SFRA newsletter

SFRA newsletter

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SFRA newsletter
Alternate Title:
Science Fiction Research Association newsletter
Science Fiction Research Association
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[Eugene, Ore
Science Fiction Research Association]
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Subjects / Keywords:
Science fiction -- History and criticism ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- History and criticism -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Science fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- Book reviews -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )


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University of South Florida Library
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S67-00079-n189-1991-07_08 ( USFLDC DOI )
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Past Presidents of SFRA Thomas D. Clareson Arthur O. Lewis, Jr. Joe De Bolt James Gunn Patricia S. Warrick Donald M. Hassler William H. Hardesty Elizabeth Anne Hull Past Editors of the Newsletter Fred Lerner Beverly Friend Roald Tweet Elizabeth Anne Hull Richard W. Miller Robert A. Collins Pilgrim Award Winners J. O. Bailey Marjorie Hope Nicolson Julius Kagarlitski lack Williamson I. F. Clarke Damon Knight James Gunn Thomas D. Clareson Brian W. Aldiss Darko Suvin Peter Nicholls Sam Moskowitz Neil Barron H. Bruce Franklin Everett Bleiler Samuel R. Delany George Slusser Gary K. Wolfe Joanna Russ Ursula K. Le Guin Marshall Tymn Pierre Versins Veronica Hollinger H. Bruce Franklin Pioneer Award (1970-76) (1977-78) (1979-80) (1981-82) (1983-84) (1985-86) (1987-89) (1989-90) (1971-74) (1974-78) (1978-81 ) (1981-84) (1984-87) (1987-89) (1970) (1971 ) (1972) (1973) (1974) (1975) (1976) (1977) (1978) (1979) (1980) (1981 ) (1982) (1983) (1984) (1985) (1986) (1987) (1988) (1989) (1990) (1991 ) (1990) (1991)


The SFRA Newsletter Publ ished ten times a year for the Science Fiction Research Association by Alan Newcomer, Hypatia Press, Eugene, Oregon. Copyright 1991 by the SFRA. Editorial correspondence: Betsy Harfst, Editor, SFRA Newsletter, 2357 E. Calypso, Mesa, AZ 85204. Send changes of address and/or inquiries concerning subscriptions to the Treasurer, listed below. Note to Publishers: Please send fiction books for review to: Robert Collins, Dept. of English, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431-7588. Send non-fiction books for review to Neil Barron, 1149 Lime Place, Vista, CA 92083. Juvenile-Young Adult books for review to Muriel Becker, 60 Crane Street, Caldwell, NJ 07006. SFRA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President Peter Lowentrout, Dept. of Rei igious Studies California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840 Vice-President Muriel Becker 60 Crane St., Caldwell, NJ 07006 Secretary David G. Mead, English Department Corpus Christi State University, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 Treasurer Edra Bogle Department of English University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-3827 Immediate Past President Elizabeth Anne Hull, Liberal Arts Division William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, Illinois 60067


SFRA Newsletter #189 July-Aug 1991 In This Issue: President's Message (Lowentrout) .................................................. .4 SFRA 22: Conference Report .......................................................... 6 Pilgrim Presentation Speech (Lewis) ............................................. 17 Pilgrim Acceptance Speech (Versins) ............................................ 20 Pioneer Presentation Speech (Hollinger) ....................................... 22 Pioneer Acceptance Speech (Franklin) .......................................... 24 Recent & Forthcoming Books (Barron) .......................................... 27 News & Announcements (Barron, et al.) ....................................... 29 Letters to the Editor ....................................................................... 35 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes (Mead) ............................. 39 Business Meeting Minutes (Mead) ................................................ .40 Editorial (Harfst) ............................................................................ 42 Non-Fiction: Barker, Clive Barker: Illustrator (Dziemianowicz) ........................ .43 Bleiler, Science Fiction: The Early Years (Barron). ........................ .44 Bode, Diary Sketchbook, Books 1 and 2 (Stevens) ........................ 46 Bowe, The Life and Work of Harry Clarke (Albert) ....................... .47 Budd, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Dziemianowicz) .................... .48 Cabral, Ciruelo (Stevens) .............................................................. 50 Cushing, Past Forgetting: Memoirs of the Hammer Years (Klossner) ....... 50 Cushing, Peter Cushing, an Autobiography (Klossner) ................... 50 Davis, Stanislaw Lem (Heller) ....................................................... 51 Dziemianowicz, Annotated Guide to Unknown & Unknown Worlds (Barron) ....... 52 Foote, Connecticut Yankee in the Twentieth Century (Collins) ............... 53 Goulart, The Encyclopedia of American Comics (Albert) .............. 55 Hamlin, Alley Oop (Klossner) ....................................................... 56 Harrison, Mark Harrison's Dreamlands (Stevens) .......................... 57 Hayles, Chaos Bound (Latham) ..................................................... 58 May, Lloyd Alexander (Levy) ........................................................ 59 Nolan, How to Write Horror Fiction (Neilson) .............................. 61 Pringle, The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction (Barron) ............... 61 Savage, Comic Books and America (Liberty) ................................. 62 Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimm's Fairy Tales (Attebery) ......... 64 Will iams, Outlines of Romantic Theology (Spencer) ..................... 65


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 3 fiction: Anderson, Harry's Helicopter (Sherman) ...................................... 66 Bloch, Psycho House (Villano) ..................................................... 67 Cherryh, Heavy Time (Hellekson) ................................................. 68 Crispin & O'Malley, Silent Dances: Starbridge Book Two (Roberts) .......... 69 Datlow & Windling, eds., Year's Best Fantasy: 2nd. Annual Collection (Heldreth) ................ 70 Dick, The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. Volume 1: The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford (Collins) ..................... 72 EI rod, Bloodcircle (Heller) ............................................................ 74 Foss, Diary of a Spaceperson (Hicks) ............................................ 74 Foster, Metrognome & Other Stories (Stevens) .............................. 75 Frezza, A Small Colonial War (Reynolds) ..................................... 75 Gaiman & Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (T ryforos) ......... 76 Gamett, ed., The Orbit Science Fiction Yearbook Two (Morrison) ........... 77 Gilluly, Ritnym's Daughters (Bogstad) .......................................... 79 Hubbard, Fear (Mallett) ................................................................ 80 Hyman, Echoes (Heller) ................................................................ 81 Kato, Yamamoto: A Rage in Heaven (Schuyler) ............................ 82 McKillip, The sorceress and the cygnet (Strain) ............................. 82 Metzger, Shock Totem (Corea) ...................................................... 83 Ransom, Jaguar (Jeremias) ............................................................. 84 Schow, Seeing Red(Nilo) ............................................................. 85 Schweitzer, The White Isle (de Wit) .............................................. 86 Swycaffer, Web of Futures (Messina) ............................................ 87 Talmadge-Bickmore, The Apprentice (Lowry) ............................... 88 Tolnay, Celluloid Gangs (Klossner) ............................................... 89 Wolverton, Serpent Catch (Mallett) ............................................... 89


4 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 President's Message Antigravs Lased, He Tumbles from the Sky The time has come to turn our blasters on the antigrav propulsion systems of the Presidential soapbox that some real work might be done in this column. (Some will reasonably observe that, technology and the SFRA budget being what they are, the Presidential soapbox is more likely to depend from a hot air balloon than to run on antigravity. Having noted a few hot gusts of late, I admit the possibility.) The Executive Committee has met at our Association's very successful twenty-second annual conference in Denton and things are in the offing which must now be reported. The EC has retitled the SFRA Newsletter. Beginning in January, 1992 {lest we cause needless trouble for the librarians who bind it annually), the SFRA Newsletter will be the SFRA Review. Further changes in the Review will be ongoing over the next few months. While we will still be coordinat ing very closely with the Greenwood reviews project, the EC feels that pri ority for publication in the SFRA Review should go to SFRA members. There fore, Betsy Harfst is accepting spontaneous reviews from members for pub lication in the Review, though she asks that you call or write her to make sure she has not already received a similar review. She will also be assigning longer review articles. The EC is determined to increase publishing oppor tunities for SFRA members. I have expanded the Publications Committee and will work with it as it aggressively explores additional SFRA publication projects. I'll let you know as things develop. For those on GEnie already, the SFRA now has a private Category in the SF Roundtable (non-GEnie folks read "private Online meeting place")' Drop me a note online at P.LOWENTROUT, and I'll get you in past the electronic bouncers. If you have a modem and are not on GEnie, set your communication software for half duplex {local echo), dial 1-800-638-8369, type HHH when you connect, and when the "U#=" appears type XTX99544,GENIE and press return. You're in (have a credit card ready, of course). For $4.95 a month you're in touch with thousands in the SF community from Germany to Japan. More on this another time. After careful consideration of our Association's finances, the EC has determined that dues must be raised next year -Dave Mead's report in this Newsletter has the details. This raise will cover the operating costs of the Association, and is designed so that we break even at the end of 1992. We have been able to hold the line of late because the cost of the Newsletter has


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 5 been partially subsidized by Hypatia Press and, as chance would have it, we've not had the expense of bringing Pilgrim winners to the annual confer ences for three years now. With the recent postage increase, and other ex penses creeping up with inflation, we must raise dues to cover costs. Still, any cost/benefit analysis of scholarly associations in the field will show that membership in the SFRA remains the best deal going. SFRA membership includes subscription to Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies, reduced subscription rates for Foundation, and ten issues of the SFRA Review. No body beats that. The "Adopt-a-Scholar" fund has now been officially designated the "Scholars Support Fund." Each issue of the Newsletter will list the names of those who have contributed to the Fund, though anonymity can be re quested. Those of you who were planning to go out to dinner tonight, open a can of hash instead and send Edra the difference between what you would have spent and what you did spend! We have scholars in China, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union who are desperate for the window on the world that SFRA membership provides. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Feminist Forum (SF4) has just mailed out its first Newsletter. Dues are $5.00 a year and those who would like to receive the Newsletter and participate in the activities of SF4 should contact Joan Gordon (1 Tulip Lane, Commack, NY 11725). The Pioneer Committee has asked that SFRA members send nominations to it for consideration for the 1992 award (Russell Letson is this year's chair). Last year the Committee received no nominations. They also note that it has become all but impossible for three people to compass all essay-length scholarly and critical output in the field, and ask that you help out by sending along to them worthy essays that you support for Pioneer consideration and which you reasonably suspect will not have been seen by the Committee. Takayuki Tatsumi, last year's hard-working chair, has sent me the final short list of essays from which the Committee selected the 1991 Pioneer winner. Here it is: Frances Bonner, "Difference and Desire, Slavery and Seduction: Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis," Foundation #48 (Spring, 90) Samuel R. Delany, "Science and Literature," NYRSF #23 (July 90) H. Bruce Franklin, "The Vietnam War as American SF and Fantasy," SFS #52 (November 90) Len Hatfield, "The Galaxy Within: Paradox and Synchdoche as Heuristic Tropes in Greg Bear's Science Fiction," Extrapolation, Vol. 31, No.3 (Fall 90)


6 SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 Nancy Steffan-Fluhr, "The Case of the Haploid Heart: Psycholog ical Patterns in the Science Fiction of Alice Sheldon," SFS #51 (July 90) Bruce Sterling, "Precessing the Simulacra for Fun and Profit," Monad #1 (September 90) Gary Wolfe, "The Dawn Patrol: Sex and Technology in Farmer and Ballad," NYRSF #25 (September 90) Pete Lowentrout Twenty-Second Annual Conference Report Text by Audience Members and Panel Participants What is Small is Beautiful! The Twenty-Second Annual Conference of the Science Fiction Research Association held at the University of North Texas and the Park Inn, on june 27-30, in Denton, TX., was small but shall be difficult to forget: first, for the well-organized and pleasant arrangements provided by our host and direc tor, Edra Bogle, and her associates; second, for the high level of all the pre sentations I was able to hear and the quality of the discussions that followed each session; for the memorial program, panels, teaching presentations, readings by authors, or the Pilgrim and Pioneer Awards; all added to a lively and predictable series of experiences. This pleasure will be multiplied since some of the sessions will be continued next year in Montreal. Charlotte Dansky Donald A. Wollheim, 1914-1990: Memories The opening event on Thursday evening was a retrospective memorial honoring Donald A. Wollheim. Panel host, Frederik Pohl, and panel mem bers, Elizabeth Anne Hull, jack Williamson, and james Frenkel shared rec ollections and insights into the nature and work of this pioneer editor and publisher who helped shape science fiction into what it is today. Fictional Spaces A concurrent Thursday night session featured Susan j. Dauer, Hildegard Glass, and Frank Dietz. Susan j. Dauer's paper,"No Room of Their Own: Gender and Space in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale" theorizes that three areas, the parlor, kitchen, and boudoir, are assigned to different women-Wives, Marthas and Handmaids--in the homes of Gilead's aristoc racy, yet the women do not ultimately have control over them. In Atwood's


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 7 novel, the Lord of the Household takes away even the appearance of con trol from the Women of the House. Offred, bereft of name and space, has only her mind and memories, the last places her Commander seeks to con trol. She ultimately loses these when her words end up in the hands of male editors. Hildegarde Glass's paper, "Urban Configurations in German Science Fiction Literature at the Turn of the Century," analyzed the ideological com ponents of urban configurations in German science-[fiction novels in the decades between the unification of the German Empire and World War I. In these novels, the traditional utopian city-community is replaced by machine dominated cityscapes. As projections of national identity, these imaginary cities reflect ambivalent attitudes toward the emerging mechanized mass society and the utopian potential of technology. Frank Dietz, "Urban Visions in Contemporary American Utopias: Niven/ Pournelle's Oath of Fealty, Silverberg's The World Inside, Pohl's The Years of the City, and Delany's Triton, discussed four recent urban utopias that have attempted to reclaim urban space for utopia. It analyzed how the de cision for a particular setting influences the social structure of these utopian societies and how these texts react to the dominant influence of dystopian literature in the twentieth century. Frank Dietz Teaching Science Fiction An early Friday session, "Materials, Methods, Metacognition and Sub version: Teaching F & SF," presented by Muriel Becker, was part of an offer ing for graduate students seeking TEA Advanced Academic Training Cred its from the University. Discussion centered on valuable works, sample units, activities suitable for metacognition, and various approaches to teach ing science fiction. War & Rebellion in Modern Science Fiction Noting that "a high percentage of science fiction has always dealt with war ... Bullitt Lowry. in "War and Warriors in Modern Science Fiction," examined works by Heinlein, Dickson, and Sadler to determine how these three writers, all with military-very different-backgrounds depict war and warriors. He concluded that, despite offering different views, "they give no tremendous insight into either subject." They do deliver the promised good adventure stories.


8 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7991 In "A Society at War with Itself: Totalitarianism and Science Fiction in Brazil," M. Elizabeth Ginway discussed Mauro Chavez' The Bureaucrat's Adaptation,little known in this country-and Zamyatin's We as ironic uses of the archetypal quest novel. Both novels "share the protagonists's failed search for individuation under regimes wherein the individual 'I' is subordinate to the collective 'we'." In his response Arthur O. Lewis tried to place these modern novels in the context of utopian writing where war is a common method of attaining (and of maintaining) utopia as rebellion's a ubiquitous theme in dystopian works. A lively discussion was concentrated in two areas. In the first there was a division between those who find warriors of modern science fiction to be mere mercenaries with no moral values, concerned only with pay and privi leges (Drake, Niven, Pournelle cited as examples), and those who have a code of nobility, fighting for more than self (Bujold cited as example). The second major area of interest was the impact of novels like those of Chavez on the military, totalitarian rulers of Brazil-not much, because the leaders were not sophisticated enough to see any threat from them; they censor TV, movies, etc., rather than the written word. Arthur O. Lewis, Jr. Getting Started: From Creative Writing Class to "Published Author" Write for your audience! No, write for yourself. Then find the right audience. Get an agent. It's the most important thing in the world if you're a novel writer. Don't bother to get an agent for your first novel. It's as hard to get a good agent to look at a first book as it is to get a publisher to look at it. Start submitting stories at the bottom of the market and work your way up as you improve your skills. No, start at the top, and if the prestigious magazines don't take your work, try a smaller one. The advice rolled on. Clay Reynolds, novelist in residence at the University of North Texas, introduced the panel. Writers Cynthia Drolet and Kurt Stallings and editor James Frenkel poured out the information and help ful hints. Highlights: Cleverness and wit, humor and irony are "in." Hone your craft on short stories rather than novels. It's about 250 pages quicker.


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 9 Don't get so caught up in research that you are forever creating a fic tional world. Know when it is time to stop and get on with the writing. Remember that you are building an identity in an editor's mind from your first submission. Send a clear, clean copy. Don't mark it "copyright." Keep your cover letter (for novels) short. Always enclose an SASE. Don't assign a "just throw it away" value to your work. Finally, look at those letters of rejection. Be able to accept criticism. In fact, a letter containing individual comments is a good sign. The longer the rejection the better. .. until the first acceptance comes. Sarah L. Donohue SF in the 1980's: The Making of the Canon James Gunn's session on SF in the 1989's focused upon the various processes by which the "key works of science fiction written during the 1980's will most likely be selected. Noting the vast increase in SF titles and sales during the past decade, Gunn suggested that the creation of a core list of important works will be inevitable, in order to aid teachers in preparing read ing lists, to help librarians select and catalogue new acquisitions, and to provide readers some guidance in exploring various SF sub genres. He said that magazine and journal reviews, the different SF awards for excellence, and most importantly the works that experienced instructors choose to teach will most likely determine the 1980's canon. Finally, Gunn suggested that one of the most important functions of this canon may be to serve as a target for attack, a locus for an examination of the process by which subsequent decades decides what is important. Various members of the audience com mented that most readers, especially students, are apt to misinterpret canons as norms of excellence; that it is important to keep alive works that were not chosen as well as works that were; and that we must constantly remain aware of the political and gender filtering devices through which the canon is shaped. Discussion remained fairly theoretical throughout, as, aside from Gibson's Neuromancer, most of the audience felt we were still too close to the 1980's to name this decade's key novels. Adam J. Frisch Winning Without War: Waging Peace for the 21 st Century "Winning Without War" questions the apparently automatic first re sponse to serious challenges resorted to by governments (as in the recent Gulf episode) and also by writers: one of military force. Slonczewski outlines some alternatives to war and notes how often they have worked, even un der difficult conditions. She also explains why we fail to notice these suc-


10 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 cesses: non-violence isn't showy, and it may be slow. It completely bypasses the question of "who won," since a successful operation leaves both sides convinced of victory. It also bypasses some of our cultural myths, especially those defining "strength" and "manhood." Even so, Slonczewski argues, non-violence represents the more effective choice in most instances. She notes some writers who suggest such ap proaches, and urges more fictional exploration of these options. A lively debate followed the talk. Martha Bartter Adolescent SF This panel included Pat Peters, young adult librarian, Jack Williamson, author, Muriel Becker, supervising professor for secondary English teacher candidates, and Betsy Harfst, Newsletter editor and discussion leader. Ques tions centered on what constitutes the adolescent/young adult label; who decides what is labeled: children, juvenile, and young adult; how do we define the boundaries; what do adolescents look for when they read; what plots/themes appeal to them; and what do they actually read of their own volition? Some of the answers from panel and audience: there are no real bound aries (example-between Madeline L'Engel and Asimov) because students skills and abilities vary so greatly (Peters); one 1989 YA list of best books runs the gamut from Robert Cormier's Fade, to Peter Dickinson's EVA, and on to Le Guin's Tehannu, yet Simmons's Fall of Hyperion is not on the YA lists (Becker); labels such as young adult are an artificial "publisher's category" (Williamson); the "favorite plot pattern is a youngster growing up, forming relationships" (Williamson); adolescents look for a playful element, for youngsters overcoming difficulties (Dave Mead); for someone in the story that they can identify with (Becker); for some story that can give them hope about themselves or the world, the happy ending which is missing in much of contemporary mainstream literature (Harfst); and what "kids don't want is math/science in novels; what they are actually reading is fantasy ('Piers Anthony is never on the shelf-always out'), some travel books, Today, Timescape" (Peters). The discussion concluded on recollections of what was the first book read that turned you on to science fiction and fantasy. C.A.(Andy) Hilgartner


SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 11 Science Fiction: In and About Texas Warren Norwood led the discussion with Bradley Denton and Lewis Shiner. Warren began with a quick history of SF in Texas culled in pJrt from the Texas Almanac. SF's first appearance came in an 1865 magazine story by a woman who imagined human colonization (including slaves!) on other planets. Robert Howard was the most famous SFer for quite a while. Chad Oliver edited the first TX fanzine and wrote the first SF novel written in TX. Walter Miller, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Neal Barrett, Jr., Tom Reamy, Bob Vardeman, Justin Leiber, Dean Ingh, Bruce Sterling, Elizabeth Moon, Eliza beth Scarborough, Joe Lonsdale, Gene Wolfe, Howard Waldrop, and LisJ Tuttle are among the others with TX connections. There are approximately 50 TX members of SFWA. Bradley Denton claimed an "outsider's" or "freestater's" viewpoint. Especially recommending the word of Don Webb, he employed a witty fire brand metaphor to discuss the vitality ofTXSF, its cyberpunks and mavericks, describing the writers as courageous, intrepid, dangerous, and sometimes a pain in the ass. Lew Shiner offered an explanation for the density of SF writers in Aus tin by pointing out that writing communities spring up in particular kinds of places. Austin is a college town with a low cost of living and an authority figure or mentor (Chad Oliver). Then, he explained, when the number of writers reaches critical mass, it attracts more. He also cited the Turkey City workshop. During the general discussion, TX attitudes of independence, militaris tic territorial ism, and regionalism were cited as finding expression in TXSF. Several people recommended Roy Harper's Petrogypsies. A discussion of censorship began when Warren observed that editors have shown unwilling ness to accept books with Latin, Black, or female protagonists. I pointed out that such constraints would even more effectively constrain Latin, Black, and female writers who might be more inclined to use such protagonists. Lew mentioned the danger of unconscious self-censorship. joan Gordon Writers Reading from Works in Progress Our first reader was Joan Slonczewski who offered the opening section of her novel Daughter of Elysium. The story draws heavily on her back ground as a microbiologist; however, there is a notable absence of jargon. Her piece is engaging and easy to follow without being simplistic. It was unfortunate that time limits prevented her from reading more.


12 SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 Rather than reading a small portion of his book, Jack Williamson gave us the background on his his most recent novel came into being. His trip to Biosphere II in Arizona last year prompted a book about the building of the first Martian habitat. This yet untitled novel is due out sometime late this summer or early fall. After two serious works Cyndi Drolet provided the perfect balance. She read several articles from her fictional magazines "Modern Mercenaries? and "FTL In-Flight Magazine." If you like the idea of all the motifs and trappings of medieval sword and sorcery put into a "People Magazine" context this is for you. A few people may have missed some good lines because they were still laughing at the previous line. James Gunn read from his satiric novel entitled Catastrophe. In his se lection Gunn describes how one can become the enemy by slaying the oppressor. Tom Cain An Informal Reception at the Treasure Isles Books concluded the Friday afternoon sessions. Dinner was at the Trail Dust Steak House a few miles outside of Denton. One unique feature designed to encourage informality in this restaurant is the "necktie collector" rule. Any man wearing a necktie has to forfeit the bottom half of his tie. A waitress comes bearing shears and snips off the bottom half which is added to hundreds stapled on the wall as deco rations. A Tall Tale story teller entertained with his exaggerated fables of Texas characters and Texas life. Diverse Issues This Diverse Issues session was surprisingly well-attended for 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Elizabeth Cummins discussed "Judith Merril's Short Fiction" in terms of her writing as being "feminised" rather than "feminist." Rusty Burke described the different personae adopted by Robert E. Howard as he moved from an interest in boxing to Celtic lore to Texas his tory. Lynn Williams gave an admittedly tentative paper on the presence of the alien in utopian fiction. A lively discussion followed the papers. Lynn Williams


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 73 The Retooled Hero: Technology and Morality in Cyberpunk Fiction and Film A concurrent session featured Donald Lloyd, Chuck Etheridge, and Col leen Tremonte and Margaret Wintersole. Donald Lloyd's paper was "Moral Software: The Hero and Technology in Cyberpunk Films and Fiction." Chuck Etheridge discussed: "Walter John Williams' Hardwired Heroes." Colleen Tremonte and Margaret Wintersole, coauthored "The Cyberpunk Cannery: Preserving the Romantic Hero in a Techno-World." The Fork in the Road: Can SF Survive in Post-Modern, Megacorporate America? The remarkable panel discussion of Cristina Sedgewick's March SFS article dominated Saturday morning with Veronica Hollinger as discussion leader, while James Frenkel, Joan Gordon, Warren Norwood, Lewis Shiner, and Joan Slonczewski presented a stimulating and informative commentary on the subject of what really is valuable SF and how SF can be published at the present time by the mega corporations. Frenkel, Shiner, and Norwood presented the side of the publ ishers and writers. Joan Slonczewski took a more central position; while Joan Gordon gave a much more trenchant pre sentation of Cristina Sedgewick's article. The discussion was so lively on the part of both panelists and audience that it was decided that this subject should be continued next year at the Montreal conference. Charlotte Dansky Write to Sell "Talent," L. Sprague de Camp says, "is inborn; it can't be learned. Tech nique, however, can-and must-be learned." In "Write to Sell," de Camp enumerated the techniques from which a well-crafted story is constructed. Lacing his presentation with illuminating metaphors, anecdotes, and examples of the do's and don'ts of writing, de Camp discussed characters (and limiting the number used), characterization, plot (explaining Heinlein's three major plot lines: (1) boy meets girl,(2) the little tailor motif where the "little shot becomes the big shot," and (3) the heroes discover something about themselves which causes them to change some way, and all the variations and permutations of these plots), POV (avoiding first person and third person omniscient in favor of third person limited), and setting (including the importance of research). On the other


74 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 hand, he admitted, these rules of convention have all been broken in many successful works. De Camp also stressed that writers who sell have perse verance and a strong habit of self discipline. Concluding the session, de Camp entertained questions about his use of humor (apparently humorous situations "just come" to him) and how he keeps track of his ideas ("like all pros," he keeps a small notebook and pen in his pocket at all times, and files away his jottings is an idea filed for later use). Cyndi Drolet The Cutting Edge of Science Fiction What is the cutting edge of science fiction? That was the question posed in a Saturday afternoon session at SFRA's nnd annual conference. I think the answer to the question depends on whom you ask. To some people it's the fact that science fiction can no longer be called "sci-fi;" it's now "sf." To some it seems to be some kind of surf punk flying around in a B-52 and try ing to decide if he/she/it wants to save the Earth or light up. Hum! To some it's stamping through a CRT in search of things to destroy, playing God, and snorting "spice." Roxanne! Does any of this make sense? Well, that may be as good a question as the one originally posed, but let me see if I can sort it out. On second thought, let me just say that we never really agreed as to what exactly the cutting edge is except to say that David Brin, Dan Simmons, and Samuel Delany seem to be writing it among other authors. Also, you might experi ence some of it first-hand in Chicago at the Battle-Tech center. I must also add that the discussion became highly interesting when tem pers flared over the eternally difficult questions, what is science fiction in terms of its definition and what is art? Overall the session was great fun. And in answer to the original question, I leave you with Lewis Shiner's clas sic answer, "Who cares?" Dan Ferguson Writing in Tandem: The Art of Collaboration Discussion leader, Frederik Pohl, and panel members, Elizabeth Anne Hull, James Gunn, and Jack Williamson, all collaborative writers at some period, presented their insights. Collaboration is more common in science fiction than elsewhere, perhaps because the prominence of its idea produces greater benefits from dialogue. It is best undertaken when an individual could not achieve the same ends alone. Potentially destructive, it requires


5FRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 75 mutual trust, dialogue and negotiation; more important than merged styles and techniques is a shared vision. Although commonly one writer drafts and the other develops and/or edits, collaborators also may assign and develop different points of view or different characters, or write alternating groups of pages or different episodes in a serial. Male/female collaborations are rare; and although the participants use personal computers, none had exchanged software or collaborated through modem. Finally, simple word count does not determine the prominence of a writer, for while one may contribute the words, the other might have provided the essential inspiration and solutions; thus "each collaborator does 75% of the work." Edwin F. Casebeer Writers Read from Their Works in Progress Four writers read from their works in progress Saturday afternoon. Bra dley Denton and Warren Norwood provoked howls of happy laughter with selections from their forthcoming novels, Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede and Trueplains respectively. Fred Pohl, averring that for once he had nothing "in progress," shared a "Feghoot" of recent composition and a favorite, as yet unpublished, bedtime story. Lewis Shiner topped off this excellent session, reading from the opening chapter of his novel-in-progress, Glimpses. It's fair to say that almost everyone who was in the room has begun saving to buy these works when they reach print. David Mead Cogwheels in the Sky A concurrent session, Robert E. Howard's Cogwheels in the Sky, featured Catherine Crook de Camp as speaker. She presented informative facts about Robert E. Howard's life and his work as a writer. She pointed out the some times unrecognized significance of the elements in Howard's life as a writer that often is overlooked. Peter Lowentrout Autograph Party An autograph party, sponsored by the University Store, concluded the Saturday afternoon activities.


16 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 Pilgrim/Pioneer Awards Dinner The highlight of the Pilgrim and Pioneer Awards dinner was the presen tation and acceptance speeches reprinted elsewhere in the Newsletter. One other feature of the dinner was the Support the Scholar Fund Donation Draw ing. Adam Frisch had the lucky number for the suede leather cowboy hat. Influences on Recent Writers The final discussion session featured Martha Bartter, Robert J. Ewald, and Edwin F. Casebeer. Martha Bartter made a complex subject simple and understandable as she explained the Mayan concepts of time as a preface to her mythological analysis of the heroes of Warren Norwood's True Jaguar. Her presentation developed their correspondences with the Mayan myth of the Twins. She cited two books as being especially helpful for Mayan back ground: Barbara Tedlock's Of Time in the Highland Maya and A Forest of Kings by Linda Schele and David Freidel. Bob Ewald explained art deco, an outgrowth of the art nouveau movement, related it to the New Wave move ment, and used some of its concepts as a key for analysis of "Dan Simmons' Hyperion Chronicles: Art Deco SF of the Nineties." Edwin Casebier, "Weird SF: Stephen King's Tommyknockers," theorizes how this novel echoes the structure of Salem's Lot. He pointed to James Hillman's four lectures given at Yale in the early '70s as providing perspectives on how writers write as he appl ied the fou r areas to the novel. Next Year, Montreal Sunday's business meeting covered many of the usual problems facing SFRA: the on-going negotiations with IRS for non-profit status, ways to in crease memberships, the domino effects of increased postage costs and ex panded printing resulting in higher dues, a name change for the Newsletter (SFRA REVIEW),beginning in January 1992, to better reflect its expanded review sections, with the addition of a yearly index in December 1991, the continued plan to have two candidates for each office during elections. Plans were announced to hold the 1992 conference in Montreal, Canada, with Steven Lehman handling the arrangements. Begin planning now for attend ing the June 1992 meeting in Montreal; be there to share in the scholarship and fun. Betsy Harfst


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 Pilgrim Presentation Pierre Versins, 1991 Pilgrim Award Prepared by Roger Gaillard Delivered by Arthur O. Lewis, Jr. 77 Born in France in 1923, Pierre Versins will die in 2023. This much can be gathered from the very short autobiography included in this author's magnum opus, the 1,000 pages Encyclopedie de f'Utopie, des Voyages Extraordinaires et de fa Science-Fiction (1972). Now 58 years old, Pierre Versins is a short and unassuming grey-bearded man with very thick glasses. A self-taught scholar whose life-long passion for science fiction resulted in the foundation of this world's first public SF museum, the House of Elsewhere (Maison d' Ailleurs), located in the Swiss town of Yverdon-Ies-Bains. His real name, long forgotten, was Jacques Chamson. Brought up in Southern France, the boy was a greedy reader with a taste for the unusual. During World War II, he got involved with the Resistance and was captured by the Nazis. Deported to Auschwitz concentration camp (which was a mistake since he wasn't Jewish), the young man had a number tattooed on his arm and narrowly escaped the gas chamber, before being sent to another camp meant for political prisoners. He remembers having thought, while in Auschwitz, that he was "prisoner of a utopist's dream"-Hitler's ideal Aryan Republic, a fierce racial Empire determined to get rid of dissidents of any kind in order to reach a racial Millenium. After the war, like other deportees needing to get better health, Pierre Versins was sent to a sanatorium in Switzerland. He established himself in Lausanne with his first wife, Martine Thome, and started writing novels and short stories in the fifties. 1950, by the way, is the date of introduction of the label "science-fiction" in France. Although the genre itself was not a nov elty (Cyrano de Bergerac, Jules Verne, Jean de la Hire, Maurice Renard or Rene Barjavel had been writing SF in Moliere's tongue ages ago), the brand name created by Hugo Gernsback thrilled the imaginations. Big publishers like Gallimard, Hachette and Denal began to translate great Anglo-Saxon writers of the so-called Golden Age: Sturgeon, Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov, Moore or Bradbury. At the same time, specialized collections offered writing space to budding French SF writers. A few intellectuals were particularly enthusiastic, eager to create but also to understand this strange cultural phe nomenon: among them Raymond Queneau, Boris Vian, and, of course, Pierre Versins.


18 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 The novels he wrote during the fifties-Les etoiles ne s'en foutent pas (1950), En avant, Mars (1951), Le Professeur(1956}-showed a witty liber tarian mind, but didn't get much praise. A critic working for Fiction-the best French SF magazine of these years-even declared that Versins knew everything about science fiction, except how to write it. .. Which is a bit harsh: some of the short stories written by Versins during the fifties and six ties, such as "La Ville du Ciel" or L'Enfant ne pour l'Espace," were deeply moving and are still recommended reading nowadays, like his novel Les transhumains (1971), a very subtle "strange encounter" story. Apart from literary accomplishments, Pierre Versins Will stay in the hall of fame of world SF for at least two reasons: his gargantuous Encyclopedie, a monument of erudition which unfortunately never was translated in En glish; and the founding of the House of Elsewhere. In a way, Pierre Versins is the European sibling of Forrest J. Ackerman although his introverted literary temper differs much from that of the Califor nian SF Sunnyboy. Since 1950, he endeavoured to collect anything that had any link with science fiction, utopia or extraordinary voyages-meaning not only books but also toys, posters, film stills, paintings, postage stamps, tee shirts, records, video-tapes and advertising items. This huge collection, which was partly a research material for the Encyclopedia, was presented publicly for the first time in 1967 at the Kunsthalle of Berne, where an astounding SF exhibition had been set up. Later, parts of Versins' treasures travelled to Germany or to the Montreal universal exhibition. The public interest was great-but there still was no permanent place in which SF cul ture could be presented, with all its many-jewelled facets. Popularizing SF had long been Versins' main activity. In 1957, he founded the Futopia Club, with a lending library for members, and published simultaneously the first SF fanzine in French, Ailleurs (Elsewhere). For the French-speaking Swiss radio, he also created a monthly SF theatrical broadcast,"Passeport pour I'inconnu" (Passport for the Unknown), which had a big audience in the "radio-days" and helped spreading the virus to amazed teenagers (I was one of them, for sure). Adaptations of novels or short sto ries by authors like Damon Knight, Catherine Moore, Ray Bradbury, or Rob ert Scheckley were common in those days, for the delight of the happy many. The next step was a big one: in 1975, Pierre Versins donated his entire collection to the town of Yverdon. The agreement between him and the local authorities was that this donation would create the basis of a perma nent museum of SF and utopia, open to researchers as well as to the general


SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 19 public. Unfortunately, the premises granted to the Maison d'Ailleurs-officially inaugurated in May 1976-were so small that only a fraction of the collections (mainly the library of 25,000 volumesl could be presented. This was a source of frustration for many visitors who expect much more from an SF museum. Also, Pierre Versins, who acted as curator of his own riches for five years, hardly had any money to help enrich the Maison. In 1982, dis couraged, bitter and resentful, he left Yverdon to return to France, where he is currently working at a new book-a novel in many parts which promises to be as enormous as his Encyclopedie. As a pioneer in the knowledge of the SF field, Versins will most certainly stay as a courageous explorer of uncharted seas, striving to find ancient roots to a genre which for him is above all"a state of mind". Utopia, SF and ex traordinary voyages are in Versins' view different manifestations of a unique quest, and can be linked in the concept of "conjectures romanesques rationnelles" (narrratives of rational conjecturel-a definition which helps to distinguish SF from such "enemy brothers" as the fantastic, the supernatural or surrealism. Written with wit and passion, his Encyclpedie still is a unique reference book for French speaking earthlings. On May 4, 1991, Pierre Versins was back in Yverdon-Ies-Bains, as a guest of honor, for the reopening of the House of Elsewhere in a new building and with a new team. He had the satisfaction to see that his generosity, after all, had been recognized and rewarded. that the museum he had dreamed of was starting a new promising life with more space and better resources. I was of course extremely anxious to see what the Maison's first Master would think of what had been done with his collections-and re lieved when it appeared that our efforts were appreciated. To this unpretentious pioneer, the new Maison was "like a daughter that one hasn't seen for many years, and who has grown as a nice teenager, now independant form his old daddy". In this very special year, the Pilgrim Award seems perfectly fit to honor a man who so steadily and quietly worked to popularize science fiction. The Maison's team thanks SFRA for this recognition of our museum's founderwho will probably add to the field a few surprises of his own in the near future. After all, there are still quite a few years from here to 2023. Maison d' Ailleurs Roger Gaillard, Curator Yverdon-Ies-Bains, June 9 1991


20 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 Pilgrim Acceptance Versins, Utopian Pilgrim Prepared by Pierre Versins Delivered by Arthur O. lewis, Jr. Laciies, Gentlemen, and You Noble Pilgrims through Space and Time: Please accept my apologies for not being there among you, or, if you prefer, for being elsewhere. I'm confident that you constitute the audience most likely to understand that, having travelled so far and often in time and space by reading many, and writing few books, I may be too tired to come and meet you in farwest [Farwest is his untranslatable term]. To say that-as one of your most talented linguists, Walt Kelly, used to make three of his tiny critters say-I was flabbergasted, bewitched and be wildered to obtain your Pilgrim Award, is something of an abysmal under statement, and reading the list of my twenty-one predecessors (and predecessoresses?) can be of no help. You must know that since around 1971, the year when I published my encyclopedia, I'm gafia; for the benefit of those among you who aren't fa miliar with American culture, the term stands for Gone Away From It All [in French, he writes "DDT' ... Oetache de Tout"]. II ived thirty-three years in a Utopia, a mild one, Switzerland where rigor mortis is sometimes a way of life and saying shit aloud a capital crime not only against cleanliness but against society as well. I just can't be so clean myself, so I departed as "Frenchy" [written with quotations in both French and English] as I was when I immigrated into the Country of the Quiet Af ternoon. And before this, I lived, rather tried desperately to survive, for fifteen months in other Utopias, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and the I ike, that is, con centration camps under Nazi supervision: Speaking of Quiet Afternoons ... That is to say: reality if far more utopian than utopia, and the ordinary lawyer knows much more about telling people what they ought to do (a precise and laconic definition of utopia) than myself or, Humility being my secret and unutterable second surname, the entire corpus of scholarly spe cialists on the theme. Many utopias have the dryness and prevision of the law, and some are constituted strictly and only by invented laws: just tale a look at Antonio de Guevara and his "Garamantes",l Raoul Spifame and his fake decrees,,2 Morelly's Code de la Nature3 and, why not?, D.A.F. de Sade in the "120 journe'es de Sodome/,,4


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 27 You see, to simplify things, I am a Utopian myself, and I have devoted a not-negligible amount of my energy to struggle against a tendency towards elitocracy. I mean that I used to think some times that I knew best, then most of the time that I knew best, and at last that I always knew best. This led me to study why I knew best, why I thought that if only I were President ... When I discovered that I was not alone, that reputed geniuses like Plato, More, Rousseau, and many others weren't immune against that gentle madness, I discovered at the same time, through dictators of all kinds and times, that it was a disease, a potentially severe illness that ought to be treated af ter having been localised. Hence my encyclopedia, where I somewhat care fully tracked lots and lots of symptoms and syndromes, not enough certainly, and I must apologize again. I then thought that physicians would rise to cure the disease,. and maybe they came along, but I've got no information about such a movement. Have you? Now I'm almost ready to think that utopia, disease as it may be, is go ing to persevere. Even though we do have a vaccine at hand, nobody seems to care. By vaccine I mean, as the dictionary puts it, an attenuated form of the bacteria causing the disease. Why do utopias. in their literary, fictional form, tend to fade and disappear? I must leave you face to face with this question, for the doorbell is ring ing and somebody, for sure, is at the door in the rain. It would not be fair to let him or her get wet. Be as happy as I am when I'm happy and my thanks for your kindness. Pierre Versins Paris, May 17, 1991 Works Cited: 1. Peace-loving people visited by Alexander the Great in Libra Aureo de Marca Aurelio, 1527; English trans. Sir Thomas North, The Dia" of Princes, 1557. 2."a sixteenth-century eccentric who fancied himself the King of France, and whose code of laws for the realm was published in part in 1775." Manuel and Manuel, 554. 3. Abbe' Morelly, 1755. 4.Les 120 journees de Sodome. ou L'Ecole de libertinage, written, 1785; first published, 1904.


22 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 1991 Pioneer Presentation SF a literature of the Contemporary World The Pioneer Award was established-in the very recent past-in recog nition of the fact that some of the best work being written today in the field of science-fiction studies appears in the succinct form of the critical essay and is thus frequently overlooked when it comes time to recognize and honour such achievements. For this reason, I am most pleased to present the Pioneer Award for best critical essay of 1990 to a very deserving critic for an excellent piece of critical writing. Before naming names, however, I'm going to make some remarks of a general nature, both to indicate something of how the members of the Com mittee came to our decision and also, of course, to sustain a certain amount oi narrative suspense, which is always de rigouron occasions like this. As Science Fiction has increasingly become the target of our theoretical and critical explorations, it has become increasingly apparent that this litera ture of the future is also a literature firmly contextualized within the present. Consequently, one very relevant approach to the study of SF is the approach which seeks to re-insert the text into its historical and cultural context. I think that one of the most important features of contemporary academic studies is this (re)niscovery of context, this realization that there is really no such thing as the-thing-in-itself. This growing concern for the socio-historical context of the SF text is particularly vital these days in light of the increasingly diverse interactions we are now experiencing between science fiction and what we still like to Gll! "reallife"-the social, cultural, economic, political and, of course, tech nological environment in which we live. As many acute observers have noted, our own contemporary context is becoming increasingly science-fic tionalized and SF has increasingly become the discourse of choice for de scribing that context. One has only to turn to the recurring reports in that harbinger of the already-established fact, Time Magazine, to note the extent to which SF has infiltrated the real": recent articles have reported on everything from the experience of virtual reality, to the new computer criminals dubbed "cyberpunks," to the potential of reproductive technologies to alter the nature of human nature, to the theoretical possibilities of time travel. Even more newsworthy than the depredations of computer hackers, of course, are the recent events which are in the process of being historicized as the Gulf War, probably the most Significant incident in recent North American history (I don't claim to speak here for its impact on participants from other parts of the world). The mythologization which appeared fre quently to borrow its terms and from a kind of popular version


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 23 of science fiction. The tendency of contemporary North America to science fictionalize its wars is not new, of course; it was certainly a pivotal aspect of the "construction" of the Vietnam War, a fact which is cogently argued in an essay entitled "The Vietnam War as American SF and Fantasy" which ap peared in the November 1990 issue Science Fiction Studies. Apart from the critical excellence of this essay, the fact of its historical timeliness was cer tainly one factor in our decision to present this year's Pioneer Award to H. Bruce Franklin for "The Vietnam War as American SF and Fantasy." Franklin characterizes the relationship between SF and reality in the context of this war in his opening sentence: "America's war in indochina cannot be dissociated from American SF, which shaped and was reshaped by the nation's encounter with Vietnam." He goes on to argue that the war cannot be fully comprehended unless it is seen as a form of American SF and fantasy. For a simple paradigm of the American self-images that helped engineer that war, just imagine Buck Rogers-as he uses his manly skills and 25th-century technology to lead the good fight against the Mongol hordessporting a Green Beret. As it became abundantly clear during the media coverage of the more recent Gulf War-with its high-tech language and computer game/VR imagery-the public images of Western warfare are now even more obviously the products of science fiction and fantasy than they were in the sixties and early seventies; perhaps Buck Rogers resembles General Norman Schwarzkopf these days. Franklin's essay strongly politicizes the SF which it discusses, just as it politicizes the broad range of factual material upon which it draws to make its case. Fictional texts such as Robert Heinlein's pre-war Glory Road, Viet nam-era SF such as Norman Spinrad's "The Big Flash" and Ursula K. Le Guin's The Word for World is Forest, and post-war SF such as Joe Haldeman's The Forever War are juxtaposed against military reports and contemporary historical documents in such a way as to indicate, for ex ample, the tendency of the SF community to buy into the cultural fantasies of its particular historical moment, as well as its (occasional) potential for resisting such fantasies. Franklin's claim is that "American SF very explicitly defined the war, which unalterably redefined American SF." it may have been, a few decades ago, that the large claims made by fans and critics for the importance of this once-ghettoized genre arose from a kind of over-compensatory defensiveness. Today, however, we might well be surprised at the extent to which SF has taken root in our cultural consciousness, implicated as it has become in everything from the way wee give birth the way we wage war. The impor-


24 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7991 tance of Franklin's essay is that it weaves the history of American SF in the era of the Vietnam War back into the culture which produced it. As such, it is exemplary SF criticism. H. Bruce Franklin is well-known to many of us as the author of works such as Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century and War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination; he is also a winner of SFRA's Pilgrim Award. The Committee read through many essays in order to make its decision this year, essays which varied widely in both subject-matter and quality. We selected Franklin's essay as this year's winner of the Pioneer Award not because of any previously established repu tation, but because his essay on the interactions between the generic form of SF and the political unconscious of the Vietnam War is a superior piece of criticism which demonstrates a special timeliness at this moment in our ever more complex historical development. Veronica Hollinger 1991 Pioneer Acceptance The Gulf War as American Science Fiction When Peter Lowentrout called in late May to give me the thrilling news that I was going to be given this year's Pioneer Award, I told him that sadly my schedule made it almost impossible to attend the conference. But, as I thought about what this award meant to me personally and about what it implied for science fiction criticism and scholarship in these strange times, I decided that I would just have to do whatever was necessary with my life to get to Denton, Texas, to talk about all this directly with the people who hJd come to the SFRA conference. So here I am. When I consider the splendid quality of science fiction criticism and scholarship in 1990, I find myself almost overwhelmed by having my article selected in the midst of so many wonderful and invaluable essays. Truly, when we compare the breadth of knowledge, the ambitiousness, the rei evance, the insightfulness, and the seriousness of science fiction criticism and scholarship with other writings about literature, we can ali take pride in the achievements of our collective work. To have one's own contribution singled out among such marvelous work is profoundly gratifying, and I wish to express my deepest appreciation to Takayuki Tatsumi, Russell Letson, and Veronica Hollinger, and to all of you, for this tremendous honor. But this award also seems to me much more than a personal honor. For it recognizes the importance of the subject of my essay, "The Vietnam War as American Science Fiction and Fantasy" and our need to face some ex ceedingly unpleasant reality about this subject. In these days of mindless, feel-good celebration of war, when we are being told that we as a peopl


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 25 have been cured our "Vietnam syndrome" by our great victory in the Gulf, I find it reassuring that the Science Fiction Research Association, an organi zation of especially thoughtful and knowledgeable people, would choose to honor a work such as my essay, with its far less cheerful and soothing message. This is not to imply that either the committee or the SFRA necessar ily agrees with my subversive thoughts, but it does encourage me to apply them tonight to the situation in which we find ourselves in mid 1991. We seem now to have moved from the era of the Vietnam War as American science fiction to the era of the Gulf War as American science fiction. TV turned the cult of the superweapon, which I described in my essay and whose history I traced in War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination, into a national religion. Never during all the many years of the Vietnam War did we witness such mass fetishism of instruments of devasta tion and death. The frenzied worship of Patriot missiles, stealth fighters, and so-called smart bombs has outdone even the most infantile ecstasies of the old "Wow! Gosh!" school of technophiliac science fiction. The glorification of what William Gibson (the sociologist, not the science-fiction writer) la beled "technowar" has swept through the print media as well. For example, the January 21 Wall Street journal editorialized that "advanced weapons spare civilians" and the February II issue of The New Republic in an article entitled Robowar: The Day the Weapons Worked," hailed the triumph of what it called America's "wonder weapons," and predicted that they would produce such a clean victory, so free of civilian blood and misery, that "when correspondents and diplomats eventually tour the areas of Iraq at tacked by the U.N. coalition air forces," they will find no "general destruc tion," no "carnage, smoking craters, and blackened obliteration."1 The reality, as at least some of us now realize, was horribly different. The much-exalted "smart bombs" and other precision-guided ordnance constituted a mere 7.4% of the enormous tonnage dropped and fired at Iraq and Kuwait. There was no TV ballyhoo about the "Daisy Cutter," a 15,000pound bomb so huge that it can only be launched by rolling it out the back door of a C-130 Hercules, or the fuel-air weapons such as the aptly-named MAD FAE (Mass Air Delivery Fuel-Air Explosive) which spreads a highly volatile chemical aerosol over a vast area and then ignites it to explode with blast pressures five times that of TNT, or the anti-personnel cluster bombs that each released thousands of deadly projectiles designed to inflict the most gruesome injuries to the human body. Much of the region has been turned into an alien landscape billowing oily smoke which last month began to add to the smog over Tokyo. The latest estimates are that 200,000 people died in this war, and that another 5 to 6 million were made homeless.2 As Paul Walker and Eric Stambler put it in last month's issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, this was no "antiseptic Nintendo game," "This was not a surgical war, it was a slaughter."


26 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 Which brings us to the other side of science fiction. In my essay, I ex plored the science fiction generated by revulsion from the Vietnam War, including Norman Spinrad's great 1969 story, "The Four Horsemen," put on a media blitz planned by the Administration and the Pentagon, designed by the TV networks, and sponsored by giant aerospace companies. Since the hand's whole repertoire consists of orgiastic numbers that mesmerize their audience into lusting for "the big flash" of America's ultimate weapons, the military-industrial-political powers want to use their concerts to win over "precisely that element of the population which was most adamantly op posed" to these weapons. Possessed by the Four Horsemen's overpowering beat and images and command to "Do it!", American missilemen initiate the annihilation of the human species. Evidently America has not been using but is being used by this demonic group, which is no mere rock band with a weird name, but the actual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Spinrad sug gests that if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were actually to arrive, isn't it plausible that the military-industrial-political powers would collude with them to make us stop worrying and love our bombs, thus helping them hurl the planet into the apocalypse? The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are of course War, Disease, F am ine, and Death. When we look at the recent romp of these four awful rid ers through Kuwait and Iraq, Spinrad's apocalyptic fantasy takes on a ghastly new relevance. Indeed, a U.N. commission reported in mid-March that the damage inflicted on the people and infrastructure of Iraq was almost "apoca lyptic." Like much of the science fiction I discuss in the essay, Spinrad's story was an attempt to exorcise the technocratic fantasies that possessed not only the technowarriors of the Pentagon and White House but millions of Ameri cans, including many fans and even writers of science fiction. In fact, one matrix of these fantasies was science fiction itself. The science fiction con ceived in reaction to the Vietnam War was offered as an antidote to the sci ence fiction from which it materialized. Now it looks as though we will neec much stronger medicine to cure us of our Vietnam disease, which was not as we are being told every day, the humiliation and shame of lowing the war but the sickness that led us into waging that war. Among the main symptom! of that sickness were the fantasies of technowar. And that leads to our own role as critics and scholars of science fiction As recent events make clear, we live in an epoch when science and technol ogy are so crucially involved in human destiny that perhaps science fictior is the only literary genre capable of fully exploring the most fateful questions So the challenge posed to us critics and scholars of science fiction is formi dahle, acute, and urgent. By bestowing the Pioneer Award on my own un


SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 7991 27 doubtedly controversial and troublesome attempt to fulfill this responsibil ity, the SFRA shows that we as a community are not afraid to confront the challenge of our times. H. Bruce Franklin Works Cited 1. My analysis draws upon two excellent articles in the May 1991 Bul letin of the Atomic Scientists: Daniel Hallin's "TV's Clean Little War" dis cusses the image, while ... And the Dirty Little Weapons" by Paul F. Walker and Eric Stambler describes some of the hideous weaponry actually used. 2. "Green peace Count Puts Dead From War in Gulf at 200,000." New York Times, May 30, 1991. Recent & Forthcoming Books Neil Barron Year of publication is 1991 unless noted otherwise. (P) denotes publica tion confirmed. All unconfirmed dates are tentative. Most books have been or will be reviewed in these pages. REFERENCE Collins, Robert A. & Rob Latham, eds. Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review Annual 7990. Greenwood Press [which bought rights to the annual from Meckler], summer. HISTORY & CRITICISM Aguirre, Manual. The Closed Space Horror Literature and Western Symbolism. St. Martin's (P). Benton, Mike. Horror Comics: The Illustrated History Taylor Pub. Co., June. Cranny-Francis, Anne. Feminist Fiction: Feminist Uses of Generic Fiction. St. Martin's (Pl. Davies, Philip John, ed. Science Fiction, Social Conflict, and War. St. Martin's (P). Dewey, Joseph. In a Dark Time: the Apocalyptic Temper in the American Novel of the Nuclear Age. PurdueUniv. Press (P). Docherty, Brian, ed. American Horror Fiction: From Brockden Brown to Stephen King, St. Martin's )P). Harwell, Thomas Meade. Ranges of Romanticism: Five for Ten Studies. Longwood Academic (P). Ketterer, David. Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy. Indiana Univ. Press, late 1991.


28 SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7991 Knapp, Bettina L. Machine, Metaphor, and the Writer: A jungian View. Penn State Univ. Press, 1918 (P). Knight, Gareth, The Magical World of the Inklings. Element, UK (P). Kuehl, John. Alternate Worlds: A Study of Postmodern Antirealistic American Fiction. NYU Press, 1989 (P). Limon, John. The Place of Fiction in the Time of Science: A Disciplinary History of American Writing. Cambridge, 1990 (P). Macdonald, Aileen Ann. The Figure of Merlin in Thirteenth Century Romance. Edwin Mellen Press. 1990 (P). McCaffrey, Larry6, ed. Storming the Reality Studio. Duke Univ. Press, fall 9l. Rammel, Hal. Nowhere in America: the Big Rock Candy Mountain and Other Comic Utopias. Univ. Of Illinois, 1990 (P). Sage, Victor, ed. The Gothic Novel, a Casebook. Macmillan, UK, 1990. (P). Schick, Lawrence, ed. Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role Playing Games, Prometheus Books, July 91. Shippey, Tom, ed. Fictional Space: Essays on Contemporary Science Fiction. Humanities, May 91. Zentz, Gregory L. jupiter's Ghost: Next Generation Science Fiction. Greenwood Press, June 91. AUTHOR STUDIES [King], Beahm, George. The Stephen King Companion. Futura, UK, October, Reprint of 1989 ed. [Lessing]. Sprague, Claire, ed. In Pursuit of Doris Lessing: Nine Nations Reading. St. Martin's, 1990 (Pl. [Lewis]. Marshall, Cynthia, ed. Essays on C. 5. Lewis & George MacDonald: Truth, Fiction & the Power of Imagination. Edwin Mellen Press (Pl. [Malory]. Gaines, Barry. Sir Thomas Malory: An anecdotal Bibliography of Editions, 7484-7985. AMS Press, 1990 (P). [Poe]. Wuletich-Brinberg, Sybil. Poe: The Rationale of the Uncanny .. Peter Lang (P). [Polidori]. Macdonald, DI. L. Poor Polidori: A critical Biography of the Author of "The Vampyre". Univ. of Toronto (P). [Travers]. 'Demers, Patricia. P.L. Travers. Twayne (P). [Verne]. Butcher, William. Verne's journey to the Centre of the Self: Space and Time in the Voyages Extraordinaire. St. Martin's (P)' [Vonnegut]., Klinkowitz, Jerome. Slaughterhouse-Five: Reforming the Novel and the World. Twayne, 1990 (P). [Vonnegut]. Merrill, Robert, ed. Critical Essays on Kurt Vonnegut. Twayne, 1990 (Pl.


SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 7997 29 FILM & TV Broderick, Mick. Nuclear Movies; a critical analysis and filmography of international feature length films dealing with experimentation, aliens, terrorism, holocaust and other disaster scenarios, 79747 9889. McFarland, fall 91. Hardy, Phil. Aurum Film Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 2d rev. updated ed. Aurum Press, London (Pl. Larson, Randall DI. Fantastic Film Novelizations and Movie Tie-Ins. Scarecrow Press, no date set. Pitts, Michael R. Horror Film Stars, 2d ed. McFarland, summer 91. Watson, Elena. Television Horror Movie Hosts: 68 Vampires, Mad Scientists and Other Denizens of the Late Night Airwaves Examined and Interviewed. McFarland, summer 91. ILLUSTRATION Kirby, Josh. In the'Garden of Unearthly Delights: The Fantasy Paintings of Josh Kirby. Dragon's World/Paper Tiger. MAGAZINES Crawford, Gary William, ed., Horror Fiction Studies. Semi-annual. First issue due summer 1991. Joshi, S. T. & Stefan Dziemianowicz, eds. Necrofile: The Review of Horror Fiction. Quarterly. Presumably all reviews. First issue due summer 1991. Neil Barron NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS NOTE: New Addresses: Karen Hellekson, 3114 Wescoe, Dept. of English, Lawrence, KS 66046. Joan Slonczewski, Department of Biology, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH 43022. The address for the new 1991 Pilgrim winner is: Pierre Versins, 47 Boulevard Mortier, 75029 Paris, France. David C. Mead Michael A. Morrison, who is both Professor of Physics and General Education and Adjunct Professor of English (SFRA member and reviewer), University of Oklahoma, will be spending a year at the University of Colorado beginning May 15, 1991.


30 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 Invasion from Mars Documentary The Halloween broadcast of the Orson Welles adaptation of The War oi the Worlds has been the subject of several studies, beginning with Hadley Cantril's The Invasion from Mars: A Study in the Psychology of Panic (Princeton, 1940), the first book to reprint the script. Welles edited Invasion from Mars: Interplanetary Stories for Dell in 1949, also reprinting the script, as does Howard Koch, who wrote it and comments on the famous show in The Panic Broadcast: Portrait of an Event (1973). Now we have a 25 minute video documentary from BBe's Open University, Invasion from Mars, pro duced by Neil Cameron. The review in 'Choice says this account seems thE most carefully produced, bringing in archival film footage of great breadth." An accompanying guide "contains information about the scope and se quence of the events covered by the video, objectives for students studyinE the video, and a description of the figures and setting of this historical era.' Order from The Media Guild, 11722 Sorrento Valley Rd, Suite E, San Diego CA 92121; $295, [Thanks to Michael Klossner for information about thi' video]. -NB, 1 june 91 Twayne Genre Series Taking Shape In Newsletter 179 I mentioned the new Twayne series of surveys 0 genres whose general editor is Ron Gottesman of USc. In a june 1991 let ter he noted that contracts have been signed for books devoted to fairy tales classical comedy, the short story, SF (by Paul Alkon of USC), fantasy by Ri chard Mathews of the Univ. of Tampa},autobiography and several others Other volumes are in negotiation. He adds that Twayne and its parent, G K. Hall, are moving from Boston to New York.-NB, 1 june 91 A Sequel to Charfy Michael Klossner sent me a clipping from the Arkansas Democrat abou Cliff Robertson, who won a best actor Academy Award for Charly in 1969 "I've written a sequel to that and I hope to get it produced some day 'Charly' is a deathless story that keeps on playing. I was never going to dI a sequel, but enough people have told me I should that I'm hoping to fin! an entrepreneur to who wants to get involved in a meaningful movie. Tht original cost $1 million to make, and I think I could get the sequel made fa a relatively low budget., but nowadays they look at you strange if it doesn cost $14 million." {Robertson was the second actor to receive the best ac tor award in a SF film. A paperback of my choice will be sent to anyone whl can identify the first actor.] -NB, 13 june 91


SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 31 Getting Hollywood's Number The june 7-9, 1991 Sunday supplement, USA Weekend, used this head ing for some facts that will interest anyone hoping to write film or TV scripts. Number of scriptwriting jobs in Hollywood in a year: 3,500. Number of members of the Writer's Guild members who work in any given year: 50%). Median income of those who actually work: $50,000. Minimum payment for a half-hour TV comedy script: $13,969; for a one-hour drama: $20,664; for a TV movie script: $41,144 (the going rate is $75,000); typical payment per week to a top-notch script doctor: $20,000-30,000. -NB, 13 june 91. "1 never read a book before reviewing it: it prejudices a man so." Sydney Smith (1771-1845) from The Delights of Reading. Nicholls on the New Encyclopedia Work is now very solidly underway on The Revised Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which is being co-edited by Peter Nicholls and john Clute in Australia and England respectively, and is costing a fortune in fax bills. Since the budget contains no provision for commissioning entries from out side (with the exception of those from the Associate Editor, Brian Stableford), Clute and Nicholls are doing as much as possible of the work themsplvps, since otherwise they have to pay contributors out of their own advance against royalties. A number of specialist entries, however, have been com missioned outside from people as diverse as Kim Newman, Lisa Tuttle, Michael Klossner, Neil Gaiman, and both Everett and Richard Bleiler. The area of the book dealing with science fiction published in languages other than English has been much expanded, and nearly all such entries (which now include ARAB SF, BULGARIA, CHINA, ISRAEL and LATIN AMERICA and now about twenty others) have been commissioned from nationals expert in sf-from the relevant countries. Coverage of comics will be more than twice what it was. Around 40 new theme entries vary from APES AND CAVEMEN, through BIG DUMB OBJECTS and MONSTER MOVIES, via POETRY, RURITANIA, STEAMPUNK and SURVIVALIST FICTION to WOMEN AS PORTRAYED IN SF. It is now probable that the final book, God and publishers willing, will be in excess of one million words, up from the original 785,000 words. If we did not exercise self-control, it could easily grow to a million and a quar ter. As lost of your readers will know, publication has been delayed one year, and is now due for Christmas, 1991, which removes the task from the realms of the near-impossible to the merely improbable. We have been much helped by the many letters that have come in form people keen to


32 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 correct previous errors or (sometimes) misjudged emphases, and also offer ing new information. Such letters continue to be very welcome indeed. They should be directed to John Clute (221 Camden High Street, London NWI 7BU, England, fax [071] 4859120) if primarily dealing with books, stories and their authors, and to Peter Nicholls (26 Wandsworth Road, Sur rey Hills, Victoria 3127, Australia, fax [03] 8304545) if primarily dealing with awards, comics, fanzines and magazines, films, illustrators, original anthologies, publishers, sf in countries other than the UK and the USA, tele vision, terminology, themes and, indeed, anything else. New entries will not be accepted if they refer to films, television programmes, magazines or an authors' first book released after September 15th (it's just possible we will be able to extend this by a little, but not much). The addition of new books to existing entries will continue to December 32st. Death dates and vital corrections will be inserted up until we go to press early next year. Is there anyone out there, knowledgeable about television matters, who could write me a brief entry on Monsters, the recent US tv series? Such a person might also be able to cast an eye over and update already written entries on current or only recently deceased American tv series, such as Quantum Leap and War of the Worlds. Other last-minute cries for help will quite likely follow. Peter Nicholls Call for Papers The Asociace Fanousku Science Fiction in Prague, Czechoslovakia, announces the preparation of a volume of papers, Essays on Asian and Af rican Fantastic and Science Fiction Literature. The aim is to provide orientalists, comparatists, critics and historians of SF with information about the history, current state, and main tendencies in SF in Asian and African countries. The volume is scheduled for publication in late 1992. Possible topics could include historical essays on SF in various Asian and African countries, analyses of individual authors/works, theme analyses, but also analyses of/or description of "the East" in Western SF. Short takes, or reviews of Asian & African SF books (both fiction and non-fiction) are wel comed. Papers should be prepared preferably in English, but German, French, or Russian will also be accepted. Send 300 word abstracts to Jaroslav Olsa, Jr.,Anhaltova 41/987, 16900 Prague 6, Czechoslovakia, or Jaroslav Olsa,Jr., AFSF, Senovazne namesti 24, 11647 Prague 1, Czechoslovakia. Deadline for contribution of abstracts is November 31, 1991. All con tributors will be informed about the format of the essay. Jaroslav alsa, fro


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 33 New English Journal A new English quarterly SF, fantasy and horror called ProtoStellar is designed for SF and fantasy fans. The magazine includes articles, short fic tion, cartoons, hews, humour, critical appraisals, discussion, readers' letters and more. Write ProtoStellar, PO Box 491, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5-2UJ England for a subscription ($4.69 for a trial issue and $18.75 for four issues). Andrew Ferguson New Reprint Series Collier Nucleus, a paperback division of Macmillan Publishing Com pany, responding to SF instructors' classroom needs, is devoted to reprint ing outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy which have been un available for some years. Such classics of the imagination are Fritz Lieber, The Big Time, Evangeline Walton, Witch House, Kate Wilhelm, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, A. Merrit, Ship of Ishtar, Brian Aldiss, Man in His Time, Jack Williamson, Legion of Space, Darker than You Think, Jack Williamson and James Gunn, Star Bridge, Edgar Pangborn, Davy, John Brunner, The Whole Man, and numerous others. Write to Macmillan Pub lishing Company, Educational Marketing Dept., 866 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022, for an examination copy or for a complete list of reprints now published. james Frenkel Pulphouse Summer Catalog Pulphouse has expanded their summer catalog (32 pages) to provide more information on the books offered. They not only list the new author's collections, but also what the author's book titles are and what reviewers have been saying about the collections. A new series., Axolotl Specials, is highlighted. Kristine Kathryn Rusch's first book, now available, leads oif Jnd Spider Robinson's new novel is the June offering. Other new features such as an expanded index are included. Write Pulphouse Publishing, Box 1227, Eugene, OR 97440, for your free copy. Return to the Forbidden Planet Tickets Genevieve Piturro has a small number of tickets available to both the New York (October opening) and London (now playing) productions of Return to the Forbidden Planet. This rock and roll masterpiece is loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest and the Bard-influenced 1956 M-G-M cult film Forbidden Planet. A written review of the play is the "charge" for these few "free" tickets. Contact Genevieve Piturro, 165 West 46th Street, Suite 600, New York, NY 10036; phone 212-245-4680. Genevieve Piturro


34 SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 SFRA Members' Current Projects SFRA Treasurer Ecira Bogle reports on a few more members current projects: CANNON, Peter: Parodies of H. P. Lovecraft and P. G. Wodehouse as by "H. P. G. Wodecraft." COMBS, Brie: a writer, is working on a "Young Adult fantasy novel." HELLEKSON, Karen: Graduate student at University of Kansas in English, is writing her thesis on Cordwainer Smith and plans for it to become a book. KERMAN, Judith: Dean of Arts and Behavioral Sciences at Saginaw Valley State University says, "By the time the directory is in print, my book on Blade Runner should be in print." KOHLER, Vince: Rising Dog, a humorous mystery novel, is forthcoming in Winter 1992, from St. Martin's Press Inc., NY. LEVY, Michael: currently working on an annotated bibliography of criticism of children's and YA sf and annual "Year's Best Science Fiction" article for SF & Fantasy Book Review. MLADENOVIC, Jim: a counselor and writer is working on "An Illustrated History of Science Fiction (in magazine form)" under the title: Futures Past. published bi-monthly; Issue #1: 1926 will come out in June 91; subscription: 6 issues-$20. Address: P.O. Box 370, Convoy, OH 45832. O'CONNOR, John: Professor of European history at the University of New Orleans, is currently "Exploring the Connections between Treason and Utopia in Early Modern France: the overlap[ between some treasonous conspiracies and some 'utopian' projects for radical reform." TOUPONCE, William F.: has just published (April 1991) a volume on Isaac Asimov in Twayne's U.S. Author's Series. He is currently working on a study of cyberpunk SF and a study of sf film. WEBB, Janeen: University Lecturer in Literature at Australian Catholic University, Oakleigh Campus, is doing research on "Speculative Fiction for Adolescents." She is also one of the editors of Australian Science Fiction Review. WILCOX, Clyde: Professor at Georgetown University in Political Science, is writing a book on Science Fiction and Politics. Edra Bogle


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 35 Letters to Editor Dear Editor: I just received your May, 1991, Newsletter in which my book The Agony of Lewis Carroll was reviewed. Thanks for the review; sorry your reviewer, W. D. Stevens, didn't find it worthy of more positive COJllments. I do think, though, that the personal remarks bely an unacknowledged agenda. I would appreciate your making someone aware (hopefully readers) of two things, lest my book be identified with two absurdities which would even anger eccentric Lewis Carroll: Firstly, the review headline "An Anagram for Gemini is Vanity" presents a gross misunderstanding of the difference between an anagram and a doublet. As punishment, whoever wrote the head line should be forced to convert Gemini to vanity using the doublet conversion rules. Secondly, the number of possible rearrangements of 42 letters may indeed be the VERY large number 14.05 to the 51 st power (I don't claim mathematical expertise). But that is irrelevant and belies again a misunderstanding of anagrams. For anagrams are made up of words, not just letter combinations. The number of practical possibilities lies somewhere between a solver's usable vocabulary and the number of words in the most comprehensive dictionary for the appropriate time, a large but considerably smaller number than Mr. Stevens hypothesizes. In addition, as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and connectives are chosen, the number of relevant words from all those possible diminishes considerably if sense is to be retained. And lastly, once a theme is settled on, the number of possibilities becomes fewer still. There's no question the book is controversial, just as I thought it would be. For one reader's "fanatic search" is another's "extraordinary research;" one's "what a ripoff" is another's "a gem, a winner." Such is life for one who chose to explore uncharted waters, even if my skin is still a little thin. Richard Wallace Author and Publ isher 6May1991 Dear Editor: Although I didn't write the review headline, I believe I can speak with confidence when I say that Mr. Wallace took it much too literally. The writer is quite aware of what an anagram is; the headline was an attempt to point out, with a touch of humor, that the book was self-published-the address of the publisher (Gemini) is the same as that of Mr. Wallace-and therefore the publisher is a "vanity" press.


36 SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 Further, the number of combinations of letters is not at all irrelevant and does not indicate a misunderstanding of anagrams. Certainly anagrams are made of words (which are also combinations of letters) but Mr. Wallace's presentations did not make an anagram from each separate word in the phrases he chose; rather, he made words from the letters represented in the phrase. Certainly the number of usable c combinations will be much smaller than the total number; however, there will still be enough to admit of many different constructions, most of which would not lend themselves to Mr. Wallace's thesis (one is reminded of Eddington's six chimpanzees writing all the books in the British Museum, given enough time). The point I had hoped to make is that, in such a circumstance, one can formulate combinations to support many different interpretations. (For instance, Mr. Wallace use the letter string-or word, if you prefer-"this", many times in his book. Using his approach, one might assert that he has an excretory fixation. I am NOT claiming that, but simply using an absurd statement as an illustration.) The fact that the original language in Carroll's works is very well constructed, while the anagrams Mr. Wallace points to are rather crude (in terms of con struction; I do not address content here) should indicate that the latter are not likely to be true representations of the language skills of Carroll (as Mr. Wallace's letter points out, Carroll was eccentric but particular about his words and meanings). I didn't realize that I had made personal remarks indicating an unac knowledged agenda (there was none); if so, I apologize since I try to keep my reviews as objective as I can. I don't remember calling Mr. Wallace's efforts a "fanatic search", but I certainly can't agree with "extraordinary re search." w. o. Stevens 28 June 1991 Dear Editor: I don't know where it snuck into the copy, but there was what I regard as a fairly serious printing error in my review of To "Her/and" and Beyond by Ann J. Lane which was published in the May 1991 Newsletter. On p. 32, in the paragraph that begins "Gilman, as Lane makes clear ... ," you've printed "Virtually every subsequent female writer, from Betty Friedan to Shulamith Firestone, owes her a great deal." What I wrote was" ... every subsequent feminist writer .... As published, the statement is nonsense, but close enough to the truth to be seen by readers as bad judgment on my part. Could you print a correction please? Michael M. Levy 3 June 1991 [Please accept my sincere apology for the wording. I did not catch the error when I proofread; I hope that this corredion clears the mistake. BH, ed.!


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 37 Dear Editor: Since "alternate" and "alternative" are both adjectives, there is nothing wrong with the grammar of either "alternate history" or "alternative history." From the standpoint of usage, "alternate" is right and "alternative" is wrong. Parallel worlds and histories are alternate, "arranged in layers," not alternative, "offering a choice." Bill Collins should consult a dictionary (and it wouldn't hurt if he read a grammar book). Damon Knight 7 June 1991 [See Issue 187, May 1991, pp. 47-48 for original review. BH, ed.J Dear Editor: I regret not having access to those dictionaries and grammar books Damon Knight recommends; his collection must come from some parallel continuum in ;which English has developed differently. I hope he will ac cept the OED as published in our timeline as an arbiter of our disagreement. Necessarily paraphraSing the entries for "alternate" and "alternative" as adjectives (/, 367-68 or any who want to check my fairness), I find that the primary meanings of "alternate" involve the sequential appearance and re appearance of two things. When used to describe a series, things in the series are either parts of a set (days, months) or occur, as in geometry or botany, as the same things appearing sequentially on an axial line. I don't need to tell Mr. Knight that the appearance of "our" Earth is not required (though it sometimes happens) in AH, much less its reappearance. Further, when it does appear as part of a sequence or series of Earths (as in Meredith's "Timeliner" novels) each is different, not the same; that's what makes the plot. Classically, "alternative" is also incorrect, in that its traditional denota tion involved a choice between only two things. However, OED accepts an extension, originating in the mid-19th century, to "[aJ choice between (sic) more than two things; or one of several courses which may be chosen." Within the plot, or course, there is often no "choice" as such, but certainly the author has done some choosing, of the altered event and the scope of its ramifications. The OED does note that in American usage, "alternate" is used for "al ternative." I'm neither Anglophile nor -phobe, but it seems to me that arbi trary confusion of grammar is not a good argument for acceptance. I'm confused as to Knight's introduction of "layers." It has no relation ship to "alternate" in either the OED. the American Heritage, or the New Century dictionaries. Further, if layers alternate, then the original color, fla-


38 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 vor-or Earth-reappears in a vertical series. That concept doesn't even apply to straight time travel, which is "vertical, or diachronic, therefore no reappearance of a given time period occurs unless one reverses direction. Movement to (or even the existence ot) parallel continua is almost invariably referred to as lateral, horizontal (Wellman's "sidewise"), i.e. synchronic. Perhaps Knight's 1959 "What Rough Beast" offers an opposite concept; alas, I have never been able to locate a copy. Bill Collins 27 June 1991 Dear Editor: Thank you very much for the last three issues of SFRA Newsletter I received recently. Any words to express my gratitude would be an understate ment, especially for George E. Slusser and Daryl F. Mallett's letter published in Number 185 (March 1991) and for your mentioning of my name and address in Number 187 (May 1991). Previously, Daryl Mallett had sent to me some 1990 issues (No. 175, 177, 178) and one 19898 issue (No 173( of SFRA Newsletter. I intend to review all these issues for our academic review Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai; I already reviewed for it some issues of Founda tion, Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies, sent by Daryl Mallett as well. Unfortunately, judging by the working rhythm of our printing houses, the 1991 issues of Studia will appear just as late as 1992. For the review I intend to write, some information about SFRA itself would be very useful (its history, its status etc.), but I can't find it anywhere. SFRA Newsletter is very interesting to me,. even back issues, as they provide a more detailed image of the SF domain, especially of the SF scholarship. As for me, I am waiting for the appearance from the press of a Romanian anthology comprising the best Romanian SF stories of the last two decades. As I believe science fiction is an international genre and its lingua franca all over the world is English, I included short summaries of the stories and com ments on the authors in English in the end of the book. When it finally ap pears (it's more than a year sine I gave it to the printing house, but, as I juS! said, printing is very difficult in Romania nowadays), I will send you a copy so that you may get a picture of present Romanian SF. For the time being I thank you again very much and ... please accep! my compliments and best wishes. Yours sincerely, Cornel Robu Str. Prof. Ciortea no. I Bloc H, sc. 2, ap. 18 3400 Cluj-Napoca, Romania


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 Minutes Executive Committee Meeting June27-28,1991 Denton, Texas 39 President Peter Lowentrout called the meeting to order at 9.15 p.m. Present were Lowentrout; Muriel Becker, Vice President;Edra Bogle, Trea surer; David Mead, Secretary; Elizabeth AnneHull, Immediate Past President; and Betsy Harfst, Newsletter Editor. Reports: (1) Hull reported that negotiations with the IRS for Tax-Exempt status continues; she hopes for a favorable resolution soon. She reported that several Chinese scholars would like membership but can't afford dues, and presented a list of members' recommendations for consideration. (2) Lowentrout reported on negotiations to establish a SFRA section on the GEnie SF Round Table. The "Scholars Support Fund" to provide member ships for needy foreign scholars established in January will actively solicit donations. (3) Becker reported on new-member recruitment activities; several strategies to encourage SFRA members to help recruit at regional MLA and PCNACA meetings were discussed. (4) Bogle reported that the News letter was running over budget (about $2200) in 1991. Some action will be needed to balance the budget in 1992. Various solutions were discussed. (5) Mead reported the 1991 Directory will be mailed by mid-July. (6) Harfst reported the need for a CPA-audit or IRS tax exemption to obtain a bulk-mail permit. An annual index of reviews will be printed in the December issue. The Air Mail surcharge needs to be reinstated for foreign members, due to increases in overseas mailing costs. Old Business: (1) Lowentrout solicited recommendations for members of the Pilgrim and Pioneer Award committees. He reported there is no news about Hal Hall's history of the Pilgrim Award. (2) The EC confirmed that the 23rd Annual Meeting would be held at John Abbott College in Quebec, chaired by Steve Lehman. (3) The EC discussed proposals from William Schuyler (Louisville) and Milton Wolf (Reno) to host the 1993 Annual Meet ing. (4) The EC accepted a report from the By-Laws Committee, chaired by William Schuyler, recommending no change in EC election rules. (5) The Business Meeting agenda was discussed. (6) Lowentrout solicited recom mendations for members of the SFRA Publications Committee. Recommend ing the kind of publications to be produced, locating a publisher, and pro posing ways of finanCing the publications will be the committee's charge. Actions: (1) A Hull-Becker motion to establish the Emeritus dues at a 'break-even rate was approved unanimously. (2) A Hull-Bogle motion to raise the annual dues rates was approved unanimously. The rates will be:


40 SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 Individual (USA) $60; Individual (CAN) $65; Foreign $75; Joint $75; Emeritus $30 (USA), $35 (CAN); Student $10 less than regular rate. (3) A Hull-Lowentrout motion to change the name of the Newsletter to the SFRA Review (effective January 1992) was approved unanimously. (4) Lowentrout will ask the By-Laws Committee to propose changes in the ByLaws to conform with the change in name of the SFRA Review. A mail ballot to ratify the change will be conducted as soon as possible. (5) The member ship form and SFRA descriptive flyer will be redesigned to add mention of the Pioneer Award; the membership form will reflect the new dues rates, add a space for voluntary contributions to the Scholars Support Fund, add a space for BitNet or GEnie addresses/numbers, and be designed to facilitate distri bution of member information to the Review editor and Vice President. (6) The Review will print clarified procedures for book reviewing. (7) The Review will publish the name of Scholars Support Fund donors. (8) The Secretary will provide timely information about the Annual Meeting to various convention/meeting lists (e.g. MLA, Strauss, Locus). (9) A Hull-Lowentrout motion to accept the proposal of Milton Wolf to hold the 1993 Annual Meeting in Reno, NV was approved unanimously. (10) Dues notices will be mailed in mid-November. Respectfully Submitted, David C. Mead Secretary Minutes -SFRA Business Meeting Denton, Texas June 30, 1991 The annual Business Meeting of the Association was called to order by President Peter Lowentrout at 10:25 a.m. He announced that the Member ship Form would be revised to include a space for listing Bitnet and FAX numbers. Veronica Hollinger announced that the SF/F Feminist Forum has been revitalized and that its Newsletter is forthcoming; contact Joan Gordon for information. Executive Officer Reports (1) Reporting for Immediate Past President Elizabeth Anne Hull, President Lowentrout announced that our negotiations with the IRS for tax-exempt status continue; Hull hopes these will be com pleted soon. (2) Lowentrout described the SF Round Table on the GEnie computer network, and encouraged participation in the SFRA special section which will be created by the GEnie System Operator soon. He will be glad to supply information about GEnie. Lowentrout also called for donations to the Scholar Support Fund to help needy foreign scholars defray the cost of


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 47 Association membership. He announced that the Membership Form would be redesigned to note changes in Dues, mention the Pioneer Award, provide space for Bitnet and Fax numbers, and facilitate information distribution to Vice-President and Editor. (3) Vice-President Muriel Becker thanked the membership for helping her recruit new members; she has contacted every one who was referred to her as a potential member. She asked for help in contacting-informing participants of other academic organizations (e.g. re gional MLA, PCNACA) about SFRA. She reviewed the procedure to obtain books and publish reviews in the Newsletter (contact Barron for non-fiction, Becker for Young Adult, and Collins for general SF/F/H). (4) Secretary David Mead reported the 1991 Directory will be mailed by mid-July. (5) Treasurer Edra Bogle presented the Treasurer's Report. Currently, expenditures are exceeding income substantially as a consequence of higher than estimated costs for mailing and printing the Newsletter (about $2000 this year). We will be able to meet the Newsletter deficit with savings from other areas in 1991 but not in 1992. (6) Newsletter Editor Betsy Harfst announced that it has been taking 2 to 3 weeks to deliver the Newsletterlbulk-mailed from Or egon), that the computer text-translation problems are being overcome, that an Index of Reviews will be printed in the December issue, that the News letter mailing label will be coded to indicate membership expiration date (beginning with September issue), and that the Newsletter is averaging 80 pages with 'perfect' binding. Old Business: (1) Peter Lowentrout announced that the 1992 Annual Meeting will be held at John Abbott College near Montreal, Quebec, Canada on the 2nd or 3rd weekend in June; Steve Lehman will be Chair. The 1992 meeting will be held in Reno, Nevada in June, 1993; Milton Wolf will be Chair. An initial proposal for the 1994 meeting has been received. (2) Edra Bogle, Conference Chair, reported that there were 38 full conference partici pants, 20 partial participants and 14 guestlcomplimentary participants; the Conference ran a deficit of about $70.00. Edra was roundly congratulated for hosting a fine meeting. President Lowentrout asked that the very small deficit be indemnified by the Association; a Hilgartner-Bartter motion that the SFRA pay the conference deficit was unanimously approved. New Business: (1) President Lowentrout announced that the Executive Committee had voted to change the name of the Newsletter to the SFRA Review, effective January 1992. Warren Norwood suggested that the Asso ciation consider selling the SFRA Newsletter to SFWA members. Lowentrout said the EC will consider this, as well as creating a Life Member dues cat egory and a multi-year dues payment discount. (2) Lowentrout announced that the Executive Committee had voted to raise the dues for 1992. He ex-


42 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 plained that the cost of the greatly expanded size of the Newsletter, plus the increase in domestic and international mailing rates, makes it imperative to achieve a break-even budget. He also noted that we have had no increase in three yeJrs. Advice on ways to save on costs was offered in general dis cussion. The dues will be raised from present rates by $15 per year OndividuJI-$60 USA; $65 CAN; $70 Overseas; Joint $70 USA, $75 CAN; $80 Overseas; Institution $80; Emeritus $30: Student dues will be $10 less than the relevJnt RegulJr rJte). (3) Lowentrout reported that the By-Laws Com mittee chaired by William Schuyler recommends that Executive Committee nominJtion and election procedures remain as they are. The President will ask the By-Laws Committee to prepare text changes in the By-Laws to rec ognize the change in the name of the NewsletterlSFRA Review, and to con duct a mail vote on the By-Laws change. (4) Veronica Hollinger asked for space in the Newsletter to solicit information regarding good articles for Pioneer Award consideration. Information about this year's Pilgrim and Pio neer Awards will be announced in the Newsletter. It was noted by President Lowentrout that there is no obligation on the Pioneer Award winner to serve on the selection committee the following year; all members are eligible to serve on the Pioneer Committee and volunteers are invited to contact Lowentrout. The meeting was adjourned at 11 :45 a.m. Respectfully submitted, David Mead, Secretary Editorial Matters This issue is somewhat larger than usual. I wanted to include a complete conference report of the activities so that those of you who did not find it possible to come could share vicariously. You all missed a great conference. Edra Bogle Jnd her associates did a superb job. She deserves the old title, "the hostess with the mostest!" (That comment really shows how far back I go. But you all knew that anyway.) Conference pictures will be in the Sep tember issue. One of the letters to the editor was from Dr. Robu in Romania. He was seeking historical information on SFRA; since I only go back to 1974 with the organization, why don't some of you members who know the early history write to Dr. Robu with a summary of significant information? His address is at the bottom of the letter. There has been some confusion about the membership blanks in the back of the issues. That form is NOT a renewal notice; it was deSigned for your convenience, to give to friends who might be interested in joining the


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 43 association. The renewal notices will be mailed out in November. I will add a header to that form indicating that it is for use by a friend. One of the important changes in the Newsletterwill take place this fall. There will be a yearly index included in the December issue. Then, with the January/February issue the name will change to SFRA Review to more accu rately describe the development and expansion of the review sections. The delayed date of the name change is to avoid cataloging problems for libraries. Notice on page 2 of the Newsletter, under the masthead, that the names and addresses of the non-fiction, fiction, and young adult editors have been included. Publishers may send review copies to these editors for distribution; reviewers may also contact them about doing reviews or send them their assigned reviews. Generally, these editors will be able to provide publisher's review copies for your use. Reviewers may also contact/send me spontaneous reviews which I can forward to review editors. To avoid duplicating reviews of books that have been assigned or reviewed, it would be better to contact me first about a proposed review, since I have a supply of reviews waiting for publication. Also, if you have an idea about a longer article or critique, contact me. As Peter Lowentrout mentioned, we are anxious to provide more publishing opportunities for our SFRA members. Make a donation to the Scholar Support Fund. Betsy Harfst Non-Fiction Unappreciated Dimension of Barker Barker, Clive. Clive Barker: Illustrator. Text by Fred Burke; ed. by Steve Niles. Arcane/Eclipse, Box 1099, Forestville CA, 95436, December 1990. 126 p. $39.95. 1-56060-027-6; $19.95 pb, -028-4. One wishes to have seen Clive Barker: Illustrator, before having read Clive Barker: Horror Writer. Or, for that matter, before having encountered Eclipse's graphic novelizations of Barker's Books of Blood in its Tapping the Vein series. Although Barker was both an illustrator and playwright before he gained renown as the enfant terrible of modern horror fiction (and, in the spirit of his idol Jean Cocteau, was wont to design his own sets and supply the artwork for the publicity posters and playbills), one finds the individual items in this generous collection of oil paintings, line and pencil drawings and charcoal sketches shorn of the emotional intensity that makes the hor rifying imagery of his narratives so affecting. A number of the drawings ac tually are illustrations or (in Barker's words) "notes" for those stories, and


44 SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 though he is clearly a talented and intelligent artist, the fact is that this book would not exist were it not for Barker's success as a writer of fiction. A good example of the interdependence of Barker's literary and graphic art is the series of Rohrshach blots that accompanied the British edition of Cabal (later filmed as NightbreedJ. Although magnificent in their portrayal of demonic creatures whose bilateral symmetry contradicts the forces of chaos they represent, they lack the wit and irony they enjoy when accom panying their source, a story in which a psychiatrist is driven by his personal demons to become a homicidal maniac. Would that Barker had the time and encouragement to illuminate all of his stories in this fashion. Barker cites Goya as a major inspiration, particularly the artist's later "Black Paintings," but one sees him incorporating the influence of a variety of styles and techn iques to fit h is conceptions: the punkish look of contem porary Japanese "manga" (Fred Burke's dismissal of their comic book look notwithstanding), the spidery monstrosities of H.R. Giger and even the gritty and decadent sexuality of Egon Schiele. Anyone familiar with Barker's fic tion will see in his renderings of the aging or corrupted human form the same imaginative spark that ignites his literary fascination with liberation from the flesh. Burke's insightful text is largely an extended interview in which Barker describes his aesthetic for graphic art, film and fiction. Discussing the per sonal function his drawing serves, Barker says, "These pictures were created to capture the place where my imagination goes-which is bleached of ev erything but the most rendered down passions and obsessions, a place which is very raw and I want to say clean almost, where narrative drops away, where the necessity of communicating an emotion drops away." Neverthe less, Burke repeatedly refers back to Barker's narrative fiction to ground the vague objectives of the artwork. So, one suspects, will the reader. An in teresting look at an underappreciated dimension of one of the field's brightest talents, Clive Barker: Illustrator can be viewed only as an adjunct to what Barker is best known for. Stefan Oziemianowicz Capstone for a Distinguished Career Bleiler, Everett F., assisted by Richard J. Bleiler. Science Fiction: The Early Years. Kent, OH: Kent State Univ. Press, March 1991. xxiii + 998p. $75. 0-87338-416-4. Bleiler is not the only explorer of early SF, but his Checklist of Fantas tic Literature (1948; revised 1978) mapped much of the territory, identifying many of the early works published in book form. In 1983 Kent State pub lished his The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, to which this remarkable v,ol-


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 45 ume may be considered an essential companion. The subtitle suggests its scope: "a full description of more than 3,000 science-fiction stories from earliest times to the appearance of the genre magazines in 1930." Bleiler argues in his introduction that science fiction is not unitary in nature and therefore cannot be easily defined. "It is an assemblage of genres and subgenres that are not intrinsically closely related, but are generally accepted as an area of publication by a marketplace." He identifies three major components of SF: the quasi-scientific story, the lost race story, and the future story, defining each. He excludes three subgenres, the scientific detective story, the story of prehistoric life, and stories based on abnormal psychology. The narrative text is amplified by a detailed outline of motifs in SF, supplemented by a 64 page motif and theme index. The arrangement is alphabetical by author/editor, with anonymous works entered under title; each entry is numbered, with the numbers used in the various indexes. He includes both books and hundreds of stories from obscure, often very scarce American and British magazines that never made it into books. (Translated fiction is included, with original titles and sources shown.) Each entry includes a brief biographical sketch, when information is available, story title, publisher, year, or magazine title and date. Illustra tors are usually noted. The descriptive information is usually detailed, with the text for important entries occupying two or three columns on the 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages. Most entries conclude with a brief, often acerbic evalua tion. All SF is described, with mention of non-SF and cross-references to his supernatural guide as appropriate. Both adult and "boys" fiction is included, with thorough coverage of hundreds of dime novels, the Tom Swift series, etc. Coverage ranges from Plato, to More, to scattered works in the 17th and 18th centuries, with rapid growth in the later 19th century (a chronological index shows this dramatically). What is probably most remarkable about this guide is that Bleiler read all the fiction he describes over a six year period during which the manu script was assembled, borrowing materials, often very rare, from libraries and individuals world-wide. That, by itself, is a remarkable achievement. He acknowledges and praises the work of some of his fellow explorers, such as Sam Moskowitz and Tom Clareson, whose relevant works are annotated. While such explorers have also made important contributions to our under standing of early SF, none have the extraordinary breadth and depth of learn ing that Bleiler has exhibited throughout his long career, including his many years with Dover Publications, whose reasonably priced reprints were-and are-models of conscientious bookmaking and scrupulous regard for the originals.


46 SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 I lack the detailed knowledge to judge whether there are any significant omissions. I thought I'd spotted one but re-read the preface and realized that AmiJZing was deliberately not covered. Bleiler keyboarded the entire text with remarkably few typos. Some columns are printed a bit light but are still quite legible. Running heads would have been useful. The supplemental materials greatly enrich the book and enhance its usefulness. A handful of books whose ideas were influential in the early years of SF are described in detail-Madame Blavatsky, Ignatius Donnelly, Charles Fort, Henry George, etc. Dates stories take place are indicated in the theme/motif index under The Future. All stories appearing in magazines are indexed by magazine. Title and author indexes. Bibliography. For anyone with the slightest interest in SF, this is an invaluable guide. You will learn something from every entry, often new information about authors you thought you knew well (see the entries on Wells, for example). A remarkable achievement that cannot be praised enough, the capstone of a distinguished career, and an essential purchase for all medium and larger libraries and all scholars of the field. Neil Barron Misogynist's View of World Bode, Vaughn. Diary Sketchbook, Books 1 and 2. Fantagraphics Books, 7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle WA 98115. 1990. Each 62p. (unpaginated). $9.95 each, paper. 0-56097-028-6; -044-8. Bode's work has been published mostly in underground comics, and in magazines such as Cavalier and National Lampoon. These books are the first of a set of four, based on a diary he kept during 1963 through 1973, and in which he sketched as well as wrote. The first two books, all facsimiles of diary pages, are taken from 1965, ten years before Bode's death at age 34. The drawings are varied, and include black comedy, pastoral scenes, monsters, aliens, spacemen, and cavemen, as well as drawings of complex machinery reminiscent of Bill Eddy's cartoons for the Honeywell calendars in the '60s. Most are single panels, although there are a few multi-panel strips. There is no continuity to the books; they simply record whatever Bode happened to draw on that particular diary page. The result is a disjointed ramble through a one-man art show. All of the drawings, even the funny ones, reflect a sort of misogynist's view of the world, leaving one depressed and disappointed. Fans of Bode will probably be interested in the books, even at a very steep price for a very thin volume. Others shouldn't bother. W. D. Stevens


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 47 Portrait of an Artist's Work Bowe, Nicola Gordon. The Life and Work of Harry Clarke. Kill Lane, County Dublin, Ireland: Irish Academic Press, 1989. xxix + 301 p. $47.50. 0-17-652452-X. Distr. by International Specialized1300k Services, Portland, OR, 1-800-547-7734. The Life and Work of Harry Clarke originated as a Ph. D. thesis at Trin ity College, Dublin and was awarded the 1984 prize by the Conie'de'ration Internationale des Ne'gociants en Oeuvres d'Art, an award established in 1976 to finance publication of an outstanding academic study in the history of art. Plans for publication were delayed, but additionJI funds eventually made possible the publication of this important study of the stained-glass windows of Harry Clarke. Bowe published Harry Clarke: His Graphic Art in 1983, but it is clear, from this new, very detailed study, that the major part of Clarke's energy went into the design and production of stained-glass windows. Clarke's father, Joshua, set up business in Dublin in 1886 as "church decorator, manu facturer of objects of art, and sanitary contractor." When he was 21, Harry took over the day-to-day operation of the business and, after his father's death, continued the business with his brother, Walter. After the premature deaths of the two brothers, the business was maintained on the same pre mises until 1973. One of the later employees of the firm refers to the even tual deterioration of the firm's product, but the model Harry Clarke estab lished survived his death by some forty years, a testimony to the reputation established during the 20 years he was the artistic soul of the firm. The exhaustive documentation Bowe provides of the genesis and pro duction of the windows-including many color reproductions of the origi nal designs and completed windows-demonstrates that Clarke brought to them the same highly ornamental post-Symbolist style that distinguishes his work for his two most celebrated illustrated books, Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Faust. Bowe conveys with great precision the extraor dinary amount of work that Clarke produced, even during his last years, which were marked by increasing weakness from tuberculosis, which claimed both his life and his brother's. In spite of the book's title, Bowe's interest is not, however, in Clarke's life-except as it reflects his devotion to his work. Discreet references to "homoerotic" elements in the later work and the androgynous nature of many of his figures are not supported by any references to Clarke's sexual nature and its possible influence on his work. Clarke was married to the artist Margaret Crilley but neither their relationship nor anything other than Harry Clarke's devotion to his work is at issue.


48 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 Although Clarke's various book commissions figure in this account, and the plates includes some of the color work for the book illustrations, the stained-glass work takes precedence. Bowe's two books on Clarke form an essential two-volume set that suffers, however, from the lack of a biographi cal treatment as detailed and as perceptive as the accounts of the artistic work. One is grateful for the superb studies of the artist, but the portrait should be completed by a comparable study of the man. Walter Albert The Contradictions of Caligari Budd, Mike, ed. The Cabinet of Or. Caligari: Texts, Contexts, Histories. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Un iversity Press, November, 1990. xii + 261 p. $40. 0-8135-X; $14.95 pb, -1571-8. Since its American premiere in 1921, The Cabinet of Or. Caligari (1920) has been appreciated as the film that legitimized horror cinema, opened American movie theatres to German expressionism and helped lay the foun dation for the Hollywood's later film noir style. However, since 1947 and the publication of Siegfried Kracauer's landmark study From Caligari to Hitler, it has been impossible not to contextualize Caligari as an artifact of Weimar Germany, and read the film as a metaphor for the rise of a megalomaniac dictator. Mike Budd's five-essay symposium does not refute Kracauer's social critique, but rather offers several new perspectives from which to view Caligari's creation and legacy. The crux of Kracauer's argument is the addition by director Robert Wiene of Caligari's frame narrative, which reveals Francis, the protagonist/ narrator, to be an inmate in a lunatic asylum. To Kracauer, this corruption of the original script's allegory of a man (read the pre-World War I German state) driven mad by the abuse of his powers transformed the film from one that condoned revolt against authority (i.e. the apprehension and incarceration of Caligari) to one that encouraged submission (i.e. the delivery of Francis into the care of the doctor). In "The Moments of Caligari," the book's longest essay, Budd addresses this well-known incident as just one of the film's many capitulations to popular tastes. Buttressed by evidence in Kristin Thompson's "Dr. Caligari at the Folies Berge're, or, The Successes of an Early Avant-Garde Film," Budd uses Caligari as a lens for viewing the dialectic between art and mass culture. Budd presents the tampering with Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz's script as an early example of the commodification of cinematic art for mass con sumption. Though he treads on shaky ground in his efforts to portray every


SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 7997 49 clash between Caligari's aesthetic and social dimensions as a working out of Marxist dialectic, he is quite convincing in his argument that Caligari is less an eccentric film that became a classic by dint of its artistry than one that was cannily marketed from the outset to cater to a broad audience. Draw ing on largely forgotten details of German filmmaking between the wars, Budd notes that Caligari's famous expressionist sets were recognized early as a tool for enhancing the film's exoticism and overseas appeal. Indeed, the film was lauded as a masterpiece of German expressionism, in spite of the fact that its narrative and characters (save, perhaps, Caligari and the som nambulist Cesare) are completely generic. Although the appearance of the set's tortured angles in the film's objective frame contradicts their use in the central narrative as a symbol of Francis' madness, this did not deter movie houses in the United States from introducing the film with a stage-acted pro logue which confirmed that the narrative about to unfold was the delusion of a maniac. Incredibly, the film that is viewed as a triumph of the avant garde equates expressionist art-not to mention the music of Schoenberg, Debussy, Prokofiev played during its debut at New York's Capitol Theatrewith insanity. Contradictions notwithstanding, Caligari was an immediate success and soon became a warhorse of the art-house circuit (which, Kristin Thompson points out, it helped to create). Yet it continues to serve as a touchstone for debate. Criticizing Kracauer not for misreading the film but for construing history itself as "expressionist drama," Thomas Elsaesser places Cdigari in the tradition of German fantastic art in "Social Mobility and the Fantastic: German Silent Cinema," and finds that the film's iconography reflects the same social and aesthetic concerns as much German romantic literature. Perhaps the most original analyses are those that dispense with the traditional male-oriented interpretations that the tug-of-war between Caligari and Francis would seem to necessitate. In her murky "Charlatans and Hysterics, "Catherine B. Clements notes the correspondence between the narrative events of Caligari and the scenarios described by Freud's hysterical female patients. Much more relevant is Patrice Petro's "The Woman, The Monster, and The Cabinet of Or. Caligari," which elucidates several of the film's cryp tic images and incidents to find a kinship between Jane, the heroine, and Cesare the somnambulist, as mutual threats to the Francis's male identity. Though these five essays (and two excerpts of Kracauer and Janowitz) do not add up to a coherent whole, they expand the interpretive possibilities of a film whose enigmatic character is, after ali, defined by its shifting perspec tive. Stefan Oziemianowicz


50 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 1997 Coffee Table Art Cabral, Ciruelo. Ciruelo. Limpsficld, Surrey: Paper Tiger/Dragon's World, 1990. 128p. .95. P. 1-85028-130-0. .95 Cloth, -134-3. Distr. by Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, NY, $19.95 pb only. Paper Tiger's series of art books feature high quality reproductions, with a fairly small amount of accompanying text. This book is devoted to the work of an artist who is almost unknown in the US, although popular in Spain and South America. The work ranges from the fantastic to the frankly commercial, and includes posters, book covers, magazine illustrations and unsolicited works. Vivid colors and an attention to small details are evident in all of Ciruelo's work. The illustrations here also include a good representation of his experiments with various techniques and media. There are six sections: fantasy; women; concepts; other dimensions; and twentieth century dreams. There are good examples in each section of a vivid imagination, occasion ally leavened with a sharp sense of humor. The text by Nigel Suckling is based on four days of interviews and is largely uninspired. Aside from some biographical information and a few paragraphs on technique, it contributes little to the volume. The pictures themselves are the only justification for the book, and rightly so. This book is not for everyone, but it would make an ideal conversation piece to leave on one's coffee table. w.o. Stevens Horror Star's Memoirs Cushing, Peter. Past Forgetting: Memoirs of the Hammer Years. ISIS Large Print, 55 St. Thomas St., Oxford OX1 1 ]G, England (dist., Mercedes Distri bution, 62 Imlay St., Brooklyn, NY 11231), 1988. 115p. + 32p. plates. $18.95.1-85089-261-X. ___ Past Forgetting. ISIS Audio Books, Oxford, 1988. 3 audiocassettes (220 min.). No price shown. 1 AB89111. ___ Peter Cushing, an Autobiography. ISIS Large Print, 1988. 198p. $18.95 1-85089-141-9. In 1954 Cushing, a 41-year-old veteran of the British theater, played his first part in a genre story, as Winston Smith in a TV film of 1984. For the next quarter century his haggard features and incisive voice enhanced dozens of genre productions, mostly low-budget horror films. His most famous roles were Victor Frankenstein and Dracula's enemy, von Helsing, in several Hammer films. Inevitably, most of his movies were mediocre or worse, but


SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 51 Cushing's performances won him recognition as perhaps the most reliable actor since Boris Karloff to win the dubious title of "horror star." in his chatty, anecdotal, sometimes excessively humorous Autobiography, Cushing has few harsh words for anyone but himself. Although he maintains he was "happy" at Hammer, he says almost nothing about the films in which he worked. Cushing portrays himself as a lonely drifter on the outskirts of his profession until he married older, semi-invalid Helen Beck, to whom he gives credit for all his subsequent success. The only shock in the book is Cushing's revelation that he attempted suicide after Helen's death in 1971. in his second volume of memoirs, Cushing acknowledges that readers of his Autobiography were disappointed that he had written so little about his experiences at Hammer, but Past Forgetting does not satisfy that demand. Cushing's Autobiography has value as a limited self-revelation of a distin guished performer whose projects were rarely worthy of his talent, but Past Forgetting is mostly a collection of funny stories about British actors. Cushing's books were published in Britain by Weidenfeld and Nicolson but are apparently available in America only in large print. Past Forgetting is also available on audiocassette, read by Cushing. Michael Klossner Introduction to lern Davis, J. Madison. Stanislaw Lem Mercer island, WA: Starmont House, 1990. ix + 116p. $19.95. 1-557-42027-0. $9.95 pb, -42026-2. in Stanislaw Lem, J. Madison Davis presents a competent, extended study of Lem's works that have appeared in English translation. Noting that Lem is one of the few science fiction writers to have attained a world repu tation, and that he has done so despite writing in a comparatively minor language-in terms of the number of speakers-Davis sets out to explain Lem's success by examining his fiction. He follows Lem's own division of his career into three phases. The first phase consists of mainly derivative science fiction, most of which remains untranslated. Davis does little with this, except to note the evaluations of others who have characterized this fiction as exhibiting a sim plistic, positivistic scientism. Lem's second phase begins with Dialogues (1957) and includes such works as Eden (1959), Solaris (1961), and The Cyberiad (1967). Lem's central themes in these works concern cognition, the human limitations that make understanding self, others, and the cosmos so difficult that understanding aliens as in Solaris may be simply beyond human ability. in his third, most recent phase, while still producing second phase


52 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 novels such as Fiasco (1986), Lem has attempted to extend the boundaries of science fiction with experimental fictions such as A Perfect Vacuum (1971) and Imaginary Magnitude (1973). In these works, Lem joins postmodernist writers such as Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvina in produc ing forms of metafiction that arise from his characteristic themes. These works, Davis says, have significantly increased Lem's stature by calling him to the attention of the academic literary establishment. Davis offers brief, extended discussions of ten books and the translated short stories. He explores the central themes of these texts well, with spe cial attention to Lem's wit and humor and noting Lem's interest in variations of the detective form for his plots. The main books he discusses are: The Investigation (1959), Solaris, The Invincible (1964), Return from the Stars (1961), Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (1961) A Perfect Vacuum, Imaginary Magnitude, His MastL'r's Voice (1969), The Chain of Chance (1975) Fiasco. In addition, he discusses the short stories collected in Memoirs of a Space Traveler (1981 t The Futurological Congress (1974), The Star Diaries (1976), The Cyberiad (1967) and the two volumes of Tales of Pirx the Pilot (1968, 1982). Davis's secondary bibliography annotates selected criticism and reviews in English, giving little attention to European work. Though more and fuller studies of Lem arc needed, Davis's book is a helpful introduction to one of the most important writers of science fiction. Terry Heller [This is the second monograph in English on Lem, having been preceded by Richard E. Ziegfcld's Stanislaw Lem, Ungar, 1985, a volume in the Rec ognitions series. At x + 188p., Ziegfeld is more detailed than Davis, but is current only through 1982. A number of studies of Lem have appeared in German, into which most of Lem's Polish books have been translated. Like Ziegfeld, the Davis study was obviously delayed, a frequent problem with the Starmont reader gUides. -NBJ Thorough Study of Magazine Dziemianowicz, Stefan R. The Annotated Guide to Unknown & Unknown Worlds. Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, March 1991. 212p. $24.95. 0-930261-99-2; $14.95 pb., 98-4. Unknown (March 1939-September 1941), retitled Unknown Worlds (October 1941-0ctober 1943) has attained a legendary reputation among fans, most of whom have probably never seen an issue save at huckster tables at conventions. A victim of wartime paper shortages, close to half of the fiction in its 39 issues has been reprinted, often repeatedly, a remarkable record that Dziemianowicz explores in detail.


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 53 Edited by John Campbell, Jr., who persuaded Street & Smith to add this pulp to its line, it rejected the literature of horror common to Weird Tales, which by that time was notably undistinguished, its major writers (Lovecraft, Howard) having died. It was refreshingly unforrnulaic and receptive to many types of fantasy, including blends with SF and horror (some of the stories had been purchased for Astounding, as Analog was then called, and a few stories purchased for Unknown appeared later in Astounding). Dziemianowicz has done his homework for this thorough survey. A 77 page introduction explores the genesis, development and end of the maga zine, varieties of fiction featured, its influence, and more arcane matters. The second third is devoted to descriptive annotations of the 262 stories, nonfic tion pieces and poems, with mentions of books reviewed, issue by issue. Length of each story is indicated, along with story illustrator and cover art ist. The final third lists manuscripts unpublished when Unknown folded, stories published in Astounding, stories by date of purchase, title, author and letters indexes, a chronological listing of the British edition, and a compre hensive I ist of books in which the fiction was reprinted, from the 1948 trial revival issue, From Unknown Worlds, to 1988 books. Unknown has been written about before as well as indexed. Tom Clareson profiled the magazine in the standard guide, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines ed. by Tymn & Ashley (1985), which for most libraries will suffice. But many fans and some scholars will want this detailed Starmont study, by far the most thorough account of its subject. Just as Astounding chanGed American SF in miljor WilyS, so Unknown provided an outlet for many types of fantasy that had rarely appeared earlier, at least in magazines, but that anticipated much of today's newsstand fare. Neil Barron Mark Twain, Writer of SF Foote, Bud. The Connecticut Yankee in the Twentieth Century: Travel to the Past in Science Fiction. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, November 1990. x + 209p. $39.95 0-313-24327-1. In the opening paragraphs of his first chapter, Bud Foote confesses to attempting a very difficult act. He hopes his book will appeal to three groups: SF readers who like to think about their favorite literature; "fellow academicians who not only read [SF], but also teach it or write criticism about it"; and non-SF readers interested in Twain, the literature of his time and ours, and the ideas which that literature contains. He succeeds, I think, in appealing to his first and third audiences, but I have reservations concern ing his total success with the second category of readers.


54 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 7991 Foote indicates clearly the problems he seeks to investigate: why it was left to Mark Twain, in 1889, in America, to invent the travel-to-the-past story (each segment involves a discrete discussion); and why, despite its seemingly non-scientific premise, the travel-to-the-past tale persists and flourishes in SF. The task seems almost impossible, but when Foote sums up his always (and admittedly) discursive observations in the last chapter, reminding readers of the original questions posed, and of how he has approached them, one re alizes he's done it. SF fans who happen on the book, despite its hefty library-oriented price and probable limited distribution, will discover in Foote a remarkably enter taining, non-threatening academic. He can juggle sophisticated scientific concepts, anthropological observations, and an eclectic knowledge of clas sic, contemporary, and forgotten pulp SF that seems, in the reading, to be an engaging, off-the-wall ramble, but which finally enlightens the reader pain lessly as to the point Foote has always had in mind. Readers of mainstream fiction will also find much pleasure in his easy style, much knowledge of the nineteenth century world of letters, science, and politics that Twain inhabited, and will also perhaps gain a bit of respect for the abilities of Twain's successors who chose to contribute to what was considered subliterature. Twain, Walter Scott, Heinlein, and de Camp are rightly presumed worthy of equally serious critical regard. Those who read Foote's book because it is about Twain the Great American Author cannot help but revalue their ideas concerning the best SF "pulp" writers. I do have problems with at least one aspect of the book as an academic study. So much has been written in mainstream criticism about Connecti cut Yankee that it is probably no longer necessary to cite the first person who pointed out that the novel is, among other things, an attack on colonialism, based on Twain's detestation of King Leopold of Belgium's rape of the Congo. However, three works, all published at least five years prior to the appearance of Foote's book, deal with the SF aspects of CY: Philip Klass's An Innocent in Time: Mark Twain in King Arthur's Court" (Extrapolation, 1974), David Ketterer's The Science Fiction of Mark Twain (Archon Press, 1984), and my own "Hank Morgan in the Garden of Forking Paths: CYas Alternative History" (lCFA paper 1981; summarized in Ketterer, 1984; Modern Fiction Studies, 1986). None of these appears in Foote's bibliography. [This listing is headed Works Cited, which is quite different. Foote is prepar ing a detailed annotated bibliography on his topic for Greenwood Press. -NBJ I have no doubt he has read Ketterer's book; he does refer to Ketterer's earlier New Worlds for Old (1974), which contains material on CYrelevant to Foote's. Nothing in The Science Fiction of Mark Twain has any bearing


SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 55 on Foote's ideas here, but it would have been judicious to note that fact in passing (Foote is obviously not as suspicious of fellow denizens of academe as I am). Foote's and my observations that CY is not only an example of time travel but also of alternative history (Morgan lands in Malory's sixth century, not our history) turn out to have had a remarkably synchronous genesis, appearing within a year of each other in 1980-81 as conference papers. The fact that mine subsequently saw print well before Foote's book, and that our arguments are quite similar, could lead to unjustified conclusions regarding the originality of his own astute observations. Klass's work (shame to publishers!) has not been reprinted since its ap pearance in 1974, but it does stake out an unchallengeable claim to be the first work to discuss the sophistication with which Twain handles the first novel-length backwards-in-time story, with all its attendant paradoxes. Anyone who studies CY in relation to the themes subsequently developed by writers of time travel must come to similar conclusions as Klass, and thus it is with Foote. Unwittingly, he recapitulates (and enlarges on) the unread Klass original. I mention this not to belittle Foote's achievements, rather to rap his knuckles gently for his inattention to significant collateral secondary sources, and to caution readers not to jump to adverse conclusions about Foote's originality, as I confess I did on my first reading of his otherwise thor oughly enjoyable study. Bill Col/ins A Compulsively Readable Guide Goulart, Ron, ed. The Encyclopedia of American Comics. New York: Facts on File, November 1990. viii + 408p. $39.95. 0-8160-1852-9. In the short preface, Ron Goulart's opinion of the merits of his Encyclo pedia ("to provide you with a great deal of information about the comics of the United States in a relatively compact form") is both more modest and more accurate than that of the anonymous blurb writer who touts the book as a "comprehensive reference and a full-scale, all-in-one source." Goulart-a novelist who has written extensively on American popular graphic art-has, with his 14 knowledgeable contributors, compiled a com pulsively readable guide to newspaper and comic book strip art, ranging from entries on the earliest newspaper strip, The Yel/ow Kid, to the phenom enon of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles. Goulart's Encyclopedia does not replace Maurice Horn's World Encyclope dia of Comics (Chelsea, 1976), but it does update that earlier, pioneering


56 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 text, and it benefits from the enormous amount of research that has greatly expanded our understanding and appreciation of this field in the last ten years. What has not expanded is the use of illustrations. The sixteen (unpaginated) pages of color and the sparse use of black-and-white samples will only whet the reader's appetite for a more substantial acquaintance with the strips. There is, surprisingly, no mention of the cottage industry that is preserving the heritage of newspaper strips long unavailable for casual read ing or difficult to find for serious research. Four volumes of Little Nemo in Slumberland have already been published, with other volumes promised in the series, while projects like Prince Valiant, Flash Gordon, The Yellow Kid, Polly and Her Pals, and Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend are appearing or are on the verge of publication. An expanded bibliography of sources (no publishers or publication dates are given for the few references cited in the acknowledgements) would also have been a useful addition. An index and cross-referencing to the 600+ entries make this volume easy to use, but there are occasional glitches and the inevitable omissions: a cross-reference for the strip Vanilla and the Vil lains to the entry on cartoonist Harry Hershfield turns up no reference to the strip, and there is no mention of Russ Manning's superbly drawn Star Wars strip. Since Horn's World Encyclopedia is out of print, collectors should not hesitate to purchase this volume, and libraries will want it as a supplement to Horn. It is not the comprehensive, one-volume source its publishers pro claim, but that would require a multi-volume work. Goulart's Encyclopedia is a worthy substitute. Walter Albert An Affable Conan Hamlin, V.T. Alley Oop: the Adventures of a Time-Traveling Caveman: Daily Strips from July 20, 1946 to June 20, 1947. Kitchen Sink Press, No.2 Swamp Rd., Princeton, WI. 54968, 1990. 159p. $25.00. 0-87816-110-4; $13 .95, pb, 1 1 2 -0. Soon after the public became aware of scientific discoveries about pre history late in the 19th century, they decided that both dinosaurs and pre historic humans were funny. As early as 1915-16, Willis O'Brien, who later worked on King Kong, made a series of comic caveman films. During the silent film era, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy all made prehistoric farces. When V.T. Hamlin began to draw Alley Oop in 1933, he had to alter this popular tradition. To accommodate the adventure stories which he hoped would keep the strip running for years, he made Oop not


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 57 merely funny but a genuine hero a great fighter, far from stupid, justly cynical about the motives of the powerful, compassionate, self-confident, good-na tured, a little sentimental, a sort of affable Conan. Hamlin said that the rival strip Buck Rogers was the biggest influence on Oop. In 1939 Hamlin expanded the strip's scope by sending Oop on the first of many time-travel adventures that took him to various historical periods. Hamlin retired in 1971; Alley Oop is still being drawn by others. The strips are reproduced on eleven-inch-wide pages, big enough to let readers appreciate Hamlin's witty details. This collection includes an informative introduction about Hamlin and five stories-a war between the Ne anderthals of Moo and invading Cro-Magnons; a romantic mix-up in Moo; and historical romps in the Old West, at the court of Napoleon and among the Barbary pirates. Only the second is farcical; the others emphasize ad venture. The villainous Cro-Magnons are correctly drawn to look more like modern humans than Oop and his fellow Neanderthals. Three decades before the novels of Jean M. Auel, Hamlin persuaded readers to root for Neanderthals against our nearest ancestors. Alley Oop is one of the most imaginative and long-lived fantasy-adventure strips and this collection is recommended for all libraries interested in comic art. Michael Klossner Worthwhile Commercial Art Harrison, Mark. Mark Harrison's Dreamlands. Limpsfield, Surrey: Paper Tiger/Dragon's World, 1990. 128p. .95, paper. 1-85028-132-7. .95. Cloth, -132-5. Distr. by Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, NY, $19.95 pb. only. This book is another in Paper Tiger's series of art books featuring com mercial illustrators. As usual, the quality of the reproductions is high and the text by Lisa Tuttle, based on personal interviews, is non-intrusive. Harrison is an English illustrator with many American book covers to his credit, which means that many of the illustrations in this book may be familiar. Many pictures have explanatory notes in the author's own words; the text contains more such quotes. In fact, the text in this book is a valuable addition to the art-unlike most such combinations. This is slightly more than the standard coffee table art book. Although it will have a limited audience, it is a worthwhile addition to larger commer cial art collections. w.o. Stevens


58 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7991 Fractal Map of Chaotic Terrain Hayles, N. Katherine. Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990, xvi + 309p. $35.95 0-8014-2262-0; $12.95 pb. -9701-9. It is rather surprising that discoveries in so arcane a scientific subfield as non-linear dynamics should recently have seized the popular imagination so forcefully. But when these discoveries go by the name of "chaos theory," it is perhaps not such an odd thing that the curiosity of non-specialists should be piqued. A theory claiming to anatomize and systematize chaos seems almost paradoxical, a promise of the impossible. Such theory, however, seems perfectly "reasonable" in our postmodern world, with its strange promises and paradoxes-a point Vivian Sobchack has made in her article, "A Theory of Everything: Meditations on Total Chaos" (ArtForum, October 1990). This extrapolation of chaos theory from scientific discourse to the realm of contemporary cultural experience is a provocative critical enterprise continued, engagingly and often brilliantly, in Chaos Bound. Like Sobchack, Hayles sees chaos as articulating a new cultural logiC characteristic of the postmodern world. Hayles identifies a "postmodern loop" connecting, in a feedback net work, "theory with culture and culture with theory through the medium of technology," i.e., computerization. The reduction by cybernetic theory of the vast fields of nature and society to information, has made everything accessible to processing through cybernetic machines, including the human person. Chaos theory is thus the emergent science of this computerized culture. Hayles presents examples from the history of science, autobiogra phy, fiction, poststructuralist theory, politics, and popular science. Among the issues of interest to scholars of science fiction, is her excel lent chapter on Stanislaw Lem, "Chaos as Dialectic," and her brief but fas cinating discussion of William Gibson, both writers who have made cyber netics a major thematic substrate of their work. Hayles views Lem as offer ing inSight into what she identifies, throughout the book, as "an ambiguity within chaos theory which has not received the attention it deserves ... Hayles explores connections linking Gibson with postmodern theorist Baudrillard on the one hand and TV "personality" Max Headroom on the other, as both analysts and effects of a generalized system of cultural simu lation who pursue to fruitful extremes the logic of information theory, computerization and cybernetization. Other chapters explore the history of "self-reflexive metaphors" in the various scientific responses to the paradox of Maxwell's Demon; Henry Adams' Education as an autobiography of chaos theory; lIya Prigogine's and


5FRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 59 Isabelle Spenger's theory of "dissipative structures" in their Order Out of Chaos; the convergence of chaos theory with poststructuralism (specifically the theories of Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Serres); the (ap propriately) paradoxical political dimensions of chaos; and Doris Lessing's exposure of these paradoxes on a personal level in The Golden Notebook. Introductory and concluding sections describe the complex dynamics of the "postmodern loop" mentioned above. Hayles holds degrees in chemistry, and her discussions of scientific theory are both informed and supple. Chaos Bound is a continuation of the methods and concerns outlined in her earlier book, The Cosmic Web: Sci entific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the Twentieth Century. Indeed, it is a fascinating fractal map of chaotic postmodern terrain. I recommend it highly. Rob Latham Important Study of a Major Children's Author May, Jill P. Lloyd Alexander. Boston: Twayne, March, 1991; x + 166p. $21.95. 0-8057-7622-2. TUSAS 576. Lloyd Alexander is best known to us, of course, for his classic Prydain series, children's novels such as The Book of Three (1964), the Newbery Award runner up The Black Cauldron (1965), and the Newbery-Award winning The High King (1968), based very loosely on the Welsh epic Mabinogion. In her intelligent and judicious survey of Alexander's work, Jill P. May does justice to these fine novels, but she does much more. Point ing out that the popularity of the Prydain books has caused I iterary critics to overlook much of Alexander's later work, May seeks to emphasize the author's own artistic and philosophic growth as it is ably demonstrated in such fine later non-fantasy novels as Westmark (1981), The Kestrel (1982), and The lIIyrian Adventure (1986), as well as in numerous other books for children. Like most volumes in the Twayne series, May's book surveys all of Alexander's published work. A biographical chapter is followed by a de scription of the author's beginnings as a professional writer in the post-war years through a series of moderately successful books for adults as well as translations of, believe it or not, Jean-Paul Sartre, and then by his almost serendipitous discovery of the children's market when a local publisher decided to do a series of biographies of American Jewish heroes, something Alexander, raised an Episcopalian, knew almost nothing about. His first book in the series, Border Hawk (1958), won an award, however, and, de spite a few more attempts at adult literature, Alexander's career as a writer


60 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 for children was assured. There followed my own early favorite Time Cat (1963), the Prydain books, The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian (1970), The Wizard in the Tree (1975), The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha (1978), the later books of the Westmark and Vesper Holly series, and numer ous other works. Going beyond a mere survey of Alexander's fiction, however, May does something that I think is very important. Basing her argument on both her own close reading of the texts and on interviews with Lloyd Alexander himself, she shows us how the author's work, even when at its most fantastic, clearly reflects the political and philosophic issues of the times. Further she demonstrates the uniquely American nature of those works. The Prydain books, for example, written during the 1960s, increasingly show Alexander's anger over the insanity of the Viet Nam war. Further, the author's decision to move the epic original characters of the Mabinogion into the background of his series, and bring center stage his own lower-class hero, Taran the as sistant pigkeeper, demonstrates both Alexander's lack of interest in the Eu ropean heroic tradition and his own egalitarian attitudes. Although Taran does rise, he does so without buying into the patriarchal and elitist mindset that dominates most high fantasy. Similarly, the Westmark series, written in the early 1980s, although set in an almost Graustarkian 19th-century locale, is full of fairly painful political philosophy. Its young protagonists, like many liberal-minded people of the Reagan era, are forced to reaccess their beliefs about the proper relationship between the individual and an increasing skewed society. Alexander's recent Vesper Holly series is also set in the Victorian Age. Although more lightweight in intent than the Westmark books, it features a young female detective who refuses to be bound by con temporary convention or the supposed limits of her own female nature. A fine addition to the critical canon of children's literature, Lloyd Alexander is not without some flaws. Although I found her argument for Alexander as a uniquely American writer compelling, I would like to have seen, at least briefly, some attempt to substantiate that argument by a com parison between Alexander's work and that of similar British authors, for example Alan Garner, T.H. White, or Tolkien himself. Indeed, I would have preferred to see more evidence of an awareness of Alexander's place within the entire tradition of fantasy literature, both that written expressly for chil dren and that written for adults. And although May has included an excel lent brief annotated bibliography of articles on Alexander's work, her book's index, a mere two pages long, is so perfunctory as to be virtually useless. These are nitpicks, however. Lloyd Alexander is a fine piece of work and belongs in any library with an interest in children's literature or fantasy fiction. Michael M. Levy


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 67 Basic, Serviceable, Cliche'd Nolan, William F. How to Write Horror Fiction. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest, March 1991. 143p. $15.95. 0-89879-442-0. How to Write Horror Fiction is the horror story entry in Writer's Digest's "Genre Writing" series that includes books on action-adventure (Mike New ton), science fiction and fantasy (Orson Scott Card), western novels (Matt Braun), and romances (Phyllis Taylor Pianka). How to Write Horror Fiction is casually organized, moving from a brief overview of the genre, to a look at "monsters," hints about getting ideas, rudiments of characterization, com ments on suspense and "hooks" and other technical elements, laced with examples from contemporary stories, finally concluding with sketches of major genre figures (King, Rice, Herbert, Straub, Koontz, and McCammon)' An appendix fleshes out the volume with a brief bibliography of major an thologies and reference books. Nolan tries for a chummy tone a' la Ellison or King, but the prose is flat and the enthusiasm labored. How to Write Horror Fiction is a basic, serviceable-to use the cliche's-"no nonsense, nuts-and-bolts" instruction book. And using cliche's to describe it is appro priate since, along with the good advice, Nolan's book doesn't miss a cre ative writing cliche'. Since he makes no distinction between long and short fiction and keeps his technical advice on the most elementary level, How to Write Horror Fiction will be too obvious for the would-be writer with any experience or depth in the genre, but the absolute novice should find the book valuable, since it assumes nothing in the reader and starts him or her from scratch-which is, of course, the only place from which to start. Keith Neilson A Guide to the Meretricious? Pringle, David. The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction. NY: Pharos Books (distr. by St. Martin's), 1991. xx + 407p. $24.95. 0-88687-537-4; $14.95 pb, -536-6. London: Grafton, 1990. .95. 0-246-13215-9; .99 pb,-13635-9. David Pringle, the editor of Interzone, has a good track record with books of this sort. His 100 best SF novels guide appeared in 1985, with a fantasy guide following in 1988, both of which I recommend. This new guide is the lengthiest of the three, critically annotating almost 3,000 nov els, collections and anthologies, using a zero to four asterisk rating system. To keep this guide to a reasonable length and price, he excluded-with some exceptions-fantasy, most young adult SF, foreign language SF, noveliza tions, scientific romances (heavily British), "mainstream" SF and works pub lished prior to 1970 and not reprinted since. The evaluations average two-


62 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 three sentences and note sequels, film versions and cross references. The atypical arrangement is by title with an author index rather than the reverse, an arrangement with many faults and that is not justified. Although Pringle is obviously well read in the field, he nevertheless had to rely on the work of others, notably Ken Brown, who is said to have drafted about a fifth of the entries, and the critical work of John Clute and Brian Stableford, whose work was "ransacked," as Pringle puts it, and whose com ments are often included. With 3,000 entries Pringle has to be very forgiving. As he notes, all the classics are here, as you'd expect, including a number of what he calls "stinkers." Warnings as well as recommendations have their place, and there are plenty of the former, with zero or one asterisk. The 1970 novel by James Grazier, Runts of 61 Cygni C, is identified as "Hilariously bad, one of the prime contenders for the title of Worst SF Novel Ever Published." Conser vatively, at least three-fourths of his entries are of wholly undistinguished works, many of them by well-known authors (do we need annotations of 34 Piers Anthony books, or 54 of Silverberg's?), Pringle acknowledges earlier works that provide similar guidance, such as the Nicholls encyclopedia (1979), now undergoing extensive revision and enlargement, the collaborative, far more selective guide I edited, Anatomy of Wonder, and his own best books guides. Not cited by Pringle was David Wingrove's The Science Fiction Source Book, 1984, about 60% of which provides evaluations of the principle works of 880 authors of SF whose works have been available in English since about 1960 (Pringle covers roughly 500 authors/editors). I suspect "ultimate" was the choice of the publ isher, for Pringle is far too sophisticated to suggest that a definitive guide could exist even in theory. Because so much of his guide is devoted to the meretricious, readers and libraries would be far better off investing in Pringle's guides to the 100 best SF and fantasy works, whose critical analyses provide far more valuable guidance to genuinely distinguished work. Neil Barron Through the Fun House Mirror Savage, Jr., William W., Comic Books and America, 1945-1954. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, October 1990. xiii + 151 p. $16.95. 0-80612305-2. Testing limits, making new connections, exploring in novel ways, "pushing the envelope" as Chuck Yeager would say, creates that borderland between the known and unknown where we raise important questions and discover answers if we can. If we do not find the answers, we at least make some progress toward


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 63 seeing ourselves in a different way and perhaps a little more clearly. Some of the best opportunities for testing and exploration arise when social institutions are in flux, when great changes are occurring. Savage presents an unusual, entertaining, and commanding intelledual his tory of the post World War II decade in America.Savage shows us that Eisenhower's America, often considered the doldrums of progressive social ex perience, was in reality a time of considerable ferment. He demonstrates that an inconsequential medium written by adults mostly for children, presumably for entertainment, "reflected something of the moral equivocation associated with a society in crisis-or with a society that imagines itself in crisis." The comics created during this "golden age" tested the limits regarding American society in numerous ways and by doing so they created the controversy that all but eliminated the comics publishing business. Savage's discussion of Fredric Wertham's assault on the comics industry, and the attitudes which allowed such scapegoating, is masterful. What Savage demonstrates so well in his short, very readable book is the unanticipated realization that "The content of comic books from 1945-1954 mirrored the concerns, preoccupations, and bel iefs of American society during the post-World War" decade. Occasionally, the mirror may have been concave, convex, or convex-concave, in the manner generally associated with reflections in the carnival fun house; but never was the distortion so great as to obscure the proper identification of the object at hand. As a mirror, the medium was suffi cient and effective. It was not without flaws, but no mirror is." Reproductions from five diverse comics support Savage's argument. His copious notes provide further evidence, along with very interesting tidbits and an admirable bibliography. He has opened a new area of scholarship by not only writing this serious intellectual history but also by asking some very important questions regarding the meaning of it. In the post-World War" decade 60 million comics were sold, purchased by adults as well as children. After presenting how the comics reflected the con cerns of the society, Savage also asks how much real influence this medium had on shaping the attitudes and values of his generation, the generation which in the sixties turned out to be the people their parents had warned them about. He does not provide a definitive answer. Perhaps, if we are lucky, he is saving it for an other book. Comic Books and America, 1945-1954 tests a limit itself by taking seriously an ephemeral and undistinguished source. When Savage offered his colledion of comics used as research for this book to the library of his choice, he was met with a firm refusal. The library saw no value in them. This kind of rejedion is too often the case for those who pioneer. Fortunately we can buy William Savage's book, a bargain for the intelledual and social historian, great entertainment and new insight for the rest of us who enjoy challenging the limits of our assumptions. Lou Liberty


64 SFRA Newsletter, 189, iuly/August 1991 Facts and Fairy Tales Tatar, Maria. The Hard Facts of the Crimm's Fairy Tales. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987. xxiv + 277p. #32.50. 0-691-0622-8, Reprint, 1990. $9.95 pb., -01487-6. A review of this reprint may help the book find the new readers it deserves. Tatar, who is a scholar of Germanic languages and literatures rather than a folklorist, nonetheless draws on most of the significant folklore schol arship on German Ma"rchen in this reexamination of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's enormously influential collection. The result is more survey than in-depth analysis, but it is a readable, well-balanced survey of manageable length: the perfect introduction to the serious study of folktales for literate lay readers or scholars in related fields. In addition, Tatar introduces one sig nificant body of evidence that has been unavailable to an English-speaking audience. A survey of the notes and bibliography reveals that Tatar has done her homework: folklorists like Degh and Lu"thi are here; so are psychological critics like Bettelheim and Jung and literary analysts like Propp and C. s. Lewis. The historical insights of Jack Zipes and Robert Darnton are well integrated into the discussion; Tatar shows how their work modifies many of the standard interpretations of folktale meanings and functions. The femi nist critiques of Ruth Bottigheimer, Karen Rowe, and others are likewise drawn upon and reinforced by Tatar's close investigation of individual texts and their histories. Judiciously balancing these perspectives (not always an easy thing to do), Tatar extracts from the tales a composite picture of social roles and values. Individual chapters deal with such topics as family relationships, the inci dence and forms of violence, recurring characteristics of both male and fe male heroes, incest motifs, stepand biological mothers as villains, and a remarkable set of misreadings of the Bluebeard story by generations of male readers who have seen it as representing appropriate punishment for female curiosity. In one respect, as mentioned above, Tatar goes beyond merely integrat ing the standard sources and provides a piece of evidence that should alter our views of everyone of these themes. That evidence concerns the edito rial transformation of the tales, primarily at the hands of Wilhelm Grimm. Of the seven German editions of the tales, only the seventh has been available in a complete and reliable English translation, and that only as recently as 1977. Hence we are I ikely to be unaware of the extent to which the word ing, characters, incidents, and even scope of the collection has changed over time, as Wilhelm Grimm recast it into what he considered acceptable form for a children's book.


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 65 Even the first edition, published for scholars, differs in striking ways from the versions recorded in the Grimms' field notes, but after that first edition, explicit references to sexuality were consistently weeded out while violence was, if anything, exaggerated. Strong female characters were gradually ex punged or reworked to fit 19th century domestic ideals. Even some of the most familiar tales were revised in surprising ways: Tatar points out that the evil queen who persecuted Snow White was no wicked stepmother but Snow White's own mother, at least in the first edition. On the other hand, "lurid portrayals of child abuse, starvation, and exposure, like fastidious descriptions of cruel punishments, on the whole escaped censorship" (lO11). Knowledge of these editorial changes does not make the Grimm tales any less worthy of study; however, it does make it difficult to claim for them the status of pure folk utterance or transparent lens into the medieval peas ant worldview. Tatar does us a great service in encouraging us to shift our attention away from the problematic origins of the tales and toward their reception and use. It is not only what the tales contain in themselves, but also what we have taken them to be that justifies studies like this one. Anyone interested in fairy tales or in the folk origins of literary fantasy should consider buying Tatar's book. Brian Attebery Ideal Introduction Williams, Charles. Outlines of Romantic Theology, ed. by Alice Mary Hadfield. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, September 1990. $15.95. xiv + 113p. 0-8028-3679-8. This slim volume contains two essays by Charles Williams, the previ ously unpublished title work written in 1924, and the 1941 pamphlet, "Love in Dante: The Theology of Romantic Love," plus brief textual and biographi cal commentaries by the editor. A friend of Williams, Hadfield is the author of several studies of him, including the 1983 critical biography, Charles Williams: An Exploration of His Life and Work. This volume demonstrates her knowledge of Williams's life and thinking, and her concern to present him both sympathetically and accurately. Will iams was a Christian mystic, of that relatively rare kind who chooses the path of (what he called) the Affirmation of Images. Unlike the ascetic who rejects "images" (the stuff of creation) to worship God alone, the Affirmer of images uses the creation as a path to God, worships God in and through his creation. "The Outlines of Romantic Theology," Williams's first prose work, explores the theological possibilities of romantic love, especially


66 SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 as that love is expressed in marriage. As an affirmer of images, for Williams romantic love is important not for its own sake, but because it teaches lov ers how to love properly-first, how to love each other, as Christ loves his church; but then, once they have understood that experience, how to love God and all of His creation in the same way. What makes this essay of interest to Williams scholars is its place in his biography: he wrote it when he had been married for seven years (follow ing a ten-year engagement), but abandoned the project when he fell in love with a young co-worker at the Oxford University Press. Thus it represents an early stage of Williams's thinking on romantic love: here he grapples with the problems of courtship and marriage as he understood them after 17 years of involvement with his wife, but had not yet personally encountered the next level of difficulty-what happens when a new love announces itself. As a result, "The Outlines of Romantic Theology" provides a kind of baseline from which to measure the development in Williams's thinking on this sub ject, as we can trace it through the novels, plays, and poetry. Another advantage to this essay is that it precedes Williams's intense study of Dante (the results of which are manifested in the pamphlet, "Love in Dante," published in this volume, and the full-length study of 1943, The Figure of Beatrice). For the scholar, this makes it easier to identify Dante's influence on Williams's thinking; for a reader new to Williams and not es pecially familiar with Dante, this essay might be an ideal introduction to Williams's ideas in their simplest form. Fiction Down-to-Earth Adventure Kathleen L. Spencer Anderson, Joan. Photographed by George Ancona. Harry's Helicopter. NY: Morrow, 1990, unpaged, $13.95 he. 0-688-09186-5. Ever since Conan Doyle was taken in by the Cottingly sister's cobbled together pictures of the fairies in their garden, there's been an uneasy rela tionship between fantasy and photography. On the one hand, you have a technology that even in its infancy could magically suspend a leaper in midair and create fantastic images. On the other, you have Aunt Bessie with her Brownie, capturing exactly how you looked when you lost your front teeth. We know that pictures can be faked, yet a photograph of something is still implicit evidence of its existence outside the camera frame. Therefore, illus trating a fantastic story with photographs blurs the boundary between real ity and make-believe: an interesting and provocative phenomenon. As long as the make-believe has a purpose.


SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 67 In Harry's Helicopter, a father gives his son Harry a cardboard helicopter for his birthday. One day a high wind comes up. the cardboard blades be gin to spin, and Harry takes off on a quick tour of New York City. It's a great concept for a photographic fantasy, and the photographs are flawless. When Harry and his helicopter are in the air, the point of view is mostly behind him, looking over his shoulder at aerial views of the George Washington bridge, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty framed by the cardboard window. It all looks very real and very wonderful, every flight-loving child's dream come true. And yet the book is not a successful fantasy. This is entirely the fault of Joan Anderson's text. Nothing happens. Harry goes up, Harry flies around a little, Harry goes home, all in a matter of-fact and toneless prose. Harry learns nothing, observes nothing, questions nothing, risks nothing. As a wordless picture book, Harry's Helicopter might have had some of the charm of Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon. In its present state, it is all but pointless. Delia Sherman Promise Me-No More Psychos Bloch, Robert. Psycho House. NY: TOR, 1990, 217p. $16.95 he. 0-31293217-0. Since Alfred Hitchcock made the film Psycho based on the 1959 novel of that name, Robert Bloch has been well known as a writer capable of build ing and sustaining error. Psycho /I was successful as well. Butcher knife murders and plenty of gore are even more popular today so that it was no surprise when a third novel based on events in the Bates Motel appeared. Yet, Bloch himself must be bored with the story for, ultimately, Psycho House disappoints. The pace is fast. Bloch hasn't lost his ability to give life, even to his somewhat thin characters. He highlights a young Chicago writer, Amy Haines [not the Amelia erroneously named on the jacket!. arriving in Fairvale to research the infamous Norman Bates. As soon as she steps into the hot, dreary town, she becomes deeply involved in the mysterious string of mur ders taking place. Could Norman still be alive? Is the murderer the ghost of his dear mother? Is it an angry townsperson sick of all the publicity? Annoyingly, Bloch suggests that Amy, a female, trusts too much. And the male he provides, Hank Gibbs, also a writer, is one any young woman would want to trust. Then there's Otto Remsbach, a.k.a. Fatso, the fat, wealthy man who is always looking for more money, a bed partner, and a beer; and there's Sheriff Engstorm, the tough small town cop who doesn't want any trouble in "his" town. In contrast to many superfluous characters, the people men-


68 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 tioned do forward the plot. And Amy refuses to leave town until her ques tions are answered; her determination to get her story provides the human touch. And at the onset, Bloch does capture the reader. Two girls sneak into the rebuilt motel. Immediately, it's apparent to the reader that at least one will surely die. One does. But all the subsequent murders are then so fa miliar that, by the third chapter, the interest in ""Whodunit" has disappeared, and a person is reading only to find out what happened. Another annoyance is related to the cliff-hangers at chapter ends. By the time Bloch resolves the suspense he creates, the tension is gone. The expla nations are already the common knowledge of all the characters. A reader can only think, uOh, that's it." Possibly, the worst failing, other than his occasional attempts to be funny, is that the end was so disappointing. The climax has the expected blood and guts. And in the final chapter Amy does indeed find answers; yet, the nonchalant tone in which these explanations are given are more suitable to an academic journal, which can be read dispassionately long after the events transpired, than to a work of horror. Corea Villano Greed is the Root of Evil Cherryh, C. J. Heavy Time. NY: Warner, 1991. $19.95 he. 0-446-51616-3. In Heavy Time, C. J. Cherryh returns to the Merchanters' universe, also featured in Downbelow Station, the award-winning Cyteen, and the more recent Rimrunners. The universe Cherryh creates is gritty, tough, and incredibly detailed. However, it's not a universe I really understand; there are dozens of weighty implications scattered throughout the novel that I only half-grasped. Cherryh carefully details the ins and outs of this world-the ways to beat the system as the underdog freerunners try to exist. The story is complex because of its dependence on these details. Freerunner partners Ben and Bird drag Dekker, insane, from his broken spaceship. Dekker insists that a 'driver deliberately knocked into his ship, damaging it and killing his partner and lover, Cory. He also says he and Cory had tagged a future payload asteroid, rich in needed elements. According to Mama, ASTEX control, there was no 'driver and there is no asteroid. Ben and Bird have secret evidence to the contrary, but dare not reveal it. Instead, Ben (who seems to have no morals) claims Dekker's ship as salvage, much to good-hearted Bird's disgust. When the hospital releases Dekker, Bird, to assuage his guilt, takes the now-shipless Dekker under his wing. Two friends of Bird's and Ben's, Meg and Sal, make a play for Dekker's ship; they arE


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 69 even willing to take Dekker on as crew (he has lost his pilot's license). But before their ships can get out of dock, chaos erupts and Dekker real izes he was right about the accident: it really happened, despite Mama's cover-up. The story climaxes in a chase scene, and in the denouement, the good guys take control, but not without some of them dying. The characters are well-drawn, from Ben's lack of humanity to Meg and Sal's rad ,speech to Dekker's insanity. What I didn't like was the slow pace of all but the last forty pages of this book. I plodded through the book without a real sense of enjoyment, and I found the repeated sections on Ben's coldbloodedness tedious. Cherryh mitigates this by flipping from character to character to get each one's point of view, but she repeats herself a lot. I found the interconnections of the whole affair (from a political viewpoint) intriguing but hard to understand; and I didn't care enough about the char acters to make a big effort. Heavy Time requires a lot of work to read and understand, and while I don't mind that, I do mind the tediousness of the first three-quarters of the book. I'm not sure the effort I put into it was rewarded by the last part of the book. Karen Hellekson A New Slant on Handicaps Crispin, A.C. and Kathleen O'Malley. Silent Dances: Starbridge Book Two. NY: Ace, 1990, 275p. $3.95 pb. 0-441-78330-9. In this book, Crispin and O'Malley juggle a complex set of issues. Their human protagonist, Tesa, is a student at Starbridge Academy, where she is training to pair with a member of an alien species. She is also Native American and Deaf, the latter a distinction made by people who see their deafness not as a handicap, but as a difference. In the context of aliens who speak a variety of languages using their hands (or equivalent), faces and limbs, Tesa's deafness assumes a new aspect. Through Tesa and the decisions she makes, Crispin and O'Malley challenge our conventional assumptions about strength and weakness, about able-bodied and differently-abled people. Their use of Deafness is original and credibly connected to science fiction issues of difference, tolerance, and acceptance of the Other. At the same time, however, the authors tell an engaging tale about a First Contact. This First Contact is fraught with drama and difficulties. The book opens with the death of a human from the sound of an alien bird-like species voice. Brought in to replace this victim, Tesa demonstrates how context determines the interpretation of difference. On Trinity, the new world they are explor ing, Tesa's "handicap" proves to be a strength. Not only does she not need the nullifiers that prevent the death of other members of the contact team,


70 SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 but also she alone is able to see that one of the alien species on the planet is intelligent. Having hearing hinders the perception and judgment of her colleagues. Her Native American background provides her with rituals and legitimation for looking at the new world from a less judgmental perspective and her gender makes her an appropriate foster parent for members of two alien species. For most of the novel, Crispin and O'Malley do a fine job of making their points about Deafness and alternative cultures. Tesa is a complete and ca pable character, so the reader sympathizes with her frustration with those who see her as handicapped or who want to "cure" her deafness. Her Native American background and gender are dealt with less deftly. Given the ambitious and complex nature of their protagonist, Crispin and O'Malley could have developed her character in more detail. There is a predictable and sketchily presented love interest that adds little to the plot. In places, the book assumes an outline shape, as for example, when the text leaps abruptly months or weeks into the future in a sentence. The book's resolution comes too quickly and minor characters are paired off too tidily to be satisfying or persuasive. However, the Starbridge Academy premise is an engaging one and these books do have a following. Fortunately, this entry into the series can be read without knowledge of the other books. It is highly recommended as engag ing reading and for its persuasive depiction of Deafness as difference rather than handicap. Robin Roberts Escape into Grim/Glittering Realities Datlow, Ellen and Terri Windling, eds. The Year's Best Fantasy: Second Annual Collection. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1989, 580p. $13.95 pb. 0-312-03007-X. At well over 600 pages of introductory material and text, The Year's Best Fantasy annual, covering stories published in 1988, is a ponderous tome, but few will regret its size except those who would like to carry it for air-travel reading. Its forty-six items (mostly stories, but a few poems are included) are of consistently high quality, as are the introduction and the summation of the 1988 fantasy by Terri Windling, the summation of 1988 horror by Ellen Datlow, and the essay on film horror and fantasy by Edward Bryant. These ancillary materials assure that readers whose appetites for the fantastic can not be satiated by short stories alone will find guidance to an ample supply of longer fare.


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 77 Having virtually consumed these at one sitting, like a restaurant critic at a smorgasbord, I recommend that purchasers of The Year's Best Fantasy ration themselves to one story per evening, so that each may be savored. These stories are solid fare, good evidence for refuting critics who claim that fantasy is mere escapism. Datlow and Windling have chosen fantasies that heighten rather than erase real ity. Taken overall, the selections in TYBF are shaded toward the darker side of the fantastic. The stories contain only limited elements of the magical or supernatural; instead their impact derives from small sinister twists on everyday reality, carefully worked like Escher drawings. john DuFresne's "The Freezer jesus" explores the blindness of a pitiable faith. Tanith Lee's "The Devil's Rose" juxtaposes a dashing traveller and a provincial young beauty in one of the most anti-romantic stories that I have ever read, ornamented with European moodiness, pierced with a rapier-stab of an exquisitely hor rific ending. "Shoo Fly" by Richard Matheson is a comic interlude which raises a minor annoyance to heights of aggravated absurdity. Lucius Shepherd's "Life of Buddha" (one of my favorites) locates a kind of anti-nirvana in drug-blasted inner-city Detroit. Nancy Kress's "Spillage" works a rather ingenious change on fairy-tale material. The reader will enjoy more than half the story before she discovers the ironic implications of its title. Serial killings, prominent in 1980's news reports, account for the plots of several stories, all well-executed and each a fine variation on that grisly theme. F. Paul Wilson's "Faces" gives us a sympathetic cop who is trying to save a pitiable murderer's sanity; the killer's stream-of-consciuusness both frightens and convinces. Scott Bradfield's "The Darling" aptly borrows Chekhov's title: Imagine what Chekhov's self-centered heroine would have been like had she possessed a bent for homicide. joe R. Lansdale's "Night They Missed the Horror Show" is billed as "a story that doesn't flinch." It doesn't, but the reader will when the vicious teenaged protagonists meet a pair of "good old boys" whose idea of a mild good time is making snuff flicks. The horrors and fears these stories evoke are far more chilling than those conjured by contemporary vampires and werewolves. Perhaps we have passed into an era when actual horror is so close to us that the mythical variety, no matter how carefully updated, seems contrived. It may be that we are also in the process of fictionally integrating our society's shadow (se rial killing, drugs, rape, organized and disorganized crime, child abuse) into our literary collective unconscious. Whether reality is drawing closer to our darkest imaginings, or our sense of the horrific is drawing closer to reality, this collection reflects the ominous tenor of our times, and reassures us that we are not alone in our fin de siecle apprehensions.


72 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 Of the stories that are more magical than horrific, especially choice are Gene Wolfe's "The Tale of the Rose and the Nightingale," "Game in the Pope's Head," and "The Boy Who Hooked the Sun." The first carries the reader on an Arabian Nights adventure, the second poses a quintessential Wolfian puzzle, and the third glitters with myth. Wolfe's stories often provoke a sense of delighted bafflement. As one of his younger fans put it, "You get the feeling that he is on top of something that you're not. It's like Wolfe is astride the world and galloping on a little way without you." But the reader keeps running madly after (, \' wildly careening imagination makes the chase fascinating to ti i'-': point of addiction. The anthology's lead-off story, Lisa Goldstein's "Death is Different," evokes an exotic alternative country, accessible only from certain airlines, where newspaper-vendors sell poetry, the parks are designed by Antonio Gaudi, and dead heroes go on directing revolutions. Charles de Lint paints "The Soft Whisper of Midnight Snow" with tones of artistic shamanism. "No Hearts, No Flowers," by Barry Malzberg, is the ultimate story for those of us who chuckle over the contortions of restaurant critics as they stretch to find the ultimate adjectives. Anne Gay contributes "Roman Games," a lively tale of the confrontation between an Irish nun and a dragon; unfortunately, the skeptical nun finds it easier to believe in dragons than in divinity. Patricia C. Wrede's "The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn" blends several conven tional fairy-tale elements into an unconventional tapestry of magic. "It was the Heat," by Pat Cadigan, turns up New Orleans' summer furnace to the melting point, stirs in a touch of "Hot Voodoo", and demonstrates a whole new aspect of business conventions. Frightening or fantastic, not one of the stories in this heavy volume could be called boring. Dark and light, the stories prod the reader to examine the human condition that produced them. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have chosen well. Escape into the grim and glittering realities of this fine collection. Lillian Marks Heldreth Dick's Short Fiction Dick, Ph il ip K. The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. Volume 1: The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford. NY: Citadel TWilight, 1990. 404p. pb. 08065-1153-2 (no price given).. This is a reprint of a 1987 cloth edition intended as the first of five vol umes of Dick's short fiction published in the pulp magazines of the 1950s and 60s, and including surviving unpublished material. Most critical atten tion about Dick has rightly centered on the novels, where his ability to con-


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 73 struct investigations of illusion and reality and the room to develop complex characters served him best. As a novelist, Dick is acknowledged as one of the most significant voices so far produced by the SF genre; in time he may become acknowledged as one of the most origina I American novel ists of the 1950s through 70s. His shorter works, if they were all we had by which to judge him, would relegate him to a status not unlike that of the 1930s' Stanley G. Weinbaum, a potential major talent too-restricted by the limits of the pulp SF insistence on the primacy of the idea. But, given the existence-and republication in unabridged form-not only of his many major SF novels but also of his mostly (sad to say) posthu mously-published mainstream novels, the publication of his short fiction affords a valuable addition to scholars who have largely ignored its existence (or, as in Kim Stanley Robinson's case, overtly excluded it for good and suf ficient reasons from his study of the novels) as well as providing general readers with a pleasurable reminder (in the case of the reviewer, who read most of the stories when they first appeared) or an instructive history lesson (to younger readers who missed the last high tide of the pulps) of what those garish-covered magazines were capable of publishing at their best. The temptation to treat each of the twenty-five stories in this volume individually has to be avoided, not only for reasons of space. Only one, the first, "Stability," is unpublished, but interesting in that it indicates Dick's ability with words six years before Anthony Boucher bought the first work (the overrated "Roog") from a clerk at a Berkeley classical record shop he had long frequented. Perhaps not surprisingly, over half of the contents arc eminently readable almost four decades after their first publication. Only a few betray the neophyte author struggling with plot or character, or respond ing to predictable development, and even these are interesting ("The Infinites," for example) in indicating how much Dick was straining against the perceived limits of the market he had found for himself. There's a certain retrospective sadness here. How much better might these stories have been if there had been anyone besides Sturgeon and Bradbury trying to write well in the field at the time. Forthcoming volumes will display a more sophisticated Dick, successful (though often editorially abridged) as a novelist, he could craft his short stories more to his own taste; they provided gourmet lunches, rather than lodging and staples. And I think of the first three years' output of a fine contemporary writer of short fiction such as Karen Joy Fowler. Her comparable output is light-years ahead of early Dick in sophistication-but if he had not existed, would she have had such a model and such a market available for her highly individualistic work? I think not. Bill Col/ins


74 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1997 Vampire's Quest Elrod, P. N. Blooc/circle. Book 3 of the Vampire Files. NY: Ace, 1990, 202p. $3.95 pb.0-441-06717-4. P. N. Elrod's BlooC/circle, takes up Jack Fleming's adventures just after he has survived the attempt of his former lover's sister, Gaylen Dumont, to destroy him. Fleming, the narrator, is a vampire. His "birth" and previous adventures are told in the first two novels of the series, Bloodlust and Life blood. In this novel, assisted by his human rescuer, Charles Escott, Fleming leaves his friends in Chicago on a quest for Maureen Dumont, the vampire woman whose love transformed him. She has been missing for five years. The hunt leads the pair to Long Island, where they solve several murders and learn that Maureen has been one of the mad killer's victims. Elrod blends vampire lore with Raymond Chandler to produce a reason ably interesting detective thriller set in the 1930s. Fleming becomes a kind of superhero, whose special powers help in the solution of crimes, but leave him vulnerable and dependent upon human help. In this pairing, Fleming is the emotional seeker of justice, while Escott is the rational, officially licensed detective. Fleming and his vampire acquaintances ironically prove more humane than the human killer. The series is to continue with a fourth volume, Blood-art. Terry Heller Myth and Survival Foss, Chris. Diary of a Spaceperson. Limpsfield, Surrey: Paper Tiger/Dragon World, 1990. 144p. .95 pb. 1-85028-049-5. Distr. by Avery Publish ing Group, Garden City Park, NY, $19.95. Diary of a Spaceperson is supposedly written by a young woman known only as J, a student who chronicles her adventures and who sketches her impressions of these escapades. Fertility myth is the strength of Diary; yet the character of j, her narrative, and her artwork undermine this myth. Sexual intercourse between a human and an alien is rare in science fic tion. In Diary a sexual encounter occurs between J and a plant, and this unexpected event contains mythic possibilities. J becomes pregnant and delivers a self-reliant vegetable named Son of Purple. After many episodic adventures, she travels to Earth, a barren planet. Son of Purple follows her, and he is molting. As his scales fall, they germinate, replenishing the Earth. Thus, the sexuality of J helps to refurbish the sterile wasteland. The vegeta tive myth of Diary is, however, not enough to recommend it.


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 75 The character of J, her narration, and her art are problematic. J is a sur vivor who does whatever a woman must do to survive, ignoring the moral ity of her exploits. Her narrative is also uninspiring and trite; her insipid language suggests immaturity, insensitivity, and shallowness. Her artwork is uneven: her pen and ink sketches range from the playfully alluring to a masturbatory fantasy; her color drawings are mechanistic and violent. Diary of a Spaceperson is claimed to be recently discovered; little would have been lost if it had remained undiscovered. James E. Hicks Short Story Collection Foster, Alan Dean. Metrognome & Other Stories. NY: Ballantine Books, August 1990. 243p. $4.95 pb. 0-345-36536-6. The fifteen stories presented here run the gamut from horror, through science fiction, to fantasy. Several of them represent the author at his best; all of them are well above average. The author's notes which precede each story give insight into how the story came into being as well as telling us something about the author himself. Although the book is intended as a collection of short stories, and most stories range from six to eighteen pages, one runs on for fifty-six pages. Foster notes in his introduction to the story that some editors thought it was too long for what it had to tell. He disagrees and, since that story is one of the best in the book, it would seem that he has a point. Foster fans will love the book, but even those don't care for him will find several stories of interest. W. D. Stevens Military SF Offering Frezza, Robert. A Small Colonial War. NY: Del Rey, February 1990, 289p. $3.95 pb. 0-345-36200-4. When United Steel-Standard (USS) chartered a planet and brought in "cheap labor" to mine the fusion metal deposits there, they did so with a flawed sense of history: The laborers were skilled post-holocaust Afrikaners (Boers), may of whom did remember their history (exploitation by the Dutch East India Company; oppression by the British). As a result, labor disputes among these modern day Voortrekkers and the USS were not long in com. ing. The USS then shipped in ranchers to act as a counterweight to the Boers; these ranchers settled the open lands but inevitably crossed fences


76 SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 with those Boers who were leaving the mining towns and increasingly turn ing to agriculture. When the armed conflicts got out of hand, the USS-like any good big business-went to the Imperial Government for help. This, then, is a story of an attempted police action by a veteran battal ion in a three way (USS, ranchers, Boers) colonial revolt-a political situa tion turned militant, bringing to mind Clausewitz's (too) oft-quoted phrase, "War is politics by other means." The situation involves, as is usual with any occupying army, the obligatory show of force (described in a surprisingly few short, sharp, definitive battles by the Imperials), then the gradual develop ment of intelligence networks, providing Frezza room to develop his char acters (and throw in lots of memorable Latin quotes). Unfortunately, the Imperials, though superior in arms and means, soon find the odds drastically evened by members of an Afrikaner extremist sect (fanatically religious, obsessively nationalistic) who make good use of a few strategically placed tactical nuclear weapons, forcing the decimated battalion to retaliate with biological warfare. There's nothing in A Small Colonial Warto set the imagination goingno high tech weaponry (nothing even close to what you would find in main stream technothrillers by the I ikes of Clancy), no grand melees, no cyberware-but there is something about Freeza's low-key, heavy-plated approach that lends a refreshing verisimilitude both to the story and charac ters. He doesn't have the stylistic punch of, say, Drake (Frezza's style is a study in obliqueness), or the socio-political heavy-handedness of Pournelle or Niven (If he does, it's buried in the rather esoteric choice of historical parallels, unless, of course, you're up on 19th century South African history); still, A Small Colonial War delivers as solid and true a story about profes sional soldiers as you'll find in this year's military SF offerings. Frezza's a writer in search of the story that'll make use of his talent. Keep an eye on him. Barry Reynolds Comedy of the Apocalypse Gaiman, Neil and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. NY: Workman Publishing, September 1990, 354p. $18.95 he. 0-89480-853-2. Good Omens is a comedy of the apocalypse, and a good one, too. The Ineffable Cosmic Plan for the destruction of the world has been placed in motion. Signs have begun to appear: it has been raining fish, Tibetans are tunneling through the earth, aliens have landed, and traffic is worse than usual. Fortunately, all of this has been accurately predicted in the 17th cen-


SFRA Newsletter, 189, july/August 1991 77 tuty by Agnes Nutter, the world's only reliable prophet. The forces of good and evil on earth, represented respectively by Aziraphale, an angel, and A. J. Crowley, a fallen one, decide it's in their best interests to avert Armaged don. They enjoy being on earth, after all; neither heaven nor hell is half as much fun. There are many difficulties standing in their way: the wrong baby has been raised as the Antichrist, and they must find the correct one; the Four Horsemen-who ride motorcycles nowadays-have begun to ride; there is that terrible traffic; and they have only eleven days to avert catastrophe. There are many solid laughs here; some scenes could qualify as Monty Python sketches. Most of the humor works very well as Aziraphale and Crowley encounter unusual characters and situations. At the heart of the book is II year-old Adam Young, the real Antichrist. The scenes dealing with Adam, his friends, and his dog (who is really the Great Beast of the Apoca lypse) are amusing and a little touching, as love and innocence transforms all and saves the day. (There is some help from that 17th century witch.) Pratchett, well known for his Discworld series, has found an able part ner in Neil Gaiman, who is fresh from his work at DC comics. With the millennium upon us, I recommend Good Omens as the perfect antidote. Laurel Anderson Tryforos The New Kid on the Block Garnett, David S., ed. The Orbit Science Fiction Yearbook Two. London: Futura, 1989, 347p. .99. 0-7088-8316-8. Like a precocious terrier, David S. Garnett is nipping at the heels of Gardner Dozois. Both men now edit "Best SF of the year" anthologies: Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction (St. Martin's) for 1988 is his sixth; Garnett's Orbit Science Fiction Yearbook, his second. Dozois' is published in the u.S. and Britain; Garnett's in Britain only. With 28 stories at 596 pages, Dozois' is massive, comprehensive, synoptic, careful, and, like its predecessors, required reading for anyone with even a passing interest in the state of contemporary SF; with 12 stories at 347 pages, Garnett's is less en compassing, as thoughtful, a bit more daring, and a whole lot more fun. From its lively headnotes to its capacious non-fiction articles to its provoca tive selections, Garnett's book is an unalloyed delight that will brighten the hearts of jaded SF readers in the Nineties in the way Judith Merrill's even more eccentric "best of" collections did in the Sixties. Unlike Dozois, Garnett as editor has a distinctive voice; it is the voice of outrage. (I omit from consideration the Wolheim "year's best" volumes, which, while containing a few good stories, offer neither editorial presence


78 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 nor comprehensiveness). His end-of-volume wrap up essay "This Was the Future" is outspoken, forthright, fearless, and bracing as it takes on a pano ply of egregious excesses on the contemporary SF scene: the sharecroppers, franchisers, and packagers who have degraded and glutted the SF market, the "plague of fantasy" ("Good science fiction makes the reader think. Fantasy rots the mind, or other parts of the body.") james Gunn's much (and rightly) criticized The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, and the cultural colo nization of SF by American authors. Complementing Garnett's catch-all essay is john Clute's overview of "Science Fiction Novels of the Year/' a cor uscating, cogent, cohesive essay about the SF novels published during 1988 that towers over Dozois' typical, tedious, tiresome list of titles and trends. In addition, Garnett gives us Brian Aldiss' witty "Thanks for Drowning the Ocelot" -ostensibly a letter to the late Salvador Dali but in fact a somewhat wistful comment on late-Eighties SF-and an introduction by lucius Shephard that although of interest, is more about his fiction than this book, and special introductions several authors wrote for Garnett's chosen stories. This material alone, which offers more insight, perspectives, and critiques than you'll find in any other source, would fully justify the (modest) expense and (considerable) trouble American readers will have to invest in getting a copy of this book. Then there is the fiction. The least of the stories in Garnett's roster are the three you'll also find in Dozois': "Distances" by Kathe Koja ("glassheads") travel passively through space via neural implants), "Home Front" by james Patrick Kelly (the pernicious impact of a remote, intermi nable future war on economically and psychologically depressed small-town America), and the bathetic, unaccountable popular "Peaches for Mad Molly" by Steven Gould. By contrast, the eclecticism and depth of Garnett's take on SF in 1988 emerges from his other selections, which range from a dry-as-dust satire by J. G. Ballard about the dominance in Reagan America of media over reality and ephemera over substance to a cyberpunk-informed Runyonesque romp by Roger Zelazny with the euphonious title "Deadboy Donner and the Filstone Cup." Although Garnett proclaims that cyberpunk is dead, its influ ence is everywhere in these pages-fused with a critique of current market ing trends in religion in Jack Massa's "Prayerware," hyped up by hip surfer lingo, California Valley-speak, fractal physiCS, and allusions to Thomas Pynchon in Rudy Rucker and Marc laidlow's gonzo story "Probability Pipe line," and subsumed into an equally clever but more substantive tale about reality versus image, the French New Wave cinema, and artistic obsession in Howard Waldrop's "French Scenes" (a more interesting and subtle story than "Do Ya, Do Ya, Wanna Dance," which Dozois includes and which was a finalist for the 1988 Nebula Award.)


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 79 In all these stories, however well-crafted and "literary," science fiction concerns predominate; in most of the others Garnett includes, SF tropes take a back seat to the human perspective. Nowhere is this more evident than in Ian McDonald's "Vivaldi," a moving story about an aging astrophysicist's attempt to restore balance to a life beset by obsession and loss. If McDonald sometimes loses control of his prose, its poetic intensity nonetheless create a cumulative charge of memorable power. Less flashy but even more deft is Ian Watson's "The Flies of Memory," in which an alien invasion serves as backdrop to a long, slow-paced, mesmerizing narrative that embraces the ology, romance, and the vagaries of cosmic memory. Finally, the best story in this anthology is one that may not be SF even by Garnett's elastic stan dards. In "On the Edge" Sharon Farber juxtaposes a fantasy world of comic book superheroes against the gritty reality of the Emergency Room of an understaffed, under-equipped California clinic in which her protagonist Dr. Rachel Whirtham battles disillusionment, irrelevance, and ennui. Wasting not one word, Faber interweaves a deeply felt portrait of a woman nearing the limits of her resources with a hilarious send-up of superhero antics. Rather than a facile narrative of the value of imagination-as-escape, "On the Edge" is a witty, subtle example of how a sharp, self-aware mind can use fantasy to explore complex personal issues. All this adds up to a view of SF in 1988 that is more wide-ranging, per sonal, and engaging-albeit less comprehensive-than Dozois' (admittedly invaluable) archival tome. Like its predecessor, this second Orbit Science Fiction Yearbook reminds and reassures us that even now, late in the cen tury during which the Modern World became the Science Fiction World and the literature of the future became the literature of the present, SF can still provoke, stimulate, and invigorate. Michael A. Morrison Trilogy Concluded Gilluly, Sheila. Ritnym's Daughters. NY: Signet, 1989, $3.95. 351 p. 0-45116341-9. A lengthy conclusion to another fantasy trilogy (Greenbriar Queen, 1988; The Crystal Keep, 1988), Ritnym's Daughters was designed to resolve a battle between good and evil which provides a venue for dwarves and elves, and the author's own invention, Littlemen, that are considered mythi cal by the characters of the Greenbriar kingdom themselves. This novel and this kingdom are rich in historical and descriptive depth. The tapestry, the ceremonies, the technology, the dress are vividly portrayed, even more so than some elements of the plot. In this, she is similar to Elizabeth Scarborough in her Unicorn Trilogy.


80 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 In this third novel, Ariadne, who has moved surely into her place as Queen and ruled for over a decade without her husband and under the shadow of her husband's kin, sees her son into the first stages of adulthood. This son nurses a grudge for his father's killer despite the knowledge that he had little alternative and pursues that grudge almost to the extinction of his world. Prince Gerrit, like Ariadne before him, is allowed a more complex relationship to good and evil than one usually finds in fantasy novels on the mass-market bookshelves. He does the wrong things for the right reasons and right things for the wrong reasons. He acts wisely and bravely, but is equally hampered by a willful and foolish pride that characterizes human adolescence. He has worked to increase his knowledge and conceal that knowledge from most around him, and his thinking processes are followed in the text with all their false starts and wrong turns in the labyrinth of court life. And, in the end, he is able to piece together the puzzle that will allow good to triumph over evil and learn to recognize one over the other. Ritnym is not a 'fast read' and will not appeal to all readers of fantasy or even of High Fantasy, of which it is an example. It requires concentration, an appreciation for visual imagination and a considerable suspension of disbelief but, unlike many fantasy trilogies, it provides some payback for the expenditure. Those with a taste for this kind of textural richness in their fan tasy will want to start with the first and read all the way through. Janice M. Bogstad A Real Chiller Hubbard, L.Ron. Fear. Los Angeles, CA: Bridge Publications, Inc., January 1991. 188p. $16.95 hc. 0-88404-599-4. Losing four hours of one's life is undoubtedly disconcerting, and one would probably make an effort to discover what exactly happened while Chronos was neglecting you. In L. Ron Hubbard's Fear, Professor James Lowry, resident expert on demonology at Atworthy College, does just that. After going to a friend's house for a visit at 2:45 p.m., Lowry steps out of the house and discovers that it is 6:45 p.m., four hours later! He begins to doubt his sanity as he attempts to figure out what happened and where he was for those four hours. To make matters worse, he begins to be tormented by demons, but are they figments of his imagination? Or, are they real? And to top it all, he's misplaced his hat, and no self-respecting citizen of the time would go abroad without his hat! He begins to see things-everyone's face looks like his friend, Tommy, or his wife. Frightening sounds pursue him day and night. Everyone begins acting weird. Some of the demons try to warn him away from finding the elusive hours, yet he persists, and when he finds them ...


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 87 Fear is a true horror story. The truth behind the missing hours is terri fying to contemplate. When Street and Smith published this story in 1940, it was already ahead of its time. As the editors note in their introduction to this new edition," ... Hubbard did something [in 19401 no other author had ever successfully done. Without the use of supernatural contrivances werewolves, vampires; without resorting to extreme venues-the haunted house-on-the-hill, the cellar lab, the strange planet; and without using super psychotic protagonists-Freddy Kruger, Norman Bates; he took an ordinary man, in a very ordinary circumstance and descended him into a completely plausible but extraordinary hell." And fifty years later, Hubbard's classic work still stands up amongst the best horror works without the gore, blood, and violence of dismemberings, decapitations, and other disgusting "shock value" contrivances which are very evident in much of today's horror films and literature. Hubbard's book is well worth reading, and the new artwork by award-winning artist, Derek Hegsted, will chill your spine as you read! Daryl K. Mallett Apocalyptic Thriller Hyman, Jackie. Echoes. NY: Morrow, 1990, 228p. $19.95 he. 0688-009250-0. Jackie Hyman's Echoes is a well-crafted, apocalyptic thriller. Though she uses familiar material to tell a fairly predictable tale, her story-telling skills preserve the novel from banality. Laura Bennett's task is to discover before it is too late what her role is in an impending world transformation. As political reporter for a California newspaper, she is in a good position to gain inside information about the local parts of what she gradually discovers is a world-wide conspiracy. Crea tures from a mirror dimension have found a way to enter into her world. These mirror or echo people represent the evil side of humanity. Their goals apparently include ruling the world and using humans for food. As she be gins to connect seemingly separate cases of mayhem, from local murders that seem to involve appearances of doubles of prominent figures to world ca tastrophes that include the kidnapping of a dozen world leaders at an emer gency summit, she remembers details from her childhood about the untimely deaths of her parents that reveal her own centrality in these events. These materials are familiar: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dracula, the Bible, Stephen King, and Ross MacDonald are among the titles and au thors that echo as one reads this book. The ending is predictable, and the explanation of the creatures' activities is a little hard to swallow, but Hyman knows how to draw the reader into her story. She vividly presents the pieces of the mystery in well-realized and dramatic scenes from several points of view. One result is a seemingly fast pace that at the same time allows one to linger over details of scene and character that emphasize the uncanny.


82 SFRA Newsletter, 789, iuly/August 7997 Another strength of this story is the presentation of strong female char acters. By the power of sheer moral will, Laura eventually overcomes the demon within. Among the more interesting of the other characters is Rita Long, the senator's wife who replaces him after his assassination. A former starlet whose sexual fantasies provide the avenue to her corruption, she also demonstrates moral will and courage in her resistance to the alien evil. Hyman is the author of several fantasy titles, including Shadowlight and The Eyes of a Stranger, both of which have been praised for absorbing nar rative and interesting female characters. Terry Heller The Return of the Yellow Peril Kato, Ken. Yamamoto: A Rage in Heaven. NY: Warner Books/Questar, Oc tober, 1990. 544p. $18.95 he. 0-44651570-1. This is the first volume of a projected five-volume, old fashioned space opera. It comes complete with imaginary valuable minerals, which are named after gold and silver, and a secret super weapon. Planets get the names of islands or political entities-countries, states, provinces. The author has borrowed some of the worst features of present day Japan and the U.S.A. to construct the political rivals which are the main con tenders in this volume. Having done so, he sets out to do what seems to be a rerun of the Pacific theatre of World War II. However, the paradigm for combat looks more like what you would expect from tactics of 18th or early 19th century sailing ships. The result is Commodore Hornblower as Buck Rogers, complete with racist undertones. The style is reminiscent of Robert E. Howard, although the motivation is less convincing. I don't find this work very plausible, but plausibility has never been a criterion applicable to space opera. The real problem is that it drags. There's a lot of this kind of military fiction coming out now, and I suppose this one is no worse than its rivals. That, however, does not mean it's good. People who read this sort of thing will probably like this, but I can't recommend it. William M. Schuyler, Jr. Tantalizing Tale McKillip, Patricia. The sorceress and the cygnet. NY: Ace Books, 1991. 231p. $17.95 he. 0-441-88564-0. McKillip tantalizes and never quite satisfies her readers. Her stories occur on badly-lit stages and lack a stage program. Only the elliptic words her actors speak and what she tells us that they do are movers of the story line. The reasons that the characters act as they must lie off-stage or are hidden in the shadows at the back of the stage. Sometimes the reader grasps


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 83 intuitively the larger story that McKillip, closer to the stage, sees. Other readers simply enjoy the flowing colors of what she tells us, and create their own stories from the elements she provides. How she iorces the reader to create is most clearly seen when one tries to state the theme of The sorceress and the cygnet. It's about different ways of seeking power and knowledge. It's how adolescents grow up to accept responsibility. It illustrates how myths and legends interact with reality. Any, or all, of these may be the theme; does it matter which? Nor does it matter which of several human protagonists the reader follows-Corleu, the moon-white Wayfolk boy; Nyx Ro, the youngest daugh ter of the Ro dynasty who practices sorcery in a swamp; Rush, whose magic usually goes awry and who is infatuated with Nyx; the woman warrior Muguet loved by the Gatekeeper of Ro Holding. There are the gods who are sometimes constellations-the tinker who may be the Gold King or the sun; the Blind Lady who sees with peacock eyes; the Blood Fox and the Fire Bear; the Dancer whom the Cygnet, emblem and protector of Ro Holding, impris oned in a past conflict. Once again, humans and gods meet in a challenge, a contest, a conflict that slips into cooperation and acceptance as the story winds to a pause, not a conclusion. Even the happy ending for Corleu hints the story, like life, is not ended, though it has for the reader. McKillip tantalizes and enchants her reader. Paula M. Strain laughable Shocker Metzger, Thom. Shock Totem. NY: Onyx/NAL, January 1991. 288p. $4.50 pb.0-451-40219-7. Do you scare very easily? Then you might be frightened by this medi cal terror story, but I doubt anyone scares that easily. I also doubt whether anyone would feel compelled to finish the novel in one sitting. The one dimensional characters in a lengthy and drawn out plot make for slow read ing. At first, I really had to discipline myself to return to reading, but I had promised this review. Yet I did begin to enjoy this horrific novel for a reason I will eventually share. Brian Cerniac, a teenage boy is institutionalized for schizophrenia at Mt. Kinnsvort Developmental Center, better known as the Red House. Although Brian seems a lost cause, he does have a never clearly explained ability to "go through the wall," an ability everyone wants to gain control of. Since his psychiatrist, Dr. Caroline Haak, gains intense sexual pleasure when she "goes through the wall" with Brian, she is constantly giving poor Brian shock


84 SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 treatments so that she can hook herself up to his energy by means of a shunt, implanted in her neck by her deceased doctor husband. Finally, the nym phomaniacal Dr. Haak decides to steal Brian and use him only for her own pleasure. The kidnapping is not as easy as she thinks it will be for others have been looking for Brian. These power-hungry people send two of the most boring, one dimensional, stereotypical characters I've ever read about, Price and Whitehead. (Could there be a pun here?) The two detectives follow each other around, express no emotion, and talk only about the facts, just the facts. In any event the story drags on as Brian escapes from the clutches of his crazy psychiatrist/doctor/lover and roams the Catskills in a funky done-up van, complete with fuzzy dice and a disco ball. Every person Brian meets on his journey is later found half fried by some half fried state trooper. For a little variety, every once in a while, Brian hooks himself up to the van's engine for a do-it-yourself shock treatment. Meanwhile, the sexually de prived Dr. Haak and personality deprived Price and Whitehead chase Brian around until they trail him to Love Canal, the place where he was first taken into custody. Here the story finally climaxes. What has happened to me as I picked up Shock Totem the third time, was that I found myself laughing, and I kept laughing to the very end. So, if you want a scare, rent a tape and plug in your VCR. If you want to read a novel so outrageous that it may be Camp, try Shock Totem. Caterina Corea Highway into the Dreamworld Ransom, Bill. jaguar. NY: Ace, July 1990. 292p. $3.95 pb. 0-441-70353-4. Co-author of several novels with Frank Herbert, The Lazarus Effect, The je5us Incident, and The Ascension Factor, Bill Ransom, for jaguar has ex panded his 1983 short story, "Uncle Hungry." The setting is both unique and exciting most of the time. Two separate worlds unite in the intertwining dreams of four young visionaries: Eddie and Maryellen of Earth and Rafferty and Afriqua Lee of Roam, a world where nomadic tribes provide life support services for the few existing cities. Ransom traces the lives of the four characters from childhood through late adolescence as they struggle to mature in hostile environments. All four suffer from a unique sleep disorder which sets their minds free to wander the dreamways. These young people are able to enter into the sleeping minds of others as well as to cross through the curtain of reality into a parallel world. Also capable of traveling on the dreamways is an individual known as the Jaguar, the common link between the two worlds. It is the Jaguar who,


SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 85 powerless in his own world, attempts to gain control of the world of the Roam, by manipulating the dreamways. Thus, the four teen-agers are forced to mature quickly in order to stop the Jaguar before he succeeds in destroy ing both worlds. There is also a deeper, more meaningful struggle within the novel. The danger of the Jaguar is on the surface. Beneath it, and tightly woven into the adventure, is the struggle to fight any stigma placed on those who deviate from the norm-a theme generally missing from pure adventure stories. Some problems, though, are obvious. Ransom takes nearly the first third of the novel to develop a recognizable plot. The fast succession of episodes, alternating from world to world, at first tends to be distracting and may dis courage inexperienced readers. Nonetheless, Jaguar succeeds in placing believable characters in extraordinary circumstances. The reader need only be open to the possibility of dreamways. highways to alternate worlds and to one's subconscious mind, in order to enjoy Ransom's latest effort. Joseph Jeremias Excellence in Splatterpunk Schow, David J. Seeing Red. NY: TOR, January 1990, 268p. $4.95 pb. 0812-50019-9. In the Introduction to this collection, T.E.D. Klein says Schow's work deserves a finer term than "Splatterpunk," the term Schow himself invented, and that Schow's "Ianguage does more than merely carry the reader along; it becomes a joy in its own right." Klein's right. Whether the point of view is that of a street punk in the graffiti-like titled story or of a money-making executive in "Not From Around Here," most of these short, horror stories, written for adults, both male and female, are fast-moving, stimulating, and, at times, just fantastically gross. The arts are prominent. The characters are musicians in "Lonesome Coyote Blues," a touching story about two musicians and a radio station for the dead but not forgotten musicians before them. There are writers in "Pulpmeister" and "Blood Rape of the Lust Ghouls" and a photographer in "Red Light." And many of the stories revolve around old cinemas. One of the more delightful ones, "Incident on a Rainy Night in Beverly Hills" centers on the movie industry in Hollywood. The story is rich with mystery, anticipation, and, yes, horror. In it, a scripter, Haskell, is trying to quit the small, powerful, money-hungry organization which sanctions actors being killed or audiences brain-washed for publicity value. Here the plot is so tightly knit that all the details become alive and believable.


86 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 Another, "Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You" is only 20 pages long; yet, it took me three days to read. It is about a handicapped veteran who comes upon a theatre infested by roaches who/that have taken over and use the ushers to get more victims. The scenes are disgusting-roaches usually are in any portrayal. I had to keep putting the book down to resume at an other time. In contrast, several stories are pleasant or inspirational. "One for the Horrors" is actually sentimental as it tries to explain why its theatre shows parts of films never before shown. The best story is the last one, "Not From Around Here." While its atmo sphere and scenery are reminiscent of Stephen King's Pet Cemetery, its lan guage is Schow's. Carl Taske; his wife, Suzanne; his daughter, Jilly; and his dog, Brix, had moved to Point Pitt to get away from the city. Unknown to him, the residents of Point Pitt were being terrorized by a monster that eats people and animals, preferring their heads but occasionally eating other parts as well. Taske finds that city life was a lot less hazardous to health than Point Pitt could ever be. Taske thinks, "If the city wanted us back, no problem. We could scoot by on our plastic for months. My life was not a spaghetti western; I did not bash through my degree and get ulcers so I could do sym bol-laden combat with monsters." Schow's gift is that he makes the reader leap from one level of horror to the next. And only a few of the stories develop slowly, take you off the ground, but wind up leaving you in mid air ("A Woman's Version," "Night Bloomer," and "Visitation")' Consider: there are eleven others. Swallow the three bad ones fast and go on to savor the good ones. I truly recommend this collection. Giavanna Nila Sword and Sorcery Pastiche Schweitzer, Darrell. The White Isle. Philadelphia: Owlswick Press, 1989. 139p. $18.95 he. 0-913896-26-8. This is a thoroughly repulsive sword and sorcery "horror." The jacket blurb compares the author to Lord Dunsany, but he lacks Dunsany's human ity, his love of beauty, his essential gentility. E. R. Eddison is invoked, but the book lacks Eddison's restraint, his sense of honor and sportsmanship. Clark Ashton Smith may be more apt, but the Gothic nightmare of an ado lescent Lord Byron seems closer. The "hero" is Prince Evnos, heir to an island kingdom. Like Arthur, Evnos is equipped with a portentous origin, a wizard-mentor, and a magic sword which carries a curse. When a plague kills his beloved bride a few days before the birth of their first child, Evnos summons demons, determined


SFRA Newsletter, 789, july/August 7997 87 to retrieve his bride, Orpheus-like, from the Underworld. The nasty godlet who responds tells him all gods have abandoned man except Rannon (death), a sadistic and stupid entity who amuses himself torturing dead souls. There is no reward for virtue; all men are punished for "the crime of exist ence." Further maddened by this affront to heroic dignity, Evnos invades the Underworld to defy Rannon and retrieve his bride. He carries off her corpse, but not her soul. In a fit of rage he lops the head from his wizard-mentor, and using necromancy revivifies the child in the corpse's womb. The scene is a parody of the notorious shocker in Alien: "the corpse's womb burst into tatters of blue-grey flesh, and Evnos lifted a living infant out of the remains." (69) Evnos's hubris brings retribution: a putrescent cloud kills every soul on the island except Evnos, who seals himself and the baby in a tower. Now utterly insane, Evnos conducts an imaginary courtly life in his deserted and pestilent castle, still venerating the corpse-bride, and studying to extinguish his soul to defy Rannon. Spirits are summoned to care for the child, and father and daughter, like a demented Prospero and Miranda, move among ghostly minions. Eventually the lonely child finds a lover in a sailor cast away. Evnos kills him in a jealous rage and emprisons the daughter in the castle. Daily she ties messages to the feet of birds to summon a savior. At last he comes, kills her father in a duel in the crumbling castle courtyard, and departs with his prize. The summary sounds better than the book. I suppose we are meant to see Evnos as some variation on the Promethean rebel, but the novel's lurid pastiche of conflicting motifs makes no mythic sense. Evnos fails to be tragic; he comes off comic or pathetic instead. The unrelieved viciousness of the demon gods coupled with the powerlessness of their victims makes any at tempt at heroism a charade. Individual scenes are nightmarish, but the net effect is a poisonous jumble of negative incoherencies. A bad trip. Adrian de Wit Philosophical High Fantasy Swycaffer, Jefferson P. Web of Futures. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, February 1991. 312p. $3.95 pb. 1-56076-059-1. The house of webs, an infinite structure encasing billions of silky ladders that form a series of vertical and horizontal designs, provides a way to tran scend the limitations of time. What if what surrounds us in not reality: the forests, the roads, the buildings and bridges being only part of a curtain disguising the truths of time and nature? One truth is that through time


88 SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 Stheneleos Magus LXIV can move as he wishes. Half man and half animal, his nature is gentle and his mannerisms distinctly human. Yet, he is doing penance for his sin of pride. From the beginning of time, he has been forced to be a guardian of damned souls, an endless task. So in each century he makes himself known to an individual who has sinned against humankind through fear or inactivity, lack of faith or anger. Such are Valentin Diaz from 1709, Maddock O'Shaughnessy from 1862, and Sharleen Ritchie from 2027. Guilty of such crimes, each one is brought to the next century via the house of webs. They meet the new chosen one and a team of smugglers, who here function as did those who helped slaves through the Underground Railroad reach a place of freedom and safety. If those taken out of the time in which they were born amend their sins and succeed in doing good for the innocent outcasts of the societies they visit, they not only will change the society for the better, they will save their own souls. This supernatural novel has a fast-moving plot, believable time-travel, extensive details, and ongoing suspense. The multiple religious references and the elaborate imagery help a reader visualize underground worlds and the creation of nature. This is well-written high fantasy, indeed, effectively bringing forth questions of morality and truth. Michele Messina Power or Love Talmadge-Bickmore, Deborah. The Apprentice. NY: Del Rcy, january 1990, 263p. $3.95 pb. 0-345-36139-3. Struggles for power and the eternal battle of good against evil furnish the conflicts in The Apprentice. jaimah, raised by Shayna the sorceress and servant to her, has powers of her own, but she has been cowed by her mistress, who wishes to best the master magician Morgus in a battle of wills. Into this self-enclosed society of two women in a tower, symbolic of evil power to the people of the plain, comes Corwyn requesting apprenticeship with the sorceress, who reluctantly accepts him. jaimah senses secrets within Corwyn and knows that betrayal lies with Shayna, killer of the tower's prior sorcerer who had loved her. The girl is the winner's prize. Will it be servitude with Shayna or love with Corwyn? High on a pinnacle in the mountains surrounding the tower the contest takes place, with jaimah learning something of her own consid erable powers, not the least of which is love. The language has an edge, a tactile brilliance that is vivid and convincing; the climax is exciting and sur prising. Mary Ann Lowry


SFRA Newsletter, 189, July/August 1991 89 Hollywood Ghosts Tolnay, Tom. Celluloid Gangs. NY: Walker, 1990. 190p. $17.95. 0-80275753-7. Hack tabloid journalist Iggy is kidnapped by vaguely-familiar characters who speak in gangster cliches. He soon realizes he is in the hands of the ghosts of minor film actors. Three rival ghost factions-big stars, supporting players and an art film group-are struggling for control of a legendary lost film, even though the film's only claim to fame seems to be that it is lost. Tolnay writes wittily but his book is quite downbeat. Iggy is spiritually and financially impoverished and his self-pity soon begins to grate. The glittering movie ghosts range from untrustworthy to vicious. John Wayne is a dirty fighter; Spencer Tracy orders a murder. Iggy is told that he can see the dead because he is already half-dead himself, since he feels closer to movie characters than to living people. The murder of a ghost, a ghost's suicide and sex be'tween a living person and a ghost are all mentioned but the implications of these acts are not explored. These unanswered questions and the disparity between the book's slapstick action and its pessimistic tone prevent Celluloid Gangs from living up to its promise. Michael Klossner Nine Centuries From Now Wolverton, Dave. Serpent Catch. NY: Bantam Spectra, May 1991. 418p.+ x. $4.99, pb. 0-553-28983-7. Four cents more is not too much to pay for this paperback. Dave Wolverton's debut in science fiction was to win the Grand Prize in the Writers of the Future Contest in 1986 with his then-novella (novel now) "On My Way to Paradise." He now has an excellent second novel, Serpent Catch. The background Wolverton gives to his story is phenomenal. Some nine centuries in the future, Earth's genetic scientists and terraformers have colo nized many planets with many different mutations of the human race. On the different continents of Anee, they create paleontological paradises of different eras, complete with Neanderthals, dinosaurs, gigantic ferns, and the like. The continents are separated by eco-barriers ... genetically programmed dragons and serpents which keep the water/air-faring saurians from crossing to another continent (preventing an unwanted "x" factor to enter in to these closed-environment experiments). Two hundred years later, a star-faring race called the Eridani set out to destroy Earth vessels in space, feeling that Terrans are not ready for interstellar travel. This forces the many-generations-Iater


90 SFRA Newsletter, 789, July/August 7997 orbiting scientists down onto Anee to survive, and rifts develop amidst them. One group wishes to exploit their creations, and become the dreaded Slave Lords; one group wishes to live in harmony with their creations; and one group chooses to remain apart. Centuries after this, the world is drastically changed. The eco-barriers are falling apart...serpents and dragons are dying out. Dinosaurs begin crossing the continents, ravaging populated areas. New races and species are appearing and disappearing with alarming speed as the "Breeders" (half-organic, half-electronic beings created to continue the work of the scientists) go wild. Half-human, half-Neanderthal, half-Yetis; and the like roam the world. And one Tcho-Pwi, Tull, is chosen by fate to save the world by re-creating the eco-barriers ... his mission is to bring the serpents back to the waters for protection. In this story with background and consequences of epic proportions, Wolverton manages to also include character development. We see the maturing of Tull as he interacts with Phylomon (the last original star-faring human), the emotional growth as he deals with women, the spiritual growth as he discovers his ability to Spirit Walk, the mental growth as he faces the dark god of Craa!. All of the characters can be related us, or people we know, or have seen. Derek Hegsted's illustrations add to the epic "feel" of this book. Also seen in this book is the continued growth of Wolverton as an emerging force in SF. The only bad thing about this book, is that it is only the first part ... we have to wait for the sequel. Daryl F. Mallett


Invite a Friend to Join SFRA Membersh ip Appl ication Please mail this completed form with your check for dues, payable to SFRA in U.S. dollars only. Mail to: Edra Bogle, Dept. of English, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas 76203-3827. Dues Schedule: U.S. Canada Overseas Individual $60 $65 $70 Dues __ Joint* 70 75 80 Student** 50 55 60 Other __ Institution 80 80 80 Emeritus*** 30 Total __ If you wish to receive the British journal Foundation (3 issues yearly), add $14 to your dues. Joint membership is for two members in the same household, who will have separate Directory listings, receive two copies of the Newsletter, but will receive one set of the two journals. ** Student membership rate may be used for maximum of five years. *** Emeritus receives only the Newsletter. **** For overseas air mailing of Directory and Newsletter only, add $15. This membership is for calendar year 1992. (This next information will appear in the SFRA Directory:) Name. ____________________________________ __ Mailing Address: ________________________ Telephone: [Home] [Office] [Fax No.] L) __ -__ L) __ -__ U __ __ BitNetNo. ________ __ GEnie Address: ______ My principal interests in fantastic literature are (limit to 30 words): __ Repeat last year's entry. (This subscription form may be copied.) 7/91 (This is NOT a renewal notice)


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SCIENCE FICTION RESEARCH ASSOCIATION, INC. The SFRA is the oldest professional organization for the study of science fiction, fantasy and horror/Gothic literature and film, and utopian studies. Academic affiliation is not a requirement for membership. Founded in 1970, the SFRA was organized to improve classroom teaching, encourage and assist scholarship, and evaluate and publicize new books and magazines dealing with fantastic literature and film. The SFRA enrolls members from many countries, including instructors at all levels, librarians, students, authors, editors, publishers and readers with widely varied inter ests. SFRABENEFITS INCLUDE: EXTRAPOLA TlON. Quarterly. Oldest journal in the field with critical, historical and bibliographical articles, book reviews, letters, occasional spe cial topic issues. *Science Fiction Studies. 3 issues per year. Critical, historical and biblio graphical articles, review articles and reviews, notes, letters. Interna tional coverage with abstracts in French and English. Annual index. *SFRA Newsletter. Ten times yearly (or as directed by the Executive com mittee). Extensive book reviews, both fiction and non-fiction; review articles; listings of new and forthcoming fiction and secondary literature; letters, organizational news, calls for papers, work in progress, etc. *SFRA Directory. Annual. Lists members' names and addresses, phone numbers, special interests, etc. As a member you are also invited to: *attend our annual meetings, where papers are presented, information is shared, and interests are discussed, all in a relaxed, informal environ ment. Much of the significant secondary I iterature is on display at bar gain prices. The Pilgrim and Pioneer Awards for distinguished contribu tions to SF or fantasy scholarship are awarded at a dinner meeting, which the winners normally attend. Many professional writers participate in the conferences. *participate in the association's activities by voting in elections, holding office, contributing to or reviewing for the Newsletter, and serving on committees. The annual membership dues cover only the actual costs of providing ben efits to members, and reflect a modest savings over subscriptions to the publications provided. Your dues may be a tax deductible expense.


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