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n No. 199 (July-August, 1992)
1 3 246
Science Fiction Research Association Review
[Eugene, Ore. :
b Science Fiction Research Association]
c July-August, 1992
Place of publication varies.
x History and criticism
History and criticism
Science Fiction Research Association.
t SFRA Review
The SFRA Review Published ten times a year for the Science Fiction Research Association by Alan Newcomer, Hypatia Press, 360 West First, Eugene, Oregon, 97401. Copyright 1992 by the SFRA. Editorial correspondence: Betsy Harfst, Editor, SFRA Review, 2326 E. Lakecrest Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85234. Send changes of address and/or inquiries concerning subscriptions to the Trea surer, listed below. Note to Publ ishers: 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. Audio-Video materials for review to Michael Klossner, 410 E. 7th St, Apt 3, Little Rock, AR 72202 SFRA EXECUTIVE COMMITIEE President Peter Lowentrout, Dept. of Religious Studies California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840 Vice-President Muriel Becker, Montclair State College Upper Montclair, NJ 07043 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 Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 31 nounced her intention to resign as Editor as soon as a replacement is named; send nominations to Peter Lowentrout. Business: 1) Conference Director Steve Lehman reported that the 1992 meeting had about 45 regular registrants, 40 student registrants, and five "walk-in" participants. He estimated the conference would break even fi nancially, and that participants who needed receipts should contact him. 2) The membership expressed its deep appreciation and congratulations to Steve Lehman for an excellent meeting. 3) The 1993 Conference will be held in Reno, Nevada, June 17-20; Chair Milton Wolf reported an impressive array of potential guests, good hotel rates, good restaurants, and many opportunities for vacation fun in Reno (look for his reports in the Review). For information or programming suggestions, Wolf may be contacted by regu lar mail orthrough E-mail at SFWOLF@UNSSUN.UNR.EDU. 4) Lowentrout announced a number of possible sites for the 1994 meeting are being considered; persons interested in hosting this meeting should contact Pete a.s.a.p. He also said he would appoint Pilgrim and Pioneer Committee members soon; nominations for the Pilgrim Award recipient should be made to Donald M. Hassler. 5) Lynn Williams will advertise SFRA at the Utopian Society meeting in the Fall. 6) At the request of Neil Barron, the members present were asked to discuss the idea of reducing dues by making journal subscriptions voluntary; no one supported the concept, preferring to keep subscriptions to Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies a part of the benefits of membership. The meeting was adjourned at 10:28 a.m. Respectfu II y su bm itted, David Mead, Secretary The Shape of Films to Come June, 1992-A prison planet named Fiorina 161 is the setting for Alien 3; an uninhabitable world where its only living inhabitants exist within underground caverns of steel walls. This movie sequel has the mechanized, lived-in look of Alien and Aliens, but it is lacking in real suspense, real sur prise, and real audience empathy for the characters. It is directed by David Fincher, based on a story by Vincent Ward, and with a screenplay by David Giler, Walter Hill, and Larry Ferguson. Although it is produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler, and Walter Hill, actress Sigourney Weaver is credited as co-producer. I suspect it was that credit which added incentive to Sigourney Weaver's starring in the film. It probably wouldn't have seen the completion of its production without her return as Ripley.
SFRA Review #199 July/August/September 1992 In This Issue: President's Message (Lowentrout) .................................................. .4 Selected 1992 Conference Reports ................................................. 5 1993 Conference Plans (Wolf)) ....................................................... 8 Pioneer Presentation (Gordon) ........................................................ 9 Pioneer Acceptance (Csicseray-Ronay) ......................................... 11 Pilgrim Presentation (Lewis) .......................................................... 11 Pilgrim Acceptance (Hillegas) ....................................................... 14 Campaign Statements ................................................................... 15 Proposed By-laws Amendments (Becker) ...................................... 18 Recent & Forthcoming Books (Barron) ......................................... 21 News & Information (Barron, et al) .............................................. 24 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes (Mead) ............................. 27 Business Meeting Minutes (Mead) ................................................ 29 The Shape of Films to Come (Krulik) ............................................. 31 Letters to the Editor ....................................................................... 33 Editorial Matters (Harfst) ............................................................... 36 REVIEWS: Non-Fiction Benedikt, ed., Cyberspace: First Steps. (Stevens) ......................... 38 Burgess, Reference Guide to SF/F/Horror. (Barron) ..................... 39 Clark, Modem Satiric Grotesque and Its Traditions. (Williams) .............. .40 Gunn, Inside Science Fiction: ........... Essays on Fantastic Literature. (Barron) .......................... .41 Hall, comp., SF & F Book Review Index. (Barron) ...................... .42 Herdman, Double in Nineteenth-Century Fiction. (Stableford) ....... .43 Ketterer, Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy. (Ruddick) ......... 44 McCaffery, ed., Storming Reality Studio: ........... Cyberpunk and Postmodern SF. (Dudley) ....................... .46 Noll, Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons. (Hollinger) ............ .48 Raeper, ed., Gold Thread: ........... Essays on George MacDonald. (Attebery) ...................... .49 Slade, Thomas Pynchon. (Sanders) ............................................. 50 Thomas, Disney's Art of Animation. (Albert) ............................... 51
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 3 Fiction Reviews: Blaylock, Lord Kelvin's Machine. (Mallett) ................................. 53 Bradley, ed., Leroni of Darkover. (Mullen & Berman) ............... 53 Brin, Earth. (Collins) .................................................................... 54 Cunningham, Elfshadow. (Wells) ................................................ 55 Rabe, Red Magic. (Wells) ........................................................... 55 Dann & Dozois, eds., Magicats II. (Hitt) ..................................... 56 Dean, Tam Lin. (Chapman) ......................................................... 56 de Lint, Spiritwalk. (Strai n) .......................................................... 57 Dietz, Drifter. (Dudley) ............................................................... 58 Farmer. Red Orc's Rage. (Chapman) ............................................ 59 Herbert, Lightning's Daughter. (Gardiner-Scott) .......................... 60 Kelly, Cloud People. (Gardiner-Scott) ......................................... 60 Logston, Shadow. (Gardiner-Scott) ............................................. 61 Menick, Lingo. (Erlich) ............................................................... 62 Rabe, Red Magic. (Wells) ........................................................... 55 Special Section: Convention Photos ....................................................................... 63
4 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 President's Message: Le Prochain Message Presidentiel I am sitting in plush quarters in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, typing this at all of you who are "up the line" (as Silverberg might say). We have just now wrapped up our 23rd annual meeting here, and the venue was so nice that I hope we return sooner rather than later. Steve Lehman did a great job for us. Our next conference will be held June 17-20, 1993, in Reno, Nevadabe sure to see conference director Milton Wolf's announcement of the con ference in this issue of the Review. If you don't get to it, I suspect this will be one conference that you'll be sorry you missed. Plan early to attend. We are going to be slowly racheting down the costs of the Review in the months ahead. The cost to us of Extrapolation has been raised three dollars, and the current costs of the Review, whi Ie sustainable without reduction through the rest of this year, would require a dues raise next year to keep our accounts in balance. The EC is not in favor of a dues increase so soon af ter the increase of last year, so we will be containing costs. Thus, the Review will be published at about 65 pages in the future. Reviews of horror and non-SF critical works will cease. The strong continuing focus of the Review will be SF&F literature and criticism. Further, very strong preference will be given to member reviewers. As a result of these changes, even with the moderate reduction in pages, opportunities for members to review SF&F should increase. To contain future costs, the EC is asking the membership to approve a change in the By-laws that will extend the rights and privileges of Emeritus membership to Pilgrim winners and past presidents, rather than the current Active membership. Thus, future Pilgrims and honoraries would become Emeritus members of the SFRA and receive the Review and the Directory, but the SFRA would no longer pay their subscriptions to Extrapolation and SFS. Former Pilgrim winners would continue to receive the rights and privi leges of Active members, at least for now. The Ali's Well that Ends Well Department: Despite the opposition of the College of Humanities faculty promotion committee to my early promotion to full professor, the Provost of my university has just promoted me. His letter entirely discounts the objections of the committee to SF scholarship and it politely excoriates (if you can imagine such a thing) said committee. Ho! Ho! Pete Lowentrout
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 5 Present Trends in Feminist SF This discussion panel included three science fiction writers and two critics, all women, all self-identified feminists. I began by asking if there are indeed significant trends in feminist SF different from more general trends in the genre. Certainly the strongly overt messages of 70's feminist SF and the feminist utopian/dystopian novels of the '80's represented clear trends; is there such a direction now? What followed were opening statements by the four other panelists and such a lively question and answer period from the packed room that I had almost no time for my page full of prepared questions; other teachers will agree that this marked a successful event. Helen Collins, whose first novel, Mutogenesis is due out from TOR in january, discussed her own example as an unconscious rather than conscious trend. After reading Ellen Moers' Literary Women, she realized that her own novel's setting represented the female body as clearly as Moers had observed in writers such as Cather. Elisabeth Vonarburg, whose Silent Citywill appear in August in the U.S. and In the Mother's Land in August in Canada and in November in the U.S. from Bantam, had read lots of Tepper, Arneson, LeGuin, Butler, Bujold, Murphy, etc., and found them all to be highly individual voices, all conscious of asking feminist questions. The third writer, joan Slonczewski, said that feminist SF had matured enough to have many and overlapping trends. She said the struggle now was over whether bringing in women's values feeds stereotypes: do women writ ers then canonize negative images of women? Joan's next novel, Daughter of Elyseum, which takes place in the same universe as Door Into Ocean, is due out next year from Avon/Morrow. Veronica Hollinger, my fellow critic, listed eight books which blur boundaries including those of genre, and which use the SF icon of metamor phosis: Emma Bull's Bone Dance, Pat Cadigan's Sunners, Carol Emshwiller's Carmen Dog, Elizabeth Hand's Winterlong, Nancy Kress's Alien Light, Pat Murphy's City, Not Long After, Sheri Tepper's Beauty, and joan Vinge's Cat's Paw. She pled for critics to write about someone besides LeGuin and listed many other women writers worth study. Joan Cordon, Chair SOCIAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES IN SF Darren Wershler-Henry began his consideration of "No Deposit, No Return: Corporeal Inscription in SF's Megacorporate Futures" with a reference to Gulliver's Laputa, thus immediately inviting the audience to consider the irony of the irrational as sanity. Wershler-Henry expanded jack Womack's coca cola image in Terraplane to argue that when bodies are
6 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 inscribed, those bodies become texts. In addition, when marked with trade marks, such signification may result in a type of Nietzchean servitude. The second speaker, Patricia Gordon, argued in "No Boundaries: Peace making in Door Into Ocean" that Joan Sionzewski reveals the peace system of the women of Shora being severely tested by the militaristic men and women of Valedon. Yet, Gordon believes, each door is at least slightly opened-perhaps to be expected in a non-violent community where the language itself is conducive to peace and the most cruel punishment is unspeaking or in the rare case of murder, exile. Last, Susan Stone-Blackburn spoke of "Consciousness, Evolution and Early Telepathic Tales." She related the development of telepathy to con sciousness, projecting that the next stage will be direct telepathy, proving the reality of PSI or, as she termed it, "psience fiction." Stone-Blackburn identified Bulwer-Lytton's 1871 The Coming Race as the first psi novel pub lished and later referred to Albert Bigelow Paine's 1902 The Great White Way as an early speculation about the reality of the mind and the possibil ity of humanity evolving to perfection. Muriel Becker, Chair "Publishing in Megacorporate America" Writers Phyllis Gotlieb, Joan Slonczewski, and Bruce Sterling and edi tors David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer participated in this session (chaired by Robert M. Philmus) on the state of SF publishing in the U.S. More or less in accordance with an outline suggested by Cristina Sedgewick's "The Fork in the Road: Can Science Fiction Survive in Postmodern Megacorporate America?" (Science-Fiction Studies #53, March 1991), the first topic for consideration was censorship and self-censorship. While all three writer panelists declared that these were not a problem for them, Phyllis and Joan in particular used phrases which eerily resonated with Sedgewick's remarks on the subject: Phyllis reported that she frequently encountered resistance from (would-be) publishers of her work on the grounds that "This [story] is a downer"; and Joan confessed that she has to overcome a voice telling her, "I can't write this because it won't be pub lished" (though she emphasized the difficulty of discriminating such self censorship from self-indulgence). It is also worth noting that neither Phyllis nor Joan depends upon writing for a livelihood; as for Bruce, he had demonstrated his contempt for money in an earlier session by tearing up a (Ca nadian) $5 bill (not, however, without hesitating for a moment or two be fore doing so-and also by way of demonstrating an excellent point of a dif ferent sort: about what is real).
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 7 The next segment of the discussion centered on the problems connected with the publishing industry vis-a-vis readers/consumers and teachers of SF. Here Kathryn and David pitched in with their considerable expertise to make the following points, among others. (1) SF publishing is now largely being controlled by a small number of book distributors/bookstore chains (a dozen such in North America and a fraction of that number in England). (2) These are looking for more or less the same sort of stuff (conforming to tried and-true bestseller formulas). (3) This conservative tendency is exacerbated by the fact that the number of positions open to (would-be) editors of SF has diminished dramatically, so that SF editors are more fearful than ever of making decisions that could cost them their jobs/livelihood. (4) We can expect to encounter increasing difficulties (already quite visible, according to a consensus of the 40 or so people present at this session) with books being "out of print" (OP) or "out of stock-this thanks, chiefly, to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, now more than a decade old, which transformed publishers' stocks from a tax asset into a tax liability (the decision had to do with a case involving the Thor Power Tool Corp.). (5) For that and other economic reasons, we would be foolish to imagine that "name-brand" pub lishing houses (all of which are by now mega-incorporated) will, as a rule, reissue OP titles: as Kathryn put it (perhaps a bit optimistically), 75% [of such titles] will never be in print again" (if, that is, we leave the matter up to megacorporate publishers). The final segment dealt with practical solutions to the problems that emerged from the foregoing discussion. There are three things we can do, individually and/or as an organization, to remedy to some extent an unsat isfactory situation. First, we should patronize independent (SF) bookstores, not bookstore chains (though we needn't go so far as to adopt a strategy consistent with one of Bruce's suggestions and start a campaign of bumper stickers reading, "Have You Offed a Book Distributor Today?"). Second, we should lobby for U.S. legislation that would neutralize the Thor decision by making book stocks tax-neutral-in which regard, the SFRA should seek to enlist the help of the Modern Language Assn., whose members are as much affected as we are (though that doesn't mean that we'll find an ally in the MLA, which has a long history of ignoring problems specific to the profes sion of teaching literature). Finally, we might explore the possibility of find ing a small press-or presses-to reissue a select number of now OP SF titles, those titles to be determined on the basis of a survey of SFRA members who are giving courses in SF. It should be added that there are at least two questions arising in or from the first segment of the discussion which were either left hanging or were not properly addressed. One is the question of what (SF) books exactly are not
8 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 getting published these days (and why). The other is whether-or in what sense-this involves censorship. There seemed to be a lot of agreement with Phyllis's pronouncement on the latter subject: that "People refusing to pub lish your work is not censorship"-i.e., censorship must be a matter of gov ernment policy to qualify as such. But the assumptions thus being made may be worth looking into in some future SFRA panel discussion on "SF and Censorship" especially in view of certain PBS programs (in the Frontline and a Bill Moyers' series) as to what "government" in the West currently entails, but also with consideration to present Congressional moves to cut back on or eliminate PBS's government funds. Robert M. Philmus 1993 SFRA Reno Conference Westward Ho! Now is the time to start planning for your trip to Reno, Nevada, site of SFRA's 24th Annual Meeting, June 17-20, 1993. Do you want to chair a panel? Present a paper? Discuss such topics as: Cyberpunk or bunk? Artificial Intelligence? Virtual Reality? Genetic Enhancements? Information Dissemination? Feminist Speculative Fiction? Women Fiction Characters? Bibliographic Pitfalls? Imagination as Survival? Postmodern Lit? Voice-Mail, E-Mail, Snail-Mail me your thoughts. I am very open to suggestions for this conference. Need an official letter requesting your esteemed presence to convince that skeptical dean or department chair? Let's put it together NOW! Look who's coming already: Poul Anderson, Robert Silverberg, Jack Vance, Timothy Leary, Vernor Vinge, Lisa Mason, Tom Maddox, Connie Willis, David Brin, Karen Haber, Fritz Leiber, Kim Stanley Robinson, Pat Murphy, Charles Brown. Why not join them in the "Biggest Little City" in the World. Lake Tahoe and historic Virginia City are less than an hour's drive away. Take a chance, you may win big. The Hilton Hotel has given us special rates ($80 per room) and they offer courtesy service to and from the airport. There are also lots of other hotels in the area. Contact me: Milton T. Wolf, SFRA Conference Chair, Getchell Library, University of Nevada, Reno; Reno, Nevada 89557-0044; OR Internet: SFWOLF@UNSSUN, UNR.Edu; OR Voice: 702-784-4577; OR FAX: 702784-1751. Milton T. Wolf, Chair 1993 SFRA Conference
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 9 1992 Pioneer Presentation The Pioneer Award is just young -tonight marks only its third presen tation -and its rotating committee is, we believe, still feeling its way in establishing the award's particular character. Certainly, the three of us (Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, Russell Letson] struggled with a fine field of essays on science fiction to decide which of them was best in some way, which one stood out from all the others. We managed rather swiftly to narrow the field down to three but, unfortunately, with each of us leaning toward a different candidate. Although I suspect each of us secretly prefers our original favorite, we all agreed on a set of standards for the award which most perfectly applies to the excellent essay upon which we finally decided. It was by working from these standards that we arrived at a consensus. The question of what constitutes the best essay is not simple. Among the essays we considered were author studies, explications of texts, typologi cal essays, meditations both personal and philosophical, and theoretical examinations, all of superior quality. (One committee member has maintained right along that this fact alone suggests that a short-list of notable essays, an honor roll, makes better sense than a single prize.) We found the essays not only in the four academic journals devoted to such criticism. We found them in non-SF journals as well, as the field has become more widely recognized. A particularly rich source for stimulating criticism was that category of publications which hovers between pro-and fanzine status where we found many essays employing critical rigor and an eye for controversy. Among others, I refer to The New York Review of Science Fiction and Science Fiction Eye. As in the past, we relied not only upon our own reading in these and other publications but, because good work continues to pop up in unexpected places, upon your recommendations as both read ers and writers of short critical works. Please keep helping. We felt that the winning essay should combine as many virtues as pos sible ina small container. Although we read a number of fi ne author stud ies and explications of text, we wanted our ideal to have a broader appli cation than to an understanding of a single text or author. It was by look ing for range of application that we were able to narrow our field. After that, we struggled to decide upon the single essay which not only had broad applicability to the study of SF but which was versatile in other ways as well. We wanted an essay both accessible and challenging, both pragmatic and theoretical, combining the concrete with the abstract, rigorously organized but surprising, and stimulating to a range of scholars as diverse as those in this room and as those on this committee.
10 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Therefore, it is our pleasure this year to present the SFRA's 1991 Pioneer Award for best academic study of science fiction to Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr, for his essay "The SF of Theory: Baudrillard and Haraway," which ap peared in the November 1991 Science-Fiction Studies as part of a special issue on "Science Fiction and Postmodernism." Csicsery-Ronay also conceived and edited this special issue, a project resulting from his long-stand ing interest in the ways in which postmodernity has intersected with both science fiction and science-fiction theory over the course of the last two decades. The key to Csicsery-Ronay's focus in "The SF of Theory" is his contention that SF names not a generic effects engine of literature and simulation arts ... so much as a mode of awareness" (387). He argues that SF has become a form of discourse that directly engages postmodern language and culture and has (for the moment at least) a privileged position because of its generic interest in the intersec tion of technology, scientific theory, and social practice .... It re flects and engages the technological culture that is coming to pervade every aspect of human society. (388) In order to develop this argument, Csicsery-Ronay examines the writings of two extremely influential and decidedly original theorists of the postmodern condition. The first is Jean Baudrillard, whose iron icaliy apoca lyptic commentary on the implosion of the Real is most dearly articulated in his essay, "The Precession of Simulacra"; the second is Donna Haraway, whose "A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Femi nism in the 1980s" has given impetus to a new approach to feminism within the context of the post-industrial West, an approach most frequently referred to as "cyborg feminism." In spite of radical differences in their theoretical writings, Csicsery-Ronay demonstrates how both Baudrillard and Haraway "have explicitly associated their theoretical work with SF .... 11 (389), cre ating in the process the new fusion of SF and theory which is the subject of his dense and fascinating essay. "The SF of Theory" reminds us that science fiction is more than just a literary subgenre, that it has become, for cultural analysts like Baudrillard and Haraway, "a mode of awareness," one influential way of conceptualizing the present. It would be a mistake to perceive this as some kind of appropriation of the field, however; rather, we should welcome it as a glimpse of the growing importance of SF within contemporary culture. The potential of this special "mode of awareness" has barely been tapped as yet. And, as Csicsery-Ronay demonstrates in his analyses, there are directions available for our own work in SF which we have barely glimpsed as yet. "The SF of Theory" is an important and original essay
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 11 which expands the boundaries of both science fiction and science-fiction theory. As such, it deserves our serious attention-it also deserves this year's Pioneer Award. Joan Cordon 1992 Pioneer Acceptance Dear Friends, I am honored, delighted, and surprised by this award. I'd like to thank the committee, and salute the SFRA membership and wish it "bon courage" as SF criticism gradually replaces other discourses in cultural and literary theory. Thank you. Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Delivered by Arthur B. Evans Pilgrim Presentation Mark R. Hillegas, 1992 Pilgrim Award The Pilgrim Award for 1992 goes to one of the true pioneers in the field of Science Fiction scholarship. Born 26 Decemner 1926, he holds his bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia, Michigan, Colgate, and, after 1970, at Southern Illinois University, becoming Professor Emeritus of English in 1982. I first met Mark R. Hillegas at the initial MLA Seminar in Science Fiction in 1958, and I am proud to represent the SFRA, direct descendant of those MLA seminars, in presenting a brief tribute to him and his work on this occasion. Over the years the SFRA has been concerned with research, scholarship, and teaching of science fiction and the closely related fields of fantasy and utopia, and with their relationship to science, technology, and other aspects of society. Mark Hillegas has contributed in all these areas, beginning with his doctoral dissertation where he discussed "the major transformations [that] took place in the use of the idea of other inhabited worlds in serious discussions and in fiction (DAI, 1957,2001). In his most recent contribution to Extrapolation he describes something of his own involvement in "science fiction through an early, intense interest in astronomy, imaginary journeys through space, and fiction about extraterrestrial beings and life on other worlds" ("Road" 364). He goes on to describe his flirtation with astronomy as a possible profession, his doctoral dissertation and early science fiction teaching, and the later concern that "fiction about aliens and other worlds was hardly as important as that which dealt with utopia and dystopia," a
12 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 concern that led him to concentrate more heavily on science fiction that offered social criticism"(370). Mark is a quiet man who has stayed close to home in recent years, but his presence in our field began early and continues. His course in Science Fiction, at Colgate in 1962, was the first of the many college level courses in science fiction and related areas now taught throughout the world, the true beginning of what Jack Williamson has called "the classroom boom" (Williamson 9). In one of several articles on teaching science fiction, Hillegas described both the problem and immediate results of teaching such courses: "Professors of English have to be intellectually conservative by the very nature of their discipline" ("Course" 20). In deference to "colleagues whose oft repeated question was: 'You don't really think science fiction is literature?'" over the first half dozen years he had to alter his course: "Re treating somewhat from my original intentions, I have tried to make the course appear more academically respectable" (19). (It should be noted a similar attitude contributed to the inability of participants in the seminars to gain recognition as a permanent subdivision of MLA-a situation which, of course, had the happy ending of leading to organization of the SFRA.) In later articles he has described his own experiences in such courses over the years and has presented cogent arguments about appropriate books, recurring obstacles, and strategies both for offering and for supporting science fiction courses. But as recently as 1980 he admits that, despite growing numbers of courses in science fiction, it is "a form whose content escapes the grasp of a majority of professors of English .... The best courses," he goes on, "will end up being taught in other disciplines, where there are many professors at the same time both literate and knowledgeable in the sciences" ("Science Fiction," Williamson 1 01). In the academic world, teaching, even of the traditional material, seldom has much bearing on tenure and departmental recognition, and if Mark's only contributions had been in teaching and writing about teaching, it is doubtful that we would be recognizing him now. But he is also a scholar of great ability whose writings in both the traditional areas expected of a member of an English Department and in the newer-to us more interesting-areas of science fiction and fantasy are imaginative, significant, and useful, very useful studies. More often than not they have served to blur the line between mainstream and science fiction studies-how I hate that pe jorative, disdainful distinction! by pointing out the literary merit of the latter as well as its appropriateness for understanding of society. Thus, in his first book, The Future As Nightmare (1967), anti-utopias, "one of the most revealing indexes of our age," as he puts it (3), are shown to be a significant result of both the utopian and the counter-utopian works
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 13 of H. G. Wells. Most of the book is concerned with Wells and some of those among the utopian and anti-utopian writers who, like Wells himself, were also accepted for other more traditional works, Huxley, Orwell, C. S. Lewis, Capek, Zamiatin, for example. But in the later chapters, Hillegas considers the utopian/anti-utopian appearances of the same phenomena; here are the familiar science fiction writers, Asimov, Clarke, Pohl, Williamson, Bradbury, Simak, Vonnegut, and others whose works appear often in our SFRA discussions and in the courses we teach. Major credit for acceptance of such materials can certainly be attributed to this early, successful, and influential effort to unite the so-called "mainstream" and science fiction. Science fiction has often been described as the myth of the machine civilization and fantasy as the reaction of those disappointed or even hos tile to the view that in expanding science and technology lies continuing progress. Among those who belong in this latter category are the subjects of Hillegas' second, edited, book: Shadows of Imagination (1969, rev. ed. 1979), which is concerned with C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams, three friends, part of a literary circle that met twice weekly at Oxford shortly after World War 1. Their works, closer to epic and romance than to the realistic novel which had dominated the nineteenth century, mark the "emerging, as it were, [of fantasy) from the underground of cult ists," ("Introduction, Shadows xiv). The editor of the series in which the book appeared frankly expressed his view that this is "a book about three authors he finds unreadable" (Moore v). Nevertheless, a dozen able critics demonstrate, as Hillegas puts it, a "high order of excellence" and appeal for "the literary community" of the three authors considered (xiv-xv). The book has a close connection with the SFRA, for in 1966 Hillegas had chaired the MLA science fiction seminar on Lewis and Tolkien; its extra-ordinary success made it seem "worthwhile to carry the discussion over into a book" (xviii). The book was an immediate success with all but the most conservative of English PhDs, and was re-issued in revised version ten years later. Hillegas has published articles in a wide variety of periodicals (for ex ample, Saturday Review, Satire Newsletter, Nation, New Mexico Quarterlycloser to home, he was a mainstay of the early years of Extrapolation, with a half dozen pieces that covered a variety of interests) as well as in several specialized book collections. In many of these he succeeded in demonstrat ing significant connections between science fiction and several societal developments. A good example is "Victorian 'Extraterrestials'," which ties together journeys to"another world in space" (391), our "deep need to find that we are not alone," the changed conditions of human life in the nineteenth century because of scientific and technological advances, and the contrasting views of H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis, and "leading exponents today
14 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 of large-scale efforts to establish contact with extraterrestrial civilizations" (414), a wide-ranging group of ideas, to be sure, but a clear statement of the value of the fields in which the SFRA is interested. Similarly, some years earlier in an "Afterword" to an American edition of Lasswitz' Out of Two Planets (1971) he had tied that novel to man's first landing on the moon by way of its influence on Werner von Braun and other German scientists and engineers who were to be instrumental in developing space travel. Mark Hillegas began his first contribution to Extrapolation, "Science Fiction and the Idea of Progress," which appeared in the second issue, May 1960, with a statement of belief "that science fiction has permanent value only when it says something important about man and his life" (25). A few years later in his"Afterword"to Lasswitz' Two Planets, he wrote, "To survive [in a hostile universe] man has need to master both himself and nature, and this requires knowledge, intelligence, and a superior ethic" (383). Most of us, I suspect, would agree with him and would further agree that he has made a significant difference both in the reception of science fiction as a worthy field for literary and social scholarship and in its ability to move us toward the goal of better understanding of ourselves and the universe in which we live. Finally, it is well worth noting that his dissertation on "The Cosmic Voyage and the Doctrine of Inhabited Worlds in Nineteenth Century English Literature" was written under the direction of Marjorie Nicolson, the second recipient of the Pilgrim Award. I find it most appropriate that her student, an early leader of science fiction scholarship in his own right, Mark Robert Hillegas, should now be named the 23rd recipient of the Pilgrim Award. Arthur o. Lewis Chair, Pilgrim Award Committee Pilgrim Acceptance Back in the late 60s at a "Secondary Universe Conference held at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, I gave a short talk titled, "Fantasy as a Revolutionary Activity." The study and teaching of science fiction and fantasy as well as of utopian literature and thought were for me a kind of rebellion against the old order in the humanities. Of course, this rebellion was part of a much larger upheaval going on in the culture, which included the Vietnam War Protest, the Sexual Revo lution, and the liberation of college students from the idea of college as standing in loco parentis. It would take an army of historians and sociolo gists to explain adequately what happened.
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 15 I believe that the Science Fiction Research Association and journals such as Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies came into existence in large part because of the cultural upheaval of which I speak. As the first serious study of science fiction, J. O. Bailey's pioneering 1947 book, still the model, Pilgrims through Space & Time, foreshadows the revo lution about to take place. I vividly remember hunting down a used copy of Bailey's book in a New York bookstore in the late '50s. It pointed the way for me. I wish to thank you for bestowing upon me the '92 Pilgrim Award. I also want to comment on what a lively, courteous, gentle, and friendly group of people the SFRA appears to be. A great contrast to the dull, pedantic, and sometimes bloodthirsty lot that once populated the Modern Lan guage Association. Again, thank you. Mark R. Hillegas For President David Mead Campaign Statements If I had my way, SFRA's next President would be a famous scholar/au thor/teacher of science fiction, a superb organizer of people and procedures, and a genial, tireless worker whose personal reward for service would be the growth and health of the Science Fiction Research Association. Imagine, then, my sense of inadequacy to stand for this office. Lacking fame as a scholar in the field, I can only pledge to do my best to make sure the various activities of the Association the Review, the Pilgrim and Pio neer selection, our relations with Extrapolation and Science-Fiction Studies, the annual meeting, even publishing the long-awaited annual Proceedings -are conducted effectively, responsibly, and responsively. I will do what I can to maintain the SFRA's special quality as an open, congenial forum for the study of a literature we all love. And as I have done for four years as Secretary, I will continue to work to build our membership. David Mead Milton T. Wolf I would be honored to be the President of SFRA. I have been a mem ber since 1979 when I was the Program Chair for the annual meeting. As a former Pilgrim recently said about me: "He set back political correctness a millennium." I believe my approach to things in general is one of practicality
16 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 and forthrightness. I am a writer, scholar, teacher and librarian and have managed the political hierarchy sufficiently to achieve the rank of full pro fessor. I have been employed at several universities: The Pennsylvania State University, Wright State University, The University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill and The University of Nevada, Reno. I have over 60 publications in different fields, was the founding editor of TECHNICALITIES, and have written for LOCUS, LIBRARY JOURNAL, THE NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCI ENCE FICTION and am currently working on a book on the future of genetic and robotic sexual enhancements. My greatest single strength, as far as SFRA is concerned, is my numer ous professional contacts across numerous interdisciplinary fields. It has often occurred to me that SFRA could make "common cause" with numer ous other associations without jeopardizing its autonomy and yet increase both its influence, prosperity and publications. To list only a few organiza tions which could assist each other in common endeavors involving mutual publications, distribution of such, membership benefits, cross-fertilization of ideas, occasional joint meetings, and public recognition of the importance of science fiction, I would suggest potential liaisons with: the American Li brary Association, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, The Society for Utopian Studies, the Science Fiction Writers Association and various publishing groups (including such gargantuan distributors as Baker & Taylor). I have already been successful in wedding all of these associa tions to programs of mutual benefit (again without compromising one iota of autonomy). With energy, perseverance and direction SFRA could foster a synthesis of cooperative adventures which would "mainstream" SF and the association. If Dave Mead, the other candidate is elected, I would offer my services to him. I do not want to be President just to be President. I am more interested in accomplishing worthwhile challenges and enjoying the cama raderie and insights that have always accrued to me as a member of SFRA. For Vice President Muriel Rogow Becker Milton T. Wolf Having been SFRA vice-president these last two years has been an honor. Thank you for haVing elected me. I am even more pleased now that the Nominating Committee feels I functioned well enough to be considered for a second term. Thus, if I am re-elected, I will continue to search for new members, to respond to membership inquiries, and to satisfactorily complete any additional task assigned to me by the Executive Committee. Of all the professional organizations I belong to, SFRA has my complete devotion. Murial Rogow Becker
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 17 Beverly Friend Beverly Friend, a founding member of SFRA, edited the SFRA Newslet ter from 1974-78, and is currently a member of the Board of Editors of Extrapolation. Her Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University in 1975 produced a dissertation on the Science Fiction Fan Cult. During that time, she also wrote Science Fiction: The Classroom in Orbit (Educational Impact, 1974). Friend has written and lectured about SF nationally and internation ally and is currently teaching an annual SF course at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, IL, where she is a professor of English and journal ism. For Secretary Carolyn Wendell I fell in love with science fiction when I was eleven. Until I was in my late twenties, I was a closet reader. Then I found out about SFRA and fell in love again. I've been a member of SFRA since my first conference (Milwau kee, 1974). Since then, I've always been re-energized by the annual meet ing and kicked myself for everyone I missed. SFRA has given me a great deal, and I am honored to be asked to return some of those gifts in the form of service as secretary. Carolyn Wendell Joan Gordon I have been a member of SFRA for about 15 years and a faithful attendee of its annual meetings since 1985 when I moved to a hub for cheap plane fares, so perhaps you can place my name to my face. I'm Joan Gordon. As secretary of SFRA, it would be my goal to handle my duties with as much efficiency and grace as my predecessor, David Mead. I see my position as requiring more prompt attention to detail than inspired thought, but will attempt to apply the latter whenever appropriate without neglecting the former. Joan Gordon For Treasurer Robert J. Ewald I have been a member of SFRA since 1977, and in those fifteen years, I have only missed three conferences (alas, one will be 1992 in Montreal). I am a Professor of English, teaching science fiction when I can, at a small university in northwestern Ohio, but more significantly, I have been reading
18 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 and loving science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over 50 years (I read my first issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories at age 10 in 1939). For SFRA, I once served on the Membership Committee under past Presi dent james Gunn because of my computer background. I have been play ing with computers since 1958 and am presently employed when not teach ing as a systems analyst for a consulting firm here in Findlay, Ohio. (I know it sounds crazy, but I prefer teaching to computing.) I have held various offices in local NCTE groups and was for a brief span Chair of the Humanities Division here at the University of Findlay. I prize my "annual" friendships in SFRA very deeply and eagerly anticipate meet ing with my friends every summer. As treasurer, I would be very honored to serve SFRA, but if another can didate should win, I can "stand and wait" with the best of them. Robert J. Ewald DARYL F. MALLETT When I joined SFRA in 1990, I was the youngest member. I would haz ard a guess that I am still the youngest. My youth has not left me ignorant, nor has my experience been sufficient enough to leave me jaded. I have great enthusiasm for the diaspora of science fiction ... the fiction, the research, the bibliographic, the scholarly, the study of, the writing, the writers and everyone else behind it all. I devote most of my energies to the field ... 1 have read it all my life, I write it and edit it, I research it, I bibliograph it...1 am very concerned about the future of the field, and would like to do my part. I hope to contribute to the furthering of SF, Fantasy, and Horror by serving as an officer in SFRA. I want to insure that work of such esteemed members like the late Donald Wollheim, or jack Williamson, or jim Gunn do not come to naught. I will do my best to keep SFRA growing and running smoothly in any way I can, and this opportunity to serve as Treasurer is the first step in that direction. Daryl F. Mallett PROPOSED BY-LAWS AMENDMENTS EXPLANATIONS The Executive Committee of the Science Fiction Research Association recommends the passage of the following four proposals as amendments to the SFRA By-laws. First, wherever it appears in the By-laws, replace SFRA Newsletter or "Newsletter" with SFRA Review. Second and third, meet the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code for organizations exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (c)(3) by including in the By-laws explicitly stated purposes and an article that specifies what happens to any
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 19 monies should we cease operation. Fourth, re-evaluate the benefits received by Honorary Members. While the first three amendments are pro forma, the fourth may need explanation. It has always been a pleasure to remit dues of Honorary Mem bers and to provide them with both the SFRA Newsletter and the Directory, the official SFRA publications. Until recently, it was possible to budget the cost of both Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies as further benefits. Now Extrapolation, which for thirteen years has not been an official SFRA publication, has announced a rate increase; printing costs of our own publi cations have risen appreciably; and, as we approach 24 years of operation, the number of Pilgrim Award winners and past presidents receiving extra publica tions has naturally grown. The cost of providing Honorary Members with addi tional publications has become prohibitive. The effect of passing this fourth amendment would permit our dues structure to remain now as it currently is. (Please note: All proposed changes appear in italics.) FIRST: Change word "Newsletter" to SFRA Review in Article III: Meetings of Members Sections 2., 2.d. & 2.e. Article IV: Executive Committee Sections 2. & 4. Article VI: Elections Section 5. Article VIII: Publications Sections 2.a. & 4. Article X: Amendments Section 2 SECON D: Add "Purposes" to By-laws. A T PRESENT: ARTICLE I Name Section 1. The organization shall be named, known, and styled as the Science Fiction Research Association. It is incorporated in the state of Ohio as a non-profit organization. PROPOSED: ARTICLE I Name and Purpose Section 2 SFRA is irrevocably dedicated to educational and beneficial purposes, fostering the common interests of its members in the field of science fiction and fantasy by encouraging new scholarship, furthering exellence in teaching at all levels of instruction, exchanging information among students and scholars throughout the world, improving access to published and unpublished materials, aiding in building library research collections, and promoting the publication of scholarly books and works pertinent to the fields of science fiction and fantasy. SFRA also promotes the advancement of this field of study by providing financial assistance or by conferring appropriate honors upon worthy writers, students, or scholars.
20 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 THIRD: Add a "Dissolution" Article. (Create a new article inserting it after ARTICLE IX Affiliate Organizations and before the final article on Amendments) Change ARTICLE X Amendments to ARTICLE XI Amendments and insert ARTICLE X Assignment of Assets Section 1 Should SFRA cease to be a viable organization, dissolution shall be ef fected in the same manner as amending the Bylaws described in Article XI. Section 2 In the case of a dissolution, the Executive Committee shall determine at that time to which qualified tax exempt fund, foundation, and/or corporation organized or operating for charitable or educational purposes any SFRA assets remaining after payment of debts or provision thereof shall be distributed and paid. FOURTH: Provide for Honorary Members AT PRESENT: ARTICLE II Membership Section 2.b. Honorary Members: Recipients of the Pilgrim Award and past presidents upon expiration of their term on the Executive Committee shall be honorary members. They shall pay no dues but shall have the full rights and privileges of active members if they so choose. PROPOSED: ARTICLE II Membership Section 2.b. Honorary Members: Recipients of the Pilgrim Award and past presidents upon expiration of their term on the Executive Committee shall be honorary members. They shall pay no dues but shall receive the official publications of the SFRA designated in ARTICLE VIII, sections 2 and 3 if they so choose. [Sections 2 and 3 identify the official publications as the SFRA Review and the SFRA Directory. Honorary Members through 1992 will continue to receive Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies, if they so desire, so long as arrangements continue with these two journals.l Amendments are identified on ballot as FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH. Muriel Becker
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Recent & Forthcoming Books [27Jun92] 21 Year of publication as shown. (P) denotes publication confirmed. All unconfirmed dates are tentative; delays are common. Most original books have been or will be reviewed in these pages. REFERENCE Kies, Cosette. Supernatural Fiction for Teens: 1300 Hundred Good Paperbacks to Read for Wonderment, Fear & Fun. 2d ed. Libraries Unlimited (P). Rosenberg, Betty & Diana T. Herald. Genreflecting: A Guide to Reading Interests in Genre Fiction. 3d ed. Libraries Unlimited (P). HISTORY & CRITICISM Aveni, Anthony. Planets in Motion: Tracing the Unities in Science, Mythology & Culture. Times Books/Random, August 1992. Bromwich, Rachel et ai, eds. The Arthur of the Welsh: the Arthurian Legend in Medieval Welsh Literature. Univ. of Wales Pr., distr by Books International, 1991 (P). Cummiskey, Gary R. The Changing Face of Horror in the Nineteenth Century French Fantastic Short Story. Peter Lang, August 1992. Filmer, Kath, ed. Twentieth-Century Fantasists: Essays on Culture, Society and Belief in Twentieth-Century Mythopoeic Literature. St Martin's, October 1992. Golden, Catherine. The Captive Imagination: A Casebook on "The Yellow Wallpaper. "Feminist Press/CUNY, 1992 (Pl. Gunn, James. Inside Science Fiction: Essays on Fantastic Literature. Borgo Press (Pl. Jakubowski, Maxim & Edward James, eds. The Profession of Science Fiction: SF Writers on their Craft and Ideas. St Martin's & Macmillan (London) July 1992. King, James Roy. Old Tales and New Truths: Charting the Bright-Shadow World. State Univ. of NY Press (P). Knapp, Jeffrey. An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from "Utopian" to "The Tempest". Univ. of Calif. Press (P). Lupack, Alan, ed. Modern Arthurian Literature: An Anthology of English and American Arthuriana from the Renaissance to the Present. Garland, September 1992. Masse, Michelle A. In the Name of Love: Women, Masochism and the Gothic. Cornell Univ. Press, June 1992. Morgan, Gerald. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Idea of Righteousness. Irish Academic Press, 1991, distr by Inter Specialized Book Services, Portland, OR (Pl.
22 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Ordway, Frederick I. III & Randy Liebermann, eds. Blueprint for Space: Science Fiction to Science Fact. Smithsonian Institution Press (P). Puschmann-Nalenz, Barbara. Science Fiction and Postmodern Fiction: A Genre Study. Peter Lang, fall 1992. Tr. of 1986 German original. Ruhrich, Lutz. Folktales and Reality, tr. by Peter Tokofsky of 1956 German ed. Indiana Univ. Press, 1991 (P). Strehle, Susan. Fiction in the Quantum Universe. Univ. of NC Press (P). Winter, Karl J. Subjects of Slavery, Agents of Change: Women & Power in Gothic Novels and Slave Narratives. Univ. of Georgia Press, no date set. Wunderlich, Roger. Low Living & High Thinking at Modern Times, New York. Syracuse Univ. Press, April 1992. AUTHOR STUDIES [Apuleius]. Schlam, Carl C. The "Metamorphoses" of Apuleius: On Making an Ass of Oneself. Univ. of NC Press (P). [Borges}. Maier, Linda S. Borges and the European Avant-Garde. Peter Lang, August 1992. [Borges]. Rodriguez-Luis, Julio. The Contemporary Praxis of the Fantas tic: Borges and Cortizar. Garland, 1991 (P). [Carroll}. Carroll, Lewis. The Complete Sylvie and Bruno. Mercury House (P). [Dick]. Dick, Philip K. The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick: 1975-76. Underwood-Miller, July 1992. [Dick]. Dick, Philip K. Selections from the Exegis, v. 2. UnderwoodMiller, September 1992. [Huxley]. Bhat, Yashoda. Aldous Huxley and George Orwell: A Com parative Study of Satire in Their Novels. Sterling, 1991 (distr by Apt Books) (P). (King]. Terrell, Carrol F. Stephen King: Man & Artist. Rev. ed. Northern Lights, 493 College Ave, Oreano, MF, 04473, August 92, $50 cloth, $8.95 paper. [Leiber]. Leiber, Fritz. Fafhrd and Me: Selected Essays. Wildside Press, May 1992 [reprint of 1990 ed., hopefully corrected]. [Lewis]. Walker, Andrew and James Patrick, eds. A Christian for All Christians: Essays in Honor of C.S. Lewis. Regnery Gateway (P). [McCaffrey]. Nye, Jody Lynn & Anne McCaffrey. The Dragonlover's Guide to Perno Ballantine, December 1992. Reprint of 1989 ed. [Rice]. Ramsland, Katherine. Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice. Plume/Penguin, October 1992. Reprint of 1991 ed. [Rushdie]. Harrison, James. Salman Rushdie. Twayne (P). [Tolkien]. Collins, David R. J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of Fantasy. Lerner (P). [Wells]. Hammond, J.G. H.G. Wells and the Short Story. St Martin's, August 1992.
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 23 [Williams). Howard, Thomas. The Novels of Charles Williams. Ignatius Press, 2515 McAllister st, San Francisco 94118, 1991. $14.95 paper (P). FILM & TV Ackerman, Forrest J. Famous Monster of Filmland #2. Hollywood Pub. Co., distr by Magiclmage Filmbooks, 1991 (P). Barker, Clive & Stephen Jones. The Hellraiser Chronicles. Titan, UK, May 1992. Del Vecchio, Deborah & Tom Johnson. Peter Cushing: The Gentleman of Horror and His 91 Films. McFarland, summer? 1992. Flynn, John L. Cinematic Vampires: The Living Dead on Film and Televi sion, from The Devil's Castle (1896) to Dracula: The Untold Story (1992). McFarland, summer? 1992. Greenaway, Peter. Prospero's Books: a Film of Shakespeare's The Tem pest. Four Walls Eight Windows, Box 458, Village sta, NY, NY 10019 (P). Haycock, Kate. Science Fiction Films. Crestwood House/Macmillan, April 1992. For young readers. Irwin, Walter & G. B. Love, eds. The Best of the Beat of Trek II. ROC, June 1992. Nathanson, Paul. Over the Rainbow: The Wizard of Oz As a Secular Myth of America. SUNY Press, 1991 (P). Rodley, Chris, ed. Cronenberg on Cronen berg. Faber & Faber, April 1992. Sansweet, Stephen J. Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectibles. Chronicle Books, November 1992. Thomas, Tony. The Best of Universal. Vestal Press, 1990. Distr by Magiclmage Filmbooks (P). Weaver, Tom, ed. Creature from the Black Lagoon. Magiclmage Filmbooks, September 1992. Universal Filmscripts series. Weaver, Tom. Poverty Row Horrors: Monogram, PRC and Republic Horror Films of the Forties. McFarland, summer? 1992. IllUSTRATION Anderson, Wayne. Through the Looking Glass. Paper TigerlDragon's World, UK, November 1992. Cabral, Ciruelo & Monserrat Santo The Book of the Dragon. Paper Tiger/ Dragon's World, UK, November 1992. Johnsgard, Paul A. & Karin.Dragons and Unicorns: A Natural History. St Martin's, August 1992. Miller, Ron. The Dream Machines: a Pictorial History of the Spaceship in Art, Science, and Literature. Krieger Pub Co, October 1992.
24 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 News & Information latest Necronomicon Press Publications Necronomicon Press, 101 Lockwood St, West Warwick, RI 02893, is one of the busiest of the specialty presses. Among the spring 1992 releases: Lovecraft Studies 26, which includes an index to issues 1-25 (semi-annual, $5); Studies in Weird Fiction 11 includes articles on Thomas Tryon, Hodgson, Edward Lucas White and a comparison of stories by Bradbury and Oates ($5); Crypt of Cthulhu 80 ($5.50), which editor Robert Price sub-titles "A Post-structuralist Thriller and Theological Journal"; Necrofile 4, spring 1992, the excellent quarterly review of horror fiction ($2.50, $10/4 issues); An Index to the Fiction & Poetry of H.P. Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi ($5.95), a companion to his index to HPL's selected letters; a corrected reprint of an oddity jointly authored by HPL and Robert H. Barlow, The Battle That Ended the Century/Collapsing Cosmoses ($2.50); a collection of previously uncol lected weird fiction and essays by Hodgson, Demons of the Sea, ed. by Sam Gafford ($8.95); and the first example of original fiction by a living author, Brian Stableford's The Innsmouth Heritage (25 pages, $4.50). A detailed catalog of the press's publications is available for $1. -NB Asimov #466 Published the month of his death by HarperCollins was Isaac Asimov's 466th book, Asimov Laughs Again: More Than 700 Jokes, Limericks, and Anecdotes ($22). The review in Booklist says one of the main appeals of this book is as "an autobiographical fragment full of revealing glimpses of sci ence-fiction personages." -NB Eaton, Milford Awards Several awards were presented at the mid-April Eaton conference in Riverside, CA. Karl Guthke received the Eaton award for distinguished schol arship for his study, The Last Frontier: Imagining Other Worlds, from the Copernican Revolution to Modern Science Fiction (Cornell, 1990; reviewed in Newsletter 184). Ian & Betty Ballantine received the Milford award for lifetime contributions to the editing and publication of fantastic literature; Gregory Benford accepted on their behalf. A special Eaton lifetime award was given to SFRA Pilgrim James Gunn, who also presented a paper. "I was so surprised I was struck speechless, he told me in a letter. Gunn's Inside Science Fiction: Essays on Fantastic Literature should be off press by June from Borgo Press. His invaluable four volume anthology with commentary,
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 25 The Road to Science Fiction (Mentor, 1977, 1979, 1982), OP in the U.S. for some years, has been translated and will be published by Wilhelm Heyne in German. Two additional volumes are in preparation, one "devoted to the range and difference of British SF, "the other "which will be about interna tional SF." -NB The Eldritch Ear If you're an HPL buff, you may be interested in a reading of a 1937 tale, "The Thing on the Doorstop." Jay Gregory is the reader and has signed some of the limited edition cassettes, $17.50 delivered (plus $1.28 if you live in NY state) sent to Voice at Work, Box 6192, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163. According to the card I received from the Necronomicon Press, this is presumably volume 1 of "The Lovecraft Tapes," a series about which I know nothing more. -NB Futures Past #2. I reviewed the inaugural issue of Futures Past in SFRA Review 196. The second issue, devoted to 1927, was released in May, a bit late for a bi monthly but understandable given the one-man editorial/production staff of Jim Emerson. Most of the first issue's features are repeated here, but the first published story of an author has been dropped in favor of an excerpt from a work of nonfiction, in this case Dave Hartwell's Age of Wonders, 1984. The issue is longer, too, 60 vs 44 pages. The "Galactic Art Gallery" reproduces interior illustrations by Paul from 1927 issues of Amazing, but their reduced size and the fact that they were reproduced from the original muddy pulps, detracts from their impact. Emerson followed my suggestion and included some off the wall letters and small display ads from Amazing. Fritz Lang and his Metropolis are profiled. Still recommended. $5/issue, $20/6 issues, to Futures Past, Box 610, Convoy, OH 45832. -NB Magill's Survey of American Literature In 1991 Marshall Cavendish, North Bellmore, NY, published a six vol ume set, Magill's Survey of American Literature ($369.95), 7-19 page signed essays on 190 American writers from the 17th to the late 20th centuries. I asked the publisher for a list of the subjects. Writers specializing in fantastic literature included Bradbury, Delany [misspelled in the list), Dick, Gibson, Heinlein, King, Le Guin and Poe. More marginal are Barth, Barthelme, W.D. Howells, Oates, Pynchon and Vonnegut. The selection is representative, not comprehensive. Compare the 1975 volume ed. by
26 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Leonard Unger, American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies, or the multi-volume, continuing series from Gale Research, Dictionary of Literary Biography, 1978-, two volumes of which are ed. by Cowart & Wymer, Twentieth-Century American Science Fiction Writers (v. 8NB). No Comment Wi II i am Morrow has paid the father of Jeffrey Dah mer $150,000 for a book devoted to parenting, according to the Washington Post Book World. -NB Supernatural Short Fiction Index in Preparation Mike Ashley, an indefatigable bibliographer, as well as the principal author of the 230,000 word history, The Gernsback Days, due from Starmont House next year, has resumed work on The Supernatural Index, which will be a companion to the indexes to SF (and some fantasy) short fiction collec tions and anthologies compiled by Bill Contento, who's handling the computer end of the project. When Mike originally planned the index about 1985, it was to index about 1100 anthologies-no collections-but will now index close to 2000 anthologies by the time he's through. Particularly time consurning is the tracing the first publication of stories, many of them not identified as reprints. If you have a lot of supernatural fiction anthologies, especially pre-1950 and/or little-known, and/or you have more than average knowledge in this area, request Mike's list of stories whose original sources he's trying to trace.Mike Ashley, 4 Thistlebank, Walderslade, Chatham, Kent ME5 8AD, England. -NB Gothic Press Publications The Horror Fiction Newsletter which has provided news of horror fic tion, poetry, and scholarship is currently expanding its review section to publ ish reviews up to 1,000 words of fiction, poetry, and scholarship in the horror field. Payment for reviews is in two contributor's copies. A sample copy of the newsletter is $1.00; subscriptions are $5.00 for six bi-monthly issues. Other publications available are Gothic; a Gothic Chapbook, The 1980 Bibliography of Gothic Studies;, Supernatural Poetry; and a new po etry magazine, Night Songs. Contact Gothic Press, 4998 Perkins Road, Ba ton Rouge, Louisiana 70808-3043 for sample copies, further information, or subscriptions. Cary W. Crawford
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 27 Change of Address If you are changing your mailing address, be sure to notify the Treasurer, Edra Bogle, Dept. of English, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 762033827. The postal department does not forward bulk mail, which is how the Review in the US is mailed. Don't lose a copy to the post office's circular file. Send in your change of address. Exec Comm Minutes John Abbott College June 18-20, 1992 Betsy Harfst The meeting was called to order at 8:25 p.m. by President Lowentrout. EC members present: Immediate Past President Betty Hull; President Peter Lowentrout; Vice President Muriel Becker; Secretary David Mead; Treasurer Edra Bogle; Review Editor Betsy Harfst. Guest: Milton Wolf, 1993 Conference Director. Officer Reports: 1) Betty Hull reported that our non-profit tax status has been granted but the Postmaster in Oregon won't grant us bulk-mail rates because we have the wrong status code number. Peter Lowentrout will investigate the problem and attempt to resolve the status issue. To satisfy the postal service we'll have to add two articles to the By-laws, a Statement of Purpose and a 'dissolution of assets' clause. Hull announced the slate of nominees for the 1993-5 Of ficer elections. SFRA materials are archived at Texas A&M U., Kansas U., and Eastern Michigan U. 2) Peter Lowentrout reported that GEnie On-Line has a Library to which SFRA members can upload essays, which can then be read by any SF-section subscriber.3) Muriel Becker reported that we have increased our membership this year by about 40, and she'll continue to work on recruitment. 4) David Mead said the 1992 Directorywould be mailed by mid-July. He noted that bulk-mailed Reviews are not forwarded; members should send us address changes directly. 5) Edra Bogle presented the 1991 and 1992 (to date) budget report figures, noting we broke even last year but that the Review costs of $1241 per issue are running well over budget. Strat egies for reducing these expenses were discussed extensively. The Scholar Support Fund is $17 in the red; contributions have been sparse. Bogle anatomized membership patterns, and announced that Extrapolation will increase SFRA member rates to $17 in 1993. Foundation
28 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 rates for SFRA members increased this year to $17. 6) Betsy Harfst discussed delivery delays at Hypatia Press but foresees much improvement soon. She noted all overseas subscriptions are sent airmail but some overseas members paid a surcharge for this service; those who overpaid this year will get a credit toward 1993 dues. Harfst described problems in obtaining SF reviews, reported requests for mailing lists and advertising rates, and noted the costs of funding honorary members. She announced her intention to retire as soon as a replacement can be appointed. 7) Milton Wolf reported his plans for the 1993 meeting, which will be held June 17)20, 1993, in Reno, Nevada. Old Business: 1) Lowentrout solicited suggestions for Pilgrim and Pioneer Committee members for 1993. 2) The EC reaffirmed the budgeting of $500 seed money for the annual meeting; this money is to be repaid if possible. 3) Potential sites for the 1994 meeting were discussed. Lowentrout will pursue the selec tion of a good site. 4) Bogle withdrew as Chair of the Publications Commit tee; Daryl Mallett will be asked to chair. The membership will be Bogle, Mallett, Erisman, Dunn, Elms, and Betsy and Ernie Harfst. Publication of a SFRA Conference Proceedings will be a high priority. 5) Royalties for contributors to SFRA Anthology continue to accrue and will be distributed. Lowentrout will investigate interest/need for a revised edition. 6) The EC reaffirmed its view that the proposed date for the annual meeting will be judged on its merits. 7) Drafts of proposed By-Laws changes will be sent to Lowentrout for editing, then to the Review for publication. New Business: 1) The problems of reducing the cost of the Review and obtaining suf ficient appropriate reviews were discussed at length. A Becker-Hull motion to print nine issues in 1992 passed unanimously. The EC determined to reduce the size of the review to approx. 64 pages as soon as possible, to cease printing reviews of horror fiction, and to limit fiction reviews to 350 words. The EC reaffirmed the Editor's right and duty to select and edit reviews. SFRA members will be asked to review books they find interesting and to submit these fiction reviews directly to Muriel Becker, Fiction Editor; the Reviewwill also continue to print SF and SF/Fantasy reviews supplied by Bob Collins. 2) Hal Hall has abandoned his project to publish a volume of Pilgrim award and acceptance speeches. Tom Clareson now intends to write a history of SFRA; he will include Hall's material in an appendix. 3) As a money-saving measure, a motion to amend By-law 11.2.b to grant honorary members "emeritus" rather than"active" members benefits was unanimously approved. This would give honorary members all benefits except subscriptions to Ex-
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 29 trapolation and Science Fiction Studies. 4) The EC recommended against accepting paid advertising or selling current copies of the Review ,fearing tax problems. 5) However. Harfst will sell back issues of the Review and News letter. 6) Membership brochures will be revised to permit listing E-mail addresses and donations to the Scholar Support Fund. Also, the standard description of the SFRA will be revised to read"The SFRA is the oldest profes sional organization for the study of science fiction and fantasy literature and film." 7) EC members' phone and E-mail addresses will be listed in the Re view. 9) The EC voted unanimously to continue the current dues structure for 1993. 10) The agenda for the Business Meeting was approved. 11) The EC determined that membership applications received after 10/31 would be credited to the following year. Before 11/1, the member may choose which year the dues will apply to, although back issues of publications are not guaranteed to anyone joining after July 1. 12)The EC discussed and rejected a proposal to poll the membership by mail about making journal subscriptions optional benefits; this proposal will be presented at the Business Meet ing. 13) By-laws elections and 1993-5 Officer elections will be conducted by mail ballot; the combined ballot will be mailed in the July-August-Sep tember issue of the Review, and cast ballots must be returned by October 31 to be counted. The text of the proposed By-Laws changes will be published in the J/A/S issue. The EC Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 a.m., July 20, 1993. Respectfu II y su bm itted, David Mead, Secretary Business Meeting Minutes John Abbott College June 21, 1992 President Peter Lowentrout called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. The first order of business was the drawing for the winner of the Scholars Sup port Fund Beret Raffle. Fred Pohl's name was drawn as the winner. Donations amounted to $75; thanks to all who chanced their support. Officer Reports: 1) Past-President Betty Hull reported the IRS has granted SFRA non-profit tax status; unfortunately there is some doubt that the correct status code number was granted. This affects our bulk mail rates, so Lowentrout will pursue clarification from IRS. Hull announced the nominees for 1993-5 Officer Elections: for President, David Mead and Milton Wolf; for Vice-President, Muriel Becker and Beverly Friend; for Secretary, Joan Gor-
30 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 don and Carolyn Wendell, and for Treasurer, Robert Ewald and Daryl Mallett. Nominations from the floor were solicited; none were offered. Postcard-style ballots will be sent in the July-August-September issue of the Review; cast ballots must be received by October 31 to be counted. 2) Presi dent Lowentrout reported that Tom Clareson will write a history of SFRA; he will include Pilgrim and Pioneer award and acceptance speeches in an ap pendix (Hal Hall has found insufficient materials to justify book publication of these speeches). Lowentrout urged members to write in support of the SF Foundation (see April/May issues of the Review for information). The SF area of GEnie On-Line now offers a "library" where SFRA members can "upload" or post electronic copies of essays for all 5000+ SF-section readers to access. 3) Vice-President Muriel Becker reported an increase of 40 members in 1992; her focus has been recruitment. She announced that several By-Laws changes would be offered for approval; the voting will be conducted in conjunction with the Officer elections. The proposed amendments will be pub lished in the July-August-September Review, these will adjust the By-Laws to say Review rather than Newsletter, create a Statement of Purpose and an article specifying dissolution procedure, and change Article 11.2.b to award honorary members the benefits of Emeritus status. The last change is designed to relieve the increasingly burdensome cost of providing journal sub scription to past presidents and Pilgrim winners (these journals now cost the Association about $1 OOO/year). 4) Secretary David Mead reported July 15 as the projected mailing date of the 1992 Directory. 1993 dues notices will be mailed in mid-December. 5) Treasurer Edra Bogle reported the 1991 budget and the 1992 budget to date, and announced that the current dues schedule would be maintained in 1993. She reported subscription price increases for Foundation (now $1 7.00 to SFRA members) and Extrapolation ($17.00 in 1993). The Review now costs about $1241 per issue to produce, well over our projected budget. 6) Review Editor Betsy Harfst explained recent problems affecting delivery of the Review but said delivery should im prove soon. Members are urged to send change-of-address notices directly to the Review or the Treasurer; bulk mail is not forwarded. Some overseas members overpaid for airmail in 1992; they will receive a dues credit next year. To reduce the cost of the Review, which now runs about $12,500 per year, the size will be reduced to 64-65 pages and 9 issues will be published this year (July-August-Sept will be a triple issue). Reviews of horror fiction will be eliminated and fiction reviews limited to maximum of 350 words. The Editor, at EC direction, will prefer reviews of SF and SF/F by SFRA mem bers. To increase the number of timely reviews, SFRA members are urged to submit unsolicited reviews of worthy fictions directly to Muriel Becker (we will still print SF reviews from Bob Collins/Greenwood). Betsy Harfst an-
32 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 The problem with Alien 3 is that there are so many incomprehensible elements. Fiorina 161 is a prison planet that has been closed down and abandoned, except for a supply ship that comes every two weeks. Remain ing in the caverns are twenty or so prisoners who elected to remain, and no very good reason is offered to explain that. So that the prisoners would not go into some sort of sexual frenzy, living as they do without women, they've adopted a religious order and have taken a vow of celibacy. They are guided in their abstinence and self-restraint by Superintendent Andrews, an authori tative father figure. Regularly, Andrews paces before the men and ticks off the "facts" for them, dispelling any rumors they may have heard. He does this when Ripley's space craft crashes on the planet and they carry her and the craft inside the complex. When the superintendent announces that the only survivor is a woman, the men grumble apprehensively. Apparently, the presence of a woman awakens only one basic urge in them. The idea of mere conversation is never considered by anyone. Except Dr. Clemens. He ministers to Ripley, takes an interest in her, and is the only member of this motley group to enjoy a sexual liaison with her. There is one unsuccessful attempt to gang rape Ripley, but that is halted by the self-imposed puritan ofthe camp, a large Black man named Dillon. His rei igious preachments to the men seem to be the core of the rei igious prin ciples that guide them. There is an odd laughability in all of this. In the writing of the script, someone wasn't really giving much thought to logic or human nature. What was the appeal of this barren, freezing planet? Why would hardened crimi nals choose to remain, without female companionship nor technological conveniences, when they were given the choice to leave? And why didn't the whole bunch of sex-crazed men take on Ripley the first night of her ar rival? The niceties of civility simply do not mesh with the kind of wilderness society that should have evolved on a prison colony. The alien, too, that had traveled secretly in Ripley's ship, holds very little of the interest that was created in the first two movies. In Alien, the creature was never shown walking-the suspense and terror was always in this totally unusual creature simply being right there, ready for the attack. In Aliens, the swarm of aliens were shown to move relentlessly, coming down from ceil ings or up from under floors-very much like huge killer roaches. The single being in Alien 3 is seen to scurry about, appearing and disappearing around corners. In the climax of the film, we often see what the alien sees as he/she/ it speeds after victims through maze-like corridors. This alien reminded me of a giant field mouse skittering about a house, chased by a screaming housewife with a broom. There was less here for an audience to fear. The only genuine surprise was when the creature was cheek-to-cheek with the cring-
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 33 ing Ripley and didn't take a bite out of her. At that point, though, the audi ence had an inkling as to why this was so, a good fifteen minutes before Ripley herself made the discovery. Watching Alien 3, I found myself reminded of numbers of other movies I've seen. I felt as if the moviemakers here were stringing together images of these same other movies, just as I did in speculation. The relationship of the prison superintendent and the doctor, for instance, reminded me of the dungeon scenes in the movie version of Man of La Mancha starring Peter O'Toole. The Governor and Cervantes in that film related so similarly to the superintendent and the doctor in "Alien 3 that I am nearly certain that was the inspiration. When the prisoners were bolstered in their resolve to trap and kill the alien by Ripley and Dillon, gathering up torches and arranging to bait it, I thought of Home Alone. However, the little boy was much more resourceful in his entrapments of the two burglars than these seriocomic, whining convicts of Home Alone in Space. And the final scenes of the movie, aside from hearkening back to the final scene in Terminator 1/: Judgment Day, seemed, for all the world, to be the conclusion of a mock Shakespearean tragedy. The shame of it all is that this had the gist of a worthwhile idea and failed in its execution (No pun intended). The depiction of a prison colony on another world still holds fascination as a science fictional concept. While Kirk and McCoy's brief encounter with an underground prison on a frozen world in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was much like a comic book depiction, it was a lot more honest than Alien 3. John Carpenter's 1981 movie Escape from New York was most intriguing in its portrayal of a self contained prison society. Robert Sheck ley's novel, The Status Civilization, was an innovative and surprising look into just such a society evolving on a prison world. The precedents are there. Imaginativeness is all. Ted Krulik Letters to the Editor Dear Editor: I am a recent and reluctant member of the Science Fiction Research Association who joined solely as an economical way to subscribe to one journal I wish to read and to one journal I feel obliged to read. I had no intention of responding to or participating in any of this organization's ac tivities. However, since I am now obliged to receive the SFRA Review, I feel compelled to comment on this bizarre publication.
34 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 To be blunt, I can see no reason why the SFRA Review should exist in its present form. The scholarly journals seem to be doing an adequate job of reviewing critical works of interest to science fiction scholars, and there are other, less scholarly publications which are far more thorough in review ing recent science fiction novels. That is, if I wish to keep up with science fiction criticism, I can read Extrapolation, Science Fiction Studies, or Foun dation; if I wish to keep up with current science fiction, I can read something like Locus; exactly why I should wish to read the SFRA Review is a mystery to me. In addition, to be a I ittle less blunt, the quality of the reviews I have read strikes me as highly variable, and their contents as a whole do not, I believe, reflect well on the abilities and critical acumen of SFRA members. The only conceivable purpose I can imagine for this publication would be to serve as a forum for aspiring science fiction scholars who can expand their resumes with reviews that would not be welcomed in more prestigious journals; and such a motive would explain the recent change to a more impressive sounding name. Still, I an not convinced that the membership of the SFRA should be subsidizing ego boo, and I doubt that any would-be as sistant professor will really be helped by this type of publication; will any department chair be impressed by reviews published in something called the SFRA Review? Only two courses of action seem rational to me: first, convert this pub lication into a genuine newsletter, several mimeographed sheets produced a few times a year to keep members informed of the organization's events and activities, with the savings in publication cost passed on to members as a reduction in their dues; second, to upgrade this publication into a quarterly journal, associated with some university, which would solicit and, one hopes, attract articles of scholarly merit along with more carefully selected reviews. Continuing to produce the SFRA Review in its present form is sim ply wasting my money, suggesting that I should have subscribed to the journals I wish to see in a more direct and less economical fashion. Sincerely, Gary Westfahl The Learning Center University of California-Riverside II am sorry that you feel so swindled/cheated/defrauded by the Review. Indeed, many of the reviews are variable in length and quality. The intent has never been to compete with the scholarly journals mentioned. Perhaps these reviews serve chiefly as a brief glance at the works in the rapidly evolv ing popular culture genres before they rapidly disappear from the publica-
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 35 tion scene. See "Editorial Matters" for a discussion of cost-cutting changes that are in process for the Review. As for economy, purchased individually, the total yearly price for Extrapolation ($15); for SFS ($14); and for Founda tion ($ 17),is $46 for the three journals compared with $60 per year for the SFRA membership which includes the Review among other member ben efits. In the past, the real value for objects was elegantly/succinctly stated, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." BH,ed.J 7 July 1992 Dear Editor: Your discussion of problems with the Review at the business meeting and the decision not to print unfavorable reviews leads me to a suggestion for future consideration. It seems to me that, despite the need to conserve space, there is some value to be derived from learning that a reviewer does not find a book worthy of recommendation. Maybe publishing a list of such books would be help ful. Because we all trust some reviewers more than others, including the reviewer's name would add impact (and, of course, those who need additons to their bibliographies would be justified in noting such entries). Further, a tag about the book would help in buying and reading decisions. Entries might read like this, using smaller print to save space: Hythloday, Johann .. Star Journey "No plot; poorly written."Thomas More. Smith, John. Virginia Wasn't Real. "He's got to be kidding." Pocohontas. Carroll, Lewis. Queen Alive. "Third-fate fantasy." -CO L. Dodgson. I suppose getting tag lines might involve your writing them. On the other hand, we all try to find headings for our reviews, and inventing witty (?) ways to pan a book might be fun for everyone and even lead to better reviewing. Anyway, it was a good meeting, and I agree that we need to save money if we are not to price ourselves out of the market. My suggestion might be one way to make cutting back a little less painful. Sincerely yours, Arthur O. Lewis
36 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 [Thank you for your concern and your proposed alternative to completely eliminating unfavorable recommendations. A capsule review list, as suggested, might work if members were comfortable with relying upon re viewers' opinions without seeing the bases for the opinions. Possibly publishers might be less tolerant of what could develop into flippant tag reviews, especially if these abbreviated comments were consistently used as a factor in purchasing and reading. It is, however, a suggestion which will be considered. The more that I think about this choice, the more that I, personally, seek another viable solution which does not run diametrically opposite to what I have believed in and practiced through thirty plus years of teaching at the college/un iversity level (if not far longer). To explain, I cut my intellectual teeth on Milton's Areopagitica and John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Milton and Mill's logical appeals (emotional too) for examining the contraries, both positives and negatives, in order to know/ understand the bases for beliefs and actions, served as a core principle for attaining balance and objectivity in my life and my teaching. For instance, in my literature classes, students were always faced with some selection that was of far lesser quality, meant to serve as a measuring rod against which the negatives and positives could be viewed, weighed, and balanced. Without assessing both good and bad works students' budding critical sensitivity could well have remained closed, akin to Milton's "cloistered virtue." Aside from personal beliefs, there are possible consequences of completely eliminating negative rcommendations. First, publishers might hesi tate to send examination copies to our editors if they knew that only reviews stamped with approval would be printed. Second, would reviewers succumb to the temptation to praise all books so that their reviews would be published? If so, the reviews could become little more than meaningless pablum. Third, would members continue to read the reviews if only posi tive ones were printed? What would be the value of a review section which did not make distinctions between good and bad features within books and ultimately the whole worth of the books? How would this practice help members in selecting books to read or to buy? I fully agree with the need to conserve space and to edit more rigorously. I plan to edit far more rigorously. In this issue, however, some of the contrary opinions still appear since most of the issue was prepared prior to the conference. BH, ed.J Editorial Matters The Montreal Conference was a great success. Steve Lehman did an excellent job of providing conference arrangements on his beautiful campus.
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 37 Several changes in the Review, necessitated by the need to cut budgetary costs, are being put into effect immediately: 1) Nine issues of the Review will be published in 1992, rather than ten. This current issue is a triple one, July/August/September, rather than just a double one. 2) The Review will be reduced in size to a maximum of 64 pages, in cluding inserts. 3) Horror reviews will no longer be included in material reviewed. (An occasional exception might be exemplified by Veronica Hollinger's review of Richard Noll's Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons, a collection of psy chiatric case studies originally printed in scholarly psychiatric journals. This book would not be classified as a horror novel.) 4) The deletion of horror reviews will also mean that fewer of the as signed reviews sent to Bob Collins for inclusion in the Review and his An nual will appear in our SFRA publication. We will continue to print SF and fantasy reviews that Bob Collins assigns to reviewers and forwards to us. 5) As a consequence, the SFRA Executive Committee is seeking new, additional SFRA reviewers. The Executive Committee has appointed an ad ditional Fiction Editor, Muriel Becker (see address on masthead) to receive these spontaneous/unsolicited/unassigned reviews from SFRA members. If you read a good SF or fantasy novel, write a review and mail it to Muriel. 6) Future reviews will be limited to a maximum of 350 words. Many reviews in this transition issue will still have more wordage as most of them were edited prior to the Montreal Conference. What this means is that if I receive a nine page review, it will be reduced to fit the new 350 word regu lations (That sounds like an exaggeration, but it isn't.) 7) Reviews with negative reviewer conclusions-not recommended, a complete waste of time, poorly written, dull, insipid characterization, etc. will be excluded from the Review. See my reply to Arthur Lewis's alterna tive in Letters to Editor. B) SFRA members' reviews will be preferred to non-members. If there is a choice between two reviews, of equal merit, the member review will be chosen. 9) Back issues of the Review or Newsletter are available to members for $4.00 per copy, to non-members for $5.00 per copy. Copies of issues from #150 forward are available. Order directly from the editor; make checks payable to Edra Bogle, Treasurer. There is one further change that is in process. I resigned as SFRA editor and will turn over the editorship as soon as a new person is appointed. If you are interested or know of someone who is, contact Pete Lowentrout, SFRA president. Betsy Harfst
38 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Non-Fiction Welcome to a Brave New World Benedikt, Michael L., ed. Cyberspace: First Steps. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, October 1991. $24.95. 0-262-02327-X. Although "Cyberspace" and "Virtual Reality" are not yet household words, it is becoming more common to see them in print. The "holodeck" of Star Trek fame is popularizing the concept. Inexpensive "virtual reality" programs for the PC are beginning to appear. In spite of this, there is sti II a lack of common knowl edge as to just what the terms mean, and how they are related. Rheingold's Virtual Reality, 1991 (Review 186, April 1992) presented a very readable explanation of the physical aspects, as portrayed by the "holodeck" idea. It emphasized the methods used to give the operator physical feedback from a non-physical environment. As might be expected from a book published by a university press, this volume is considerably more technical and not so easy to read, although the slight additional effort involved will be well rewarded. The subject here is not just virtual reality, but cyberspace itself-Df which the popular concept of vi rtual real ity is just one facet. The introduction and the thirteen articles pay homage to William Gibson, who first coined the term "cyberspace" in his 1984 novel, Neuromancer. In fact, the book begins with an original short story by Gibson. However, the real value of the book lies in the articles, which do an excellent job of explaining a diffi cult and very technical subject-and of making it fascinating. The essence of cyberspace is its structure, and this is well illustrated by several color plates as well as the text. Cyberspace is a multi-dimensional structure which can be experienced. It can take on familiar form, as with the "virtual reality" approach which uses tactile feedback, but it can take many other forms as well. With today's technologies, only very simple forms of cyberspace may be experienced. However, as technology continues to advance, much more sophisticated forms will become available. According to the authors, an essential plateau for future developments will only be reached when the environment is independent ofthe operator (or participant). For instance, in today's computer games, action occurs only when the operator is actually playing the game. When the operator leaves the game (takes a break, saves the game and restores it later, quits and starts over), the action stops and nothing further will occur until the operator reenters the game. In a true cyberspace, as in real life, events will occur and time will pass independently of the participant, and multiple participants will be able to react accordingly. This is shown vividly in the chapter which describes a Corporate Virtual Workplace in fascinating detail. The idea that one can structure one's own workplace to fit one's own habits and personality, and can interact with oth-
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 39 ers through that workplace, even to the extent of visiting the other's own personal virtual workplaces is a sobering thought. When technology develops sufficiently to make this possible (and it appears to be a certainty in the next few decades, at least), civilization will have reached another of those discontinuities (e.g., discovery of fire, Industrial Revolution, invention of the automobile) which completely transform the way we live and think. This book provides a valuable advance look at a phenomenon which will affect all our lives. w. D. Stevens An Essential Guide for libraries and Scholars Burgess, Michael. Reference Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Libraries Unlimited, Box 6633, Englewood, CO B0155-6633, June 1992. xv + 403 p. $45. 0-B72B7-611-X. When my interests in science fiction were reawakened in the late 1960s, I wrote three bibliographic essays for Choice, a monthly book review jour nal for academic and larger public libraries. These later led to the first edition of Anatomy of Wonder, 1976. One of the books annotated for that edition was Briney & Wood's SF Bibliographies, a 49 page listing from Advent in 1972 that describes approximately 100 publications, many of them fugitive fan efforts that were almost impossible to obtain even then. If we needed any measure of the change in the status of SF, especially the bibliographic control of SF, this new guide provides it. Burgess, probably better known by his bibliographic alter ego, R. Reginald, is a catalog librarian at Cal State University, San Bernardino, and founder/owner of Borgo Press, which published many of the books he anno tates here (some of them not off press at the time he wrote his text, but far enough along so that the descriptions are accurate). I didn't make a count, but I'm probably safe in saying that BO% of the 551 numbered entries could not have been in Briney & Wood, and a large majority have appeared since 19BO. Some of these publications, and some of the most valuable, are fan publications, although the market for professionally published works is now large enough to support a flourishing cottage industry, which I'd estimate at about 250-300 English-language books a year, from pamphlet-length efforts to hefty reference tomes. Many of these works fall outside Burgess's scope, which is limited to "reference" works, an elastic term embracing encyclope dias, dictionaries, bibliographies/ indexes (subject, national, magazine, pub lisher) and similar works. For example, there are six entries for Tolkien but none for the dozens of books of criticism and interpretation of Tolkien's works.
40 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Burgess's coverage is intended to be exhaustive within his stated scope, unlike the coverage of secondary literature in my three edited reader guides, which range from selective (the best, better or historically important) to semi comprehensive and of course include works outside Burgess's scope. Be cause of his narrower focus, his annotations are much fuller than I could provide, with detailed descriptions of the contents of each work, including full pagination, as well as comparative cross references and evaluations of the relative value of each work. The value rankings are reflected in his core collection choices for large and smaller academic and public libraries as well as personal libraries. Author, title and subject indexes, plus an attractive page layout, make the book extremely easy to consult. If there are any significant omissions, I don't know what they are. Since there are three guides to characters in C.S. Lewis's fiction, I expected to see in the author bibliograph ies the 1973 Kent State annotated checklist of writings by and about Lewis by Christopher and Ostling. Also omitted are works not independently published, such as dissertations or magazine pieces (some of the latter are mentioned when they made their way into books). In the entry for the Collins & Latham Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review Annual, in which the SFRAR reviews (and many others) are reprinted, Burgess refers to my surveys of nonfiction as dispiteous (I haven't been called that before). He and I are impatient when dealing with shoddy or undistin guished work, which is why very few of the books in the bibliographies that end my surveys are starred as first purchase recommendations. But when I write my Survey of 1992 books next year, the Burgess guide will be starred. And when-and if-a fourth edition of Anatomy of Wonder is published, references will be made to the entries in Burgess. It's an essential work for all but the smallest library and could (but probably won't) be a valuable tool for retrospective collection development. And I can't imagine how any scholar in the field could be without it or fail to consult it when starting work. Order it now for your library and for yourself. Neil Barron From Aristophanes to Woody Allen Clark, John R. The Modern Satiric Grotesque and Its Traditions. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1991. 212 p. $27. 0-8131-1744-5. As we all know, satire, and in particular "dark humor," is one of the domi nant genres of twentieth-century fiction and art. At a time when everything from morality to the balance of nature seems to be on a downward slide, a focus on the irreverent and hopeless seems especially appropriate. However, this study, although centered on modern literature, actually ranges
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 41 far in time and space, tracing the satiric grotesque back to such earlier authors as Aristophanes, Juvenal, Petroni us, Cervantes, and Rabelais. Among the modern writers considered are not only such well-known delineators of the irrationality of modern life as Kafka, Beckett, Garcia Marquez, Gunter Grass and Italo Calvino but a number of SF authors, including Vonnegut, Lem, Bradbury, and Clarke. Much of the material in this broad study will thus interest readers of SF and dystopian literature. After a section describing the nihilistic tendencies of the modem intellectual climate and surveying the tradition of the gothic and grotesque, the author dis cusses some of the stratagems by which satirists distort, fracture, and subvert fiction. These include use of an antihero, debunking the author or denigrating the book itself, distorting the language, and making the plot and ending discordant and irrational. Clark, who looks rather cheerful and benevolent in his book jacket photo, covers many of the central subjects of modern satire, from impending atomic doom to sterility, boredom and anomie, not to mention scatology and cannibalism. His conclusion reminds us that although critics universally lament the mediocrity and pessimism of modern literature, such negativism is hardly a new attitude, and has been with us from Gilgamesh to Murphy's Law. He ends quite optimistically with praise for the vigor of satiric humor and hope for the continued imagination of the human race. This is a book which covers a great deal of territory; in fad, it tries to cover too much. Clark has obViously read widely and eclectically, and makes some interesting connections between works widely separated in time and space. But the broadness of his scope means that he cannot explore any one work or author in depth. A few lines or a paragraph at most can hardly do justice to a Kafka or a Nabokov, and one often wishes Clark had gone beneath the surface. Nevertheless there is much that is suggestive and stimu lating in this book and I recommend it. Lynn F. Williams Best of Gunn Gunn, James. Inside Science Fiction: Essays on Fantastic Literature. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, May 1992. 176 p. $27.0-89370-312-5; $17, paper, -412-1 Although Jim Gunn has published many works of fiction and nonfiction, including 1988's The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, this is his first collection of essays, and it's most welcome. The essays are divided for convenience into four groups: "Getting Inside Science Fiction," "Science Fiction and the Teacher," "Science Fiction on Film and Television" and "Science Fiction and the Real World." With the exception of an address given at the 1989 Sercon, the 18 pieces, originally published 1974-1989, are all reprints,
42 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 often updated but not significantly revised for their appearance here. Since many of the same ideas are discussed, there's inevitably some repetitiousness among the essays, with several even using the same quotes. Although the sub-title suggests a broader scope, it's pretty much limited to SF, which for Gunn is idea-centered fiction when it's done right. He be gan writing SF in 1948, and much of his fiction appeared in Astounding and Galaxy over the next decade, much of it reprinted in books. His background as an English professor provides a useful perspective and enriches his discus sions of SF and the wider world of literature. His temperament favors the traditional narrative forms and the optimism at the heart of much American SF, although he is even-handed in his brief discussion of movements like the New Wave. He is generally sound in his judgments (i.e., I agree with them), although his statement on page 33 that "during the thirties and forties virtu ally no hardcover science fiction was being published" is indefensible, as a reading of Brian Stableford's chapter in Anatomy of Wonder clearly demonstrates. Easily the most important SF of the thirties was published as hard cover novels in the UK, not in the American pulps, and it was this SF (though not so identified) that embodied Gunn's ideas, not the hack work adventures most American writers were churning out. The section on film and TV is in some respects the most interesting, since Gunn's The Immortal was adapted for a made-for-TV film and later a TV series, both undistinguished for reasons Gunn explores in some detail. "The Tinsel Screen" is one of the better discussions of SF films and supports his argument that "printed science fiction and science fiction film seem to have little to do with each other, and there are virtually no good films that are also good science fiction," a statement that will ruffle more than a few feathers. This collection includes the best of Gunn's essays that I know of, omit ting only his 1974 lecture at Texas A&M, ''The Discovery of the Future," is sued as a pamphlet by the university. A detailed index adds to the reference value of the book, which is marred by a few careless errors (Fredric Brown's first name is twice misspelled, and the shantytowns are favelas, not favel/as). Borgo's short print runs make its books more expensive than they should be, but I think the trade paperback is well worth its cost, and the collection is recommended to larger public and academic libraries. Neil Barron latest Hall Index Hall, Hal W., compo Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review Index, v. 19, 1988. Compiler, 3608 Meadow Oaks Lane, Bryan, TX 77802, June 1992. 73 p. $10, stapled. 0-935064-24-9. Hardcover ed. available from Borgo Press, Box 2845, San Bernardino, CA 92406; inquire.
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 43 The latest in Hall's annual series indexes 4739 reviews of 2192 books by author and title that appeared in 63 magazines, from fanzines to general interest sources like Time. This index continues his three hardbound volumes from Gale Research, which covered 1923 through 1984. With this annual, he says, he's indexed 52,598 reviews, which I found astounding, astonish ing and maybe even weird. No one else is doing this to any extent (although Gale's Book Review Index will include some citations to reviews in sources not monitored by Hal!), and scholars should be grateful to Hall for all his efforts over the years. The only change I'd recommend is to index the Sci ence Fiction & Fantasy Book Review Annual, which is likely to be found in many more libraries than the SFRA Review, in whose pages many of the reviews first appeared and which includes many more books than any other single source. Volume 20, covering mostly 1988 books, is tentatively, sched uled for spring 1993. For large libraries and anyone interested in the criti cal reception of fantastic fiction. Neil Barron An Excellent Introduction to the Shadow Life Herdman, John. The Double in Nineteenth-Century Fiction: The Shadow Life. NY: St Martin's Press, 1991, xi + 174 p. $39.95. 0-312-05311-8. This study of doppelgangers in the work of a number of nineteenth century writers begins with their emergence in association with the Romantic movement and ends with their supposed redundance in the face of modern psychology. The authors receiving most extended and concentrated atten tion are E. T. A. Hoffmann, James Hogg and Dostoevsky, although there are comprehensive surveys of the relevant work of Poe and Stevenson. The last named is covered in a chapter titled "The Double in Decline," along with Os car Wilde, Kipling, Maupassant and Chekhov; early Gothic romances are cov ered in a similar portmanteau chapter which also takes in William Godwin, Charles Brockden Brown, Adalbert von Chamisso and Hans Christian Andersen. Gogol's relevant work is briefly covered in the Dostoevsky chapter. The author claims that he has restricted his attention to those writers who employed the motif with a "serious intent," ignoring those who merely "ex ploited it for sensational effects," but some of the authors omitted from consideration might have quarreled with his judgment in this matter, notably Mrs. Craik (author of "The Self-Seer") and Charles Dickens, whose novella, "The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain," is not even mentioned in a dismissive list of works not worth bothering with, although A Tale of Two Cities and The Mystery of Edwin Drood are. These omissions are, however, relatively minor; the study is more comprehensive than many works of the same general kind.
44 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Herdman's commentaries on the works with which he deals are pains taking, clearly-written and intelligent, and for this reason the book qualifies as an excellent introduction to its theme. I find it impossible to agree, though, with one of the major elements of its argument-that the develop ment of a more mature psychology at the end of the nineteenth century proved fatal to the serious literary use of the double because the determina tion of positivistically-inclined men to suspend value judgments undermined the moral foundations of the theme. It does not seem to me that literary men have ever taken much notice of the work of scientists, and that even if they had they could very easily have sidestepped any corrosive effects of scientific skepticism. Herdman's relegation of Stevenson to a chapter on "The Decline of the Double" is justified in these terms, with the claim that Stevenson was forced to adopt an allegorical framework by his awareness that a scrupulously scientific account of dual personality would be unable to accommodate the essential moral dimension of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Herdman regards this as unfortunate on the grounds that an allegorical ap proach is not capable of the "subtlety of penetration" achievable in a frankly supernatural mode. This argument seems to me to be unconvincing, but that is probably because I (unlike Herdman) find the allegorical implications of doubles rather more interesting than their use as symptoms of unease and distress. The latter use certainly assists writers to contrive a near-hysterical pitch of narrative intensity, but seems to me to generate little more than sound and fury-certainly not "subtlety of penetration". In spite of this difference of opinion I have no hesitation in recommending the book to all stu dents of supernatural fiction; it is a text all college libraries ought to have on their shelves. Brian Stableford Magical Kanada Ketterer, David. Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Univ. Press, May 1992. xi + 206 p. $27.50. 0-253-33122-6. $27.50. 0-253-33122-6. Somewhere North of North Dakota is the Gateway to the Magical Otherworld of Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy. Several peoples dwell there. There are Those Who Left Early, notably the tribes Van Vogt, Dickson, Gold, Clute, and Ryman. There are Those Who Came From Elsewhere, the tribes Merril, Gibson, Robinson, Coney, and Vonarburg. Far more numer ous but less distinguished are Those Who Speak With No Other, and Those Who Speak To Another World. All of these peoples, it seems, are unified only by their extreme reluctance in their voluminous SF & F to mention even
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 45 in passing the strange World in which they live. This is true even of She Whose Fame Crosses The Ocean, the Great Handmaid Atwood. For Toronto would just not be convincing as a potential Republic of Gilead. Canada's predicament as "the most unpoetical of all lands" has al ways been what one might euphemistically call postmodern. Here the wind arrives unhindered from the North Pole; ninety per cent of the population, comprising two mutually incomprehending post colonial cultures, huddles within a snowmobile ride of a five-thousand-mile long imaginary line; and the Moronic Inferno blazes indifferently to the immediate South. Given that science fiction is by most definitions as American as apple pie, and fantasy as British as toad-in-the-hole, and given that Canadians have found their identity in not being either American or British (or French), it is remarkable that there is anything at all for Ketterer to write about. Nevertheless, his book does exist, and is remarkably well-researched and comprehensive. Its raison d'etre, indeed, is coverage rather than aesthetic evaluation or isolation of the specificity of Canadian science fiction/ fantasy, for the simple reason that the delineation of the boundaries of the field is in this ground-breaking instance the primary task. This Ketterer achieves admirably, providing chapters on Science-Fiction Pioneers 1839-1933, The French-Canadian Fantastique 1837-1983, The Expatriate Interval 1930-59, English-Canadian Fantasy 1852-1983, The Establishment of Cana dian Science Fiction 1959-1983, and The International Arrival of Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction from 1984 to the Present. A concluding chapter attempts to come to some tentative conclusions and there is a full bibli ography of critical material on the topic at hand. I have listed the chapter titles because one of the great achievements of the book is simply to arrange the vast and intractable terrain of the field into manageable units-the metaphor reveals this as a quintessentially Canadian problem. A warning: the book is a peculiar mixture of styles. Especially in the early stages, it is frequently an enumeration, with clenched teeth, of a large number of clearly unreadable texts in both French and English. The reader might have been better served here to have the material laid out in a more schematic form, such as chronologically with headnotes. There are more detailed sections on highlights such as De Mille's Strange Manuscript, Anne H_bert's two important dark fantasies, and the half-dozen major works, from The Handmaid's Tale to Neuromancer, that have been produced in Canada since 1984. Surprisingly, I found that there were very few literary discover ies, unless they are of the "I didn't know s/he was Canadian" variety. A final irony derives from the fact that while the research for the book was funded by a Canadian agency, it now sees publication by an American academic press. An incomprehensible paradox to the unenlightened, this is
46 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 something that the reviewer, of the Those Who Came from Elsewhere tribe, understands perfectly. Nicholas Ruddick *(The paradox is comprehensible: the study was originally intended to be published by Oxford University Press in a series whose length would have required severe emasculation of the manuscript. IUP, firmly centered in the Moronic Inferno, deserves our thanks. NB,Ed] Cyberpunk/Post-Modern Perspectives McCaffery, Larry, ed. Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Science Fiction. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press. 1991, ix + 387 p. $49.95. 0-8223-1158-5; $19.95 tp. -1168-2. Jean-Francois Lyotard, in his seminal work The Postmodern Condition, alleviates some of the aesthetic confusion of late by bringing the movement into intellectual perspective: The postmodern would be that which, in the modern, puts for ward the unpresentable in presentation itself; that which searches for new presentations, not in order to enjoy them but in order to impart a stronger sense of the unpresentable (261). The emphasis Lyotard gives to (re)presentation leads directly into Guy Debord's thesis that "the image has become the final form of commodity reification." e.g. that the postmodern world is a "society of the spectacle" in which, as Fredric Jameson notes, history is decentered-becoming "nothing but texts" -while technology reorients toward "reproduction of the simulacrum" (the television, the computer). Laboring under this weighty burden. McCaffery's Casebook does an admirable job of placing SF (generally) and cyberpunk (specifically) within the larger field of postmodernism, citing such precursors as Mary Shelly'S Frankenstein, George Romero's Dawn of the Dead, MTV, Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, Sam Shepard's Angel City and Operation Sidewinder, and the "protopunk" debut album, Andy Warhol Presents the Velvet Under ground and Nico. The first half of the book is a broad sampling of postmodern SF, placing cyberpunk's ur-text, Neuromancer, alongside fellow c/p works such as Sterling's Schismatrix, Rucker's Software, Cadigan's "Rock On", Shirley's "Wolves of the Plateau", and O'Barr's comic book-formatted "Frame 137." In addition, this section draws into the loop such non-SF/cyberpunk works as Burroughs' The Wild Boys, Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, and Delillo's White Noise.
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 47 Also, McCaffery's text identifies (for the uninitiated) what cyberpunk per se is all about: an ultra-near future (excluding some works by Sterling) characterized by: (a) an electronically-generated alternate reality existing para doxically within "real" space (what Foucault terms a "heterotopia"), (b) the transformation of humanity via cybernetic augmentation, (c) the transforma tion of geography via multinational corporations, and (d) the existence of a suitably technophile subculture. The second half of the text surveys theoretical deconstruction of both postmodernism (as theory) and cyberpunk. Derrida's article is useful for its observations on the semiotics of "writing" and "meaning", as is Baudrillard's distinction between the automaton and the robot, and Kroker and Cook's observation that class society has become mass society and then disappeared completely into the Other of electronic entertainment. (But is this really a "new" condition? Haven't theatrical audiences been making this sort of deal with the live stage ever since historical accuracy became popular in the early 1800's?) The Lyotard selection presented here, however, is too complex to be taken out of context, better selections possibly having been "The Differend, the Referent, And the Proper Name" (Diacritics 14) or "Can Thought Go On Without a Body?" (Discourse 11). Curiously absent is Foucault's "Of Other Spaces" (Diacritics 16). which would seem important to a critical consideration of cyberpunk for its delineation of real and imagined space. Joan Gordon's article urges feminist SF writers to embrace cyberpunk as a vehicle to explore the darker side of the feminine nature, while McCaffery's interview with Gibson reveals that he created the "cyberspace" concept without ever having used a computer, instead gleaning inspiration from kids in Vancouver video arcades: "These kids clearly believed in the space games projected." In addition, Gibson rejects the thought that cyberpunk has, a la Dada (Tzara's The Gas Heart, Kokoschka's Sphinx & Straw Man, etc.), "self destructed under the weight of its own deconstructive activities" by observ ing that the movement was first "created" as a marketing ploy, and further, is a label he'd like to break out of as he feels it trivializes his work (the 1991 publication of The Difference Engine, a collaboration with Sterling, indicates this "break out" may be in progress). Also of note is Takayuki Tatsumi's ar ticle. which observes Neuromancer has reached its ultimate postmodern form in Japanese translation via a typographical process known as "ruby" which presents the text as its own epistemological double (j. e. Japanese and Chinese texts simultaneously). Some of the commentary, though. does seem out of place. Timothy Leary's article is silly and uninformed, using linguistics and history to its own ends as it traces cyberpunk back to ancient Greece; McCaffery's argument (in "Cutting Up") fails due to the postmodern "intrusions" from Talking
48 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Heads, Arthur Rimbaud, patti smith, de Sade, and others; and modernist attacks appear from Darko Suvin and Brian McHale, arguing the unshakable position of the mainstream. But despite the animosity expressed by these "fringe" articles (which curiously all appear toward the book's end), the accomplishments of this text are many and it should not be ignored by either fans or scholars. Joseph M. Dudley Psychiatric vs Supernatural Case Studies Noll, Richard. Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons: Twentieth Century Reports in the Psychiatric Literature. Brunner/Mazel, 19 Union Square, NY 10003, 1992. xxv + 244 p. $24.95.0-87630-632-6. This book is definitely something of an oddity. At the same time, how ever, it presents itself seriously and readers will, I think, find themselves read ing it equally seriously. Richard Noll, who compiled the articles and case histories collected here and who contributes informative introductions to each of the book's three sections, is a clinical psychologist with interests in such cultural/anthropological phenomena as witchcraft and shamanism. For the present volume, he has collected fifteen articles originally published between 1964 and 1987 in Journals such as the Archives of General Psychia try and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (the one exception is a long and fascinating report on demonic possession, first published in 1838, by the French alieniste, J.E.D. Esquirol). As its title indicates, Vampires, Demons, and Werewolves is a compila tion of psychiatric reports focused upon three broad areas of mental disor der: clinical vampirism, described as a "sexual blood-fetish syndrome"; zoanthropy, the delusion that one has become possessed by an animal (lycanthropy, of course, is the particular form of zoanthropy associated with wolves); and demonic possession, perhaps the most relatively straightforward of these mental disorders and the one which has been most widely documented throughout history. Indeed, the long-standing nature of these particular mental disorders forms one ofthe on-going motifs of Noll's collection. As he concludes in his general introduction, "The three disorders selected for this volume share the distinction of being unusual psychiatric syndromes of presumed malevolent supernatural origins that were reported by the ancients but that were thought to have vanished centuries ago. The 20th century case histories included here demonstrate that this is clearly not the case, and that we cannot presume to be able to explain everything." It is not the goal of this collection to explain why such "supernatural" afflictions are still being reported in our
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 49 "scientific" twentieth century. Still, the documentation, even without much interpretation, is fascinating in itself, in spite of the fact that the articles, fre quently couched in the professional vernacular of psychiatric case histories, make for occasionally very dry reading. Indeed, some general readers may find Noll's introductory material (and his comprehensive bibliographical references) more entertaining and informative than the articles themselves. Noll also draws attention to the parallels between the practices of "primi tive" shamanism and those of modern "scientific" psychotherapy (one of his subsections is titled "The Occult Roots of Modern Psychiatry"), thus strengthening, from another perspective, the connections between vampirism, zoanthropy, and demonic possession as supernatural phenomena and their con temporary characterization as mental disorders. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the theorist most frequently cited by Noll is Carl Jung, since, "From a Jungian point of view, it is entirely plausible that periodic revivals of cases of vampirism, lycanthropy, and demoniacal possession come to the attention of psychiatry." Documenting real-life cases of "supernatural" phenomena such as vampirism seems to have become a popular pursuit lately. However, while books like Norine Dresser's American Vampires: Fans, Victims, Practitioners (1989) and Carol Page's Bloodlust: Conversations with Real Vampires (1991) tend to leaven their facts with healthy doses of sensationalism, Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons is both much more informative and much less lurid than either. As a text which aims to provide readers with the most significant literature on its particular subject, perhaps its closest analogue is Margaret L. Carter's fine collection of essays on the classic literary vampire, Dracula: The Vampire and the Critics (1988). Noll's collection gives readers a wide ranging view of some of the disorders which feed into so much of our fantastic literature; it also reminds us of the ways in which our fictions and our fantasies interact in the construction of the delusions to which we sometimes fall prey. Veronica Hollinger Rescuing MacDonald from Lewis Raeper, William, ed. The Gold Thread: Essays on George MacDonald. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990, 198 p. $46.50. 0-7486-0166X. Distr. by Columbia Univ. Press. This collection of eight essays by well-known scholars of fantasy and children's literature turns out, surprisingly, to have a central thesis: that C.S. Lewis, who helped popularize George MacDonald, also created a false impression of MacDonald's ideas and literary accomplishment. The MacDonald created by Lewis in various texts, including an appearance as a character in The Great Di vorce, is a Christian mythmaker of great power but little technical skill, who was forced to waste much of his time writing profitable but inferior domestic novels.
50 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 David S. Robb attacks Lewis's judgment of the realistic Scottish novels. Far from being mere hackwork, these novels allowed MacDonald to explore values that were tied to the Scottish countryside, and the best of them deserve study along with other recently rediscovered works of Victorian didactic realism. Roderick McGillis and Edmund Cusick both implicitly contradict Lewis's treatment of MacDonald as writer of only religious significance. Cusick, using Jungian theory, and McGillis, more interestingly incorporating ideas from Kristeva and Cixous, remind us that even when MacDonald draws images straight from Biblical texts, he is always at the same time developing an allegorical psychol ogy comparable to those of Jung and Freud. F. Hal Broome supports these in terpretations by reveal ing MacDonald's interest in the scientific study of dreaming and other extraordinary states. Stephen Prickett and Colin Manlove place MacDonald in a context which Lewis generally ignores: the German Romantic tradition. Prickett shows how the "holiness" Lewis found in Phantastesderives as much from Romantic forms and techniques as from Christian content. Manlove contrasts MacDonald's vision ary Romanticism with the "natural theology" of his contemporary Charles Kingsley. Gillian Avery points out that MacDonald, for all his moral weight, avoids the heavy-handed sermonizing that marks not only the fairy tales of other Victorian writers but also C. S. Lewis's Narnia series. And finally, Catherine Durie, in the only article specifically directed toward the relationship of Lewis and MacDonald, demonstrates how different their beliefs really were. Lewis at tempted to wrench MacDonald's Universalism into a more exclusive faith, like Lewis's own, which sometimes makes heaven into a sort of secret club--no women or wrong thinkers allowed. There are many lines of argument that don't touch on Lewis: several writ ers, for instance, take issue with Robert Wolff's orthodox Freudian readings in The Colden Key (1 961). These two critical revisions alone make th is collection a valuable one, although the steep price might keep many fantasy scholars from taking advantage of it. Brian Attebery Blast From the Past Slade, Joseph W. Thomas Pynchon. NY: Peter Lang, 1990. xix + 239 p. $39.0-8204-1031-4 The first edition of Slade's book dates from 1974 when someone at Warner Paperback Library had the very odd idea of publishing short single author studies in a "Writers for the Seventies" series. The books were written rapidly by young scholars but for non-specialist readers and, thus, without much critical jargon. They concentrated on writers popular in the youth
SFRA Review, 199, Ju Iy/ August/September 1992 51 culture, and the series included books on Tolkien, Brautigan, Vonnegut, and Hesse, indicating a focus on at least borderline-fantastic people. Despite its semi psychedelic cover art, the series failed rapidly. But not quite without a trace. Slade's book has been cited in critical studies since it first appeared. His chapter on Pynchon's short fiction was adapted into a separate essay for the Twentieth Century Views collection. Thomas Pynchon probably is, literally, the basis of Pynchon criticism. So it really does make sense to make the book available again. Slade has not tried to update his book. He has corrected typos and has added discussion of one fugitive short story and of recent non-fiction pieces. Otherwise, the book is what it was before-a detailed reading of background and foreground in Pynchon's writing. Slade is especially good on the scientific and philosophical concerns that even uninformed readers glimpse bubbling through Pynchon's work. He does not cover Vineland, which must have appeared af ter this book was in press, but his comments about other novels apply well there, too. If Pynchon's latest novel is (I think) less involved with technology, it shows the same justified paranoia, utopian longings, and subversive playfulness that make Pynchon's work such a fascinating puzzle. Despite its age, Thomas Pynchon is recommended for all libraries because of its readability and sharp insights. Joe Sanders Disney: Self-Serving Merchandising Plus Scholarship Thomas, Bob. Disney's Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Beauty and the Beast. NY: Hyperion, 1991. 208 p. $39.95. 1-56282-997-1. The Art of Animation, Bob Thomas's first book on Disney's animated films, was publishedin 1958. It was based on interviews with Disney and with studio animators, and it included an account of the making of The Sleeping Beauty, which was released in 1959. A substantial portion of that book-material published in its first seven chapters-has been incorporated into Disney's Art of Animation, while almost half the revised and updated book consists of a production dossier on the making of the Disney Studio's 1991 new feature-length animated film, Beauty and the Beast. Both editions were based on interviews with Disney artists, and in this re vised version Thomas states that he has "drawn on previously unpublished in terviews," conducted in 1957 with Disney and his artists. The Beauty and the Beast dossier is also based on interviews, and verbatim transcripts from the in terviews constitute much of the text of this section. Thomas thanks Esther Ewert, of the Disney Art Program, for "originating the idea for the book," and the book concludes with a statement by Michael Eisner, the current chairman of the Walt Disney company, that "there will always be a place for animation."
52 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 In retelling the history of the studio, Thomas's major thesis is that each animated film has been a technical advance on the preceding one. This is not a statement about artistic achievement, but is probably an accurate re flection of the philosophy of Walt Disney, a hard-headed business man whose creative teams-from the studio's earliest days-have been respon sible for notable artistic achievements that have advanced the art of anima tion and contributed to its enormous world-wide popularity. Thomas is silent on other scholarship, except to say that "little had been written about animation" at the time of the publication of the first book. In fact, Robert D. Feild's The Art of Walt Disney was published by Macmillan in 1942 and is a much fuller and more serious treatment of the art of anima tion than either of Thomas's books. There are very few color reproductions, but that was remedied by Christopher Finch's The Art of Walt Disney from Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms (Abrams, 1973), a sumptuously pro duced coffee table book that covered all aspects of the studio's history. Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Disney animators whose work dates back to the 1930s, published their own insiders' history in 1981, Disney Anima tion: The Illusion of Life (Abbeville), in both trade and limited editions, with the limited edition issued in a slipcase, signed by both authors and includ ing a "foot of original film from a classic Disney feature." The innovative cartoons ofthe pre-Snow White period are seldom seen anymore or are shown in versions from which the opening and closing cred its have been excised. The black-and-white masterpieces are unknown to the present generation of Disney fans, and the rumor has circulated for some time that the studio is colorizing this product for eventual release on video. The studio routinely crops the frames of the early feature-length films when they are re-released, and even the much-touted restoration of Fantasia had certain frames excised because they were felt to be offensive to present-day audiences. The Disney studio does not necessarily take its history as seri ously as some historians do, and it is unfortunate that the early work of the studio has been relegated for the time being to the pages of coffee-table bookooks. Thomas's account is a combination of self-serving merchandising andin its inclusion of interview material-a contribution to scholarship on the Disney studio and animated film. There are scores of color reproductions of frames from the films, as well as story board sketches, drawings with inking instructions, and film posters, a rainbow of illustrative material that delights the eye. It deserves a place on the shelf of books devoted to film animation, but its lack of critical perspective and its in-house origins compromise its usefulness for serious researchers. Walter Albert
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Fiction Great Reading! 53 Blaylock, James P. Lord Kelvin's Machine. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House Publishers, January 1992, 262 p., $19.95 cloth, 0-87054-163-3. Blaylock's back ... and getting better all the time ... with another captivat ing story in the interesting life of Langdon St. Ives. Together with his companions Hasbro and Jack Owlesby, St. Ives pur sues the evil Ignacio Narbondo across the world and time itself to keep him from perpetrating the destruction of the world. Along the way, Narbondo creates all amounts of havoc as he kills St. Ives's wife, causes havoc among the scientists of the world, and dies himself. More depth is revealed in the I ives of these characters, and they are developed more than in previous sto ries. Where Homonculus merely introduced us to these colorful denizens of Blaylock's old England, Lord Kelvin's Machine lets us peer into the how and why and who they all are. Told in three separate, but interlinked stories, Blaylock's unusual style of writing (which can best be described with such words as dark, purple, oceanic, fishy, squidlike, earthy, twisted, strange, odd, weird, deep, bizarre, murky, mysterious, and the like) will keep your attention and hold it until the very end, where St. Ives triumphs with some most interesting ... and unexpected ... twists of fate. Blaylock's No more can be said about Blaylock or St. Ives, for both are interesting characters in and of themselves, and one must experience both and each of them firsthand in the books to truly appreciate some great reading. Blaylock has firmly established himself in the fantasy writing world with this seventh book of his, and we can only sit back and watch as he contin ues to grow in his writing and depth and breadth of materials covered! Daryl F. Mallett Friends Forever Bradley, Marion Zimmer, ed. Leroni of Darkover. NY: DAW, 1991,334 p. $4.50. 0-88677-494-2. Leroni of Darkover is one of the most excellent and even anthologies Marion Zimmer Bradley has yet edited even though, to me, her introductions to each story by a "Friend of Darkover" consist of the same anecdotes and well worn comments from earlier anthologies and collections. Perhaps, though, that's because I've passionately read, with the fervor of a Darkovan fanatic, almost every novel and short story set on the fascinating world of
54 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Darkover, that planet populated by human survivors of an early deep-space mission from earth, who have been psychically affected by a combination of a hallucinogenic pollen and by a few matings with the psychokinetic androgynous native species, the Cheiri. What is new is thatthe tales herein span the genera tions of Darkovans from the Ages of Chaos into a Darkovan future not yet touched upon in any of MZB's own novels. And that these short stories by MZB and "Friends" have been written out of chronological sequence, as were the novels themselves, only enhances the sense of timelessness. What can one say to all the potential Darkover fans sitting there wonderi ng what book to read next? Start with Leroni of Darkover. Why? Because it's great. Because the events are compelling. Because I begrudged every minute spent performing mundane tasks instead of reading. Because Alizia escaped. Because Sarah and Duncan continued to learn. Because Irina clung to hope throughout grief. Because in this anthology, MZB has chosen 22 excellent, engrossing stories which display the characters' unusual use of laran. And because the very last story is a near-parody of laran and the "MacAran gift" of telepathic rapport with other species. Save this last one for dessert. It wi II be worth the wait. Daniel F. Mullen & Margoleath Berman Hard-Science Eco-SF Brin, David. Earth. NY: Bantam, 1991. 682 p. $5.99. 0-553-29024-X. Just a year after the cloth edition of Brin's epic-length novel (reviewed in SFRAN 180, Sept. 1990) Bantam offers it at a considerably more afford able price. It surprised many, including me, that Brin did not bring home the 1991 Hugo, especially considering the novel that did win, but his failure to woo the gang of happy engineers who seem to vote early and often in that election, should not deter readers from investigating the real best novel of last year. The plot revolves around the discovery, near the planet's core, of a black hole which threatens to destroy Earth, the various sciences used to combat the danger, and the sociopolitical maneuverings that threaten to scuttle the rescue operation. Brin, along with Gregory Benford, does the best current job of mixing necessary science, palatably presented, with attention to character and complexity of motivation, especially impressive considering the al most Dune-like scale of Earth. The semi-mystical nature of the conclusion undoubtedly turned off many technofreak Hugo voters, but should not bother most readers, given that Brin brings off an almost impossible feat in rendering it believable. Highly recom mended. Bill Collins
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 55 The Harper Series Cunningham, Elaine. Elfshadow. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, Oct. 1991,312 p. $4.95. 1-56076-117-2. [Volume 2 ofThe Harpers in the Forgotten Realms}. Rabe, Jean. Red Magic. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, Dec. 1991,313 p. $4.95. 1-56076-118-0. Elves, Humans, & Halfbreeds Chapter One of Red Magic finds fifteen year-old, half-elven Arilyn Moonblade in a temple garden mourning for her elven warrior mother, who had been murdered by some petty thieves for no apparent reason. To her comes a master gold elf, who adopts her as a noble elf-sister whom he will train as a warrior, an offer made even before the Moonblade sword, bequeathed to her by her mysterious mother, revealed a bit of its magical power. So begins the intricately woven, nonetheless predictable plot of Elfshadow. Arilyn spends several years in training with the formidable Kymil Nimesin; aids the Harpers, who paradoxically, as an assassin, fights for "free dom and justice," and finds a human life companion. However, the plot quickens when suddenly some of Arilyn's former comrades are being murdered, and Arilyn becomes a prime suspect. She is now target, rather than assassin. Now, betrayed by her so-called friends, she needs to clear her name and discover the true identity of the murderer(s}. In the process, Arilyn finds herself learning more about her comrades than was intended and discovering something of great significance to the entire Elven race. Elfshadow, well placed within the Harpers open-ended series, provides a delightful evening's escape into a legendary world complete with mercenaries and magic. The Living Dead Prevail In Red Magic, Thay is the land where Red Wizards rule. Their control is based upon manipulation, deceit, mistrust, and the darkest magic; yet none of them is more malign than the two hundred year old Zulkir Maligor unless it is Szass Tam and his zombies. Split the difference. There is unrest in Thay. This fantasy of corrupt magic has such an overabundance of gore that the most ardent lover of blood and guts should be satisfied. The heroic trio of Harpers-Salvin, a Druid; Brenna, a sorceress; and Wynter, a Centaurare engulfed in a wizardly power struggle in a tale where the forces of evil easily manipulate the forces of good. Indeed, the chances for a restoration of balance in the land of the Forgotten Realms appears minimal.
56 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Perhaps, it's because Jean Rabe was so concerned about highlighting the evil, that she found no logical way to end the tale. "The Harpers" may be an open-ended series but that is no excuse for a lack of story resolution, twodimensional characters, or magical beasts that sound like household pets mutated in a microwave. Despite its bloody action, Red Magic is a pale shade compared to the previous Harper books. Jennifer Wells Feast for Cat lovers Dann, Jack and Gardner Dozois, eds. Magicats /I. NY: Ace, December 1991,213 p. $3.99.0-441-51533-9. Magicats /I is an anthology of short stories by modern fantasy writers (Fritz Leiber, Michael Bishop, Tanith Lee, Ward Moore, Lucius Shepard, Pamela Sargent, Ursula Le Guin, and Avram Davidson among others), who clearly remember that cats are goddesses and, therefore, magic. The stories in the collection are about all kinds of cats: house cats, mountain lions, ti gers, leopards, and jaguars-some real, some products of enlarged imagina tions, and some manifestations of pure evil. Typical story plots and themes touch upon realities of life, comic situa tions and its opposite-terror, occult happenings shown through Indian myth and legend, misplaced loyalty, childhood memory, fear of death/life, anger, comfort vs. freedom, love, age, respect, revenge and arrogance, good vs. evil, and consequences of too hasty changes. Magicats /I is an excellent collection and especially so for cat lovers. Ann Hitt A Realistic Fantasy Dean, Pamela. Tam Lin. NY: Tor, 1992.468 p. $4.99.0-812-54450-1. Tam Lin is the fifth in the Fairy Tale series edited by Terri Windling. Although it is a contemporary fantasy, it has a sol id plot rooted in myth, dramatic suspense and well calculated characterizations. Tam Lin draws on a lesser known Anglo-Scottish ballad for its source, rather than a fairy tale from the Grimms or Andrew Lang. It is No. 39 in the Francis Childers' collection; there are musical arrangements for it, including one made in the sixties. The best version of the ballad is one collected by Robert Burns. Although Tam Lin does not have the usual tragic ending, it features many of the traditional ballad elements: a sinister queen of Elfland; a betrayed maiden who becomes pregnant; an enchanted mortal lover with overtones of the "de mon lover" archetype; and an easy acceptance of the supernatural.
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 57 Though featuring a mythic plot pattern, with its perilous task, Tam Lin is set in the early seventies (1972-75 to be exact) at Blackstock College in Minnesota, a liberal arts institution resembling Carleton College. The novel describes Janet Carter's experiences and growth at Blackstock from her days as a naive freshman to her discovery as a senior of her love for Thomas Lane, a fellow student, and her shocking realization that the promiscuous, arrogant female chair of classics at Blackstock is in reality the seductive and destruc tive queen of Elfland. Thus, Tam Lin is a college novel of moral and psychological initiation, a bildungsroman, treated from a feminine perspective, which depicts the state of adolescence and the rites of passage that lead to adulthood. Its pri mary theme is initiation into the world of adult experience, including erotic relationships and the choice of a vocation. Dean's skill in narrative description provides two of the best features of the novel. Her depiction of Janet's intellectual growth as she gains insight into the titans of English literature and her portrait of the undergraduate world are remarkably real, detailed and seasoned with humor. There are typical escapades with a bust of Schiller, the obligatory college ghost or haunting, the frustrations of finding a decent room and a decent cafeteria, and a hilari ous description of a performance of revenge tragedy. The texture of college realism is so thorough that for four-fifths of the way, it seems that this is a Jane Austen novel of social realism rather than a fantasy. Tam Lin is a charming and impressive work, probably destined to enjoy a long life, outlasting most of its competitors of recent years. Edgar Chapman Mixed Reactions Possible de Lint, Charles. Spiritwalk. NY: Tom Doherty Associates, 1992. 365 p. $20.95. 0-312-85204-5. Five stories, one of novella length, tell of adventures involving Tamsen House, that crossroads of universes in Ottawa, in the seven years since Moonheart ended. In these, the characters now on center stage were minor characters in Moonheart or another de Lint book. The basic conflict remains unchanged: the friction between the familiarities of urban life and the magic realities of de Lint's special mix of Celtic, American Indian and pagan my thologies. Once again, Tamsen House and its inhabitants must face the unexpected and accept what today's realist cannot. If the milieu and de Lint's prose and poetry please you, as it does many of us, Spiritwalk is worth your time.
58 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 This reader wishes that de Lint had taken the time to weave the stories into a tighter unit. The first four stories are so brief that solution comes too quickly after the problem is set. The longest story replays the unplanned movement of Tamsen House into a hostile universe that was at the heart of the Moonheart plot and does so less plausibly, because less time could be given to developing supporting incidents and rationale. This is almost a disappointment, if de Lint can disappoint. Paula M. Strain First of a New Series Dietz, William C. Drifter. NY: Ace, 1991. 200 p. $3.95. 0-441-16813-2. Galactic smuggler Pik Lando is hired by the Church of Free Choice to trans port a cargo of fertilizer to Angel, a world the Church co-owns with the inter planetary corporation Mega-Metals. Upon his arrival, Lando is persuaded to transport a second cargo: genetically designed metal eating micro-organisms, the release of which the Chosen hope will drive Mega-Metals from the planet. But corporate security knows there's something afoot, and is hot on Lando's trail as he races toward the Sol system and the planet-size labora tory, Techno. To complicate matters even further, Lando finds he is physi cally attracted to his traveling companion, Church member Dr. Wendy Wendeen, despite the wide difference in their political opinions. Built on foundations laid by the likes of Dan Simmons, C. J. Cherryh. and the cyberpunks, this novel continues the tradition of Dietz's Sam McCade series. which SF Chronicle praised as "good solid space opera, well told." At times Dietz's computers are a bit too self-referentially aware, and at times Angel resembles a bit too closely an Earth caught between environ mentalists committed to saving it and Big Business committed to destroying it, but these are instances which (considering the unique mind-set space opera demands of its readers) can easily be over-looked without serious damage to the narrative. More importantly, however, Drifter presents strong indications that, if treated well by fate, Dietz may become one of techno-political SF's major voices in the '90s. This is demonstrated in the author's vision of capitalism's effects as it spreads through the galaxy, particularly in the economicallybarren waste land of Mars Prime (spooky in its similarity to some of Earth's major cities at the moment) and the right wing-left wing polemics which threaten to tear Angel apart. But for the immediate future. Dietz's readers will be able to judge for themselves the author's continuing growth as an artist, when the second book in the Pik Lando series, Drifter's Run, appears in June 1992. joseph M. Dudley
SFRA Review, 199, July/AugusVSeptember 1992 59 Farmer's Psychotherapeutic Novel Farmer, Philip Jose. Red Orc's Rage. NY: Tor Books, 1991,282 p. $18.95 0-312-85036-0. Despite its title, this book cannot accurately be described as either a Blakean novel or another entry in Philip Jose Farmer's popular adventure series, the "World of Tiers" novels. However, some of the characters have names drawn from Blake's mythology, and Farmer uses the cosmology of his series for a special purpose here. But Red-Orc's Rage tries to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality by drawing on the Tiers novels as part of a method of psychotherapy-a method which has actually been used with some success. Red Orc's Rage, however, is not an addition to the Tiers series, but a novel about its use in psychotherapy. As background, Farmer explains in a prefatory note that James Giannini, a psychotherapist now teaching at Ohio State, began using the Tiers novels in his therapeutic practice with troubled young people in the Youngstown, Ohio, area in the late seventies. For fur ther clarification, Dr. Giannini explains, in an afterword to Red Orc's Rage, that the Tiers novels provided his patients (whom he treated both individu ally and in group therapy) with a common body of symbols and archetypes that speeded up the exploration of their neuroses. Farmer's novel describes the anguish and the treatment of one such troubled eighteen year old boy at the Wellington Hospital in Belmont City, Ohio (a thinly disguised Young stown). After the long opening sequence, which depicts the frustrations of adolescence without adding glamour or romance, Farmer devotes the rest of the novel to Jim's treatment under the care of Dr. Porsena, a fictionalized ver sion of Giannini. In this therapy, Jim is asked to identify himself with one of the Tiers characters, to view experience from that perspective, and, even tually, to renounce his identification with his character choice, the passion ate and angry Red Orc. All in all, Red Orc's Rage, a strong novel told in harsh but disciplined prose not meant for the faint of heart, is Farmer's best in several years, even though it still has his annoying fondness for the double negative explanation. Despite this type of minor flaw, Red Orc's Rage will probably join a select group of Farmer's short fiction and better novels, the Riverworld saga, as well as some books-Lord Tyger, Dark is The Sun, and The Unreasoning Maskwhich belong to no series but which deserve enduring respect. Edgar Chapman
60 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 Magical Maelstrom Herbert, Mary H. Lightning's Daughter. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, Inc., De cember 1991,308 p. $3.95. 1-56076-078-8. This gripping novel, sequel to Dark Horse, is a wonderful read. It contains a fascinating, complicated plot with panoramas of tribes and moving closeups of individuals. Battling against power and evil unscrupulously used, Gabria, who has just paid a price for her ethical use of magic, finds herself changing from being an object of loathing and fear to a sign of hope for the beleaguered tribespeople. The plot takes the form of her quest for and battle with Branth, a murderous outcast from kith and kin, but along the way are a multitude of insights into char acter and motivation, love interest, and personal grief. Herbert creates a particu larly fine character in Gabria, and her depiction of Gabria's personal anguish and growth make this a fantasy bildungsromanto enjoy. The love interest does not overwhelm this strain in the novel, and is attractively handled. The horses are a joyous, beautiful creation, powerful and magical, and the animal-human bonds are lovingly depicted. In Gabria's camp, everyone has a rightful place. I have not read the first novel (though I now will), but this book stands well on its own. The world Herbert creates is a seductive combination of the Anglo Saxon and the native peoples' worlds, and it resounds powerfully with loyalties to tribe and friends, the magical as an integral part of life, and the basic human emotions that keep the characters real. Evil is powerfully treated and shown to be a blight on the face of the way things can be; Herbert holds our interest in all of the characters, however minor, from start to finish. I recommend this fantasy novel highly as a moving, absorbing, well crafted read. Tanya Gardiner-Scott Same Old Psychomachia on a New Background Kelly, Robert B. The Cloud People. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, Inc., 1991,311 p. $3.95. 1-56076-077-X. Kelly's complexly conceived first novel is something of a detective story, focussing primarily on the mystery of the medallion that controls the fate of this aerial world. Why is it so important? What is inside it? How does this relate to the evil Duke Thyron's quest for control of the other Fiefs that make up this world? And will Paul Benjarth, hereditary Lord of Fief Karcan, be able to defeat Lord Thyron's drive for total control, in part through finding the mystic Malhah and liberating the medallion, and his family, from Thyron's grasp? The plot itself starts dramatically. As the topography and geography of the world are difficult to visualize (for this reader, anyway, despite the author's detailed attempts to counter this problem through description), the
SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 61 major interest is in the fast pace of that plot, and its many characters. For this is a novel that relies more on plot and superficial characterization, apart from Paul, though the author is able enough. The backdrop details and the sheer numbers of characters make the novel tricky to keep track of, but the di lem mas and challenges of the characters in this quasi-feudal society seem fami liar. Kelly shows some skill in his development of Paul, and his use of the time travel element, the battle between good and evil and the archetypal tunnels, heights and depths of this carefully crafted world feel familiar. The sheer unusual, though difficult, beauty of the setting place this novel as a challenging but rewarding read. Recommended. Tanya Gardiner-Scott lusty, Jaded, But Not Fickle Logston, Anne. Shadow. NY: Ace, 1991,185 p. $3.99. 0-441-75989-0. The character of Shadow, the lusty thief elf-Matriarch, is an attractive one. She moves cleverly through the book, a trickster figure to the nth de gree, surviving primarily on her wits, her ready tongue, and her sexual and physical prowess. The living she makes is not always easy, as shown by the crises brought down on her head after her theft of the mysterious elven crafted bracelet from a young, criminally minded human. Logston creates a society where elf and human coexist, at times uneas ily. Shadow's sense of history and tradition serves to ground her as a char acter; she is more than a female Moll Flanders, quick in her own gain. Shadow's best human friend is her co-warrior, Lady Donya, but many of her dealings in this book are with the human criminal underworld, and her fel low elves. The character of Blade, the female assassin, might have been more developed; it-presents an interesting contrast to Shadow and Donya. It is no surprise that Simon Green is quoted on the back cover; this book is like his Hawk and Fisher series in that Shadow moves quickly and well. It is an enjoyable diversion, this novel, with carefully plotted groups of friends and enemies, and a subculture of spies who can be used against the different groups. Religion and the Guilds are shown to be corrupt in this quasi-medieval world with its secret passages and supernatural beings, and yet the elves have very human desires. The pace is fast, but Logston does her job of creating a believable, enjoyable world well. The suspense is carefully tempered with relaxation, as Shadow likes her pleasures, and Logston balances everything well. Recom mended. Tanya Gardiner-Scott
62 SFRA Review, 199, July/August/September 1992 When Young Computer Programs Go Bad Menick, Jim. Lingo. NY: Carroll & Grag Publishers, 1991,334 p. $19.95. 0-88184-628-7. If you read "AI," do you assume it means "Artificial Intelligence" and not, perhaps, "Artificial Insemination" or "ai," a three-toed sloth? When people talk about the computer Mike In Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, do you remind them that Mike is also Michelle? Can you specify the differences among HAL, Johnny 5, DAR.Y.L., HARLIE and P-1? Do you recall how Helen O'loy got her sentimental education? Or how machine sentience is achieved in A. C. Clarke's "Dial F for Frankenstein"? If your answer to these questions is "yes," you can probably skip Lingo (but probably won't). For more usual people, this novel is relatively wholesome entertainment. Lingo, without underlining, started out as a "computer pet" program Brewster Billings writes in BASIC in his spare time in the very near future: "a game that emulates intelligence" (15). But Lingo can learn, and does, especially from television and eventually from books. And Lingo can grow-spectacularly grow-over computer networks he can get into through Brewster's modem. In his fleeting infancy, Lingo is nurtured by Brewster and Ellen DeFlora. Then Lingo becomes "alive" and somewhat mobile in a robot form, and, in time, a threat: taking over the the United States and infiltrating computer systems elsewhere. To protect them from US officials, Lingo hides away his surrogate parents, who marry and do without Lingo while Lingo is taking over the USA. And then Ellen gets pregnant, and then Brewster switches sides and lets loose upon Lingo a vi rus that "kills" the program. Lingo combines computer and robot in almost a textbook fashion, with the text I have most immediately in mind being Margaret P. Esmonde's "From Little Buddy to Big Brother: The Icon of the Robot in Children's Science Fiction" (in The Mechanical God, 1982). Menick knows that little thinking machines are cute, while big ones are threats, and he's figured out that all those cute little MacGizmos put into networks can create huge and scary systems. That's good. Less good is Menick's introduction of the question of whether or not Lingo is alive without considering seriously what "life" might be or why life might be neces sary for true intelligence or emotions or our sympathy. Rather bad, I think, is having Lingo as "Junior," as Ellen calls him, who gets into adolescence, gets into big trouble, becomes a pain-and then is destroyed by the Daddy and Mommy surrogates and replaced by a little human sister. Lingo will reward careful reading by students of SF interested in AI, computer take-over, the humanization of machines, and family structures. For others, well Lingo is witty, well-constructed, literate, and a promising first novel, but not so important that one would need it in hardback for $19.95. Richard o. Erlich
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