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SFRA newsletter
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Science Fiction Research Association newsletter
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Science Fiction Research Association
Science Fiction Research Association
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Science fiction -- History and criticism   ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Science fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
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usfldc doi - S67-00051-n159-1988-08
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The SFRA Newsletter Publisheu ten times a vear hv The Science Fiction Research Associa tion. Copyright 'C" LI)KX hy the SFRA. Address editorial corresponuence to SFRA Newsletter, English Dept., Floriua Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 334.:n. Editor: Robert A. Collins; Associate Editor: Catherine Fischer: Rel'iell' Edilor: Rob Latham; Film Editor: Teu Krulik: Book Nelrs Editor: Martin A. Schneiuer; EditOlial Assistallf: Jeanette Lawson. Send changes of aduress Lo the Secretary, enquiries concerning subscriptions to the Treasurer, listeu below. SFRA Executive Committee President William H. Hardesty, III English Department Miami Universitv Oxford, OH 45056 Vice-President Martin H. (ireenberg College of Community Sciences U niv. of Wisconsin-Green Bay Green Bay, WI 54302 Secretary Elizabeth Anne Hull Liheral Arts Division William Rainey Harper College Palatine, IL 60067 Treasurer Char/otte P. Donskv 12(i5 South Clay Denver, CO 80219 Immediate Past President Donald M. Hassler English Department Kent State University Kent, OH 44242 Past Presidents of SFRA Thomas D. Clareson (1970-76) Arthur O. Lewis, Jr. (1977-78) Joe Dc Bolt (1979-80) James Gunn (1981-82) Patricia S. Warrick (1983-84) Donald M. Hassler (1985-86) Past Editors of the Newsletter Freu Lerner (1971-74) Beverly Friend (1974-78) Roald Tweet (1978-81) Elizabeth Anne Hull (1981-84) Richard W. Miller (1984-87) Pilgrim Award Winners .I. O. Bailey (1970) Marjorie Hope Nicholson (197J) Julius Kagarlitski (1972) Jack Williamson (11)73) I. F. Clarke (1974) Damon Knight (1975) James Gunn (1976) Thomas D. Clareson (1977) Brian W. AIJiss (1978) Darko Suvin (1979) Peter Nicholls (1980) Sam Moskowitz (1981) Neil Barron (l(}82) H. Bruce Franklin (1983) Everett Bleiler (JI)84) Samuel R. Delany (lY85) George Slusser (198() Gary K. Wolfe (19S7) Joanna Russ (1988)


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 President's Message SFRA has recently experienced its periodic renewal of friendship and controversy, our annual meeting. There's a full report elsewhere in the Newsletter; when you read it you'lI see that Dave Mead directed a superior conference. Not only was the setting (the Corpus Christi harborfront) spectacular, but the sessions were varied and exciting and the social events uniquely pleasant. If you weren't there, you missed one of the finest SFRA meetings yet. We owe Dave and his colleagues thanks. The banquet was graced by the presence of 1987 Camphell Award winner Joan Slonczewski and 1972 Pilgrim Award winner Julius Kagarlitski, who had previously been unable to travel to the U.S. to receive the award. Unfortunately, 1988 Pilgrim Award winner Joanna Russ was unable to be present. (Murphy's Law prevails: there's been a delay in obtaining the texts of all their remarks, so you'll have to wait for the next Newsletter to read them.) In the meantime, please read Betty Hull's minutes of the Executive Committee and Business Meetings closely. As you know. SFRA faces several administrative challenges. most notably a decline in memhership. The Executive Committee is addressing these and the Business Meeting discussed them vigorously. But for the health of the Association we need the comments and ideas of as many members as possihle. The Corpus Christi conference will he a tough act to follow, hut I'm going to try. The Twentieth Annual SFRA Confen:nce will be held June 23-26,1989, on the campus of my institution, Miami University, in Oxford. Ohio. Sessions will be in our Marcum Conference Center, with lodging and the banquet at the Miami Inn, a hundred yards away. I plan to issue a formal call for papers and proposed sessions next month --hut if you're already working on something, write. As always, I'll welcome your comments and suggestions. --Bill Hardesl\'.


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 Nineteenth Annual Con ference Report Text by Carolyn Wendell and Julia Meyers Pictures by David Mead and Elizabeth Anne Hull The Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Science Fiction Research Association, superbly organized by David Mead of Corpus Christi State University, was held June 30 July 3 at the luxurious bayfront Hershey Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. Programs went smoothly (except for the perennial problem of some sessions running overtime), writers were in abundance, and Texas hospitality was much in evidence. Program sessions elicited what seemed to be a very high percentage of carefully constructed papers and often some heated commentary, as in Pat Warrick's session on "Teaching the New SFRA Anthology," which was enlightening on several points (one was that people who teach at large colleges arc courted by publishers' reps and may have received two or even three copies of the book, but people at smaller schools couldn't get one even after repeated requests to the publisher). "The Perils and Pit falls of Preparing SF Reference Works" with Jim Gunn, Curtis Smith, Hal Hall, Neil Barron, and David Hartwell, was also very well-attended and informative, if not terribly encouraging. "New Age Garbage" The authors' panel included Harry Harrison (who made the introduc tions, tossed out a few outrageous statements about the problem with SF being its writers, then stood back to watch, and at one point even ducked, the fireworks), Justin Leiber, David Hartwell, Paul McAuley, Tom Maddox, Warren Norwood, Lewis Shiner, Joan Slonczewski, Bruce Sterling, and Howard Waldrop. Slonczewski made some pointed and frightening remarks about SF writers and their audience needing to know more science: she used as an examp\c the science majors she sees in her classes at Kenyon, who spend hours in labs, then return to their dorm and try to exorcise ghosts. Others made similar remarks about the problem of deal ing with a public that "accepts astrology as astronomy and other New Age garbage" (Sterling). Most of the writers agreed that scholars should "declare a moratorium on Dick, Delany, LeGuin, and Zelazny" and pay 4


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 TOP: Russian schola. Julius Kagartttski gcts a hclated fOl1nal prcscntation of his PIlgrim .\wanl fl"Om Frede.ik Pohland SI'R\ P.esldcnt Billllardesty. BELOW: Joan Sionclcwskl acccpts thc CampbeU Award shc was unable to coUect In Kansas last summer. 5


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 more attention to historical figures like Fredric Brown. Henry KUllner, C.M. Kornbluth, R.A. Lafferty (enthusiastic agreement from all), and even E.E. Smith. Other recommendations for reading and stutly were Russell M. Griffin, Sonya Dorman, Kit Reed, Carol Emschwiller, Alan Kusher. MJ. Engh, Paul Park, Gwyneth Jones, Frederick Turner, James Blish, Michael Moorcock, Jody ScoU, Francine Prose, and even Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard (as subjets for "a culLural study of the sub-cultural specimen"). Feminists, Film, TV, Music Papers presented covered a wide range of topics and approaches, from scholarly analyses of classics (two papers on Jack Williamson from Alan Elms and William Lomax came in for much praise), to teaching SF, to watching TV (Star Trek: TIl(' Next Generation had its own special session), to movie-going (TIle F(" was a popular subject this year). There seemetl to be a strong feminist concentration --or at least a number of presentations that explored the dcpiction of women characters, aIL hough only a few dealL with women writers. Reading is quite clearly not the only contemporary route to SF. One of the sessions was on cyberpunk, and included presentations on Robocop, Alax Headroo11l, and punk music. Its high point was the showing of a daz zling video, "Hip Teeh and High Lit," brought by Brooks Landon. The video part, a computer-selected montage of state-of-the-art computer animation and news clips, was put together by Barg and Arbright Produc tions. with text written by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson. Landon called it "Post-Cyberpunk" and, indeed, if one carries the cyberpunk universe of fragmentation and the mechanical beyond the frontiers currently explored, probably so. Banquet High Point The banquet was certainly one of SFRA's most unusual for its awards and guests .I oan Slonczewski, who won the J .W. Campbell Award last year but was prevented from coming to Kansas to receive it by a newborn baby, accepted the award from Jim Gunn. The 1988 Pilgrim Award went to Joanna Russ, for her advancement of SF ideas. Since Russ was unable to be there, Joan Gordon accepted the award from Carol Stevens for Russ. But the highest point in many ways was the arrival of .I ulius Kagarlitski, Pilgrim Award winner in 1972, from the USSR. Because of his political differences with the government, he and his family have suffered greatly; among his restrictions was one against foreign trave\. Thanks to the new Soviet leadership, "Yuli" finally got his award --and there were few dry eyes at the banquet when he accepted it from Fred Pohl, who told of the 6


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 TOP LEFT: .-\lIthm Lellis Shiner gins a RIGHT: Godzilla grects author HUlT} Harrison. BELOW. heach (lUl1y at Padl"C Island: In foregronnd: left to light. Vcronlca 1I0Uingel". .loan Gordon .lack Williamson. Pat WalTlck. 7


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 friendship of their sons from the time the two boys were twelve. Kagarlitski offered only a few emolionally-charged remarks, saying thal il had laken him many years "lo get from Moscow to this lown to receive this award:' that in those years had oceured many incidents he did not like to remember, but lhat "knowing you have good friends hdps." Kagariitski hrought with him a paper on Cheyanov, a Russian writer "rehahililated" only last year. [n I no Cheyanov wrote a novel, The .loli17/CY of liZ" Brother Alcxei fO thc COlintry of the Peasalll Utopia, which Kagarlitski argued should he read and considered on a par with Zamyatin's Wc as one of the early few books to show an awareness of the dangers of totalitarianism. Other feat ures worth mention were the book display organized by Walter Meyers. the nightly hospilality suile (with beverages, a huge ice chest fullllf shrimp, and unfailing hospitality from David and Joan Mead), and the elegant Hershey Hotel (any hotel that gives out Hershey bars on registration, puts kisses on your pillow, and sends ils staff around in the pre-dawn hours lo stamp its logo into the sand of the floor-ashtrays rates several slars in my book!). And. for lhose of us who do nol have easy ac cess to any ocean. being able to sec dawn on the Gulf and to stuff yourself with seafood (some of which I'd never even heard on) were wonders that will be long-remembered. --Cam/ine Well dell Another Report Everything in Texas is big, and conference attendees found this to be true from check-in at the hotel front desk where everyone gOl a large Hershey bar, lo the omnipresent Godzilla named (unofficially?) associa tion mascol, whllioomed at the conference registration desk. Besides the sixty-six memhers attending, a number of writers (listed above) came. read their latest works. cheerfully signed autographs, and served as respondenls lo discussions and paper sessions. As usual, the conference included panel sessions to please attendees, teachers, fans, and aspiring writers. Classroom approaches to leaching SF and using the ncw SFRA anlhology were covered, as were new crilical views of Samuel Delany, Olaf Slapledon, utopias and dystopias, and po:.t -holocaust litera lure. Writers were an imporlant part of the conference, with fiction read ings each day and special sessions by Harry Harrison on SF and the dealh of God. Another special session was held in honor of Jack Williamson, who has been writing for sixty years. Williamson entertained listeners with reminiscences and advice on how nol lo write a novel. Movie and tele vision SF fans were delighted with sessions on Star Trek, "cyber8


SFRA Newsletter No, 159, August 1988 TOP: Cyhcrpnnk panel Inclndes (left 10 l'ighl) Brucc Slcrling. Paul i\1e. \ulcy. Tom 1\laddox. Da,1d llal1wcll. CENTER: (from left) l\llIIieI Beckcl'. Frcd )'oh\. Belsy Harfs!. BELOW: Pcler Lowcnlr'onl (lcft) and Hal W. llaD.


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 cinematics," and a loud showing of Rohocop Saturday night In the hospitality suite after the Pilgrim Award banquet. Awards The banquet was memorable for several reasons: first was the presentation of last year's (1987) J.W. Campbell Award to .loan Slonczewski for her novel A Door/ilia Ocean; second was the presentation to Julius Kagar litski of the Pilgrim Award he won in 1972; last was the 1988 Pilgrim Awanl, to Joanna Russ. In presenting the awanl, Carol Stevens said that the committee was particularly eager to award the prize to a woman this year, the first since the 1971 award to Marjorie Hope Nicolson. Exhibit, Beach Party But the conference was more than meetings and awards. One busy spot was the book room where Neil Barron and Walt Meyers displayed over a hundred scholarly and critical works. In addition, Waldenbooks and the helpful staff of Half-Price Books, a Corpus Christi used book store, sold fiction by the attending authors. The Sunday morning book auction saw a tlurry of activity as people bid and rebid for the latest and hottest new works. Receiving six bids each were Gary K. Wolfe's Oitical Te1711S for Science Fiction and and Thomas D. Clareson's FredeTik PaM. Recreation was a big part of this meeting, with a Saturday afternoon beach party at Mustang State Park on Padre Island National Seashore. Shortly after the last readings, one bus and several cars full of carefully sunscreened and sunhattcd teachers, writers, families, and friends set (lut to he treated to a Texas barbeque lunch and lots of cold drinks, served under a blazing sun. Padre Island is home to many varieties of sea birds, and none were more in evidence than the herring gulls squawking and begging for food. The birds have been known to swoop down and steal right from picnickers' plates, but Pat Warrick braved going down to the beach, bread in hand, to find a quiet spot 10 feed lhe gulls. Walt Meyers brought his camcorder and plans to show some very interesting footage at the 1989 meeting (he will take bribes not to, though). Next Year, Oxford (Ohio) Sunday's husiness meeting dealt with the usual problems of professional organizations: decreasing memberships and tightening budgets. Plans were set to hold the 1989 conference in Oxford, Ohio, with Bill Hardesty handling the arrangements. Those members who have never attended an annual meeting would be surprised at the scholarship and fun --deep in the heart of Texas! --Julia R. "fevers HI


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 TOP: (left) Lynn Williams. RIGHT. Da,id and .Joan l\Iead. CENTER: lIat'n) Satty. Godzilla. Bob Ewald. BOTTOM: (left) Wa .... en No .. wood: (light) B .. ooks Landon. 1 L


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 Campaign Statements (Ballot enclosed in this issue.) For President: Elizabeth Anne Hull Having worked as editor of the SFRA Newsletter and as Secretary of the organization as well as on several SFRA committees, I would be honored to serve as its President. As a member of the Executive Committee, I have learned the procedures and understand the issues facing the governance of our organization. My highest priority in office will be rebuilding membership, which has been decreasing for the last few years. I believe that end can best be served by continuing SFRA's leadership in scholarship and collegiality. I have been teaching SF at William Rainey Harper College since 1973 and my scholarship includes ar ticles in Extrapolatioll (on Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov), as well as articles in Clockwork Worlds, Essays ill A,1s alld Sciell ces, Twelltieth-Celltl/l)' Sciellce Fictioll W,iters (on Judith Merril, Robert A. Heinlein, and Lloyd Biggle, Jr.), Destillies, James Gunn's New SF EII cyclopedia, Poplllar ClIlwre in Japan (due in 1988), and the introduction to Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild" for the SFRA Hall of Fame. With Gary Wolfe I cofounded the SF section of MMLA and have co-chaired the SF/Fantasy section of PCA. I have presented papers (on Ray Bradbury and Frank Herbert) and participated in various panels in the "Act rack" at several worldcons. In the field of SF outside academia, I am a frequent contributor of news stories and photographs to both Loclls and Sciellce Fiction Chronicle. For six years I edited the World SF Newsletter and have earned the World SF 12


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 Award for Distinguished Service to that organization. For the past three years I have been a judge on the international panel which bestows the John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. With my husband, Frederik Pohl, I co-edited the anthology of stories by major science fiction writers from 17 countries around the world, Tales from the Plallet EG11h. My latest science fiction story, "Second-Best Friend," appeared in AbOligillal SF (Dec. 1986). For much of the time of my early interest in science fiction there was almost no scholarly interest in the field, and it therefore did not receive the academic attention it deserved. I have been personally very pleased at the manner in which SFRA, since its formation, has helped to raise the standards of SF criticism and clarify for the rest of the academic work! SF's special claims to consideration. I look forward to helping that process to continue. Walter E. Meyers If elected president of SFRA, I would economize on the organization's ex penses where possible and explore the current dues schedule to try to put us in the black. I would wish, however, to devote the most energy to increasing our size: SFRA is too small an or ganization to have the impact we could have on the field and its criticism. -Walter E. Meyers For Vice President: Neil Barron --Elizabeth Alllle Hllll The VP position is largely empty of duties and is essentially honorific. Why, then, do I seek it? Because the absence of other duties will per mit me to concentrate on what the SFRA probably needs most --more members. My goal would be an average of one new member a week or about 100 during my term. Given the financial backing of the SFRA -maybe $500 over 2 years --and the support of the executive committee, I think I can achieve that goal. I think my past work for the SFRA symbol ized in part by the Pilgrim award, has shown that I can deliver on my 13


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 promises. Dollars and backing are nccessary, but one more thing is neeucd --your vote. --Neil Bamm Joan Gordon I've been a member of SFRA since 1976, I think. I found my membership tremendously valuable throughout graduate school, and still find it so now that I am fully employed at Nassau Community College in Gar uen City, New York. The encouragement, opportunity, and collegiality I have consistently experienced in the organization shoulu be maue avail able to other scholars of science fiction. That's why I feel strongly that membership expansion is vital--not just for the survival of SFRA but for the survival of SF scholars. As vice-president I would actively explore and implement ways to reach potential members, especially encouraging graduate stuuents. Another secret to our expansion would be to hold our conferences in exciting and centrally located places. Thus people could get there more cheaply and be lured by more than just the admittedly allur ing conference itself. --Joan Gordoll For Secretary: David Mead Of the numerous academic organizations towhich I have belonged over the years, the Science Fiction Research Association is nearest my heart. I would like to serve it in some way in order to pay, at least in part, for the many pleasures my membership has given me since lY84. The Secretary of SFRA should be attentive, organized, and foresight ful. The success of SFRA 19 is evidence that I can muster these qualities. Although the Secretary does not lead, I should hope to work for a more aggressive program of membership recruiting and a continuing effort to support high quality scholarship. --Dal'id Mead Lynn F. Williams I would like to see SFRA cxpand and stabilizc its mcmbership without becoming too hig and impersonal. We do not want to lose our sense of pcrsonal involvement in the organization. In particular we should encourage younger scholars to becomc active members. I would also like to see more cooperation amI communication with rc14


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 lated organizations like lAFA and the Society [or Utopian Studies. --LI'lIll F. rFillial7ls For Treasurer: Edl'a C. Bogle A s treasurer, I would hope to continue Charlolle Donsky's tradition o[ .t"I.excellcnce. My experience in the area includes two years as a bookkeeper, acting as treasurer to a statewide Texas organization for 3 years, and running my own slogan-bull on business. I have read SF since childhood and been a member o[ SFRA [or at least 10 years, allending the Waterloo, Lake Tahoe, Denver and Raleigh conventions; other years local political events got in the way. (I have kicked the political habit now!) Currently I am a member of the Delegate Assembly, have read papers at MLA SF sections, published bibliographical articles, edited a rderence work. and co-chaired two douhle M LA sessions on "Science Fiction: Modern Myth-ology." This year, I begin my 20th year as as sociate Professor of English at North Texas University. --Edm Charlotte Bogle Thomas J. Remington SFRA party regulars will recognize me immediately as a sort o[ Harold Stassen in the 25th Century. Two immediately preceding nominating commillees saw fit to present me to the organization, one as a candidate for president and the other for secretary; on both occasions, the membership found my election quite evitable. I'm surc all SFRA memhers share my gratitude to the current nominat ing commillee for giving us a third opportunity to consider my worthiness for yet a different executive officc. If elected SFRA treasurcr, I promisc not to abscond with funds, to keep careful accounts, and to show no mercy in hounding all past, present, and potential members for prompt payment of dues. 1 reiterate my usual pledge that as a member of the executive board I would be especially interested in providing new opportunities for publication for younger scholars and in having the availability o[ such opportunities serve as an enticement for recruiting new members into the or ganizat ion. In lY78, I directed the largest SFRA National Conference to date. and I subsequently puhlished the Selected of that conference in a volume Neil Barron has described as "o[ value to the scholar or to anyone l5


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 interested in the academic aspects of SFRA" (Anatomy of Wonder, 2nd ed .. p. 1544). I serve on the editorial hoard of Extrapolation, and have published articles and reviews of SF in that journal, in Science Fiction Studies, and in European Studies J01l17lal. I have chaired the SF sections for such groups as the Miuwest Moucrn Language Association anu the Popular Culture Association, and I review science fiction scholarship for 17,e N0/1h AI11C1ican Review on a semiregular basis. I hold the rank of Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. --17lOmas J. Remillgton By Neil Barron Michael Burgess is better known to SF readers as R. Reginald, his bib liographic alter ego. A wintn 1988/89 book coming from Libraries Unlimited is his Referellce Guide to Science Fictioll alld Falltasy, c. 125p., $28.50. The publisher'S copy reads: "The lengthy, critical annotations provide complete bibliographic data, a summary of the work's scope, a description of its organization, and an evaluation based on comparisons to other works in the field. Every reference source is covered, including fan publications, serials and periodicals with reference value, non-genre materials of interest to science fiction researchers, and, of course, all the standard tools, such as bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, direc tories, and indexes." Karl Kroeber, Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Columhia, is the author of a November book from Yale, Romantic Fantasy and Sciellce Fictioll, c. 20Sp., $20hc. He argues that F/SF were products of the Enlighten ment "whose scientific progressiveness excluded anything fantastic from civilized life" (to quote the publisher's catalogue). He begins with Frallkellsteill, then explores Romantic fantasy through Coleridge and Keats and Kleist's novella Michael Kohlhaas. He concludes with a discus sion of Garcia Marquez's "The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship" (text includeu) and Wells' "Aepyornis lslanu." Large Fanzine Collection Identified More than IO(),O()() fanzine issues arc part of the American Private Press Association Library, 112 E. Burnell Sl., Stayton, OR 97383 (ncar Salem), S01-7W-6122, owned by Martin M. Horvat. The collection is comprehenHi


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 sive for the 1961-197R period, with a scattering of issues from the plus about half of all fanzines issued during the past decade. The collec tion is also strong in other aspects of amateur journalism. Dick and King Studies Forthcoming Gregg Rickman, who knew Philip Dick for about a year beginning in 1981, is working on the third volume of his set about Dick, Philip K. Dick: A Life, which the publisher told me may appear in two volumes because of its length. The two earlier volumes, PKD: In His OWl! Words (1984) and PKD: 77ze Last Testamelll (1985), are still in print at $9.95 each, trade paperbacks, from Fragments West (3908 E. 4th St., Long Beach, CA 908J4, The final work may appear next year. l Rickman's first volume was based on a 1981 interview, a casette of which is availahle as "Philip K. Dick: Piper in the Woods," from Car toonists Across America (2705 E. 7th St., ong Beach, CA 908(4). No price is shown.] Tony Magislrale had two studies of Stephen King scheduled for this summer. Landscape of Fear: Stephen King's American Gothic was scheduled for July from Bowling Green Univ. Popular Press in trade pb and he editions; August was the tentative date for 77ze Morall/'oyages of Stephen King from Starmont. A May title from Bowling Green was 77le Gothic IVorid of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmares, cd. by Gary Hoppenstancl and Ray R. Browne ($12.95 trade ph., $25.95 hc.), and includ ing fourteen original essays. You heard it here first. Work in Progress S.T. Joshi, the leading Lovecraft scholar, is writing a 75,000 word study for Starmont House for the centennial of HPL's birth in 11.)90. "It shall be almost exclusively philosophical and literary." He recently finished a book of longish essays on Machen, Dunsany. Blackwood, M.R. James, Bierce and Lovecraft. and is seeking a publisher. A full-length study of Dunsany is planned to follow his HPL study. And his current project is a critical study of detective writer John Dickson Carr, one of his favorites. SET! Surveyed The New York Review of SF A preliminary issue (August 11.)88, issue zero) of a new monthly has been puhlished. The people behind it include Dave Hartwell and the staff which produced his 77,' Little Magazine' [or 22 years, but which is heing discontinued in favor of this more narrowly focused journal. "77u Nell' York Review SF aims to become the leading review medium in SF. In addition, we will publish engaging and provocative essays, and a variety 17


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 of special entertainments. on topics of interest to SF readers." A desktop publishing venture which looks professional ir utilitarian (my issue was a photocopy or the master), its staff is knowlcdgeahlc, and the contcnts of this preliminary issue interesting enough to warrant your attention. Sub scriptions arc $24/year, payablc to Dragon Pn:ss, Box 78, Pleasantville, NY 10570. They don't say so, but] assume they'd send you a specimen copy for $2. Books for Sale Most of these hooks were exhibited at the recent SFRA convention, some or them unclaimed by their bidders. Year of publication is lY87 and book is hardcover unless olw indicated. All new books. Priee in parentheses is list price. Add $1 postage to any order under $ t5. 10% discount on orders totaling $35-74; on ordcrs of $75 or more. Payment in US $ only. You may reserve books by calling 619-726-3238, 6-11 p.m. week days, Pacific lime. Write: Neil Barron, 114() Lime Place, Vista, CA Y2083. TIIE\lES lulphu hy unthorl Ikunchamp. Gonnun d uJ. Utapiall Stlldies I. (12.65 ph) $7 Bnssing. Sabine. lIiellS in the /lome: The Child inll"rr"r Fiction (32.65) $17 CalicI. Margaret L. Specter or Delusioll? The Supematural in Gothic Fictioll (34.65) $17 Clareson. Thomus. Science Fiction Criticism: .1n .!l1notated Checklist. 1672 (13) $5 Dn\lllllg. Duyid. Fictiol1S of Nllclear Disaster (20) $10 fmnk. Fredel"ick S. Gothic' Fictiol1: .1 Master List of Twentieth Cel1tury Criticism al1d Research (34.65) $17 Sumpson. Rnhert. Yesterday's Faces. ".1: Glory Figure.,. 1672 (10.65 ph) $5 Vurnado. S.L. [{allnted Presence: The Numinolls in Gothic Fiction (16.65) $10 .\L'TIIOR STl'J)JES lalpha. hy nanl(' nf snhject] \liller. :\lar.lorie:\1. Isaac .lJimo'''.1 Checkli.ll. 1672 (01') $3 .\shley. 'like . llgemon l3Iach'ood:.4 /lio-Hihliographr (36.65) $20 Lurson. RundullD. The Complete Rohert T3/o('h: .!nll/llstruled, Coml'rehellSi"e 8ibliog-mphr (10 ph) $6 ___ Roberl lJIoch (8.65 ph) $5 :\tOglII. Da\id. Rar Bradbllry (]7.65) $6 :\tc\\lJ(tI'leL Genrgc T. Bllrroughs Diclionarr (36.50) $18 CUIllr .. \Ihcli II. Italo Cail'ino: Metamorphoses of Fanta.n (36.65) $20 SlrphcIIso"-Pay"c. Phil. Christopher Samllel YOlld: a \I'orking bibliography (2.50 ph) $1 IInlln"' .Inhll. Igaimtthe Night, the Star.l: The SF 0f.1rthllr C. Clarke (6.65 ph) $5 ",,"stud. Kurell Wynn. Alias of the Land (6.65 ph) $5 Ill-IIsnll. Gonion. Philip Jose Fanner, a \I'orking bibliographl' (2.50 ph) $1 Kulz. Wcndy R. Rider !laggard and thc Fictirm oj' Empire: a critical study of British im1'C1ial ii('tion (26.65) $15 "llullllnre. D.E.II. Rider lIaggard:. I Bibliography (47.50) $24 :\til-hud R. The Stcphcn Killg Phellomelloll (6.65 ph) $5 SdingeL Ill-munl. LeGllill alld Idcntity in Contemporary Fi<'lioll (36.65) $20 Christopher .Ioc R. C.S. LC\l'is: .111 .lll/lOtatcd Checklijt. 1673 (20) $8 SdJ\\ dtzcI. Darrell. cd. Discm'ering /I. P. I,m'eeraft (6.65 pb) $5


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 Plunk. Robert. George Onl'clI's Guide Through IIcll: .1 Psychological Study of 198-1 (7.65 ph) $4 Tho\'llhlllg. I\lury K.P. The Monster in the Mirror: Gcnder and the Sentimcntal/Gothic Myth in Frankc1l.ltcill (36.65) $20 lJulnlng. Peter. The Dracula Ccntcnary Book (21) $10 Lt'utht'rdule. Clive. The Ori8ins of "Dracula" (24) $12 Elliot .Jeffrey 1\1. & R. Reglnald. Thc Work of Gcorgc Zebroll'ski: .In Annotatcd Bibliography (6.65 ph) $5 Platt. Charles. Dream Makers: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers at Work. Rev. cd. m .65) $10 FILi\I CIlIUlOJ .Jeff. StephclI Killg Goes to HollYll'ood 06.65) $10 Hogun. Da\ Id .J. Dark Romancc: Sexuality in thc liorror Film. 1686 (25.65) $13 Pitts. I\lichuel R. 1101'1'01' Film Stars. 1681 08.65) $8 Shuy. \)on. Making Ghostbusters 1"'/ screenpluyl. 168502.65 ph) $6 StuHI. Leon. Thc Prohetic Soul:.l Reading of /i.G. Wclls' "Thillgs to Comc" (36.65) $20 Telotte .J.P. Drcams of Darkncss: Fantasy and thc Films of Val LCll'toll. 168508.65) $10 Waller. Gregory .\ .. cd . 4mcricallliorrors: Essays on thc Modcm..1mcrican/iorror Film 04.50 ph) $8 ILLVSTR.\ TlON Cherry. Da\'ld .\. Imagillation 02.65 ph) $7 Segrelles. Vincente. Thc .lrt of Segrcllcs. (13.65) $7 Willis, Murphy Take Campbell, Sturgeon Awards Connie Willis' first novel, Lincoln's Dreams, won the John W. Camphc II Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of 1987, while Pat Murphy's "Rachel in Love" took the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for last year's best SF short story. The winners were announced July 16, at the University of Kansas, as part of the annual day-long Campbell Conference. Willis, the J 5th Campbell recipient, was praised by James Gunn for her "poetic and evocative" style. Her novel, published by Bantam Books, is about a woman so obsessed with her dreams of Civil War horrors that she becomes ill. "The novel explores the nature of dreams and the power of the past to influence the present," said Gunn. The story also examines "the physical and psychological damage of the War Between the States." George Turner's T7le Sea alld Slimmer, published in England (to be issued as T7ze Drownillg Towers in the US this fall by William Morrow), was second. T7le Unconqllered COlllltl)', by Geoff Ryman, was third. Murphy, of San Francisco, publisheu her Sturgeon-awaru story in Isaac Asim(JI"s SF Magazine. Ursula LeGuin's "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight?" (Magazine of Falllasy alld SF) was second, tied with Oc tavia Butler's "The Evening anuthe Morning and the Night" (017l11i). 19


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 Bellamy Centennial Conference A conference celebrating the lOOth anniversary of Edward Bellamy's Lookillg Backward, sponsored jointly by the Society for Utopian Studies and the New England American Studies Association, will be held at Emerson College, Boston, from September 2Y to October 2, 1988. The con ference will feature panels on utopian societies, science fiction, theory, philosophy, and feminism as well as on Bellamy's work, and will include tours of Boston landmarks. The cost, which includes lunches, is $60 for the confcrence and $18 for the hanquet. Register with check or credit card to: Emerson College, Division of Continuing Education, lUll Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02116. For more information, contact Lynn Williams, 71 Orchard Street, Bel mont, MA 02178. --Lyllll F. Williams SFRA Executive Committee Meeting 30 June 1988 Hershey Hotel, Corpus Christi, TX Present: Prl'shknt Bill lIard('sty, Secr('tary lIull, It'easurer Charlotte Donsky. Absent: V\c('-PI'csldl'nt 1\18I1ln GI'c('nbl'I'Il, IlIIlIIedlatc Past President Donald lIassler. SFR1 Nell's/elter Editor Robcl1 COUbIS. Also 11I'escnt: Wult I\leyel's. 1 .. 11lIlollllccmcIllS. !\Icl'tlng con\'('ncd at 7:30 p.m, In th(' P8I1nershlp noard RoolII "ith announcements from the President. Professor Kagariltski lI'ants someone to read his paper. lIull said sh(' 1I'0uld be honol'('d to do so, [Later Muriel neckcr was rl'cmltl'd by Couference Director Dayid l\Iead and actually read the pallel' 011 mOl1linJol for Kagarlltskl., The V\ce-I'resldcnt Is not attcndlng the allnuul mcetinJol dne to family obllJolations. so there Is no report on the awal'lls for criticism or on ml'lIIbersh.ll) recrultIIIl'nl. 2. Rcports, 2.1. COllferellcc Director -Fillallcial Stallls. Oa\'ld I\Il'ad gan till' Presldeut 11'01'11 that the confer('J\ce Is In good financial condition and "iiI probably at least hreak e\'en. If so. he ,,1U be able to refnnd the cntire $500 seed money advanced by SFR\. 2.2, Membership COllccrns. The Pl'esldent raised the Issue ofmemhl'l'shlp. which Is d01ll1 drastically this year, The prohlem was discussed at length. WI' han 30 nell' 1II(,lIIbers. II'hlch Is ahout 10% of the 11I'e\1ous year's IIIclllh('rshlp. the usualrutio. Out reuell'als al'e \'Cry sloll', SOllie of the Illimar), factm's SI'I'III to he (l) the last fall III lIIalllng the first renell'al hrochm'es (whleh 1I'I'I'e 1I0t recel\'l'd bJ US memhers until early 1688 and 1'\'1'11 later elsewhere). (2) the decision to san by not sending the remlndel' postcards hI Febl'llal'y orl\lurch. (3) the genual declllle In courses solelJ con20


SFAA Newsletter No, 159, August 1988 centratlng 011 SF. and (4) the loss of Falltasy Rel'ieH" as a memhe .. shlp heneflt. The dent "III send a personalized Mil' .. to all who han 1I0t .. encwed. The ",emhe .. shlp Inol'im .. e Is clII ... Ollt of IJlillt. hilt thl' nCI1 hl'ol'lm .. c "ill he p .. lnted as soon as 1686 dill'S UJ'e detel111lned so it call be sent Ollt In the September alld ;\ovemhel' Iss lies of the lIewslellc .. as III f0I111e .. JCUJ's. 2.3. Treasurer's Report. 2.3.1. N(>1l-prnflt Stat 115. J)onsky .. epol1s that .. has still not heell ahle to get a positlH response f .. olll the IRS In Spitl' of calls. hilt hc Is I'dllctant to h'litate the IRS hy makln!! mo .. e II .. gent dl'lIIands 11 hich might .. CSlllt In a negutin decision Jllst III o .. de .. to get .. Id of the Issue. If it .. emaills IIn .. esolnd by the time she leans office In Jallllul'Y. she "ill p" .. s"e the IssIIe to its .. esoilltion so we will not hun to chunge lal1yns In the midst of the casc. 2.3.2. Other Fillancial Matters. In spitc of the d .. op In lIIelllhe .. shlp. SFR. \s flllances I'emalll sOllnd lind the Tn'asu .. e .. expeds to pass alollg ahollt $2.000 to the nell T .. easlll'('J' In .Janlla .. y, dl'pendlllg on the newsllttCJ' costs. Asldl' fl'lllll the nCl1slette ... Ire a .. e stuy Ing well "ithln the blldget gllidelines. Wc nccd to explOl'e p .. lnting und lIIallill!! the newsll'tft .. elsewhe .. e. Olle of thl' hlggest sUl'lngs this yeul' '''us hUling the EC hy confe .. ence call ruthel' thun In IJCIson. which wOllld he IIndesl .. ubk f(ll' the next n0I111ully schl'dllied meet-1ng III Jallluu'y. sUll'e there will be IIew Ilfficns thell. Donsky Is fllily hrleflllg hoth of the candldatcs fo .. TI'caSlll'('J' so thl' olle elected call tukc on I' with ulllut.lmllln of fllss. 2.4. Secretary's Report. 2.4.1. The Directory. ,\cco .. dlllg to Instmclions f .. o", the P .. esldcnt. the 1688 dl .. ecto .. y "ill IIot he flnalizcd IIntil the elld of ""I)' so we ('all tl')' to get lIIore rencwals III thl' lIIeall tI",e. Thc 1687 dln'dol'}' was IJliIlted amllllalled by WUlla", Rulney lIUI'J)(''' Collcge ut a gl'cat sal'lIIgs 1'(11' thc OJ'galllzatioll (uhollt Olle-(I"al1c .. of the alllollnt IlllClgeted hused on I"'e,iolls costs). It also Is olle of the hcsl proofrcud CH ... It 11111 he eYen hetter If lIIelll be .. s wUl chcck thel .. ent .. les and IIpdute ull illforllluion. 2.4.2. IHailing Lists. The SelTeta .. ys .. eco .. ds need to he hrollght Illto uccord ,,1th the T .. easlll( .. s. It aplJCa .. s that ))ollsky has ahollt 40 names thut HIIlI does 1I0t hun. [Thel .. reconls we .. e collated befo .. e the bllSlllcss mcctulg,) 2.5. Immediate Past I'residCllt '.I Report (dt'lln .. ed hy Bu .. dcsty fo .. Busslcl' lIho lias .. eadillg a papc .. at u session as the EC ",ct). 2.5.1. ElectiollS. The slate of candldutes fo .. thc election of offlce .. s appeUJ'ed III the ,\p .. III\lu)' nClrslcttel' (no. 157). Th(' EC con""ended lIussll' .. allli his cOlllllllttl'e fnt' an excelll'IIt joh. The bullot lIill he pl'cpa .. cd ulld lIIuiled lIith cundldute statenll'nts ami pict"rcs III the ,-\IIgllst IIell'slellel'. Bullots lIill be .. ctllrncd to lIassler undlllllst bc I'ecched by Imllllo later thall 31 October 1688. 2.6. Ne11'slellCl' Editor's Report (dcIiH .. ed hy lIurdest) fo .. CoJII.ns). 2.6.1.lfarlan Ellison Maller. The I'resldl'nt apJlrlsed th(' EC of thl' dlsplltl' on .. "l'lIIu .. ks made b} thc ncwslette .. editor legu .. dulg the IllteJ'JJutionul Confc .. cnce on the Funtastic 21


SFRA Newsletter No, 159, August 1988 ill the .\I1s. Tht: PI'esidt:llt has madl' it dear III his colullln that the editm' speaks fOl' him self and uot for the urgauization. Editor Collllls has supplil'd mlyuuce pages of the matel'iuls he pluns tu pl"int in Ihl' nexlnt:wslcller. which Illdude bolh lellel's I"l'Om others present ut the ICF.\ meetIng und Collins' ownl'elllurks. 2.6.2. Proposed Schedulefo,. the Remainder of 1988. Since Ihue haH alread)" heen three "donhh'" issues this )"eul'. there 11'111 he munthly issues for the balunel' of the year (fIll' a tutul nf 6 Issues In I 61i8). This lIill help lIith the costs uf plintlng and mulling. which have been I'InUling ubout 10'7, beyond budget. 3. Old Business. 3.1. Pronationar,r Status of Newslcttcr Editor. ,\fter one year of senice. till' EC dis cussed Ihe changes Collins has made In the newsleller und the excellenl aplJeul'ance of Ihl' puhlkatiun. In the ahsence of lIasslel. a vote was nut taken at this time tn conflnll Ih(' u('wslellel' editor. [Latel'. the EC voted unauimously to confirm COUhIS as newslet tel' editor.] 3,2, Pilgrim 3,2.1 .. 1rrangcmcntsfor 1972 Winner. A eel1ificute has been prepared for Julius Kagal' IItskl. Fl'ederlk Pohl wlllintroduee him ut the hUlllluel. of the 1988 Winner .Joanna Russ lIill not he at the meeting to reClIH hl'I' award hut hus sellt UII ueceptunl'c spell'h. It mu} not he recelHd In time fIll' thl' ulI'ards ccremollies. hullt lIill be puhllshed In the newsletter. 1'Ilglim Awards Com mitlee ehul",JeI'SOIl Carol Stevens "illmukc u shOl1 spcech. Othel'membel's of the Committee al'(' LylUl Wliliums. VCl'onicu lIoUhlgel'. and .-\11 Lellis. 3.2.3. Medallion and Statue .Jaml's GUlln has hud Gary Wnlfe's name cnl'rected aud ,Ioulllla Russ's name added to the IJel'man('nt statue which remains in the SFR.\s I)()Sscssinn, SOllie 1II0VClllent hilS hcen mude tn hUH E. Tefft (nf the nf Kansas) Ikslgu thc medullions fCll' ull the wjnnlTs. slmllllr to the design hc creuted for the stutue. bnt they UI'e not yet reud)'. and they may not he fOl' the 20th ulUlllalmeetblg eithel'. 3.3. SFRt PublicatiolJS. 3.3.1. SFR 1.tnthologl'. Some memhel's han COml)lalned of the selectinns In th(' anthol ngy not heblg I'ecenl cnnngh and/nl' nnt SCIIlle vcry majol' ant hoI's (although II can he supplemenled nith uOHls ami HI')' recent shm1 slolies). It aplJeared at the cud of 1687 and some leachel's haYe alr'eudy used it fOl' sl)ling classes. although some of the clmtl'lbulors haYe nnt recelnd copies. Pat Warrick lIill be asked 10 han Ihe publisher. lIurpel' ami Rmr. send copies at least to the contributors. 3.3.2. "(JIII/ne of Criticism, The F.C dlsl'ussed ut Icngth Ihc I,,'ohlellls In finding pllhlishcrs lulerested In 1,,'odllChlg all SFR. \ vnlllllle nil UII.l' I'cglliur hasls, SIIIce wc dn not ill fal'! sponsor II "bi-annllal" yohnlle of lTitic:t1 essuys. any sllch phl'Uscs "til be delcted f .... 1II 0111' h .... chllrc or olhcr materials. Till' EC "ill cnnllllul' In cneum'uge "occaslonul" Hlhlllles as circulllslallccs "ill allow. 111111 "ill ask Slcl"C Gnldlllanif thcre Is hOIJe of el'c\' JlllhUshlng the yohnllc he alld Wult Meycrs haH been editing. 22


SFRA Newsletter No, 159, August 1988 4. Nel\' Business. 4.1. Fllture Conferences. 4.1.1. 1989. Inlhc ahsence of an.l' olhcr bids. IIl1l'lksly hils agrccd 10 hosllhe nexl ('on ference al Oxford. 011. exacl dllles 10 he dcll'J'mined IIftCl' checking 1I\'lIl1l1hlllly of facililles on his campus. Oxford Is II 101111 of 8.000 popuilltion. 35 01' 40 mlnulcs fl'llln Clndnnllti ..\lrpOl1. i\lIaml l'nlvcrslty has a cnnference center lIith a ILlec motel. There mlly he dOl1n roms U\'IIUllblc fOl' those who prcfCl'. 4.1.2. 1990. Thcrc Is II consOI1i1nn of mcmhers headed hy "rooks Landon which Is In tCl'ested In hosting a conference at Ihe l'nlnrslty of Iowa. :\0 decision was mlldc hy Ihe EC. Others Inlerested slumld contact the President. \\'ho lIill pass alnng any eOITespolI dencc to the ncw officers (and continue to scn'c on thc EC ns Immcdlate Pllst Pl'esldcnl bl 1686 and 1660). 4.2. 1989 Diles. The Presldcnt announced Ihat wc mil,\' need to raise dues 01' I'cduce b('nefits (puhllcations) for the coming lcar. Before fllUl decision can he madl'. the EC will need to detel1nlne If/how expenses fOl' Ihe newsletter can he rcduced and find oul how snccessful onr pi'll posed rcnelml eamplIlgn Is, .-\ telcphone \'ote on this Issue \\"111 probllbly be necessllry III .-\ugusl. 4.3. Otller. Marshall Tymn hilS pl'Uposcd dnscr cO!lpcratlon hcl\l'een Ihe Inll'I'nation al "\.ssodation for the Fantllstic In the "\I1s lind SFR\. Thc EC IIgreed to look Into thc pl'llposallo SCl' if Ihere arc \l'1I)'S Ihe two organizations can assist one IInothcr \l'here onr Interests overlap. Thcre being no other hnslness bl'forc Ihc meeting, the EC ad,lonl1led at 10:00 p.m, ResJlectfull)' suhmlttcd. Elizabeth AIUIC liull, SFRA Business Meeting 1 .. 11l1IOuncemen/s. 3 July 1988 Hershey Hotel, Corpus Christi, TX R:30 a,m, -9:45 a,m, President Bill lillnksty explained Ihlll mcetlng time hlld been mhanced a half honr so hc conld make his planc and stut chair Ihe meeting. 2. Reports. 2.1, President's Report. IIardl'sty l'cpOl1l'd onlhc kngth,l dlscnsslfllilhe EC had rcgal'll Ing Ihc ponrmcmbcrshIJlI'cnclIalrale. 'Ian} ml'mhl'J's madc conllnenls and suggcstlons 23


SFRA Newsletter No, 159, August 1988 fl'llln Ihl.' finn .. ,\ IIInnhe .. nf penpk hull snggestinns ahnnl dlUngl.'s In Ihe pllhlkutinns pUl'kage nffuell lIilh IIIl.'lIIhl.' .. shlp. ,Juck WllllulIIsnn lIIU!k a sllggestlnn (fn .. Pal Wal'.. lck lI'hn hall In IcaH ca .. lle .. to catch he .. plane) thai Ihc hrnchm'c hl' sen I II"lth a I'clm'n ellHlnpe III Ihe nell"slette .. tn lIIake It l'aslel' fn .. lllelllhe"s to I'enell'. i'\elllla .... nll snggeslell II"l' IIIlght lake a nf eX-lIIl'mhl'''s In dl,te"lIIlne Ihel .. I'casoll.' fn .. nnl .. enelling. \Imld Bccker snggeslcd thai fcwc .. SF comses a .. c hl'ing lallghl Ihall fnrllll'rly sn II"C ilia} IInl he ahll' Iu cnlllrni all Ihc fal'ln .. s, nn lIIatte .. II hal II'(' lin. lIett)' 1I11111",llIlell Ollt Ihat a hlghl'l'ml'mhel'shlp shnllill he a p .. lm'itl nf all nf liS hl.'callse lI"e CUll offn mn .. c of Ihlllg II hl'1I nm' nn .. hcall Is sp .. eud nn .. u gl'l'utcl'lIl11nhl'l'. In !J'Jlllg 10 I'Cl'I'IIIt, 11'1.' ollghl 10 sl .. ess collcgluUt}. all bCllcflt allil olle II"C do cOllt .. ul. 2.2. Immediate'ld 1'IeUlI annnlllll'ed thai Ihe entire $500 seed nHlIIl',1' 11'111 he n'Iul'llcd tn the SFR\, In fad, thel'c lIIay bc a hit more, perhaps $200-500 aftl'r all hills COllie Ill. Final uttcndance figllres are 66 paid In filII, auother 15 one-da)' mClllhershlps. :\Ieud o!ll'rell an JIl:\IDOS Hrsion of till' lust thrce yeal"s IIIclllhcrship 24


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 Usts to the organization. lie thanked F .. edcrlk I'ohl. WmTcn Waga .. and .Jack Wllllam snn fo .. snhsldlzlng the costs to h .. lng .Julius Kaga .. litskl to the confl' .. euce to his 1672 I'lIg .. lm .\wanl cl'l1lfkatc. lIullmo\'ed "II official \'ote of thanks fora sllpel'h COIIference, secomkd hy BalTon: passed by acclamatloll. 3. Old RlISinc.l's, 3.1. NCII'sieuer, TIll' PI'esldent annollllccd that the EC has yoted to .. clllon p .. ohatloll m'y status fmm Newskttcr EdItOJ' Rohcl1 Colllus. Wc al'e w .. y pleasl'd with the p .. lllluct he Is pnlduclng. lIardesty brkfly outllncd thc situation In whleh Bob Colllus' .. epOl1 of the ICF,\ meeting engendered responses and adylsed that the ncxt nell'slette .. will puhIIsh letters and the President's coillmn IIhkh states that the sign cd al1ldcs alld .. e\1ells eXln'ess thc opinions of the IITltel's and a .. e not official statements of SFR\. Senrallllcmhers cxp .. essed COnCel11 fo .. Edlto .. Collins' health and 111shed him :\lm1ha Bal1te .. that hallot not han any on the .. e\'e .. se side so that 110 Infol1l1atloll wOIIIII he saclifked hy yoting. IIal'desty ad\'lsed that In the past thcy han hel'n stapled Into thc cente .. of the newslcttc .. so as to hl' easily reJlloyahle. 3.2. Pilgrim Il1'ard .JIm Gillin .. epo .. ted that Eldoll Tefft is lIo .. klllg 011 a lIIedallioll hased 011 thc I)CI'lIIalllcllt tmphy. hilt It Is IIl1likel.\' to he I'm' the 20th anllualllll,(t Illg. Wheu It's dOIlt', lie 11111 have to hudget for stl'iklllg the mcdals 1'0 .. all p .. nlous 11111-lIe"s. as lI'cll as paylllg m1l_t fll .. the deslgll. 3.3. Other T'llblicatiom. Tht' I'I'esldt'lIt allJlOlIlICcd that the puhllcatlon of all ulIIl1Ial 0" hl-allnllal yohnne of criticism Is a dead Issue fm' thl' tlmc helng. :\Iany cOIIIJllented that this secms a shamc slucc the "uallt)' of thc papt'''s at this rcal"s SFR.\ IIIceting has hecn cxccptionall)' hIgh. i\lost, hOl\'eyc .. IIUJ be ablc to find pnbllcation In Extrapolation. Science Fiction Studies. or Foulldatioll. 4. Ncll' BusillC'ss. 4.1. Flltllre Cml/ercllccs. 4.1. t. 1989. lIal'desty annonnccd that the next anlllHllmt'ctlllg 11111 he held at Oxfol"(l. 011, 111th hlmsclf as Conrt'rencc Dlrccto .. ami \limlli t'lIin .. slt) of Ohln as til(' prlndl'lll host Instltlltion. IIc Is counting onassistalll't' in Inel'a .. atlolls froJII hIs As sonn as datcs al'e settled. the)' 1\111 he allllOllllced ill the NClI'sicuer. 4.1.2. 1990. So fal' \W haH a tcntatiH .. ffn fr .. m a g"olll' at the l"1I1H'I'slty .. f lo"a headed hy I ,amlon .. \nyone l'Ise ,,110 lIIay bc Interested In hosting the anlluallllect Ing In 1660 OJ'afte"lI'al'd should talk to Hardesty. 4.2. 1989 Diles. Finances m'e stillundear. Thl' Fe has discussed an illcrease of $3 If necessa .. y. Scicllce Fictinll Stlldie,f lIIay "c(lncst all Inueasc and negotiatiolls II'lth R .. hl, .. t l'hllJllus ,,111 he undel1aken as Ilulckly as possible. :-';eiJ 8a ... on has a sllCcial I'ate f .... tll'O catl'gOJies, "ncw" and ;'glft" mcmbel'shlps. Thesr t,,o ma., he hl'ld at the old mte If Imlced lI'e do IlIc .. cuse ducs. Wc also lIet'd to set a .. ate fOJ' cmultus members. a category c .. eated hy thc .. ecent challges ill thc 4.3. Other. 4.3.1. ,JIm Gunn lIIadc thc suggestioll that the FC shollid kecp an on Du"'d lIal1l1'cll's nell' p .... posed .. nlcl\' (lI'hit'h IIm1ln'lI had alUIOIIJJCed olle .. f thc ses slims, tentutlnly to he l'allt-d The Nell' York RCI'icll' of Sdelle'c Ficrion und COllcl'lH'd of as a (It-sk-top ollCration) and perhaps negotiatc for this pnbllcationas an SFR\ bencflt to I'eplace ralltas.\' Rel'icll'. 4.3.2. Walt Meyers sllggested that SFR\ should ask IIm'per & Roll' to donate u rell' 25


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 11IImh'ed of the new SFRI.llllholog),. II hich conld offer as a wekome gift to new mem 4.3.3. "Inrll'! Beckrr n'pol1ed that Pat Warrick had mcntioned that she wonld ask the pnhllshel' to send cxamhlatloll coplcs of the SfRl .llllholog), to all SFR.\ mcmhers. 4.3.4. "Idl BUlToII mond (!\Iack lIasskr secollded) that thc Prcsldellt namc thc Pllgr-im l'o",,"I11ee (llith the conCIIITCllce of the Eel IIoluter thull I l'iOl'Cmhl'l' each fall uml rcll"cst the cOIIl'lllsloll of thclr' delilll'rutiulls IIulater thall I \pril. III ordn to IIIo,.lde ample thlll' to l'ontul'l the IIll11wr und hlcrease the chances of hclng uhle to hUH the lIillllCI' prl'sellt for the cercmollies. !\Ioti,," curried. 4.3.5. lIarfst sIIggesll'd thut SFR \ shollid consldcr retllrnirlg to thc tcadllng workshops thut IIsed to [lrecede or coincide II IIh the ullnllulmedillg. There hdllg no flll1hCl' hllSlrlCSS bcforc the meeting. II wus adjollrncd. --RespeClflll(v sllbmitted, Elizabcth AlIlle Hllll Treasurer's Statement Income Balance 1987 Membership 1988 Royalties Interest Membership Total EXIJenseS Extrapolation SFS Newsletter Directory (as of.J uly 1, 1988) Budget based on 380 Members Current Membership 242 Office Expenses Annual Meeting Fund Banking Charges Total $4,494.81 450.00 29.94 67.88 7.324.61 12,467.61 1,898.78 1,064.00 3.277.21 209.50 70.88 500.00 25Jill 7,045.37 --OWf/ottc DOllsl(),


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 August Paperbacks: .\LLEN. ROGER MacBRIDE. Farsidc Cannon. $3.65. Baell Books. St-. ----------. Roglfc Powers. $3.50. Buell reissue. SF. ANDt;RSON. POl!L. lIralf Kraki's Saga. $2.65. Baell reissue. Falltasy. ANDREWS. V. C. Fallen liearts. $4.65. Pocket Books. 1I01Tor . \SIi\IOV. IS.\.\C and i\1.\RTlN II. GREENBERG. Isaac.lsimol Prcscnts The Great SF Stories: 18. $4.50. D. \ W Books. SF antholo!!y. ASPRIN. ROBERT LYNN and LYNN .\BHEY. cds. ThicI'cs World: Book II: Uneasr .1I1ianccs. $3.50. Ace Hooks. Fantasy shared ""lI'ld. BELDEN. In VIU. To Warm thc Earth. $3.65. Signct. SF. 8lSS0N. TERRY. Il)rldmakcr. $2.65 .. '\YOIl Books. Fantasy. BR\DLEy'l\I. \RION ZIMMER. cd. Sword allli Sorccrcss V. $3.65. D. \ W Books. Fan tas), alltholo!!). -. Warrior Woman. $3.50. D. \ W reisslle. Falltasy. ---------\\'1 VOllda N. \(Chlt)TC. Lrthandc. $3.65. D.\W reissuc. Falltasy -colICl'tiOIl. nROOKS. TERRY. lI'ishsong of Shall1wra. cOllcludes the Shallnara ttilog),. $4.65. Del Rcy Books. Fantasy. -. Sword of Shall1wra. $4.65. Dei Rey reissue. Fantas). ----------. EII'tonesofShannara. $4.65. Del Re} rl'issul'. Fantasy. CIIIN, ]\1. Ll:CIE. Thc Fairr of KIf-Shc. $3.50 .. \ce Books. Fantasy. COVER .. \RTlIl'R BYRON. Planc((all. $3.65 .. \nm Books. SF hlllllorous. CRICIITON. I\IICII.\EL. Sphere. $4.65. Ballantine Books. SF. de LINT. CHARLES. 1V0if Moon. $3.50. Signet. Fuutasy. DICKSON. GORDON R. Beginnings. $3.50. Baell Books. SF collcction. DRAKE. DA VIU. The World of Crystal Walls: Book I: Sca [fag. $3.65. Baell Books. Fantasy. Dl'NC\N. n.\ VE. The Coming of Wisdom. nook II of The SeHllth S\\'ord ttilog}. $3.50. Del Rey Books. Fantasy. --------.. 1 Rose-Rcd Citr. Book I of The Senllth Sword trilogy. $2.65. Del Rey Books rcissile. Fantasy. ESHn.\CII. LLOYD ARTHt:R. Thc Sorccrcss of SI'Gth. $3.50. Del Rt') Books. Fantasy. ----------. Thc Land Bel'ond thc Gatc. $2.65. Del Rey rcissue. Fantasy. ---------.the.trmlet ofthc Gods. $2.65. Dl'1 Rey I'l.isslle. Fantasy. FOWLER. CIIRISTOPIIER. Citr Jillers. $3.50. Dell nooks. IInnHI. G. \RDNER. CR \IG SII.\ W. Wishbringcr. $3.65 .. \Yon Bonks. hllmorous. GEAR. W. \IICII.\EL. Thc Warriors of Spider. $3.65. In W Books. SF. GILDEN. MEL. Slfrj1ng Samurai Robots. $3.65. LJ'llX Omega. SF humololls. GREENII.\LL. KEN. The Companion. $3.50. Pocket nooks. 1101'1'01'. Gl!NN.\RSSON. TII.\R\RINiIi. Song of thc D1,Q/TCS. $3.50. Ace Books. Falltasy. HERBERT .I.\:\IES. Thc Sunilw. $3.65. Sigllet reissue. 1I01Tor. L\NSD. \LE. JOE R. Thc Dril'c In: .4 B-MoI'ie I\'ith Blood and Popcorn, Made in Tcxas. $3.50. Balltam/Spectm. t-antasy. L.\Cl\IER. KEITII. Rcticf's lVar. $2.65. Bacll rl'issllc. SF. L01\lG. Dl'iliC\N .. Inli-Gral. Unlimited. $2.65. Avou Buuks. SF. LUPOI'!'. RICII.\RJ) .\. Galaxy's End. seqllel to Sun'., Eml. $3.50. Ace Books. SF. -. Philip Jose Farmer's Thc Dllllllc(}n: 1"01. I: The Black Tallcr. $3.65. Ball talll/SllCctm. Falltas.\'. l\IcKIN:\Jo:y' ,J.\CK. Thc Sentinels #5: Rubicoll. $2.65. Del Rey Books. SF -Y.\ ad-27


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 :\IILLS. c../. Wintcr World. $2.65. Pangeant Buoks. SF. :\IIL:'IIE. A .. \. Oncc OIl a Timc. $3.50. Slgnct. Fautasy -first reprint since 1622. \IORRESSY. Kedrigc1'11 in Wandcrland. $3.50. Ace Books. Fantusy hlllnnnms. NEIDER!\I.\:'II. Al\DREW. SurroRatc Child. $3.65. Berkley. 1I00TIII. NIVEN. L\RRY../ERRY.undSTEVEN B.\Rl\ES. ThcLcgacyoflicorot. $4.50. Pock et Bonks. SF. PAt:L. B.\RBAR\. Star Trck #-11: The Thrcc Minutc Univcrse. $3.65. Pocket Bonks. SF. 1'0l'R"IEI.LE ./ERRY.lIighJusticc. $2.65. Bucnrelssue. SF. SIIUI'I'. MIKE. Soldicr of Anothcr Fortunc. Book III of The Destiny Makers. $3.65. Del Rn Books. SF. -----. With Fatc COl1Spire. $3.65. D(,] Rey reissue. SF. ----------. Morning of Crcation. $3.50. Del Rey reissue. SF. SIIW.\RTZ. SUS.\N. cd . 4rabcsqlle: More Talcs of thc .Irabian Nights. $3.50 .. hon Books. I'uutusy -uuthnlngy. S:\II'I'II. D. ALEX.\lI/DER. Rcndczl'Ous. $3.50 .. \ce Books. SF. SWYC\FFER. JEFFERSON. The Empirc 's Book I uf the Tules uf the Con cordut. $3.50. New InfLnlties. SF. TREM.\ YlIiE. PETER. Hloodmist. $3.50. lIuen Bonks. Wl'RTS ./.\NNY. Kccper of the Keys. Buok Twu uf Ihe Cycle of FIre. $3.50. Ace Books. Funlasy. Z.\CII.\RY. IIlIGII. The Rel'cnant. $3.65. Onyx Books. HOlTor. ZEL.\ZNY. ROGER. Today We Choose Faccs. $2.65. Signellc!ssue. SF. (nn edllnr IIsled) The Lillie World of E/I'es and Fairies: An .ll11hology Vcrse. $4.65. Salem 1I0use. Fanlusy (loell'Y collection wI ilIustrutions by Ida Rentoul Outhwuite. July Paperbacks: \lIiDERSON. KEVIN.I. Rcsurrection Inc .. $3.50. SII(III't. SF .-\SI:\IOV. IS.HC. !\I.\RTIN II. GREENBERG. und CII.\RLES W\CGII. eds. I.wac .lsiI1lIHs Wonderful Wor/cls of SF #8: MOllsters. $3.65. Funlasy -unlhnlogy. IW;\iFOR(). GREGORY und !\l\RTlN II. GREENBERG. eds. Nue/ear lVar. $3.50. Ace Books. SF -post-nncleur unlholugy. F\RREN. !\IICK. l'ickcrs. $3.50. Ace Books. SF. FRIESNER. ESTHER 1\1. Druid's Blood. $3.50. Signet. I'ulltusy. G.\RDl\ER. CR \IG SII.\ W . In Excess of nchalllmellls. Verse Second hI The \Jullud of Wunlyor. $3.50. Ace Books. Fuulusy -humorous. GERROI.D. IHVI\). When H .. 1.R.lbl,E. was OIlC, Release 2.0. $3.65. lIun lum/S(lecll'u. SF -ne\\' edition of the 1672 lIIiglnul. 1I.\\.I>o:\I.\N. ,JOE. Tool of thc Trade. $3.65 .-\Yon Books. SF. H.\RRISON. IL\RRY. The Stailliess Stcel Rat Gcts Drafted. $3.65. Buntum/Spectru relssne. SF. MUl'.\VOY. R. A. A Trio for Lutc. $4.65. Buntum/Spech'u. Funtusy -Omnlbns edi tion of prc"lonsly puhllshed trilogy. 1\IOR \N. D.\NIEL KEYS. Emcrald Eycs. $3.50. Bunlum/SllCcfl'U. SF. ROGERS. l\l\RK E. The Nightmure of God. sCIJuel to 'Lorachus. $3.50 .. \ce Hooks. Funtusy. \!.\N ASTEN. G.\IL. The Rlind Knight. $3.50 .. \ce Honks. WILSON. ROBERT ANTON. Thc Earth Will Shake. Vul. I of The I1islol'lcul Chronicles. $4.65. Lynx Books. Funtusy. 28


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 WYLIE . ION,HHON. The Mage-Born Child. Vol. III of the Servants of the Ark T11Iogy. $3.65. Buntum/SpectJa. I'antusy. June Paperbacks: ALTON. ANDREA. Demon of Undoing. $3.50. Raen Rooks. SF . \NI)ERSON. POUL. Fire Time. $3.50. lJucn reissue. SF. lJ,\KER. SIL \RON. Burning Tears of Sassurum. concludes the Tllm Moons Cycle. $3.50. A\'on Rooks. SF. COOKE. c.\ TIIERINE. Realm of the Gods. sequel to The Winged Assassin. $3.50. ,\ce Rooks. Funtus)'. DRAKE. I)A VID. ed. Thillgs Hunting Men. $3.50. Raen nooks. SF -anthology. DR\KE. I),\VII) uud EI)W.\RD W.\GNER. Killer. $2.65. Raen reissue. SF. DVORKIN. D'\ VII). Star Trek #-10: Timetrap. $3.65. Pocket Books. SF. FORW.\RJ>. J>R. ROBERT L. Future Magic. $3.65 .\\'on Books. Science. G, \RTON. R \ Y. Crudfax. $3.65. I'ocket lJooks. 1I0rror. 11,\ WKE. SIMON. Psychodrome 2: The Shape Changer Scellerio. $3.50. ,\ce Books. SF. MOON. ELlZ,\nETH. Sh('epfarmer's Daughter. $3.65. Baen Books. NIVEN. L.\RRY. POUL ANDERSON. and ING. The Wars. $3.65. Baen Books. SF. S.\BERII,\GEN. FRED. Berserkers: The Ultimate Enemy. $2.65. Baen Books. pre viously an ,\ce paperback. SF -collection. STANTON.I\L\RY. The Heal'eilly Horsefrom the Outermost West. $3.65. Baen Books. I'antasy. TIU,EY. ROBERT .J. The Big Losers. $3.50. Ace SI'. V,\RDEM,\N. RODERT E. The Weapolls of Chaos: Book 3: Colors of Chaos. $3.50. Ace Books. SF. VOLSKY. PAULA. The Sorcerer's Heir. se1lucl to The Sorcerer's Lody. $3.50. Ace Books. Falltasy. WILLIAMSON .I. N. The Rest of Masqlles. $3.50. Berkley. Horror -anthology. WU. WILLL\J\I F.lsaacAsimol"s Robot City: Book 6: Perihelion. $3.50. ,\cc Books. SI'. Trade Books: ,\nnF.Y. LYNN. COllquest: Ullicorn ami Dragon: Vol. 1I. $6.65 trade palJer. Fantasy. ,\ugust 1688. IHNKS. I.\IN 1\1. Consider $18.65 he. St.l\lartllls Press. SF .Iulle 1688. Il\RNES .I01lN. Sill of Origill. $15.65 he. Congdoll and Weed Inc. SF .. June 1688. BICKHAM .lACK 1\1. Day Seven. $17.65 hc. Tor Books. SF . July 16.1688. BISSON. TERRY. Fire Oil the Mountaill. $15.65 hc. ,\rbor House. Fantasy .. Iuly 1688. nOV\. nEN. Peacekeepers. $17.65 hc. TorlSt. Martlus. SF. August 23. 1688. BURGESS. I\I1CII.\EL. .1 Guide to SF and Fantasy in the Library of COllgre.H C1ass((ication Scheme. Second Edition. $12.65 tmde palJer. noyo??? Press. Nonfiction. BllRROUGIIS. EDGAR RICE. of the ,1pes: Four Volumes in Olle. $6.68 hc. AWllel. Fantasy .. Jnly 15. 1688. CL\lUORNE. SYBIL. Loose COllnectiollS. $16.65 hc. Academy Chicago Publishers. Fantasy -coDeetioll. CL\RKE. ,\RTHl'R C. and GENTRY LEE. Cradle. $18.65 hc. Wamer Books. SF. Angnst 1688. Il\TLOW. ELLEN and TERRI WINDUIIIG. eds. The Year's Best Fantasy: First An29


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August 1988 nllal Collection. $16.65 he. $12.65 trade paper. St. Mal1bl's }'Iess. Fantasy -coUec tlnn. I){)ZOIS. G.\RDENER. 5th.lnnual Collection: The Year's Best SF. $12.65 h'ade pal)fl. SI. I\lartln's PIess. SF. July 1688. DZIEl\II.\NOWICZ. STEFAN R .. WEINnERG. ROBERT. and MARTIN II. GREENBERG. Weird Tales: 32 Unearthed Terrors. $6.68 he. Bonanza Books. 1I01TOJ' unthnlogy .. 1. 1688. ELL\DE. MIRCEA. Youth '-Vithout Youth and Other NOl-ellas. $18.65 he. Ohio St. llnl\". Press. I'alltasy -collt>ctlon. Jnly 1688. EV \N. CHRISTOPHER. Writing Science Fiction. $10.65 he. St. MUJ1b,'s PIess. Non fktlon .. Inly HI. 1688. F.\RRIS. JOlIN. Scare Tactics. $17.65 he. Tor Books. lIorror .Jnly 16. 1688. FERI\I..\N. EDWARD ami ANNE .JORDON. cds. The Best Horror Stories from the Magazines of Falllasy and SF. $22.65 he. $14.65 tmde pal)fl'. St. Martb,'s Press. Jnly 26. 1688. FOSTER . -\L.\N DE. \N. To the Vanishing Poilll. $15.65 he. Wamer Books. SF. August 1688. FOWLER. I)(}UGL\S. Ira Le"in: Starmont Readers' Guide #3-1. $6.65 trade pal)fr. StaJ1l1onl. Nonfiction. 1688. IIINZ. CIIRISTOPHER . 1naehronisms. $17.65 he. St. I\laI1111s. SF. Allgllst 22. 1688. IIl'G\I.\RT. 8\RRY. The Story of the Stone. se'luel to Bridge of Birds. $17.65 he. Fantasy. Jllne 1688. I),;G. DEAN. The Big Lifters. $16.65 he. TOJ' Books. SF .lilly 1688. K\TZEFF. PUlL. Moon Madness and Other tjfeets of the Full Moon. $7.65 h'ade 11U1)fr. Citadel Press. Nonfiction .. /lInl' 1688. Kl'OIGIIT. D \MON. The ObselTCrs. $16.65 he. TOI' Books. SF .lilly 1688. J\I.\G ISTR-\LE. TONY. I.andscape of Fear: Stephen King's American Gothic. (no price gln'lI) trade 11U11t'!". Popllial' Press. Nonfiction. 1688. MUNSTER. InLL. cd. Su(h/en Fear: The Horror and Dark Suspense of Dean R. Koolllz. #24 In the Stannont Literary C1itlclslll Selies. $10.65 trade pallt'r. StaJ1l1ont. Nonfic tion. 1688. NORTON. ANDRE. Tales of the Witch World 2. $16.65 he. 'I'm' Books. Fantasy -col \cctilm .. llIly 1688. POHf.. FREDRICK and JACK WILLL\l\ISON. Land's End. $18.65 he. Tor Books. SF .\lIgllst 1688. SANI>ERS .I. R. The Intergalactic Express. seqllel to The COlllainer is Ready. $10.65 he. Vantage Press. 1688. S.\RGENT. LYl\l-\N TOWER. British and .lmerican Utopian Uteratllre: 15/6-/985: An.lnnotated, Chronologiml Bibliography. $75.00 he. Garland Press. Nonfiction. Jllne 1688. SCHENCK. IIILBERT. Chrono-Sequence. $17.65 he. TOJ' nooks. SF . llIne 1688. STERLING. DRUCE. Islands ill the Net. $17.65 he. Arbor lIollse. SF /lIly 20.1688. STRETE. CR\lG. Death in the Spirit House. $14.65 he. Doubleday. 'antas)'. WILDE. KELLY. The Suiting. $16.65 he. TorISt.MaI1Ins.lIorror .\lIgllst 23.1688. Z.\HORSKI. KENNETH .1. Peter S. Beagle: Starmolll Readers' Guide #U. $6.65 trade paper. StaJ1nont. Nonfiction. 1688. 30


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 IReviewsl [Notes. As those of you who review for us now know, we have finally found the time (not to mention the moncy) to begin systematically mailing out major 1988 books for review. Beginning next month, then, our coverage of titles, especially fiction, will be much more timely. Coverage this issue has been restricted due to the expanded front matter (conference reports, campaign speeches, etc.), but next issue we plan to begin surveying 1988 titles in a comprehensive way. --Rob Latham] FICTION Breeding for the Masters Butler, Octavia. Dawn. Warner, NY, May 1987, 264p. $15.95 he. 0-44651363-6. [Book 1 of the Xenogencsis Series] After her husband and son die in an auto accident, Lilith lyapo sur vives her grief and begins a new life. When the nuclear war comes, she again survives. Now she faces an even more difficult test. Lilith awakes in a sealed, featureless room. Her basic needs are met, but the food is tasteless and her unseen jailers seem cold and inhuman. At first sensory deprivation brings her close to suicide. Then she meets her captors and things get worse, for they aren't human and the very sight of them leaves Lilith shaking wit h horror. A few men and women, it seems, have been rescued from the dying Earth by the Oankali, a race that travels the galaxy searching out intel ligent species who need their help. The Oankali, however, are not hu manitarians. They have reseeded the Earth and promise to return their human prisoners to its surface --if, that is, a deal can be arranged. They propose a simple maller of genetic manipulation, an exchange of germ plasm. Behind their proposal lies a mysterious and alien compulsion that will forever transform humanity. Critics have commented on Butler's interest in genetic manipulation ever since the publication of hcr Pallcrnmaster series, which featured a centuries-long attempt to breed supermcn. It might, however, be more accurate to suggest that Butler's central concern is rape and its aftermath. The protagonist of Wild Seed is essentially coerced into participation in the breeding program. The timc-travelling black protagonist of Kindred finds herself threatened with rape by a white ancestor. The humans of Butler's award-winning "Bloodchild" scrve as involuntary incubators for 31


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 the eggs of their non-human masters. Now, in DOIH1, Butler describes a humanity forced to suffer yet another form of physical and psychic viola tion. Dawll is a dark and upsetting hook. As is often the case in Butler's work, however, what saves it, what makes it memorable, is its characters. Lilith Iyapo isn't particularly heroic, but her enormous determination and her flexihility allow her to survive, even achieve some small triumph within the context of a no-win situation. The major alien characters are also well drawn. Butler's skill is such that we can sympathize with them without forgetting that they are indeed alien and that what they want from hu manity is, on some essential level. a form of violation. The first book in a series necessarily leaves strings hanging. Dawll achieves a meaningful and powerful climax, however, and should contend for this year's awards. --Michael M. Retirement's End Clarke, Arthur C. 2061: Odyssey Three. Del Rey, NY, 1987, 280p. $17.95 he. 0-145-35173-8. Several times in the past fifteen years, Arthur C. Clarke has been promising to retire, each subsequent novel issued as his last. One does not want to speculate inappropriately on Clarke's motives for prolonging his career, but surely million dollar advances have had something to do with it. His new novel, 2061: Three, third in the series that began with 20()J; A Space and 20 lO, is almost guaranteed bestseller status, and the unresolved and forwardlooking ending of the story makes it clear that there are more volumes yet to come. Like Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, whose recent books have enjoyed enormous success (despite their frequent aesthetic failings), Clarke is trapped by the consumerist logic of contemporary publishing: so long as demand exists for another "Odyssey" novel, another must be provided. To insure this provision for the future, the current volume introduces a half dozen new SUbplots demanding extensive extrapolation to achieve closure and coherence. To the mysterious cosmic monoliths of 2001 and Jupiter's stellar transformation in 20]() Clarke has added the return of Halley's comet, the bizarre evolution of the moon Europa, and the ghostly reappearances of HAL and David Bowman (who is coming to serve as a kind of surreal Hari Seldon for this cryptic future history). Amid this stew of elements, the big mystl.:ry is not thl.: still-ambiguous tak of alien intervention and destiny, but simply the question of how long Clarke can keep these diverse plates in the air before they fall and crush him. With several tracks of plot operating at once, the book is extremely busy, filled 32


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August19aa with spaceships crashing and making hair's-breadth escapes. More than either of the earlier volumes, this one's construction screams of bestsel lerdom. As always in Clarke, metaphysical speculation and hard-science ad venture overwhelm character: the novel's people are colorless cut-outs posing against the backdrop of the solar system. The result, for the reader accustomed to more robust and rounded characters, is a curious estrangement that, perversely, often works: during scenes of suspense or danger, we are less concerned about the physical survival of the protagonists than we are about the efficacy of their instruments and their reasoning, a concern Clarke actually manages to sustain quite brilliantly and even to in vest with a special value. Calling out to our pOOL tinkering, monkey-like rationality is a sort of celestial technology, a superhuman apparatus of obscure power which effortlessly remakes entire worlds. (Of course, this beckoning presence may be nothing more than the next seven-figure ad vance, but that's beside the point.) Dimly we yearn toward this ethereal presence, only to be rebuffed by the limits of our instruments --as well as by the arbitrary end of the story's current installment. Stay tuned, readers. --JlIdith Cattail New Worlds, Revisited Gollancz Editors, cds. Gol/allcz SlIllday Times SF Competitioll Stories. Gollancz, London, 1987 (U.S. release: David & Charles, Inc. North Pomfret, VT, February 19RR), 200p. $19.95 hc. 0-575-04074-2. In 1986, the Gollancz publishing house and the London SlIlldav Times held an SF short story competition, restricted to 3000-word maximums from authors who were previously unpublished in book form. J .G. Bal lard, Angela Carter and Gollancz SF director Malcolm Edwards judged more than a thousand entries to arrive at the top twenty-five, printed here. Collectively, the stories showcase a remarkable degree of sophistica tion, imagination, and, most significantly, a New Worlds-esque eagerness to explore innovative methods of storytelling. It is always a special pleasure to welcome new voices to the genre; none of these names are familiar --yet. But if only four or five of these writers pan out, the next generation of British SF would seem to be in very creative hands indeed. Though some writers revised and expanded their stories slightly for this volume, the overriding effect still issues from a brave economy of language that gets more accomplished in ten pages than many authors do in entire volumes. Take "Moral Technology," Paul Heapy's overall winner, an hilarious romp through the contortions which papal doctrine might take to assimi late current trends. The final "reductio ad absurd am" packs significant 33


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 pmver along with the smiles. "The Machine Age" by Paul Goouing, which the judges declared the outstanuing story by an author under twentyone, is an engaging tale about time travel by telephone, and how one climactic ueeu changes the present and the past. Along with the expecteu visions ofhleakness (the searing post-nuclear "Big Cats" by .Jnhn Bark, and Anne Gay's "Wishbone," with its terrifying portrayal of inexorable beast-power, are two of the best), quite a few Britons opted for lighter fare. In "Prisoners" by Anna Lief Saxby, a London dikllante selects a holiday jaunt with a Latin revolutionary army. Mass meuia are the satirical targets of both Keith Haviland's "Soap," with its artificial soap-opera stars; anu Mark Gorton's "The Fall," whose ar tificial advertising-android commits murder when its prospect fails to pay careful attention to the sales pitch. Such a variety of voice is one of the collection's major enjoyments. "Modern History" by Philip St. Leger, presented in the form of an ex amination paper, posits the Earth as a sentient being which punishes its inhabitants for ongoing physical desecration. Malcolm Ashworth's "A Senoi Dream" uses a ueceptively expressive, evocative cadence to elicit the fury of nuclear confrontation and its quiet, uclicate aftermath. And "Delicate Immortal Meanings" by Rick Slaughter brings new energy to the workeu-over life-extension theme with carefully chiseled prose. There are many more; the collection is necessarily uneven, but on the whole it's an exciting and rejuvenating preview of the British wellspring from which tomorrow's authors just may arise. --T Olll Dllpree The She-rat's Lament Grass, Gunter. T7ze Rat. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, NY, 1987. 371p. $17.95 he. (J-15-17592(J-(J. T7Zf Rat is a post-Apocalyptic dream fantasy narrated by a gray-brown sewer rat. The eponymous pet appears unuer the tree one Christmas, an unconventional (but solicited) gift to the author-narrator. Soon thereafter, narrator and narrative plunge into a bewildering sequence of dreams dominated by recurring images of an apparently acciuental nuclear Apocalypse which has cleansed the earth of humankinu. But not of the human form: for a time, genetically engineered humanoid rats stum ble through the rubble. Then they too give way, leaving only the horue of sewer rats. the inheritors. Grass is probably best known for his first novel, the 1963 morality play T7ze Till DI1IIIl. Reauers familiar with that book are in for a start when, early in T7ze Rat, they encounter a sixty-year-old producer of videotapes and films named Oskar Matzerath. But the hunchbacked hero of T7ze Till 34


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 DI1I17I is not the only character Grass resurreets in TIle Rat: The Flounder returns, still babbling beneath the Bailie. And that's not all. Grass mixes his post-Apocalyptic visions and selfrcllexive play with SF devices, characters from fairy tales, mythic quests, tidbits from German history, tales within tales, religious intimations, satiric portraits ... and then drowns it in interminable monologues, debates, arguments, and asides --most delivered in the hectoring, cantankerous voice of the She-rat. The narrator, in Grass's dream conceit, has the incalculable misfortune of being trapped with his pet in a space capsule orbiting the Earth; the reader can be free of her by simply closing the book. Perhaps Grass imagines his book to he "a poem about the education of the human race." But, though his prose occasionally lapses into (not very good) poetry, his intent remains insistently polemical: he tackles overpopulation, sexism, acid rain, the punk sensibility, the military-in dustrial complex, the arms race, and a horde of other human infamies. The excessive didacticism and amorphous superficiality of these polemics raise the possibility that the whole thing may be a (failed) parody of politi cal discourse. But long before the novel's end, this question, like all others, has ceased to matter: the She-rat's relentless, haranguing, knowit -all voice is so exhausting that ultimately one can no longer digest its mes sage( s). And so, for all of its frenzy of condemnatory noise, very little hap pells in 77re Rat --and none of what does is the least bit unexpected. Only in the novel's last line is there surcease: after a great deal has been said and so very little done, the She-rat, to our immense relief, dissolves. --Michael A. MOl7isOfl Oedipus and Electra Smith Heinlein, Robert. To Sail Beyofld the SlIflset. Ace/Putnam, NY, 1987, 416p. $18.95 he. 0-399-13267-8. Well, they're back. Momma Maureen, Brian Smith, Pop Johnson, Woodrow Wilson (Lazarus) Smith, and almost every other character from Heinlein's pantheon shows up in his new novel, including the small army of felines the long-lived Howard Families keeps around. Heinlein's latest is subtitled "The Life and Loves of Maureen Johnson (Being the Memoirs of a Somewhat Irregular Lady}." And that's about it. The author traces the life of Maureen Johnson-Smith, mother of Lazarus Long, from her birth in 1882 to her 100th birthday. About the middle third of the novel covers the period chronicled in Time Eflough fi),. Love, when Lazarus returned to the Kansas City of his boyhood to meet his family and his younger self. Heinlein's slightly sciencefictional Kan sas City, circa early 20th century, is the background for the better part of 35


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 the book, and what may have been the best thing about Time Ellollgh for LOl"(' has been expanded artfully enough to prevent the reader from think ing he's seen it all before. As in most of Heinlein's recent work, when his characters aren't having sex, preferably with a close blood relation, they're talking about it. Al most all Heinlein's female characters, and especially Maureen, are slaves to their sexual needs. Late in the book, Maureen develops backbone, but even this sop to feminism is marred by her inability to control her two teenagers, and her husband is finally called in to do so. Maureen's one regret in life is that she was never able to entice her own father into bed. Only the Dean of Science Fiction could make incest seem mundane. Having said that, it should be pointed out that this is the best thing Heinlein has written in ten years. Unlike many of his recent novels, this one is a story rather than an excuse to get all his characters together to deliver ideological monologues. Long scenes in Maureen's distant past alternate with a narrative of her current plight --escaping from a prison cell she's confined to. Heinlein introduces several interesting alternate Earths (after an early diatribe against revisionist history), without manag ing to tangle the plot past any reasonable hope of comprehension. The reader is actually capable of caring about the characters, and their story has a discernible ending. This may not be Heinlein at his creative peak, but at least it's a return to his more interesting past creations. -Bob Howe Son of Pynchon, Burroughs, Dick Jeter, K.W. Death AmIS. Morrigan Publications (84 Ivy Ave., Bath, Avon, BA2 IAN England), L987, 168p. .95 trade ed. 1-870338-00-6; .50 special ed. 1-870338-05-7. Morrigan Publications, to their eternal credit, have been issuing, in quite attractive editions, books by some of the finest of American SF writers -books which those writers have been unable to place with major American publishing houses. Last year R.A. Lafferty'S SeTpellt's Egg --a novel written almost a decade ago --appeared [see review below --Ed.l, along with K.W. Jeter's Death Amls, third in a "thematic trilogy" begun by Dr. Adder and the brilliant17lC Glass Hammer. Lafferty and Jeter have had notorious trouble placing some of their manuscripts (Lafferty'S Afore 17IGII Melchisidek was scheduled and then canned by Donning; Jeter's Dr. Adder gathered dust for years before Bluejay found the courage to print it, at the late Philip Dick's urging); the reasons are simple but depressing: Lafferty and Jeter are "non-commercial" writers, pursuing their quirky, obsessive visions along the border of genre SF. Mainstream publishers 36


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 have often quailed at their left -field approaches to the genre, leaving them to seek out the infrequent editor gutsy enough to see their strange books into print. We should all therefore praise and patronize this new, small British imprint for venturing into some dark and dangerous territory where the major American 'houses fear to tread. Jeter's Death Amrs continues this author's bleak exploration of future America, an exhausted wasteland of postindustrial kitsch and amoral decadence. Like his protagonists from the two earlier volumes of this "tril ogy," Jeter's Legger is a weird wreck of a man, skeletally thin and morally exhausted, struggling desperately --but without knowing why --to hang onto some last remnants of humanity. The plot is rather intelligently schematic: what seems at first a bizarre melange of elements --a mysterious Pynchonesque organization called SCRAP, assorted Burrough sian streetpunks, a vast Dickian conspiracy, etc. --turns out to be a seam less story of corruption and betrayal, of the price of loyalty in a world where simple survival is a grueling daily test. Rather than reveal the manifold readerly pleasures involved in the unwinding of that story, I would rather address the various influences invoked above: more than any of the so-called "cyberpunks," Jeter is the inheritor of the speculative mantle of Pynchon, Burroughs, and Dick; his blighted post-urhan land scapes and desperate antiheroes are limned with a ferocity of vision one seldom encounters in the genre. Jeter's style is also masterly: harsh and fragmented, but with a cinematic economy. Deallr Amrs is more than just an excellent science fiction novel, though it is that; it is a work of aesthetic integrity that truly vindicates the genre. Now if only some valiant mass market publisher would negotiate the rights for an American paperback edition. --Judith Catton The Ambulatory Computerized Girl-Child LatTerty, R. A. Se/pent's Egg. Morrigan Puhlications [84 Ivy Ave., South down, Bath, Avon, BA2 IAN, EnglandJ, 1987, IGGp. .95 trade cd., 187U338-1O-3; .50, special ed., 1-870338-15-4. At first sight this book is a bizarre combination of the philosophic and the naive. Set in 2035, it begins with an overheard conversation, about computers taking up astrology, among the surrogate parents of Lord Ran dal (a human boy), Axel (a golden ape of a newly discovered species), and Inneal (an Ambulatory Computer with the appearance of a girl-child). These "children" are mega-intelligent and have been raised together for nearly ten years as part of an Experiment. Later they will link up with the equally strange "children" of three other Experiments, but as they reach their tenth birthdays they know that some will die as they are too dan37


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August19aa gerous to be let loose on the world. These are the serpent's eggs of the t itk. I nneal is sure she is one of t hem as she has created an ocean which, she intends, will cover the entire world. There is much in the novel that is childlike. The stories children tell leap from point to point without regard for logic. SCI]Jellt's Egg does just this, but then, on the very last page, everything falls into place. There be comes rationality where before it did not exist. And, on reflection, this becomes a rather delightful book, which 1 am glad to have read. --Palllille Morgall Humanists vs. Poststructuralists McConkey. James. Kayo: TIIC Allthelltic alld Annotatcd AlltobioW'aphi cal Novel li"0111 Olltcr Space. E. P. Dutton, NY, 1987, 206p. $16.95 he. 0525-24505-7. One has to have a taste for the highly self-conscious, academic parody novel to appreciate fully McConkey's latest fiction. There are moments in reading this book when it is easy to become bored with the constant in jokes, puns, learned allusions, and parodies of academic prose and at titudes. As will happen with sometimes sharply pointed satire (one is supposed to think of Pope and Swift), some jokes will be lost on the general reader -if you aren't aware of the teapot tempests of academic life in the I ""Y League (especially at Cornell), or more generally of the philosophical haules being fought between traditionally humanist scholars and post structuralists, then a good deal of this book will seem pointless indeed. Still, if you go in for this sort of thing, there is fun to be had: plenty of puns ("Chew your native foods; eschew foreign ones"); humorous new names (Ronald Reagan, among others, becomes President Teddy; Carl Sagan, Carl Billions); and elaborately comic learned allusions and revi sions. The latter are chiefly tied up with endlessly self-conscious replays of Don QlIixote. The book's "transcriber" is one Sid Hamete (a latter day Cid Hamet Ben Engeli, Cervantes' imaginary writer of the original Don Ouixote tale). Of course, the novel's main protagonist is none other than Ohcnas, or Kay Aznap, counselor extraordinaire to President Teddy on a planet where political and temporal systems mirror and parody our own. It is typical of the humor here that Kayo's language reverses ours, so that his pen-name in English is really Sancho, and his family name adroitly sug gests both Cervantes' Panza and a world-renowned producer of a car b0l1atcd beverage called Aznap Cola (Pepsi perhaps). The book's main target is what McConkey regards as the incredihle threat to culture that poststrueturalism represents. Standing up for the views of traditional humanism (and sounding remarkably like Jacques Barzun), McConkey simply fictionalizes the long-familiar argument that 38


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 post structuralism is, essentially, just a reincarnation of pyrrhic skepticism. In this view, because poslslructuralism generally denies the sours exist ence, and even asserts lhat signs have no real-world referents, its prac titioners can be reduced to cynical blasphemers who must support the political status quo, no matter how repressive, because they deny thallanguage can change the world. Traditional humanists become "believers" in lhis simple contliet with their enemies, and it is significant that the novel's cynical protagonist (perhaps McConkey's idea of a "practical poststructuralist") ultimately turns toward idealism after he has won a hol low victory over it. Readers may well respond to this curious tale in predictable ways: the uninitiated will quickly despair and set the book aside; idealists who are theoretically aware and already resistant to the new perspectives will ap plaud the accuracy of McConkey's hits. But readers who have been ex cited and liberated by the possibilities of post structuralism may chuckle from time to time, but will ultimately resist McConkey's reductions and misapprehensions. To his encmies, McConkey'S book will seem both funny and wrong. --Len Hatfield Platonists vs. Aristotelians Pollack, Rachel. Alqua Dreams. Franklin Walts, NY, November 1987, 256p. $16.95 hc. 0-531-15070-4. Rachel Pollack's first novel is capable, intellectually stimulating, hut disappointing as fiction. As in Doris Lessing's SF series CaTlOPllS ill Argos, the vehicle for ideas runs over and flattens the story and characters. Alqua Dreams sets an earthman of materialist, Aristotelian bent on a planet of morbid Platonists, his charge to buy a rare mineral. In order to succeed in his mission, he must convert the natives to his own rational materialism and therein lies the novel's conflict. Jaime Cooper spends the entire novel arguing the nature of reality. Because he falls in love with a native woman, he sometimes gets to argue in bed. Ruuli shows Jamie her own "primitive" culture (non-technological, as most Platonic earth cul tures are) and the remnants of a technologically sophisticated but van ished race. Will Jaime buy the mineral he needs, convert the natives, have a full and meaningful relationship with Ruuli, and/or be converted to Platonism himself? As you can perhaps see, the story of Alqua Dreams isn't particularly thrilling. The novel is, however, intcllectually stimulating, exploring as it does the implications of these basic views of the universe, as well as ideas about xenophobia, colonialism, religion, and gender roles. And it is meticulously detailed: the abandoned city of the lost high-tech culture, and the rites, 39


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 aesthetics, and myths of the planet's present inhabitants, are thoroughly and precisely described. But the emphasis on ideas and background bleeds the characters and events of importance. Jaime Cooper is the mouthpiece of Aristotelianism, tirelessly and tiresomely insisting on the reality of the sensory world. (Aet ually, Cooper's earnest proselytizing is a curious approaeh for a man accustomed to dealing with aliens.) Just as relentlessly, Death Woman speaks for the Platonist Lukai. For them, the sensory world is illusion: before birth and after death we pass into reality. All this certainly makes for lengthy circular argument, but it sure doesn't develop character. A/qua Dreams is an interesting failure. Pollack, already a writer of short stories, produces capable prose. While her novel is thoughtful and densely imagined, it lacks storytelling excitement. --Joan Gordon Protean Russ, Joanna. The Hidden Side of the MOOTl. St. Martin's, NY, January 1988, 222p.lproofsl $15.95 he. 0-312-01l05-Y. This is Joanna Russ's second collection of short stories. Where the first, The Zanzibar Cat (1984), emphasized her capacity for relatively conven tional narratives, the present volume shows more range. There are fables, vignettes, pieces that can only be called prose pocms, along with others less readily characterizable. This formal diversity finds unity in a number of recurring themes and motifs: alienated, isolated, anomic, or just plain strange charactcrs; a con trast between natural conditions and the artifice of technological society (and between the characters produced by each); and the plight of women in a male-dominated culture. These themes find further coherence in Russ's challenging exploration of science-fictional tropes and devices as potent alternatives to a sterile or repressive mainstream culture. Some of the most interesting pieces in the book are stories which could be described as "experimental." These, while often featuring no overt SF content, clearly reflect Russ's experience in the genre: they draw readily on imagery from the sciences, providing a wider range of reference than one might find in similar works by William Gass or Robert Coover. In "Life in a Furniture Store," for example, a contemporary situation gives way to a brilliant visionary passage evoking the energies of the earth's core; the story is further framed by delicate off-hand allusions to genre works such as Roger Zelazny'S "Museum Piece" and John Collier's "Evening Primrose." [n "The View from the Window," an entirely realistic story is preceded by two paragraphs of science fiction imagery; the effect of this prelude pervades the entire tale, engendering a dreamlike hyper-reality 40


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 which transforms the mundane university selling into a fantastic landscape as strange and obscurely meaningful as any in Van Vogt or Ballard. Against this backdrop, the story's pathos is all the keener. Perhaps finest of all the stories is "The Autobiography of my Mother, included here as the first section of a diptych entitled "Old Thoughts, Old Presences." In this story, the SF thcme of time travel is abstracted into a rhapsodic transLemporal meditation Lhat is both lucid and haunting. This is one of the best American short stories of its period, as evidenced by its inclusion in one of the O'Henry award volumes. One could go on enumerating the excellences of this collection, There is a wonderfully efficient lillIe ghost story, two chilling fables about the potential of technology to produce a life totally devoid of content, a frighteningly willy examination of the ethos of Lovecraft mania. There is "The Dirty lillIe Girl," which recapituahes some of the themes of "Autobiography" in a morc rclaxed tone. Therc is also thc breathtaking "Rea sonable People." A few stories fail, usually through being ovcr-polemical attempts at satirc, but the collection's strengths far outweigh its defects. --Gene D. Sam\' The Fires of Language Skelton, Robin. Fires of the Killdred. Press Porcepic, Victoria, Be, Canada, 1 Y87, I58p. $9.95 pb. 0-88878-27 t -3. Fire changes things, and Skelton's tale of the Kindred traces the chan ges a small tribal group undergoes in dealing with thc cycles of life. In its attention to mythic origins and tribal politics, the story will remind readers of Auel's Clan Books, or Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's richly textured anthropological fantasy Reilldeer 1II00ll. Skelton's Kindred is a matriarchal society, where worship of an earth goddess leads the people to root all their stories about themselves in female figures and the women of their past. In this wonderful revision of patriarchal culture, at the novel's beginning the village women provide not only direction and healing, but also exercise sole right to choose sexual partners. Tribal business is conducted at the Gatherings, where only recently have the "not-women" been allowed to speak. By the tale's end, this order has been transmuted by thc fires of change, and both the women and the noL-women have discovered new ways to live and die. This brief description alone may suggest why the novel holds our inter est, but Skelton draws us further into this fictive world through careful enrichment of its language. The very words thc Kindred use echo their crises in myth and mores. The Kindred's language has long been highly particular and concrete, a discourse in which the river is called "cold-flowing fish-bearer," and in which a person's name changes with her age, occupa-41


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 tion and condition. With this simple but fundaml:ntal device, Skelton (kmonstraLl:s powerfully the \'lays that a people's social and individual idl:ntities are bound up in their language. This is clearest early in the work whl:1l the male who leads the challengl: to the status quo urges a change in the "callings" or names of things, favoring short, abstract, and fixed names over thl: longer, concrl:te, and more flexible ones of old. As the plot progresses, various characters struggle with these changes, which reflect powerfully upon and soml:times alter their sense of personal awareness, time, and their relations with each other. In its simplicity of action, Fires has the character more of a fable than of a fully articulated fantasy narrative; but like a good fable, this is power ful and intriguing reading. --Lell Hatfield Alien Landscapes Snodgrass, Melinda M .. ed.A /lei}' Large Almy. University of New Mexico Pn:ss, NM, 1<)87, 264p. $16.<)5 he. 0-8263-1013-3. This anthology highlights the diversity and range of talent in New Mexico. The collection includes Terry Boren, Suzy McKee ('ham as, Stephen R. Donaldson, George R.R. Martin, Victor Milan, John.J. Miller, Fred Saberhagen, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Martha Soukup, WalLer Jon Williams, .lack Williamson, and Roger Zelazny. Editor Snodgrass' thesis is that living in New Mexico produces a certain type of fiction, but this isn't exactly born out by the stories. It was only when I had read Boren's "Slid ing Rock" and Martin's "In the Lost Lands" that I began to get a "geographical" feel. Boren's story is about a skinwalker --actually an alien who is gathering information about the Navajo culture; Ashl:r, a graduate student and teacher who cannot find a place for himself in either his own or Native American culture, provides the solution to both of their prob lems. Martin's is an interesting mood piece about a bored princess who receives more than she wants when she buys the ability to shapechange from Gray Alys. After reading these stories, I reread the entire collection, and Snodgrass' thesis began to seem more valid; one can see how the New Mexican landscape might influence SF writers. Picking the best story, or even a favorite one, out of this collection is impossible. Each story has its own charm, and soml:times an eerie appcal. Milan's "Feast of John the Baptist" is a cute tOllr de force that shows the Hispanic stereotype to be a dead end. Soukup'S "Frenchmen and Plumbers" is a funny twist on the deliS cx 11lac/rilla and a good observation that even aliens who learn our language wouldn't necessarily understand us. Donaldson's "Unworthy of an Anger' shows us that being the good guy is not all fun and gamcs. Snodgrass' own "Requiem" fillingly ends the col-42


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 kction. If this anthology is any indication of the talent in New Mexico, then there is room for other collections. --W,R. Lanier Hard Luck History Tim Sullivan. Destiny's End. Avon, July 1988, $3.98 paper, ISBN 0-38075352-9. Destiny's End is not, as the jacket blurb contends, Sullivan's third novel. It's his first, composed around 1980, and the hard luck history of this talented writer and his "big book" ought to be a cautionary tale for all aspiring wordsmiths. Had it appeared in its proper milieu (about 1982, say) Destiny's End, a novel of cosmic scope and considerable grandeur, should have been a blockbuster. Coupled with the really fine stories Sullivan was producing then ("My Father's Head," "Zeke," "The Comedian") it might conceivably have earned him a John W. Campbell Award and a secure place in popular fandom. But it was sold to the ill-fated Hank Stein, then editor at DonningiStarblaze (the same company that screwed up Somtow Suchar itkul's best novel, Vampire Jllnction). Hank then decided he wanted a tril ogy, and for two more years Sullivan labored to expand the text by 400 pages. Not long after the trilogy version was accepted, however, Stein got fired, and Donning vacillated about publication for another year or two. At last Sullivan got an agent to retrieve rights to the book, and John Douglas of Avon bought it. But Douglas, of course, wanted it cut back to mid-list novel size, and since the original manuscript had long since disappeared, the rewriting took another year. Finally, perhaps feeling that the cyclical big-bang universe, a hot concept in 1980, had grown a bit stale, Avon procrastinated another two years before bringing it out, without fan fare, in the midst of this summer's doldrums. Sullivan, never a prolific writer, had to support himself meanwhile with temporary teaching jobs, library jobs, bookstore jobs. When Pinnacle Books was desperate for writers to cash in on the popularity of the television series "V," Sullivan wangled three book contracts, producing quick, competent and amiable trash to order. (Ironically, two of these volumes briefly appeared on the B. Dalton bestseller lists). So the jacket blurb is technically correct in one sense. But no one who bought the "V" novels is likely to seek out (or enjoy if they do) this ambitious epic tale. Sullivan has set his story in an entropic universe on the verge of col lapse. Mankind alone among the sentient races still persists. As a race, man's refusal to acknowledge final defeat is treated as comic or tragic by turns. Wedded to joys of the flesh, man can conceive virtue in no other form of immortality than endless material existence. But there are 43


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 "Others" --immaterial beings who appear to be tampering with man's fate. Behind the events of this novel they hover like Greek deities, pulling strings no man can perceive or even acknowledge. In fact, the principal characters appear to be acting out, unknown to themselves, the patterns of an ancient Orestiad. These "Others," however, are not godlike in the traditional sense. They apparently employ the long-abandoned technological wonders of extinct races to mimic the matings of gods and mortals. The fabulous organic "machinery" of the dead Rocinthans is marvelously imagined and effec tively used. Meanwhile the millenial ennui of an "immortal" human civili zation, subconsciously at odds with its own racial imperative for survival, is complexly represented in the violent character of Acrios, human "Receptor" of the planet Rocinth, whose power and prominence derive from his sacred mission: to divine the means by which humanity may escape the imminent collapse. The situation is full of understated ironies. Hedonistic man has even built a massive machine-brain (an entire planet) dedicated to the search for immortality. It is constructed in man's own materialistic image, of course, and ironically its only effective function proves to be to hide the obvious means of escape --acknowledgment of the life of the soul. In fact, the interplay of man's animal rage for life, versus the soul's quest for physi cal death, forms the major underlying theme; it forms, as well, a meta physical commentary on Freud's famous "Civilization and Its Discon tents." I am not claiming too much for this book. It has both a fast-moving and colorful furegrouml, and a profound underlying message. It also creates a number of memorable characters, the most engaging of which is the alien, Bilyf, a "Mennon chronopath" whose fragmentary perceptions of future events make him an unwilling seer, while his racial predilection for a life of servitude makes him a grumpy saint. Compared to the idiotic premises of the entire "V" series, the world of this novel is elegantly con ceived and beautifully realized. I urge all members of the SFRA to seek out this book (it may still be on some bookstore shelves) and give it the at tention it deserves. --R. A. Collins Generic Drift Tuttle, Lisa. A Spaceship BlIilt of Stolle. Women's Press, London, 1987, 192p. .50 pb. 0-7043-4084-4. Despite the fact that this collection has been published by a feminist press, the ten stories it contains are not, for the most part, particularly feminist in tone, less so than those in Tuttle's other collection, A Nest of 44


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 Nightmares (Sphere, 1986). Tuttle is at her best as a short story writer. The power and sheer quality of her work are unmistakable on every page. The reason why she is not more greatly renowned for her excel1ence is also to be found in this col lection: she spreads herseif too thinly across SF, fantasy and horror. Al1 three are represented here. While a reviewer can usually pick the two best or most representative stories from a collection to mention and general ize about, the diversity here means that there isn't a typical story and the quality makes one sorry not to be able to discuss every piece in turn. "No Regrets" is a convincing ghost/horror story which can be viewed as a companion piece -an alternative, perhaps -to Tuttle's 1987 novel, Gabliel. "The Family Monkey" is a sharp but touching SF story (which made a strong impression on this reviewer when it first appeared, ten years ago, and has never been forgotten); would a humanoid alien who visited Earth alone be considered a second-class citizen? "Wives" is a terrifying feminist satire. "Birds of the Moon" is an extraordinary symbolic fantasy. And this is a highly recommended volume. --Ollis Morgan Cyberpunk (Dominant) Williams, WaIter Jon. Voice of the Whirlwind. Tor, NY, 1987, 278p. $16.95 he. 0-312-93013-15. It has been clear for some time that Walter Jon Williams is a writer to watch. He began his puhlishing career in 1981 with a series of sea novels, fast-paced and historically rich, but the publication in 1984 of Ambassador of Progress, his first science fiction novel, marked the beginning of a period of rapid development. Attention to detail carried Ambassador of Pro gress, but in Knight Mo\'es (1985) Williams revealed an added emotional depth and control of structure. The novel was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick award that year. In 1986 Tor released Hardwired, a jaw-clenching drag race of a novel which successfully utilized parrallel plot structure and present tense narration in telling the desperate and archetypal story of two rebels in a shattered and beaten world. It received deserved critical attention and en thusiasm, and brought Wil1iams's work to a much wider audience. Voice of the J.Fhirlwind is ostensibly set in the same universe as Hardwired, but projected 200 years into the future. Etienne Steward is a clone, a "Beta," who wakes from his own death shorn of the final fifteen years of his life. He grew up in those lost fifteen years, physically survived a war on a planet called Sheol, fathered a child, divorced, remarried, and died in body and soul. Steward doesn't know why he died, only that his world fell apart and he was murdered. Unable 45


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August19BB to allow the "Alpha's" life to circumscribe itself, Steward is drawn pro gressively deeper into a world of policorporate deceit and betrayal, and forced to look directly into the blighted history of his Alpha, into what he cannot help but consider his own life. His is a search for both knowledge and revenge, and the action of the novel sprints from Earth and its orbi tals to distant Ricot and Vesta, man-made corporate habitats. Steward moves in a high-tech world of redesigned humanity, human/computer in terfaces. biological and chemical weapons, drugs, and Urban Surgery. Through it all, he searches for perfection of action, for the still center of purpose, the voice of the Zen whirlwiml. Such was the ideal of Alpha Steward. the mercenary, the trained war rior fanatic. And that is what the Alpha found: perfection of action detached from anything except spirit --or action divorced from consequence, which may be another thing entirely. Ultimately, it is these consequences that the Beta Steward must face. Voice of the Whir/willd is Williams's best work to date; this tough, splendid blade of a novel should not be missed. --Ten)' Borell Cybe"punk (Residual) Womack, Jack. Ambiellt. Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1987, 259p. $15.95 he. 1-55584-082-5. New York City. The early 21st century. Economic and spiritual col lapse have left society as corrupt as its landscape is polluted. Ravaged by youth gangs and local terror groups operating out of Brooklyn and Queens, Manhatlan is a war zone. Through the cityscape lurch the refuse of society -the owners; the boozhics (bourgeois); the underclass, pegged by the government as "the Superfluous." And the Ambients: grotesquely mutated progeny of parents irradiated during a nuclear accident on Long Island years earlier, their numbers swelled by voluntarily deformed humans whose surgical sci/'mutilation is a shriek of protest against the powers that rule. This is the world of Jack Womack's first novel, Ambiellt. Language, too, festers with corruption. "Buzspeak" and militarese have reduced the discourses of business and government to post -Orwellian babble. By contrast, the Ambients speak a bizarre yet beautiful language of J oycean complexity: a blend of Elizabethean English, truncated futur istic slang, Spanglish, and Jamaican Rasta. The Ambients' linguistic aes theticism -"only in word and not in image could true beauty be found, and no inherent horror could ever disguise or disfigure it" -belies the dark nihilism of their philosophy: "Ambients rejoiced that these were the last days, wished and prayed lhat... an end might be delivered to the world that ran raw around them."


SFRA Newsletter No. 159, August1988 The Ambients are so powerful a symbol for the horrors of the world Jack Womack limns in this uncompromising first nnvelthattheir offstage presence overwhelms his (pedestrian) plot. Seamus O'Malley works as a bodyguard for Thatcher Dryden, the paranoid, drug-wasted head of an incalculably powerful conglomerate called Dryco. O'Malley is as near a man of principle as this degenerate world will permit; but driven by his growing love for Dryden's companion Avalon, he lets Dryden co-opt him into a scheme to kill the imperious "Old Man who O\vns the Company," Dryden's father. One thing leads to another, and before long O'Malley and Avalon are on the run; their chase leads ultimately to the (uninspired) secret behind the Drydens' power. What savesAmbiellt from such trivia are Womack's inventiveness, un equivocal cynicism --and above all, his powerful, often poetic prose. Although the linguistic experiments in this novel draw on Burgess, Orwell, and even Joyce, its story and tone are more reminiscent of works like K.W. Jeter's Dr. Adder (1984) and Walter .Ion Williams' Hardwired (1986). Indeed, but for its lack ofbio-tech implants,AlIlbiellt qualifies as cyberpunk. But for all its wit and wordplay, its satire and black comedy, Ambiellt remains one of the most profoundly depressing dystopias in years. At one point, Enid, O'Malley's sister and a voluntary Ambienl, poetically sums up the novel's dark cynicism: "So worse is most that nothing bears so lit tle bad." --Michael A. M017isOil Unprolific, but Seminal Zoline, Pamela. BliSY Abollt the Tree oI LiIe. Women's Press, London, .Ianuary 1988, 187p. .95 pb. 0-7043-3998-6. One of the least prolific of all writers within the genre of SF, Pamela Zoline made a great impression with her debut story, "The Heat Death of the Universe," in 1967. A brilliantly structured conceit linking house work with entropy, the tale was so original, so very much at the cutting edge of the NewWave (and it first appeared in New Worlds under Michael Moorcock's editorship), that to fulfill its enormous promise would have been all but impossible. In facl, Zoline seems not to have tried, and only four other stories have come from her in the last twenty years. And here they all are, her five stories in her first book. The title story has not been previously published; it's clever but not exactly entertaining, a satire about evolutionary chances. The same (clever but not entertaining) can be said for "Sheep" and "Instructions for Exiting This Building." The other story, "The Holland of the Mind," is another brilliant experimental piece from the late 1%0's. --Ollis Morgall 47


SFRA Newsletter No. 159 Robert A. Collins, Editor English Department Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL 33431 Nonprofit Organization U. S. POSTAGE PAID BOCA RATON, FLORIDA Permit No. 77 DATED MATERIAL PLEASE DO NOT DELAY

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mods:relatedItem type host
mods:identifier issn 1068-395Xmods:part
mods:detail issue mods:number 159series Year mods:caption 19881988Month August8Day 11mods:originInfo mods:dateIssued iso8601 1988-08-01