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SFRA newsletter
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Science fiction -- History and criticism ( lcsh )
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ISFRA NewsletterIJuly/August 1990, No. 179In This Issue:President's Message (Hull)3Pioneer Announcement (Williams) 5 Pioneer Presentation (fatsumi)6Pioneer Acceptance (Hollinger)8Pilgrim Presentation (Cummins)11Pilgrim Acceptance(fymn)13Nominating Committee Report (Hardesty)16Current Works in Progress17Studies for New Literary Genre Series Sought (Barron) 18 The ShapeofFilmstoCome (Krulik) 18 Recent and Forthcoming Books (Barron)22Executive Committee Meeting Minutes (Mead)24Business Meeting Minutes (Mead)27Miscellany (Barron) 29 Directory Update (Mead)30Call for Papers (Slusser)33Feedback 34 Campbell&Sturgeon Awards (Gunn) 35 Editorial (Harfst)36REVIEWS:Non-Fiction:Ellison,Harlan Ellison's Watching(Klossner) 37 Engle,RodSerling:TheDreamsandNightmaresofLife in the Twilight Zone(Klossner) 38 Huntington,Rationalizing Genius(Mellott) 39 laValley,InvasionoftheBodySnatchers(Klossner).41Weinberg, Dziemianowirtz, and Greenberg,RivalsofWeird Tales(Heller).42Fiction:Asprin,M.Y.T.H.Inc.jPhule'sCompany(Mende) .43 Blair, ALandscapeofDarkness(Parkin-Speer) .44 Mason,Arachne(Marx).45YoungAdult:Huff,GateofDarkness, CircleofLight(Becker).46Knaff,Manhattan(Attebery).47McGowen,TheMaician's'Challene Collett .47


SFRANewsh.Ily/August 1990The SFRA NewsletterPublished ten times ayearfortheScience Fiction Research AssociationbyAlan Hypatia Press, Eugene, Oregon. Copyright@1990bythe SFRA. Editorial correspondence: Betsy Harfst, Editor, SFRA Newsletter,2357E. Mesa,. 85204.Send changesofaddressand/orinquiries concerning sUbscriptionstothe Treasurer, listed below.2SFRA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEPresidentElizabeth Anne Hull Liberal Arts Division William Rainey Harper College Palatine, Illinois60067Vice-PresidentNeil Barron1149Lime Place Vista, California92083SecretaryDavidG.Mead English Department Corpus Christi State University Corpus Christi, Texas78412TreasurerThomas J. Remington English Department University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa50614Immediate Past PresidentWilliamH.Hardesty English Department Miami University Oxford, Ohio45056Pioneer AwardVeronica Hollinger (1990)Past PresidentsofSFRAThomasD.Clareson(1970-76)ArthurO.Lewis, Jr.(1977-78)Joe De Bolt(1979-80)James Gunn(1981-82)PatriciaS.Warrick(1983-84)DonaldM.Hassler(1985-86)Past Editorsofthe NewsletterFred Lerner(1971-74)Beverly Friend(1974-78)Roald Tweet(1978-81)Elizabeth Anne Hull(198184)RichardW.Miller(1984-87)RobertA.Collins(1987-89)Pilgrim Award WinnersJ.O.Bailey(1970)MarjorieHopeNicolson(1971 )Julius Kagarlitski(1972)JackWilliamson(1973)I.F.Clarke(1974)Damon Knight(1975)James Gunn(1976)ThomasD.Clareson(1977)BrianW.Aldiss(1978)Darko Suvin(1979)Peter Nichols(1980)Sam Moskowitz(1981)Neil Barron(1982)H.Bruce Franklin(1983)Everett Bleiler(1984)SamuelR.Delany(1985)George Slusser(1986)GaryK.Wolfe(1987)Joanna Russ(1988)UrsulaK.LeGuin(1989)Marshall Tymn(1990)


SFRANewsletter, No.179,july/August 1990President's MessageTHETIMECAPSULE THINGIt's happened again.TodayI received the May and June Issuesofthe newsletterIna single envelope. And there weremyownwordsstaring at me from thedarkdawnofpre-history;InmyPresident's MessageforMayI was discussing Julius Kagarlitskl's lecturetourthis spring,butbetween the writing and the reading news came that Kagarlitski has had a heart attack and bypass surgery before he left the United States. It is not a fate I would have wished forourPilgrim winner. However, last I heard he was recovering well and will be back in Moscow, shouldanymembers wanttowrite him there. As I write thisInmid-July, expecting ittobe delivered in late August, I wonder what other unexpected developments willoccurbythen.I'mnot the only onetodoso. At the SFRA meeting in Long Beach,atthe Campbell Awards Conference in Lawrence, Kansas, and at Chimera, a new"sercon"convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, this past weekend,wediscussed (among many other things,ofcourse) the implicationsofthe endless rapid shifts in global politics thatwehear about in every day's news.Itremainstobe seen what impact these changes will haveonthe writersofsf,but it seems certain that thoseonthe cutting edge willnotbe writing the same fiction they might have written in the 1980's. I can't help feelingsomehowpersonally responsibleforsomeofthis. I seemtohave a particular knackformaking planstovisit a countryorarea of the world which will become unstable before I get there. We had just decidedtospendourwinter break in lovely Grenada before President Reagan sentInthe U.S. Marines. In the caseofour 48-hour visittoThailand whilewewere going around the world in 1985, that country famousforits bloodless coups had a one-daycoupd'etat --in which five people died--and we left under martial law. And this past winterwechosetovisit Latin America just when President Bush invaded Panama. Perhapswecan spreadourinfluencetoanother continent. Reading Mike Resnick'sParadisethis spring rekindledmylong-standing desiretovisit East Africa while it's still possibletoview vast numbersofwild animals in their natural habitats. So I shouldn't be surprised at recent events in Kenya, which makeourtravel planslookpretty shaky. But maybe serendipity will take us somewhere even more interesting;whoknows? Next stop, anyway, will be The Hague, for the World SF meeting in con junction with the world con. Each year World SF gives awards (called the Karels, after Karel Capek)forexcellence in the translationofscience fiction. I am always interested in receiving nominations from SFRA membersforthe Karels. Americans havewonvery fewofthem, mostly because wedoso little3


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990translation. I would very much appreciateItif anySFRAmemebers could let me have recommendations of a worthy translator; you need notbeaWortdSFmember to make a suggestion.For that matter, thetranslatorneednot beanAmerican, either. Speaking of travel, at the Campbell conference, Jim Gunn was full of stories about his just-completed trip to the FarEast:Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. From Singaporehebrought greetings from Klrpal Singh, whom manySFRAmembers will remember.(Andwho promisestorenew his membership inSFRA.)And Jim reports that there is a surprising interest in sf among those with whomhemet inTaipeI.From stili another corner of the globe I've received the Brazilian edition of Orson Scott Card'sEnder'sGamefrom Aleph Publicadoes of SaoPaulo.Since I don'treadPortuguese, if any member does and would like the book I'll be glad to passItalong. ElsewhereInthis issue you can read the minutes of the Executive Commit tee and Business meetingsInLong Beach,aswellasthe Treasurer's financial report. Now It's time to think of1991.Asof this writing, we have two offers for hosting the annual meeting nextyear.Bothhavebeen asked to submit a written bid for the consideration of the Executive Committee. A decision willbereachedasquicklyasfeasible, and I hope to make a definite announcement on the1991site selection in the next newsletter. A final request: weneedpeople qualified and willing to serve on the Pilgrim and Pioneer Committees. I willbemaking the appointments by October, if atallpossible, so the committees can organize and function smoothly. If you are interestedinserving on either of these committees or wish to nominate another member, please dropmea note with any relevant supporting information. --Elizabeth Anne Hull4


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 19901990Pioneer Announcement1990 PIONEER AWARD STANDARDSTakayukl Tatsuml, Russell Letson, and I are delightedtohave thisopportunitytogivethefirst Pioneer Awardtoa fine pieceofSF criticism. In preparation fortheawardweread as widely as possiblebothIn genre pUblications likeFoundation, Science Fiction Studies,andTheNewYork ReviewofScience Fictionandin non-genre publications likePMLAandThe American Transcen dental Quarterly,and also looked at several pieces nominatedbyindividuals. Whatwewerelookingforwas an article with a reasonably broad subject thatembodiedthehigh standardsofscholarshipwhich-wehope--arethegoalofSFRA. We therefore eliminated from consideration anumberofexcellent articleswhichseemedtoonarrowly focused (on a single author,forexample), which had relevancetoonlya small area withinthegenre,orwhich were reprints. Whatoursearchbroughtoutwasthehigh qualityofcriticism in the field and the difficulty in settlingonjustone article. We are therefore publishing a"shortlist"ofrecommendedarticles in additiontothe winner. It is interestingtonote that it includes articlesbynoless than threeformerPilgrim winners!1990PIONEER AWARDVeronica Hollinger."The Vampireandthe Alien: Variationsonthe Outsider, Science Fiction Studies16.2, 145-160.HONORABLE MENTION SHORT LISTKathryn Cramer."TheNewGeneration Gap: AStudyofSF Writers' Ages of ProfessionalEntryintotheScience Fiction FieldforSix DecadesofSF,"TheNew York ReviewofScience Fiction,11(July 1989) 1&3-6. SamuelR.Delany."NeithertheBeginningNortheEndofStructuralism, Post-Structuralism, Semiotics,orDeconstruction for SF Readers: AI1lntroduetion,"TheNewYork ReviewofScience Fiction,6, (February 1989)1,8-12; 7 (March 1989) 14-18; 8 (April 1989) 9-11. GeorgeE.Slusser. "StructuresofApprehension: Lem, Heinlein,andthe IStrugatskys,"Science Fiction Studies16.1, 1-37.5


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990Brian Stableford."ToBringInFine Things:TheSignificanceofScience Fiction Plots,"TheNewYork ReviewofScience Fiction,9 (May1989),1,8-10.Bruce Sterling. "Slipstream,"Science Fiction Eye,5 (July1989),77-80. Darko SlNin."OnGibson andCyberpunkSF,"Foundation,46 (Autumn1989), 40-51.-LynnWilliams1990 Pioneer PresentationTHEFIRST-EVER PIONEER AWARDAs Samuel DelanyonceputIt,todefine"sciencefiction" isnotsomuch "still difficult" as "basically impossible."Weare just allowedtowitness what science fiction does:ourgenre,forexample, could be saidtodo"thedistortionofthe present" rather than the "predictionofthe future," but even this isnota definition,butmerely a descriptionofa specific functionofscience fiction. And yet, theproblemis that despite this kindofdifficulty in definingthegenre, nowwesometimes feel like assuming that science fiction has Invariably been a certain"knownspace."Toput it another way, towards the endofthetwentieth century now, when the post-cyberpunk phenomenon issodeeplyaffecting our civilization and culture,wecould feel as if science fiction is a given framework, very natural and already established. But, if so,wewillnotneed "literary criticism" per se. Any formofcriticism, I believe, deserves the name when tt questions what has been conventionally takenforgranted. Lately I read in the April 30 issueofTimemagazine a very provocative article called "Einstein in Love," writtenbyDennis Overbye (p.56). Closely reading Einstein's letters pUblished in1987,theauthorcametosuppose that Albert Einstein and his wife Mileva were a sortofresearch partners, because Albert wrote in1901as follows;"Howhappyand proud I will be when thetwoofustogether will have broughtourworkonthe relative motion (relativity)toa victorious conclusion." In other words,itis awomancalled Milevawhomay have discovered relativity, and thismayhelp us solve the puzzles surrounding Albert Einstein,"suchaswhyhe never explained where hegotthe ideaforrelativity." Iamjust sorry that the authorofthearticle endsupcreating another sentimental romance, by stating that "Einstein's scientific life blossomedatthe same time as the rest of his life, especiallywhenhe wasInlove." What attractedmemost, however, wasnotthe Einstein as an ordinary manbutthe Einstein whose discoveryofrelativity theory,Inlightofthe typical discourseofthe end of the century, seemstorediscover the scientist himselfnotfreefromrelativity;6


SFRANewsletter, No. 179, July/August 1990Dennis Overbye's readingofthe letters puts Into question the very authority of Einstein, reconstructing his "absolute originality" as always already relative. What had made his originality seem completely authentic wasnoother than Einstein's patriarchal geniusforthe storytelling of science, which successfully repressedthevoice of femininity.Forhim, like other scientists, science isnotso different from fiction, in that it contains within It the rhetoricoffiction. Hence the discourseofscience as a fiction. But, It is also true that, shortly after Einstein's theorizationofrelativity (1905-1915), Russian Formalism (1916 1930) started promoting a critical perspectiveoffiction as a science, which later encouraged such structuralistsorpost-structuralists as Northop Frye, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida,orPauldeMantoconstruct their own discourse of theories. Neither sciencenorfiction has turned out always self-evident. For us to read science fiction inthe1990s, therefore, istobe confronted with the battlefield where meaningsofscience and fiction contradict themselves: science contains within itself something fictional, and vice versa. From this viewpointofboUndary transgression, It issafetoconsider feminist criticism as oneofthe major battlefields in the above sense. Maryjacobusand others recently edited a collection of essays calledBody/Politics:Womenand the DiscourseofScience(london:Routledge, 1990), in the introductionofwhich the femalebodyis graspedasthe terrain where"theintersectionofIdeological and material scientific practice" (p.3) takes place. With the high-tech developmentofmodern science, the traditional metaphors of"thefemalebodyofnature" dominatedby"masculine science" get literal Ized.Forexample, the increasing numberofsurrogate mothers testifiestothe mass productionofthe immaculate conception coming true in the technologi cal sense. But,bythe same token, as Jacobus implies, the required presenceina surrogacy agreementofthe commissioning father wil unwittingly strengthen the orthodox ideologyofChristianity. Metaphors get demystifiedbytechnol ogy, while the things literalized become refigured into ideologies. Feminist discourse, thus, seemstobe oneofthe best places wherewecould recognize the vital oscillation betweentheliteral and the figurative, the technological and the ideological, the Occidental and the Oriental, the socialistic and the capital istic,orthe scientific and the fictional. The Pioneer Award was setupjust because, Intheageofboundary transgression,wemust atonceappreciate and refresh the criterionofscience fiction criticism. Indeed,wehave a lotofup-to-date critical methods now, like gyno-eriticism, rhetorical reading,NewHistoricism, cultural materialism, liter ary anthropology, primatological feminism, andsoon. But, whatever approachIsemployed,thehighest valueofscience fiction criticism liesInhowwell It uniquely represents science fiction. Veronica Hollinger's essay,"TheVampire and the Alien: Variationsonthe Outsider",(Science Fiction Studies,vol.16, pt.2, July 1989, WholeNumber48),isa well-Informed and well-documented representationofan aspectoffeminist7


SFRANewsletter,No.179, July/August 1990science fiction. Veronica Is still a graduate student,atConcordia UniversityInCanada,buthas already published quite extensively In the field. Her concept In this essayIsvery simple. She contrasts Collin Wilson'sThe Space Vampires(1976), whose scientific explanation rather foregrounds the human/allen or male/female binary opposition, withJodyScott'sI,Vampire(1984), whose female lesbian vampire displaces the above two-term system with a three-term one, the vampire/alien/human opposition, radically deconstructing Stoker's and Wilson's patriarchal visionofthe other: Scott could replace Wilson'sideaof"Outsider" with the new ideaofFeminist Outsider, in termsofSuzy MacKee Charnas, Angela Carter,orT anith Lee. It is notable that in this essay thereIsnothing mystifying. Whoever reads science fiction along with current literary criticism finds her logicbynomeans uncanny, in spite of her selection of the supposedly uncanny topic.Inparticular, the revived conceptof"Outsider" may soundtooold-fashioned. But, this is partofthe author's strategy. Veronicanotonly created a collageartof familiar things, but also opened a new feministwaytoreconsider science fiction, radically attacking and reconstructingWilson's vision. What ismore,here you may feel her deepest love for science fiction. We have already traversed a lotofessays skillfully interpretingourgenre from a post-modernist critical perspective, but there are very few embodying the passion for science fiction as such. In this sense, Veronica's approach is a splendid exception,asis also seeninher lately edited special "Science FictionbyWomen"issueofScience Fiction Studies.Accordingly, the first Pioneer Award committee members, Lyn Williams, Russell Letson, andI,all feelnohesitationtorecom mend Veronica Hollinger's article for the first-ever Pioneer Award. --Takayuki Tatsumi1990 Pioneer AcceptanceREFUSE TO CHOOSEPreparedbyVeronica Hollinger DeliveredbyJoan Gordon I'll beginbysaying how sorry Iamthat I can't be here in person this eveningtoaccept the SFRA's first Pioneer Award, something thatweall, I think, can appreciate as both special and timely. If the roleofthe Pilgrim Award is to recognize anaccumulationof accomplishments in the fieldofSF criticism, the Pioneernowexists both to recognize andtoencourage the discrete "bytes," those steps taken one at a time, which over time and taken all togethergointo the developmentofa whole. I am very gratefultoSFRAforits recognition of a particular step inmyown academic life. I thank the membersofthe Pioneer8


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990committeeforthis signal honor; as Inadequate as"thankyou"sounds, I mean It most sincerely. I'd also like, through Joan,tosendmyspecial regardstoTakayukl Tatsumi, withwhomI spentsome very entertaining and enlightening hours during the courseofseveral SFRA meetings. Since your returntoJapan, Takayuki, I've followedyourcareerInthe pages ofScience-FictionEyeand elsewhere and am hoping that onedaysoon you will be Inspiredtowrite a sequeltoyour recentCyberpunk America;"Cyberpunk Canada" is rightupnorth waitingtobe discovered....It remainstobe seen, however, whether "Cyberpunk Quebec" will be a chapterInthisbookwith Its own distinct status,ofcourse -ora completely separatebookon Its own. I find It difficulttoknow whattosay at this point. I could point out that the 1985 SFRA conference at Kent State was the first conference of any kind that I ever attended and that the warm welcome I received there made me realize that perhaps the academic life was the right oneforme after all;orI could recallmysecond conference, the 1986 SFRA meeting in San Diego, at whichmypaperontime-travel caused some controversy and made me realize that perhaps the academic life wasnotthe rightoneforme after all until, whimpering aboutmyInjured sensibilitiestoa friend at Concordia, I was congratulated for having found a groupofcolleaguesforwhomIntellectual controversy was still alive and well--the academic life and the occasional uproar have suited me just fine ever since. But perhaps Iwon'tmention these things-Instead,let me time-travel from the pasttothe present. At the moment, I am in the processofmoving frommyhome-city, Montreal,toa small townInOntario, a move which will probably test my Pioneering spirittothe max (that wasmynodtoCalifornia). Peterborough holds at least one irresistible lure, however not onlymyfirst full-time university job, but one which will allow metowork in bothmychosen fields, theatre arts and science fiction. At Trent University, I'll have the opportunity to introducemystudentstoboth the courseofWestern theatreandthe history and themes ofSF;if the first representsmylove affair with"high"culture, the latter exemplifies my equally serious romance with"popular"culture. AndI'mnot Interested in academic monogamy, in settlingforeither"high"or"pop"asIfthe existence of one negated the reality of the other. I refusetochoose between them; even entertaining the notionofa choiceInthis context setsupfalse dichotomies which can only leadtotrouble.Nowthat I've cleverly sidled overtothe subjectofdeconstructing opposi tions --myfavorite theoretical hobby-horse andmypreferred politicalmoveI must admithowpleased I am that It ismyessayon"The Vampire and the Allen" which has been chosenforthe Pioneer Award. This essay wasInlarge part InspiredbymydiscoveryofJodyScott's crazy feminlstjvampirejtime-travelnovel,l, Vampire,a text which absolutely refusestostay put on either sideofthegreat divide between fantasy andSF.Such a lackofconcern for generic9


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990boundariesIsat once liberating and anxiety-making, and we might say the same thing about political non-systems like feminism, philosophical non systems like deconstruction,andliterary non-systems like science fiction, which are all of them exhilarating and worrisome at the same time. It seems we can't have the exhilaration without the worry, and so we leamtolive with the combination and here we are, postmodernists whether we use the word or not. The problems begin,Itseemstome, when we Insist on perceiving different things as not only different, but opposite--and then believe that we have to make choices between these opposites. As in:Iscontemporary life completely wonderfulorcompletely awful?Isfeminism goingtospell the end of life as we knowItorwill it save the world?Ispopular culture worth spending time with or isItsome kind of intellectual pollutant?Isscience fiction the "literature of tomorrow"ora throwbacktothe bad old days of scientific chauvinism?Intryingtocomeupwith a"yes"or a"no"toquestions like these, which,ofcourse, have already oversimplified extremely complex and contradictory phenomena, we back ourselves into corners which we are then forced to defendbyattacking other people's corners. One waytopreventthis retreat into narrow little spaces istorefusetochoose:don'tjust say no anddon'tjust say yes either. Insist on both,orneither,orone after the other -orsomething else entirely. This, I think,isInpart what Donna Haraway means when, in her "Manifesto for Cyborgs," she writes about "cyborg unities" which "are monstrous and illegitimate; in our present political circumstances," she continues,"wecould hardly hope for more potent myths for resistance and recoupling.IIFor Haraway, the image of the cyborg--a creature which is both organic and machine--represents her postmodern refusaltosustain a false opposition between the human and the technological;Itis in this sense that Iamsuggesting that we also refusetochoose. I've been thinking a lot about monsters lately, and maybe this is one definition of the monstrous--something composed of parts which are often considered mutually exclusive, contradictory,orinharmonious. Like Joanna Russ's female man, like vampires and science fiction, like science-fiction aca demics--like human beings. Thank you, pioneersall--see you next year,eh?10


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990Pilgrim PresentationA MULTI-FACETED PILGRIMSince 1970, the Science Fiction Research Association has annually given the Pilgrim Award"inrecognitionofdistinguished contributionstothe studyofscience fiction." The roll callofnamesIsimpressive, beginning with J.O. Baileyforwhose book,Pilgrims Through SpaceandTime(1947) the award was named. Tonightweare giving the twenty-first award. This year's Pilgrim Award Committee, appointedbytheSFRAPresident, Elizabeth Anne Hull, consisted of GaryK.Wolfe, Chair; Neil Barron; Joan Gordon, and me. We are honoring tonight a manwhohas helped create the contemporary fieldofscience fiction and fantasy bibliography.Weare honor ing a manwhohas edited special issuesofmagazines, books, and a publisher's seriesofscholarly books on science fiction and fantasy literature. We are honoring a manwhohas assisted the teachersofscience fiction and fantasy, not only through pedagogical articles and seminars, butwhohas also served as an officer inourspecialized organizations. We are honoring MarshallB.Tymn. Tymn's activityInthe field continuestoaffect each scholar and teacher in science fiction and fantasy. Wemayhave gottenourfirst publication through his requestorencouragementtoparticipateInone of his projects--TheScience Fiction Reference Book,perhaps,orthe special issueofMediaandMethods.Weprobably picked up one of his sample syllabifora science fiction course at an SFRA meeting. We have pulled oneofhis bibliographies off the library shelf to assist us in a researchproject--Science Fiction, FantasyandWeird Fiction Magazinesperhaps,orHorror Literature:ACore CollectionandReference Guide.We takeforgranted that each year his "Year's ScholarshipInScience Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Literature" will appearInExtrapolation.And--Iet's be honest, now--wedon'tjust check the annual reporttosee what's beendoneon a particular authororwork; we wanttoseeournames In print, we wanttosee where Tymn has listedourarticles. But let mebemore explicitaboutMarshall Tymn's contributions. In the early '70's he originated and continuestoproducetheonlyauthoritative annual bibliographyofscholarship in the field,"TheYear's ScholarshipInFantastic Literature." As oneofTymn's nominators stated, this extended project "displays more dedication that almostanyother scholar in the field can claim." Hisworkhad been precededbyScience Fiction Criticism: An Annotated ChecklistbyThomasD.Clareson, the 1977 Pilgrim winner. Tymn's work, originally viewedbymany as a supplementtoClareson's, isnowrecognized as an independent publication, following the guidelines and categories Tymn has developed.11


SERANewsletter,No.179,July/August 1990The Annual list has been pUblished most frequently InExtrapolationsince 1975; both collected and Individual years have been published InbookformbyKent State University Press (1979-85). For some annual lists he had co-editors;forothers he had consulting and associate editors. In this and other projects, Tymn always has the foresighttorecruit scholarsInthe United States and Englandwhoare knowledgeable andwhorespect and enjoythemeticulousworkof making bibliographies. By"otherprojects," Iamreferringtothe numerous single-volume bibliog raphies Tymn has conceived, supervised, and published. The American Library Association selected both Fantasy Literature: A Core Collection and Reference Guide which he co-authored with KennethJ.Zahorski and Robert H. Boyer and Horror Literature: A Core Collection and Reference Guide as outstanding reference sourcesIn1979 and 1981, respectively. In ordertobe considered for this award, the ALA guidelines state that the referencebookmust be "designedbyits arrangement and treatmenttobe consultedfordefinite itemsofinforma tion rather thantobe read consecutively" and must be suitablefor"small and medium-sized public and college libraries." I cite these criteriatoillustratenot only the qualityofTymn'sworkbut the significanceofit in bringing the primary and secondary works of fantastic literaturetothe attentionoflibrarians and their patrons. Tymn has heightened the scholarly respectforthe field in academic journals, libraries, and educational institutions--an achievement that has per sonally benefited those of us in the teaching professionwhoneedtohave the teaching and publicationwedoInthis field recognizedbyourpeers and administrators. OneofTymn's most recent projects, the volume he edited with Mike Ashley, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines (1985) has been receiving extensive praise and, with the growing significanceofnewhistoricism and cultural studies, may provetobe Tymn's most valuable single-volume bibliography. Any research in magazine fantastic literature in which the publish ing history and editorial policiesofthe magazines are relevant will depend on this book. Covering magazines published from 1882tothe early 1980's, thebookincludes 550 titles. Each entry begins with an essayonthe history, development, nature, and significanceofthe magazine; each concludes withtwodata sections--one giving information on reference sources, indexes, reprints, and library sources; and the second giving data on the magazine's title changes, volume and issue sequences, publisher and placeofpublication, editors, format, and price. Many membersofSFRA andofthe larger academic community were given the opportunitytopUblish in one of thebookseries Tymn advisedoredited--the G.K. Hall seriesof"MastersofScience Fiction and Fantasy,"forexample, which Uoyd Currey Initiated.Orthe Greenwood Press series, "Contributionstothe study of science fiction and fantasy," which Tymn originated and for which he has recruited over 30 volumes. Many of us well remember the initial12


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990volume In the series, The Mechanical God: MachinesInScience Fiction (1982) because its editors and contributors were constantly flashing their t-shirts, buttons, andtotebags promoting the book. That kindofenergy and enthusi asm typified the excitement scholars felt at having an opportunitytopUblish in an established series with a major press. In additiontoallofthisactivity as a bibliographer and editor, Tymn has been involved in encouragingnewteachers and scholars Inthefieldoffantastic literature. In his workshops and essays for high school and university teachers, there is always a senseofurgency in Tymn's advice. He encourages teacherstohUrryupand start reading; he insists that they prepare courses which meet the high standardsofthe writers and scholars they read. Tymn has been a leader in both SFRA and IAFA (International AssociationfortheFantastic). thus providing scholars with conferences where they can read their papers, meet writers and editors and other teachers. In IAFA, he has helped establish the publicationofthe conference proceedings. To conclude, he has set high standards, taughtthestandards, and re cruited scholarstofulfill the standards. So wehonorMarshallB.Tymn, the21st pilgrim through space and time. --Elizabeth CumminsPilgrim AcceptanceHIS FANTASTIC JOURNEYPreparedbyDartene and Marshall Tymn DeliveredbyDartene Tymn Over the years, admirers have frequently remarkedonthe sheer volumeofMarshall's scholarship.Howdid he managetofind thetimeand energytobe editor, compiler, bibliographer, conference organizer, SFRA board member, then IAFA, and English professor? Thosewhowondered probably were not aware that Marshall also ascended the officer ranksofthe National Guard and Army Reservestobecome a Lt. Colonel in October, 1989. He was also a continuously activeBoyScouter, manning the highest level volunteer positions in our district.Hehas been a husbandfor25 years and a fatherfor17.The man who shied awayfrommechanics and math became a self-taught computer buff,asthe detailsofhis widespread activities couldnolonger be swiftly organiZed and manipulatedona successionofupgraded IBM typewriters.Howcould hedoit all?Whydid he even want to? Because he loved it, and got particular satisfaction from his science fiction habit. He was proudofdoing goodworkthat others would not only approve, but also use as a resource for13


SFRA Newsletter, No.179, July/August 1990their own scholarly pursuits. AndsoIt began. Nearly 20 years ago, Marshall, the avid SF reader since he was a kid, began his fantastic journey. Annotated bibliographies, work shopsforteachers, guidesforlibraries, reference worksforthe serious student, listsforSF readers, clubs and conventionsforfans, SF studies abroad, 50 articles and pamphlets, 16 books and more In progress and conferencesforthe SF scholars whose genre was slowly coated with the varnishoflegitimacy. Several years agoBobCollins wrote:"Itisnotstretching the truthtosay that Marshall,nowat the peakofhis career, is clearly the most influential working scholarInthe field today. Consider:1.He originated and continuestoproduce the only authoritative annual bibliography of scholarship in the field,The Year's Scholarship in Fantastic Literature...2.He is the authorand/orcompiler of numerous other prize-winning reference works ...3.His editorship of book series...and special magazine issues ... also covers an enormous range; particularly through his early and aggressive influence upon pUblishers, he has advanced the field more than any other single figure, helpingtomake an academic careerInscience fiction and fantasy a real possibility (rather than a liability). Dozensofscholars (including many SFRA members)gottheir first chancetopUblishSFarticlesorbooks in Marshall's series...The Greenwood series alone, which he designed and recruited, is the oldest, largest and most influential seriesofscholarly books in the field --Itdominates most library collections in the U.S." Eventually the recognition came:1.The American Library Association AwardforFantasyLiterature:ACore CollectionandReference Guideas an outstanding Referencebookfor 1979, and the ALA AwardforHorror Literature:ACore CollectionandReferenceGuide as an outstanding ReferenceBookfor1981.2.The Distinguished Faculty AwardforResearch and Publication from Eastern Michigan University In 1982.3.His dear friend Brian Aldiss hand-carried the Special President's Award from the World Science Fiction Association in 1987 for achievements in the fieldofscience fiction.14


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990 4.In1989the RobertA.Collins Service Award from the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.5.Recognition as Distinguished Facultybythe Michigan Legislatureand Governor and The Michigan AssociationofGoverning BoardsofColleges and Universities in 1990.6.And tonight the Pilgrim Award from the Science Fiction Research Association. Last evening, when I reminded Marshall that I was flyingtoLong Beach,toaccept the Pilgrim Award for him, he asked metoconvey the following, speaking on his behalf: "I personally regard this award as a high honor because itisbeing giventoa bibliographer, and as such, recognizes bibliography and research as useful scholarly skills withinSFRA."I would liketothank Uoyd Currey, an eminent bibliographer, for his early encouragementofmyideas and views on scholarship. "Another important influence onmyearly SF scholarship was Tom Oareson whom I would liketothank tonight for publishing the first installmentof"The Year's ScholarshipinScience Fiction and Fantasy:1974"inExtrapolation.And for years thereafter Tom supported "The Year's Scholarship," for which I am most grateful. "Lastly, I would liketoacknowledge the growing numbersofscholars out there who, like me, know the fascinationofbibliography and research. and whose efforts over the years complemented and sustainedmyown. "What am I the most proudof-"The Year's Scholarship." It's beenmymajor joy.mymajor contribution,mylegacy."ButI am perhaps equally proudofthe Greenwood Press series and the opportunities it has providedtothe scholarly community for a prominent publishing forum." The last thing I ever imagined I would be doing Is stepping uptoaccept the congratulations Marshall has earnedfora careerofcreative, enthusiastic and doggedly organized efforts.Nowat the peakofhis professional career. Marshall has an opportunitytoclimb yet another mountain. On June 25th he was finally discharged from the hospital following his October.1989auto accident. His recovery from a traumatic brain injUry continues at a slow but encouraging pace. He isnowin an extended care facility where the intensive therapies continue for his physical and cognitive deficits. It's not possible yettopredict the eventual outcome but we know his qualityoflife can continue evenIfsomeofhis old pursuits may not. Will he teach again? Don't know. Will he walk? Maybe. He can15


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990communicate verbally as well as ever butIshobbledbyshort term memory deficits. He laughs and cries and feeds himself and gets pretty scared at times. He watches old movies and reads magazines, hugs the kids and spoilsourdog Max onweekend visits home. Recovery is painful, boring, frustrating, de pressing and full of saints and heroeswhowon'tlet him quit. You are among those heroes. Thank you for presenting him the Pilgrim. When I first shared the news with Marshall he said, "Honey, if I could, I would be jumpingforjoy."Please settle tonightforthejoyInhis heartforyourrecognitionofhis lifetime achi'evements." --Darlene TymnNOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORTThis constitutes the reportofthe Nominating Committee, appointed to select memberstorun for SFRA offices for the 1991-92 biennium. The following members have agreedtostandforthe offices indicated.FORPRESIDENTJoan Gordon Peter LowentroutFORVICE-PRESIDENTMuriel Becker Lynn WilliamsFORSECRETARYRussell Letson David MeadFORTREASUREREdra Bogle Peter Hall Additional nominations can be made under the prOVisionsofthe Bylaws. In selecting the slate,weattemptedtobalanceitbetween long-term members and newe'r ones; between men and women; and among the regions of North America .. Unfortunately, we were unabletopersuade any Canadianstostand in this election.16


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990Participatingmembersofthe Committee were Charlotte Donsky, Carolyn Wendell,Hodazaki,andWilliam H. Hardesty, III; Peter Brigg, appointedbythepresident,wasunabletoparticipate because hewasInNewZealand.-WilliamH. HardestyCurrent Works in ProgressHere is the next InstallmentofSFRA members' descriptionsoftheir current critical, literaryandscholarly projects. Alatorre-Martin, Carmin and Curtis Alatorre-Martin: Editing Nexus '89 Conference Proceedings (Science Fiction & Science Conference held at USAF Academy In April 1989). Bowman, Michael: Bibliometrlc analysisofaward-nominated stories and year's best anthologiesandrecommended listsfor1926tothe present. Clute, John:TheScience Fiction Encyclopedia(second ed.),jointeditor with Peter Nicholls; editingbookofessays on Gene Wolfe. Fratz, D. Douglas: Currentlyeditor& publisherofHugoAward-nominated review magazine,QUANTUM-SF&Fantasy Review(formerlyTHRUST).Kohler, Vince:Authorof"RainyNorthWoods"(St. Martin's Press, 1990), ahumorousmysterywithSF elements. Workingonsequel,"RisingDog."Latham, Robert A,: Co-editor,SFIFBook Review Annualseries published by Meckler Publishing Co. Miller, Stephen T.: Contents Indextothe F&SF magazines intheEnglish languagethroughDecember, 1988. Olsen, Alexandra Hennesy: A comparisonofACanticle for Leibowitzwith the 3 novellasthatformits source (co-authored with James Hicks). Spencer, KathleenL:Late Victorian Fantastic Literature: a degeneracy theory. Steffan-Fluhr, Nancy: Writinganessay/monographonAlice Sheldon ("James Tiptree,Jr.").Steinmetz, Lee:Eschatologyin Science Fiction. Taylor, Douglas V.: Astudyofscience fiction writers affiliated withGalaxymagazine inthe1950s; e.g. Pohl, Kornbluth, Sheckley, Tenn, Knight, Merrill.17


SFRA Newsletter, No. 179, July/August 1990STUDIES FOR NEW LITERARY GENRE SERIES SOUGHTTwayne Publishers, a subsidiaryofGKHall,andwell knownforits several series devotedtoauthors,Isseeking proposals and manuscriptsforits new series,Studies in Genre,whose general editor is Ronald GottesmanofUSC's English Department. The genres IncludeSF,fantasy, horror, romance, west erns, adventure/suspense and fairy tales, as well asmoretraditional forms suchassouthern Gothic, the sonnet, epic poetry, biography, the classical tradition and classical comedy. Each volumeofabout150 pages will provide a succinct overview ofthedevelopment of the genre, close readings of4-6exemplary texts, an annotated listofworksforfurther reading, a discursive critical surveyoftheavailable scholarship onthegenre, and a chronology of Important events and publication dates. Ifyouwishtosubmit a proposal, Include a current vita,twopublished articles, reviews ofyourprevious pUblica tions(ifavailable), and a 5-10 page prospectus discussingyourapproach and critical method, a listofthe4-6 exemplary texts, and a summaryofthe contents of each section (overview, close readings, bibliographic essay). Send onecopytoLiz Fowler, editor, Twayne Publishers, 70 Lincoln St., Boston 02111, (617) 423-3990; theothertoRonald Gottesman, English Dept., Taper Hall420,USC, Los Angeles 90098-0354, (213) 743-7838. --Neil BarronTHE SHAPE OF FILMS TOCOMETheodore Krulik July 1990 -When I spokeaboutthe SF themeofalternate universes In my high school English class this past Spring, I recommendedtomystudents the novelTheMan in the High CastlebyPhilipK.Dick.Manyofmystudents sniggered and giggled atthename"Dick,"and I realizedthatnoneofthem ever heard of the author and only saw the current vulgarism in use on the streets. I would certainly not reach them withanyfurther discussionofDick's writings. With the openingofthemovie"Total Recall," starring Ameki Schwarzenegger, in mid-June, I hoped that someofthese young peoplemightcometoknow the name PhilipK.Dick. The film was supposedly basedontheshort story"WeCan Remember ItForYou Wholesale,"butthe movie credits indicate only that the script was "inspiredby"theDick story. After watching "Total Recall," I could see thatnoteen-ager was goingtobe"inspired"toreadtheshort story,orgotoany other work, writtenbyPhilipK.Dick. A fine authorIsindeed dead and buried and probably losttothisnewgeneration of movle-goers. Still,tobe fairtoboth the movie and its star, there are aspectsofDick's Iife-18


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990long concerns expressedInthe script byRonaldShusett,DanO'Bannon,andGary Goldman. Dick's writingsarefilled with paranoidfears:peopleareout to get you; othersarenot what they appear tobe;people will watch Impassively while the most brutal thingsaredone toyou,and,ultimately, youarenot whoyouthink youare.Thesenightmare thoughts appearin"Tota!Recall" andaretrue to Dick's intent. But Dick's protagonistsareoften bland, ordinary people whoareplainly bewildered by the harmful things around them. Although a character from a Dick story may imagine things vividly,heIsusually slow to action, uncertainasto what steps totake.Schwarzenegger,clear1y,doesn'tfitthis profile. Ihavearealproblem with Arnold SchwarzeneggerasDougQuaidinthefilm,quite apart from the fact thatheisnot a Philip Dick protagonist:hismoviesarenear1yalways action-oriented, leavened with humor,andhavea callous disregard for human life--andthe kids love them! My problemisthat Schwarzeneggerishelping to shape the science fiction film,andI don't believe that serves theSFcommunitypartlcular1ywell.According to the magazineCinefantastique(May1990),ItwasSchwarzenegger's interestinthe movie script that brought it to film life after the rights to it had changed hands over a period of fourteenyears.That sounds wonderful, except that the script underwent major changesInplot and dialogueInorder to accommodateitsstar.Intheend,Itislikely that onlyRonaldShusett,who created the original script and stayed withItallthose years while other creative personnel changed,actedasadvocate for thekernelof Philip Dick'sideas.Otherwise, thereislittle resemblance to the sometimes brilliant, sometimesflawed work of that troubledmindthatwasintegral to PhilipK.Dick. Aside from these considerations, the movie Itselfisflawed."Total Recall"isfilled with huge holesinits plot. WhydoRichterandCohaagen, the two chief villains who knew Quaidinhis former lifeonMars,continue tocallhimQuaidinsteadofhisrealname?If Quaid holds a secret that can affectalllifeonMars,whyarethe secret agents so publicIntrying to assassinatehim?AndifQuaidmightactuallybe"dreaming"alltheseevents,why arewe,the audience, letinonthe fact that Quaid's marriage-Implanted wifeisactually Richter'sgir1friend,whenthisIsdiscussed out of Quaid's earshot? It occurs tomethat therealusefulnessinshowing "Total Recall"ina classroom wouldbeto then ask the students to list all the logical fallacies they could findinIt.Thestudent who liststhemost flaws will win a set of books by PhilipK.Dick. Since thisisa "films" column, Ihaveavoided discussing televisionhere.I'vealluded toTVprograms only twice beforeinmy memory. However, thereisa television program thatisdeserving of our consideration,andIfeeltheneedto offer my views ofIthere.I hope Iamnot the onlySFRAmember whosees thequalities of excellenceInthe series "StarTrek:TheNext Generation."Thisthirdseasonhasbeenespecially good, many of the episodes presentingso-19


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990phisticated perspectivesofSF themes. One thing I've admired about the series is that it's willingtotake chances. In one episode,"HollowPursuits," an ordinary crewman named Barclay (playedbyguest star Dwight Schultz) uses theholodecktovent his feelings and play out his fantasies with imagesofthe actual crew. Insteadoffocussing on the main actors, the story dealt with the feelings and fearsofoneofthe anonymous massesonboard the Enterprise. In the end, Barclay simply blends into the background again, once more an anonymous crew member that wemayormay not see again. The creators of"TheNext Generation" have certainly captured a prizeInhaving ShakespeareanactorPatrick Stewart playing Captain Picard. ThisIsnobrash, muscle-bound young captain with a grin and curly hair battling hiswaythrough the galaxy. PicardIsa thoughtful, highly-accomplished manofmlddle age. He would rather takeupa challenge using his intellect Insteadofa fist. He carries authority with him in every gesture, every word. These traits in Picard made the episode "Captain's Holiday" all the more fun. Picard was reluctantly thrust into an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones. The clevemess In this episode was in showinghowdifferently a manofintellect and authority handles situations from a two-fisted Captain James Kirk,ora Commander Riker. The audience realizes that the way Picard behaves during this adventureIsabso lutely right for him, and is decidedly not thewayRiker,forinstance, would handle it. ItIscleartome thatInthis third season the actors have found their characters. Two episodes, rather weak ones actually, put different actors Into very similar situations. In "Allegiance," PicardIskidnapped and placed In a locked room with three other beings as partofan experiment. In "The Most Toys," Data is kidnappedbyan Intergalactic collector and placedIna locked room. Although these were not the best episodesofthe season, they Illustratehowdifferently Data behaves under circumstances similartothe one Picard finds himself in. While Picard uses reasoning and logical stepstoresolve problems, Data simply does nothing, so that his captor would tireofhim. These episodes make appropriate useofthe uniquenessofeach of these characterstoreveal something of the human conditionInremarkably similar situations. I can pointtoany number of episodes that show the way the creatorsofthe series have taken chances, reflected upon the human condition, and made intriguing useofthemes that are partofmodern-day science fiction: the single episode returnofDenise Crosby as Tasha Yar in "Yesterday's Enterprise;" the wonderful performanceofJohn Anderson, veteranofseveral early "TwilightZone"stories in the 1960s,in "The Survivors;" the understated returnofSarekofVulcan in the personofMark Lenard In: "Sarek;" and the comedic turnInthe characterofDeanna Troi's mother, playedbyMajer Barrett, Nurse Chapellofthe original series, and wife of series creator GeneRoddenberry.20


SFRANewsletter, No. 179, July/August 1990I have been touchedby"Star Trek: The Next Generation." There are several episodes I can watch again and again, and they still reach meInmyheart and mind. I hope I'm not alone in wantingtooffer praisetothe creative staff of this series for bringing consistently good science fictiontotelevision once again. The latest issue ofCinefantastique,Sept. 1990, has devoted a large portion of its coveragetothis series. If you are an aficionado as I am, I suggest you runtoyour magazine/news/bookstoretopick It up. It includes an extremely useful episode guidetothe entire three-year run.-TedKrulik21


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990RECENT AND FORTHCOMING BOOKSThis list supplements that In the April newsletterbutdoesnotduplicate any titles. Yearofpublication is1990unless otherwise shown, and all publication dates should be considered tentative. (P) denotes publication confirmed. REFERENCE Biagnlnl, MaryKAHandbookofContemporary FictionforPublic LibrariesandSchoolLibraries.Scarecrow (P). Includes sectionsonfantasy literature. Geist, Christopher D., ed.The DirectoryofPopular Culture Collections.Oryx Press (P). Themostcomprehensive such listing. Powers, RichardG.&Hidetoshi Kato, eds.The HandbookofJapanese Popular Culture.Greenwood (P). Includes 32pagechapteronJapaneseSF.HISTORY&CRITICISM Asimov, Isaac & MartinH.Greenberg, eds.Cosmic Critique:HowandWhyTen Science Fiction Stories Work. Writer's Digest,March. Knowles, Sebastian D.G. APurgatorial Flame: Seven British Writers intheSecondWorldWar.Univ of Pennsylvania Press (P). Explores the wartime writingsofT.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, Louis MacNeice, J.R.R. Tolkien, Evelyn Waugh, Charles Williams, and Virginia Woolf. Marin, Louis.Utopics: the Semiological PlayofTextual Spaces,tr.byRobert Vollrath. Humanities Press International, May. Reprint of Utopics: Spacial Play,1984.Study of More's Utopia plus theoretical discussion. Roberts, MarieE.Gothic Immortals: The Fictionofthe BrotherhoodoftheRosy Cross.Routledge (P). Study ofworksthat have drawnontraditionsofRosicrucians, Including Shelley'sFrankensteinand "MortaJ Immortal," Shelley's "St.1 rvine," Bulwer -Lytton'sAStrange StoryandZanoni,and Maturin'sMelmoth the Wanderer.Zipes, Jack, ed. & tr.Fairy TalesandFables from Weimar Days.University PressofNew England (P). First English translationsof32 utopian fairy tales createdforprogressive youth groups in Weimar Germany. AUTHOR STUDIES [Bretnor]. Burgess, Scott Alan.The WorkofReginald Bretnor.Borgo(P).[Card]. Collings, MichaelR.In the ImageofGod: Theme, Characterization,andLandscape in the FictionofOrson Scott Card.Greenwood(P).[Dick]. Herron, Don, ed.The Selected LettersofPhilipK.Dick.Under wood-Miller, August. [Kafka]. Anderson, Mark.Reading Kafka.Schocken (P). [Kafka]. Citati, Pietro.Kafka.Knopf (P).22


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990[Lafferty]. Lafferty, A.A. CrankyOldMan from Tulsa. United Mythologies Press (P).Twointerviews. [Lovecraft]. Beckwith, HenryP.Lovecraft's Providence. Donald Grant, May. Reprint of 1979 edition. [Poe]. Hoffmann, Daniel. PoePoe PoePoePoePoe Poe. Paragon House, August. Reprintof1972 edition. [Sargent]. Elliot, JeffreyM.The WorkofPamela Sargent. Borgo (P). [Swift]. Smith, Frederik N., ed. The Genresof"Gulliver's Travels." UniversityofDelaware Press (P). FILM&TV Cushing, Peter. 'Past Forgetting': Memoirsofthe Hammer Years. ISIS Large Print (P). Dika, Vera. GamesofTerror: Halloween, Friday the 13thandthe Filmsofthe Stalker Cycle. Fairleigh Dickenson University Press (P). Fricke, John,JayScarfone&William Stillman.TheWizardofOz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History. Warner, August. Tradepbreprintof1989 edition. Fulton, Roger. Encyclopediaof7YScience Fiction. Boxtree (UK) (P). Gross, Edward&James Van Hise. Dark Shadows Tribute. Pioneer Books, summer. Johnson, Shane. Star Trek: the Worldsofthe Federation. Pocket Books, 1989(P).Kane, Bob &TomAndrae. BatmanandMe. Eclipse Books, 1989(P).Kuhn, Annette, ed. Alien Zone: Culture TheoryandContemporary Science Fiction Cinema. Verso (London&NY) (P). Mackimmon, Kenneth. Misogyny in the Movies: The De Palma Question. University of Delaware Press, summer. Parish, James Robert. The Great Science Fiction PicturesII.Rev.ed. Scarecrow(P).Revisionof1977 edition. Van Hise, James. TheLostin Space Tribute Book. Pioneer Books (P). Williams, Tony. TheFamilyinAmericanHorrorFilms. UMI Research Press, 1987 (P). ILLUSTRATION Dixon, Dougal. Man AfterMan:AnAnthropologyofthe Future. St. Martin's, September. --Neil Barron23


SFRANewsletter, No.179, July/August 1990SFRA Executive Committee Meeting29-30 June, 1990 Long Beach, CaliforniaI. The meeting was calledtoorder at 8:15 a.m., June 29,byPresident Elizabeth Anne Hull. Present were Hull, Neil Barron (Vice President). David Mead (Secretary), and Betsy Hartst (Editor.Newsletter).II.Officer's ReportsA.)Reporting for Bill Hardesty, Past President. Hull announced the slateofnominees for the 1991-1992 officer elections, noting with appreciation the balanced, representative natureofthe slate.NochangesInelection proce dures were proposed. A Mead-Barron motiontoaccept the slate passed. The slate will be announcedInthe nextNewsletter.with the ballot appearing in the subsequent issue, and the election closing October 31. B.) President's Report: Hull proposed developmentofa programbywhich SFRA members can contributetoa fundtopay duesforoverseas members who can't pay because of massive Inflationorblocked currencies; members will be invitedtocontribute and 'windfall' monies comingtoSFRA will be used for this fund. A suggestiontoestablish 'life memberships' was discussed and found unfeasibletoimplement. It was decidedtobill mem bers directly for annual dues; dues notices will be mailed In December, but renewal forms will continuetobe folded Into theNewsletterInOctober and January. Hull reviewed the IssueoftheExtrapolationcontract. noting letters fromL.T.Sargent and Mack Hassler;noaction was taken. C.) Vice-President's Report: Barron reviewed his recruitment activities, which include obtaining a full-page ad InFoundation46, and sending letterstonon-renewing members and persons recommendedbymembers. A large mailingtopotential members was undertakenbyMead. The EC noted with appreciation the helpofTom Oareson, Carol Stevens, and LymanT.Sargent in recruiting new members. Barron noted that he willtrytoworkout a reciprocal advertising arrangement with Utopian Studies and the Myth poeic Society. Mead will trytorecruit anyonewhowritesfortheNewsletter, Extrapolation.orScience Fiction Studies.D.) Treasurer's Report: For Tom Remington. Hull presented the Treas urer's report, which was acceptedbytheEC,noting with pleasure the or ganization's sound financial condition.24


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990E.) Secretary's Report: Mead announced that the 1990 Directory would be mailedbyJuly15.F.)Newsletter Editor's Report: Harfst noted that this has been a transition yearforthe Newsletter. About400copiesofeach issue are printed and mailedbyHypatia PressInOregon. An 'advance' fund will be establishedtofacilitate mailingbyHypatia. Harfst will explore sendingcopytoHypatia on computer disk. In responsetoa requesttostuff advertising Into the Newsletter, Harfst will establish a rate listtobe based onourcosts. Copiesofthe Newsletter are senttoFoundation, Extrapolation,andScience Fiction Studies. III. OldBusinessA.)Mead displayed samplesofthe Pilgrim Award and Pioneer Award plaques; these willbe presentedtoall past and future award recipients.B.)Hull askedfornominations for the1991Pilgrim and Pioneer Committee members.C.)Hull announced that Hal Hall has obtained a grant from the Atlanta WoridContofund a book which collects Pilgrim Award presentation and acceptance speeches; the projectiswell underwayand Is expectedtobe completed in late 1990.D.)Hull announced that theSFRAAnthologyIssuccessful,Inprint, and available. Authors, not headnote writers, will get half the royalties.E.)There wasnoreport from the committee on publishing an annual volume of conference proceedings (Len Heldreth, chair). Hull reported one objection to such a volume. Possible membersofthis committee were suggested, and it was affirmed that the association would support the publicationofsuch a volumeifan editor and press can be found.F.)There was no recommendation from the By-Laws committee, chaired by Bill Schuyler. G.) Hull announced a tentative offer from Milton Wolftohost the1991annual meeting in Reno, Nevada; Brooks Landon has tentatively proposed hosting the 1992 meeting in Iowa City.H.)Hull distributed a preliminary financial report from conference co-chair Peter Lowentrout which showed a slight deficit. A Mead-Barron motion that25


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990SFRA should pay the deficit, pending a satisfactory accountingbythe confer ence chairs, passed.I.)Betsy Hartst's appointment as Newsletter editor was confirmedbyacdamatlon. J.) It was decidedtodefer printing a new brochure and letterhead stationery until the electionofthe new officers. IV.NewBusinessA.)A proposalbyTom Remingtontoallow a choiceofmembership year (for persons joining in mid-year) was received and approved. The new brochures will have aboxtocheckoff. Meanwhile. the Treasurer will continue the previous policyofconsidering thosewhojoin after July 1 as membersforthe following year (Newsletter is sent but other publicationsdonotstart until the new year) unless the member requests otherwise. B.) On the winter EC meeting agenda will be a discussionofofficer roles and functions.c.)Several proposalstochange the Newsletter were presented and discussed. Among these were eliminationofthe listsofnew fiction, announcementofawards in the field, publishing information about the annual meeting earlier, and providing more comprehensive coverage/reviewofsecondary literature.The'traditional autonomyofthe Newsletter editorIndetermining such matters was noted, so these suggestions were offeredtoeditor Hartst as advice. The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 a.m., June 30. Respectfully submitted, DavidG.Mead, Secretary26


HELP FUTURE SFRACONFERENCESIt'sbeensometimesincethemembershiphasbeenpolledregardingtheirpreferredchoicesforannualconferencedatesandlocations.Anunstatedgoalistopermitthemaximumnumbertoattend,althoughthisisrarelymorethan25-30%ofthemembership(currently325)inagivenyear,andthatfigureprobablywon'tchangeregardlessofwhenorwheretheconferenceisheld.We'veheldtheconferencethelastweekofJuneinrecentyears,butthat'snotfixed,anditmaybeoptimumforsomebutnotforothers.Here'syourchancetoindicateyourchoices,evenjfyouprobablywouldn'tattendaconferenceregardlessofdateorlocation.Pleasecompleteandreturnthequestionnairenow.Thanksforyourpromptcooperation.SFRA CONFERENCEQUESTIONNAIREName: Address: How manyannualmeetingshaveyouattended?o31 4 25ormore


Ifyoucircledzero,wouldyouattendameetinginyourregion,i.e.,within200milesofyourhome?yesnomaybeIsthepresentlateJune/earlyJulydatefortheconferenceoptimalforyou? noIfyoucircled"no",showbelow,aspreciselyasyoucan,theoptimumdates,frommostpreferredtomerelyacceptable. Would youbewillingtohostanSFRAannualconference?Ifyes,whatyear?Ifmaybe,explain:Complete & returnimmediatelyto: Barron,1149LimePlace,Vista,CA92083.yesnomaybe


SFRANewsletter,No.179,July/August1990SFRA Business Meeting1July,1990Long Beach, CaliforniaI. The annual Business Meetingofthe Science Fiction Research Association was calledtoorderbyPresident Elizabeth Anne Hull at 9:07 a.m., July 1,1990, at the Hyatt Edgewater Hotel.II. ReportsA.)Hull announces the nominating committee's slateofnomineesforthe 1991 1992 officer elections. The slate will be published in the nextNewsletter,and the election will be completedbyOctober 31. Additional nominations may be made as specifiedInthe By-Laws. B.) Betsy Hartst was confirmedbythe Executive Committee as Editor of theNewsletter.C.) Hull asked if anyone knewofa one-year teaching positionforWu Dingbo, a Chinese scholar currently studying at Indiana University (Pennsylvania). Please contact Betty Hull if you do.D.)Hull reported that a fund was being establishedtopayduesforoverseas memberswhowere unabletomaintain their membershipsduetomassive Inflationorcurrency blockage; donations were invited.E.)Neil Barron reported that as Vice-President he had engaged in systematic, sustained recruiting of new members. He thanked the membership for refer rals, and he explained what he and Mead had donetorecruit.F.Mead reported that the 1990Directorywould be mailedbyJuly15.G.)For Treasurer Tom Remington, Mead reported the broad details of the annual budget and the current financial condition of the Association (healthy). H.)NewsletterEditor Betsy Hartst announced that the law requires the return addressofthe Newsletter be in Oregon, where it is mailed. She also announced that she will movetoArizona in August, so members wishingtocommunicate with her after August 1 st should note the changeofaddress listed in theNewsletter.Hartst announced that she would be working closely with Barron, Rob Latham, andBobCollinstoimprove the fiction and non-fiction reviews; she noted that she would emphasize SF fiction reviews.27


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990III. Old BusinessA.)Hull announcedherdesiretoappointnewPilgrim and Pioneer Award committee members soon, and she solicited nominationsformembers. B.) Hull announced that Hal Hall had obtained a grantfromthe Atlanta WoridContofund a historyofthePilgrim Award; thebookis wellunderwayand is expectedtobe finishedbythe endofthe year. The publisher isBorgoPress.c.)Hull reported that the SFRAAnthologyIs successful,Inprint, and available; members are urgedtouseIt.SFRA and the fiction authors will split the royalties. D.) Bill Schuyler, chairoftheBy-Laws Committee, reported thatnochanges are being recommended.E.)Hull announced a tentative offerfromMilton Wolftohost the1991confer ence; other proposals are solicited. Brooks Landon has tentatively offeredtohost the 1992 meeting in Iowa City. There was some discussionofthe best timeofyeartohold the annual meeting, and It was agreed informally that this was dependent on the conference director's schedule. F.) Conference co-chair Peter Lowentrout reported that 97 persons attended the meeting,65attended the Pilgrim banquet, and the snake was 15 feet long. Hull notedthattheSFRAwillpayforthe slight conference deficit. The members expressed general appreciationtothe Lowentrouts for a well-eonductedconference. G.) Edra Bogle reportedforthecommitteetodevelop an annualvolumeofconference proceedings (Len Heldreth, chair). Although the committeedidnotmeet, committee members Bogle andTomRemington agree thatanannual volume is desirable asproofofthe organization's significance and as a vehicleforscholarship. An energetic editor, agroupofreaders, a sponsoring press, and a subsidy are needed. Withdesktoppublishing, Bogle believes 500 copiesofa1DO-pagevolume shouldcostabout$2500. Hull affirmed SFRAsupportforsuch a volume but calledfora volunteer editortotake chargeofthe project.IV. New BusinessThere was no new business. President Hull thanked the membersofthe Executive Committeefortheir service before adjourning the meeting at 10:37 a.m.Respectfully submitted, DavidG.Mead, Secretary28


SFRANewsletter,No.179,July/August1990BOWLING GREEN RECEIVES TWO COLLECTIONSThe Popular Culture collectionatBowling Green State University Library has received donationsoftwolarge collectionsofSF/fantasy/horrorbooks, original manuscripts, letters and research files from Carl Jacobi and SheldonR.Jaffrey. Jacobi (1908)Isa JournalistwhocontributedtoWeird Tales beginning in the 1930s and was a colleagueofArkham House co-founders August Derleth and Donald WandreI.Three collectionsofhis short fiction were Issued: Revelations inBlack(1947), Portraits inMoonlight(1964) and Disclo sures in Scarlet (1972). Jaffrey Is a Cleveland area attorney best knownforhis descriptive bibliographiesofArkham House publications. HorrorsandUn pleasantries (1982), revised asTheArkham House Companion (1989). The donated collections are notablefortheir Arkham House materials.INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEDThe fourth international conference organizedbythe Centre d'Etudedela Metaphore will be held 3-6 April1991in Valbonne Sophia-Antipolis, in the French Maritime Alps. Earlier conferences were held In 1983, 1985 and 1987. The conference's focus willbetherelations between SF's imaginary worlds and scientific/technological progressInthe 20th century. As ofMay1990, Aldiss and Silverberg had plannedtoattend, along with a numberofFrench scientists, writers and other specialists. Proposalsforpapers are welcome and should be sent to Doctor Denise Terrel, PresidenteduCentre d'Etudedela Metaphore, MairiedeValbonne Sophia-Antipolis, Rue Grande, 06560, France.BARGAINS IN NEW BOOKSAlthough manyofthe 100+new books on sale at the SFRA21conference were sold, a number of excellent works remain, dealing withSF,fantasy and horror literature and film. Included are history and criticism, author studies, and books aboutfilmjTVand fantastic illustration, all published during the past few years. They are priced from 20%to50%oflist, and a SASE will bring you the list.Neil Barron, 1149 Lime Place, Vista, CA 92083.SFRA21EXHIBIT CATALOG AVAILABLEThe"comingofage"SFRA conference featuredtwoexhibitsforthe first time.TheStudyofScience Fiction: Fans, Critics, Scholars provides a perspec tive onhowSF has been viewed and studied, from letters in early Issues of Amazingtothe 1988 foundingofthe Journalofthe Fantastic in the Arts. Extra29


SFRA Newsletter, No. 179, July/August 1990copiesofthe exhibit catalog are available. Followingmyintroduction, which acknowledges the helpofseveral peoplewhomade the exhibit possible, is a chronology, 1926-1988, and the 19 pagebodyofthe catalogInwhich the43exhibited items are placedInhistorical perspective. Youdon'tneed the books and magazines exhibitedtobenefit from the catalog, copiesofwhich are available for$4,from and payabletoNeil Barron, 1149 Lime Place, Vista, CA 92083. --Neil BarronDIRECTORY UPDATESFRA Secretary David Mead has supplied the following listofnames, ad dresses, and interestsofpersons who renewedorjoined after the directory 'closed' on March18.Carmin Alatorre-Martin 4125 Thundercloud Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80920B:(719)472-3930H: Women and minorities in sci ence fiction and horror/gothic lit erature and film. Curtis Alatorre-Martin 4125 Thundercloud Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80920B:(719)472-3930 H: (719)885-8854 Women and minoritiesInsci ence fiction and horror/gothic lit erature and film. Rosemarie Arbur 2330 Briar Box 382 Coopersburg,PA18036B:(215)758-3322 H: (215)346-7742 Women (authors), non-human sapients, and other credible aliens in F&SF.30Tim Blackmore 296 Inglewood Drive Toronto, ON M4T1J3 CANADA H: (416)488-9763 I have had a numberofpapers published (orInpress) in the science fiction world, and Intendtowritemydissertation in that area. Michael Bowman 395 GroveSt.Upper Montclair, NJ 07043B:(201)648-5910 H: (201)744-0509 Bibliography, bibliometrics, history, and general criticismofscience fic tion, fantasy, and horror literature (not film).C.Edwin Dowlin 129 Oklahoma Drive Portales, NM 88130B:(505)562-2624 H: (505)356-5995 Williamson; oral historyofSF;so ciology of information science themes inSF.


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990ArthurB.Evans 1006 South Locust Street Greencastle, IN 46135 H: (317)653-4486 Martin H. GreenbergP.O.Box 8296 Green Bay,WI54308B:(414)465-2355 H: (414)465-0460 GenreSF;anthologies; social ideas inSF.Harry Harrison 58 Haddington Road Dublin4,IRELANDB:355-01-607-052 H: 355-01-607-052 Writing SF--and attemptingtoImprove the critical standards. Vince KohlerTheOregonian--S.Metro BureauP.O.Box 707 Oregon City,OR97045-0045B:(503)656-0083 SF reviewer forTHE(Portland)OREGONIAN;also science ar-tidesonU.S.and foreign space programs and related topics. HarryP.Kroiter Dept.ofEnglish Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843B:(409)845-3451 H: (409)846-5664 The rhetoric ofSF;problemsInpoint of view and thematic analy sis. StephenT.Miller 1 HeatherwoodCt.Medford, NJ 08055 B: (609)258-3469 H: (609)654-8375 F&SFInprint form-especially that from the 20's-40's. RobertE.Myers Box 278 Bethany, WV 26032B:(304)829-7121 H: (304)829-4542 Intersections of philo sophiC ideas and SF stories as an area for critical study and for develop Ing classroom materials;SFscenarios that portray concepts and develop consequences;SFstories and ethical issues. Alexandra Hennesy Olsen Dept. of English UniversityofDenver Denver, CO 80208 H: (303)871-2901 The use of myths and heroic pat terns like the guest in fantasy and sci ence fiction. Fernando Porta Via T orrione 54 84100 Salerno ITALY H: (083)238-101E.A.Poe's and H.G.Wells' SF' time travel as a narrative model in utopian literature and anti-utopian erature (esp. Orwell, Huxley) and its relationship withSF.31


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990M.H.P. Rosenbaum 775 Simon GreenwellLn.Boston, KY 40107 H: (717)243-7014 Feminist, religious, and sociological speculative fiction. Susan Shwartz 1 Station Square#306Forest Hills, NY 11378B:(212)832-2626 H: (718)544-0084 Writing, editing, and analysisofSFIF;historical fantasy, militarySF.KathleenLSpencerP.O.Box150391 Millsaps College Jackson, MS 39210B:(601)354-5201 H: (601)355-0741 Feminist utopias; theoryofthe fantastic, Victorian fantastic litera ture; Delany, Russ, Le Guin.32DouglasV.Taylor 717 Dartmouth Road Ann Arbor,MI48103B:(313)996-1281 H: (313)769-1658 Dialogic approachestoAmerI can magazine science fiction. PedroG.Torrano Valencia, 87--1, 5 08029 Barcelona SPAIN B: (93)323-2778 H: (973)26-4358x503 Robots and computers in SF literature and Utopias/Distopia.sJackE.Voller Dept.ofEnglish Southern Illinois University Edwardsville,lL 62026-1431B:(618)692-2060 H: (618)345-0704 literary and historical traditionsofthe fantastic; Romantic super naturalism.


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990Call For PapersUtopia: Past, Present, Futures International ConferenceThe Malson d'Ailleurs (Swltzer1and), The Eaton Programofthe Center for Bibliographic Research (UC-Riverslde), and The Centre Europeen de la Culture (Switzer1and) are sponsoring an International conference, tentatively sched uled for 19-23 June, 1991,tocelebratetwoevents: the 700th anniversaryofthe Swiss Confederation as actual utopia, and the opening,InYverdon-Ies-Bains, of the Maison d'Ailleurs (House of Elsewhere), the wor1d's first museumofutopia and science fiction. Utopia may be thegoodplace that exists no place, but the idea has a precise and literary -origin. Its Influence has spread until it has become a powerful force in the realmsofpolitics, society, religion. Utopia today isnoless than a form and an objectofspeculation. This conferencenotonly asks how the utopian ideagottobe such, but where it is going tomorrow. What are the connections between utopia's past, present and future(s)? The conference is interested In connectingtothe literary base all manifes tationsofutopian speculation -in the realmsofthe visual arts, architecture, political systems, philosophy, futurology, and scientific method. Papers should be 10-15 typewritten pages (20-30 minutes reading time) and may be in EnglishorFrench. Please send title and a short descriptive abstract to: Prof. George Slusser Dept.ofliterature and Languages UC Riverside Riverside CA92521USA Abstracts must be receivedbyNov.3D,1990,tobeconsidered. --Greorge Slusser33


SERA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990FeedbackDear Editor: I've just receivedtheMayNewsletter,nO.ln,and was takenabacktofind myself libelledInan item headed "Czechoslovakian EncyclopediaofScience Fiction" writtenbyJaroslav Olsa, apparently co-editorofthe book. Ilookforwardtoseeing this book, and I wouldbethe firsttoadmitthat the entry EASTERN EUROPEInmyownEncyclopedia,atonly2,000 words, gives a minimal coverageofEastern European sf. Ihopetoexpand this entry, since thetopicis Important,Intheupcomingrevised edition, whichmyco-editorJohnClute and I expecttobe published (by Macdonald FuturaInthe UK, wedonotyetknowbywhomintheUSA)byChristmas, 1991.MyEncyclopediaIs,asMrOlsa suggests, "Anglocentric", since thatwasIts market, thoughnotexclusively so. In fact,MrOlsa'saccountofEASTERN EUROPE inmyEncyclopedia,an entry which Iwrotemyself, is a travesty.Hesays that "all SFfromthese countries Is reducedtoStanislaw Lem, the Strugatskybrothers, Karel Capek and Josef Nesvadba". Rubbish.Tobegin with,myentryonEASTERN EUROPEdoesn'tmention the Strugatsky brothers.Whyshould It? They aretobefoundundertheirownnames, and also in the entryforRUSSIA, wheretheyshouldbe.More impor tantly, Itdoescover, in additiontoCapek, Lem and Nesvadba, the following: Franz Kafka, Frigyes Karinthy, Mihaly Babits, Jerzy Peterkiewicz, Slawomir Mrozek, Jerzy Zulawski, Theodor Hertzka,MorJokai, Hinko Gottlieb,nottomention Darko Suvin! Mentioned In passing are Anton Donev, Ion Hobana, Svetoslav Minkov, Stanislaw Witkiewicz and several others. All those listed exceptforthe names "mentioned in passing" also receive IndMdual entries. This coveragemaystill be Insufficient, butIsenormously more thanMrOlsa allows.MrOlsa also claims there isnoinformationatallonorientalsfinmybook. Such information, especially as regards China,wasvery difficulttoobtain in 1978. Nonetheless, there is a2,OOO-wordentryonJAPAN, writtenbyTakumi Shibano, and Abe and Komatsubothreceive indMdual entries in addition; Japanese sf cinema is covered insomedetail elsewhere in the book. Is It unreasonableofmetosuppose thatyoumight have checkedmybookbefore publishing patent untruthsaboutIt? I wishMrOlsa well in his difficult endeavor, whichat150,000wordsistobe somuchmoredetailed thanmyown750,000 words, butnotquitesowellas I otherwise would have done.-PeterNicholls[Iamindeed sorry thatyoufeel the Jaroslav Olsa essay "libelled" you andyourEncyclopedia.Idonotthink that was Mr. Olsa's intention;norwas it mine.I,34


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990personally, have often usedyourEncyclopedia. This spring, however, it wasnotavailabletomeforchecking as most ofmySFlibrary was among the first bookstobe senttoArizona Inourrelocationtothat state. Ed.:BH] Dear Editor, Might I add a footnotetoJohnR.Pfeiffer's Interesting reviewofthe Emily Sunstein biography of Mary Shelley? In listing other livesofMary Shelley, Pfeiffer forgets the very sympatheticMoonin Eclipse: A LifeofMary Shelley,byJane Dunn, publishedbyWeidenfeld&Nicolson in 1978.Ofall the great romantic poets, from Wordsworth and ColeridgetoByron, Shelley, and Keats, marriage was the last thingtobe expectedoftheir kindofgenius. Any other liaison, okay sisters, half-sisters, mothers, blue-stockings, boys... Dying young was more in their line than the institution of matrimony. The virtueofJane Dunn'sbookistoshowhowthe unique Shelley marriage worked... and continuedtoworkeven after Mary Shelley was widowed. There may be many other biographiesoftheShelleys, but the insightsinthe Dunnbookensure It will always hold its place. --BrianW.A1dissCampbell&Sturgeon AwardsThe Centerforthe StudyofScience Fiction at the University of Kansas presented awardsforthe bestSFworksof1989 at the annual Campbell Award Conference, heldontheKUcampusJuly14-15. Geoff Ryman'sTheChild Garden won the 17thJohnW.Campbell Memorial Awardforthe bestSFnovel of the year and Michael Swanwick's "The EdgeoftheWorid"won the fourth Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awardforthe best workofshort fiction. Runners -up for the novel prize wereKW.Jeter's Farewell Horizontal and John Kessel'sGoodNews from Outer Space, while Megan Lindholm's "The Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man," and Bruce Steriing's"DoriBangs" placed second and third, respectively,Inthe Sturgeon short fiction category. John Patrick Kelly received Honorable Mentionfor"Dancing with the Chairs" and "Faith." The Campbell Conference was precededbyJames Gunn's annualSFTeaching Institute, JUly 2-15, and was followedbythe Writer's WorkshopinScience Fiction, July14-27.--James Gunn35


SFRA Newsletter, No.179, July/August 1990EDITORIALThis andThatThe editorofthe Fourteenth Alternative, theMidwestJournalofSpeculative Fiction,has notified me that if any SFRA members would like a free, samplecopyofthenewjournal, he will be happytoprovideit.Address your requesttothe Fourteenth Alternative,P.O. Box 51, Elmhurst,II.60126-Q051,orphone: (708) 833-3658. ArthurO.Lewis writes that there Is a new Slavonic SF and Fantasy magazine,Orphia,a 300 page monthly, printed in English, which features Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Czech, Slovak, Siovenian, Serbo Croatian, Polish, Macedonian, and Sorbian writers. The address is:Orphia,2a,D. Polyanov Str., Sofia 1504, Bulgaria. The Review sectionIsabbreviated in this Issuetoconcentrate on the June SFRA Conference materials. I had a great timeInLong Beach. Christine and Peter Lowentrout hosted a wonderful conference. All correspondencetome shouldnowbe directedtomynew address: 2357 East Calypso Avenue, Mesa, 1\1.. 85204.--Betsy Harfst36


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990REVIEWSINon-FictionIRAGE IN HOLLYWOODEllison, Harlan.Harlan Ellison's Watching.Underwood-Miller, 1989. xxxvii+514p. $29.95 hc. ISBN 0-88733-067-3. The first third of this collection contains reviewsofa wide varietyoffilms, only about halfofthem fantastic, from the 1960s and the 1970s. These Include firm put-downs ofStarWars(1977) and the firstStarTrekfilm (1979). The second two-thirdsofthebookreprints Ellison's film columns fromTheMagazineofFantasy and Science Fictionfrom August 1984toMay 1989. Most of these columns are sour essaysontrends in fantastic film rather than reviews of specific works. Ellison demands above alltobeentertained and complains that he wasboredbyseveral well-received films, Including2001.He enjoyed several SF and fantasy moviesofthelate 1980s (he largely ignores horror films) fromRepoMan(1984)toWhoFramed Roger Rabbit(1988), and he is sure thatBrazil(1985) is the greatest SF film ever made. On the whole, though, Ellison finds Hollywoodtobe dominatedby"theyoung and thedumb"and guiltyof"thedebasement of the American filmgoing pUblic". I nsisting that writing is more crucialtothe quality offilms than direction, he places mostoftheresponsibilityforthe sorry stateofthemoviesonhis fellow screenwriters but finds plentyofblametogoaround among executives, direc tors, fiction writerswhobelittle film writing, obsessed fans and "unqualified audiences". With only a little hyperbole, he says that he writes with "hysteria and disgust". The reason Ellison is so indignant is that he believes that films (unlike television) can be a great art form and that Hollywood's failure is emblematicof"anation rushing toward complete illiteracy". He calls these essays "social work among the artistically impoverished.". Ellison's familiar high self-regard is fUlly in display here."I'mawareofthe inevitable chargeofElitism,towhich charge I plead gUilty,ongroundsofcommon sense drivenbypragmatism .... Inmyugly, Elitist opinion, we arenotallentitledtovoiceouropinions;weare entitledtopass alongourinformed opinions .... Don't start that crapofasking 'Well, who the hell are youtojUdge what's goodforpeople?' We're dealing withcommonsense here."Noone can doubt that Ellison has the brains and tastetoclaim membership in any intellec tual elite, and even thosewhobelieve that even meritocratic elitism is offensive and dangerous will agree that Ellison's comments on film are usually falr minded. However, heIsat his weakest when he claims thattwofilms whichhe37


SFRA Newsletter, No. 119, July/August 1990liked butwhichaudiences and most critics rejected, Dune (1984) and Return to Oz (1985), were sabotagedbystudio politics and could have found success had they been property handled. Despite Ellison's conspiracy theories, Dune flopped because it was a mess and Return toOz,a fine film, failed because It showed adarksideofOz which the public didnotwanttosee. Laced with what he calls "convoluted, rambling digressions", Ellison'sMFSFcolumns rarely failtoentertain. As earty as 1973 he wrote,"Idon'tget killingangryvery often,butwhenIdoIt makesforjuicy nibbling."Bythe 1980s he wasangrymost of the time and these columns are usually masterpiecesofinvective, endlessly InvectiveInthe expressionofcontempt, derision and abuse. Ifyoudon'twanttoread the whole book, you can get a representative sample of Ellison in full crybylooking in the index under "Ted Turner". Unfortunately, these pep talksforcreativity and denunciationsofme diocrity are repetitious when read all together in abookinsteadofoncea month in a magazine. Stephen King's Danse Macabre (1981), anotherbookbya fiction authorwhocares about films, is less angry, more specific and more likelytosucceed at helping readerstosee the difference between quality and garbage. Watching isofmore value for understanding Hartan Ellison thanforunderstanding films. Readerswhoenjoy Hartan Ellison's Watching should alsotryhis 1970bookon television,TheGlass Teat, and his exhilarating defense of "elegant trash" in his IntroductiontoTerrance Dick's The AdventuresofDoctorWho(1979). --Michael KlossnerTHEMOSTFAMOUS WRITER INTHEWORLD?Engel, Joel. Rod Serting: The DreamsandNightmaresofLifeinthe TWilight Zone. Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1989. 353p.,ill.$18.95. ISBN 0-8092 4538-8. Engel traces Serting's life from his boyhood in a well-assimilated Jewish family in a quietly anti-Semitic upstate NewYorktown through a hellish Marine campaign in the Philippinestohis success as the most celebrated writer in the earty yearsoftelevision. Sertingwonsix Emmys in nine years, mostofthem during the 1950s when TV writers were lionized asthepioneersofa new art form and individual episodesofTV anthologies were reviewed in TheNewYork Times. AccordingtoEngel, Serting did his bestworkin non-fantasy TV dramas before the 1959 debut of The Twilight Zone. Engel respects Serting's contributiontothe first three yearsofZone, but he claims thatthelasttwoseasons saw a profound deterioration in Serting'sworkand life. Always insecure and obsessively eagertoplease, he descendedtothe self-pity,38


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990depression, sloppy writing and "self-sabotage" which Engel says made the rest of his life a humiliating nightmare.RodSerlingIsbased on Interviews with Serling's family and associates and on extensive archival material but evensoEngel seemstoassume a lot about Serllng's stateofmind when he makes such claims as"hiscarefree, buoyant exterior hid a real senseofdesperation" and"hisconversion" from JudaismtoUnitarianism "was a symbolic act representing his desire and need for acceptance." Engel alsoistoosure that Serling's teleplays provide reliable autobiographical Information about their author. The bookisnot Indexed and hasnolistofSerling's teleplays (more than 200 besidesThe Twilight Zone).Serling, whom Engel calls"themost famous writer in the world", was a major figure not only in television history but in the popularizationofSFand horror. Despite its shortcomings, Engel'sRodSerlingbelongs in most libraries. --Michael KlossnerATHOROUGHANALYSISHuntington, John.Rationalizing Genius:IdeologicalStrategiesinthe Classic AmericanScienceFiction Short Stories.Rutgers University Press, New Brun swick, NJ; London, 1989. 216p. $37.00hctext ed., ISBN 0-8135-1429-0. $15.00pbtext ed., ISBN 0-8135-1430-4. This carefully researched work examines the stories Includedinvol ume IofThe Science Fiction HallofFame,analyzing them with an emphasis on the ideological strategies and conflicts which appearIneach. Volume I covers stories published in the period from 1934 through 1963. Huntington states in the introductiontohis work "that we can learn from the most literarily conven tional popular literature if we questionItclosely." This is the book's main argument. The first chapter deals with the selection of a sample for analysis which is representativeofthe genre as a whole. The second chapterIsconcerned with the choiceofa methodofanalysisforthestUdy,and makes the case for analyzing non-canonical works. In the mainbodyof the work, Huntington analyzes the twenty-six stories and also examines additional works, someofwhich fall outside of the 1934-1963 period. In a chapter on the mythofgenius, he looks at the rationalizationsofthe fantasyofnon-political powerofthe genius hero in short stories, Including "Ralph12C41+,""Huddling Place," "Microcosmic God," "The Little Black Bag," "The Marching Morons," "Flowers for Algernon," and also intwoofthe novelsofAyn Rand. The motivesofthe technocratic hero and the idealization of instrumental reason (versusemotion)are dealt withIn39


SFRANewsletter,No.179,July/August1990looking at "hard-core SF" stories [hard science fiction] such as Heinlein's "The Roads Must Roll," Godwin's "The Cold Equations," and Cordwainer Smith's "ScannersliveInVain." The placeofwomen in the technocracy Is examined in a chapteronreason and love; emotion is considered as a feminine trait and reason as a masculine one,tothe extent that even a robot designedtobe a woman Is an emotional beingIn"HelenO'loy"."That Only a Mother" has a similar split between emotion and reality. "Coming Attraction" and"ARoseforEcclesiastes" containtwoquite different viewsofthe relationship between man and woman. Aliens and monsters were frequent subjects In cover paintingsforthe science fiction magazines in the past, and stories on these topics were popular. In a chapter on feeling the unthinkable: aliens and monsters, "Arena" and "First Contact" are examined; the first deals with a hostile alien and the story is xenophobic; the second deals with a benign alienwhoisnotdissimilartothe human crew in many aspects. Weinbaum's"AMartian Odyssey"Isa storyofthe benign alien and Is discussed at length. A sectionofthe chapter deals with the monstrous child as seen in several stories: "BornofMan and Woman,""MimsyWere the Borogoves," and"It'sa Goodlife."A chapter on history, politics, and the future examines prediction and forecasting in science fiction. TheworkofH.G. Wells and his argument that it should be possibletomake predictions in human affairs is discussed. Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy and short story "Nightfall," Clarke's "The Nine Billion NamesofGod,"VanVogt's "The WeaponShop"and a partofGeraldK.O'Neill's2081are treatedIna section on the denialofhistory; "The SoundofThunder" and "Twilight" are discussedIna section on time travel and time. The last chapter examines science fiction and literary tradition. Here, soft science fiction rather than hard science fictionIsexamined. The"softscience" in the fiction is psychology. Huntington examines "The Countryofthe Kind," "The QuestforSaint Aquin," and "Fondly Fahrenheit." He concludes that the great virtueofthe genre"isits abilitytolive with contradiction." Appendices list the reprintingsofstories In the first volumeofThe Science FictionHallofFame and significant stories and authorsofthat period which did not appearInvolumeI.Huntington's study should be acquiredbyacademic libraries.Itwould also beofinteresttothosewhoteach courses in science fiction.-ConstanceMellott40


SFRANewsletter,No.179,July/August1990INVASION BATTLESlaValley,AI,ed.InvasionoftheBodySnatchers.Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 1989. 230p., ill. $32.00 hc.ISBN 0-8135-1460-6. $13.00 pb. ISBN 0-8135-4. The continuity scriptofInvasionoftheBodySnatchers(1956) takes up less than half oflaValley'scollection. Also included are memos and correspon dence from the film's producer Walter Wanger and director Don Siegel, two interviews with Siegel, five brief reviews from the 1950s (most major publica tions failedtoreviewInvasion),eight recent critical commentaries and a 20 page introductionbylaValley. Three of the commentaries are excerpts from books which examine the politicsof1950s films -Peter Biskind'sSeeing Is Believing(1983), Nora Sayre'sRunning Time(1982) and Michael Paul Ragin'sRonald Reagan, the Movie and Other Episodes in Political Demonology(1987). All threeofthese authors claim that Invasion expressed a right-wing, anti-Communist, individualist ideology, a conclusion made untenablebylaValleywhopointsoutthatInvasionscreenwriter Daniel Mainwaring was more willing than Siegeltocompromise with conservative studio bosses. Extensive notestothe script detail the changes between Mainwaring's screenplay and the final release versionofthe film, making clear that most of the changes madebyAllied Artists were designedtomake the film more accessible and both less grim and less humorous. These cuts certainly softened the film, but laValley hasnodoubt that Invasion is still fundamentally Mainwaring's and Siegel's work and represents an individualism moreofthe left than the right. laValley'sbookis a valuable demonstration thatitIsnotenoughtoview a film and judgeitaccordingtoone's beliefs about the period in whichitwas made, as did Buskind, Sayre and Ragin. To understand aworkofanysubtlety,Itis necessary to emulatelaValleyand study the processofproduction and the careers and wordsofthe film makers. The debate over the ideological complexion ofInvasionhas been a standard film schooltopicforsome time. Considerably fresher is Nancy Steffen-Fluhr's essay arguing thatInvasionis misogynist and demonizes women. Steffen-Fluhr maygotoofar (especially in momentsofFreudian flight such as,"Inentering the tunnel with Becky, Miles metaphorically enters into sexual Intercourse with her. His breathless ascentupthe hill is his erection"), but she opensupnew questions about an oft-debated work. The most important and Incontrovertible pointtomake aboutInvasionisits deep pessimism. Siegel told an Interviewer, "The majorityofpeople in the world are pods, existing without any Intellectual aspirations and incapableoflove." laValley'sbookcombines essential information and a wide varietyofcritical views about perhaps the most seriousworktoemerge from the supposed golden ageofSF in Hollywood. Recommended. --Michael Klossner41


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990OLD LOW-BROW ENTERTAINMENTWeinberg, Robert, StefanR.Dzlemlanowicz and MartinH.Greenberg, eds.RivalsofWeird Tales.Bonanza Books (Random House),NY,May 1990. 480p. $9.99 he. ISBN 0-88184-548-5. Weinberg, Dziemlanowicz, and Greenberg have followed their 1989 anthology,Weird Tales,withRivalsofWeird Tales.While the former selected thirty-two stories from the venerable originalofpulp fantasy, the latter selects thirty stories from magazines that attemptedtocompete withWeird Talesfrom 1927 through 1955. In his introduction Dziemianowicz describes these stories as low-brow entertainment, "talesofmystery and marvel for the masses." They offered the reader the consolation that his situation was not as bad as it might be and an opportunitytosee his worst fears acted out at a safe distance. Such a description suggests that these are not storiesofInsightordeep emotion, and this proves true. Their primary attractions for most readers will almost certainly be mystery and marvel. The readeriscarried through mostofthe storiesbya desiretoknow what the author has Imagined as the mysteryoras the solutiontothe mystery. Many of the tales read much like detective stories -Indeed, severalaredetective stories -and few contain really frightening monstrositiesorevents. The main pleasure of these stories is wonder at the author's imagination. The stories that work least well are usually those that give themselves awaytooeasily, such asFritz Leiber's "The Hill and the Hole," about a surveyor whose instruments tell him thereisa hole where his eyes say there is a hili. Much more effective along these lines is Jane Rice's pieceoffun, "The Refugee," which turns "LittleRedRidingHood"on its head a generation before writers such as Angela Carter and Tanith Lee wenttowork re-seeing the tale. Among the reasonably effective talesofterror are thoseofH.P. Lovecraft and his followers, all of which show roots in Edgar Allen Poe. Lovecraft's "Cool Air" concerns a manwhokeeps his dead body movingbymeans of magic, will-power, and air conditioning. HughB.Cave's"ImpofSatan," RobertA.W.Lowndes's "The Abyss," and CyrilM.Kornbluth's "The WordsofGuru" all offer effective combinationsofthe mysterious and diaboli cal. Interesting supernatural adventuresofalien invasion include Jack William son's "WolvesofDarkness," NorvellW.Page's"ButWithout Horns," and PhilipK.Dick's "Expendable." The most engagingofthese stories may prove--somewhat surpris Ingly --tobe the humorous pieces.Bymycount, elevenofthe thirty stories are essentially humorous, light fantasy. "Warm Dark Places"byH.LGoldIsa delightful storyofa greedy man who suddenly becomes afraidtoput his handsInhis pockets. Frederic Brown's "Armageddon" turns on aboysneaking holy42


SFRANewsletter,No.179,July/August1990water Into his new water pistol. Theodore Sturgeon, L Sprague De Camp, Jane Rice, Robert Bloch, and PhilipKDick are among those contributing amusing talestothe volume. The editors have chosen stories that wear well. Near1yallofthese selections remain entertaining, and even those that seem cliched perhaps becausesomany have worked the Idea since such as Richard Matheson's "Sorry, Right Number" the telephone linedownIn the graveyard are Interestingly developed and offer some fun. If the volume remains In print, It will be agoodtextforpopular culture courses as well as for bedside reading. --Terry HellerIFictionIA COUPLE OF ASPRINAsprln, Robert.M.Y.T.H.Inc. in Action.Starblaze Editions, June,1990.235p.$8,95.ISBN0-89865-787-3 ...,.-----,-,,---. Phule's Company.Ace, July,1990.232p. $3.95. ISBN 0-441-66251-X. I will be one of the first peopletoadmit that I still enjoy rerunsofTheThreeStooges.This same styleofimprobable, slapstick antics makes Asprin's"Myth"series funtoread--to a point. InM.Y.T.H.Inc.InAction,Asprin sacrifices plotforlaughs. The book's main characters are a pairofbrothers named Nunzio and Guido. The brothers are bodyguardsforthe Great Skeeve, and are presently on a missiontostop Queen Hemlock without the aid of Skeeve. They aretoinfiltrate the Queen's army and cause as much havoc as possible. In typical "Stooge-ian" form, everything theydohas the opposite effect. Unfortunately, all problems are solvedbythe sudden appearanceofSkeeve, and the readerIsleft feeling that every event within thebookwasfornaught. On a moreliterary note, there Is a small segmentInthebookwhere Nunzlo drops outofthe Macho-tuft-guy with a heavy Brooklyn accent, and shows himself for several paragraphstobe a very articulate, Intelligent, and sensitive man, before returningtothe bodyguard persona. This segmentwasso skillfully manipulated that I bookmarked Itforfuture reference. Over all, thebookwas enjoyable, but should be recommended onlyto"Myth"orStooge fans.43


SFRANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990Phule's Company(pronounced "fOO/'s") Is an excellent exampleofhowSF,humor and atouchofpsychology can effectivelybeblended together. William Phule is the galaxy's youngest mega-millionaire, and purchased his lieutenant's rank in the Space Corps. A maverickbynature, Phulefound himself constantly underthedetailed scrutinyofhis superiors. He was promotedtoCaptain and given the commandofOmega Company. Misfitsfromother outfits were invariably transferredtoOmega Company on a backwater planet. The misfitsofOmega Company include: Rose,whoIssoshythat a cadaver would be a better conversationalist...Tusk-anini, the giant, warthog-faced alienwhorefusedtofight ... Super Gnat, the smallest Legionnaire,whohas a temper that could make a stargonova ... Beeker, the butler, and theonlycivilianofthe bunch. Ask any government official ...throwenough money at a problem and it willgoaway...Right???Notquite. Phule uses his monetary assets very liberally, but it's the psychology behind his actions that eventually wins overtheOmega Company and unites them.Phule's Companyis an excellent exampleofSF humor/slapstick, and is well worth pickingupifyou'reInneedofa five-hour vacation.-RobMendeA GOOD FIRST NOVELBlair, John. ALandscapeofDarkness.Del Rey/Ballantine Books, NY, 1990. 247p. $3.95. ISBN 0-345-36517-8. This adventure SF novel is agoodpresentationofthecomplexmotivesofthe protagonist, a seasoned mercenary soldier, and his stirring adventures on a planet colonizedbyChinese andJapanese settlers, not very many hundred years in the future. The first chapter seemstopromisemuchblood and gore later in the novel but instead is an intriguing preview of the consciousnessofthe Terran soldier's chief human antagonist. To heighten the suspense further, there are flashesofan alien consciousness which is changing in unguessed ways the colonists' culture on the planet Ithavole. The mercenary,JohnSebastian Clay,Isa mixed-race, strong individualist from an over-populated and over-eultivated earth; he is influencedbymemo riesofhis Sioux grandmother as well as his values as an apolitical, but personally honorable, professional soldier. He is a credible, memorable char acter. The other members of his group, including a woman professional soldier, are more predictable contributorstothe adventureoftrekking through a dangerous wilderness in searchofa secret weapon. The human inter-planetary politics are satiric reflectionsofourowninternational relations between devel oped and developing nations; these add depthtothe novel while not distracting44


SFRA Newsletter, No.179, Ju/v/AuJ!USf 1990from the appealofthe action plot. The resolution of the alien questionIsa little perfunctory. Throughout, the writing Is vivid and forceful. A promising debut. I hopetoread moreofBlair's science fiction.-DianeParkin-SpeerPROMISING DEBUT NOVELMason, Lisa.Arachne.Morrow, NY, May 1990. 263p. $19.95. ISBN 0-688 09245-4. Usa Mason'sArachneprettymuchdemands direct comparison with another first novelofa few years back, William Gibson'sNeuromancer (1984).Mason setsupahuman/computerinterface technology similartoGibson's cy berspace, called telespace. Like cyberspace, telespace is a spectacular won dertand where human and artificial intelligences race along, accomplishing in seconds complex tasks that might otherwise take years. There are some differences, however. Mason's telespace feels both more limited and more chaotic than cyberspace. Each human linkerwhoenters telespace works there in a well-defined profession within carefully defended psychic perimeters. Also, the artificial intelligences that share telespace with human linkers in Arachne are more heavily anthropomorphized than are Gibson's AI's. Mason's protagonist, Carty Nolan, is a telespace linker, a hot-shot young lawyer with a major law firm. Carty isonthe fasttracktosuccess until something goes seriously wrong with her first solo trial In telespace. For reasons unknown, her telelink goes down just as she's presenting her opening arguments to the court. It's only a matterofseconds, but in telespace this is an eternity and Carty discovers herself In a nightmare wortd, pursuedbya giant spider. Flashing back into telespace, she finds the trial disrupted, herself suspended from practicing law, and her promising future in doubt. Carty turnsforhelptoD.Wolfe, a cynical senior lawyer at Ava&Rice, andtoProber Spinner, an eccentric robot therapist. Both promise help, but each has an ulterior motive. Wolfe, a drugaddictwith a stalled career, sees Carty's experience as a keytounderstanding problems he's had with hisowntelelink. Spinner, just as obsessed with herownfailures as is Wolfe, sees Carty as the possible source of an archetype, a bitofhuman meta-programming, the divine spark that every human linker has and that everyAIwants. Although ostensibly theretohelp Carty, Prober Spinner plotstokill her whileInlink in ordertosteal that archetype. Mason,whohas published excellent short fiction inOmniandAsimov's,is a lawyerwhoworks in software development, and her expertiseInthesetwoareas is obvious. Idon'tfind her computer intelligences as believable as45


SERANewsletter, No.179,July/August 1990Gibson's, but she'sverysuccessful In portraying telespaceworkas a main stream, everyday profession, something Gibson never really accomplishes. Her twenty-first century, post-earthquake San Francisco is weil-reaJized, though occasionally marredbyoverty broadcomicdetails. I can,forexample, believeInthe daily gridlock that afflicts the city streets, but I have trouble with the up scale business peoplewhorefusetoabandon their cars and deVelop odd alternate lifestyles In their back seats. Nonetheless, Arachne Is a very solid first novel and clearty identifies Usa Mason as a writertowatch.-MarciaMarxIYOUNG ADULTSIBELIEVABLE ARCHETYPESHuff, Tanya. GateofDarkness CircleofUght. DAW,NewYork, November 1989. 272p. $3.95 pb. ISBN 0-88677-386-5. Earth, as insomany supernatural fantasies, is a neutral ground where the agent of Evilnowstrivestoconquer Good. At first it appears that there will be little chancetoprevent the incursionofthe Dark;onlya retarded young woman Rebecca has true sight. Squirrels come without feartoher hand, elves and trolls are visibletoher, andamongher friends is a ghost. She has other friends as well in the cityofToronto friendswhowill help her and Evantarin, the Adept of Good, struggletomaintain balance. Among them are the archetypal crone, a bag lady of great wisdom; the warrior-maiden Daru, a social worker; the neophyte bard Roland; and Tom, a cat. Huff vitalizes eachofthese characters so that a reader shares Rebecca's anguish over the stabbingofthe little man in the tree, worries that Roland's music will notbepure enoughtopushbackthe Dark, and holds one's breath as each faces the Dark Adept. There was only one discordant feature. Huff interspersed the reactions oftwopolice in a prowl car, the first timetothe appearanceofa unicorn and, in the final battle on Midsummer's Eve,tothe squareofDarkness on the University commons. But it wasn't necessarytoaid readers in accepting the supernatural events. The Intrusions only reduced the tension. Huff's earth magic, much more believable than C.S. Lewis's in That Hideous Strength, needednostrengthening. --Muriel Rogow Becker46


$FRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990NOTTHEONE IN NEW YORKKnaff, Jean Christian.Manhattan.Knopf/Dragonfly, NY, 1989.n.pag. $4.95 pb. ISBN 0-394-84780-6.ItIs hardtoexplain thisbookwithout using morewordsthan the book Itself contains. By stringing a setofsurreal images along a filamentoftext, Knaff has created a disturbing and affecting narrativeofself-exploration, growth, and friendship. Some readers might balk at the fact that Knaff's peoplelooklike castle towers and that his hero Manhattan can stand at the battlements of his own head. Others might wonder where this strange landscapeofstars, castles, tiny horses, and volcanoes is supposedtoexist. The very young audiencetowhich we usually assign picture books would be baffledbythe visual metaphors and allusions. Indeed, I am hard-pressedtoname an audienceforthis book; psychologically sophisticated children with a tasteforPaulK1eeand avant garde greeting cards? Yet the assured simplicityofthe text and the boldnessofthe paintings might capture the Imagination of a wide readership, just as equally undassifiable author-illustrators like Maurice Sendak, ChrisVanA1lsberg,and James Thurber have done.-BrianAtteberySAGE'S MAGIC IS ANCIENT SCIENCEMcGowen, Tom.TheMagician's Challenge.Lodestar/Dutton, NY, 1989. 138p. #4$13.95 hc. ISBN 0-525-67289-3.TheMagician's Challengeis the thirdofa trilogy set at a time three thousand years after a nuclear disaster. The keepersofwisdom, the Sages, trytodiscover science and technologyofthepasttoadvance their town-centered but non-technological culture. Having helped save one city from the attack of the intelligent, rat-like reen, the Sage Armindor, his apprentice Tigg, and his ward Jilla, with the intelligent and helpful grubber Reepah, journeytowarntwoother cities of the impending attackofreens livingInthe sewers beneath them. The city, Orrello, fallstothe reen, but the children and the Sage reach IngarronIntimetoprepare a force armored against the reens' darts and helpedbythe city's hereditary rat-catchers. After this force destroys the reens' community, the story deepensbyintroducing a partyofreens who, after rescuing Tigg and Jilla from other reens, reveal that the reens themselves are divided over the proposed exterminationofhumans. The children then havetodecide whether they can trust their rescuers.47


SFRA Newsletter, No.179,July/August 1990A young criticofmyacquaintance enthusiastically endorses thisbook("Itwas great!"). Besides having an engaging plot, It raises important questionsaboutthe appropriatenessofaggression between different peoples. It also enables a childtolookatourownculture from a detached distance,byexperiencing Tigg's culture with its many differences, such asthelackofmotorized vehicles and the presenceofmanywomenin Ingarron's Peacekeep Ing forces. It does not, however, have sufficient depthofcharacter, complexityofplot,orrealityofdetailtohave lasting appeal. The charactersdonotseemtogrow; Tlgg becomes a Sage, but,atleastInthis volumeofthe trilogy,wedonot see him changing. Jilla,toooften described as"pretty,"isnotdeveloped enoughforreaderstoidentify with, and Armindor is little more than astockwise man. The plot moves directly forward withoutmuchdigression and the style, as well as the plot, seems pedestrian;toooften McGowen tells us,forInstance, that Reepah was "noticeably excited," ratherthan letting us see his excitementInhis actions. A few minor details seem Inconsistent withthesupposed tech-nologicallevelofthe culture, but these arenotlikelytoworrytheeight-tofourteen-year-olds who, in spiteofits flaws, will enjoy the story. --Katherine Collett48


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