feel a certain amount of pride to hear those accomplishments mentioned, but also some embarrassment. all, I didn't do them in the hope of being rewarded, but rather because they simply needed to be done and I happened to be there at the right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) moment. The strange thing, from my point of view, is that I've never really understood why people have wanted to put me in charge of things. To tell the truth, I'm just a shy, introverted, non-alpha science fiction nerd academic who's never really seen himself as a leader, hardly the traditional Heinleinian "man who knows how things work," as Alexei Panshin once put it. The fact of the matter is that I've almost never volunteered for the things I've done or the positions I've held. Rather, I've simply said "yes" when asked to do them. I guess you might just call me the boy who can't say no (although I am, I hope, in recovery from this addiction). I therefore want to take tlus opportunity to briefly blame, excuse me, I mean single out for recognition, those people who, for better or worse, have over the years urged me to be an active participant in the scholarly community of science fiction. In a very real sense they're directly responsible for whatever I've plished. First, I need to mention Neil Barron and Bob Collins who initially sug gested that I might want to write book re\"iews for various SFR.. -\.-related publica tions and then published them, thus encouraging my initial participation in this community back in the late 1970's and opening a sort of floodgate that led to my later review work for tile NYRSF, Publisber's Weekly, and otller venues. Then, in 1987, at an IAE-\' conference, there was an important (to me) meeting with Chip Sullivan (one he probably doesn't even remember), which led to a number of other professional friendslups, not to mention publication and editing opportu nities, that quite literally changed my life and made it entirely clear to me why attendance at conferences like ICE-\. and SFR.. -\. are absolutely vital to academic success in our field. Then, in 1995, tllere was my friend Janice Bogs tad, who made me consider tile possibility tint more active participation in this organization was worthwhile when she came up with the odd idea tllat it would be fun to do an SFRA conference in Eau Claire, W'J on one year's notice and asked me if I wanted to help. I was enormously aware of every typo in the program til at year and ha\"e to admit that I wanted to run away and hide when one of the guests of honor had a heart attack the day before tile conference, and I certainly didn't enjoy haying one conference attendee's baby daughter wet all over me. Still, people less obsessed with the event than I was evidently had a good time and almost no one yelled at me. Given my own only partial satisfaction Witll tllat SFR.. -\. conference, however, I was surprised when tllen SFRA president, Dave Mead, he of tile friendly shark toothed grin and gambler's instincts, suggested tllat I llught want to run for SFR..-\. treasurer at tile next election. Dave also assured me, \vrongly, tllat tile otller guy would probably win. Only after I was elected, by tile way, did he notify me that it was generally assumed that treasurers would run for two terms, since, he said, it really takes tllat long to figure out how to balance tile books anyway. Then, four years later, tllere was my seemingly innocent interaction with tile subtle and persuasive Carolyn \Vendell who, while we were sitting in a conference hotel bar in Mo bile, "\Iabama, where it was too dark for me to know what I was doing, said to me ( ( British science fiction adapted to changes in the political and social climate or affected national policy or civic character?What makes science fiction film and television in Britain distinctively "British"? Pre sentations may feature analyses of individual films and/orTV programs. surveys of documents related to their production. analyses of history and culture as explored through a set of filmslTV programs. or com parisons between two or more sci ence-fiction productions. Paper top ics might include utopian and dystopian filmslTV programs. future warfare, censorship. representation of non-human life forms. politics. the Cold War. science-fiction after 9/1 I, ethics and morals, representations of science and scientists, myths and legends. terrorism. early science fiction, adaptations. comedy. government and institutions. disasters. en vironment, gender. ethnicity. race. class, etc. SUBMISSIONS: 200-word proposal CONTACT: Tobias Hochscherf DEADLINE: November I, 2007 WHAT: Starships WHO: Science Fiction and Fantasy Area. SWITX PCAJACA WHEN: Feb 13-16. 2008 WHERE: Hyatt Regency.Albuquerque TOPICS:TheArea Chairs of the Sci ence Fiction and Fantasy Area would like to invite paper and panel proposals on starships in Science Fiction and Fantasy.These could include, but are not limited to, the fol lowing:' starships as tools' starships as psychological spaces' starships as iconography' starships and mar keting starships and community starships and evolution and/or posthumanism' starships as person-)


(12 ) alities/characters. SUBMISSIONS: C. Jason Smith DEADLINE: Nov 15, 2007 INFO: index.html. WHAT: SF/Fantasy Area WHO: Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Ass'n WHEN: Feb 13-16, 2008 WHERE: Albuquerque, NM TOPICS:TheArea Chairs of the Sci ence Fiction and Fantasy Area would like to invite paper and panel pro posals on any aspect of science fiction and fantasy. SUBMISSIONS: Ximena Gallardo C DEADLINE: Nov 15, 2007 INFO: index.html. WHAT: Literature, Science, and Ecocriticism WHO:A collection of critical articles TOPICS: c.P. Snow predicts a new "third culture" emerging to close the intellectual gap between literary critics and scientists. E. O.Wilson iden tifies a trend he calls "consilience," the linkage of science and humani ties to create insights into human endeavors; Lawrence Buell suggests that the "discourses of science and literature must be read both with and against each other." N. Katherine Hayles argues that narra tive is at the heart of science and culture, and it is through literature that science enters the body politic. What is the "proper" relationship betweens humanities and science? Are humanists and scientists part ners in the production of cultural knowledge? How can cultural critics theorize the relationship between humanities (especially literature) and science?What is the role of ecologi-al criticism and ecocritics in this ( in an off-handed fashion that nonetheless brooked no denial, "\Vell, of course you're going to run for president, aren't you?" Well, I survived my time as an officer in SFR.\ and I suppose that there's no reason to go into detail concerning various issues that occurred during those years, for example the problems with a previously unrecognized deficit in the treasury, or with SFRA Reliell) editors (neitller of them still involved in the organi zation) who turned out to be manic-depressive or who used the newsletter to publish their own reviews of Star Trek novelizations, or for that matter the flood and fire tlnt literally wiped our printer off the map of North Dakota one year. The point is that the organization survived and no one blamed me for the problems! In tlle interests of brevity, I won't go into the machinations that various L\E\ people like Len Hatfield and Veronica Hollinger used to get me involved in tlnt organization. It is a wonderful organization by the way, although being an officer in L\E\ was (is) in some ways even more crazy making that holding sinlllar positions in SFR. \. Nor will I do more than mention my activities with the Children's Literature Association, where I was asked to run for a board position a few years back but then, thankfully, lost. Most recently, as Mack suggested, I've been one of the people involved in trying to replace him as a co-editor of the journal E;\:trapo!atioll. I have to admit tllat I actually volunteered for that duty, so perhaps I'm not entirely recovered from my addiction. \Ve'll see how that goes. All joking aside, the people I've worked with over tlle years have been what made all of tllis worthwhile. Everyone I'll mentioned so far was a joy to work with, but I need to list a few more people. First, and foremost, the amazingJoan Gordon, tllen Joe Sanders, Rob Latham, Bill Senior, Donald I\forse, Chrissie Mains, Allen Elms, Craig Jacobsen, Shelley Rodrigo, Karen Hellekson, Adam Frisch, Peter Brigg, Phil Snyder, Betty Hull, Muriel Becker, Liz Cummins, Bev Friend, tlle list is endless and I'm sure I've forgotten several important people. I can only ask tlleir forgiveness. Finally, I'd like to especially thank my wife, Sandra Lindow, who has gra ciously supported me in all of my professional endeavors over the years with relatively few complaints, but who, resolutely refusing to sink into codependence when I've been talked into running for yet anotller office, has, on occasion, been known to ,'ote against me. _\gain, tllank you for this honor. SFRA 2007 Pioneer Award Introduction Lisa Yaszek We are delighted to name J Ramsom as the winner of the 2006 Pioneer "\ward for Outstanding Scholarship. Ransom's essay, "Oppositional Postcolonialism in Quebecois Science Fiction," is an exemplary piece of scholar ship that clearly demonstrates how broad context can and should be put in the service of particularized analysis. Ransom begins by briefly articulating the nature of postcolonial theory and some of its early theorists. She then explores how this critical method can be applied to science fiction in general and SFQ, the French language science fiction of Quebec, in particular, focusing on specific pieces of literature by specific authors. As one member of the committee notes, a number of good writers might be able to articulate one or even two of the many contexts that interest Ransom (including history, theory, SF theory, and Quebecois SF). But only a rare few are able to so succinctly discuss them all in light of tllCee or four key authors' works. )


The committee was particularly impressed widl Ransom's ability to show ow SF does more fuan simply demonstrate particular fueoretical frameworks. nstead, as Ransom persuasively demonstrates, SF audlOrs have much to teach ritical fueorists as well. As Ransom observes, Quebec's unique history complicates e usual reduction of postcolonial fueory to a simple opposition of colonizer! olonized, and she demonstrates clearly and inarguably how dlat history has shaped e Francophone contributions to bodl colonialist and anti-imperialist fuemes in e works of aufuors who should be better known by readers and scholars of SF. e applaud Ransom for a producing such a provocati,'e essay and look forward to er future contributions to SF studies. SFRA 2007 Piloneer Award Amy J. Ransom Wow! \,(/hat a furill to be here. How much better can it get? We've found a ay to incorporate reading dle kinds of fuings we've always loved to read and fuen aveling to conferences to talk to ofuer people about fuem as part of our "profes ional responsibilities." Let's face it-we're all here because we've figured out a way o make our fan identities appear at least marginally respectable, right? So, instead f some self-satisfied speech about dle appropriateness of my pioneering work on uebecois SF earning fuis award or pointing out dle irony of my essay application f postcolonial fueory to SF winning fue "Pioneer," I want to use my furee to fi,-e utes to engage in dlat ultimate of fan activities: telling you my to SF" tory. I've been working on several projects lately, focusing on fue so-called 'postmodern" self-consciousness of genre writing. So as a first, I dlOught it might e clever to tell my story using dle tropes of fue genres I'm working wifu: SF, orror and alternate history. I started widl horror. It went somefuing like fuis: A young French professor, looking to build her credentials, innocendy an wers a call for papers. \'(,1ut could be safer and fuan a contribution to dle Dictionary Literary Biograpby? But wait, dlis volume is dedicated to Canadian Writers ;f cience Fiction and Fantasy. She fails to heed dle warning signs: if she has to study cience fiction, at least let it be French science fiction, not-ga.--French-Canadian! s her work progresses, she comes closer and closer to fue edge of dle abyss. It is 00 late when she realizes that she has stepped over dle dueshold into a void, ailing deeper and deeper, pulled into a vortex from which dlere is no return! Even 1 French, fue acronym for what she studies, fa sciencefzctioll qNibicoise, la SFQ, ends ifu Ie clli, IDe bottom! "llihhhhhhhhh! \Vell, my version was even worse (it turned into a heroic fantas,' in ore defeated dle of Evil and 9/11 never happened). I didn't even make it to F! lvfy little exercise renewed my respect for genre writers and it brought me back to he primary rule of Creative Writing 101-"Write ,vhat you know"-a rule, of ourse, dlat our objects of study intentionally break e,-ery day. Well, what do I know? From almost as far back as I can remember, science ction, fantasy and horror were among my favorite dlings to read. I also read dle itle HONse 011 the Prail7e series in second grade or so -alla! Perhaps dle origins of ly pioneer spirit can be found dlere. But I cut my teedl on Poe and Lovecraft. But y coming to SF really happened, I think, around age 10 or 11. My grade school ook a field trip to Ludington, i\fI, to visit a place called something like the Ludington ews Factory. (I tried to go ogle it and got nofuing, so maybe dlis trip occurred in alternate reality.) it was a book warehouse with discount prices. Heaven, r me, really. T\[y purchases included several volumes of Lovecraft, some i\L\D ( relationship? SUBMISSIONS: Gioia Woods, Ass. Prof, Humanities, Box 603 I, North ern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ 860 I I DEADLINE: Oct 30, 2007. WHAT: Literature and ScienceArea WHO:American Culture Ass'n WHEN: March 19-22. 2008 WHERE: San Francisco. CA TOPICS: Interpretive papers focus ing on the representation or inte gration of science in specific liter ary texts are especially encouraged. However.proposals dealing with any aspect of the interdisciplinary field of Literature and Science are wel come. Related topics inc1ude:-Popu lar science writing and science in film. television. comics. advertiSing, etC.-literature and Science course philosophy. pedagogy. design. and texts-Use of literature (narrative, metaphor) in scientific thought and coursework -(Mis)understandings or (ab)uses of contested concepts and terms across the humanities and sci ences-Influence of sciences on liter ary authors, works. theory. or criti cism and influence of literature on scientific attitudes, understanding, or history--Evolutionary literary criti cism-Theoretical. methodological. historical. sociological. political. eco nomic, international, intercultural, visual. textual. and rhetorical com monalities or conflicts between the two cultures SUBMISSIONS: Ian F. Roberts. DEADLINE: Nov 9. 2007 INFO: WHAT: Stirrings Still: The Interna tional Journal of Existential litera ture TOPICS: An upcoming issue de voted to the life and work of Kurt Vonnegut.ln addition to critical es________________________________________ )


) says on Vonnegut's fiction. we are interested in brief tribute essays in which the author reflects upon read ing/discovering/meeting Vonnegut SUBMISSIONS: Erik Grayson DEADLINE: Dec 15.2007. Directory Additions F. Brett Cox P.O. Box 333 Roxbury. VT 05669 c.w. Sullivan III English Dept. East Carolina University Greenville. NC 27858 Sonja Fritzsche MCLL Dept .. Illinois Wesleyan P.O. Box 2900 Bloomington. IL 6170 I Jason Ellis P.o. Box 7432 Pittsburgh. PA 15213 Stephen Allen 1007 Morrison Ave. Saint Joseph. MI 49085 Ben Blattberg 2022 N. Spaulding Ave. apt. #1 Chicago. ILL 60647 Gail Bondi 11374 Weeden Island Way Jacksonville. FL 32225 Robert Crossley 109 Brooks St. Brighton. MA 02135 Sharon DeGraw 80 I Grier St. Lansing. MI 48906 ( i\fagazine books, a collection of Harlan Ellison stories and Samuel Delany's Dbalgren. Looking back, I had pretty good taste! (\Vell, I also bought some Victoria Holt romances.) During adolescence horror-appropriately, if psychoanalytic critics are to be belieyed-took the ascendant. I deyoured every Stephen King novel through Tbe Stalld and I honed my research skills scouring the public library in Billings, MT for e,'ery book I could find on \'lad the Impaler, "\leister Crowley, and the I'farquis de Sade. In graduate school, I discovered a wonderful canon of French c011tes jalltastiqlleJ. By the time I really did answer a call for the DLB's volume on Canadian Wn"ters rif SF & F, I had forgotten all about my youthful flirtation with SF. As I began to read Francine Pelletier and other SFQ writers-which, I can tell you, was pretty dam tough to get in the geographical center of "\labama-I realized that I actually liked it. It was good Even better, the people writing this stuff were alit'e and accessible; unlike Balzac or Maupassant I could ask them about their work without the aid of a spiritualist! "-1.nyway, it's time for me to bring these ramblings to a close and try to find some point to my being here. My thanks to you for indulging me in this little stroll through memory lane and to the award committee members, Christine i\fains,Janice Bogstad and Lisa Yaszek, for bothering to read my essay. I also have to thank Veronica Hollinger at S cie!lce-Fictioll Stlldies for publishing it, as well as my first essay on SFQ, which resulted in an invitation to the annual Congres Boreal in Montreal where I met Elisabeth Vonarburg, Jean-Louis Trudel, Daniel Sernine, Patrick Senecal and Joel Champetier for writing such great stuff that has so in spired me that I have a hard time finishing one project before I find another to be passionate about. That passion is what I hope to share in my scholarship, because rather than a pioneer, I usually refer to myself as a proselyte, spreading the good news of French-Canadian SF & F. Well, missionaries usually accompanied the explorers, didn't they? SFRA 2007 Pilarim Award In.rodue.ion Gary K. Wolfe Long before I began reviewing books on a monthly basis, I was aware that the review could be a significant vehicle for SF criticism, history, and even theory. The reason I knew this was that, in the early days of SF criticism, some very high standards had been developed by a handful of "in-house" reviewers, who-long before there were academic journals or university presses involved with SF collectively invented modem SF criticism. These reviewers included James Blish, Damon I(night, Joanna Russ, and 1\lgiS Budf)'s, whose reviews for Gala_-'::y and Tbe 1I1aga::jne rif FalltaS)' alld Scie!lce Fictioll remain among the most provocative and insightful reviews the field has seen. Two of these-Knight and Russ-have already been honored with the Pilgrim "-1.ward. I am delighted that the third award for this pioneering group is being presented to 1\lgiS Budf)'s. But Budf)'s was also a true scholar of the field. His long historical essay "Paradise Charted," which originally appeared in Northwestern University's Tliqllartelfy Ii teraf)' journal in 1980 and was reprinted in the SFRA anthology Visions of \Xonder), was a pioneering view of the genre's development from a practitioner's perspective .. -1. later essay, "Nonliteraf)' Influences on Science Fiction" helped establish the principle that magazine SF is as deserving of close textual criticism as any other literature-as long as it takes into accowlt the realities under which the magazines were produced and edited. Yet another essay, "Literatures of i\Wieux," argued proYocati,c!y for the primacy of setting in SF texts. Together, )


this trilogy of essays covering history, technique, and publishing constitutes as coherent a view of SF as I've seen from inside the field. "-ill are collected in his 1997 book Outposts, just as the Galax), reviews were collected in the 1985 Benchmarks. Unfortunately, we're still waiting for the collected F&SF reviews. On a more personal note, A.J. also proved to be a wise, patient, and demanding mentor during my own early years as an SF critic. He insisted that criticism be written with clarity, passion, and honesty-and with wit, if you could manage it. He taught me never to apologize for writing about SF, and never to giye a book a "pass" because it was "only" SF. He believed fully in the potential of SF as literature, and he practiced this belief in his criticism as well in his fiction. Both as a writer and a critic, he helped us all grow up. SFRA 2007 Pilgrllm Award Acceptance Aigis Budrys First of all, I want to thank the people who named me for this award. I was astonished to leam that the SFR.. -\ remembered me at all, and furthermore remembered me so kindly, I began my career with the November 1952 issue of Astollnding Science Fiction, with a story called "The High Purpose," which was agented by Frederik Pohl. I was twenty-one, the story was written \vhen I was eighteen, and was clearly intended for Astoullding all along, but it had then been rejected byJohn Campbell Jr., ASFt legendary editor. It was subsequently rejected by a series of editors--1n fact, all tlle editors of all tlle science fiction magazines in existence. TIle sole excep tion was L. Jerome Bi.xby, once editor of Planet StOlies, but now assistant editor of Thtillil1g Wonder Stolies, who had some nice things to say about it in a note, suggested changing tlle nauseating part, and told me tllat unfortunately Sam l\[ines, the editor of TIJ17!lillg LFonder StOlies, had rejected it ... which I knew because the story was returned to me in tlle same envelope witll Jerry's note. Through a series of subsequent events, I began playing poker willi Jerry, at the apartment home of Horace Gold, editor of Gala_':)' Science Fiction J.laga::;:!ne. It was there that I met Fred Pohl, and tllere tllat Fred agreed to take me on as a client. As part of tllat, he took tlle same manuscript of "The High Purpose" including the nauseating part-but enclosed it in a red Frederik Pohl Literary Agency folder, whereupon it promptly sold to Astollnding and John Campbell. In the days to follow, my stories sold to Gala.,:)', to Lester Del Rey's Space Science Fiction, and a number of otller magazines which included Robert \\! Lownde's Flltf(re and Science Fidion magazines. (fhe same company published Archie comics.) The tlling about all tllese stories was tllat they were all short and I had written tllem years earlier, and had been unable to sell tllem, until tlley were enclosed in Fred's magic folder. The otller tlling about all tllese stories was that tlley sold for about two cents a word (which was a 150% impro\'ement over rates in tlle 1930's and eyen the '40's in many cases). Science fiction was not tlle means to financial indepen dence. By now I was sleeping on tlle floor in Jerry's Brooklyn apartment, my parents not being supportive of my ambitions. Jerry persuaded me that it was time I wrote a novelette, and loaned me his typewriter for the purpose. I did so. ''Dream of Victory" bounced arowld the field for a while and tllen sold to HO\vard Brown's Ama::::.illg StOlieJ, which at tllat brief episode in its convoluted history was so flossy that it had two-color illustrations, easily outdoing in appearance all its competitors, including AstOlllldillg. ( ( IS) Olin Library/Box 2744 Rollins College 1000 Holt Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789-4499 Amy J. Ransom Dept. of Foreign Lang, Lit, & Culture Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 Lars Schmeink Kantstrasse 34 0-22089 Hamburg Germany Alfredo Suppia Rua Primo Angelo Marson Sumare, Sao Paulo 13171710 Brazil Eric Otto College of A & S, Reed Hall Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL 33965 Lynda Schneekloth 60 I West Ferry Buffalo, NY 14222 Amy Sturgis 4963 HarborView Dr.West Granite Falls, NC 28630-8693 Muriel Becker Warren Rochelle John Wass )


c ) ;wd 1 considered that sale, as I had all the others, marginal failures because they were not to Astounding. I was not alone in regarding ASF as by far the best place to appear in. In fact, it was in many ways the only place, all other magazines representing salvage markets. Or so I felt. Let me explain. I had been reading science fiction since I was a small boy, beginning with comics in the Sunday papers and then picking up Planet, Ama:;/l1g, Astonisbil1g, Startlil1g, Tbrillil1g Wondel; Flltllre, and whatever else came along with the typical garish covers, usually showing a scantily clad female being desired by a bug-eyed alien. (Like, I felt, most readers, I knew that this was merely the publisher's formulaic best reading of the marketplace, and the stuff inside was pretty purita!11cal. But I tore the co\'ers off anyway before bringing the magazines home.) "\11 that changed with my stumbling, finally, across dIe November 1942 issue of Astounding, I found it in an unprepossessing store I never went into, on a rack full of general-interest magazines. I picked it up widl very low expecta tions. \Xnat was this and who was dlls "\.E. van Vogt who had the lead novelette, and what was the cover illustration, reminiscent of a woodcut, mosdy done in greens and blacks, showing a long shot of what appeared to be two distant human figures and a \'Cry simple space ship, with a tiger in the foreground? In other words, the tiger did not desire the human female except as lunch-if, indeed, there was a human female. \Vell, of course I picked it up anyway, but I had very low expectations, as I said. It barely looked like a real science fiction magazine. TIlen I began to read -a van Vogt story in which a cosmic storm overtakes an interstellar \"essel, and soon enough causes it to break into pieces, each of which is a lesser spaceship, one such with only two people landing on an unknown planet. TIle man being a rather ordinary person and anahah!-woman being a \"ery highly placed empress-type who would never deign to notice him. And so forth. "-\s it happened, I was not alone in feeling that the magazine was a peculiar duck-although my first reasons had been all wrong. A5F it SWiftly turned out, stood as the graduate course in science fiction, all others being variouslycharrning but definitely lesser. I was hopelessly hooked, and dIe other stories in that issue only reinforced the almost religious feeling that 1 had shlmbled on a kind of SF dlat took the cliche icons of science fiction and dealt widl them sensibly and realistically, as 1 had not known them to be until AJtOlllldillg opened my eyes. \\1hat made it this way? John W Campbell,)r. (1910-1971). Campbell was a genius manque, full of quirks and contradictions he did not usually know about. "\s an undergraduate he had rocketed up and down the Boston Post Road, on his way to MIT, in a Ford Model"\ he had rebuilt. After three years, it prm'Cd impossible for him to pass dIe required German classes, so he graduated from Duke University. But while at i\[]T, at the age of twenty, he had published dIe first of many stories, begilming in one mode-the Arcot, Wade and i\lorey series, for example, which were like the sort of "superscience" being done in dIe SF magazines of the day-and an entirely new ,Uld qualitatively different mode later, which he wrote under dIe name of Don A Stuart. "\s Stuart, he authored such gems as "Twilight" and the superb 1938 "\Vho Goes TIlere?" (wlllch incidentally shares its plot with the earlier "Bran Stealers of i\lars" byJohn W Campbell. '1l1e mark of Stuart was the often brilliant idea that had never been thought of before, told in a quiet, in fact mminative style, as the author was sneaking up on his central point. This was made manifest first, to my knowledge, in 'Twilight" which had been rejected by F. Orlin Tremaine, editor of Astolillding Stolies-and I believe all the other editors then in the field-because it wasn't the superscience jump-up-and-down science fiction story dlat they were fanllIiar widl. The story, which I first read in Donald \Vollheim's pioneering Tbe Pocket Book 0/ Science Fictioll, was an account of a tlmtyish cenhl1)' time tra\'eler who shoots back a little too far-into our time-when returning from a trip into the far, far fuhlre, when the few sUf\"iving men no longer care about why things are dIe way they are. He must set the machines, which arc everywhere, to develop curiosity. He does not knm\l whedler he succeeded. :1.nd he sits around a western campfire and tells his matter-of-fact st(1)' to a bunch of cowhands, gradually communicating to dIem as much of the tmdl as they are able to understand. The story--gloriously moody-had to wait until Canlpbell succeeded Tremaine as Astollndil1g'seditor, in late 1937. (J'remaine hm-ing been promoted upwards by Street & Smidl, the publisher.) Shortly dlereafter Campbell changed dIe name to Sacll(c Fictiol1, and stopped buying from tlle magazine's established names, attracting instead Isaac Asimov, Robert .\. 1 leinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, "\lfred \"all Vogt, L. Ron Hubbard, Clifford Simak, Jack \Villiamson, Henry l(uttncr ("I wis Padgett"), C L. i\loore, L. Sprague De Camp, Fritz Lieber, Lester del Rey, Hal Clement, and all the rest of the hitherto largely or totalhunknowns who were to write what we called "modem science fiction." Some, like Kuttner, Simak ,md \\ 'illiamson, he cOll\Trted from superscience writers to ratller different people. (In dIe case of "Padgett," very different indeed; and with his wife, C. L. i\loore, even more different as "Lawrence O'D01mell," wIllIe Moore turned from bC111g a IrdrdTulc.r fantasy writer \\'ho had difficulty writing endings to a superb, complete, science fiction writer.) )


( ( I cannot guess what resonances these names strike in the minds of contemporary SF readers. But to my mind, they are the pantheon. There are several very interesting things about them. One is that we were at war, which meant that Heinlein, except for He Built a Crooked House" in that same \'Vollheim anthology, was not known to me-nor was Hubbard, author of "Final Blackout," which I finally read in a Hadley small press book after the war. ,\nother was that I actually tasted the full flavor of "modern science fiction" in a 1946 anthology, Adl'e!ltllres in Time and Space, edited by Raymond Healy and J. Francis McComas. In it, they placed story after story calculated to evoke awe in an SF fan of my age (and possibly of your age), and while a very few of these stories were from other sources, the oyerwhelming majority were from the immediately pre-war Astounding, (l strongly recommend that you find a copy, in an antique bookstore or on EBay. Get the original if you can; the much later paperback version omits several stories. I didn't say either book would be cheap.) The telling point here is in what I failed to realize; the stories were pre-\,'ar, but it was 1947 (when I fowld the book). I was not alone in that failure. But first let me tell you more about John Campbell. The pathway to an editorial career had typically led yOW1g men to sell a few stories and then to take up jwuor positions, W1der the guidance of such more seasoned people as Leo Margulies, who oyersaw their relati,-ely W1skilled efforts for the chain of many magazines, incidentally including TlmUillg U:ll11der Stot7'es, incidentally home of Campbell's Peyton & Blake series. Leo's method of supervising this bullpen full of editors of the many magazines in dle Tim/ling chain was to walk from desk to desk and observe the nwnber of corrections each person had penciled over dle audlOr's typing. (Some of these editors, legend has it, would pencil in "corrections" wluch were identical to the blackened typing, in order to satisfy Leo's formulary demand for improvements. But Leo was a pretty shrewd person. I radler doubt dlat there actually was much of this evasion of dle senior editor's demand. Nor do I doubt that in the usual case the demand was justified.) Into this world came John Campbell, a widely successful superscience writer. But he was married now-to Donna Stuart-and what this estate demanded of the young Campbell was a steady paycheck. (You will remember what the word rates for fiction were. Editorial salaries were no better, but dley were steady). You will also remember that Campbell was an engineer, by natural inclination dating back to, probably, dle day he was born. He saw the wuverse as made up of chunks, widl any chunk potentially connectible to any odler chunk. ,\nd it seems clear that he saw himself as a chunk and a senior editor's salary as a chunk he needed a connection to, e,-en if he had no editorial training. I don't actually know whether he made dus exact decision or whether he had a nwnber of alternate plans-and neither does anyone else-but it doesn't matter. For at dlis juncture, he was offered F. Orlin Tremaine's superseded position at Astoundillg Sto/ies. There is a story, which was told to me by-Julius Shwartz, once the first literary agent for Ray Bradbury and much later editor of Superman at Superman D.c. Comics, and which I think is true, dlat one day-John \V Campbell, twenty-se,-en, well known as the freelance audlOr of dle Peyton & Blake and dle .-\rcot, \,'ade and :'\[orey stories, walked into the editorial office of j\[ort Weisinger, under j\[argulies at Th1711i1lg, and said he was curious about what an editor did, exacdy. Eager to shm\7 off what he had just learned, five years younger dlatl Campbell, l\[ort spent some time telling lum, atld John nodded his understanding .. -\s he was leaving,John said, by the way, he was now the brand-new editor of As/ollnding, atld thank you ,-ery much. Hmvever dlat may be, Campbell came into what was perceiyable as a ,-ery good position. Tremaine had done atl excellent job, bringing Astollnding from a run-of-dle-mill imitator of Ama::jng under Clayton l\[agazines, to the top-of-dlC heap standing as a superscience magazine wlder Street & Smith after dley had acquired it, with a pack of othcrs, in 1933. Now, having been named Editorial Director, he reached out to John W Campbell of all people. I think dlat what happened is dlat he expected Campbell to do as before ... to be a shadow of Tremaine, from John's seat as dle top competitor to E. E. Smidl, and continue to attract stories from Nat Shachter, et al, who were imitators of John W Campbell. \,1lat he got instead was Don .-\. Stuart. \"\Ihy was Stuart? In fact, what was Stuart? Stuart didn't even write like Catnpbell; if I didn't know better, I'd swear dley were two different people. Stuart's writing style did not use the same sentence-rhyd111ls, dle sanlC mix of narrati,-e atld dialogue, or, in truth, the same vocabulary. It is dle most acute case I know of a writer imposing a different personality on a pseudonym. The odler odd dling was that Campbell stopped writing fiction, entirely but for one years-later cxception, when he became editor of Astollnding. He said it was because he didn't watlt to compete witllius writers, or that he wished to a,-oid the appearance of selling to himself, or dlat he was too busy, or dlat he had some other cxcuse. No one now knows the truth of )


) the matter. 'Illere were a few stories published after October, 1937---most notably, ''\'\1ho Goes There" in March, 1938-but that piece might well ha\'e been in inventory while Tremaine was still the editor. Campbell was frequently described as being "bearlike." I may be the only person who saw him, in pro@e, as a fox. I have a pet story to go with tlut observation. In 199-+, Oeve Cartmill was published in ASFwith the story "Deadline", about a man describing an atomic bomb, in detail a year before the actual atom bomb was used on Hiroshima. The FBI called on Campbell promptly, with the demand that he stop publishing atomic bomb stories. It took some sincere talking on his part to convince them tllat the story was mere science fiction, and tllat if they wanted to keep such stories from being published, they could hardIy give the enemies of the l1. S. a broader hint. 'llle only problems with this statement by Campbell are that tile story is about the conflict between the Seilla and the Ynamreg, that the hero is captured by the Opatseg in the next room from the bomb-which is the German atomic pile model, not the U. S. design-and that the hero suddenly escapes by whipping tile gun out of the Opatseg interrogator's hand with his prehensile tail, shooting e\'erybody, and getting away. Oh, yes! If you believe that as accustomed a writer as Cartmill could ha\'C done tllis story with a straight face, then you can stop believing me. I think that Campbell suspected the U. S. was doing sometlling nuclear and got together with Cartmill to lay a trap. '111e story is ludicrous, except for the description of tile Ynamreg bomb. Campbell made tllis guess as to tile bomb designwhich was not right but was based on the best pre-War tlunking-and waited for results. \v'hich he got, and thereafter had the satisfaction of knowing tile U. S. was working on a bomb. I tllink the reason for the outlandishness of the story was to lend credence to its being mere science fiction. Immediately after the War, Campbell published a nonfiction book called TheAtomicStory, wluch did a pretty fair job of telling layman readers what a radioactive atom was, how it would work in a bomb, etc. I t was the first such book. It was signed by John W Campbell, Jr., Nuclear Physicist. Be that as it may, there is no doubt as to his greatest accomplishment, which was the gathering together of the stable of major talents in a tightly knit bunch which met in Campbell's house, on occasion, and traded ideas back and forth. Campbell was a prime source of tllese ideas, but he did not claim credit for them, saying that ideas were "in the air" and not worth anything except as tile initial basis for stories, which were tile concrete result. In fact, he often gave the same idea to many of his writers, knowing tllat it would not spark stories in most of them on tllis particular occasion, but what stories he did get would be so different from each other that most of his readers would never realize their common origin. (As, for instance, I Ieinlein's Si.ytiJ Coillmll and Fritz Lieber's Gat/JeI; Darkl1ess.) .\nd, perhaps, Clifford Simak's TimeQllarry. But tile tiling about Time Ouarty was tlut it appeared as the lead serial in the first issue of Gala,':)', in 1950. Gala."'Y was at first one of a large number of magazines launched in the "-\merican market by an Italian publisher under the imprint of \Vorld Editions. riow a science fiction magazine got into tile mix of titles intended for young home makers, I do not know. I imaf,rine the credit goes to the editor, Horace Gold, formerly a writer for Astounding (and later its brief but belm'Cd fantasy companion, Unklloll'll), under his own name and, earlier the pseudonym of Oyde Crane Campbell. 11ut coincidence dated from 193-+, well before John \\: Campbell was the editor in 1937, and tile Oyde Crane Campbell byline then \'anished from /tlF's pages. Be that as it may, the \\brld Editions Gala.,:)', was (A.) a physical package produced on the incredible cheap and (B) paid three cents a word for its stories, (C), it featured many of tile same names as had formerly been pretty much exclusive to ASP. \\11y was this? I didn't even think on the deeper implications. I was simply glad tllat some of ASFswriters had another outlet. But what was actually happening was that stories that had been backed up ... written but set aside because their writers did not want to sell to CU11pbell but did not want to sell good stories to the salvage markets, or else not written at all, in a species of ho"cott of ,ISF \\11at had happened? ( In a word, Hubbard. \\nen Campbell published "Diane tics" he set off a firestorm, to the point that other magazines, competitive with /1.\1', published "symposia" on Dianetics, feahlring pro and con reactions by Campbell writers ... most of them bitterh" con. \\lly such bitterness existed, I don't quite understand, to this day. But perhaps it was because I hadn't sold anytlllng yet, had nc\Tr met I Iubbard-never did, my personal contact being limited to being in the back of a convention hall, once, )


( ( when Hubbard was speaking. But I much later learned that it was extremely difficult to regard Hubbard as just another writer. He could be amazingly charming-as he was with Campbell and ,'an Vogt---or he could be amazingly difficult to like if he was a competitor. It was because he was a salesman .. .indefatigably a salesman, twenty-four hours a day, from youth. He came out of the hospital, after the \V'ar, in which he had been gravely injured, and then sat down and reasoned out Dianetics as a form of self-therapy. He then sold it to Campbell, who not only published his first approximation of it but also established a therapy center in New Jersey, as van Vogt did in Los "\ngeles. If you did not like Hubbard in the first place, you surely hated him-and Campbell-now. i\ll this passed over my head except as data. I had been so thoroughly conditioned by my discovery of AJtolllldillg, and the pre-War stories in anthologies, that I didn't realize what was happening. "\nd ASF continued publishing good stuff by Poul "\nderson, Gordon Dickson and some others, eventually by me-not particularly good stuff, usually-but the balance had swing, irrevocably, to Galaxy and Horace Gold. Not that Gala."]' did not have its troubles, including a change in publishers when \V'orld Editions pulled out of America and once again Gold pulled a miracle and the magazine's printing broker, Robert Guinn, took O\'er. But Gold also had quirks which eventually did him in. For one thing, he had been exposed to Leo i\[argulies' school of editing as a young man, and edited the manuscripts for Gala:<)1 accordingly. But there is a difference between a penny-a-,vord writer and a three cent writer, especially one who had grown up widl ASF, where Campbell did not change anydllng. Not eager to go on widl Gala."],, but not very willing to go back to Campbell, dle writers looked around for odler markets. They found them in the paperbacks, bodl reprint and original, which were beginning to take a significant part of dle readership dollar. Quite a few of them sold to dle magazines only as an occasional sentimental exercise. "\nd dle new writers which Gold attracted were pretty lame. Campbell, meanwhile, went on to push ,'ery hard for dle Dean Drive-a mechanical means of apparendy creating antigravity (but only in spring-based scales, as it turned out). There were many more instances of Campbell's creati,'ity beating its wings against the bars of Campbell's reasoning. But they are best summed-up by a story I do not dlink is true in its roundness but is essentially true-if you know dle people involved. It goes as follows: One of Campb",ll's gang of writers was George 0. Smidl, author of the T ;;;III1S Eqllilateral stories. Smith, a fetching jokester, was an engineer for Emerson electronics and a drunk. He was one of the type of drinker who s\\'iftly loses touch \\'ith ongoing events but goes on as ifhe is sober; for instance, Smidl was a brilliant card player when he was drunk, and would not remember playing when he sobered up. He was famous for dlls trait. A.nd George bragging about dlls bothered CanlpbelL One day at dle Campbell home, Jolm produced two graduated beakers of alcohol, unequally filled. He explained to George that drunkenness was a function of body weight-this was John's beaker and dnt was George's, and dley would see dlat after they had finished them off, dley would be equally drunk. "o.K" said George, dle story goes, draining his beaker, and after John passed out, George ran away widl Donna. They were married after a whole. So was John, to Peg, dle modlerly-appearing sister of Joseph .\. \\'inter, i\[o. a physician who had been interested in Dianetics, but who, like Campbell-and nn \'ogt--e,'entually ga,'e up contact widl it. Campbell wrote one last story, for a hardcover andlOlogy of originals, which was a Stuart story but was signed CampbelL It was an O.K. story, but not a great one. Galaxy, after its start as an echo of AJtolllzdillir glorious past, drifted fardler and farther into publishing a peculiar blandness. TIlls dull period in its history was followed by a notable resurgence; Gold left, to be replaced by Frederik Pohl, who, in his guise as a literary agent, had supplied dle ASF-based stories of Gala:':j"J beginnings, and dlen, in partnership widl his friend from the old, old days at AstollirlJillg, C i\L I,-ornbludl, had written dle ground-breaking GI{JD' Plaller, and a number of other stories, before becoming editor. (He hired me to be dle book re"iewer .. \ brilliant man despite that.) This-all dlis about AJtolllldil{g-had gone largely over my head. The name of changed to Allu!og Sd,'1h'( Fiaioll-Campbell could not change it to Science Fiction, without any adjective, which is what he really wanted, because Sdi'l/,l' Fiction was owned by .\rchie Comics-but I continue to regard Campbell as S.P s top editor to dle end, when a burs t aneurysm in his aorta took him from us. But in fact he wasn't a top editor any more, and hadn't been for some time. "\nd I was selling many of my stories to Robert P. i\[ills at a sister to The 1I1aga;;jne of ulld S,7C11(e Fiction, called VeJ1tllre, an amazing hypnotic-if, sadly, short-lived-market for which a number of '\'ell-known writers also sold, \\'ith purpose-written stories, despite its not paying a great deal. There was something about i\[ills, you see. But be dlat as it may. )


(20 ) ( SFRA 2007 Co.Usjon Course Barbara Bengels Fantasy is filled with tales of wish ful@iment gone awry. Be careful what you wish we are told over and over. My own carccr as a teachcr of science fiction has found me in much that same dilemma. Thirty seven years ago I began a traditional History of Science Fiction course at Hofstra University which I've taught sporadically to advanced English students and to more self-motivated students in our "New College." Eight years ago I was happily teaching in my university's most rcccnt attempt at creating a freshmen program that would stop students from transferring or dropping out. First Year Program, or F't 1) as it was called, co-joined three core classes where the faculty and students all interacted, thus creating a grcatcr rapport between students themselves, as well as between students and faculty members. My group at that time included a philosopher, a drama professor, and myself; I taught composition through the use of plays. Being totally happy and comfortable isn't my style, however, so I suggested a new unit, merging a Composition through Science Fic tion coursc (using primarily Golden stories) with an Intro to ,,\stronomy and the mandatory philosophy course. '111C idea was quickly accepted and I soon found myself (and continue to find myself) in that black hole conundrum oEbeing sorry that I wasn't more careful about what I had wished for. \\1hat kid who has grown up on a rich diet of SF and basic astronomy tcxts (patrick Moore comes to my mind here) wouldn't kt'ellwith joy at being able to fulfill such a lifelong dream? But who knew? Now into the program for seven years I'm still asking why I agreed to this. Let me explain the logistics and pitfalls of my particular course. For one tiling, it wasn't hard to get personnel into the program; keeping them, howe\'er, was another matter. My astronomy colleague (really an astrophysicist) is a brilliant young man from MIT and Cal Tcch, probably the same age as my oldest daughter. He's well-liked by the students, serious but much more lenient than I am and also a more generous grader. The philosophy member of the unit has been, for no discernible reason, in a constant statc of flux. In the seven years of the program, we've had seven, different professors, such as the Israeli woman who couldn't communicate with tl1e students because she felt they were all stupid (they weren't ,,\LL stupid!), the really cool ,l,'Uy from Chicago who flew in on Tuesdays and back home 011 Thursdays, and the youngstcr who looked barely old enough to bc in collegc much less teach it. \\1here have they gone-and why? Just another one of life's enigmas. Last year we started anew with an attractive young woman who seems to be on the same page as we are, having just taught 'a Philosophy of Scicnce Fiction I\[ovies course. (I wish I had taken that one myself.) "\s part of the program (now called FYC: First Year Connections), our first responsibility is to communicate amongst ourselves. Hofstra encourages us to do this-and happily for us pays an extra teaching credit. To prepare for last semester's course, for example, we met once in person the previous semester, exchanged e-mail addresses, set up a late August mccting, ;md agrccd to start tl1e ycar off with a bang by discussing "Endings"-thanks to tl1e new findings about the Apophis asteroid which may possibly solvc our ecology, greenhouse, and political problems all at once. \\1hatwe had to do before we met our first class was to set up our three syllabi in tandem with one another. No, we did not team-teach (the only time wc were in thc classroom at tl1e same time was the first day of class when we introduced ourselves to the students). Instead wc did collaborative teaching. Wc tried to support one another's subject matter so that the students could see the relationships bctwccn the material, even though the subjects don't and can't always collide as often as we might like. Bccause of the yearly change in faculty and tl1e constant flow of astronomical data, our ordering of material is sin1iIarly in flux. \\c also try to work out assignments so that the students aren't hit with major papers or assignments at the same time. And ycarly we discuss thc possibility of shared papers which I, the old traditionalist, constantly resist. I don't want to be correcting;m astronomy or philosophy paper because I would then be doing the work of a copy editor; I don't want to be grading an SF story-or any creative writing-because I'd ratl1er read it for pleasure (I'm always optimistic that it will be a pleasurable cxpcrience!) and tl1en give thcm advice, 110t advice alld a grade. I will, however, be happy to give tl1em extra credit for such cndeavorsand I'm vcry generous with extra credit because I will do almost anyiliing to get them to write for their own plcasure. Quite honcstly, I belicve that in this triumvirate mine is the hardest job and not simply because I must mark a papcr a wcek for each student ovcr the fifteen week semester (or approximately 540 papers, not counting finals). I migh t add that bccause this program is a Favored Child of the administration's we have a maximum of 18 students in thc comp sections and a ma.ximum of 36 in the lecture groups. (I meet with tl1e students divided into two sections while )


( ( my colleagues have them in one larger lecture class, though the astronomy class holds small evening lab classes on the rooftop observatory from time to time.) The reason I feel particularly challenged is two-fold: my course is first and foremost a composition course in which I must teach them all the basic fundamentals of expository writing (and at Hofstra there is a writing proficiency exam which they must pass at the end of English 2 lest they haye to take a remedial course). It is my responsibility, therefore, to lay the groundwork for them to be able to write an analytical argument comparing two reasonably sophisticated essays. That, in itself, is an increasingly growmg challenge in an age when studen ts seem to have read and written less than ever before in their pre-college days. However, besides ha\-ing to meet that challenge, I also want to teach at least a rudimentary history of science fiction as well as the unique protocols for reading it. One would think that a student who has opted to be in an interdisciplinary unit such as ours would come with an innate interest in our subjects-and even a background in having read SF for pleasure. Not so! In the si.....: years I\-e been teaching the course, I've had very few, very, very few students who have read any SF to speak of In some classes h-e had nO students at all who have even heard of Isaac .\simov, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke-dlOugh a few ha\-e heard of or even, wonder of wonders, read some work of Ray Bradbury's though unless it was Fahrenheit 451, they can't remember the names of what they've read. I know this because I always begin my course with a questionnaire. I like to know dle make-up of my classes and always harbor the fantasy that I may have some real SF fanatic in my course-which did happen many years ago when I taught an advanced SF class. It hasn't happened since. In fact, the truth is dlat most of my freshmen are clueless as to what an SF story is, how it differs from mainstream literature, and how to go about reading it-if they plan on doing any of the reading at all. J\Iany don't-and they're shocked to learn that this won't be course in watching Star \Vars or Star Trck movies (dlOugh I will show at least one film just before Thanksgiving when we all need a break.) Their general ignorance of the subject gives me a feeling of being needed and an agenda. \\lhat I've found to be particularly difficult over the years is working out a syllabus in which I can use SF short stories to teach expository writing while the average composition course is using traditional essays .. \s a result, what I've done is to work out a basic comp skeleton and then flesh it out with SF stories. For example, I'd normally begin with the subject of effective introductions-so I begin by having them "surf" through the text (lames Gunn's The Road to Science Fictioll, volumes 2 and 3) to choose three stories whose introductory paragraphs "grab" dlem and ask them to explain to dle class why they've made dleir choices. They actually enjoy seeing what othcrs havc chosen and sometimes even bond with those who have liked the same introductions. I then move through dle traditional expository divisions (narration, description, analysis, comparison-contrast, argumentation, etc.) as well as stylistic devices (such as rhetorical parallelism) using SF stories that demonstrate these features particularly well. I might ask dlem to write a comparison of Judith J\[erril' s "That Only a Mother" with Richard J\[atheson's "Born of Man and Woman" or a short analysis of Clifford Simak's use of parallelism in "Desertion." TIus aspect of dle course alone would be a relatively easy task; however, although I want to take these wri ting skills in an order that logically builds one upon another, I'm also tying to coordinate my subject matter with that of my two collaborators-and therein lies dle problem. It's still a Problem in Process and we continue changing and refining the ordering of dle subjects in the hope that we'll someday find the perfect solution-or at least a better one. In the meantime, we do the best that we can, occasionally muddling up the order-and continuing to meet and corrc spond through e-mail during the semester. (Every other year dle FYC administrators allow us to continue our unit into the second semester, however elinlinating dle plulosophy segment. This makes dle course much easier to teach and I can focus on more modem novels such as GateJIJq)' by Fred PohI, The Listeners by James Gunn, and The Left Halld ofDark!leJJ by Ursula K. LeGuin,) TIlere are, of course, real pleasures built into the program. TIle freshmen do get to know one anodler much morc rapidly because dley're in dlfee common classes togedler, but aren't totally stultified because the rest of dleir program is takcn within the university as a whole \s a result, dlere are generally more class discussions, greater camaraderie-and so far as the administration is concemed, a much lower drop-out rate. The perks that the U1uversi ty bestows upon the students in dlcse FYC classes include field trips such as to the Rose Planetarium (not a soaring success), to dle Brooklyn .\cademy of Music to see an interdisciplinary program where solar photography was used as dle back-drop of very modem Music (too modem, perhaps!), and last year to Brookha\-en National Laboratory where dley got to walk into a particle collider (unpressiyc!) I've personally taken a few interested students each year to dle Long Island Cradle of .\viation to hear former astronauts speak which was a particularly rewarding experience because fuey were witty, articulate, and wonderful advocates for the spacc program. Another especially pleasant treat last year was winIung over many students: we were allowed to take students, as many as we want and as often as we want, to dle University Dining Club. J\[any friendships have been forged dlere over giant )


) bowls of pasta, .\11 in all, it's been an interesting journey with its fair share of hurdles and bumps-but when our group took a year off for our as tronomer to go on sabbatical, I sorely missed dle opportunity to teach a course I especially love, my own "baby." .\nd what with a new asteroid on a collision course wiili eardl-really and truly-we'll have plenty of arresting material to try to startle our students out of their complacency and away from ilieir computer games. I am optimistic enough to believe in our ultimate success. TESTS SPECIAL FEATURES Approaches -Co "eaching Pohl and Hornblu-Ch's "lIe Space Nercllants Eric Otto Frederik Pohl and C.I\L Kornbludl's The Spate Merthants, 1952 (New York: St. Martin's, 1987) is ilie primary source for the following lesson. The secondary sources-Stuart Ewen's "The Marriage Between "\1"t and Commerce" and Susan Willis's "Disney World: Public Use/Private State"-appear in dle writing aniliology Making SellSe: Essqys 011 Art, Sde!lce, and Culture, 2nd cd., cds. Bob Coleman, Rebecca Brittenham, Scott Campbell, and Stephanie Girard (Boston: Houghton, 2006). Ewen's essay is also ayailable 111 All COIIJllmillg Images: The Politics of Style ill Contemporary CIIlture (New York: Basic Books, 1988); and \X,'illis's essay is also available in In.ride the MOllse: Work and Plqy at Dislley Wolid (Durham: Duke UP, 1995). '111ere arc two purposes for dlis lesson, bodl relevant for composition classes, literature surveys, science fiction classes, general humanities classes, and the like. Broadly, I want my students to exercise making cOlmections between contextshistorical, cultural, critical-and cultural production, I want dlem to take a critical idea, such as an "against-dle-grain" analysis of the status lluo, for example, and locate places in literature where iliat analysis is artistically represented. Additionally, and more specifically, I want my students to come away from dUs lesson wiili a sense of dle critical potential of science fiction, a genre that most students haye engaged widl only in non-academic settings but dlat says so much about dle culture widlin which we live. Po hi and Kornbluth's particular contribution in The Space Alerchants, as many critics have pointed out, is its blazing critique of consumer capitalism, an economic system dlat shrouds us so completely iliat we are often oblivious to its methods iU1d effects. P.\RT I: CONTESTS FOIL\N:\LYSIS '111e first part of this lesson requires my students to examine six key terms and ideas as Ewen and \Villis use iliem in their essays: adm1iJillg, (()IlJIIlJler desire, capitalism as totalii/Ilg, COIISIIIJ1jJtioll as a mille system, and the realll10rk that prodllces rhe ((lI/IIl/odiry. I ha\'e my students read the two essays for homework, Then in class I count dle students into groups and assign the SIX terms accordingly. Each group then analyzes relevant passages from the essays (which I direct dlem toward), drawing broader conclusions about their assigned ternl and dlen presenting dleir ideas to dle class. Below is a brief guide to iliese ternlS: 1 .. ,ldl'el1i.lillg. Ewen historicizes the advertising industry, which emerged during dle decades between dle 18905 and the 1 ()20s. 'Illese years saw an increase in "mechanized system[s] of mass production," resulting in surpluses of goods (Ewen 17R). 11lllus try needed to unload these surpluses, necessitating the creation of markets for what it now produced in massive quantities. Thus was born advertising. But not only sought to inform people about dle availability and appeal of 111dustrially produced goods, it also contributed to a restructured perception of dle resources and alternatives iliat were a\'ailahle to people in their cyeryday liyes" (Ewen 178) .. \dvertising made people aware iliat products were available, while it also created a culture in which such products became dle essential stuff of everyday existence. 2. Ci!ll.I/I/J/cr If industry was to unload its surpluses, pcople needed not simply to be persuaded to buy 111dustrial goods, but more deeply to become incliyiduals whose lives were defined by such goods, no matter dle real relevance of the adnrtised products. In short, industry needed to create consumers out of people. "\s Ewen writes, ilie product designer Egmont .\rens coined this effort '''consumer engineering'" (181). :.. De ... ill': Early twentieth-century adyertisers and producers found much success in marketing to and designing for people's desires, particularly the hidden psychological desires then being studied and revealed by Sigmund Freud, Carl .lung, and others .. \lh-ertising and product design offered "consumers a subliminal promise of polymorphous gratification," not ( )


( ( only providing visual beauty, but also reanimating the olfactory and tactile pleasures repressed in modern ciyilization (Ewen 185). Such "depth-psychological" strategies of industry shifted the science and philosophy of aesthetics into "a study of art insofar as it could provoke and promote consumer response" (Ewen 185). 4. Capitalism as totalizing. In her essay on Disney World, Willis writes, "There are no cultural objects or practices that do not constitute capital, no reserves of culture that escape value" (590). In this regard, capitalism is a concept \\'illis attends to a bit later when she notes Disney's "totality as a consumable artifact" (592). Together, these two brief quotations point to a characteristic of capitalism that deserves much critical scrutiny: its tendency to commodify everything, whether b,' turning lvhatel.'erinto a product or whermrinto a manufacturing site. (I often ask the group \\'orking on this concept to make a list of things that have not been, or cannot be, commodified. Predictably, dlat list is \'ery short, if not blank). 5. Consllmption as a mille !)'steJJT. \Villis writes, "In a world wholly predicated on consumption, dIe dominant order need not proscribe dlOse activities dlat run counter to consumption, such as free play and squirming, because dIe consuming public largely policies itself against gratuitous acts which would interfere with the production of consumption as a yalue" (586). \Villis's argument follows her observation of children playing freely at Disney \\'orld, amusing themseh-es at a distance from the rides and themed areas and thus outside of the proper, prescribed consumable channels. Such play is "a waste of the fanllly's leisure time expenditure," corrected only through a "[pJurposeful consumption" dlat would establish dIe consum ing individual-the freely playing child turned roller-coaster rider, for instance-as one now doing what she is supposed to do (\Villis 585). 6. The real JlJork that prodllces the commodify "The unbroken seamlessness of Disney \\'orld ... cannot tolerate dIe revelation of dIe real work dlat produces the commodity" (Willis 592). The "magic" of the Disney experience would disappear "if dIe public should see dIe entire cast of magicians in various stages of disassembly and fatigue," if dIe public should witness what goes on behind dIe scenes of Disney's always unspoiled productions (\\'illis 592) .. -\nd indeed, to extend this discussion, the magic of our entire consumer culture could be threatened should dIe public see what goes on behind the scenes of industrial production: sweatshop labor, injustice in the workplace, em'ironmental degradation, and on and on. PART II: PRELIl\lIN"-\RY .-\NALYSIS The second part of dus assignment requires my students to engage The Space 1I1en'hallts widlin the critical contexts established in our class discussion of dIe aboye ideas. The writing assignment that follows our reading of Pohl and Kornbluth's work obliges my students to analyze dIe book on their own, making valid claims about the narrative and the contexts we have set up (see P.-\RT III). But I do spend time preparing dIem for dlis type of analysis; and quite \\'onderfulh', this preparation can happen largely in a class discussion of The Space l\1erchal1ts' first chapter. In chapter one, Fowler Shocken-the head of New York City's largest ad1'e11isil1g agency-attests to capitalism's totalizing tendencies. Speaking to his employees, he gloats, "\\'e remember ... how we put Indiastries on dIe map. The first spherical trust. l\Ierging a whole subcontinent into a single manufacturing complex" (3). Later, a commercial for Shocken's latest project-selling dIe colonization of Yenus-rolls "a lughly imaginati,'e series of shots of Yenus as it would be when the child grew up-,'erdant valleys, crystal lakes, brilliant mountain vistas," all ,-isual appeals to de.rire in a near future world where fresh water and clean air is scarce (6). Reflecting on dlis commercial, dIe first-person narrator, I\!itch, notes, "The commentary did not exacdy deny, and neidler did it dwell on, dIe decades of hydropOlucs and life in hermetically sealed cabins that dIe pioneers would have to endure wlule working in ,'ellUs's unbreathable atmosphere and waterless chemistry," drawing attention to the real Jl10rk fhaf prodllce.r fbe ((Jmmodif)' of Yenus (6). Finally, in his speech to his employees, Shocken recounts a brief "history of advertising"-a brief history of ((JllJlIlllerengillee!illg, really-"from dIe simple handmaiden task of selling already manufactured good to its present role of creating industries and redesigning a world's folkways to meet the needs of commerce" (6). The concepts of adl'el1isillg, capita/ism as fota/i:;jl1g, desire, real work, and ((JIlJllmer ellgil1em'l1g get further play in chapter one and indeed dlfoughout The Space 1I1en/Jallfs. To gi,'e my students a complete sense of dIe potential connections between the ideas we have discussed from Ewen and Willis and dIe nm'el, and thus to leave dIem with much opportunity to dig deeper into dIe book while writing dIe lesson's assignment, I touch on the remaining concept: cOI1J11JJljJfiol1 as a mille D',rfelll. In chapter eight, Mitch-who as an employee of Fowler Shocken is very much embedded in the capitalist structure and in dIe motiHs of advertising-meets a worker, Gus, who is part of a consen-ationist organization dIM works against capital .. -\bout this man, l\Iitch reflects, I hated dIe twisted minds who had done such a thing to a fine consumer like Gus. I twas somedling like murder. I Ie )


C24 ) ( could h;we played his part in the world, buying and using and making work and profits for his brothers all around the globe, e\Tr increasing his wants and needs, ever increasing everybody's work and profits in the circle of consumption, raising children to be consumers in tum. (82) Similar to the children amusing themsekes at Disney, Gus is functioning outside of capitalism's prescribed channels and thus has no value in a hyper-capitalist culture in which one's meaning is wholly determined by his or her participation in the market, by his or her le\-el of consumption. P.\RT III: \X'RITING ;\SSIGNl\lENT The Space Merchantr Essay (1200 words): In reading Stuart Ewen's "The Marriage Between Art and Commerce" and Susan Willis's "Disney World" we have de\eloped a pool of ideas widl which to analyze and interpret Frederick PoW and c.l\f. I"':ornbluth's The Space Merchants. Write a 1200-word essay observing up to duee of Ewen's and/or Willis's ideas operating in the novel. Make a focused and manageable claim regarding Pohl and Kornbluth's book in connection with the terminologies we have discussed in class. Support this claim widl both detailed explanations of the terms and clearly articulated analyses of relevant passages from the novel. NONFICTION REVIEW Brave lIew Words: ,.he Oxlord Dic-cionary 01 Science Fic-cion Neil Easterbrook Prucher,Jeff, ed. Brare Nell) U/?ords: The Oxford Dittionary of Science Fiction. Oxford University Press, 2007 (; 198 l\ladison .\Yenue, New York, NY 10016). Hardbound, 342 pages, $29.95, ISBN: 0-19-530567-1 W1lile the opening sentence of Gene \X'olfe's shrewd introduction to Jeff Prucher's Braz'e Nell} U70rds reads ''You will be spared all references to Samuel Johnson," wlfortunately I am not so judicious. In his famous DictionalYof the English (1755),Johnson defined "lexicographer" as "a harmless drudge." Ambrose Bierce was a litde more pointed when in his infamous The Dml's Dit1iol1al]' (1906) he defined the same as "a pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some sta.l,tC in the de\-elopment of a language, does what he can to arrest its grOWdl, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods." Bran I\'e1/.' IP'ordr, however, isn't the least bit prescriptivist. \Vhile it may have some normative effect in how a few phrases or terms arc used, it serves primarily to collect and index words commonly associated widl SF or created by SF. Lexicographers have long played a curious role in western culture-dleir efforts actually quite valuable, dlough it always seems the sort of unimaginably dull work that, for example, kept us all from pursuing careers in accountancy. Yet it's also man-clous that someone else finds it sufficiently stimulating; just as we need balance sheets that actually balance, we need good dictionaries .. \nd it's especially wonderful to discover that someone else has done all dle tedious work for us. This is more-or-less how everyone should feel about "-\ristotle, for example, especially in instances such as The Poetics. Sure, it's the most important work of literary criticism and theory in western history, but dlank god it's already been done. Leaving us to get on with having fun. llra,.e j\'ell! IFord, details approximatcly 3,000 terms, beginning witll "actifan" and ending with "-zine," drawn direcdy from sf or from authors, critics, and fans of the genre. Each entry is supported by three to six citations, almost all from twentieth-century uses. Prucher began witll tlle database compiled by dle O.YOrd EI{glish Dittiol1a1J,'s on-line Science Fiction Citations ProJect (still up and running at Prucher lists 201 names as contributors to that database; many of the names will be familiar to any member of SFR. -\ (Brian .-\ldiss, Ted Chiang, Gardner Dozois, etc.) and many are members of SFI{'\ (John Clute, Hal I -Iall, .-\ndy Sawyer, etc.) \X1lile without an index, the book docs provide a guide to use, a full bibliography for the citations, and suggestions for secondary studies of dle principal SF audlOrs. 'l1le source material ranges widely, from canonical SF and criticism to The Simpsons; references from film and television supplement the literary texts; that Prucher includes citations from some sources of dubious audlOrity, such as novels by \\'illiam Shatner and the satirical web-paper Tbe Ollioll, actually makes tlle citations far more lively. \Iost of the terms themseh-es arc the pedestrian bedrock of tlle SF lexicon. From fiction come death rqy andjtl, IC/I'/,0I1 ;U1d 1I"il1j> (!lire; from cri ticism come ((}gllilil"e eslrallgemelll and edisollaide, maillstream and planetmy romallce. Such familiar temlS arc complemented by including more particular and peculiar uses-gltlk, tallstaqfl, and tlle like. Prucher offers lots of yariants-22 for "earth" and 19 for "time," and this count doesn't include yariants where the word is the second part of a )


( ( 25) compound. It may well be that the book will settle some academic bar bets. It's nice to see e\"ldence that Heinlein didn't coin "tanstaafl" (many of us knew tlllS already) and tllat Gibson didn't coin computer "virus" (many of us didn't). It's surprising to know that the first case of"posthuman" was Lovecraft, and in 1936, wlllch is the sort of fact you could use to make a \Try good bar bet indeed. (But not for long-word will get around.) Included too are many terms I didn't know, such as "egoboo" (ego + boost, as in seeing your own name in print), "lay story" (where tlle characters of well-known stories get laid), "presser" (a beam that has tlle opposite effect of a tractor), "tri-dim" (it's really not worth defining, trust me), and "Twonk's disease" (tlle essential problem of people like us, who read books like these and then write reviews like this) \s a pedant myself, I appreciate knowing the precise source of a term and something of its etymology; not only does tIllS enable me to be more accurate in my teaclling and scholarship, I look fOf\\'ard to wining more bar bets. Despite the detail and the large number of citations, there are surprisingly few errors, even tIlOugh the re\-iew copy supplied was an "uncorrected advance reading copr" No doubt many of the small textual and typographic errors ha\-e already been corrected, but it still rankles to see such tllings as "Bladerunner" as a single word. There's still much more substantial work to be done, and no doubt future editions will resolve ambiguous or disputed etymologies, clarify usage, or add new terms. The entry on "sharecropping," for example, names Gardner Dozois as the source but adds Dozois' own denial, sent in an email to tlle OED. Some expected terms (Geoff Ryman's "mundane sf," for example) aren't there, and new terms pop up all the time. i\fy most recent favorite comes from the cover blurb on Clllna i\fieville's Perdido Street Statioll; there Peter F. Hanlllton describes that novel combination of sf, fantasy, steampunk, and weird etllOs as "technoslip," a term tlut strikes me as perfectly balanced and useful. (Though no one else agrees, as you'll discover if you Google the word.) I t would also be lovely to have a cross-referenced topical index--of the sort one finds in dictionaries of synonyms. In 1m'elltillg English: A POItable HistOl), of the Lallguage (2007), Seth Lerer tells us tlut Johnson ilwented the persona of the lexicographer as a wit offering interpretive stories of tlle language. It was tlle great project of the Oxford Ellgkrh Dictionary Qed by James Murray and begilU1ing publication in 1884) to delete the wit and create the science: multiple sources collected, verified, and edited into a reliable, neutral project. \\''hile primarily still a product of the OED ethos, Bra/'e lYell' [ford .. retains something of tlle essential wit of tlle SF community. Since the John Clute and Peter Nicholls ElliJdopedia of Sdelh'l! Fiction (2/ e, 1994) is a more encyclopedic glossary, I suspect I'll still use it as my firs l choice for definitions and interpreti\T stories about SF. Most of us eagerly await the tlllrd edition, now in preparation .. \ text such as Clute and Nicholls' combines idiosyncrasy and accuracy as few do. Even if tllere are small errors or omissions-and there are surprisingly few of tIleseBrat'e Nelv Words will be a useful resource to bOtll fans and scholars. It's tlle kind of book that you'd be unlikely to buy for yourself but would be glad to receive as a gift, and alllibraries-botll public and uni\-ersity--ougllt to add it to tIleir reference collections. NONFICTION REVIEW Mons-C:ers 0' Our Own Makina Amelia A. Rutledge Warner, Marina. Monsters of 0111' 011'11 Makillg: The Pemliar PleaJllres of Fear. University Press of Kentucky, 2007 (; 663 SOUtll Limestone Street, Lexi.ngton, kl" 40508-4008). Paperbowld, xii + 441 pages, $25.00. ISBN 978-0-8131-0174-4. Marina \Varner's .Alollsters of 0111' 011'11 .Alaking is a paperback reissue of her 1999 No Go the Bogl!)'lJlall: Scalillg, Lllliillg, alldMakillg Mock, wlllch was reviewed by W .\. Seillor in SFR-4 Rei iell #244 (.\ugust, 1999): 40 (a\-ailable in hard copy The body of the book is identical in letterpress to the earlier edition, but Karner has added an aftef\\"ord that contextualizes tlle volume for tIle world post-September 11, 2001, and includes an eloquent defense for the continuing need for readers to engage actively witll myth and tIle fantastic grotesque. The previous review of \\'arner's book is both astute and comprehensi\"e, and covers topics such as \\'arner's refer ences, occasionally not accurate, to tlle grotesque and terrifying in popular culture. I would add tIut students and scholars of mytllOlogy, folklore, and tIle fantastic mode will find much tIlat is useful, especially in Part One "Scaring," and Part Three "Making Mock." The former focuses on classical de\-ourersKronos/Satum and the Cyclops, WitIl references to "111c Juniper Tree" by the BrotIlers Grimm. The latter discusses the fantastic sublime, WitIl a historical survey of chimeras and )


(26 ) variations on the brutal sorcery of Circe. Part Two, "Lulling" examines the nexus of terror and comfort to be found in lullabies. Those interested in the literature of childhood (not coterminous with children's literature) will find much of interest in \Varner's discussion of maternal anxieties and the horrors of bereavement from the COl'entlY Carol to a contemporary Chechen lullaby. Warner's discussion of historical representations of the Slaughter of the Innocents, in both the visual arts and in drama, adds an interdisciplinary dimension to her study. This section can be read profitably along with a different treatment of maternal fear and loss, Diane Purkiss' At the Bottom oj the Garden. Mom/en ojOllr OJlllI remains a \'aluable addition to personal and academic libraries, recommended for ad vanced undergraduate and academic professionals. NONFICTION REVIEW Plagues, Apocalypses and Bug-Eyed Monsters Rikk Mulligan Urbanski, Heather. Plagues, ApocalJpses alld Bllg-Eyed MOllsters: HOII) Speclllatit'e Fiaioll S hOlvs Us Ollr Nightmares. McFarland, 20rn (; Box 611,Jefferson, NC, 28640). Paperbound, 255 pages, $35.00. ISBN 078642916X Urbanski examines how speculative fiction (sf) reflects contemporary fears and anxieties-nightmares-and keeps them from occurring by providing the symbols or metaphors for their public discussion through the filter of popular culture. 'Ic) establish the rhetorical, cultural, and political contribution of sf she engages in a rhetorical analysis of its cautionary tales portrayed in prose, film, and television, while avoiding narratives she sees as social commentary. SF is defined as both science fiction imd fantasy texts that "deliberately violate the bounds of reality as we currently understand it"(8). She uses broad strokes to sort recurring themes into tlle three categories and seven subcategories of her Nightmare Model, and applies literary criticism and elements of cultural studies to the discussion of these images, amplifying her analysis with the commentary of fans, authors, imd editors of the genre. The core of her study uses melaphor analysis to evaluate tlle impact of the cautionary sf tale through the repetition of specific images in the mainstream rhetoric of news coverage and political discourse. llrbanski's nightmare considers fears of science and technology first, more specifically nuclear war, information tech nology, and biology as contemporary aILxieties. As Witll tlle other sections, each manifestation is considered in its own chapter, followed by one of metaphor ;U1alysis. The broad analysis of science and technology suggests tllat the use of Godzilla, Dr. StrangelmT, the Terminator, and botll Frankensteins requires little context when brought into mainstream discourse. That these concepts are part of popular culture supports tlle argument tllat they are more than mere fringe images, but not that they are necessarily cffecti\T warnings. Themes of the abuse of power-individual and state--comprise tlle second category. Darth Vader (military), and 'Jekyll ;md I Iyde" (mental instability) are used repeatedly in critiques of power. Big Brother and surveillance is a fear of government control and the abuse of information technology, illustrating the survey's strengtll although tlle overlap calls her nighhllare categories into question. 'l1le Ilnknown completes her model Witll monsters, aliens, and "other" beings, in one chapter and "progress" in ;mother .. \liens (invasions and abductions), mutants (X-I\Ien and genetic mutations), and mental abilities (telepathy, telekinesis) fii-,'ure prominently wIllie they also overlap science and teclmology. Progress tends to offer dystopia as a recurring concept, especially the loss of individual control or identity, such as in The trilogy or episodes of the Twilight Zone. ( 'l1le strongest aspect of Uranski's study is the concentration of images she pulls from a large number of sources. She successfully art,'11eS that the specific expression of each nightmare is refitted to incorporate new science and technology and reflcc t contcmporary anxietics. In hcr preface, Urbanski writes that tllis five-year project was inspired by author Greg Bear's of I Ionor spccch at the 2001 Science Fiction \\orldcon. Her passion for tlle subject is evident; unfortunately in her enthusiasm shc may cast her net too widely. Her survey is set primarily in tlle midto late-twentietll century and is more often taken from film ;md television. 111is study may ha\'e benefited by limiting the scope to science fiction alone, and focusing on cither televiSIOn and film or literary sources. The breadth of her surveys also limits her ability to devote attention to particular sources and sometimes limits her to a superficial analysis of plot devices (such as the nuclear war in Brin's The Pox/mall) ratller tllan possible resonances with issues of racc, gender, sexuality, or nationality. In a similar \Tin, the strongest voices in her study are those of writers, especially Greg )


( ( Bear, Gregory Benford, and Allalog editor Stanley Schmidt. W'hile she does incorporate the scholarship of critics such as Tom Moylan, Kingsley "\mis, Damon Knight, and i\L Keith Booker, it often appears more anecdotal than methodical; the study is not in dialogue with similar works such as Mark Hillegas' the Flltllre as l\Tightmare or the more recent criticism of Thomas Disch or James Gunn. Regardless, this study does provide a well-researched survey that offers an intriguing discussion of speculative fiction in popular culture for a general reading audience. NONFICTION REVIEW Yhese Are -C:he Ways -C:he World Ends1 Thomas J. Morrissey Weisman, Alan. The Wodd Withollt Us. Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's), 2007 (; 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010). Hardcover, 324 pages, $24.95. ISBN-13: 978-0-312-34729-1; ISBN-10: 312-34729-l. Langewiesche, William. The Atomic BaZf1ar: The Rise of the Nllclear POOl: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007 (; 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003). Hardcover, 179 pages, $22.00. ISBN-13: 978-0374106782; ISBN-lO: 0374106789. Ward, Peter D. Ullder a Greell S k:y: Global [Varlnillg, The Mass Extillctiolls of the Past, alld U7hat Thl!)' Call Tefl Us abollt ollr Future. Harper-Collins, 2007; 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022). Hardcover, 242 pages, $26.95. ISBN-13: 978-0061137914; ISBN-lO: 006113791X. SF has long been a congenial home forJeremiads. From i\fary Shelley's Fra/!kensteill on, SF writers ha,-e created visions of our world gone bad and of us simply gone. H. G. \\!ells took readers well past the human heyday in The Time Machille, a novel in which we are the victims of our own greed and cruelty towards our own kind. The nuclear age gave us a whole subgenre, the nuclear holocaust story. Those who read SF, and certainly dlOse who write it, are also likely to follow doomsday scenarios in popular and scientific literature as well. Since, well,Jeremiah, prophets of doom have pointed to our decline and/ or demise with varying degrees of respect for scientific accuracy. Once again, the atomic age gave rise to a pledlora of non fiction. Late in the last century, however, responsible researchers introduced a variety of new ways for us to suffer extinction, including bolide impact, super non irradiation, and global climatic catastrophe. The reYoh-er, knife, rope and lead pipe of the game Clue are no match for this arsenal. This review considers three recent pre-mortems of our species. TIus is dle first time I have reviewed three books at one time, so dUs will be my Trinity Test. Of the three texts, the one that has dms far attracted the most attention, including a re,-iew in dle Nell'"} ork Times and multiple TV and radio appearances by the audlor, is journalist J\lan Weisman's The WTorld Uithollt Ur. \\!eisman's dleme is the vanity of vanities. By imagining how our planet would prosper without us, he indicts the technological footprint under which lie the remains of extinct species and ruined habitats. Our consistent mismanagement of dle planet has led more and more of us not to like what we see in dle collective mirror. Nancy Kress' send-up of human contrariness, Nothillg Hllmall, envisions radical genetic transformation as the key to human survival, and Kress is but one of many writers who have reached the conclusion dlat we must change fundanlentally or perish. If we really were placed in and kicked out of Eden, we have adapted poorly to exile. Weisman's book is dle simplest of dle three. It sends a good message to humans: clean up your act or get out of the way and let evolution rilll dle show. The hwnanless world that \\!eisman envisions is a wild one widl vast forests and a re,-ived and diversified menagerie of competing beasts. Head lice will miss us; most of dle biosphere will not. Like Ozymandias, we will leave artifacts, but aside from bronzes, radio signals, and, perhaps, radiation from our finale, our work will have come to naught, swallowed by time, vegetation and oxidation. Perhaps the most starding theme in \'\eisman's book is the human impact on the grandeur of the aIUmal kingdom. \\!e have killed most of the giaIltS, he tells us, from dle mammoths aIld odler Pleistocene colossi to dle 800 pound groupers that once prowled coral reefs (wluch, by the way, we are also doing in). Imagine Colwnbus' ships running aground on a shoal of giant sea turtles-it could ha,-e happened in 1492. The World Withollt Us features all index aIld selected bibliography. The book is clearly intended for a popular audience. \\!eisman's shape-up-or-ship-out message echoes in the work of \'('illiam LaIlgewiesche aIld Peter D. \'('ard, but dlese authors have written more complex calls to action. The Atomic Ba::;:,aaris a case study in how and why a poor nation acquired a nuclear arsenal. TIle book reads like a long magazine piece of investigative reporting, which is what one might expect from a rolific freelance non-fiction writer. Its focus is PakistaIl'S entry into dle nuclear club aIld the maIl principally responsible, Dr )


(28 ) ( .\. Q. Khan. far from being a mad scientist or evil genius, Dr. I(han is a I\Iuslim who loves his country and his faith and who has over-compensated for a tough beginning in life by thinking and elbowing his way to the top of his society, at least for a time .. \ refugee from the 1947 Partition of British India, [(han hates Hindus and domination of the developing world by the industrial powerhouses. By hook and by crook, Khan brought to Pakistan the know-how and hardware to pursue his nation's dream of instant status. Dr. l(han's story is not likely to ha,'e a happy ending .. \fter the revelation of his attempts to sell nuclear capability to such pariahs as Libya, Iraq, and Iran, he was put under house arrest by his former sugar daddy Perves Musharraf, Pakistan's Ceneral/President. 'TI1at [(han is being held incommunicado is very likely designed to protect Musharraf from even more embarrassing publicity since his government had to be behind Dr. Khan's proliferation efforts, at least at some levels. Dr. Khan comes off as an ego-maniacal overreacher, which is pretty much how humans come off in all three of these books. Like Oedipus, he succumbed to the adulation of the masses. But he is still a national hero in Pakistan and in much of the world as the maker of what he himself has called "the Islamic bomb." Langewiesche's depiction of tile suffering and disorder in much of the Third \Vorld makes American foreign policy seem not merely stupid and counterproductive but downright catastrophic. He argues that tile rich and powerful CaIUlOt prevent any nation that wants nuclear weapons badly enough from getting tllem aIld that in our era more and more of tile world's people have less and less to lose, thereby endaIlgering our very sUr\-i,-al. If we WaIlt the world to last, we must help to make it better and fairer, and we had better start now. Tbe A/omit" Ha::;.aar has neither all index nor bibliography; it does have a list of acronyms used in the text. Sources are cited within the text. Dr. [(haIl'S story has been told in the popular press, but tills book gives it in-depth treatment and the added e"idence of the author's many interviews with players in the nuclear game. I tal degradation aIld climate change are exacerbating tile predicament of poor nations, thus making it likely that more Dr. Khans will come along. That is one of the conclusions in Peter D. \Vard's UJlder a Green This is, perhaps, the most frightening book I have ever read. It is not, however, sensationalist. UJlder a Green Sky is a whatdunnit that turns into a whodunnit. The "what" is tile cause or causes of tile series of mass extinctions that have punctuated evolution and life on earth. The "who" is tile human species whose activities have been altering tile environment tllrough teclmology since the invention of agriculture but especially since the dawn of tile Industrial Revolution. Dr. \Vard is a Professor of biology, eaIth and space sciences at tile lhllversity of \"/ashington aIld tile autilOr of a dozen prior volumes. He has preached his yerSIOn of the climate ChaIlge gospel since at least early 2005, and he and fellow researcher Dr. Lee [-,Jump oudined their ar!-,TlJment for the Great Dying at the end of the PernliaIl period on "Nova scienceNO\'v," Episode 7 in November of 2006. '111eIr TV appearaIlCe with Neil deGrasse Tyson, reincamation of Science Lama Carl SagaIl, was fascinating but nowhere near as powerful as the fullenTrsion in UJlder a Green Sky. !<:'Tn as \Vard was writing tills book, tile picture of how life developed and nearly ceased on our plaIlet was changing. \\ 11en I ,uis and \Valter .\h'arez won a Nobel Prize for proving beyond a reasonable doubt tl1at the dinosaurs were snuffed out by a 10 kilometer bolide impacting at Chio:ulube 65 million years ago, tile rush was on to find the other rocks that nlight have wiped out many other species at various times, especially the culprit responsible for the huge mass death at the end of the Fermi,U1. Capturing what appears to me, a laymaIl, to be tile essence of the scientific search, \Vard makes a steadily strengthening case for terrestrial causes for most of the non-Chicxulube catastrophes. \Vitll lucid explanations of tile cxperImentalmethods and the evidence they yielded, including an intriguing discussion of how scientists leam about past climate by measuring residual isotopes of oxygen, he demonstrates how global wamling, prompted by volcaIlic eruption and aIded and abetted by poison gas and ultraviolet radiation, is the likely suspect. It is certainly unsettling for a species that has mled the plaIlet during a period of relative clinlatic stability to learn that at ,-anous times the earth has either been frozen from pole to pole or so hot that the iceless aIlOxic OCeaI1S have suffocated life aIld belched out fonnidable quantities of hnlrogen sulfIde that poisoned the air and wiped out the ozone layer. In those ancient tinles it was volcaIlic activity, not people, that spewed forth the carbon dioxide that wanned and possibly nearly killed the world. 111is land has not always heen made for YOU and me. \\11at makes \\'ard's book intrIguing as well as cautionary is his rendition of scientific rivalries. Reading about how imTsted researchers can hecome in their ideas and how personal their internecine fights CaIl grow recalls Langewiesche's recounting of .\. Q. l"'::han's blind hatred of his chief Pakistani rival, another Dr. [...::JUI.l1. Although these practitioners know that the fate of the worldma\' be at stake, sometimes their own careers take center stage. Survival in such a realm requires more than a good brain. One needs perSIstence, patience, thick skin, luck, aIld a willingness to entertain the possibility that )


( ( one is wrong. Fred Hoyle's stubborn refusal to acknowledge the Big Bang is good evidence for what happens when ego-born faith subverts scientific judgment. Beyond the grants and the choice gigs, the ultimate goal of science is to construct as clear a picture of reality as possible, and, according to Ward, dlat picture is not looking good. Dr. Ward has the privilege to work widl a powerful research team at ll\,\: including dIe near legendary Dr. Da\-id Battisti, whose soul-searing visions of a future terrestrial hell close the text. The rate at which CO is being pumped into the atmosphere has doubled since tlle 1970s and is now a whopping two parts per million per year. FailJre to curb and re\-erse this trend will result in short order in a global disaster dnt will surpass in horror anything and everydling dlat humans haye had to endure. Using the mowlting evidence of multiple planetary die-offs allegedly resulting from global warming, \'\ard and his mentor show us a future of drowned cities, massive dislocation, famine, disease, and, probably, war. The ha\'es and have-nots will likely have to fight it out until no one has anydling. Imagining a pale green sky stretching across a dead, poison-emitting ocean is the scenario from which the book's title comes. In his introduction, \Vard says that his book contains "words tumbled out powered by rage and sorrow but mostly fear, not for us but for our children." Yet there is nodling hysterical about his medlOd or his prose. The climatic mystery unfolds chapter by chapter as he lays down scientific principles and recent discm-eries in solid sedimentary layers dlat lead to an inevitable range of conclusions as imposing as a massive outcrop. \,\'hat he shows is a very incom-enient trutll indeed. \'\'ard is aware that what he details will change widl future discoveries. For a decade scoffers have punched holes in indi\'idual climate projections as new research reveals dleir shortcomings. Go to if you want to see how dIe well-financed climate change deniers pursue their goal of debunking the data-induced positions taken by the Yast majority of climate scientists. \Vard knows tllat his book is not the last word. It is only in the last four years dnt scientists have discovered that thc Greenland ice sheet is disappearing much faster dIan expected; dIe concept of mass deadl by hydrogen sulfide bubbling up from stagnant oceans, the Krump hypothesis, is also a recent arrival. \Vard is careful to present us widl a range of future scenarios dnt assumes that our current knowledge is limited. Howe\'er, no major discm'ery in recent years has done anydling to undermine the scientific consensus dnt Eardl is warming at an alarming rate and that dlat warming is, in dIe words of the 2007 report of the United Nations Panel on Climate Change, dIe "\-ery likely" result of human acti\'ity. Carbon dioxide and methane are doing their deadly work; \"X/ard wants us to face and possibly alter dIe future. Each of dlese books is a snapshot of dIe world and our role in it. By taking us out of the picture, \\'e1sman shows us how damaging our presence has become. By studying close up one nation's rise to nuclear status, Langewiesche shows us that nuclear proliferation is a danger not just because dlere are more bombs in more hands, but because those hands belong to desperate people who are likely to become more desperate as dIe competition for resources stiffens. Finally, Ward offers a sober and somber status report on our stewardship of the planet, one dnt shows tllat the point of no return, dIe so-called "tipping point," is on the horizon, dlOugh no one knows exactly how far away it is .. \11 we have to do is nodling, and nothing is what we will have. "\11 duee books are good reading for twenty-first century sentient beings who care about future human genera tions. The end of dlls new century will unfold widlin dIe life spans of some clllidren alive today and certainly within thosc 0 f their children. That's too close for comfort or complacence. I recently began a review of Julie Bertagna's Young .\dult global warming nm'el Zenitb widl a quotation from tlle text. I will end dlls review widl dIe same quotation because dlese duee books either imply or pronounce tllat we owe more to those who will inherit dIe planet. This is what Bertagna's young protagonist thinks as she struggles in a drowned, globally warmed world: "TIN)' didll't tbillk abollt tbe illtllre, did tbl!),? Tbl!)' !lelrr tbollgbt abollt liS. '" NONFICTION REVIEW "olkien and Shakespeare Justin Everett Croft, Janet Brennan, Ed. To/kim alld Sbake.rpeare: Essq)'J 011 Sbared Tbemes alld Lallgllage .\IcFariand, 2007 (; Box 611,Jefferson, NC, 286tO) Paperbound, 336 pages (notcs, reference, index), $35.00. ISBN: 978-07864-2827-4 Recogtlltion of the literary value of Tolkien's Lord of tbe Rillgs and odler works has been a long time in coilling. In spitc of Xv. H. "'\uden's early endorsement of dIe epic, it was not well recei\'ed by dIe majority of literary critics, beginning with Edmund \Vilson's stinging review, "Ooh, TIlOse ,'\wfuI Orcs!" Even when it became in11llcnsely popular in thc 1960s--brgely )


( ) due to promotion by the minority of professors of literature who did see its value, followed by their students, who initiated the "Tolkien Craze"-most critics did not know what to do with it, so they spent much of their time discussing its sources and its relationship to Tolkien's great lecture and essay, "On Faerie Stories." Even now, after being thrust once again into the popular culture limelight thanks to the Peter Jackson @ms, Tolkien criticism is just beginning to identify its chief avenues of criticism. One area where criticism has been particularly tenuous is the attempt to discuss any relationship between Tolkien and Shakespeare. The comparison is a difficult one to make. Even if Tolkien's clearly expressed dislike of Shakespeare though not exclusively, for his treatment of fairies) is put aside, the audlOrs are difficult to compare. Shakespeare, hands down, is one of dle greatest wordsmidls of dle English language, and Tolkien, admittedly, is not; Shakespeare's characters are complex, and Tolkien's are archetypal; and Shakespeare found much of his material in his own contemporary world, whereas Tolkien intentionally created a world remote from our own. However, as dle authors of the essays within Janet Croft's collection, Tolkien alld Shakespeare: Essq)'S 011 Shared Themes alld Lallgllage demonstrate, there is much to be gleaned from a comparison of these strikingly dissimilar authors. Though this collection is not particularly significant for any of the essays it con tains, it has done an importan t service by assembling a serious attempt to understand the value of comparing Tolkien and Shakespeare. Following an introduction by the collection's editor, the book is divided into four sections: "Faerie," "Power," "i\!agic" and "TIle Other," widl each section containing three to five essays. Plays treated, as might be expected, include A Midfllmmer Nighls Dream and Henry V for their treatments of fairies and warfare. I was pleas andy surprised to discover treatments of Olhello, Hamlet, The Tempest, and Killg Lear also widlin this collection. "\s might be expected, certain essays within each section were weaker dlan others, but dlis perception on my part might more accurately reflect my interest in the particular subject matter of certain essays and less interest in odlers. This being said, some essays, while demonstrating a reasonable familiarity widl Tolkien scholarship, at times demonstrate an ignorance of significant trends in Shakespeare scholarship. Though all of dle collection's sections make useful contributions to thought regarding Shakespeare's influence on 'j(llkien, the firs t, "Faerie," is of particular interest because it concerns Shakespeare's treatment of Faerie and Tolkien's negative response to that treatment. 'TIle second section, which deals largely with themes ofki.ngship and warfare, is less relevant, if not less interesting. However, some of the comparisons that are made are, in my opinion, tenuous at best. \'\'hereas A Midsummer N{ght:r [)ream is relevimt for its treatment of Faerie, and The Tempest is relevant for its depiction of wizards, links between themes and characters in dle second section are questionable. The durd and final sections somewhat redeemed this flaw, however. Comparisons between Prospero and Gandalf are compelling, though one essay in this section attempts to find an 111spiration for the Ents in Macbeth that is a stretch at best. I found the last two essays in the book the most interesting of all for their discussion of dle relationship between Gollum's dual nature, Othello, and The Tempest's Caliban. Overall, Croft's collection casts a wide net. Because of this, none of dle four areas it treats (perhaps with the exception of the initial discussion of Faerie) is de\'eloped in sigtuficant detail. Each of the sections could be developed into a book of its own. This should not be considered as much a criticism of dlis collection as recognition of the book's scope. That said, though several of the essays widlin the collection are dlOught-provoking, others suffer from questionable comparisons and tenuous arguments. No single essay in me collection stands out as particularly groundbreaking. The collection does, however, begin a cOlwersation that has been much in need of starting. \\'hile this book is certainly not a "must-have" for a Tolkien scholar, the usefulness of some of dle essays it contains makes it a worthwhile addition to a university library. I would not, however, conSider it necessary for my personal collection. FICTION REVIEW Slixty Days and Countling Bruce L Rockwood Robinson, Kim Si:,'!)' Days alld COlllltillg. New York: Random House Bantam Spectra, 2007, 416 pages, hardcO\'Cr, $25.00, ISBN 978-0-553-80313-6 SiY/)' nayr alld COlllllillg is the third book in j-(im Stanley Robinson's Climate Challge Trilogy, wluch began with For>' o/Raill (2()04) and continued in Fif?y Degrees Bel 011' (2005). It brings the myriad dlemes and subplots of what is really one )


( ( extended novel published in the traditional three-parts of SF publication to an optimistic if somewhat uncertain conclu sion. I\Iajor personal conflicts that have been building in the first two installments are at least resoked, and the author leaves us with a hopeful prognosis for dle ability of21" century global society to address the political, institutional, economic and scientific challenges of realistically addressing the rapidly unfolding consequences of climate change. Accomplishing all this even in dlree volumes is a tall order, but Robinson has similarly tackled em-ironmental themes with political overtones in The Mars Trilogy and The Califomia Trilogy, and is adept at introducing complex scientific concepts and political insights through credible characters whose indiyiduality is not lost amidst the exposition. His plot entwines dle reconciliation of Tibetan exiles with a China threatened by ecological devastation, and the election as President of Phil Chase, a Senator whose values and determination seem a combination of FDR and .-\1 Gore. \Vidl dle help of a rogue intelligence agent whose software leak is reverse engineered by clandestine associates of :\rgentine inlmigrant scientist Edgardo .-\1fonso, a black-Ops intelligence-gathering unit fails in its attempt to steal the election by manipulating comput erized voting, and Chase's election is "unstolen." The black-Ops unit may be in league wiili establishment political figures reminiscent of Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. The scientist .-\1fonso is motivated by his recollection of the dirty war in his own country (180-188) to help dle main character in dus final yolume, Frank Vanderwal, protect bodl Chase's election chances and the agent, who is Frank's lover Caroline. Frank is a troubled academic on leave from UC/San Diego's Department of Bioinformatics to work at dle NFS, who finds himself homeless after dle flooding that devastates \XTashington, nc. in dle first book in the series. He dlen blends a feral life in a tree house or li,-ing out of his van, exploring Ius paleo-human nature with fellow homeless Washingtonians, with his day job as aid to the new White House Science .\d,-isor in the Chase \X1ute House. He keeps tabs on various R&D projects around the world, and we see the changes and challenges dlrough his eyes as he travels in his work. Other insights are gleaned through the family life and crises of Charlie Quibler, a Chase em'iron mental staffer and primary care giver for Ius two young sons, and Ius wife .\nna Quibler, whose continued work at NSF aims to provide seed money and support for responsive science wherever she can. The uncertainty left open for our consideration is whedler even widl the right leaderslup finally in place in dle United States after years of denial and neglect, and dle coordination of scientific innm-ations widl financial support from world governments, the World Bank (141-142), and the reinsurance industryiliere are still dle time and resources available to stave off global disaster in the next fifty years. James Lovelock, creator of dle Gaia hypoiliesis, offers one answer to Robinson's uncertainty. He posits dlat it is already too late to avoid major dislocations, and argues for quick reliance on nuclear power to enable us to reduce our carbon dependence immediately or risk dle loss of civilization, in The Re1'e/zge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis the Fate of HlImalli!), (N.Y: Basic Books, 2006). Elizabeili Kolbert's in,-estigative journalism in The Nell) larker, published as Field 1VoteJ From a Catastrophe (Bloomsbury, US.\, 2006) is not much more optimistic. Robinson recognizes dlat e,-en widl PIll! Chase as President, acting widl redoubled vigor to push his legislative agenda after survi,-ing an apparent assassination attempt, we won't find solutions quickly. "'This is just a start,' Phil would say at dle end of his press conferences, waiving away any questions dlat implied he had suddenly become more radical. '.\11 dlis had to be done. No one delues dlat, except for special interests with some kind of horrid financial stake in iliings staying dle same. \Ve the people intend to m-ertum those destructive tendencies, so grab dlis tiger by dle tail and hold on tight.'" (323) The novel concludes with PIll! Chase finally helping Frank to run down Caroline's ex-husband and his fellow clandestine agents, who seemed hell bent on using a frighteningly belie,-able "total information awareness" system to control dle country. There is enough ambiguity at the end to leave you about Caroline's motives, and dle work that remains to be done is as great, if not greater, dun what faced dle protagonists at dle end of Sinclair Lewis's nm'el of a fascist take-over in America, It Call't Happen Here (1935). TIlat is, dle radical reconstruction of .\merican ,-alues is wlderway, but don't kid yourself into dlinking dut we are home free yet. Unlike contemporary commentators who see .\merica's primary "enemy" as dle "odler" in foreign lands, whom we must confront dlrough military might whedler terrorists in the Middle East, or Robert .\. Heinlein's bugs in Stanhip Troopers (N.Y: Putnam, 1959) Robinson's novel reflects Pogo's insight dut our greatest challenge is our own way of life. [One solution is suggested by the stabilization wedges advanced by Robert Socolow at Princeton; see: 1 Throughout the nm-el, Frank makes use of philosoplucal reflections on Emerson and Thoreau from his "Emerson for the Day" web site to center himself as he struggles to o,-ercome his increasing inability to make decisions, while the Quiblers ponder dle mealung of the close connection dleir youngest son, .loe, develops widl the I"'::hembalis (Tibetall) community. Robinson demonstrates sensiti,-ity to issues of gender, race alld sexuality in a variety of settings dut stallds as )


) a rebuke to the shrill personal and political discourse of our present day. In that respect, his novel may be seen as an alternative view of our present situation, more utopian than dystopic, hopeful and understated. It would make a perfect Robert Altman movIe. FICTION REVIEW ,.he Kjp Brothers John Clute Verne,Jules. The l"::ip Brothers. I\Iiddletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2007.475 pages, AM $29.95 cloth. ISBN 9780819567048. 'nlere is one name unspoken anywhere in the fairly long pages of The Kip Brothers, a tale about judicial error written by Jules Verne in 1898 and published in 1902. That name is of course Dreyfus. The Kip BrothelJ may not exhaust its interest for the twenty-first century reader in a post facto examination of Verne's conflicted attitude toward the Dreyfus scandal; but the extreme oddity of this novel about the murder of a ship captain, and the subsequent framing of the two Kip brothers for the crime, does generate, even in the non-specialist, some suspicion that it is a tale driven by that shaping absence. I t should be made clear immediately that nothing original will be suggested at this point beyond a nuance not perhaps emphasized fully in the literature about Verne: that a book like The Kip Brotbersmay be best understood in terms of its conflicts, but with no presumption that these conflicts are either resolved in its pages or were not true conflicts to begin with. The central and highly visible conflict exposed in the book must (one guesses) have been shared by most of those intelligent French men and women who, like Verne, were for political and other initially colourable reasons convinced that Dreyfus was t,'1.lilty of the charges laid against him; but who, like Verne, whose son constantly and vehemently presented to him the growing body of e\-idence tllat Dreyfus had been framed, found tlleir rationality at war Witll those deep convictions. I t is hard to bclie\-e tllat Verne wrote his novel-about tlle framing of tlle eponymous brotllers for the regicidalmurder of the captain of the ship on which they were taking passage witl10ut some awareness that he was encoding in tllls tale of injustice a potential demolition of his own complexly sourced feelings about Dreyfus, and fealty to the fatl1erland. Nothing of what I am saying here is new to BEvans, tlle editor of \Vesleyan University's beautiful versionthe first in I :nglish -of Ley T'rere.r Kip; or to .lean-idicheli\[argot, whose introduction and notes display a completeness and clarity and methodological s,U1ity sadly missing from much ML\-infected "\nglo-American scholarship in the humanities; or to Stanford L Luce, whose translation of tlle text seems exemplary (and it certainly complete). Margot makes it clear that Chnstian Porq, in two untranslated essays from 1994, has argued convincingly tllat Verne, who often inserted codes and anagrmlls and puzzles into the undertext of his tales, certainly did so here. Numerous connections between the Brotllers and Dreyfus arc coded in this fashion, exactly establishing a similitude tl1at Verne himself, upstairs in his "real" life, strenuously denied; and none of the scholars exam1l1ing this evidence the Verne industry in Frm1Ce is alarnling busy and adnlirably competent suggest that this linking together of the two le\-els could be truly accidental. Nor is it dellled anywhere that the hook's illustrator, George Roux, drew I\Ir Hawkins tlle owner of tlle ship where the murder has taken place, and an unwavering defender of the l'-ip BrotllcrS' innocence "in tlle likeness", as Margot states in one of his unfailingly lucid notes, "of :"\[r .\1 fred Dem,U1ge, the lawyer for Captain .-\1 fred Dreyfus." i\ [argot only seems to lose the thread for a moment when he suggests that given Verne's anti-Dreyfus views, which he nn-cr abandoned these hints and similitudes cannot in the end mean that he actually "secretly patterned much of his story on the legal tribulations of the French officer." i\[y own sense of Verne's secret blind-side gestures, and of how these gestures contradict the clear concern for \-isual clarity that (\[argot elsewhere argues) characterizes The Kip Brothers, is that we should not look for resolution here; but, as already suggested, conflict, or maybe we should call it conflictedness. I do not think \'erne confesses the truth about Dreyfus in his novel about tlle framing of a Dreyfus (two of tllcm in fact); nor do I think he gives up his loyalty to civilized values he espoused throughout his career by in tlle nightmare passages of this nonl showing the precariousness of rational jurisprudence, even administered with compassion, when exposed to the acid haths of an n-il world. Incompossihlc intuitions may be hard for the daylight mind to access; but they are the grist of dreams. ( \[aybe the proof is in the lateness of tlle pudding. The strmlgest aspect of the tellling of The Kzp Brothers is how deeply that telling resIsts coming to the P0111t. The book is di,-ided, as often thc casc witll Verne's novels, into two )


( ( "volumes", each about the same length. For almost the whole of the first volume of The Kip Bro/hen, Verne focuses the reader's gaze on a series of almost prelapsarian descriptions of the life of Europeans in the ,-ast regions the tale covers: l'iew Zealand; the paradisal archipelagos to the north; and Tasmania. \Ve follow Captain Gibson as he demonstrates, from one port to another, what might be called a translucent fadlerliness in his dealings with his Im-ing son (who comes on board with the ship's owner), widl his crew, widlnatives good and besotted, ,vith dle firm's commercial partners, and finally with the Kip brodlers, who were shipwrecked on a desert island and who are now safe. Eyery relationship between master and man, owner and captain, fadler and son, brother and brother, husband and wife, entrepreneur and enterpriser is as translucent as dle good Captain's visible good soul. There are nearly 200 pages of dlis. Nodling is allmved to penetrate dle resistance of The Kip Brothers: not dle Gilbert and Sullivan plotters in the ranks who hope to murder dle Captain and become pirates; not dle weather; not any wry anti-British or anti-German sentiments of dle kind \Terne often expresses) which might undercut the sense expressed here that dle whole enterprise of SOUdl Pacific imperialism is profoundly and transpar endy clement dlat everyone benefits, that dle seas and dle jungles and the fields are infinitely fertile, and dlat dle nati,-es of the region have been painlessly uplifted. At some level of his deeply troubled mind, Verne must have been aware that this conflicdess Eden was both thinnish and nonsensical; his own other novels demonstrate, as we know, a far more complex picture of dlings dlatl is allowed here -1.nd when the murder eventually takes place, it takes place off-stage, at the ,-ery end of ,-olume one; it almost cannot be told. The second volume of dle tale takes us swifdy to Tasmania, where dle mistrial will occur, a land which, thanks to the colonizing genius of England, ... is a country of free men where a deeply rooted ci,-ilizationnow pre,-aiJs, where formerly dlere had been dle most complete savagery. Moreover, dle indigenous population has entirely disappeared. In 1 SS4 could be seen, as an ed11l010gical curiosih-, the last Tasmanian, an old woman. Of dlOse Negroes, stupid and warlike, belonging to dle lowest rung of humanity, dlere now remains not a single representative. No doubt, this same fate awaites dleir .-1.ustralian brodlers wlder dle powerful hand of Great Britain." (page 203-204) Margot's notes, which are of a quite extraordinary comprehensi,-eness, do not flyspeck this passage, which may be dle first utterance in the entire novel open to dle possibility dlat we may be intended to take ironically dle more grotesque assumptions oflate imperialism about dle nature of dle world being appropriated. I cannot myself avoid dle feel11lg dlat in dus passage, and in some others at dlis turning point of dle talc, \Terne is waking himself up from the blastemata-blatlk expanses of creative denial dlat mark dle first yolume, atld dlat [kept him from having to open himself to dle badlatlds of dle ,-ery terrible e,-ents he must describe, dlOUgh only in tenns of art (which he clearly doesn't trust at dus point) not life (,vhich is Catl of wonus). The wicked sailors who ha,-e murdered the peace, and killed dle fadler, but who are now at legal risk for atl attempted mutiny, now contrive to blackmail dle I--:lp brothers, who are framed at dle ,-ery point dleir fratlk and honest testimony seems to ha,-e cornered dle miscreatlts. On false but dlOroughly plausible evidence, dle brodlers are found guilty of murder, and are bustled off to a penal colony so fast the eyes blur. "-1. year of loadlsome imprisonment skids by l'f1_) qllick[y -as though (we speculate) the very thought of the tortures endured by unjusdy imprisoned officers might endatlger the psychic truce benveen incompatible understatldings of the burden of dle tale. It is dun ice for Verne (I dlink). The brodlers help hvo FeniatlS escape, and are tricked into escaping dlemselves to free .-1.merica; but dley come back, in order to continue to fight for justice. TIleir e,-cntual exculpation IS enabled by just and caring men of law, but in fact dlere is nodling in dle tale to demonstrate on Verne's part atly com-iction dnt civilized jurisprudence will ensure a just outcome in dle end. In dle only sf moment of the nm-el, the Captain's son exanlines a close-up photograph oflus dead fadler, whose dead eyes are wide open in horror, and sees in tllose eyes a retinal image of dle true murderers. Justice is done (does dlat mean dlat Dreyfus, who is still in pelutentiary as \Terne writes, has had justice done to lum?) but ex macllina, arbitrarily (docs that meatl Dreyfus is atl innocent matl who lacks a fluke gimnuck to free him from a fallible system?). The KiP Bro/hen ends in scenes of restrained atld strained rejoicing, the most Verne Catl allow himself to muster, given his depiction of dle true fragility of justice in dlis world. Nor does the berea,-ed author allow himself atly sense that the prelapsariatl imperium of volume one might e,-er return, which is a just surrender on his part to the conflictedness of dle world, atld to Dreyfus still in chains. )


) FICTION REVIEW Plaaue Years Ritch Calvin Carlson,Jeff. Plaglle lear. New York: ;\ce Books, 2007.292 pages. Mass market paperback. $7.99 ISBN: 978-0-441-(J 1514-(). Reviewed from .\dvanced Reading copy "They ate Jorgensen first." So begins Jeff Carlson's taut post-apocalyptic novel. The overall plot of the novel predi cates a "machine plague," a nanotech cure for cancer that got out of containment and out of control. The nanotech was developed in small, privately funded lab in Sacramento. It was designed to draw its energy from the living host and target only cancerous cells. In order to contain the machine, the developers designed a failsafe-the machine can only operate a 70% or greater of normal atmosphere. So, in theory, the patient would be placed within a hyperbaric chamber and the nanotech introduced into the body. Once the nanotech device has done its job and eliminated all cancerous cells, the pressure in the chamber would be dropped below 70%, and the machine would be destroyed. But, the machine is released into the atmo sphere before itis completed, and the plague attacks all warm-blooded creatures below 10,000 feet elevation. Consequently, the only surnvors arc those who were able to get to high ground. These clusters of people are scattered among the mountains, largely on the west coast and in the Rockies, largely isolated from one another. The narrative picks up approximately a year after the phlt-,'1.Ie was released, and focuses on the attempts to devise a cure. 'Ille novel seems to be constructed as a triptich, in three informal sections and with tllfee general foci. The first part of the nowl centers upon Cameron Luis Najarro (Cam) and "\Ibert \Vilson Sawyer (Sawyer), two of the plague survivors, scrabbling out a subsistence living on a spit of rock in the California Sierras, near a ski resort. In tlle wake of the plague, the survivors banded together and put aside differences in order to survive. The small group on the peak has managed to survive, though barely, and after a year, they have already utilized many of the nearby resources, so long-term survival is uncertain. But the conditions are brutal and tlle resources are running out, and as a consequence, the worst of them begins to emerge. One day, a stranger appears, who had clearly come from another peak and who is suffering the effects of the plague machine to which he'd been exposed in order to cross through tlle valley to reach tllem. He tells them of their enclave on another peak, with better conditions and actual buildings still intact. And tlley have a radio. But en route across tlle valley, the factionalism that had been simmering on the peak erupts and a gunfight breaks out. Between the bullets and the nano "locusts," very few make it to the new enclave. The middle part of tlle no\'el centers upon Rutll .\.nn Goldman, a scientist on tlle International Space Station. The scientists and military personnel on tlle ISS ha\"e been above the devastation. "\Itl1Ough Goldman has been able to contribute to the efforts on the ground to develop a cure, she feels limited by distance and equipment, and believes that the world's best hope is for her to return to Earth. The shuttle does return, but not for purely scientific, nor for purely altruistic, reasons. Instead, the U.S. government has political designs on the shuttle occupants and on the anti-nano nano (ANN). On tlle )..,1Tound, the government has relocated at Leadville, California. Once a tiny town, it has swelled from 3,000 to 650,000. Leadville and the small college just outside town also serve as the center of the research being done. ( The final section of the novel centers upon the "rescue" mission. The government learns that someone clain1ing to hmT worked in the lab that created the plague has survived and is on a mountaintop in California. Goldman, several scientists, ,U1d a cadre of military personnel fly to talk to Sawyer, but the locusts have ravaged his body severely Neverfueless, they determine where the lab wherein the plague was created and mount a mission to retrieve tlle files and equipment from the lab. But access to and possession of the nanotech is fraught Witll political implications. Yi/hile Goldman and (some of) the scientists desire only to create an .\NN, (some of) tlle politicians and military figures desire to use it as a weapon against tlle Russians and Chinese. Should tlle information be in the hands of tlle government and politicians, or should it be controlled by the scientists? \\llat usc will they make of tlle information? \\'ill it be used to reclaim the space below 10,000 feet for all or for only the chosen few? \\'ill it be used to consolidate national political (and economic) interests? Most of the third section of the novel deals with the mission to the lab, and tlle battles among the factions trying to control the information and elluipmen t. J n some \nys, PlaJ?,1Ie ) ear seems to be part Frallke!lJ!eill and part TIIJeire 1I1ollkqJ. Like FrallkellkJteill, it operates as a cautionan' tale: (as .James Rollins notes in the blurbs provided by .\ce) .. \Ithough the scientists in Plaglle leiJI'Were attempting a noble enterprise-to wipe out with tlle built-in failsafe, it was uncontrollable once released into the world. )


( ( Carlson makes the connections with Frallkensteill clear when Goldman ponders the comparisons of nano-scientists and God, an idea that Goldman ftnds "goofy" (34). But the focus on Plague learis a bit more like TJIJe!z-e MOllkf!)'s, in that it features a plague that was released upon the world by an individual, a plague that has wiped out the \"ast majority of the world's population, and a group of scientists attempting to locate the source in order to effect a cure. TIle only tlling missing here is the time travel paradox. A couple of things set Plague leal-apart, for me. For one, the writing is good (tllOugh not consistent tluoughout tlle novel). In tlle ftrst section of the novel, the prose is often highly imagistic and poetic. The writing seems to be at its strongest when the characters are engaged in internal battles, witll themselves, others, or the environment. Once tlle writing shifts to tlle externals battles (the gunfight and the rescue mission), it becomes less metaphorical and more pragmatic. For another, altllOugh Plague learis well grounded in current science, Carlson does not get bogged down in the details of the science. "\t the 2007 SF1L\ conference in Kansas City,James GUIll was speaking at a panel on Heinlein, and he noted that John \V Campbell contended tllat good science fiction should assume that tlle setting and technologies were commonplace, that it should not dwell on explanations of new technologies, and that tlle innovations should net get in tlle way of the storytelling. For example, Wil McCarthy's novels To Cmsh the AIoolI and The Col/apsium read ,-ery much like his non-fiction book, Hackillg 1Ilatter. In otller words, tlle two novels dwell so heavily on the science tllat it impedes the narrati,-e. In contrast, Plague l-earcontains two very brief segments tllat deal specifically Witll nano technology, but tlley do not seem out of place witllin the narrative and tlle), do not hinder it. As for teaching Plague lear, I believe tllat it is fast-paced enough to hold most readers' attention, and it is an excellent updating of FrallkellSteill. The reality of nano-technology is (or ,vill be soon) tlle reality of our students' lives, and Plague 1 eor raises compelling questions, not just about scientific developments and the horrors tlley (might) spawn, but the relationship among and the responsibilities of science, government, and the military. 385-7 FICTION REVIEW BIiMbs_ones Dominick Grace Gotlieb, Phyllis. Birthstones. RobertJ. Sawyer Books, 2007.224 pages, paper, $16.95. ISBN-13 978-0-88995Bi11iJstO!leS is Phyllis Gotlieb's tentll SF novel. In a career spanning five decades, Gotlieb has not been prolific, which perhaps helps explain why she is generally undervalued and overlooked. (fhe cover copy trumpets Bi11hsto!1es as a novel "In the tradition of James Tiptree,Jr., and Ursula 1-':' Le Guin," both better-knmvn authors whose SF careers began after Gotlieb's but who produced major bodies of work during tlle long silences between Gotlieb's novels.) Nevertlleless, Gotlieb is unquestionably Canada's most important SF autllOr and arguably one of tlle major woman autllOrs of SF. Birthstolles is less ambitious in scope than her otller work (it is shorter tllaIl all but her ftrst novel), but it is a noteworthy addition to Gotlieb's canon. "\II but Gotlieb's ftrst SF novel (and several of her short stories) are set in tlle far-future world of tlle Galactic Federation, a Space-Opera environment, and readers familiar Witll Gotlieb will recognize some of tlle settings and alien races in Bi11hstones. Howe,-er, Bi11hstolles is a stand-alone ,vork; while it acquires additional reSonaIlCeS in tlle context of GotIieb's other work, it can be read on its own. Bi11hsto!les deals with tlle planet Shar aIld its people, also known as Shar. TIleir planet, an inimical environment at tlle best of times, has been further degraded because of corporate exploitation by off-world industries. TIle resultant pollution has had a deleterious effect on tIle Shar, especially tIleir women, who have mutated into mindless monstrosities tllat can function only as breeding machines. TIle males are also increasingly losing reproductive capacity, becoming sterile. The Galactic Federation has promised to try to help reverse tlus trend, and tile nm-el's plot turns on tllis problem aIld tlle efforts of GalFed to help. TIle plot is typical of Gotlieb's work, intricate, complex, and multi-stranded. Competing factions among tile Shar, as well as opposition from tIle off-world corporations, lead to murder attempts, kidnapping, and various plots aIld counter plots across tlle planet Shar and on tlle planet Ftllel IV, Galactic Federation's headquarters. The action is fast-paced, engaging, occasionally confusing, occasionally horrifying, and really secondary to what makes tlle novel interesting. TIle conspiracy-laden plot serves primarily as an excuse to explore political, social, and gender-based issues (hence, perhaps, the comparisons to Le )


( ) Guin and Tiptree). 'Illere arc parallels between the Shar situation and some aspects of contemporary life on Eartll. The corporate exploitation and contamination of Slur suggest a commentary on environmental abuses, and the linking of environmental abuse with reproductive viability senTS as a vi"id metaphor for tile dangers of rapacious exploitation. Indeed, throughout her career, Gotlieb has addressed the plights of marginalized peoples living in inimical environments being further victim ized by corporatist interests; the focus of her previous three books was the exploitation of genetically engineered life forms. Rather than a powerful Empire, the Galactic Federation often seems to be an ineffectual bureaucracy, barely able to protect its members from the worst of abuses. But an eco-friendly message is not the book's only agenda. The gender-specific impact of tile mutations creates a scenario in which men are forced to breed with monstrous unwomen if they wish to become parents and to assume maternal as well as paternal roles in childcare, while also grappling with burgeoning impotence. \Xlhile many Shar find the situation intolerable and wish to see women restored to full functionality, perhaps tile most disturbing aspect of tile novel is its depICtion of the Slur faction opposed to any such restoration. Though Godieb is not doctrinaire and avoids providing any clear or simple answers, she is clearly interested in exploring gender roles and tile conflicting and occasionally frightening factors that contribute to seJ...llal politics. The most intractable problem tile Shar face is tlleir own ambivalence; tile central Shar fi,l,'1.1re, ,\esh, is vilified both for attempting to restore fully healtllY women and for failing to do so. Herein resides the novel's central political point: there is no utopian solution, tllOugh Godieb's plot does allow for an almost miraculous movement towards a restoration in its final pages, in the novel's one significant misstep. The peoples it1\'olved do not, themselves, realIy know what tile), want. Gotlieb's choice of names for the Shar becomes illunlinating at this point. In her afterword, she notes that when she first created the Shar, she unconsciously assigned then Hebrew nouns as names; when she recobmized this pattern, she deliberately retained it. Consequently, the novel has Middle East resonances. The Slur can be seen as analogues for Jews, and their situation an oblique allegory, or at least echo (allegory is perhaps too strong a teml, since there is no schematic representation of real-world scenarios here) of tile tensions in Israel and the Middle Eas t. Cotlieb's Jewish roots have been reflected elsewhere in her writing, notably in her often-antllOlogized short story "Tauf .\leph" and in the first section of an earlier Gal Fed novel, A Jlldglnm! of DragollJ. In short, Gotlieb's novel delivers on several fronts. It can be read as a relatively straightforward Space Opera adven ture, dealing in gala:xy-spanning action with tile fate of an entire people at issue. It becomes far more interesting when one takes into account Gotlieb's complex meditations on gender, capitalism, and politics, especially in light of her reluctance to provide the all too common dew ex !J1adJilla which in much SF provides a radical and over-simplified solution for complex problems in the denouement. \\'1lile Gotlieb allows the reader some hope of such a resolution by having more or less healthy Shar women turn up in remote locations in tile final chapters, tllereby possibly simplifying and accelerating the process of regeneration, she is also makes quite clear tllat full recovery, if it occurs at all, will require ongoing work and tile passttlg of several generations. TIus novel is especially interesting as an unconventional take on Space Opera as well as for its complex commentary on environmental, social, and political issues. FICTION REVIEW Brasyl Jason W. Ellis \!cDonald, Lm. Hr[JJ-yL .\mherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2007.357 pages, hardcover, $25.00. ISBN 9781591025436. Ian \lcl)onald hacks reality in Ius latest novel, Bra.[)'L It's a postcolonial cyberpunk SF story that goes far beyond The Mtlfl7: ..... I nstead of humanity being plugged into a network run by a powerful machine intelligence, humanity and what we hclicvc to be reality arc merely bits flipping in the grand simulation memory of tile largest of all possible computers: the multi\Trse, paralleluniycrses amounting to the sum of all possibilities. The author combines Nick Bostrom's philosophy of !i"ing within a computer simulation and Stephen \'\'olfram's matllematical cellular automata Witll the latest developments ttl cluanhlm theory to enact this paradigm shifting SF story. i\!cDonald bcgins dc\'Clopmg the reader's estrangcmcnt by subtly disconnecting tile naming of Brazil from its acccptcd OIigins \\hilc accurately ,md poctically constructing a past, present, and future space instantly recognized as Brazil. It's ttltcrcsting that i\!cDonald titled thc novel BraD'i, \\'hich is the Erse word for ''land of tile blest," according to :\rthur Percival )


( ( Newton in his 1970 work, The Great Age if Distol'el),-;\Iso, this name is connected to the Irish myth about a hidden island known as "Hy-Brazil." This sets the land and its name apart from the more accepted etymology of Brazil, which deri,-es from "brasil," tile Portuguese word for embers originally used to describe red brazil wood. TIle story follows three emblematic protagonists in different times and universes, but all orbiting tile physical spacc known as Brazil. Football (l.e., soccer, not "\merican football) is juxtaposed with religion, renaissance science, reality n: and quantum theory to create a colorful rendition of Brazil. \,(hat is that spacet \\110 are its inhabitants? \,(11at groups desire to control the mytllically lost island as well as the quantum nature of reality of which Brazil sen-es as locus? It's the quantum nature of reality tllat's tile constant in the equation of BraS)L \\'itllin tile narratiw, a struggle exists between the Order, a group of quantum reality aware persons who dObJITlatically belie,-e tllat parallel universes should be left alone to run unabated, and another group of freedom minded people who\-e learned how to hack reality, because reality is nothing more tllan a complex simulation running across all possible universes. TIlis conflict is played out in 1732 with tile Irish Jesuit priest, Father Luis Quinn, 2006 with the reality nproducer \farcelina Hoffman, and 2032 Witll the bisexual, role-assuming businessman, Edson Jesus Oliveira de Freitas. The battle that Luis, \farcelina, and Edson find tllemseh-es in mirrors the history of Brazil and the historic conflicts fueled by religious en.ngelism and com-ersion, usurping resources from the land and people, and control of a country can'ed out of the .\mazon similarly to the Congo in Joseph Conrad's The Heart if Darkness (1902). TIle rewards for those who wish to strike out from tile simulation means tile creation of something new and exploring a life not yet played through several times over. Appropriately enough, the most significant hack is the re-creation of tile Estadio do i\Iaracana in Rio de Janeiro. Therein lies the heart of i\fcDonald's postcolonial thesis. Football, originally a European sport, is appropriated by Brazil and is subsequently integrated into Brazilian national identity. They took a European (i.e., the colonizer) sport and imprm'ed upon it by developing arguably the best football players in tile world. ;\nalogously, quantum tlleory originated in the minds of European and .\merican tlunkers (i.e., the power elite of the Nortllem hemisphere). "-\gain, quantum theory and its matl\ strange ways are unraveled and utilized to recreate something close to the heart of Brazilian national culture. BraS)'! continues McDonald's record as both an SF ,,-riter of postcolonial narratives atld a first rate autllOr. He recreates the riclmess of Brazil in tlus nm-e1 by sampling its latlguage atld Ius tory .. -\lso, he prm'ides a useful glossary at tile end of tllC text to assist readers with Braziliatl words. TIle author pro,"es that estr,U1gement from the \\estern norm need not take place on other planets or between tile stars. He poetically constructs the story and setting for Brt1!)1 as beautifully and expertly as he does in otller works such as tile "Chaga Saga" including Err;!lIlio,::,. Jhon (1995), K.!I7,!)a (1998), and TelldeJeo's (2000), which is set in Kenya. "-\nother recognized work by McDonald in the same vein as Riler of God, (2006), which is set in India. Just as connections may be drawn bem-een Nn',-GO,ii ;U1d SalnLU1 Rmhdie's .Uidlligb! J. Cbildrm (1981), it's tile author's striking descriptions, metaphor, atld pacing in t11eir works th;J.t unite the t;uents of these mo authors. Not is BraS)'! a powerful work of SF, it's also a fine work of literature. McDonald employs good scientific thcory and ,U1 ;lnful expLm;ltion of the qU;U1tum nature of reali0 and quantum computing necessary for tile reader to see the underlying processes in the ,t('n-.IS more dun nugicu effects. His making Brazil central to tile battle for quantum reali0 is artfully :l(comphshed na r11e .\nuzoru:m curupairi;l golden frog th arc llsed t,'rY.ln,'uS rC.U'''-l,rld purposes r;uher tlun en: candy Iatl i\IcDonald's BraD'lis a signifiGUlt work of SF descn-i.ngcnncll.l!ld .lc.ldenuc .menh,)ll. 1111.' nr.wd ,,ould be (\1511\ integrated into undergraduate postcolonial ;Uld philosoph\ Ii,ts .. \ddiu"Il.Uh-, hbLm.l!l:' ,hL'ul,i Slcl(k tillS lltle fc,r tile independent research that it will undoubtedly gamer. C :mthl)r 1, .It the tell' "HIl' (ofl With lk.:-".'.mJ I (;m selbe 111\ many otller seh-es in parallel ulliYerscs equally shouting 1tS pr:list's! )


( ) POETRY REVIEW Yaddith, Yuaaoth, Doom and Slime Sandra 1Lindow Schwader, ;\nnX. III the Yadditb Time, Poplar Bluff, i\1o: Mythos Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9789911-5-9,54 pp. soft cover $10.00. Introduction by Richard L. Tierney, illustrations by Steve Lines. Speculative poet .\nn I"'::. Schwader's book, III Yadditb Time, is an ambitious thirty -six sonnet sequence inspired by I-I. P. Lovecraft's famous sonnet cycle, Frillgifrom Yflggotb (colI. 1941). Schwader, an exceptionally talented poet, is able to tell her story in naturally rhythmic conversational verse that builds in intensity, pulling the reader across the galID..)' via the I AJ\"Ccraftian Cosmos, megalomania, madness and a great deal of slime. She begins, Beyond the pallid sparks of wholesome space, lost Yaddith drifts forever in her void of primal nightmare, temple to a race whose lightest thoughts might leave a world destroyed. 'l11US the crew of a space ship lands on i\1ars and finds hidden cave crystals that when disturbed by the crew's emotionally unbalanced captain wake the last vestiges of a lost, immensely powerful elder race, the I\fi-go, who have the apparently effortless ability to kill or drive mere humans mad. \Xlhat follows is a first person narrative describing the emotional fragmention and demise of the entire crew, all except the narrator, a relatively inexperienced young woman;\gatha Chris tie's Tefl Little Illdia/is seen through a Lovecraftian lens. Instead of Lovecraft's book of arcane esoteric knowledge, it is a space transporter gate with "twisted yellow metal holding rough/ cut stones in latticework of alien make" that opens the way to Yuggoth. The next line, "This was our first--& mankind's last-mistake" Implies that not just the crew but all of humanity will eventually be doomed. The I\Ii-go, blobbish crustacean-like creatures with the power to detach heads and hold brains in cylinders that can be attached to devices allowing the brains to continue to function, lure humans with promises of knowledge, "the lore of deep Na'morha's ageless heart," but in typically Lovecraftian style this proves too much for any sane person to handle. Til) additb Time represents a small part of the genre that assumes that humans cannot face the chaotic alien or the empty vastness of space without deteriorating into depression, dysfunctionality and eventual death. Schwader describes this as "That fragile candle called the mortal mind." "\s in Swedish Nobel laureate Harry Martinson's novel-length poem /1I1iara, (1956) whose 103 cantos relate the tragedy of a spaceship that is swept out of the solar system after originally being bound for i\[ars with a cargo of colonists from war-ravaged earth, Schwader's narrator observes the dissolution of her remn;ult fellow crew members into capering "parodies of men/ who sang & piped & wept ... then sang again," but remains rational despite keeping "a weapon close at hand" and "buming "every light / around the clock" Sleeplessness, however, bet-,rins to take its toll on her in a way that Schwader elegantly describes as "dragging my ravaged consciousness past night's e\"cllt horizon," late hventieth century science used to create an image that likely would have been as alien to Lovecraft as anything in IllS Ghooric Zone is to his readers. I Al\"Ccraft's father, a traveling salesman, went mad when H.P was two, probably from syphilis. It is no wonder that for I I.p. life often did not make sense and human sanity was a fragile fabric easily rent. i\1ost of his work was published in the years immediately following \\brld War I, a time of international disallusionment. i\Iartinson's Arziara was deeply inf1uenced by \\'orld War II and the cold war that followed. It is not surprising tllen tlut III tbe l'additb time comes at a time \\hen we are engaged in ,U1other war where human life is routinely wasted-and most often for incomprehensible reasons, this time an unholy mix of politics, religion and oil revenues .. \s in all literature, whether space opera or horror fantasy, the back story IS really us, our li\TS on tlus generation ship called Earth. Schwader concludes: )


( In feeble death flare flickers & falls dark, devoured by a thousand nameless powers rupturing space-time to resume their sway. The destiny of is to give way. ( Here the words "rupturing space-time" recall nuclear holocaust. \Vhile the sanest of us might wonder why the world can't hold a cribbage tournament or a potluck supper instead of a war, Schwader's poems remind us tllat twenty-first century humans have learned little. We still hover precariously on the edge of total human annihilation. Thus, lit l'addith Time becomes a cautionary tale. )


Science Fiction Research Association www.s'ra.ora The SFRA is the olcbr profCS5ional organizarion for the srudy of science fimon and fanra\y li[crarure and film. Founded in 1970, the SFRA was organized to improve da"rmm [caching; to enmurat,>c and as5ist s:holarship; and to evaluate and publicize new IXXlb and rnag;ujne; dealing with fantastic li[erature and film, tedllng methods and materials, and allied media (XIfDrrnan= Amongthemembership are people fium manyaJW1nie;.......srudrs, [cachcrs, pro/eroI>,Iibrarians, reJders, authors, IxJOk., publishcrs, archivi.sts, ands:holars in many disciplines. Academic affiliation is nota requiremen[ fOr membership. VLsi[ the SFRA Website at . For a membership application, mmaatheSFRA SFRA Benefits E.1rapo/otion. Four issue; peryear Theoldests:holady journal in the fidel, with critical, historical, and bibliographical articles, book reviews, lettcrs, occasional sp, imanational mv<.Taf:,lC, and an annual index. SFRAAnnllaiDirecrory One issuepcryear Members' names, phone, e-mail adell=, andsp or . Hewill sui=ibeYOLL An e-mail sentautomacically to new subsaibers gives more infOrmation about the list SFRA Review.. Four i.=e; pcryear This newsletter/journal include; extensive book reviews ofboth nonfiction and fiction, review articles, listings of new and fonhmmingLXXlks. TIx:RevUwakJprintsnew.;aboutSFRAinternalaffuirs,caIIs lilr papcrs, and update; on works in progres<;. President Adam Frisch 2308 Summit St. SFRA Executiye Committee Vice President Lisa Yaszek Immediate Past President David G. Mead Sioux City, IA 51104-1210 School of Lit, Communication & Culture Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 30332-0165 Texas A&M Univ-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX 78412 Treasurer Donald M. Hassler Department of English p. O. Box 5190 Kent State University Kent, OH 44242-0001 Science Fiction Research Association Secretary Rochelle Rodrigo 1522 E. Southern Ave #2003 Mesa Community College English Dept Mesa, AZ 81202


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