SFRA Review

SFRA Review

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SFRA Review
Alternate Title:
Science Fiction Research Association Review
Science Fiction Research Association
Place of Publication:
[Eugene, Ore
Science Fiction Research Association]
Publication Date:


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


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Place of publication varies.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
S67-00114-n228-1997-03_04 ( USFLDC DOI )
s67.114 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Issue #228, Marchi April 1997 IN THIS ISSUE: SFRA INTERNAL AFFAIRS: President's Message (Gordon) .............................................. 5 From the Secretary (Wendell) .............................................. 6 Conference Update (Westfahl) ............................................. 7 SFRA Listserve ........................................................................ 8 Clareson Award Speech (Clareson) ...................................... 9 Letters (Ketterer, Hellekson) .............................................. 12 Corrections .......................................................................... 14 Membership Directory Updates ........................................ 14 Editorial (Sisson) ................................................................. 14 NEWS AND INFORMATION .......................................... 17 PUBLISHERS' ADDRESSES ............................................ 22 CURRENT & FORTHCOMING BOOKS ........................ 23 FEATURES Feature Review: "Anthologies for the Classroom" Gunn, James (Editor). The Road To Science Fiction Volume 3: From Heinlein to Here. (Kaveny) ...................................................................... 25 Hartwell, David G. and Milton T. Wolf (Editors). Visions of Wonder. (Lewis) ........................................... 26 Special Feature: "Incorporating the Messiness of Life: A Conversation with Nancy Kress" (Ingersoll & Burelbach) .................................................. 29 REVIEWS: Nonfiction: Badley, Linda. Writing Horror and the Body: The Fiction of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Anne Rice. (Bousfield) ............................................................. 43 Certo, Nicholas]. (Editor). Hannes Bok: Drawings and Sketches. (Albert) ................................................... 45 SFRA Review #228, page 1


Hartwell, David G. Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction. (Westfahl) ........................... 46 Joshi, S.T. H.P. Lovecraft: A Life. (Wells) ....................... 50 Lottman, Herbert R. jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography. (Evans) ........................................................ 57 Ivlorris, Evan. The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet. (Barron) .......................................................... 59 Perret, Patti. The Faces of Fantasy. (Sullivan) ............... 60 Umland, Rebecca A. and Samuel j. Umland. The Use ofArthurian Legend in Hollywood Film: From Connecticut Yankees to Fisher Kings. (Blackwood) ..................................................................... 60 Fiction: Cave, Hugh B. Bitter/Sweet. (Kelleghan) ........................ 63 Choyce, Lesley. Trapdoor to Heaven. (Lehman) ........... 63 Gannett, Lewis. Magazine Beach. (Dziemianowicz) ....... 65 Knight, Damon. Humpty Dumpty: An Oval. (Brigg) .............................................................................. 66 Kress, Nancy. Beggars Ride. (Allen) ................................ 67 Lethem, Jonathan. The Wall of the Sky, The Wall of the Eye. (Stevens) ............................................. 70 I'-Ioore, Ward. Lot & Lot's Daughter. (McKnight) ........... 70 SF CAPSULES .................................................................... 73 SFRA MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION & APPLICATION .......................................................... 75 SFR.\ Rc\iclI" #228, page 2


Editor Amy Sisson Assistant Editor Paul Abell SFRA Review (ISSN 1068-39 5X) is published 6 times per year by the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) and distributed to SFRA members. Individual issues are not for sale. For information about the SFRA, see the description and application at the back of this issue. Please submit reviews, news items, letters, etc. to Amy Sisson, SFRA Review, 304 Fairfax Row, Waterford NY 12188; telephone (518) 237-4669; e-mail "". E-mail or disk submissions are preferred although typed hardcopy is acceptable. E-mail submissions can be included in the body of the e-mail message, or attached as a text-only or ASCII stripped file. Disk submissions must be saved as text-only or ASCII-stripped files. DEADLINES: Submissions must be received by the 1st of the month preceding cover date, i.e. by April 1 for the May/June issue. Typeset by Amy Sisson on a Macintosh Performa 6205CO. Cover graphic by Alex Eisenstein. Printed by Century Cre ations, Grand Forks, North Dakota. PRESIDENT Joan Gordon 1 Tulip Lane Commack NY 11725 SECRETARY Carolyn Wendell English Dept. Monroe Comm. College Rochester NY 14623 VICE PRESIDENT Elizabeth Cummins Dept. of English Univ. of l'vlissouri-Rolla Rolla 1'>10 65401 TREASURER Robert J. Ewald 552 W. Lincoln St. findlay OH 45840 IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Joe Sanders 6354 Brooks Blvd. 1'>Ientor OIl 44060 SFRA Review #228, page 3


The good ship Queen /lIaIY remains on course for a rendezvous with members of the SFRA/friends of the Eaton Collection, June 23-26, 1997, Long Beach, CA. Here is the complete guest list as it stands, with recent new additions Peter Nicholls and Melinda Snodgrass: GWEN ALLEY, artist specializing in erotic fantasy art GREGORY BENfORD, science fiction author of Timescape and Sailing Bright Eternity DAVID BRIN, science fiction author of Startide Rising and Brightness Reef 1\IICHAEL CASSUTT, science fiction screenwriter, former producer of The Ower Limits KATHRYN CRAIvIER, co-editor of The Ascent of Wonder DON DAVIS, space artist and science fiction artist SHEILA FINO-I, science fiction author of Intlni[y's Web and The Garden of lhe Shaped JMdES GUNN, science fiction author of The Immortals and The LiSleners DAVID G. HARTWELL, science fiction editor, author of /\ge of Wonders HOWARD V. HENDRIX, science fiction author of two novels scheduled for 1997 publication PETER NICHOLLS, co-editor of The fnqclopedia of Sci ence riction, traveling all the way from Australia TI1\1 POWERS, fantasy author of The Stress of Her Re gani and The Anubis Gales D,,\ VID PRINGLE, editor of Interzone and S't. james Guide Fanlasy IVrileni KI1\1 STANLEY ROBINSON, science fiction author of Blue Mars and PaciJjc ELige JO,\N SLONCZEWSKI, science fiction author of A Door inlO Ocean i\IELINDA SNODGRASS, author of the Circuil trilogy and scriptwriter for ,'-;wr Trek: The Next Generation ("The 1\leasure of a i\lan") and The OUler Limits ("Sandkings") (C()Il1iIlued OIl page 16) ,\fR.\ Re\'je\\' ;'228, page -+


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE I'm sure all of you reading this will breathe easier knowing that power was transferred this January without bloodshed. Joe Sanders stepped down with grace and a highly suspicious sigh of relief. I assumed the mantle a few days early, by representing SFRA at the 1996 MLA Conference last December in Washing ton, D.C. Two sessions of the conference were devoted to a drive to return SF to the ivlLA by establishing an MLA Discussion Group in "Science Fiction, Utopian, and Fantastic Litera ture." The movement was spearheaded by Tom I\loylan, who organized the planning sessions I attended; Ken Roemer, who is drafting the petition for the Discussion Group; and Peter Fitting, who is organizing a special session for the 1997 MLA meeting in Toronto on "Science Fiction/Utopia from a Cana dian Perspective." Not only would science fiction sessions at MLA acknowledge the literature's legitimacy in the academy, but such a legitimization would be especially valuable for graduate students and newer faculty members. Elsewhere in this issue of the Review should be a call for papers. Speaking of calls for papers, I hope you're all thinking about papers to deliver at this year's SFRA conference. The theme is "Space" and we'll be occupying some pretty luxurious space aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Gary Westfahl has been working his fingers to nubbins and his guest list is outstanding: Gregory Benford, David Brin, Sheila Finch, Tim Powers, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Joan Sloczewski are just a few of the expected guests/participants. Remember, you can register by sending your check to Gary, even before you re ceive the official registration materials. Having given you some good news, no\\' it's time for the unpleasant. At our board meeting in January, we wrestled with the budget and it looks very much as if we'll have to raise next year's membership dues hy $20 just to hreak even. Rates for Science-Fiction S'wdics and for printing our own Review have gone up, so even with royalties and any excess conference funds, we are in danger of going into the red without a rise. Rising paper costs have hurt our overseas col5;FRA Review #228, page 5


leagues as well. Edward james of Foundation tells us that next year's discount subscription to Foundation will be substantially higher also. All this discussion of rising rates leads me to suggest that you might want to contribute a bit to our "Support a Scholar" fund as you renew your membership this year. If it's hard for us, it will be even more difficult for scholars in less affluent countries. We've always been a close-knit group. Let me just draw your attention to our new SFRA listserve address, explained elsewhere in the Review. Thanks to Len Hatfield, that has already become a lively forum for our membership. Hope to hear from you across the ether. -joan Gordon FROM THE SECRETARY The Executive Board's new officers met in New York City january 31-February l. In attendance were President joan Gordon, Vice President Elizabeth Cummins, Treasurer Michael Levy, Secretary Carolyn Wendell, Past President joe Sanders, and Review Editor Amy Sisson. While a fuller report will ap pear in the next Rcview, members should know that it looks as if dues will have to be raised. Both immediate past and present treasurers recommend an increase, probably in the neighborhood of $20.00. With significant increases in the cost of the Re vic IV, the awards we give (the Pilgrim has gone from $17 to $25; the Clareson will average somewhere be t\\'een $50 and $60), and the subscriptions included in our membership fee, we are paying out more than we take in and projections do not suggest an improved future of decreasing costs. The officers will continue compiling figures and exploring options until the june conference when all information will be shared. Bake sales, anyone? The good news is that we had 147 renewals by january l3 \\"ith second notices yet to be sent out, and plans for the con ference are proceeding and looking good. Carolyn Wendell SFRA Rcvic\\" tl228, page 6


CONFERENCE UPDATE The 1997 SFRA/Eaton Conference will be held June 23-26, 1997, on board the Queen MalY in Long Beach, California. This is actually news, because in response to lingering complaints about the weekday schedule, I recently contacted the Queen Mary and inquired about the possibility of shifting the conference dates more towards a weekend. Unfortunately, and as I suspected, I found out yesterday that the Queen Mary's dance card is booked solid throughout June, so we must stay with the original dates. To those of you expecting to work or teach classes during that week who are feeling disenfranchised by the conference's timing, I apologize, but nothing can be done about the matter now. I simply note that, for those whose working conditions are somewhat better than Dickensian, there always remain options like taking vacation days, having another teacher cover your classes in exchange for your covering her classes later, and so on. All I can do at the moment is to try to make this conference sound so irresistibly appealing as to perhaps inspire you to make an extra effort to juggle your schedule and attend. So, I can first report that almost all guests previously announced -including Greg Benford, David Brin, 1\lichael Cassutt, Sheila Finch, James Gunn, David G. Hartwell, Frcderik Pohl, Tim Powers, David Pringle, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Joan Slonczewski -are still on our roster, and wc've rcccntly added Peter Nicholls, co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, coming all the way from Australia; and Melinda Snodgrass, author of thc Circuit trilogy and scriptwriter for S'tar Trek: The Next Generation ("Thc 1\lea sure of a Man") and The Outer Limits ("Sandkings"). And we are working through various connections to attract additional guests -more figures from film and television, scientists from JPL and elsewhere, and other notables. Also, in confcrence publicity, we tend to emphasize science fiction and fantasy writers as if they were the only significant attractions, but I should also point out that a num ber of noteworthy scholars and critics will also be in attendance. To date, confirmed guests include Eaton stalwarts like George Slusser, Eric S. Rabkin, Paul Alkon, and the de lightful Frank 1\lcConnel1; Mack Hasslcr, editor of Extrapolation; Istvan Csicscry-Ronay, editor of S'cicnce-Fiction S'tudies; SFRA Rcvicw #228, page I


Andy Sawyer, from England, head of the Science Fiction Foundation Library and reviews editor of Foundation; Susan Stone Blackburn, who studies psi powers in science fiction; Alan Elms, psychology professor from UC Davis who introduced the recent edition of Cordwainer Smith's Nostrilia; William Senior, head of the IAFA; joe Sanders, past president of SFRA; Milton Wolf, former vice-president; current president joan Gordon; some young scholars like Kathleen Plummer from UC Davis and jefferson M. Peters from japan; and several other people who will probably be angry at me for forgetting to mention them here -but I'll be sure to mention them in the next conference update. A final bit of exciting news: your official conference flyers, Calls for Papers, and registration forms are finally in the mail, and you should have received them by the time you read this. I apologize for the absurd delay in getting these out, and because of their late departure, I'm announcing a special offer for SFRA members only: the bargain early-bird registration rate of $110.00, announced as ending on March 1, will be available until April 1. So you now have an extra month to save yourself ten big dollars! -Gary Westfahl SFRA ListServe Thanks to Len Hatfield, the SFRA now has an e-maillistserve which allows members to post memos, ask questions, exchange information, and debate issues with one another. If you are not yet a part of this list but would like to be, please see below for instructions: To suhslTibe to this list, send your request to the robot at "listproc@'ebbs.english.vLedu". The body of your message should read "subscribe SFRA-L" (do not include quotation marks). To take yourself off of this list, send your request to the rohot at "listproc@'". The body of your message should read "signoff SFRA-L" or "unsubscribe SFRA-L" (do not include quotation marks). To get more information on how to use this service, please send the command "help" in a line by itself in a mail message to the robot at "listproc@'". SFR.;\ Rcvicw #228, page 8


To send mail to all members on the list, just address your e-mail to "". When responding to messages, please remember that choosing the "reply" option means your message will be sent back to the entire list. If your reply is intemled only for the author of the original message, please send it directly to that person's e-mail address (which should be displayed in the original message). To save your mailbox from dozens of messages, tryout the "digest" option by sending a note to the robot ("") that says: "set sfra-l mail digest". Within a few days, SFRA-L mail will start coming in daily digests, with all of the messages concentrated in a single longer note headed by a convenient table of contents. In the interest of saving members from e-mail bombardment, please use discretion and try to limit messages to those that will be of interest to SFRA members. If you have any questions or problems, contact the EBBS List Manager (Len Hatfield at ""). Many thanks to Len for setting up and maintaining this new membership benefit. CLARESON AWARD PRESENTATION SPEECH I want to thank the membership for remembering Tom by voting to present the Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service. Our committee last year, made up of David I'-Iead, chair, Arthur Lewis, Donald Hassler, Veronica Hollinger, and me recommended that the award be given for distinguished service to the study of science fiction and fantasy and to the community of sf Ifantasy scholarship. Of the suggestions that preceded our final choice, I felt best about this one, for be tween the Pilgrim, given principally for extensive and distinguished published scholarly work dealing with the genre, and this award, they sum up for me what Tom gave to the field. This year's committee, chaired by me also had Art Lewis as a member along with Jim Gunn. We wrote and talked exten sively and came up with lists of people, anyone of whom is deserving of the award. We agreed that the honor should be the equal of the Pilgrim Award and that we wished it to go SFRA Review #228, page 9


this year to a person who, because of all he has done to enhance the field, would add stature to the award. Since you will guess almost immediately who our honoree is as I begin to describe his contributions, I will tell you that it is Frederik Foh!. To begin with, he has promoted the study and teaching of science fiction to all manner of audiences from this group, to schools and colleges, to enthusiasts and those who didn't think they were interested until they heard him speak, to people in other countries for the United States Information Agency and World Science fiction, among others, and to those wishing to know how to write it as in Jim Gunn's programs in which he and his wife Betty play such an important part. He knows what makes a good story and how, sometimes, a not-so-good one can be strengthened, for he has been accepting and rejecting material over many years. He read all manuscripts himself and probably thus attracted to the publications he edited the very best of the new writers of the 60s as well as those well established by that time. A number had been published by him earlier when, from 1939 to 1943, he edited /\slOnisiJinf{ .")torics and Super Science Stories for Popular Publications at a salary of ten dollars a week. Later, in the 60s, he edited innumerable anthologies of stories and magazines, winning IIugos for the editing of If and Galaxy three years in a row. Between 66 and 70, he produced more than L)O editorials and articles for his magazines. In the early 70s, he \Vas Executive Editor for Ace Books and then Editor at Bantam till the end of the decade. I-Ie has continued to edit volumes throughout his career, winning the Eaton Award last year for his editing. As most ()r you know, he writes articles and texts on sci ence as m.'l!. I read three articles written in the 90s, one on the possibility of transferring human intelligence to the computer by the 21 st century, another on the ozone-layer controversy, and the third on the importance of futurists who must try to understand where we are going so that, if necessary, we can alter our course. He and Isaac Asimov wrote Our AnglT Earth in 91, which i'-Iichael McCloskey, chair of the Sierra Club, described as "The one ecology book to read if you read no others ... A wake[-up] call to the planet's citizens ... a clear, compelling call for action now." I-Ie was elected a fello\\' of the American Association for the Advance ment of Science in 1982. sun RcdcII' #228. page 10


He organized meetings as President of SFWA from 1974 through 76 and as President of World Science Fiction between 80 and 82 and worked a facilitator and helpmate at the Arlington Heights meeting that Betty Hull and Beverly Friend arranged. His interest in making it possible for students and other researchers to come to this country has been more than ca sual. I believe that Fred and Betty have had some of those visitors in their home for varying periods of time. Fred has been a mentor to these people, to aspiring writers who hear him tell how he writes and why he writes/has written about specific topics. He has patiently, in a soft-spoken and witty manner, addressed us on innumerable topics at SFRA meetings for years, thank goodness, and meanwhile he has been winning Hugo Awards, Nebula Awards, and the H.G. Wells Award, among others. In 1978, for Gateway alone, he won a Nebula for Best Novel, a Hugo, the Prix Apollo, and a John W.Campbell Award. The year before, he took the Nebula for Man Plus and in 79 the American Book Award for Jem: The "laking of a Utopia -the first time a science fiction book had won this honor. His The Years of the City garnered the John W. Campbell Award in 85, and in 86 his short story "fermi & Frost" won a Hugo. He is indeed a Grand Master. ]Vly favorite critic, for whom this award is named, ends his booklength study of Frederik Pohl thus: Beginning as a critic of mid-century society, drawing heavily on personal experience, by the end of the 1950s Pohl had be come a highly entertaining storyteller. Already a master of his craft, he had not yet found a strong central theme to unify his fiction. During the 1 960s when he became perhaps the foremost American editor, as his nation writhed in its discontent, he found that theme: the manipulation of humanity by those who seek power for whatever rea sons. One thinks of him as a new H.G. Wells, for both men grew troubled as they observed the world around them. In some ways Pohl may be the stronger of the two though no less desperate in his warnings for he continues to shape his work with a caustic satire. Satire fails him only when his heart breaks through the facade of his art. Certainly something of the stoic is within him as he looks out at the contemporary world and declares that one must do what one can. But there is also hope SFRA Rcvicw #228, page 11


hope that "human beings [will savel all the science and beauty of life" and join those who dwell among the stars. As a satirist and a modern man, he places responsibility for that future where it belongs, with humanity. The writer of fiction captures the essence of the human predicament and through his craft gives symbolic illumination to his insight and challenge. No writer of the late twentieth century has done so more tellingly than Frederik Pohl. Thank you, Fred, for what you have taught and will teach us through your writing and speaking, and for making yourself available to so many of us so that we may share in your knowledge and concern for us all. Alice Clare son LETTERS Dear Amy Sisson, Neil Barron continues a tradition begun by John Clute in coming down rather hard in his review of the fourth edition of the S'l, James Guide to Science Fiction Writers (SFRA Re view #226). He complains particularly about the inclusion of "minor league" figures. "Raise your hand if you even recognize these names, let along their books: Max Adeler ... Charles Chilton ... etc." I have omitted the other eight names because here I want to defend the two I have cited. The interview with Charles Chilton in the Autumn 1996 issue of Foundation makes the relevance and importance of the author of the radio series Journey into Space quite ap parent. In the words of Edward James's introduction, "To those in the know, sf in Britain in the 1950s meant Arthur C. Clarke and John Wyndham: but everybody had heard of Dan Dare and Journey into .)'pace." I wrote the entry on r-.lax Adeler and mine may be the "one positive vote [which] insured the author's inclusion." The argument for his inclusion is as follows: Looking Backwards and :\ Con17eclicut Lmkee in King Arthur's Court are the two most important American contributions to sf in the nine teenth-century; without the prior existence of Max Adeler's "Professor Ballin's Adventures" (retitled "The Fortunate Is land"). :\ Conneclicut rankee would not exist. Admittedly the second part of the syllogism depends upon the accep-


tance of the case I first made in a 1986 article that Twain (unconsciously?) plagiarised the essential idea for A Connecticut Yankee from Adeler's story and then resorted to a patent cover-up in answer to the accusation of plagiarism. That my argument has been accepted, in some quarters at least, is apparent from the references on pages 81 and 195 in Frederick Crews's essay on A Connecticut Yankee in The Critics Bear It Away: American Fiction and the Academy (1992). Best Wishes, David Ketterer Hi Amy, I wanted to make a quick comment regarding publishing affiliations, which someone asked you to consider. I think it's a bad idea because there are lots of people who are unaffiliated (I guess technically I'll be unaffiliated the second I defend), and even sticking on the appellation "Independent Scholar," "Average Jo," or "Famous Author" (when, say, Fred Pohl writes something for the Review) sends a bad message. In a time when the academy is under fire for training tons of Ph.D.s, when practically everybody is underemployed, when new Ph.D.s cannot get work (much less work in their respective fields), I hate to begin perpetuating the publishing of affiliations because it just foregrounds elitist aspects of the academy. Publishing affiliations implies that the SFRA mem bership buys into the innate superiority of the affiliated, which is a Bad Message. It also encourages readers to read a text differently by disallowing "the death of the author." I like the SFRA because it allows a kind of egalitarianism, with independent scholars, well-known and little-known writ ers, librarians, and affiliated lecturers and professors all members on an even ground. Maybe a compromise would be to publish affiliation in the Directory (I can't remember if you do) and have people look up SFRA contributors if they care to know their affiliation. Or you could publish city and state with a published submission. Thanks! Karen Hellekson (See editorial for commeIJfs on the issue of listing academic affilia tions.) SFRA ReviclI' #228, page 13


CORRECTIONS SFRA Review #226 (November/December 1996) featured reviews of three titles on computer disk: Tarry Til I Come by Alexandre Dumas; Orphans of Time, Volume 1 edited by Mark Owings; and HaJJie Marshall: A True Daughter of the South by Frank Purdy Williams. The publisher's address was inadvertently omitted, and is as follows: Mark Owings, 1113 West -J.Oth Street, Baltimore MD 21211-1749. Apologies to Mr. Owings for this oversight. SFRA DIRECTORY UPDATES W.D. (Bill) Stevens has a new e-mail address: "wstev Pere Gallardo-Torrano has a new address: Pere Gallardo-Torrano, Pza. Iglesia, Buz. #116, Urb. La Mora, 43008 Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain; telephone (home) 3477-652153; telephone (work) 34 73-702000 x 3089; Fax (work) 34 73702062; e-mail (work) .. ... The correct phone number for Robert de Sousa Causo is (011) 871-}6-J.6. It is printed incorrectly in the directory as 871-2636. EDITORIAL Aftcr receiving three responses (one for, two against) on the issue of whether or not to include contributors' academic affiliations. I discussed the matter extensively with the SFRA Executive Committee at our recent meeting in New York City (mceting minutes to follow in the next issue). In the spirit of compromisc, we have decided to include an "About the Contributors" page at the back of each issue of the SFRA Review, \\'hich, inCidentally, is the method employed by S-F Studies. It is hoped this solution will satisfy those institutions who \\'ill not acknowledge a faculty/starr member's publishing credits unlcss the institution is listed, but will be less a "di \'iding forcc" than listing affiliations at the end of each re vie\\' or article. which draws immediate, perhaps negative, attention to those not affiliated. Every contributor will be invited to submit a brief paragraph of whatever information 11(' or she sces fit to include: affiliation, works published, ,\/R.\ R(Tie\\ ::228. page l-J.


works in progress, areas of interest, etc. As always, comments on this approach are welcome. I would also like to clarify the deadlines for the submission of announcements and news items to be included in the Re view. (Reviews and articles are assigned earlier individual deadlines because they need more editing and proofreading time.) Please submit materials no later than the first of the month preceding the cover date, i.e. April 1 for the t-.lay/ June issue. That gives me about a week to put in the last minute items and pull together the final stages of the issue, and allows the printer the minimum two-week turnaround it needs so I can still mail the issue on the 25th of the month before cover date, or April 25 in this instance. Now that we're in a new year, new membership directories will be forthcoming. Please check your entry in last year's directory and make sure it is current so that outdated information is not repeated. If you have a nevv e-mail address, please send it to Treasurer Mike Levy, our new "Master of the Database," at "". Similarly, if yours is one of the many telephone area codes that have changed in recent months, please make sure NIike has that information. finally, if you know your nine-digit zip code, it wouldn't hurt to supply this info either; according to Neil Barron, the post office says a nine-digit zip code can save a day on cross-country mail. If you don't know your nine-digit zip code, a magazine or utility bill is likely to have it, or you can call your local post office. On a final note, I had a wonderful time at the SFRA Execu tive Committee meeting in New York City a few weekends ago. Having missed last year's conference in Eau Claire, seeing some SFRA faces after so much time has renewed my editing energies for the months to come! Happy Reading, Amy SFRA Review #228, page 15


(continued hom page -I-) All these people have agreed to serve on a panel or two, and we hope that some of them, like Davill Pringle, joan Slonczewski, l'vIichael Cassutt, and Howard Hendrix, will present papers as well. There are also a number of noteworthy critics who have expressed an interest in presenting papers, including Donald M. Hassler, Frank McConnell, Joe Sanders, William Senior, and George Slusser. Plans for special events remain sketchy, but we are expecting to have an opening night reception on june 23 and a banquet on june 25 for presentation of the Pilgrim, Pioneer, Clareson, Eaton, and Milford Awards; there will also be films of some kind available for viewing and a possible excursion to see the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature in Riverside, California, the largest catalogued collection of science fiction in the world. I will keep you posted on developments. For the benefit of those who may be planning to develop proposals, I direct you to the Call for Papers in the "News and Information" section. For the record, we have prepared and printed Calls for Papers and registration forms, \Vhich SfRA members should be receiving via snail-mail by the end of this month. Sincerely, Gary Westfahl P.S. Guests wishing to make reservations on the Queen MalT now may call their toll-free number 1-800-437-293-+. Identify yourself as an SFRA/Eaton guest to qualify for the special discount rate. Registration fees $110.00 until April 1, 1997 $120.00 l'Iarch 1 June 16, 1997 $130.00 at the door (or $-+0.00 per day) .\FR.4. Rcvic\\' #228, page 16


CALL FOR PAPERS --FOUNDATION CONFERENCE Foundation, the international SF scholarly journal, is organizing an academic conference on Babylon 5, to be held at the University of York, UK, December 13, 1997 (with a pos sible extension to the 14th). All subject areas are welcome. Send abstracts of papers by March 1, 1997 to Farah Mendlesohn, Faculty of Humanities, University College of York & Ripon, St. john, Lord Mayor's Walk, York Y03 7EX, UK; abstracts can also be e-mailedto .. ... -Farah Mendlesohn CALL FOR PAPERS -MLA As part of our effort to establish an official MLA discussion group on "Science Fiction, Utopian and the Fantastic," Peter Fitting is organizing a special session for the MLA meeting in Toronto in December 1997 (12/27-12/31/97). The topic of the session will be "Science Fiction/Utopia from a Canadian Perspective." If you are interested in proposing a paper, please send an abstract before March 15 to: Peter Fitting, 73 Delaware Ave, Toronto M6H 2S9, Ontario, Canada; telephone 416-531-8593; fax 416-531-4157; e-mail "". -joan Gordon CALL FOR INFORMATION I am a research assistant working for Loren Ghiglione, Pro fessor of journalism at Emory University, who is updating his book The American Journalist: The Paradox of the Press (Library of Congress, 1990). In the last section of this book, "Today's Fiction -Tomorrow's Fact?", he discusses the future of journalism as depicted in novels, short stories, films, and other media. We are turning to science fiction and emerging technolo gies to help draw a picture of the future of journalism, and have been contacting various writers, editors, reviewers, schol ars, and critics to help us update the list compiled for the SFRA Review #228, page 17


first version of the book. We are looking for assistance in identifying more recent science fiction that deals with journalism in whatever shape and form it takes. By recent, I mean anything since 1 '188/89 when the first edition of this book was published. (1 have recently read Gibson's !dOnI, which is the type of work we're interested in.) Might you recom mend some novels, movies, short stories, etc. we should examine? Please send inquiries and/or information to: Francis Desiderio, Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, Callaway Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322; e-mail "fdeside Thank you for your time. -Francis Desiderio FANTASY IHORROR GUIDES I recently contracted with Scarecrow Press for a revised one-volume edition of my 1990 reader guides, Fantasy Lit erature and Horror Literature. It will be organized much like the fourth edition or my Anatomy of I,Vonder, but coverage will be wider, including chapters on teaching, poetry, comics, and online resources. If you know of any site on the Internet or commercial services that would be useful to the "serious" reader of fantasy or horror literature, please e-mail details to f\like Stamm at "". If you've taught fantasy or horror literature, please e-mail any ideas/suggestions to Dennis Kratz at "". Coverage of primary literature will be more selective. Among the new contributors to this edition are Stefan Dziemianowicz and Darren Harris-Fain. Returning contributors include Walter /\Ibert, David IIartwel!, Dennis Kratz, and Gary K. Wolfe. LIIllaS)" :lnd Jiorror LileralUre: A Crilicai and Histori GI! Guide will be published in 1998. Suggestions for improve ment are welcome. Less than 100 copies each of the 1 gg() Garland editions of LI111aS)" LilcrallIre (xxvii + 586 pages) and Ilorror Litera lUre (""vii + 596 pages) remain. They were originally priced at S-F).95 each, later increased to $55.00. All remaining copies have been reduced to S23.00 each, delivered. You can order by credit card at 1-8()()-627 -627 3 e"l. 1 16, or remit to Sandra Tranquilli, Customer Service, Garland Puhlishing, l()OOA Sherman Avenue, llamden cr 0651-.J.. Neil Barron


FOUNDA nON ON THE WEB SFRA members can now look at what Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction is publishing, with full details of forthcoming, current and recent issues to be found on the WWW at: .. ... Members might be interested in keeping their eyes on this, because full details of back issue sales will shortly be placed there. We are intending to sell all available back issues, up to 1995, for very low rates. -Edward james OUTSTANDING BOOKS OF 1996 The january 1997 issue of Choice listed the editors' selec tions for Outstanding Academic Books of 1996, which included the following titles of genre interest: john Clute's Science Fiction: The Illustrated Emyc10pedia (Dorling Kindersley, 1995); Qingyun Wu's Female Rule in Chinese and English Literary Utopias (Syracuse University Press, 1995); Morton N. Cohen's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (Knopf, 1995); judith Halberstam's Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke University Press, 1995); and Thomas S. Hansen's The German Face of Edgar Allan Poe: A Study of LiteralY References in His Work (Camden House, 1995). By chance, all five are 1995 titles reviewed in 1996. SPEAKING SCIENCE FICTION/ ENVISIONING ALTERNATIVES j\Iichael Klossner If people came to science fiction conferences this summer in Liverpool (July 11-13) and Luton (September 4-6) were going to their first sf conference, this would hardly be surprising. There have been sf conferences in the UK before, but very few, and probably none have been so well publicised beforehand, nor so well attended. There were, coinciden tally, 68 people at each, which included 20 overseas visitors at the University of Liverpool, and 12 at the University of Luton. There were other similarities (though perhaps none as striking as the numerical one). Both ran parallel sessions for much of the time (which meant that neither of us were able to go to everything). Both tended to use lecture rooms with no windows and lots of Iluorescent lighting (though here S'FRA Review #228, page 1 9


Luton scored: it did use one airy well-lit room as its secondary venue, and its subterranean bunker at least had comfortable seating). And in both cases, the universities, in the shape of vice-chancellors and other dignitaries, gave the strong impression that it welcomed the presence of these odd aca demics. As it happened, neither vice-chancellor needed to worry about what was being done in their university's name; in both cases the organisers (Andy Sawyer in Liverpool and john Moore and Karen Sayer in Luton) did an excellent job. Both conferences proposed themes that were large enough to encompass almost everything: Liverpool's was "Speaking Science Fiction", while Luton's was "Envisioning Alternatives". Luton's theme was probably more successful in concentrating the mind, \'\'hile not actually excluding anyone: several speakers directly addressed the theme of utopia/dystopia in science fiction, and utopia was touched on by two out of the three main speakers (Tom Moylan and Darko Suvin). "Envi sioning Alternatives" means more than just utopia, of course. Luton, like Liverpool, attracted quite a large number of speakers interested in women's science fiction (and specifically feminist science fiction). Our general impression was that at Liverpool discussion concentrated on a smaller range of writers than at Luton, both inside and outside the sphere of women's sf. At Liverpool, for instance, Octavia Butler and Pat Cadigan were both discussed by several speakers, and seemed to be on the verge of toppling Le Guin and Russ from the feminist sf canon; it was at Luton that discussion broad ened out for instance, there were papers on Katherine Burdekin (from Debbie Shaw) and on c.L. Moore (from Dr Rallaella Haccolini) -and there were papers on authors like Card and Ilerbert as well as the more predictable Delany or Ballard. A more major structural difference was in the choice of keynote speakers: Liverpool went for writers, and Luton for academics. The Liverpool conference opened with a keynote talk from Brian Aldiss, discussing the changing face of sf through the history of his own books' jackets; josef Nesvadba talked about his own involvement in sf; Candas jane Dorsey (in the most beautifully written conference paper either of us had ever heard) talked about the role of imagination. The only exception \\'as Edward james, who talked about the problems faCing sf criticism and sf research, and who seemed to annoy some present by suggesting that academics dealing with sf ought to read a lot more sf. (There was an earnest


discussion, inside and outside the room, about how many sf books sf academics ought to have read.) Another writer present at Liverpool, who gave a fascinating paper (on the aliens in her own White Queen sequence), was Gwyneth Jones: she, Aldiss, and Dorsey joined to provide the post-dinner readings. The only writer at Luton was Brian Stableford, whose post-prandial reading was of his Asimov's story "The Age of Innocence", but who, as an sf scholar, also made frequent impressive contributions to the discussions of papers. Luton, then, had the more determinedly academic feel. Its keynote speakers, particularly Patrick Parrinder, with his new categorisation of science fiction history (as "prophetic", "mythic," or "metaphoric")' offered a good deal to think about. It was also more literary, perhaps; at Luton we were denied such delights as we had at Liverpool, such as Ross Farnell on performance artists, Ian Hunter on prehistoric worlds in film ("Killer Apes and Fur Bikinis"), the writer Sue Thomas with a fascinating exploration of creating collaborative fantasy worlds on the Internet, or, indeed, Andy Sawyer's piece on Susie Saucer. There were highlights at both, of course. As historians, we both found the very historical papers by Brian Attebery (on pulp narrative conventions) and Helen l'\'lerrick (on approaches to feminist sf and criticism) particularly interesting and convincing. At Luton, we enjoyed Susan Tebbutt on Pausewang's dystopian novels; Raffaella Baccolini on c.L. l\'loore's "No Woman Born"; and K. Sands on women in science fiction series for children. Rut conferences are just as much about meeting people, and eating and drinking with them, than they are about learn ing things. On this front, and from our own personal point of view, both conferences were equally successful and memorable. All three of the organisers deserve every congratulation. And maybe, when they have recovered from the trauma, in a few years' time, they might perhaps be persuaded to repeat the exercise?! Or, at least, give us the benefit of their expertise when, as will inevitably happen, we feel the urge to follow in their footsteps ... Edward James and Farah l\lendlesohn SFRA Review #228, page 21


Galactic Central, c/o Chris Drumm, PO Box 445, Polk City IA 50226-0445. Garland Publishing, 717 Fifth Avenue Suite 2500, New York NY 10022-8101 Greenwood Press, PO Box 5007, Westport CT 06881-5007 (1-800-225-5800) James Van I-lise, 57754 Onaga Trail, Yucca Valley CA 92284 Johns Hopkins University Press, 715 N Charles St, Baltimore [\ID 21218 [\[ark V. Ziesing, PO Box 76, Shingletown CA 96088 [\[cFarland, Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640 Charles r. [\[iller, 708 Westover Dr., Lancaster PA 17601 [\Iugster Press, P.O. Box 10303, Newburgh, NY 12552 Necronomicon Press, PO Box 1304, West Warwick RI 02893 Overlook Press, 149 Wooster St, New York NY 10012 Stanford University Press, Stanford CA 94305-2235 Syracuse University Press, 1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse NY 13244-5160 (315-443-5547) Tachyon Publications, 1459 18th St #139, San Francisco CA 94107 Twayne Publishers, [\Iacmillan Publishing Company, 866 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022 Tynes Cowan, 4542 19th Avenue NE, Seattle WA 981054232 UndeJ'\\Ood Books, PO Box 1607, Grass Valley CA 95945 Writer's Digest Books, 1507 Dana Ave, Cincinnati 01-1 45207


This list was compiled primarily from listings in Locus and \\"ith assistance from Neil Barron and l\lichael Klossner. Addresses of many of the smaller publishers appear on the opposite page. ART, COMICS, AND ILLUSTRATION Barlowe, Wayne. Barlowe's Guide to Famas}', HarperPrism, 1996. Bell, Julie. Hard Curves, Thunder's l"-Iouth Press, 1996. Re print of 1995 UK edition. Burnett, Cathy, Arnie Fenner & Jim Loehr (Editors). Spec trum 3: The Best in ContemporalJ' Fantastic Art, Under wood Books, 1996. Jones, Terry & Brian Froud. Strange ,';tains and Mysterious ,,)'me11s, Simon & Schuster, 1996. Sequel to Lady Cortington 's Pressed FaiJy Book. Potter, j.K. Neurotica: The Darkest Art of].l-:. Potter, Over look Press, October 1996. Whelan, Michael. Something in My Eye, l"-lark V. Ziesing, 1996. AUTHOR STUDIES [Burroughs, Edgar Rice] Van Hise, James (Editor). Edgar Rice Burroughs' Fantastic Worlds, James Van I-lise, 1996. [de Camp, L. Sprague] de Camp, L. Sprague. Time and Chance: An Autobiography, Donald l"-1. Grant, August 1996. lDelaney, Samuel] l"-Ierla, Patrick (Editor). Boys Like Us: Gay IVriters Te11 Their Coming Out Stories, Avon, September 1996. One essay is by Samuel Delaney. [Dickinson, Emily] Wardrop, Daneen. Emily Dickinson's Gothic: Goblin with a Gauge, lo\\'a University Press, 1996. [Lewis, c:.S.] Coren, l"-lichael. The Man I V110 Created Narnia, Eerdmans, 1996. Reprint or a 199-+ UK edition. [Shelley, l"-Iary Wollstonecral"t] Crook, Nora (Editor). The Novels and Selected IVorks of MalT Shelley, William Pickering (distributed by Ashcrart), 1996. An eight-vol ume set priced at $695.00. [Tollden, ./.R.R.] Anonymous (Editor). Rcalms of Tolkicn, HarperPrism, 1996. FILM & TELEVISION French, Sean. The Tcrminator, BFI l"-lodern Classics, 1996. Lavery, David, Angela Hauge and l"-larla Cartwright (Editors). Deny /\11 l-:nOldedge: Rcading thc.\ Files, Syracuse Univer sity Press, 1996. S'/R.\ RCl'ic\\ ::228, page 23


Senn, Bryan. Golden Horrors: An Illustrated Critical Filmography of Terror Cinema, 1931-1939, McFarland, 1996. HISTORY & CRITICISM Antczak, janice. Presenting Young Adult Science Fiction, Twayne, December 1996. Busby, Keith. Word and Image in Arthurian Literature, Garland, November 1996. Harter, Deborah A. Bodies in Pieces: Fantastic Narrative and the Poetics of the Fragment, Stanford University Press, 1996. Kashner, Sam & Nancy Schoenberger. Hollywood Kryptonite: The Bulldog, The Lady and the Death of Superman, St. fvlartin's, October 1996. Richter, David H. The Progress of Romance: Literary Historiography and the Gothic Novel, Ohio State Univ. Press, 1996. Rylant, Cynthia. Margaret, Frank, and Andy, Harcourt Brace, September 1996. A young-adult biography of Margaret Wise Brown, L. Frank Baum, and E.B. White. Sandner, David. The Fantastic Sublime: Romanticism and Transcendence in Nineteenth-Century Children's Fantasy Literature, Greenwood Press, November 1996. Silverberg, Robert. Ref7ections and Refractions: 71JOughts on Science Fiction, Science, and Other Matters, Underwood Books, April 1997. Walters, Lori]. Lancelot & Guinevere: A Casebook, Garland, 1996. REFERENCE Borcherding, David (Editor). Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's Sourcebook, Writer's Digest, 1996. Jacocha-Ernst, Chris. A Ct1wlhu f\lythos BibJiography& Con cordancc, Tynes Cowan, january 1997. Kurian, George Thomas & Graham T.T. Molitor (Editors). Encyclopedia of the Futurc, Macmillan, 1996. A two-vol ume set of Ixix + 1 11 5 pages, priced at $175. Stephenson-Payne, Phil. .Jamcs Blish: Author MiraiJilis, Ga lactic Central, 1996. A primary & secondary bibliography. Stephenson-Payne, Phil & Gordon Benson jr. Anne McCaffrey: Dragon/ady and More, Galactic Central. 1996. Fourth re vised edition or a primary & secondary bibliography. MISCELLANEOUS f\lcCarrrey. Anne & John Gregory Betancourt (Editors). Scrve It Forth, Warner Aspect, October 1996. A cookhook with recipes supplied hy several well-known SF&F authors \FRA Rc\'iclI' #228. page 2-1-


Anthologies for the Classroom Gunn, James (Editor). The Road To Science Fiction Volume 3: From Heinlein to Here. Clarkston, California: White Wolf Publishing, 1996, 527 pages, softcover, $14.95, ISBN 1-56504-821-0. The field of science fiction has changed a lot over the course of 56 years since Asimov's story "Reason" (included in this volume) first appeared in 1941. At that time, Asimov was a twenty-one year old graduate student, and the United States had a population of about 100 million. Markets have expanded, media exploded, and magazines died. Two or three generations of SF writers, readers, fans, and critics have evolved. Nonetheless, some things have not changed as much. Science fiction is still, at least in some ways, a close-knit and nurturing community, one of its greatest strengths. Any SF reader will recognize a sample of the authors included in The Road To Science Fiction Volume 3: Heinlein, Bradbury, Asimov, Vonnegut, Le Guin, Russ, Sturgeon, !V!errill, Dick, Pohl, Haldeman, Ellison, etc. However, this sense of community can also be a weakness, since it may make it appear unnecessary to those inside the field to state the reasons these authors are worth remembering, reading, and teaching. Yet I think it is essential that this be done from time, and not taken for granted -reason enough for White Wolf's reissue of this fine series. Gunn's introductions, most of them revised from earlier editions, are particularly useful in gaining a historical topography of SF, which is useful to contextualize the stories. For example, Judith Merril's "Only a Mother", written in 1947, resonates easily with concerns of those born during or shortly after the Second World War, who lived forty years in quiet nuclear desperation. To college freshmen, on the other hand, the story might be a (mind) time travel device which allows them to gain insights into their parents' or grandparents' cultural anxieties or nuclear nightmares. It is also worth noting that Gunn is not only a master of the language of science fiction, but a master of language and conS'FRA Rcvie\\' #228, page 25


ventions of English departments. for example, his comparison of John Brunner to the pre-WWII American writer John Dos (lassos is a credit to Gunn's perspicacity, and gives us insights into both authors. In the best world (from an educational perspective) Gunn's comparison might act as an entry point to the unfamiliar reader, leading to further study. In addition, Gll1m'S story choices certainly stand on their own individual merits. I feel the book is worth the price just to see j\rthur C. Clarke's "The Sentinel" back in print, and it is especially gratifying during a low period in science fiction publishing. from a practical standpoint, it is convenient not to have scrounge every used bookstore in the city (or, these days, on the Internet) looking for earlier editions of this book or the stories contained within -not that I want to discour age bookstore scrounging, but when one is trying to put a course syllabus together... One last aspect of this volume favorably impressed me. Since Gunn's introductions to his selections are both histori cal and thematic in nature, they function together as an insightful bibliographic essay, leading the reader to other works of potential interest. I look forward to White Wolf's presentation of the rest of the series, to sec where it will lead us. Philip Kaveny Hartwell, David G. and Milton T. Wolf (Editors). \ 'isions of \ Vonder. New York: Tor, 1996, 798 pages, sortcover, S2-+.L)."i, ISBN 0-312-S."i287-S. This is the third anthology published for the sm.!\, intended ror use hy teachers of science fiction courses. "We wanted," the editurs write, "to construct an anthology that was fresh and ne\\', and at the same time address a broad spectrum of t he concerns of SF readers toda \' ... ( 1 I ), and they have suc ceeded in doing so. ;\s \\'ith the 'earlier volumes, tile contents \\ere developed alter extensive consultation with teachers and other experts in the neld. Unlike the earlier volumes, this one includes a number of critical essays that aid in apprecia tion and understanding or the stories chosen. There are 32 stories \\'ith original publication dates from 1961 (f'-!cCaflery, "The Ship Who Sang") to 199-+ (Pohl, "Redemption in the <2uantum Realm"; Goldstein, "Split Light"), ranging in length rrom eight to nrty-seven pages. Taken as a whole, the collec tion amply illustrates the major paths of science fiction (and


fantasy) in recent years. It is worth noting that all of these short story writers have also written successful novels. There is, as the editors intended, a quirky mixture or old and new, of fantasy and technology, of utopian and dystopian futures, all juxtaposed in such a way that each story vie\\'s the world from a different perspective. With so high a level of accomplishment as these stories represent it is difficult to choose some that are better than others. Nevertheless, for me the longest story, Walter Jon Williams's "WalL Stone. Craft", and the shortest, Terry Bisson's "Bears Discover Fire", are the best in the book. Very different from these and from each other, powerful new stories by Poh!, Le Guin, Aldiss, and Farmer demonstrate that the older writers have not lost their touch. It is easy to disagree with editors' choices in such antholo gies, and I have several such instances. Of writers not included, something by Lois I\lcl\[aster Bujold, Pat Cadigan, c.J, Cherryh, Greg Egan, I\[ike Resnick, and Connie Willis, some better known as novelists but also writers of excellent short stories, would have enhanced the collection. This becomes a minor complaint, especially when one tries to decide which stories to drop to make room. The excerpt from Robert Jordan is much too short and does little to show the sweep and power of his (no\\') seven-book series; on the other hand, the excerpt from Orson Scott Card is an excellent introduction to his (now) four-volume series. The nine essays, written between 1956 and 1989, arc use ful in presenting critical, historical, and aesthetic discussions or science fiction, and the essays' authors are among the best or those who have written seriously about the field. I\[ost striking are Delancy's analysis or the relationship between the discourse or literature and the discourse of science Ik tion and Stablc1'ord's evidence ror science fiction as a necessary part of the search ror understanding humanity's place in the universe. Garv Wolre's concluding "Science Fiction: A Selective Guide to is an excellent introduction to its subject. Comparison with other anthologies is uset'ul in placing this one in context. Two recent anthologies, Thc \ VorJd Trc:1SU(\ of S'ciCl1CC Ficlion, also edited by David G. Ilart\\'ell (Little Brown, 1989) and Thc Norton Hook of.<';cicl1CC FictioI7, edited by Ursula Le Guin and Brian Attebery (Norton, 1 L)L)3) arc .\rJV\ RcvicII' #228, page 2 I


longer and more comprehensive, but there is no conflict because Visions of Wonder is deliberately intended to "present a sense of where the action is in the 1990s, with only a few pieces more than ten years old" (11). Norton and World Treasurycast their nets wider both chronologically and geographically. The much-admired continuing volumes of The Year's Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois, taken collec tively include many more pages than Visions, and here there is a useful comparison. A quick skimming of a few recent Dozois volumes reveals that almost all of the same writers are included in both Dozois and Visions, but they are almost never the same stories. I suspect that most SFRA members, in developing a similar text, would also choose the same writers hut their own, frequently different favorite stories. Hartwell and Wolf have done well by us all. One quibble: Is science fiction still as overwhelmingly masculine as the ratios of male to female writers (21111) and critics, editors, and hihliographers (9/3) seem to show? It came as something of a shock to me to discover that I had never read some of these stories and that I did not al ways rememher very well some of those I had read. I then realized that my recent concentration on novels rather than short stories had seriously undermined my knowledge of who is writing much of current science fiction. Thus awakened, I read the hook straight through in a comparatively short time, and that turned out to be a good thing to do. In short, I found entertainment in the sense in which Samuel R. Delaney uses the word (-1-55), meaning that which is pleasurable and brings exposure to ideas. The editors evidently feel the same way: "Science fiction has many virtues and uses, is often provocative and engaging, but the primary intent is to enter tain" (12). This collection should provide real entertainment, in the sense of the word used by Delaney and Hartwell and Wolf, for students and teachers alike. As members of SFRA, we don't need to ask it to do anything more. -Arthur O. Lewis


Incorporating the Messiness of Life: A Conversation with Nancy Kress Nancy Kress has written both fantasy and science fiction. She is the winner of Hugo and Nebula awards. IVlost recently she has published the third volume of the Beggars in Spain trilogy, Beggars Ride, and Oaths and ]\jiracies, a "technothriller" which continues the trilogy's interest in genetic engineering. The conversation which follows took place at her home in Brockport, New York. Speaking with her were Earl G. Ingersoll and Frederick M. Burelbach, members of the English Department at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. Ingersoll: Let me start out with something that has puzzled me. Why did you choose "Spain" for the title of Beggars in Spain, rather than some other country? Kress: Oh, I don't know. I think I was looking for a country with a single-syllable name, and Spain just seemed to sound right. Ingersoll: I'm interested in what I might call the psychology of consciousness. I find it very hard to be lieve that a creature which is conscious twentyfour hours a day wouldn't have a breakdown or some kind. Most of us depend upon sleep as an escape from consciousness. Kress: If we don't sleep now, in our current biological form, and especially if" we're allowed some sleep but we're woken up to interfere with RHI sleep, the dreaming sleep, we will in fact have a breakdown. We can go somewhere between two and five nights before there is a full-blown psychotic episode. One theory says that that's because there's a build-up or some chemical in the re ticular formation, and that it's when the brain is asleep that mechanisms kick in to reduce the chemical. If you could genetically engineer some-SF]U\ Rcvicw #228, page 29


one so that this chemical wasn't there, then you wouldn't need sleep to remove it. And if it is indeed responsible for the semi-psychotic results of sleep deprivation, then you wouldn't have those either. Ingersoll: I asked because your Sleepless seem so well-adjusted, generally. Kress: Yes and no. They do seem well-adjusted and most of them are, but they do have Jennifer, who ends up very much a paranoid by the end of the second book and especially the third. And you've also got Tony Indivino, who's got his own degree of paranoia in that he thinks the Sleepless should withdraw from the society as a whole, although his paranoia never comes near Jennifer's. And you have Richard, who has an inability, as the books develop, to actually root himself anywhere; he has a kind of anomie. All of these would be found in the psychoanalyst's diagnostic manual. Ingersoll: You said in the 1992 Locus interview that you would locate yourself somewhere between the Ayn Rand of Atlas Shrugged and the Ursula Le Guin of The Dispossessed. Kress: Yes, those are the two ends of the continuum. Ingersoll: Speaking of Ayn Rand, I want to ask about the inherent elitism of the Sleepless. Kress: It's very important to realize that Beggars in Spain is the first novel of a trilogy and the politics of the characters, as they come across in the first novel, are not necessarily the politics of the author. In fact, as the three novels work their way out, the author may, and in this case does, have a different slant on the way these politics ought to go. One of the things I think the Beggars se ries does is poke holes, what I see as extreme holes, in the libertarian point of view and in the Ayn Rand, objectivism point of view. But it takes time, it takes three whole books to do it. So yes, Leisha and especially her father -she got a lot of it from her father are elitists. Very much ""F1n R('\"ic\\" #2.28, page 30


Some of this works and some of it doesn't. And what I wanted to do with the three books is work out which of it does and which of it doesn't. Per sonally, the parts of Ayn Rand's objectivism that have always appealed to me are the emphasis on personal responsibility and the sense -much denied in this country -that some people are brighter than others and make better choices in their lives. Those two don't necessarily go together. But we tend to deny both. When my sons were in high school there was nothing wrong with choosing certain members for the football team because they played the best football or choosing certain members for chorus because they sang the best. However, the honors program is well on its way to being abolished be cause you cannot choose people for being better intellectually without violating some sort of egalitarian idea that doesn't seem to operate in any other sphere. And I think this has done our country a great deal of harm in terms of our ability to compete with other countries. And I'm not say ing that we need to go as far as the Japanese where their young people commit suicide if they can't get into the proper school. But there's a strong anti-intellectual tradition in American life and that's one of the things 1 think Beggars is trying to address. So am I an elitist? A little bit, yeah, I believe in a meritocracy. But I also believe that any society has got to come to grips with the fact that some members are going to be weaker physically or psychologically or intellectually. The only way you can have a compassionate society and a worthwhile society is to build in responsibility for these people as well. In that respect 1 diller sharply with Ayn Rand. Burelbach: Do you think it's the science-fiction writer's re sponsibility to call attention to the ethical problems and concerns? Kress: I don't think you can stop us. I mean, we write about stuff that gets screwed up. That's what fiction's about. If everything's going along STRA Rcvicll' # 22 8, page 31


smoothly, there's no story. So if we see the possibility for something to get screwed up ethically or otherwise, somebody somewhere will write about it. I don't know whether it's a responsibility but it's an unstoppable phenomenon. Ingersoll: How much research did you do to write the Beg gars novels? Kress: For the first one I did a couple weeks' research on sleep theory before I began the novella version. For the rest of it I would stop to research when I needed something, but the rest of it doesn't depend very much on a heavy dose of microbiology. Beggars and Choosers does. For that I did have to do a lot of research, and it's not easy for me because I'm not trained. I regret bitterly that I'm not trained: I never even had Chemistry in high school. I've tried to read the journals -not the professional ones, because they're beyond me, but the next tier down, the stuff that's written for the interested lay person -and to decipher what I need and then to take it to people I know. When I wrote Oaths and Miracles I did about a month's worth of research. I knew what I wanted, but I didn't know where to find it -in Scientific American, and places like that -until I had a cellular mechanism that sounded to me reasonable. But I didn't know if it was reasonable to anybody who would know. At the time I happened to be dating an oncologist so I said to him one night, "Would you do me a favor? Would you just listen to this drivel for a half an hour and tell me if I'm going to make a total fool of myse1t7 And he was very nice. I laid out all my diagrams and my drawings and my line of reasoning. I went through the whole thing. Afterward, he was silent for a while; then he said, "I not only think that it's reasonable, I think we might be able to do it." Which was a scary thing. Ingersoll: You spoke earlier about Beggars as a series as a "trilogy," you said. SrI?.\ Re\h.',, Ji228, page 32


Kress: I swore I'd never "commit trilogy," but I have. Ingersoll: I'm interested in this notion of the series and how novels play into a series or into a trilogy. If you "committed trilogy," what's to stop you from "committing tetrology"? I'm interested first in when it was that you said to yourself, "I think this is moving toward a series." And second, how did you decide at what point one novel in a se ries ends and another begins? Or are these marketing or economic considerations? Kress: Like everything else in my career, it all happened sort of haphazardly. I didn't plan any of it. I wrote the novella Beggars in Spain and then when it was finished it kept nagging at me because I didn't feel the story was done. So I wrote the first novel, and I assumed I was done. But the characters were still in the back of my mind, and as I went to science-fiction conventions more and more fans would say, "When is the next book coming out?" and I'd say, "Well, I wasn't really planning another one," and they'd launch into all the reasons that they felt unsatisfied by the ending. The second book really came out of those experiences and the feeling from the fans that I needed to do this. Then I really was done! The end of Beggars and Choosers remakes human bi ology, and I thought, Well, that's it, I'm not going any farther. The way the third one came about was that I'd written Oaths and Miracles, which is off the path of the trilogy, because I thought I was done. It's a cross-over book. It's not exactly science fiction, although it's not exactly not science fiction either. It's a techno-thriller. l\[y publisher was understandably a bit more wary, and offered a contract for Oaths and f'.JiracJcs and the third Beggars book. This is the first time I'd been able to get a contract for a book before it was written, because usually publishers want at least an outline, and I can't do such a thing. I went home and thought, "l\Iy God, I've got to write another book." I had no idea what to do. I stewed about it for about four months, and then slowly pieces began to come together. As with SFlV\ Rcvic\\' #228, page 33


all of my books, I started writing blindly, and I was about a third of the way through before it began to occur to me how these different pieces were going to fall together. Burelbach: I've been paying attention to the very "womanly" features in your early novels in particular. Kress: What does that mean exactly? Burelbach: Number one, the central characters tend to be mature women and frequently with children. Number two, many of the images seem to be almost inchoate, inexplicable with words. Number three, there is the sense of the open end, the unfinished or circular effect of the ending. Feminist critics are telling us that these features are very characteristic of women's writing. Kress: Let me address them one at a time. As for doing female characters, yes, I've also done male characters, but that is not so much a conscious choice as a limitation. I find it very hard to do fully functioning adult males because men seem to me to think differently. They use language differ ently. They approach problems differently. It's hard for me to capture that. I'm trying to do more of it; in fact, Oaths and Miracles has three viewpoint characters and two of them are male -both adult males. Beggars and Choosers had one Billy Washington -but he was an old man, and to some extent there's a kind of androgyny that sets in when you're that old. Brain Rose had two, but the more successful of them, although he was twenty-seven, may as well have been thirteen. Robbie was really an adolescent, which again is easier to do. It's difficult; there's a gap for me to cross to do it, so to that extent I would agree with you that I write more about women. As for the images in female writing being incho ate, I'm not sure I understand what you're get ting at. Burelbach: I'm thinking particularly of the paintings of Granny Isolde in The Prince of Morning Bells, for .','/X\ UlTic\\:;228. page 3-+


Kress: instance, or the images which surround the grove and spider stone in The Golden Grove those kinds of things in which feelings are hinted at but never clarified. Surely that's not exclusively feminine. There's an entire tradition of twentieth-century English writing in which the affect has become flatter and flatter in mainstream and the emotions are merely hinted at rather than being outwardly expressed. Burelbach: Not emotions so much as meaning. The emotions are clear; they're strong and vivid, but the sense of meaning is inchoate. Kress: But why is that female? It doesn't seem to me that it is particularly female. And it doesn't seem to me particularly female to leave a lot of loose ends either. It just seems to me it's a different style of writing than the heroic, pulp tradition out of which science fiction has come, which is a function not so much of gender as it's having been a popular literature almost a children's literature at one point of good-and-evil metaphoric battles that get all wrapped up neatly. Burelbach: But mostly written by men for young, pre-adolescent males. Kress: But it's the genre I'm departing from, not the gender. Ingersoll: I've become interested in what I've called the male narrative paradigm, which seems to be the standard one of "rising action" and "climax." Some feminists are saying that structure is in fact "male" or "masculinist." [Kress: Really?!] And I think the "feminine" in this context might be seen as the willingness to deal with what you call the messiness of life, a willingness to keep the story, particularly in its ending, away from this strong, "male" sense of closure or, if you will, climax, opting for a sense of openness or even indeterminacy your "messiness." S'FIU\ RcviclI' #228, page 35


Kress: Now again, I wouldn't have thought of that as specifically female. I agree that I do it, but I wouldn't have thought of it that way. What I tend to think of as female SF vs. male SF is that male SF has shown a greater preoccupation with technology and a greater facility in using hard science, partly because all of our SF writers who were trained as scientists and who work as scientists up to now have been male. That's starting to change. There's a young writer named Catherine Asaro \vho is our first female Ph.D. in physics to write SF. I'm watching her career with a great deal of interest to see whether the way she approaches the hard science is different from the way her male colleagues do. And I do think women writers tend to focus on children a lot more, but then again that depends partly on whether or not they have them. There are male writers like Bruce McAllister and James Patrick Kelly who are fathers and who often include children and the consciousness of children in their fiction. Even Bruce Sterling, since he became a father, has this couple on an espionage mission in Islands in the Net lugging the baby in a Snuggly all around the Third World. You also see writers like Carolyn Cherryh who almost never include children in their books. She herself doesn't have children. I do think there's a gender difference, but I think it's two overlapping bell-shaped curves as to where you go on any kind of dichotomy except again, the hard, hard science is a male preserve still. I saw a study several years ago which used the I\Iinnesota I\lulti-phasic Personality Inventory as a base for discussing the differences between writers and the population as a whole. And the I\II\IPI is so arranged that you score on a scale between extrovert and introvert. There are other different pair traits, one of which is masculine and feminine. The male writers scored higher on the feminine traits than the population as a whole. and the female writers scored higher on .\fR.\ /{c\'iclI' #228, page 36


the masculine traits than the population as a whole. Which makes sense to me, because if you're going to be creating characters and trying to look at things from multiple points of view of both genders, you're probably going to have a higher degree of -however you're going to define it -androgyny than in the population as a whole. Ingersoll: I like to think that if you consider the masculine and feminine as a polarity, creative people are energized in part by the tension between those. Kress: Yes, and there's a further aspect of this, which is that the public persona and the person you are in your writing can be entirely different. A lot of women who grew up in the late 50s and early '60s learned to cultivate a public persona which is much sweeter than we actually are and slightly more air-headed and considerably more conciliatory. Somebody once said to me, "You know, you dress a lot different than you write." It's true that looking at the writer as a person, talking to the writer, interviewing the writer, can be a different experience than reading the writer when she's shed that public, gender-related, girly persona and actually getting down to brass tacks in writing. Ingersoll: The Beggars novels seem to me your first exten sive, panoramic vision of American culture. Kress: Bruce Sterling is to blame for this. He gets either the blame or the credit depending on how you're looking at it. I was at Sycamore Hill. a professional writers' workshop which meets every summer in North Carolina seventeen or us in a cottage for an entire week critiquing each other's manuscripts. One year Bruce was on a partiCLIlarly cyberpunk rampage, but as I was listening to him go on I suddenly got this great insight. which is almost embarrassing to tell you about because at this point I'd been writing for firteen years and it's something so obvious you'd think a person would already have seen it. Bruce said, "Societies, damn it, have economic underpinSFRA Reviell' #228. page 31


nings," and I thought, "You know what? He's right. They do!" I don't think I'd ever approached the creation of a society by looking at that. I've looked at the individuals, but I'd never looked at the larger infrastructures: how does everybody get fed? who controls the money? how is stuff moved around? how does information flow or not flow? Because Bruce and the cyberpunks as a whole, but especially Bruce, pushed these points, I became much, much more aware ofthem. Beggars in Spain was the first book, the first novella, I wrote after receiving this profound insight into the obvious, and I think it did make a difference. Burelbach: You've turned toward science fiction in your recent writing, and in a sense you started there in your short stories. What made you write those fantasies such as The Prince of Morning Bells, The Golden Grove, and The White Pipes? Kress: I don't know. I never know why I write what I write. I really don't. I know why I'm writing science fiction now instead of fantasy, but I don't know why I was writing fantasy in the first place. The reason I'm writing science fiction now is that when you create characters, what makes them memorable are the nuances and the individuality that differentiate them from the norm. The closer a society looks like ours, near future or a couple hundred years, the easier the norm is to grasp and the better the norm will be lodged in the minds of your readers. You can do variations on a theme more easily. When you're doing an entirely different society, such as far-future or fantasy, first you have to spend a lot of time setting up the norm and then there's not as much time left for the variations of it. Charac terization in fantasy novels, with a few stunning exceptions, seems to me a lot flatter and less nuanced than it is in good science fiction. And since character is what interests me, I tend to write a lot more SF. Somebody in Locus characterized my writing as the ability to take a very small nugget of technological advance and elaborate it into a completely labyrinthine bog of psychologiSFRA Revic\\' #228, page 38


cal problems. I rather like that! I think that's what I do. Ingersoll: Messiness again! Kress: Yeah! Burelbach: Do you like to play around with narrative point of view? Kress: Yes, I do. Beggars and Choosers is a mUltiple firstperson narrative. When I contemplated writing the book, I really wanted to use mUltiple first person because I wanted to use different kinds of language -slang for Billy Washington and a far more elaborately self-mocking diction for Diana Covington, and something in the middle for Drew Arlen. But I wasn't sure I could bring off a mUltiple first so I went around buttonholing people and tugging their sleeves, asking, "Who writes mUltiple first?" They all went, "Well, Faulkner does." I said, "Oh great, I'm not Faulkner." Then finally somebody told me that Robert Silverberg wrote a multiple first called Book of Skulls and Ursula Le Guin, of course, did Left Hand of Darkness, which I knevv very well, but I hadn't even noticed it because she docs it so smoothly. I read the Silverberg and reread the Le Guin, and I thought, I can do that. I really enjoy writing in multiple first. I just finished a short story it's pretty slight in which the cockroaches inherit the Earth after the nuclear holocaust, and it's written in the rirst -person plural. I'd never tried that either. I still want to do it for people, but I thought I'd start with cockroaches and work my way up. Technical challenges are fun for the writer. Burelbach: Which comes first, the choice of narrative ap proach or the story? Kress: The choice of narrative approach, because by the end of the first page you're locked in. You're locked into a voice, you're locked into a point or vicw, especially in short stories where you're only probably going to get one. You're locked into a .\F/{/\ /{c\'ic\\' #228, page 39


tone, a diction. Although I don't know the plot at that point, I know the feel of the story. That comes first, and then the rest of it grows out of that. I inevitably start writing something in a burst of enthusiasm, because beginnings come easily to me. In a novel I'll get the first couple scenes, in a short story the first couple pages, and then I get mired in the middle because I've \ been concentrating on the voice or the diction or the feel, and now I have to actually come up with the plot. That's where I get into trouble and hope a lot. Burelbach: Characters don't dictate plot to you? Kress: Yes, they do, but they also dictate this other stuff, this voice and this narrative point of approach, and that comes along with the character in the beginning. I do try to extrapolate it out of the character. But there are still places, especially if it's going to be scientifically complicated, where simply having knowledge of the character alone won't be enough. Ingersoll: You said a few minutes ago that the third novel in the Beggars trilogy is the first novel you wrote with a contract in hand -before you'd even conceptualized what the novel would be about. Was that inhibiting in any way? Did you have any of the anxiety typically imputed to writers of their "second" novels? Kress: It wasn't, only because I hadn't had to write an outline. However, it was supposed to be due by December 1 and the only reason this was inhibiting was that I misremembered and thought it was due December 31, and it wasn't done. For the last week of November, I literally locked myself in my house -I didn't answer the phone, I didn't go to the door, I did not leave the house for five days -and I wrote literally night and day for five straight days. At the end of it, I understood why writers can get a little nuts. By the end of five days of this, I realized that the realest people to me in the entire world, the people with the most solidity, didn't exist, and I was walking


around having conversation with them, with Teresa and Jackson and the other characters in the third book. And these people don't exist! I called up my sister at this point and she said, "Nancy, you're got to get out more." Burelbach: It's too bad you weren't negotiating for Oaths and Miracles after the Gerald Jonas positive review of it in the recent New York Times Book Review. Kress: Publishers aren't impressed by reviews, though. They say they have very little effect on sales. They affect critics. Look at all the terrible re views Danielle Steele gets and the terrible reviews The Bridges of Madison County got, but it made not the slightest difference. Ingersoll: Or there are recoveries. I think of that awful re view of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Talc by Mary McCarthy in the New York Times Book Re view, but Atwood sprang up to the best-seller list anyway. Kress: But publishers put very little stock in reviews. They're good because you can pull out quotes to stick on the paperback, but they consider that to be about their only real value. Writers like them, but publishers are unimpressed. Ingersoll: And you do read your reviews? Kress: Yes, I do. Burelbach: Have you or your agent made any approaches to the film industry? Kress: Beggars in Spain is under option, but of the books that are actually under option only 5% get sold finally to the movies, and of those that get sold some small percentage actually go into develop ment and of those in development some small percentage actually get made, so I'm not holding my breath. I also think that the book would be difficult to film. If you film the whole thing, you need orbitals and it'd be expensive, and if you film only the novella or first part, the Sleepless STR/\ Revic\\ #228, page ..J.1


don't look any different from anybody else. And SF movie makers are hung up on special effects. I think its chances are very, very dim. Oaths and Miracles is just now being circulated by my agent. Because it has a present-day or next-year scenario and because it involves the Mafia, that one might actually stand a better chance. But movies are a really, really uncertain thing, and they have not done very well by science fiction. They have tended to do the big, splashy, awful things like Waterworld. The number of SF movies I like I can probably count on my hand. I'd like the money, but it doesn't interest me, and I wouldn't want to write a script. Burelbach: But a good techno-thriller -there have been a number of those. Kress: But I still wouldn't want to write the script. wouldn't want any part of it. It's art by committee, and I'm not good at being a team player. But they can have it if they want it, if they're going to give me money for doing it. That's OK by me. Ingersoll: So you think it's the obsession with special ef fects that dooms SF movies? Kress: Yes, did you see Waterworld? It was a disaster. There was one marvelous review of it that said, "Watenvorld is set in a far future where some unnamed catastrophe has struck the Earth wiping out all trace of acting ability." I thought that that was perfect. So you see, I'm not very excited about the remote possibility that one of my novels might be made into a movie. SFRA Review #228, page 42


Badley, Linda. Writing Horror and the Body: The Fiction of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Anne Rice. Contribu tions to the Study of Popular Culture, No. 51. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996, 183 pages, hardcover, $55.00, ISBN 0-313-29716-9. Badley's sequel to Film, Horror, and the Body Fantastic (Greenwood Press, 1995, SFRAR #227) argues that contemporary horror fiction and film are rooted in an identification of the self with the body. Americans of the 1980s and 1990s no longer envision the soul as having an identity separate from the body. As a result, Badley maintains, literary terror has moved away from ghosts to graphic, clinical images of disease, mutilation, and decomposition. The fiction of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Anne Rice is concerned with how we fear, control, and relate to our physical selves. King foregrounds the dead body in his fiction, Barker and Rice the body's sexual subtext. Badley's approach is influenced by French feminist theorists, who suggest that the post-Freudian body is the product of our postliterate, electronic, image-based culture. In our increasingly visual world, we have become accustomed to media images of bodies graphically mutilated and dismembered, as well as pictures of our bodies' interiors. New medi cal technologies, such as organ transplants, cryonics, and plastic surgery, have made death a process rather than a finality and have commodified the human body. Because death has been removed from everyday life, and because media images of the human body are often painful and unsettling, contemporary horror has become both medical and visual. King, Barker, and Rice, all of whom admit the influence or films on their writing, approximate the media image through the printed word. Badley considers Stephen King a "postliterate" writer, by which she means that King's fiction is set in an ahistorical realm of myth and ritual. Readers, she believes, experience King's fiction in much the same way they do film and mass media. King, through his iconographic use of typography ("Whack-WHACK-Whack-WI-IACK") textualizes sound effects. Computer games have influenced his writing: Badley points S'FRA Review #228, page -1-3


out that the character Stark, in The Dark Half, has the "ber serk momentum" of a video action figure. While her discussion of the influence of the mass media on King is illuminating, her "postliterate" label is reductive. Badley ignores King's sly habit of alluding, often in surprising contexts, to writers of all types and periods, as well as King's facility for stylistic parody. In contrast to Victorian fantasy, which was rooted in fear of human sexuality, horror fiction of the last two decades exploits not only our fear of dying, but our uncertainties about gender identity. While King's fiction affirms society's norms, Barker and Rice are fascinated by gender bending, and use images of the body subversively to undermine patriarchal values. To my mind, Badley's chapter on Clive Barker is the best in the book. In Books of Blood, Badley demonstrates, Barker at once exploits and critiques "splatter" films, making males the victims of female rage. In his stories "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament" and "The Skins of the Fathers", for example, Barker envisions beings who liberate themselves from male violence through bodily transformations. Having replaced phallic sex with polymorphic sensuality and sadomasochism, Anne Rice's vampires, Badley suggests, are both trapped in and liberated by their bodies. Rice, according to Badley, was responsible for vampirism becoming, in the 1980s, the dominant metaphor for ambivalence about intimate relations, dangerous sex, gender and power politiCS, and alienation. In suggesting that Rice has come to terms with her own personal ambivalence about gender through Lestat and Louis, Badley relies heavily on Katherine Ramsland's Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice (Penguin-Plume, 1992), as well as on Rice's statements about her life and work. Since Rice has exercised her considerable creativity on her public persona, I think perhaps that Badley might have been a little more skeptical about reading events in Rice's life so literally back into her fictions. In conclusion, while Badley tosses off generalizations with which her reader may take issue, she has provocative things to say about how horror fiction's treatment of the body re flects, and has shaped, contemporary America's preoccupation \\"ith death (e.g., serial killers, AIDS, near-death experiences) and the body. Her style is exceptionally allusive. Badley draws parallels between horror films and fiction, and she is knowledgeable about culture studies and feminist .'lIR:\ Rc\'ic\\ #228, page ...j....j.


theory. Though she incorporates quotations from a wide range of sources every few sentences, the effect is neither disjoined nor derivative. Badley stretches the reader's mind with surprising connections among disparate sources. Her enthusiasm for horror films and fiction is infectious. Writing Horror and the Body is fun to read! -Wendy Bousfield Certo, Nicholas J. (Editor). Hannes Bok: Drawings and Sketches. Circleville, New York: Mugster Press, 1996, 66 pages, softcover, $19.95, no ISBN. Copies 1-40 of this limited edition of 350 are hardbound and include a color plate and an original sketch by Hannes Bok tipped in, for $125. Although Hannes Bok died in 1964 and contributed much of his major work to books and pulp magazines in the 1940s and early 1950s, A Hannes Bok Treasury (Underwood/t-liller, 1993) and A Hannes Bok Showcase (Charles F. Miller, 1995) have made available a substantial sampling of both his blackand-white and color illustrations. Now, Nicholas]. Certo has enriched the bibliography with a well-produced volume of mostly previously unpublished work, along with some pulp illustrations not included in the earlier volumes. Many of the illustrations are untitled and often undated pen-and-ink portraits that exhibit few of the qualities that were characteristic of Bok's book and magazine work. That, however, is represented by several illustrations for stories by such writers as Henry Hasse, Murray Leinster, Emil Petaja, and Bok himself. Of the color illustrations, the most striking (facing page 55) is that of two nude male figures cradled by a monstrous being whose face is in shadow. The brown and gold drawing is rich in implicit sexual and symbolic drama, with a threat of violence that is unusual in Bok. Also notable is the tipped-in color illustration on the reverse side of the original drawing included with the limited edition hardcover. The illustration, which depicts a demon with pendulous breasts, bent almost double and expelling a rose-colored, !low ing material from its mouth, is also reproduced (but in black and white) in A Hannes Bok S'ho\\fcase, with the title "The Wind" and dated 1941. The process by which the original artwork was photographed is described as using a "Caprock elliptical dot 133line halftone screen," and the results are generally superior SfRA Rcvicw #228, page 45


to the reproductions of earlier collections. A series of small watercolors on paper (pp. 34-35), reproducing the red coloring of the original, has the immediacy of drawings caught in the heat of inspiration, and elsewhere the pebbled surface of the board Bok liked to use is faithfully captured. Apart from the two-page introduction by Ben Indick in which the "reader" accompanies Indick on a visit to Bok's apartment in 1946, the only information given is medium and size of the original art for the untitled material, and the attribution of author, story, and original place and date of publication for the pulp fiction illustrations. This book would probably not be the first choice for someone unfamiliar with the art (either the Showcase or Treasury demonstrates more fully the range of Bok's talents), but anyone who is a fan of Bok's work will want a copy, and the specialist in modern fantasy illustration will add it to the short list of essential publications. Walter Albert Hartwell, David G. Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction. Revised and expanded version of 1984 edition. New York: Tor Books, 1996, 319 pages, $15.95, softcover, ISBN 0-312-86235-0. Back in 1985, when I was in the final stages of completing my dissertation, it was both gratifying and frightening to stumble upon the first edition of David G. Hartwell's Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction (Walker & Company, 1984) gratifying, because here at last was an intelligent and articulate commentator who recognized that the birth of the genre as a self-aware entity in 1926, and the unique community that grew up around it, provided an essential framework for any serious consideration of science fiction; frightening, because it was possible that Hartwell's book \Vould render my own research on behalf of that viewpoint redundant. Fortunately, Hartwell's work did not duplicate my o\Vn. I recalled the book fondly, and as I sat in my office churning out critical essays, I often wished that I owned a copy of that book to reread and consult. Thus, the publication of a revised and updated version as an inexpensive paperback is indeed \Velcome ne\Vs, because this is a book that belongs on the shelf of every serious science fiction critic. SFRA Review #228, page 46


Hartwell himself describes the book well in the opening pages as a "general attempt to describe both the literature and the specific subculture out of which the literature flows ... an outsider's guidebook and road map through the world of science fiction, pointing out the historical monuments, backyard follies, highways, and back streets of the SF commu nity" (2-3). Though sporadically updated, the main text of the book is essentially the same as the 1984 edition, twelve chapters organized into four parts: "The Source and Power of SF's Appeal", "Exploring the Worlds of Science Fiction", "Writers, Fans, Critics", and "The Future of SF". If the topics seem to overlap, that appropriately indicates that the book is not tightly organized, as is also conveyed by Hartwell's regular cross-references to material already covered or material to come. But casual organization is not necessarily a flaw. Rather, reading Age of Wonders is like sitting down and having a long conversation with a charming and very well-informed member of the science fiction community. Yes, he sometimes rambles and digresses, but it's always interesting, so you don't really mind. There is just one problem: a loosely organized book is fine as long as there is an index. The first edition had one, but this one doesn't, which is its greatest flaw. Someday, I know, I will want to quote Hartwell on some subject, and I'm not going to be able to find the statement I remember. Instead of an index, there are seven added features at the end of this edition (along with a four-page "Select Glossary of Fan Language", incorporated into the text of the 1984 edition, but in a separate section here). Four of the new features are primarily lists of various kinds that do not seem essential: a (very) "Select Bibliography" of seven science fiction references; lists of "Sixty Books Important to the Development of SF, Published Before the Name Was Invented"; "The Best 1 05 SF Books Since the Invention of the Field in the Twen ties"; and three pages on "Teaching SF", providing suggested syllabi for "An Introductory SF Course" and "A Course in the Literary History of SF." The other three are more substantive texts: "Understanding Hard SF", adapted from the introduction of Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's anthology Ascent of Wonder, "Dollars and Dragons: The Truth about Fantasy", an essay from The New York Review of Science Fiction; and "Editing the Science Fiction Novel", an essay from the anthology Editors on Editing. SFRA Review #228, page 47


Overall, the main text stands the test of time reasonably well; in fact, two passages I originally thought were 1996 additions turned out to originate in the 1984 edition, indicating that the 1984 Hartwell had a pretty good sense of what was happening then and what was likely to happen soon. But there are added passages to discuss key changes that he did not anticipate, including the deaths of so many great writers in the past decade (177-78), perceptions of a precipitous decline in British science fiction (211), and the strong relationship between science fiction fandom and the Internet (264-65 and elsewhere). But the 1996 Hartwell seems preoccupied with two developments, one inspiring pessimism, the other optimism. The ongoing growth of modern fantasy, which might come to overshadow science fiction, concerned Hartwell in 1984, and concerns him even more in 1996. In the first edition, he wrote: I'-/eanwhile, the field seems to have reverted to images of the mythic past, dragons and monsters and magic, even astrology, as the most popular source of inspiration. And the result is more fantasy and science fantasy than Sf-. It's beginning to get boring, too, pseudopoetic, pretentious, and basically foggyminded. The fantasy audience seems to be a whole lot less critical and demanding than the inner SF community, satisfied with whatever magical images are given it and eager for more. SF has never drawn on and catered to an uncritical audience -the critical standards of SF omnivores and chronics have simply been different from establishment literary fashion. So the growth of fantasy and the fantasy audience may well represent a danger to the SF community as yet unrecognized and unarticulated. Perhaps the next genre war will be the Fantasy War. (1984 edition, p. 156) In the 1996 edition, the first five sentences of this gloomy prognosis, down to "establishment literary fashion," are identical (except that "category publishing in general" replaces "the field"), but Hartwell follows that with a revised, and even gloomier, conclusion: If there is a separate fantasy community, it communicates largely in the online world, where discussions of the most popu lar fantasy writers such as Robert Jordan are vigorous and numerous. rather than at conventions and through fanzines. There is to my kno\\'ledge no center of critical theory or location (or publication) that represents a consensus on standards of what \\"orks and \\'hat doesn't, what's good and \\'hat's not. So the gnl\\th or fantasy and the fantasy audience may well represent S'FRA Revicl\" #228, page -1-8


a danger to the SF community as yet unrecognized and un articulated. Perhaps the next genre war will be the Fantasy War. It may be going on now. It may even be over. (214-15) Still, Hartwell's supplementary essay on fantasy, after duly noting the "enormous wave of trash writing" in modern fan tasy, struggles to be hopeful, listing a number of more innovative writers who are generating "a small body of work that is experimenting successfully with unfashionable techniques and subject matter" (308) and concluding that "the fantastic in literature is healthy and growing in America" (310). However, Hartwell's major reason for optimism is not improvements in fantasy but rather the recent growth of "hard science fiction." Even in 1984, he argued that "Perhaps the bright hope for the field lies in the influx, in the last few years, of scientists and engineers writing SF part-time -perhaps they can provide, if only in rudimentary form, the 'grammatical models' SF needs to keep growing images of power and wonder" (1984, 155). In 1996, he repeats the observation and adds, "It seems to me that they are succeeding and that the field is strengthening again in the 1990s" (214). Later, he praises both The New York Review of Science Fiction and Science Fiction Eye because they "support what is now known as Hard SF as central to the SF enterprise" (257; though I believe that claim would be surprising to SF Eye editor Stephen P. Brown). But just as Hartwell's pessimism about fantasy in the main text is balanced by greater optimism in an appended essay, his optimism about hard science fiction is also balanced by greater pessimism in "Understanding Hard SF"; while noting that "in the past decade hard SF has never been more popular," he observes that it "has been removed from the center of attention in the SF field" and speculates that "Per haps it will in the end be forced aside by a postmodern suc cessor, or trivialized into military SF nearly exclusively (and therefore successfully marginalized), or simply steam-rollered into the ground by the hordes of character-driven young writers on the make to whom science is irrelevant" (302-303). If Hartwell seems unsure about the status and probable future of fantasy and hard science fiction, that may be only one reflection of a larger problem discussed in both editions: the explosive growth of the field, which makes it increasingly difficult for one person to follow and understand everything that is happening. Certainly, a reviewer determined to find fault with a book about "the world of science fiction" could complain about Hartwell's insufficient attention to science SFRA Review #228, page 49


fiction writers and readers outside of North America and Great Britain; the proliferation of celluloid science fiction and the development of numerous fan communities devoted to various films and television series; the rich and complex traditions of science fiction and fantasy art; the evolution and maturation of comic books and graphic novels; the phenomena of role-playing, video, and computer games; and so on. But there is only so much one man can know, and only so much one book can cover. As the occasional notes of uncertainty in Hartwell's voice suggest, then, it may be becoming impossible to write a book about "the world of science fiction"; in the future, we may require several books about its several different worlds. Hartwell evidently believes that the field will remain centered on its prose fiction, anchored by such institutions as the World Science Fiction Conventions and The New York Review of Sci cnce Fiction, and most readers of Age of Wonders probably hope that he is right. However, as John W. Campbell, Jr., has argued, science fiction should always be the literature that is willing to anticipate change, and some future chronicler of "the world of science fiction" might approach the subject with an entirely different emphasis. In the meantime, though, Hartwell's book remains one of the best available guides to the genre of science fiction and its subculture. -Gary Westfahl Joshi, S.T. J-J.P. Lovecraft: A Life. West Warwick, Rhode Island: Necronomicon Press, 1996, 704 pages, softcover, $20.00, ISBN 0-9-1-088--1-88-7. This book is the first comprehensive biography in two de cades of one of the major American figures of twentieth-century horror fiction, fantasy, and science fiction, I-J.P. Lovecraft (189()-1937), and it is written by one of the preeminent Lovecraft scholars of the day, S.T. Joshi. This is a book of impressive substance, containing 655 pages of text plus well organized notes, a bibliography, and an index. (There are no illustrations save for a cover photo of Lovecraft and reproductions of sketches he made of the lavouts of his rooms at various times.) While it does not L. Sprague de Camp's biography of Lovecrart (Doubleday, 1975; Barnes & Noble books, 1996, SFRi\R #22-1-) as the best single book on Lovecraft's life and work, Joshi's book should prove to be irresistible to those readers most keenly interested in Lovecraft, and despite its tlaws it would be a worthy addition .',;F/n /{cvic\\' #228, page 50


to any collection that is intended to maintain in-depth cover age of Lovecraft and the fields to which he contributed. Joshi's book seems to have been written for those who are already familiar with, and appreciative of, Lovecraft's work. Joshi takes it for granted that his readers accept the fact that Lovecraft is deserving of a full-length biography -there are no passages early in the book that explain to the uninitiated who Lovecraft was. Even so, those unfamiliar with Lovecraffs life will find it ably told here: how Lovecraft, born into the lower but comfortable levels of New England aristocracy, endured the disintegration of his family and its fortunes, tried to cope with a real world for which he was ill prepared, became a beloved figure first in the small world of amateur journalism and then in professional weird fiction, and produced a body of work in the latter field that has achieved ever-greater success in the years after his death. Those already familiar with Lovecraft will find no startling revela tions; what Joshi offers instead are additional details and different emphases and evaluations. This book is encyclopedic in its coverage of Lovecraft's daily life, including such details as some parodic love poetry he wrote as a lark (186; Joshi is very good at highlighting Lovecraft's sense of humor), a piece of advertising copy Lovecraft tried to write, extolling the virtues of Curtis Woodwork (356), and an account of his trip to j\Iarblehead, the emotional "high tide" of the first ..J.O years of his life, because he loved the town for the strong sense of the past of New England and "Old England" he felt there (289). The book sometimes has the feel of raw research notes, such as when Joshi speculates about minor issues that cannot be resolved at this point -the possible relationship between a man named "I-Iugog" and a financial setback suffered by Lovecraft's grandfather (3), the contents of a lost piece of Lovecraft juvenilia on the Spanish-American war (46-7), and how Lovecraft met the Eddy family, who were among the few compatible people he knew in his home town of Providence (304-5). The combination of facts and speculation should prove to be a valuable sourcebook of Lovecraftiana for future researchers. I found the details interesting for the most part, except for such things as the serious discussion of Lovecraft's proposals ror dealing with the Great Depression (568-570); I don't imag ine FDR's thoughts on the weird tale would be much more interesting. Those with a lesser interest in Lovecraft might be daunted by the mountain of detail. SFRA Review #228, page 51


Joshi makes no explicit statement at the beginning of this book regarding what he means to accomplish with it (beyond making use of information that has come to light since the last major biography was written), but I infer he is trying to paint Lovecraft's portrait in a more favorable light than others have. Joshi sees Lovecraft as a man who, in the words of Lovecraft's friend W. Paul Cook, "had been tried in the fire and came out pure gold" (397). The "fire" was Lovecraft's punishingly unsuccessful attempt to be a breadwinner and husband in the heterogeneous bustle of 1920s New York City, but Joshi points out that Lovecraft's upbringing was equally fiery e.g., his mother indulged him but also thought he was "hideous" (85), hardly the best formula for preparing someone to deal with the outside world with confidence and skill. The "gold" was a man who gratefully returned to Provi dence, where he could dream of "old days & old ways" (388) and be a genial and generous friend and colleague, a prodigious corespondent, a dedicated traveller (at least up and down the eastern seaboard), a gifted writer, and gradually a more tolerant human being. Joshi places great emphasis on the development of Lovecraft's philosophy, the essence of which is, in Lovecraft's words, that" ... common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or Significance in the vast cosmos-at large" (402). Joshi describes it at some length, tracing how it may have been influenced by earlier philosophers and current scientific advances, and exploring how its implications, as expressed in Lovecraft's attitude, evolved from a mocking pessimism to a sense of cosmic indifference. Joshi makes a good case that Lovecraft worked out an "all-encompassing philosophical system" (583) that is worthy of consideration. But to me, Lovecraft's ideas sound more like the kinds of rationalizations we all concoct to account for what happens in our lives and how we feel about it all, although Lovecraft is more knowledgeable and articulate than most. Joshi also treats the development of Lovecraft's aesthetic principles at some length, and here I think he is on much firmer ground. Lovecraft eventually came to believe that the artist must make others see something of what the artists sees, so that "We see and feel more in Nature from having assimilated authentic works of art" (487). Joshi identifies Lovecraft's classical and decadent periods, describes Lovecraft's reaction to modernists like T.S. Eliot (whom Lovecraft admired as a thinker but not an artist), and indi.I.,'FRA Review #228, page 52


cates how Lovecraft's artistic development culminated in his theory of the weird tale, which, Lovecraft wrote, must have an "atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces" as well as "a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain -a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space" (383). Throughout the book Joshi addresses how Lovecraft applied this theory in his stories, how he adapted it to achieve perhaps his most significant contribution to literature, a successful fusion of the weird tale with science fiction, and how his aesthetics may have been corrupted by the demands of commercial fic tion. Lovecraft was certainly able, through his fiction, to make receptive readers see something of the universe the way he saw it. Joshi thinks well of Lovecraffs work and makes a number of good points in analyzing it. He shows how Lovecraft increasingly made use of the locales and atmosphere of New England, and effectively disputes August Derleth's interpretations of the stories of the so-called "Cthulhu mythos." Joshi also makes a number of arguable statements regarding the nature, virtues, and faults of Lovecraft's fiction for example, he often sees conscious parody on the part of Lovecraft -but there is plenty of room for argument, so I won't go into where I disagree, except to say that I think Joshi puts too much emphasis on the idea of literary influences. An example is Joshi's idea that Lovecraft was influenced by Jack London's Before Adam in the writing of "Beyond the Wall of Sleep", although Joshi writes that he has no evidence that Lovecraft read the book. In many cases what Joshi sees as influences I see as simple similarities; it is possible for two writers to independently arrive at similar story elements. Joshi is more tolerant of what others have seen as Lovecraft's shortcomings, but he is not blind to them. Joshi rightly condemns Lovecraft's occasional racist statements (less frequent as Lovecraft belatedly matured) as "contemptible" (652). Regarding Lovecraft's willful impracticality, Joshi recounts that in 1933 an editor from the prestigious publishing house of Alfred A. Knopf asked to see some of Lovecraft's stories. Lovecraft responded by sending a batch of stories and an astonishing cover letter, in which he criticized his own stories as "stiff in diction," "nothing remarkable," and SFRA Review #228, page 53


"bombastic. .. & mechanical." Needless to say, the collection was not published. Joshi writes: "Sympathetic as I generally am to Lovecraft's relentless uncommercial stance, I have dif ficulty refraining from a strong inclination to kick him in the seat of his pants ... (535-6). It's a shame that Lovecraft never had a book professionally published during his lifetime, but he was partly to blame. Joshi's bbok could have used a better editing than it got. He is occasionally repetitive, mentioning the place Lovecraft's mother was born on page 3 and again two pages later, and repeating a line Lovecraft wrote about Freud on pages 209 and 308. I-Ie sometimes writes clumsily, as in "Machen himself ascribed to the same Victorian sexual pruderies he so seemingly naunted" (298). He periodically introduces a topic without explaining it he mentions the "Kleicomolo correspondence cycle" on page 129 but doesn't explain the derivation of the name until page 146. He overuses certain words, like "antipodally," "inimitable," and "piquant," the latter of which was used four times in one 20-page stretch. On occa sion, in trying to convey portent, he oversteps himself, as when he writes that Lord Dunsany "clearly ... was entirely unaware that the lanky, lantern-jawed gentleman in the front row would become his greatest disciple and a Significant force in the preservation of his own work" (217). At the time, Lord Dunsany had no reason to know Lovecraft at all, and since Dunsany was no more able to see the future than anyone else, it is entirely unremarkable that he was so "unaware." Some material is clearly extraneous, and there are a couple of statements for which I couldn't find the sources, such as that Robert E. Howard made rough drafts of his letters to Lovecrart because he was anxious to make a good impression (503), and that F. Orlin Tremaine was not responsible for the editing that spoiled the magazine version of At the ["fount

In another instance, he confusingly seems to imply that staying in print for nearly 30 years means financial disaster for a book (431). In describing the work of Henry Kuttner and c.L. ]Vloore (618) he makes some odd choices about which of their works to mention, leaving out some major pieces in favor of some relatively minor ones, and he misstates the publication date of the one undeniably major story he does mention, "Vintage Season", which was first published in 1946, not 1955. While these errors are not particularly significant in themselves -the worst that can be said is that Joshi knows more about Lovecraft than he does about other things -they do detract from the overall impression of the book's accu racy, and they should be corrected in future editions. This is a determinedly quirky book. Joshi's usage is unconventional -for example, he uses "learnt" for the past tense of learn and the British "connexion" for "connection." This aspect is not problematic, but the book's most serious flaw is that Joshi sometimes writes with the insistent air of a man who has finally found his soapbox after a long frustrating time. His tone is sometimes defensive ("I make no apologies for treating Lovecraft's philosophical thought in such detail", p. x), sometimes snide ("as if there is any merit in what masses of half-literate people like to read", p. 33), and he uses the book to express irrelevant views, as when he echoes Lovecraft's castigation of Republicans by saying, "Ho,,\' little things have changed" (574). A writer who wants to get away with attitude should have more interesting things to say than these and, generally, I think a scholar who sticks to the point and has enough security and self-confidence to displaya little harmless tolerance makes a better case for him or herself. I must take particular issue with Joshi's treatment of his chief predecessor as Lovecraft's biographer, L. Sprague de Camp. Joshi is within his rights to criticize de Camp's book; although I think he mischaracterizes it, his may be a defensible opinion. But his criticism of de Camp is indefensible. I-Ie is simply incorrect to write that de Camp was "tempera mentally nothing like Lovecraft" (647). As a matter of fact, the contrary is much more true. On page xii of the preface to Lovecraft: A Biography, de Camp writes: "I saw in him certain of my own shortcomings, in what I hope is exaggerated form. To read of his many mistakes and misadventures gives me a 'there-but-for-the-grace-of-God' feeling." In de Camp's recent autobiography, Timc and Chancc, he amplified the SFRA Rcvicl\'#228, page 55


point: "I did come to realize that I had been too censorious with Lovecraft, because I was really scolding myself. I recognized in him some of my own faults, which I have struggled against with indifferent success" (370). And Joshi is just being ignorant and nasty when he writes that "de Camp simply did not have the intellectual and personal resources to write a biography of Lovecraft" (647). Anyone familiar with de Camp's work knows that he is very erudite and that he is able to write clearly, wittily, and sometimes movingly; his intel lectual and personal resources are easily up to the task of writing a Lovecraft biography. If Joshi wants to be taken seriously as a scholar, he undercuts himself by this kind of behavior. Joshi would have better served his purpose by devoting the space he used to attack de Camp to criticizing de Camp's book. It's understandable that someone as devoted to Lovecraft as Joshi might object if others express a critical view of some aspect of Lovecraft's life or work. And it's true that critics of Lovecraft's life should remember that he could not have written the stories he did if he were not the man he was. But it is impossible for anyone who cares about Lovecraft to read any comprehensive version of his life story, including Joshi's, and not wish Lovecraft had taken just a marginally more practical, less self-destructive approach to life, not to please others, but for himself. Toward the end of his life, he had lost confidence in his writing, was eating old canned food to save money, and wrote to at least one correspondent about sui cide. Joshi downplays the extent of Lovecraft's despair, but Lovecraft certainly could have been happier. Yet on more than one occasion a publisher asked to see a novel of his, and he did nothing, despite the fact that at one time he had as many as three book-length (or nearly book-length) pieces of fiction sitting in his trunk -The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and At the Mountains of Madness! Only the last was published during his lifetime, and that in a corrupted magazine serial. All were eventually published in books after his death and are still in print. He might very well have been able to sell one of these to a book publisher, which would have given a boost to his ego and might have allowed him to eat a little better and maybe do some more extensive travelling. How he would have enjoyed seeing a novel of his in a Boston bookstore; how he would have loved to do some sightseeing in his be loved old England! Earl Wells SFRA Review #228, page 56


Lottman, Herbert R. jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996,366 pages, $26.95, hardcover, ISBN 0-312-14636-l. Rapidly translated from the French (Paris: Flammarion, 1996) and published to coincide with the recent appearance of the English edition of jules Verne's "lost" novel Paris in the Twentieth Century (Random House, 1996), Herbert Lottman's new book, jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography, is unquestionably an important and long-awaited addition to Vernian scholarship. But it is also a painful one. A professional biographer who has already to his credit several in-depth studies of famous French authors such as Flaubert and Camus, Lottman is both meticulous in his research and dependably authoritative in his rendering of the sometimes shadowy details of Verne's life. Thus, in terms of its factual accuracy, jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography far surpasses the two previously-available English biographies on jules Verne written by Marguerite Allotte de la Fuye (1954) and jean jules-Verne (1973). As such, it will probably become the standard biographical reference for all future scholarship on Verne. But be forewarned. Lottman's "exploratory" approach resembles that of the medical examiner who dissects his subject on the operating table, believing that the sum of the parts is equivalent to the whole. Following a fairly comprehensive perusal of the existing French scholarship on the topic (almost no Anglo-American studies of Verne were used) and after lengthy consultations with Dr. Olivier Dumas (medical doctor, President of the Societe jules Verne, and himself the author of a controversial Verne biography repeatedly quoted in this book), Lottman goes on to reconstruct the "real" jules Verne from a methodical examination of all of Verne's let ters, publishing contracts, interviews, court records, eyewitness accounts, family remembrances, and other historical documents from the Verne archives and the Bibliothaque Nationale. In so doing, Lottman succeeds in sweeping away many of the popular and persistent myths surrounding this celebrated "Father of Science Fiction." But he also tends to dwell disproportionately upon Verne's "dark side": the author's brooding obsessions, various gastro-intestinal ailments, supposed latent homosexuality, unrepentant anti-Semitism, reputed SFRA Review #228, page 57


marital infidelities, less-than-admirable parenting skills, and so forth. Granted, these sometimes sordid aspects of Verne's private life are, and should be, fair game for a conscientious biographer. But Lottman inexplicably chooses to downplay that most salient feature of Verne's life: his writings. This biography never really addresses the incredibly rich content of Verne's works, their innovative place in the history of speculative fiction, or their crucial influence on the developing genre of science fiction. Reduced to plot summaries, sales figures, and author royalties, the individual works of Verne's Voyages Extraordinaires are treated as little more than periodic benchmarks in the chronology of the author's biological existence. Let me be quite clear about this. It is the man who is the topic of Jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography, not the author. His character and daily habits are scrutinized, not his imagination or literary production. Lottman's book is a psychological and sociological analysis of Jules Verne's personal life, not an assessment of his innovative contributions to world literature. Lottman's style -albeit sometimes awkward (he apparently did his own translating) is very readable and per rectly appropriate to his chosen task: dry, matter-of-factual, devoid of eloquence. The book's structure is rigorously chronological, dividing Verne's life into six segments from childhood to old age. It contains a total of 39 chapters, a prologue and an epilogue, voluminous endnote references, and an in dex of proper names and titles (no thematic entries). The epilogue, entitled "The Verne Legacy", is especially disappointing in its lack of integrative substance. First, it cites (yet again) those familiar testimonials from 20th-century explorers and scientists vvho were supposedly inspired by Verne's novels. Then it briefly discusses the recent lawsuits in France about who legally owns the rights to Verne's unpublished manuscripts (we learn that the Dumas biography indicated above, largely based on such documents, was or dered withdrawn rrom the marketplace by the French courts -which may explain his close collaboration with Lottman on this text). It then goes on to simply state that "Verne's reputation has improved with time" (with no mention or the hundreds or studies done on Verne during the past 25 years). :\l1li. in conclusion, it points out that several of Verne's nov els have been adapted to the movie screen and television ( really'?), SFIn Rcvie\\' #228. page 58


Again, it is the man who is the topic of jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography, not the author. And once the man is dead and his burial has been duly chronicled, the biographer's job is done ... or so it would seem. -Arthur B. Evans Morris, Evan. The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1996, xi + 289 pages, softcover, $12.95, ISBN 0-449-91070-9. The Internet may be the world's largest vanity press, as some have claimed. An excellent and accessible narrative history, Computer: A History of the Information /lIachine by Martin Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray (Basic Books, 1996), remarks: ],vleanwhile, people are surfing the net to visit shopping malls, explore magazines, and view trailers for forthcoming movies. But beyond these initial novelties, people quickly tire of the Internet and run out of patience trying to hunt down elusive documents in the chaos of information overload. Certainly there is a great deal of information on the Internet for the technically sophisticated, but for the ordinary user there is not a great deal out there of interest, and what there is is very difficult to find. There is far more hype than reality. In this volume, The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet, Morris is technically sophisticated, but his guide is readily accessible to novices like me, and is likely to be of interest to most SFRA members or to anyone interested in books, writ ing, bookstores, or libraries. About 40% of the guide is a clear introduction to the Internet: a bit of history, hardvvare and software, commercial services, independent providers, the web, search engines, Gopher, Archie, FTP, Telnet, Usenets, e-mail and mailing lists, and dO-it-yourself publishing on the web. The remaining 60% provides more specific information, from "metapages" (lists or lists), indexes, and search engines to hundreds of specific sites, each with their URL elec tronic address and the method used to access the site (http, ftp, telnet, and gopher). Sites available through commercial services are also included: C:ompuServe, America Online, Prodigy, and the I\Iicrosoft Network (but not Genie). Brier comments, sometimes evaluative, are included for most sites. There's a six-page section devoted to Sf/fantasy Ihorror re sources, and other sites are listed that provide related information, such as individual author sites. SFRA Reviell' #228, page 59


Morris recommends sources for keeping up with the very rapidly changing Internet, including what he judges to be the best of several "yellow pages" directories, that compiled by Harley Hahn and published by Osborne McGraw-Hill, now it its third edition. Morris's own volume is an inexpensive, comprehensive, and accessible guide that I strongly recommend members buy or borrow. Neil Barron Perret, Patti. The Faces of Fantasy. New York: Tor, 1996, 231 pages, softcover, $22.95, ISBN 0-312-86216-4. I suspect that virtually everyone's first response to this book will be: "It's a great idea, but where's [author's name here]'s picture?". Indeed, without such notables as Harlan Ellison, Stephen R. Donaldson, and Stephen King, for example, The Faces of Fantasy may seem incomplete -especially to those who have not seen The Faces of Science Fiction. But to look at what is not there (so to speak) would be to miss a marvelous collection of photographs and comments. The Faces of Fantasy contains over 100 photographs of fantasy writers from Lynn Abbey to Jane Yolen. These are not head shots, but rather posed photographs -Judith Tarr on horseback, Suzy McKee Charnas at her desk, Pete David naked on a couch, Jennifer Roberson with dogs, Charles de Lint in a long, empty hallway -each accompanied by a statement from the author about fantasy, writing fantasy, and/or reading fantasy. There is also an introduction by Terri Windling describing the history of fantasy and the history of this book. The Faces of Fantasy is neither criticism nor fiction, but it sure is interesting reading -and looking. C.W. Sullivan III Umland, Rebecca A. and Samuel J. Umland. The Use ofArthurian Legend in Hollywood Film: From Connecticut Yankees to Fisher Kings. Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture, Number 57. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996,205 pages, hardcover, $55.00, ISBN 0-313-29798-3. The Umlands, professors of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (Rebecca publishes in Arthurian literaSFRA Review #228, page 60


ture while Samuel publishes in film and science fiction, among other areas) have created an intensely scholarly work on a difficult subject which is both readable and free of dogmatic assertions. Often, academics who approach those Hollywood films influenced by a significant literary work have a bias against the entire medium. The Umlands simply show the sources through which the Arthurian legend was transferred to a film, more often through Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Tennyson's Idylls of the King, or White's The Once and Future King than through Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Chretien de Troyes's Le Conte del Graal, or Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, regardless of what is listed in the film's credits. The Umlands make no attempt at an encyclopedic approach to the Arthurian legend in Hollywood films, but they do discuss eighteen films in great detail, including Butler's A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court (1931) with Will Rogers and Myrna Loy, Boorman's Excalibur (1981), Gilliam and Jones's Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), and Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Many other films with an Arthurian motif are mentioned at greater or lesser length in an interesting way, such as Lucas's Star Wars (1977). The chapters' titles ("The Arthurian Legend as Intertextual Collage", "The Arthurian Legend as Hollywood Melodrama", "The Arthurian Legend as Forms of Propaganda", "The Arthurian Legend as Hollywood Epic", and "The Arthurian Legend as Postmodern Quest") mirror the authors' creativ ity, which makes the book good reading as well as an example of thorough scholarship. The filmography, bibliography, and proper name index are quite adequate; the chapter notes are detailed. Overall, the Umlands' book is useful for the casual fan reader as well as a valuable source for the professional. Dr. Bob Blackwood SFRA Review #228, page 61


SrRA RcviclI' #228, page 62


Cave, Hugh B. Bitter/Sweet. West Wanvick, Rhode Island: Necronomicon Press, 1996, 31 pages, softcover (stapled), $4.95, ISBN 0-94-088472-0. Bitter/Sweet contains two short stories by prolific pulpster Hugh B. Cave, illustrated by Jason C. Eckhardt. Though I approve of editor Stefan Oziemianowicz's service to collectors in making this sort of chapbook available, readers familiar with Cave's work will probably not be surprised to hear that these stories are clunky and not even as interestingly garish as the stuff he was grinding out 60 years ago. "By Heaven!" takes to task pop musicians and writers whose art consists of foul language and violent misogyny. The concept is that the souls of Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, and other past writers are sent as a heavenly force to infiltrate radio stations, rock concerts, and authors' homes, where they magically turn the artists' output into silence or the repetition of benign phrases such as "Mary had a little lamb." I find Cave's use of these writers as "stealth censors" preposterous, and his assumption that such censorship would improve modern culture distasteful in the extreme. "Aiyana and the Gallant Rider" is the "sweet" story of the pair, but it is too bland and predictable to offer any pleasures. Handsome, lonely Lamont Smith visits the narrator, a "dreamologist," complaining of a recurring nightmare. Dr. Gautier is surprised to hear that the nightmare matches in most particulars the one described by another patient, pretty, lonesome Emma Tolin. After some ridiculous detective work that betrays a kindergarten understanding of psychology, Gautier gets the young pair together so they can fall in love. This selection will not interest any but the most diehard or Cave fans. fiona Kelleghan Choyce, Lesley. Trapdoor to Heaven. Kingston, Ontario: Quarry Press, 199G, 218 pages, softcover, ISBN 1-55082-157-l. Lesley Choyce is an anomaly on the Canadian literary scene. He moved north to Nova Scotia from his native New Jersey in SFRA Rcviell'#228, page G3


1978, well after the Vietnam War when such moves were fash ionable. Reportedly, he was looking for a simpler life style and the opportunity to pursue his favorite hobby, surfing. That's right, he's a Canadian national surfing champion. Now, what kind of writing would you expect from someone who enjoys water sports at -20e? You probably would not expect this book to be cosy or predictable, and that would be correct. Trapdoor to Heaven is a fantastic "tour de force" which is never boring and occasionally brilliant. It's a collection of short stories held loosely together by the concept of reincarnation. The featured characters are all expressions of the same evolving soul, and all souls are envisioned as grains of sand in which the entire world can be seen. The spectre of individual death, alienation from society, and the displeasure of the Gods all lose their terror in the context of this theological framework. Organized religion, however, is one of Choyce's favorite targets, and is attacked thematically in a number of stories. For example, the heroic soul in "The Density of Purpose" is manifested by an old woman who turns out to be a lovable, pacifist witch. She campaigns successfully against the Crusades in spirited defiance of the "warmongers who ran the church." The cybernetic revolution also comes in for criticism, blamed for "cheating us out of our immortality." The story "Patches" presents a snapshot of a society where being "patched" into the net robs people of the knowledge that "we have come before." The net is seen here as promoting coun terfeit interaction which leads to a false sense of community and the loss even of historical consciousness, let alone the potential [or spiritual evolution. The most basic social issues are addressed in "The Baker". This buoyant allegory juxtaposes a variation on the parable of the loaves and fishes from the New Testament with an evocation of the mass hysteria caused by eating ergot bread mold in the l\Iiddle Ages. The result is a poignant demonstration of how the victims of social injustice are often blamed for the gUilt and fear they unfortunately inspire. Trapdoor to Hcavcn does not sustain the reader in one continuous, breaking wave onto the beach of enlightenment. But it is full of gems, startling insights, and sudden openings .'>TRA Rcvicl\' #228, page 64


into other worlds, other seas. Even when Choyce wipes out, you can appreciate the attempt and share the exuberance of what he is trying to do. Steve Lehman Gannett, Lewis. t-.Jagazine Beach. New York: HarperPrism, June 1996, 416 pages, hardcover, $23.00, ISBN 0-06105235-3. Lewis Gannett's satirical first novel, The Living One (1993), was the story of a young man who finds his life endangered by dark family secrets. His satirical second novel, Magazine Beach, is also concerned with a young man who finds his life endangered by dark family secrets, but with a major difference. Where The Living One told of an adolescent coming of age in a family whose vampire heritage he knows nothing about, Magazine Beach is the tale of meek Toby Swett, a selfstyled "catastrophist" who falls head-over-heels in love with a member of a family so dangerously dysfunctional that they threaten the fate of the planet. It is 2002, and Toby, while working as a waiter for a private party, is smitten by Grace Trefethen, daughter of renowned scientist Earnest Trefethen. Toby hopes to curry favor with Grace by returning a handmade rabbit-head pin aCCidentally left at her table, but that pin proves to be an icon whose image can trigger thermonuclear devices planted by Earnest in an ice shelf on the Antarctic rim. Earnest, a disillusioned product of the 1960s counterculture, is a certi fiable lunatic ,vho hopes to restore a sense of "enchantment" to a world grown numb to its self-destructiveness. He has a millenarian manifesto that he demands be broadcast around the world, otherwise he will feed the icon into the media stream where it will be read by the buried warheads, all of which are linked to the Internet. The ensuing obliteration of the ice shelf will raise the global sea level catastrophically. (The title alludes to a possible future for lvlagazine Street in Boston, where Toby lives.) If this sounds a bit like Dr. S'trange]ove updated to the age of the Unibomber, it is surely not unintentional. Gannett has clearly embraced the wacky sensibility of that Cold War satire to deliver a black comedy of contemporary America steeped in millennial anxiety. His Vividly-realized near future has spawned sinister government-sponsored departments SfRA Review #228, page 6.')


like the Federal Anti-Terrorist Bureau (nicknamed FATBOY), formed to manage the destruction wrought by fanatics at the turn of the millennium, and the Center for the Study of Moral Reasoning, the politically correct title of an Orwellian laboratory that brutally brainwashes antisocial thoughts out of prisoners. A world capable of supporting perverted institutions like these produces equally warped individuals, and Gannett lets his imagination run wild conceiving them. Grace Trefethen indulges an incestuous relationship with her brother Brian. The children try to subvert their father's plans and deliver the icon pin to authorities partly because Daddy is bedding Martha Cliffcloud, head of the Mantis Corpora tion, a security outfit that embodies the worst evils of the military-industrial complex. The extreme personalities bred by this future are summed up most egregiously in Slotsky, an inept espionage agent with a shoe fetish, who tries to retrieve the icon for blackmail purposes. Once Toby is in the clutches of folks who will stop at nothing to pry the whereabouts of the icon from him, Gannett allows the plot to devolve into a chase scenario that is equal parts Keystone Cops pratfall and Perils of Pauline rescue. For all its comic absurdity, though, his novel still provokes serious thought with its retlections on the computer era's total destruction of personal privacy and the absolute amorality of the media. Magazine Beach stands apart from other treatment of future gloom and doom, if only because it suggests that the world will end not just with with a bang, but with a flush. -Stefan Dziemianowicz Knight, Damon. Humpty Dumpty: An Oval. New York: Tor Hooks, 1996, 287 pages, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 0312-8G223-7. This wildly imagined fantasy is a sophisticated, witty, proround, elegant, and sometimes irritating masterwork exercise by one of the Grand tv'lasters of science fiction and fan tasy. Its Joycean wordplay is embodied by the subtitle, "An Oval"; this subtitle describes Humpty Dumpty, who in turn is a metaphor 1'01' the central character, Wellington Stout (also the name of a beer), as well as the text's shape, and it is also a play on the common subtitle, "A Novel". The story itself is reminiscent or Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s use of the fantastic and science rantastic alongside the American mundane of boy.'-.'1-'1\,\ I\c\'ic\\' ;t22S, page GG


hood and small town life. Its elderly narrator ventures a number of observations about life, some of which are a touch sexist and redolent of attitudes about love and seduction which reflect that Knight was born in 1922. But this novel is a real zinger, an imagined reality that bursts in and out of different frames of reference with exuberance. The outline idea (plot would be an exaggeration) is that Wellington Stout is shot in the head in a restaurant in t-Iilan, wakes up in hospital with the bullet still in his head, gets involved in a spy intrigue (which may be run by aliens), and races across Europe and around an America under alien at tack, visiting the sites of his youth and meeting many longdead characters from the past. He eventually realises he is the key to overwhelming the aliens, or something like that. Along the way he continually slips in and out of various forms of consciousness, ranging from the pragmatic present to underground discussions in the secret cavity of the ancient order of the dentists where he meets the Crowns. The novel switches from one mode to the other in a series of instant transitions. This is not a novel that can be categorised or easily judged. The reader needs to suspend all logical judgement and let it sweep her/him away in its graceful, witty, and clever flow. This may not be Knight's best novel, but if he were to lay down his word processor at age 75, it would be a fitting capstone to a career which has always been rich in imagination and fun and has always sought the human in the strange. When Wellington Stout arrives at his own wake ncar the end of the text, the reader suddenly realises how both the outer man (of society, love, and commerce) and the inner man (of dreams, fantasies, and surrealisms) have been summed up in the story. It is a haunting work, to be read again with surprise and delight. Peter Brigg Kress, Nancy. BCjJjJars Ride. New York: Tor Books, 1996, 304 pages, hardcover, $23.95, ISBN 0-312-85817-5 I-low can the sense of individual moral responsibility function in a Darwinian universe that cares not a whit for the survival of any individual? BegjJars in Sj.Jain (novella, Axolotl Press, 1991; expanded novel, Tor, 1993) posed the dilemma: you step otT an airplane in some godforsaken corner of the S'FRA Rcvic\\" #228, page G I


;,lanet. One beggar approaches and you open your change purse: your action attracts several more beggars, and soon the resources you need for your own survival are over ;";helmed. If the Beggar series is an argument, Kress's conclusion is summed up by La Rouchefoucauld: "Le vrai moyen d'etre trompe c'est de se croire plus fin que les autres" (Beggars Ride 25-+). This untranslated, ambiguous quotation from the portmanteau authors La Rouche/Foucauld of chanson de geste and archeology of knowledge can perhaps be interpreted to that folks like us are beggars and altruists seriatim; lhose other folks who interfere with our survival needs are It is their presumption of entitlement grounded in a belief in their own superiority that will tromp them in end. Irony? Sort of. ."',S individuals, none of us can bring about the structural change necessary to improve conditions for the masses of so like the genetically engineered Sleepless we ,,':ithdraI,Y to an enclave, a sanctuary, what is nowadays eu called a "gated community," to ensure our sur ,,'ival and the survival of those who are like us. If altruism has a survival advantage for the individual, as learned in Hiology 101, it is through enhancing the sur ""iv'al of the community, thereby enhancing the survival of individual. Defining the limits of the community then henJlnc:s the problem. Welcome to the concept of speciation ulhanced hy geographical or social isolation. However, in world, the next stage in the development of h01110 ,apicns the Sleepless turns out to be an evolutionary cuI de sac; thei r prospects are quickly overrun by the <""uperSleepless, who hecome the putative champions of the heggar.'). In Beggars and Choosers (Tor, 1994), societal condit ions have changeci, predictably shifting point of view to the beggars or "Livers," that 85 of the population who havc hecome superrIuous but who live in comfortable depcndency -the inevitable consequence of charity to beg gars relieved of the necessity to struggle for their own survival --rapidly regressing into illiteracy and tribal affiliaI ion, neither communicating nor interacting with neighboring communities, which would provide the behavioral and genetic diversity necessary to enhance their own survival at the next inevitable change in the environment. Sfg,\ J?cvic\\' #228, page 68


The resolution of this tricky middle novel is achieved dea ex machina as the SuperSleepless Miranda saves the Livers from the immediate consequences of the sabotage and breakdown of the Donkey-run welfare system by showering the landscape with nanotechnology in syringes that relieves them of hunger, disease, and their dependence on the Donkeys -thus trading one crippling dependency for another. And, thus, ,;ve come to Beggars Ride. As a novel, It IS a piece of the larger argument Kress has been developing: "'lie are biological organisms, hierarchically inclined as a species, who must share a finite amount of space and resources. A new species arises when a random or, in this case, an engineered mutation provides a survival advantage. The impulse to altruism exists, but only when it does not hamper our ovm individual or group survival. There is one neat summarizing paragraph: Jackson saw again the printouts of unChanged Liver children on Theresa's study wall. Dying in bloat and putrefaction from lack of sanitation nobody needed to practice anymore, or lack of change syringes, or lack of medical attention. (227) Sanitation is an individual parental responsibility. Only one generation has passed. The survival knowledge is surely accessible to them. The change syringes, dea ex machina, are the misguided, dependency-inducing welfare efforts. Jackson, the superOuous medical man safe inside his enclave, could do the duty nearest him, even though he would make so little difference. If these exhaust the alternatives, we are surely doomed as a species -predators, beggars, and inef fectual altruists alike. The species that survive over a period of time are those who adapt to the prevailing conditions. To undermine a spe cies, the screwl1y solution is to identify and exploit the weak link in its behavioral chain. Kress's solution is even more basic: interfere with the willingness to respond to any nov elty, the impulse to adapt to changing conditions. The mun dane predisposition to declare the technologically induced manipulation of the environment "forbidden knowledge" will, I expect, be the central theme of Hook IV, probably to be entitled Bcggars in Paradisc, after the meek have inherited the Earth and become dependent upon the new religion. SF/V\ RevicII' #228, page 69


I have so little faith in the possibility of "personal evolu tion" and the "gift" of neediness that I find the cheery, upbeat resolution to Beggars Ride chilling. Virginia Allen Lethem, Jonathan. The Wall of' the Sky, The Wall of the Eye. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, October 1996, 294 pages, hardcover, $23.00, ISBN 0-15-100180-4. Lethem is arguably the current master of SF noir. His dark and frequently chilling views of life are set in a world almost like our own, but compellingly different. These seven stories each show a different and rather pointed view of some particular slice of human passions and obsessions. In one story, a man is brought back from the dead because he's the family's only breadwinner. The catch is that, every now and then, his soul must migrate to Hell where he faces tortures and situations that he doesn't understand. Another story has ]\Jichael Jordan returning as a white kid; a third features a couple who collect virtual reality copies of their lovers and then throw a party for them. Three stories previously appeared in Asimov's, one in Cen Wry, and one in Intersections, all in slightly different form; the other two are new. As can be seen by the brief descriptions above, Lethem's world is a different one. The chilling thought is that in many ways, it is so similar to ours. All of the stories contain language that might be offensive to some, hut they are nevertheless well-written and thoughtprovoking. And in the end, they are certainly not boring. W.O. Stevens Moore, Ward. Lot & Lot's Daughter. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 199G, 72 pages, softcover w/dust jacket, ISBN 9G-l-8320-1-1. ror an outstanding example of a truly backhanded compliment, one need look no further than John Clute and Peter Nicholls's otherwise glowing assessment of Ward ]\Ioore in the ElK) dopedi;z of,",ciencc Fiction. After some outright praise for his lOo-infrequent contributions to the genre (espeCially the classic alternative history novel Bring the jubilee) they snn HI-Tiel\ :::228, page iO


write that l'doore "was not a professional genre writer, and as a possible consequence much of his work seemed to have been written (and certainly it read) as though carefully and leisurely composed for his own pleasure." It is a shame that Moore was not more prolific, but his "amateur" standing does not alter the fact that the handful of novels and short stories he did produce are easily as compelling as many that had their birth within the crucible of bills and deadlines that is too often the life of the "professional" science fiction writer. Two of his most powerful and disturbing stories from the 1950s, "Lot" and "Lot's Daughter", have now been republished in a single volume, along with an introduction by Michael Swanwick. Together they tell the familiar story of nuclear apocalypse so often envisioned in that and subsequent decades, complete with panic-stricken masses fleeing the cities; radios broadcasting dire news accounts of widespread destruction, then falling silent; and the descent of civi lized men and women into barbarism. f'.loore provides an additional twist by modeling his tale on the biblical story of Lot's escape from the destruction of Sodom. Even that conceit may not seem strikingly original to the modern reader, but Moore had the foresight to describe these events before they had become cinematic cliches (in fact, these two stories later became the uncredited basis for the film Panic in Year Zero). As Swanwick writes in his introduction: "Right at the very beginning of the atomic era, Moore nailed the nuclear holocaust survival story." Even this early in the game, however, f'.loore is aware of a set of genre conventions that he is working against. In "Lot's Daughter", ]\loore's protagonist, Mr. jimmon, bemoans his daughter's unrealistic expectations of life after a nuclear war: People who used to write stories about what would happen instinctively agreed with Erika, leaping for shock-cushioned fancies. Like living in deserted mansions, enjoying unlimited supplies of canned goods from abandoned markets, banding together with like-minded survivors -one of them \\'as always a reservoir of esoteric knowledge about the economy of the American Indian, agronomic chemistry, textile manufacture -to rebuild civilization. Limited imagination, unahle to envis age realities. H 7) Many of those "shock-cushioned fancies" demonstrated a reassuring faith in the survival of human civilization; others depicted civilization as the cause of its own destruction in SfRA Rcvic\\' #228, page 11


the words of the poet Edwin Muir, as "that old bad world that swallowed its children quick." In Moore's view, however, civilization is "a delicate, interdependent mechanism" requiring the faith and commitment of all its memhers in order to function. One way that Moore illustrates this idea is with recurring images of roads and highways. In the first story, Mr. Jimmon demonstrates his willingness to sacrifice social convention (as well as the lives of his fellow human beings) to ensure his own survival, such as when he is confronted with a massive traffic jam on the road out of Los Angeles, and takes to the empty, inbound lane to pass the line of refugees in front of him. Later, in "Lot's Daughter", the collapse of civilization is represented by the haunting image of an abandoned road: It was no longer a clean strip of nearly white concrete wormpatterned with black tar. Leaves and sand had blown across it steadily in the ceaseless wind from the ocean, to be caught and held at the ncar edge, building back a dune to snare the earth that was stamped and filtered into it by the rain. The compound was not disturbed; the concrete was buried now, anchored under ever-accumulating topsoil on which sparse grass and undernourished plants grew thinly but stubbornly, their taproots stunted by the slab below. The highway was still clearly defined, but no longer as what it was; now it was only a sick swath through the vigorous brush and woods. (62) "Lot" and "Lot's Daughter" further illustrate this thesis by focusing on the most fundamental of human relationships. l\Ioore refuses to be tempted by the broad canvas his subject oITers, and shows instead how a single family is broken and twisted by the abandonment of civilized codes of behavior in the wake of nuclear war. At the same time Moore seems to suggest that the apocalypse he describes might be brought about, at least in part, by the subconscious desire for release from those codes. Anyone acquainted with the biblical figures to whom the titles refer will probably anticipate certain plot twists, but that will not reduce the emotional power they convey. "Lot" and "Lot's Daughter" depict nuclear holocaust not simply as a worldwide catastrophe, but perhaps even more terrifyingly, as the unleashing of our own inner demons. -Ed McKnight SfR:\ RcviCI\' #228, page 72


SURFING HAL A January 1997 title from MIT Press is HAL's Legacy: 2001 's Computer as Dream and Reality, $22.50, an anthology edited by David G. Stork, with essays by scientists discussing the film's handling of artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and other aspects of computing. Arthur C. Clarke, whose 3001: The Final Odyssey will be published by Ballantine in March, wrote the introduction. MIT Press has set up a web edition that alternates full-text chapters with chapter abstracts and links to many scientific web sites as well as to the many 2001 sites. The URRL is ''''. If you're a 2001 enthusiast, you should investigate a British book I just learned of, Piers Bizony's 2001: Filming the Future (Aurum Press, 1994), described in the MIT Press book as "a beautiful large-format book ... the product of many years of devoted research. It gives the entire history of the film and is full of original art work, engineering drawings, and stills taken during production, most of which have never appeared before." Neil Barron Corn, Joseph J. and Brian Horrigan. Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984, 157 pages, $24.95, softcover, ISBN 0-8018-5399-0. This curious volume was originally published in 1984 to accompany a travelling Smithsonian exhibit of the same name. It has been reprinted now with no revisions and is, therefore, an outdated description of outdated visions of our future. This means there is no mention of past visions of future communications systems, for instance. And it means that the volume is necessarily uninformed by the perfect gloss on the subject, William Gibson's "The Gernsback Continuum." Nevertheless, it is loaded with nifty illustrations and thorough descriptive text. Why was it reissued, unaltered, just now? -Joan Gordon SFRA Review #228, page 73


SCIENCE FICTION RESUMES PUBLICATION Van Ikin, of the University of Western Australia English Department (Nedlands, WA 6907, Australia), has edited Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature since 1977. Issues 36 (12:3) and 37 (13:1), undated, reached me in early September 1996 with a note apologizing for the long delay but stating that publication will be more regular (albeit still irregular) from now on. Issue #36 has a moderately detailed article by Sean McMullen, "The Golden Age of Australian Science Fiction", which argues that "the quality of much of the material is far better than generally thought ... and that the poor items are far worse than ever imagined." Six reviews and a letter conclude the 40-page stapled issue. In issue #37, Russell Blackford discusses fellow Australian writer Damien Broderick, while Pat Cadigan and Ellen Datlow are interviewed. Two brief articles and nine reviews complete the issue. Price is A$5/ issue; subscriptions for four issues are A$16 (domestic), A$24 (overseas surface), and A$36 (overseas airmail), sent to [kin. U.S. subscribers can send a US$20 check payable to j.V. Post, 3225 N. Marengo Ave., Altadena CA 9100l. Neil Barron SKEPTICAL SF? The Skeptical Inquirer, 20:5 (September/October 1996), pages 19-26, has "Shades of Meaning: Science Fiction as a New Metric", with shorter related pieces by Greg Bear, Hal Clement, and Fred Po hI. Neil Barron SFRA Review #228, page 74


The SFRA is the oldest professional organization for the study of science fiction and fantasy literature and film. Founded in 1970, the SFRA was organized to improve classroom teaching; to encourage and assist scholarship; and to evaluate and publicize new books and magazines dealing with fantastic literature and film, teaching methods and materials, and allied media performances. Among the membership are people from many countries -students, teachers, professors, librarians, futurologists, readers, authors, booksell ers, editors, publishers, archivists, and scholars in many dis ciplines. Academic affiliation is not a requirement for membership. SFRA BENEFITS INCLUDE: Extrapolation. Four issues per year. The oldest journal in the field, with critical, historical, and bibliographical ar ticles, book reviews, letters, occasional special topic issues, and an annual index. Science-Fiction Studies. Three issues per year. Includes criti cal, historical, and bibliographical articles, review articles, reviews, notes, letters, international coverage, and an annual index. SFRA Annual DirectOlY. One per year. Lists members' names and addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and special interests. SFRA Review. Six issues per year. An organ of the SFRA, this newsletter/journal includes extensive book reviews of both nonfiction and fiction, review articles, listings of new and forthcoming books, letters, SFRA internal affairs, calls for papers, works in progress, and an annual index. SFRA OPTIONAL BENEFITS: FoundatioIl. Discounted subscription rate for SFRA members. Three issues per year. British journal, with critical, his torical, and bibliographical articles, reviews, and letters. Add to dues: $17 surface; $20 airmail. NEW!!! The New York Review of Science Fiction. Discounted subscription rate for SFRA members. Twelve issues per year. Reviews and features. Add to dues: $20 domestic; $31 domestic first class; $24 domestic institutional; $25 Canada; $33 overseas. SFRA Review #228, page 75


ANNUAL SFRA MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS Dues: Individual! joint2 Student3 Institution4 Emeritus5 U.S.A. $60 $70 $50 $80 $30 Canada $65 $75 $55 $80 $35 Overseas $70 $80 $60 $80 $40 !all standard listed benefits; 2two members in the same household receive two listings in the Directory and one set of journals; 3cat egory may be used for a maximum of five years; 4all privileges of individual membership except voting; 5receives the SFRA Review and Annual Directory. NOTE: Please add $15 for overseas air mailing of The SFRA Review and the Annual Directory if desired; otherwise these publications will be sent via surface mail. Please mail this completed form with your check for dues, payable to SFRA, in U.S.$ only, to: Michael Ivl. Levy, SFRA Treasurer, Dept. of English, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie WI 54751. Type of membership: Amount of dues $ ---Airmail for SFRA Review & Directory $ --Foundation $ --NYRSF $--Support a Scholar (any amount welcome) $ ---Total enclosed $ __ Name: Address: E-mail: Home Phone: Work Phone: Fax: I\ly principal interests in fantastic literature are (limit to 30 words) (Repeal last year's entry ): SFIV\ Rcvie\\' #228, page 76


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