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:
S67-00115-n229-n230-1997-05_06-1997-07_08 ( USFLDC DOI )
s67.115 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Science Fiction Research Association Review
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Issue #229/#230 (May-June 1997/July-August 1997) IN THIS ISSUE: SFRA INTERNAL AFFAIRS: President's Message (Gordon) .............................................. 5 SFRA Executive Committee Meeting Minutes (Wendell) .... 6 Letter (Knight) ........................................................................ 9 Correction ............................................................. ............... 10 Editorial (Sisson) ................................................................. 10 NEWS AND INFORMATION .......................................... 13 CURRENT & FORTHCOMING BOOKS ........................ 22 FEATURES Special Feature: "Feminist Uni-VERSE" (Lindow) Le Guin, Ursula K. and Diana Bellessi. The Twins, the Dream Two Voices ............................................... 27 Tiptree, jr., james [Alice Sheldon] (Jacob Weisman, Editor). Neat Sheets: The Poetry of James Tiptree, Jr. (Lindow) ...................................................... 30 REVIEWS: Nonfiction: Becker, Allienne R. (Editor). Visions of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Fifteenth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. (Bousfield) ....................................................................... 33 Elliot, jeffrey M. The Work of Pamela Sargent: An Annotated Bibliography & Literary Guide, Second Edition. (Morrissey) ....................................................... 36 Elliot, jeffrey M. & Robert Reginald. The Work of George Zebrowski: An Annotated Bibliography & Literary Guide, Third Edition. (Stoskopf) ............... 38 French. Sean. The Terminator. (Klossner) ..................... 39 Gunn, james. Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction (Revised Edition). (Taormina) ........... 41 SFRA Review #229/230, page 1


Houfe, Simon (Editor). The Dictionary of 19th Century British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists. (Albert) ............................................................................ 43 Landon, Brooks. Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man to the Stars. (Gordon) ......................... 44 Lavery, David, Angela Hague, and Maria Cartwright (Editors). Deny All Knowledge: Reading the X-Files. (Kutzer) ............................................................. 46 Manguel, Alberto. Bride of Frankenstein. (Klossner) ........................................................................ 49 Senft, Theresa M. and Stacy Horn (Editors). Sexuality & Cyberspace: Performing the Digital Body. (Hollinger) ....................................................................... 50 Simkin, john E. (Editor). The Whole Story: 3,000 Years of Sequels and Sequences. (Barron) .................. 53 Sullivan, C.W. III (Editor). The Dark Fantastic: S'elected Essays from the Ninth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. (Heller) ...... 54 Wang, An-chi. Gulliver's Travels and Ching-hua yuan Revisited: A Menippean Approach. (Bogstad) .......................................................................... 57 Fiction: Clarke, Arthur C. 3001: The Final Odyssey. (Lewis) ..... 61 Dorsey, Candas jane. Black Wine. (Levy) ...................... 63 Eisenstein, Phyllis (Editor). Spec-Lit: Speculative Fiction, No.1. (Bousfield) ............................................. 65 Leiber, Fritz. The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich. (Levy) ............................................................................... 68 Pringll', David (Editor). The Best of Interzone. (Lc\vis) .............................................................................. 70 Shelley, r--Iary (Jacob Weisman, Editor). The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short ,<.;tories of Mary SheIJey. (Westfahl) ............................. 71 Stableford, Brian. Fables & Fantasies. (Kaveny) ............ 74 White, james (r--Iark Olson and Bruce Pelz, Editors). The White Papers. (Sanders) ........................................ 75 PUBLISHERS' ADDRESSES ............................................ 76 ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS ...................................... 77 SFRA MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION & APPLICATION ............................................................... 79 SFRA Revie\\' #229/230, page 2


Editor Amy Sisson Assistant Editor Paul Abell SFRA Review (ISSN 1068-395X) 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 6205CD. 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 I'-Iissouri-Rolla Rolla MO 65401 TREASURER Michael 1'-1. Levy Dept. of English Univ. of Wisconsin-Stout I'-Ienomonie WI 54751 II'-IMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Joe Sanders 6354 Brooks Blvd. I'-Ientor OH 44060 SFRA Review #2291230, page 3


SFRA RevielV#Z291230, page 4


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE (ISSUE #229) Recently I received my favorite issue of Locus, the annual year-in-review issue, which I obsessively enjoy according to a firmly held ritual. First, as soon as I bring in the mail, I go through the recommended reading list and check off every book I've read. This year not very many: I've been reading mysteries, American Lit., and contemporary suitable-for-bookgroup novels. Next, I will pour over the "Recommended Reading" section of the magazine, including each critic's year in review, putting stars next to works I want to read, and then transferring the stars to the master reading list. Mter that, it's time for a field trip to the bookshelves in my basement to see which novels I already own and which short stories are hiding in my magazines. I pull them all out and arrange them on my living-room bookshelves, ready for me to start plowing through. Of course, there's another trip to the Recommended Reading List to mark off the starred works I own. Only then can I go to my date book and add to my list of books to search for, possibly the most delicious part of the ritual, implying as it does additions to my hoard. In a few weeks, once I've caught up a little on my reading, I'll fill out my Locus survey and send it off. The down side of this otherwise pleasurable ritual is my realization that there's not enough time to read everything I want and still be a responsible parent, teacher, and SFRA president. But I can still enjoy the ritual. What are your SFnal rituals? -Joan Gordon PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE (ISSUE #230) This may be the first time an issue of the SFRA Review was sidelined by flood. May it be the last. I'm sure all of us who SFRA Review #229/230, page 5


attended the annual conference in Grand Forks had some emotional investment in that disaster. T know I kept thinking of that beautiful park near the University and how it must be under water. Let's hope everything bounces back soon. On a happier note, I can report that due to the hard work of many people, especially Ken Roemer, Peter Fitting, and Tom Moylan, the proposal for a discussion section on SF and Fantasy at MLA has been accepted for the next three years. Next step is a permanent section. Congratulations to all who helped on this important work. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Long Beach Conference. It sounds terrific and even luxurious. Joan Gordon SFRA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES New York City January 31 -February 1,1997 The meeting took place in two parts, on Friday January 31 and Saturday, February 1, for a total of about six hours. In attendance at both parts were President Joan Gordon, Past President Joe Sanders, Vice President Elizabeth Cummins, Treasurer [\[ichael Levy, Secretary Carolyn Wendell, and SFRA Reviell' Editor Amy Sisson. President: A petition for the MLA to open a Discussion Group in Science Fiction, Utopian, and Fantastic Literature is in the \\'orks. Peter Roemer (D. TX at Arlington) is responsible for the petition; SrIZA people cooperating in this effort include Tom [\\oylan, [\\ack Hassler, Art Evans, Phil Kaveny, and Jan Bogstad. Foundation has discovered that the discount given to SFRA members is too great, so the subscription cost will be raised. Since that, however, will not provide more funds to Foundation before next year, a donation from SrI\!\ is requested. The Clareson Award Committee (Alice Clarcson, I\luricl Becker and Charlotte Donsky) has selected a 1997 winner. The Committee voted unanimously to pro vide a "scholarship"/complimentary membership for the nc\\'sletter cditor. Lcngthy and complicated discussion on \\'ays to increase our funds focused on selling our directory. SF/n Rc\'iCII' #2291230, page 6


Immediate Past President: Sanders has agreed to serve as the Clareson Award plaque coordinator. Vice President: Cummins reported that Milton Wolf wants to continue as chair of the Publications Committee, to supervise the two SFRA anthologies, and keep in touch with Borgo Press and with Tor, who is to publish a collection of Pilgrim speeches. Unanimously passed. Recruitment plans include checking the Eau Claire list of attendees; Neil Barron has also made a number of suggestions. Secretary: Renewal notices were sent out by the end of November. As of January 13,147 membership renewals have been received. As soon as labels are available from the Treasurer, second notices will be sent out. Discussed was the ne cessity for 200 domestic members (U.S.) for bulk mailing of the newsletter. If we don't make this requirement, it was suggested that free copies be sent out to non-members (bulk mailing of 200 copies is considerably cheaper than mailing fewer copies via non-bulk rates, reported Sisson). Treasurer: Both the Pioneer and the Pilgrim costs have gone up (from $17 to $25) and we have added the Clareson Award (cost estimated to be $50-60). The cost of producing the Review has also increased. Result: the projected 1997 budget is low. Cummins' on-the-spot tally estimates that the cost of the three journals alone is $15.00 over the current dues. It was suggested that we compare our membership fee with those of other organizations, as we strongly felt that we offer a considerable number of benefits for a low fee. How ever, both the past treasurer (Bob Ewald) and the present one recommend a dues increase. The committee unhappily agreed since the figures make a strong case. Rutgers Press wants to know about advertising inserts for the Review. An insert must be one page, folded to fit inside the journal. Dates are the 20th of February, April, June, August, October, and the 15th of December. Editor: The printer in California delayed beyond Amy Sisson's moving date, so she rejected the Review copies, but did accept the directories (at $100 discount). The bill for the copies was sent to Ewald; Sanders sent a firm letter refusing to pay. Sisson has a chronology of the entire episode if needed. An inquiry about the term of editor elicited the term -three SFRA Review #2291230, page 7


years -and Sisson's agreement to continue for at least the beginning of a second term (wild applause and sighs of rc lief). The number of speeches at the Conference banquet has mounted to six: Sisson needs the final copies on disks by the week after the meeting for inclusion in the first Review after the annual meeting. The editor reserves the right to edit for length. The printer in ND is still being used because Sisson is confident that this arrangement can work and the ND printer is less expensive than others she has researched in upstate New York. Costs have risen in the last 3 years from $1400 per issue to $2250 per issue. Suggestions for savings included fewer pages (however, if it goes to fewer than 72 pages, it cannot have information printed on the spine), stapled pages rather than bound, and a non-glossy cover (total of $197 savings per issue). Even then, the savings will be minimal, and the costs wi1J rise in the future. The next debated matter was that of the inclusion of members' academic or business affiliation in the Review. The argument in favor of inclusion is that this aids the career development of the reviewers. Those opposed maintain that it is a question of equal access, regardless of academic credentials or connection. Sisson suggested a compromise: adding information on the reviewers, including affiliation, in end pages. Sisson wants one-paragraph reviews of discovered websites. Several members have asked why the Review isn't on-line; the reason is that the time, expertise and money are lacking. Perhaps the feature article could be put on line. Are there any SFRA members who could do it? Business, New and Old: The 1997 conference, being offered in combination with Eaton, seems to be coming along well in the capable hands of Gary Westfahl, who is keeping in regular touch with SFRA. The 1998 Conference will be in Phoenix, Arizona (Diane Miller and Bruce Farr). The 2000 Conference will be hosted by Joe Sanders in Cleveland. The 1999 Conference is still unassigned; volunteers are being solicited and will continue to be until we have a meeting place. The date for the Pilgrim volume keeps being pushed forward to include the latest speeches. Milton Wolf says Visions of Wonder is out in the bookstores; members should ask for copies from Tor. Also, a junior high version is in the works. New topics: Both Foundation and The New York Review of Science Fiction will raise subscription fees next year. 1nforSFRA Review #2291230, page 8


mation on the new SFRA Listserve should be printed in the Reviewand some discussion followed on whether the Listserve should be open to non-SFRA members as well as members. No conclusion. The Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies would like affiliation with SFRA. The meeting ended with discussion of the need for guidelines on appropriate charges for SFRA space and lists (e.g., ads in our program books, the sale of our membership list on labels or disk, flyers for insertion into the Review, etc.); some comparison pric ing with other organizations is needed. A set of guidelines for incoming officers also seems essential. The Executive Committee has grown over the years and may need more members (an Electronic Editor, perhaps?). Sisson will once again provide the 1997 membership di rectory, even though this is not part of the editor's formally defined duties. Respectfully submitted, Carolyn Wendell, Secretary LETTER Dear Ms. Sisson, I'm raising my hand in response to Neil Barron's invitation in his review of St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers: "Raise your hand if you even recognize these names ( ... ): Max Adeler, Wilhelmina Baird, ].F. Bone, Karin Boye, Frank Brynning, Dino Buzzati, Charles Chilton, Sonya Dorman, Leslie Gadallah, Geoffrey Landis, etc." Sonya Dorman is an old friend of mine; I published three of her stories in Orbit. Jesse Bone was a professor of veterinary medicine at Oregon State who wrote about thirty stories in the sixties. Baird has published four well-received novels in the last five years. Adeler, Bone, Boye, Buzzati (a well-known Italian writer), Chilton, Dorman, Gadallah and Landis all have listings in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. The last two are active members of SFWA, and Landis has won both the Hugo and the Nebula. With best wishes, Damon Knight SFRA Review #229/230, page 9


CORRECTION The review of James Gunn's The Road to Science Fiction Volume 3 incorrectly listed the location of publisher White Wolf as Clarkston, California. The actual location is Clarkston, Georgia. Apologies to White Wolf and the editor for the inaccuracy. Double apologies to Mike Levy, our new and very hardworking Treasurer. The first two issues of 1997 correctly included the new Executive Committee members, except for Mike. Poor Bob Ewald must have thought he was stuck with yet another term as Treasurer! EDITORIAL Hopefully all of you received the first-class mailing (air mail for overseas and Canadian members) explaining that issue #229 was delayed due to the catastrophic flooding in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where our printer, Century Cre ations, is located. As many of you are aware, over 90% of the town's residents were mandatorily evacuated, and all nonessential businesses were shut down for several days to several weeks. After electronic discussion among the SFRA Executive Com mittee, it was decided to combine issue #229 with issue #230 for several reasons. First, this kept me from having to hastily locate a new printer, which is a difficult task even with lots of time. Second, the earliest issue #229 could have been com pleted under these conditions was 4-6 weeks late just a few weeks before #230 was due to be out! Finally, combining issues on a one-time basis has the added benefit of saving the SFRA a significant amount of money in printing and mailing costs. Happily, I'm able to report that Century Creations is once again open for business and is printing this issue. Although they did sustain flood damage, they were fortunate in that none of the printing equipment was affected. None theless, the flood was (and continues to be) an extremely trying experience for all involved, and I hope your thoughts are with Century Creations, Grand Forks, and especially with SFR/\ members AI Berger and Diane Miller, both residents of Grand Forks although Diane has (thankfully) relocated to Chicago recently and presumably had moved most of her SFRA RCFie\\'#2291230, page 10


belongings! If anyone wishes to make a donation to the Grand forks flood victims, they can contact their local Red Cross or Salvation Army office for information on how to earmark their donation for Grand Forks. A plea: if you've committed to writing a review, it is absolutely essential that you submit it on time, or within a reasonable timeframe. This issue is missing at least five substantial reviews that were supposed to appear, and there are several more which have been overdue so long I've given up hope of receiving them (although I will continue to ask for the return of the books so they can be reaSSigned!). On a brighter note, enclosed with this issue is the 1997 SFRA Directory. Many addresses, especially e-mail addresses, have changed since the last directory was printed, so please check addresses before mailing or e-mailing to other members. Next issue will feature the 1997 SFRA Annual Conference, with a conference report, meeting minutes, and award speeches -the next best thing to being there! Happy Reading, Amy SFRA Review #2291230, page 11


SFRA Review #2291230, page 12


SAM MOSKOWITZ, 1920-1997 Sam Moskowitz, SFRA member and 1981 Pilgrim Award winner, died on Tuesday, April 15, 1997 in New ark, New Jersey following a stroke-induced coma. SFRA member Stefan Dziemianowicz writes, "Sam was an irreplaceable asset in the fields of fantasy, horror and science fiction, as well as an all-around good guy, and he will be sorely missed." The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction credits Sam Moskowitz as having taught "what was almost certainly the first sf course in the USA to be given through a college" in September 1953 at the City College of New York. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Christine Haycock. SFRA WEB P AG E The Science Fiction Research Association now has a web page, thanks to new SFRA member Kenneth Andrews of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and his colleague Ingrid Shafer. Point your web browser to ''http://www.usao. edu/-facandrewsk/scifi7.html". At the moment the page is primarily intended to help non-members contact us through the web. Other improvements may be added in the future at the convenience of Professors Andrews and Shafer Michael M. Levy BABYLON 5: CALL FOR PAPERS/CONFERENCE INFO Foundation, the international SF scholarly journal, is organizing an academic conference on Babylon 5, to be held at the University of York, UK, December 13-14,1997. All subject areas are welcome. Send abstracts of papers to Farah Mendlesohn, Faculty of Humanities, University College of York & Ripon, St. John, Lord Mayor's Walk, York Y03 7EX, UK, or e-mail to .. Topics already on the programme include: SFRA Review #2291230, page 13


Christian Webb: The Theme of Good and Evil and its Por trayal in Babylon 5 Dr. Kevin McCarron: Philosophy and Religion in Babylon 5 Nickianne Moody: Babylon 5: Medicine, Morality and Faith Pauline ArcheU-Thompson: Shades of Darkness, Shadows and Myth Mark Lachniet: The Role of the Story-teller Gareth Roberts: Babylon 5 and the Philosophy of Balance Andy Sawyer: The Shadow Out of Time: Lovecraftian Echoes David Murray: Babylon 5 as the Dreamquest of Francis Fukiyama Professor Michael Sheehan: The Politics of Babylon 5 Karen Sayer: Babylon 5: An Ideal Home? Sue Bamford: Clash of the Titans: j. Michael Straczynski v. Gene Roddenberry Jason Finch: Hobbits in Space: Parallels between Babylon 5 and Middle Earth Dr. Stephen Keane: Narrative Arc/Time Travel: "Babylon Squared" and "War Without End" Herbert Chan: Time Travel and Spatial Experience in "War Without End" Tony Sweeney: First Contact: Myth and Alternative Histo ries in Television SF. Owen Carpenter: The Internal Struggles of Mr. Garibaldi David Browne: Gender Politics: Representations of Masculinity Dr. James Browne: Machines, Cyborgs and Symbionts in Babylon 5 Professor Stephen Clarke: Psychopathology and Alien Ethics Nicholas Packwood: Engineering the Future: Building Co herent Speculative Technologies. The location of the conference is the University College of Ripon and York St. john. Cost: n 5 (resident) and (nonresident) by cheque made out to the University College of Ripon and York St. john; or $130 (resident) and $90 (nonresident) by cheque made out to Professor Edward james; all payment should be sent to Farah ivIendlesohn, Faculty of Humanities, University College of York & Ripon, St. John, Lord Walk, York Y03 7EX, UK. SFRA !{cvic\\' #2291230, page 14


CALL FOR PAPERS AND PANELS: CONSTRUCTIONS OF THE HUMAN "The Synthesized Human, From Data to Dolly: Cyborgs, Robots, Androids, and Clones, and Constructions of the Hu man." As part of the First Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference to be held at California State University, Stanislaus, October 17-19, 1997, submissions of abstracts for papers and panels exploring the topic of the synthesized human-manufactured and/or genetically engineered -are eagerly welcomed. A cyborg is defined as a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of organic, electronic, and synthetic components: an example of the intersection of the human body with technology. Because the boundaries between cyborg, robot/android, and (genetically engineered) human are ambiguous, questions may be raised for investigation: How does the synthesized human develop and assume subjectivity? What rights and responsibilities does the synthesized human have? For what purpose was such a being created? Might cyborg theory be analogous to postcolonial concepts of the hybrid? Other topics for investigation might be: cyborgs slave, human, or superhuman; moral issues in the synthesis of "people"; portrayal of cyborgs or robots in pop culture; feminist cyborg identity (a la Donna Haraway); cyborg politics; early representations of synthesized humans; cyberpunk and cyborgs. Creative and/or analytical performance presentations are also welcome. Those interested in gothic themes are also invited to submit abstracts for individual papers or panels which explore the gothic in relation to "Constructions of the Human." Broadly, topics might include but are not limited to: gothic influences on identity in gender, race, or religion as seen in gothic and horror fiction, television and films, the fine arts, or poetry. More specific topics might treat Frankenstein, The J'vJonk, Dracula, or other gothic novels and/or their adaptations; gothic poetry (Young's "Night Thoughts" or other "Graveyard Poets," gothic ballads); the gothic and the fine arts (Dore, Fuseli's "Nightmare"), roots of the gothic (medieval archictecture, the slave and captivity narratives); postmodern conceptions of the gothic (Sedgwick, et all; the female gothic (Wollstonecraft's "Maria", Bronte's "Jane Eyre"); the Southern gothic (O'Connor, Faulkner, etc.); the anti-gothic (Jackson's "The Lottery", Stephen King's Christine); or the SFRA Review #229/230, page 15


comic gothic (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Young Frankenstein, The Munster.'>, The Addams Family). A selection of conference papers will appear on a virtual journal. There will be three featured speakers at the conference: Juliet Flower MacCannell is Professor Emirita of Com parative Literature at UC Irvine, and a visiting research professor at DC Berkeley, Dept. of Rhetoric. She has published several books including The Regime of the Brother (1991), Figuring Lacan (1986), Thinking Bodies (1994), and The Time of Sign (1982, co-written with Dean MacCannell). Dean MacCannell is currently a Professor of Environmental Design and Landscape Architecture at UC Davis, and is considered the founder of tourism studies with his book The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class (1976/1989). His work on tourism is centrally featured in a current sixpart BBC television miniseries, The To uris. Valerie Traub is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. Editor of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects (Cambridge UP, 1996), she also authored Desire & Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama (Routledge, 1992). She recently re ceived the Newberry Research Fellowship for her article "Map ping the Body", which deals with Renaissance cartography and ethnography. Conference Location: California State University, Stanislaus. This campus is situated in Northern California, midway be tween San Francisco and Yosemite. A day trip to Yosemite, a film presentation, and an evening concert are activities planned for participants. Please mail or fax abstracts of approximately 250 words by 8/1/97 to: 1'.ls. Joan Canty 14828 Big Hill Road Sonora CA 95370 e-mail: .. .. SFRA ReviclV#2291230, page 16


Please direct questions and inquiries to: Interdisciplinary Conference Committee English Department c/o The Graduate journal California State University, Stanislaus 801 W. Monte Vista Avenue Turlock, CA 95382 Telephone: (209) 667-3361 Fax: (209) 667-3720 E-mail: "" Individual members of the committee may also be contacted via e-mail: Susan Campbell-Hartzell ("") Kristi Isaeff ("") Kimberly Merenda ("") Christy North ("") SF CONFERENCE IN CHINA The 1997 China International Conference in Science Fiction will be held in Beijing, july 27-31, 1997. Science fiction writers, artists, publishers and fans from all over the world are welcome to attend. The conference is sponsored by China Association for Science and Technology. Science Fiction World, the only Chinese professional SF magazine, and Sichuan Association for Science and Technology take the ex ecutive roles of organizing the meeting. The main topic of the conference is "Science, Science Fiction, Peace and Devel opment". Subtopics include SF and Modernization; Comput ers, Networks, and the Future; Environment, Nature, and Human Beings; and International Exchanges of Science Fic tion. Zheng Wenguang, Brian Aldiss, Frederik Pohl, james Gunn, Takumi Shibano, Fred Ackerman, Elizabeth Anne Hull, and Charles N. Brown are all planning to attend. In addition, more than 40 publishing houses will attend the meeting to negotiate copyright issues with authors both inside and outside China. SF is currently a fast-growing market in China, and Chinese readers look forward to getting more foreign books to read. SFRA Review #2291230, page 17


Activities will include discussions on science fiction and its publication; copyright negotiations; exhibitions of books, magazines and SF art; meetings with Chinese authors, publishers and SF Fans; and tours to historical sites such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. As Beijing is the capital, additional tours to other famous attractions can easily be arranged. The conference will be held in China Hall of Sci ence and Technology, No.3 Fuxing Road, Beijing. A standard room costs US $72.00, and registration is US $220 (including conference materials, translation, the Great Wall and Forbid den City tour, opening ceremony banquet, and farewell buffet). Meals are estimated to cost $20 per day. After the conference, there will be an International SF Fan Conference held in Chengdu as well as sightseeing trips around Chengdu. Two of the most famous sites are the irrigation system (with a history over 2000 years) and the high est statue in the world, Leshan Budah. Trips to Tibet and Xichang Satellite Launching Center are also possible. If you are interested in attending the conference, please let us know as soon as possible. For an offical registration packet, contact Wuyan, NO 11, Section 4, Renminnan Road, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 610041, P.R. China; telephone 0086-28-522-7591; fax 0086-28-522-2892; e-mail "\". I also welcome any ideas that you wish to share. Wuyan (Guest Editor of SF World) MAJOR BLEILER STUDY ANNOUNCED Pilgrim Everett F. Bleiler, assisted by his son, Richard (a new SFRA member), has authored Science-Fiction: The Gcrnsback Years, forthcoming from Kent State University Press, possibly in early 1998. This is a companion to his S'ciencc Fiction: The Early Years (Kent State University Press, 1991), and is likely to be equally authoritative. The approximately 700 page (8 112 x 11 inch) study examines in exhaus tive detail 1,809 stories (ca. 30 million words!) printed in every genre SF magazine published during the Gernsback period, 1926-1936. Included for every story is bibliographic information, artist, plot summary, critical/historical comments, and information on later reprints. Arrangement is by S'FR-\ Rcviell' #229/230, page 18


author, then chronologically. Comments on each story range up to 1,250 words. Most of this information is available nowhere else, certainly not in such detail. Biographical information, much of it new, is included for every author, along with issue-by-issue contents of each magazine (including editorials, important let ters, and poetry), histories of each of the 12 magazines, a poetry index, an index to authors' letters, a 70-page motif index, a title index, a name index, an index of original sources for reprinted stories (including a list of stories later reprinted in anthologies and elsewhere), biographical and critical material on the major artists, a complete listing of other artists, and a bibliography of sources consulted. Neil Barron 1996 TIPTREE WINNER The winner of the 1996 Tiptree Award, given out at the IAFA conference in March, is Mary Doria Russell's wonderful first novel, The Sparrow, published by Villard. The novel is about a Jesuit-led first contact situation. The Tiptree Award is given each year for the best genre work which engages in "gender bending," or looking at gender in new ways. The short list for the award is as follows: "The Silent Woman" by Fred Chappell, from his novel Fare well, I'm Bound to Leave You (Picador) "Beauty and the Opera, or The Phantom Beast" by Suzy l'vlcKee Charnas from Asimov's. I heard Charnas read this at WisCon two years ago, and it is wonderful. "Welcome Kid to the Real World" by L. Timmel Duchamp, from Tales of the UnAnticipated (Spring/Summer/Fa1l96). I have a subscription to this magazine and can provide an address for anyone interested in ordering it. The History f\Iakerby Alasdair Gray (Harcourt Brace). Sex, philosophy, and warfare in a far-future Scotland. "Five Fucks" by Jonathan Lethem, from his collection The Wall of the Sky, The Wall of the Eye (Harcourt Brace). This was also a Nebula Award nominee. S'FRA RcviclI'#229/230, page 19


Nadya by Pat Murphy (Tor) Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack (St. Martin's) The PiIlow Friend by Lisa Tuttle (White Wolf) "And She Was the Word" by Tess Williams (publication information not available) Leaning Towards Infinity by Sue Wolfe (Vintage). Michael M. Levy NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW WEB SITE LAUNCHED Launched in March, this new web site (http:// features the full contents of the weekly Sunday Review as well as book-oriented news, reviews, fea tures and business stories from the daily paper, along with original material and links to supplemental information in the Times archive going back to 1980 on both notable re viewers and authors reviewed. An expanded bestseller list, with as many as 30 titles in each category, will be included and linked to reviews. A database of more than 50,000 daily and Sunday book reviews and news stories from 1980 on will be searchable by author and title. Reader-generated forums and a weekly profile of a prominent author, which includes voice interviews/readings and is linked to the archives, are other features of the site. (Information from Publishers Weekly, March 10, 1997, p. 14) Neil Barron ANTIQUARIAN BOOK TRADE TRANSFORMED BY INTERNET Writing in the March 9, 1997 Washington Post Book World, David Streitfeld explains how the internet has changed the used book trade. If you wanted a book you couldn't easily find locally or from a speciality mail order dealer, you'd most commonly request a dealer to watch for it. Practically, this meant he or she would include it in an ad in AB Bookman's t Veekly and hope to get replies from fellow dealers seeking buyers. "For a bookseller's AB ad to bear fruit, another book-SFRA Review #229/230, page 20


seller had to read it, realize he had the book, quote it to your store, which would then quote it to you. If you hadn't already gotten it somewhere else, you would tell your book seller if the condition and price were acceptable, he would tell the other store, which would ship the volume and bill." This worked, but it was slow and often frustrating. The internet has changed this. I haven't used these web sites, but suggest you check them out to see if you can find that elusive book you've sought for years. Try Bibliofind (http:// or Advanced Book Exchange (http:// If you dabble in bookselling, you can also advertise your own books on the web. Streitfeld says Bibliofind charges a one-time fee of $25, plus $15 a month, to list an unlimited number of titles. Neil Barron [For those who have internet access but not world wide web access -or whose web access is painfully slow -there are also internet news groups which can be quicker because they don't carry the fancy graphics. A visitor simply posts a note, as on a bulletin board, of books wanted and a contact e mail address. Book dealers regularly check these news groups, and I've already obtained several books this way. The disadvantage is having your e-mail address out there for the electronic world to see, but judging by the amount of junk e-mail I receive, the advertisers are finding other ways to get that information anyway. -Editor] SfRA Review #2291230, page 21


This list was compiled primarily from listings in Locus and with assistance from Neil Barron and Michael Klossner. Addresses of many of the smaller publishers appear on page 76. ART, COMICS, AND ILLUSTRATION Clark, Trinkett and H. Nichols Clark. Myth, Magic, and MystelY: One Hundred Years of American Children's Book Illustration, Roberts Rinehart, 1996. Giger, H.E.. H.R. Giger: Biomechanical World, Benedikt Taschen, distributed by Random House Value Publishing, july 1997. Parkes, Michael. Afichael Parkes: Stone Lithographs and Bronze S'culpwres 1982-1996, Steltman, 1996. Robbe-Grillet, Alain & Rene Magritte. La Belle Captive, University of California Press, 1996 (reprint). AUTHOR STUDIES [Ballin, L. Frank] Riley, Michael O. Oz and Beyond: The Fantasy World of L. Frank Baum, University Press of Kan sas, i'-Iay 1997. [Beaumont, Charles] Prosser, Lee. Running from the Hunter: The Life and Works of Charles Beaumont, Borgo Press, 1996. [Koontz, Dean] Ramsland, Katherine. Shadow and Light: The Authorized Biography of Dean Koontz, HarperPrism, No vember 1997. [Lovecr,lft, H.P.] joshi, S.T. A Subtler Magick: The Writings and j'IJi1osophy of H.P. Lovecraft, Bargo Press, 1996. [Stoker, Bram] Auerbach, Nina and David]. Skal (Editors). Dracula: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Review and Reac tions. Dramatic and Film Variations, Criticism, Norton, january 1997. This volume has 488 pages, 327 of which consist of the 1897 Constable edition of Dracula. FILM & TELEVISION Hasson, David. Creating Babvlon 5, Ballantine, May 1997. Duncan, jody. The Making of The Lost World, Ballantine, june 1997. Dyson, jeremy. Bright Darkness: The Lost An of the Super natural Horror Film, Cassell Academic, distributed by Books International, April 1997. Genge, N.E. The S-Files Lexicon: X-References from AnUILl/tons to Zunis, Avon, i'-Iarch 1997. ,)FR.A RlTiell' #2291230, page 22


Holte, James C. Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adap tations, Greenwood Press, June 1997. Kalat, David. Godzilla Versus! A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Giant Monster Series, McFarland, 1997. Killick, Jane. The A-Z of the X-Files, HarperPrism, April 1997. Maxford, Howard. The A-Z of Horror Films, Indiana University Press, January 1997. Melton,]. Gordon. VideoHound's Vampires on Video, Visible Ink, March 1997. Reviews and rates 800 videos, from silents to today. Muir, John Kenneth. Exploring Space: 1999; An Episode Guide and Complete History of the Mid-1970s Science Fiction Television Series, McFarland, 1997. Rasmussen, Randy. Children of the Night: The Six Archetypal Characters of Classic Horror Films, McFarland, 1997. Reeves-Stevens, Judith & Garfield. Star Trek Phase II: }.fak ing of the Lost Series, Pocket Books, March 1997. Rose, Brian A. jekyll & Hyde Adapted: Dramatizations of Cultural Anxiety, Greenwood Press, 1996. Stanley, John. Creature Features: The Science Fiction, Fan tasy, and Horror Movie Guide, Berkley, Feburary 1997. Presumably a reprint of his self-published book. Weaver, James B. & Ron Tamborini (Editors). Horror Films: Current Research in Audience Preferences and Reactions, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995. [NOTE: This is being listed now as it was missed at the time of publication. Editor] Weisser, Thomas. Asian Cult Cinema, Boulevard/Berkley, April 1997. HISTORY & CRITICISM Auerbach, Nina and David]. Skal. Dracula: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Reviews, and Reactions, Dramatic and Film Variations, Criticism, Norton, August 1997. Budrys, Algis. Outposts: Literatures of Milieux, Borgo Press, 1996. de Camp, L. Sprague. Rubber Dinosaurs and Wooden El ephants, Borgo Press, 1996. Conger, Syndy M., Frederick S. Frank & Gregory O'Dea (Editors). Iconoclastic Departures: Mary Shelley After Frankenstein: Essays in Honor of the Bicentenary of Mary S'helley's Birth, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, July 1997. SFRA Reviell'#2291230, page 23


Griffith, Pauline R. Frankenstein: Permeative Myth of the Twentieth Century, Bowling Green University Press, July 1997. Morrison, Michael R. (Editor). Trajectories of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Fourteenth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Greenwood Press, April 1997. Navarette, Susan Jennifer. The Shape of Fear: Horror and the Fin de SiecJe Culture of Decadence, University Press of Kentucky, June 1997. Reginald, Robert. Xenograffiti, Borgo Press, 1996. Essays on Fantastic Literature. Schweitzer, Darrell (Editor). Discovering Classic Fantasy Fic tion, Borgo Press, 1996. Vinge, Vernor, et al. True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier, Tor, July 1997. Westfahl, Gary. Islands in the Sky, Borgo Press, 1996. Wilgus, Neal. Seven by Seven, Borgo Press, 1996. Interviews with American Science Fiction Writers of the West and Southwest. Zebrowski, George. Beneath the Red Star, Borgo Press, 1996. Zipes, Jack. Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children, and the Culture Industry, Routledge, March 1997. REFERENCE Cannon, Peter. The Chronology Out of Time: Dates in the Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, Necronomicon Press, January 1997, second edition (originally published 1986). Doherty, Patricia. Marge Piercy: An Annotated Bibliography, Greenwood Press, April 1997. Howlell-West, Stephanie. The Inter-Galactic Price Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror 1997, Stephanie Howlett West, 1997. The 1996 edition was reviewed in SFRA Review#225. Nye, Jody Lynn. The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, Second Edition, Ballantine, February 1997. Pringle, David (Editor). St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers, St. James, October 1997. Reginald, Robert & Mary A. Burgess. BP 250, Borgo Press, 1996. An annotated bibliography of the first 250 publications of the Borgo Press, 1975-1996; Borgo Literary Guides No. 10. SFRA Review #229/230, page 24


Feminist Uni-VERSE by Sandra Lindow Le Guin, Ursula K. and Diana Bellessi. The Twins, the Dream Two Voices. Houston, Texas: Arte Publico Press, University of Houston, 1996, 225 pages, softcover, $8.95, ISBN 1-55885-179-8. The Twins, the Dream Two Voices is a collaboration between two internationally recognized poets, Ursula K. Le Guin and Diana Bellessi. Le Guin, often considered the First Lady of Science Fiction, is an awesome talent. Author of sixteen novels, eight short story collections, two volumes of essays, ten books for children, and four books of poetry, Le Guin's work is as powerful and insightful today as it was thirty years ago. Bellessi, born in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, has received wide critical acclaim for her nine poetry collections and two anthologies of contemporary North American women poets in translation. As a result of a longtime correspondence and exchange of writing, what Le Guin describes as "funny, crazy, fascinating letters I had to answer," Le Guin and Bellessi conceived of this project as a means to bridge geographical distances and promote cross-cultural understanding. The first 137 pages are Le Guin's translations of Bellessi. The last 65 pages are Bellessi's translations of Le Guin. Each poem is presented in Spanish and in English. Le Guin writes in her introduction, "Nothing so restores the miraculousness of language as reading real poetry in a language you don't really know." Bellessi first contacted Le Guin with questions about Le Guin's writing. As a result of their correspondence, Le GUin, who knew French well and "Italian not so well," began to "play with" Bellessi's poems to see if she could translate them from the Spanish. This is the kind of thought experiment Le Guin finds particularly intriguing. She shared her translations with Bellessi, who improved the grammar and made other suggestions. Eventually this volume was produced as part of Arte Publico Press's "Recov ering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage" project. SFRA Review #2291230, page 25


Bellessi is an extremely talented poet for whom Spanish's melodic cadences and repetitive word endings create a frame for beautiful imagist poetry. Le Guin, though primarily known for her prose, is a quirky, idiosyncratic poet whose wry humor and profound insights are readily accessible in her verse. Though Le Guin (born 1929) and Bellessi (born 1946) are far apart in age, geography, and life experience, what is quite apparent in this book is the love that has grown between them. The intimacy of translating each other so closely must have had a profound effect on their lives as well as their writing. Poems taken from Bellessi's first book of poetry, Cruising the Equator, reveal a footloose persona wandering the South American continent in search of cold beer and adventure. Written between 1969 and 1975, these poems are vivid snapshots of experience. Bellessi's word choice has a lilting purity and a powerful simpliCity of image: Vuelvo a sacarte, con un rasguido popular, imperfecta, sensiblera, mi guitarra. I'm back to give you a street music strumming, inexpert, sentimental, my guitar! Poems selected from Bellessi's Nobody Gets in Here With Words include her translations of the Chinese poet Yu Hsuan Chi, a deserted concubine who became a Taoist priestess. Here Bellessi's imagist style well suits the Chinese use of natural landscape in disclosing powerful emotions: "Cloud-drowned peaks fill my eyes/ in the spring light." Most beautiful of these is "Ash Tree in Autumn": "Recentered in itself.! The sun bathes it/ in a golden water,! and lights up vast landscapes/ of birds and eyes.! / It enters into meditation." l\lany of Bellessi's later poems reflect South American po litical unrest and human rights violations, a longtime concern in Le Guin's fiction as well. In "Winter 2" Bellessi writes, "Winter branches/ shine/ their immobile light.! Ax time/ Knife time:/ All the sap runs,/ / from the flayer/ and the clown/ from torture/ and from hail/ from beating/ from rape/ from frost. and the little bird.! / The little bird/ beaten to pieces by stones." Over time poets have learned that it is orten possible to express things in poetry that would be polit ically dangerous to express elsewhere. Nevertheless, Le Guin \\Tites that many times in the course of their correspondence, she \\'as afraid for Bellessi's safety. S'fR:". Reviell' #2291230, page 26


Le Guin's own poetry reflects the wit and wisdom of one significantly changed by the weather of experience. In "Trans lation" she writes "As you get olderl hard things mean more,! soft less, maybe.! You can read granite:1 Renounce.! Diamonds. Get ready.! I Dead languages.! I You can read water.! Now what? I Walk on it? I I Drink, sweet lady." Le Guin, like many writers, recognizes that her love for language may well usurp some of the aspects of sex and reli gion. "Epiphany" begins "Did you hear?1 I Mrs. Le Guin has found God.! I Yes, but she found the wrong one.! I Absolutely typical.! I Look, there they go together.! I Mercy! It's a colored woman!1 I Yes, it's one of those relationships.! I They call her Mama Linga." Many poems reflect Le Guin's extensive understanding of literature and folklore lensed through a feminist eye. In "The Maenads", middle-aged housewives protect the sleep of "past drunk, hoarse, half naked, blear-eyed" rvlaenads. In "Apples", "Judeochristian" men are no longer allowed to eat apples due to all their "bellyaching" and "whining" for "millennia." There is often a bittersweetness beneath Le Guin's humor. In "Old Bag", a forgetful older woman approaches a police officer about what seems at first to be her lost purse but eventually becomes an elegy to her lost fertility. "It was just an old onel catch wouldn't even fastenl no good anymore but when I was richl you knowl think what was in it ... As in her fiction, Le Guin's poetry doesn't avoid the unpleasantness of poverty, mental illness, and sexual violence, but dares to drag the truth out in front of us so that we must look despite our desire to do otherwise. In "The Menstrual Lodge" a persona accuses "You beat my head and face and raped mel and went to boast. When my womb swelledl your friends made a circle with you:1 we all fucked that one.! Who knows who's the father?" Although most of Le Guin's poems are written in free verse, some, like the sonnet "Silence", show a mastery of traditional poetic forms. Her images, though sometimes fantastic and always imaginative, seem most touching when taken from her daily life. In "Silk Days", the poem for which her section of the book is named, Le Guin describes ironing as "Boat prow poking close to thel buttons, or wide scythe sweeps. across the back acres, orl cat-nosing up into a pleat. .. and con-SFRA RcviclV #2291230, page 27


cludes, "These days I go in silk,! Empress of China, wash and iron/ when I choose to,! pleasuring, getting it/ right, a good job, easy going, smooth as silk." Le Guin is never boring. At her best, she is luminous, and "Fragments from the Women's Writing" is her best. Created in response to the discovery of a secret women's written language in China and influenced perhaps by Bellessi's translations from the Chinese, she has composed an imaginary correspondence that includes this advice, "Daughter: learn the language upside down,! inverted in the turtle's eye.! Use the bones for soup." Excellent advice for all who would write poetry and science fiction. Tiptree, Jr., James [Alice Sheldon] (Jacob Weisman, Editor). Neat Sheets: The Poetry of James Tiptree, Jr. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, November 1996, 26 pages, softcover, $6.50, ISBN 0-987-65432-1. Introduction by Karen joy Fowler. After Alice Sheldon died, the poetry in this volume was discovered by jeffrey D. Smith paper-clipped together in a single folder. The title was suggested by Virginia Kidd, agent for the Tiptree estate. Although one of Sheldon's poems is called "This Neat Sheet", the title nevertheless seems problematic. First, with the exception of "S.O.S. Found in an SF Bottle" and the short playlet, "Go From Me, I am One of Those Who Pall: (A Parody of My Style)", the poems were all written in the 1940s and early '50s by a young and still fairly optimistic Alice Sheldon and do not reflect either the stylistic excellence or the darkness that came to be synonymous with the name james Tiptree, jr. Perhaps it took a failed first marriage and a firing in the kiln of the radical '60s for that clay to be set. Secondly, nothing Tiptree wrote tended to be emotionally neat. Relationships, whether man to woman or human to alien, were most often devastatingly messy. Sex, pain and death formed a continuum. Only death offered a kind of neatness in the end. The poems for the most part are neither particularly innovative nor memorable; however, they do have importance for the SF scholar because careful reading reveals the beginnings of the \\i[iter Alice Sheldon was to become. Thematically. we see in poems such as "The Cannibal is Lonely" a SFRA Review #2291230. page 28


lover's fascination with the loneliness of the flesh, the fragil ity of the human body, and a preoccupation with the blood and bone beneath the surface: "our blood coursing and our skins between." In the title poem we see her desire "to put the world in order" and her fascination with genre. We imagine her perhaps perusing the magazines on a drugstore rack: "A confession, a thriller. .. crime, treason, perversion.! Anything could be here? / Why not?" Certainly her later work examined all of these themes. Other poems such as "Inhuman Utterance" do seem to predict Tiptree's passionate sorrow for the human condition, a passion that created her dark, sado-masochistic novel Brightness Falls from the Air (1985) and finally ended in a death pact in 1987 when Sheldon shot her dying and beloved second husband, Huntington Sheldon, and then killed herself. Surely, "Inhuman Utterance" predicts both depression "The scene was pain and nothing but pain" and a willingness to take events into her own hands, what Sheldon describes as "being God." Yet by naming it "Inhuman Utterance" we see that she is not yet ready to identify such suffering with the human condition, a theme that eventually becomes Tiptree's trademark in her later years. However, "A Glossary" may have predicted Tiptree's final, implicit question: is life worth the pain? It begins by describing life as "just another name for agony" and concludes "Why does 'to grow older' / Mean merely that we cry/On a different hillside the same tears, not even colder." Elsewhere, in poems such as "Prayer for 1943", we see a growing disillusionment with Christianity: "Let us raise up a monument to Pilate,! Who almost saved us from love." In what may be a reference to World War II, she concludes "Blood is falling on me out of the sunlight. We are accursed.! ... The whole world having been damned with love." "The Awakening" predicts the extraterrestrial exogamy of her later work. Sheldon describes a dream where she chases an alien, "silvery girl." Her mind is "sick, dream-fettered" and she wakes "sweating" to find "against my breast/ A rat, that bared its little teeth in hate." Later, as Tiptree, Sheldon seems to embrace the "perversion" that here she still finds so fearful. "s.O.s. Found in an SF Bottle" was written during the Tiptree era and reveals an Alice Sheldon whose faith in God was be-SFRA Review #2291230, page 29


ing replaced by the sisterhood of science fiction. It begins "Save us your sisters" and continues "I pray not to the public pink-candy-cunted madonnas of our shame" but to the "pow erful powerless of the bloud." "Joanna of the rocks; Ursula of the waters, Kate burning, burning; ... Fierce Vonda; Quinn indomitable; desperate Suzy; wild Kit; Carol-almost-beyondhumaness; dead Shirley;/ And to all the others named and nameless, unknown and lost: Save us. Accept our praise." Sheldon hopes to find redemption by daring to believe in "This strong new magic," and asks "Will the lies die.! Thus by this/ Will the usurped truth return on the usurpers/ And return the world to light." But then "the candle gutters" and Clio, muse of history, "the great Drag Queen of all" answers with a smirk "saying, Write on, dears. Write well! Write your hearts/ out/ In the sand. In the wave-washed sands." Thus, Sheldon concludes that the fine new magic of sisterhood through science fiction will eventually fail. Even with brilliance and truth, all will eventually be lost to "the wavewashed sands" of history, a logical progression that eventually ended with the sound of two shots being fired from a single gun ...,TRA Rc,"jc\\" #229/230, page 30


Becker, Allienne R. (Editor). Visions of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Fifteenth International Conference 011 the Fantastic in the Arts. Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy, No. 68. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996, 205 pages, hardcover, $55.00, ISBN 0-313-29725-8. I recently joined the electronic discussion list of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts and enjoy the stimulating dialogue and camaraderie. Thus, I enthusiastically awaited my review copy of Visions of the Fantastic. Unfortunately, most of these essays read like rough drafts. Rarely more than five or six pages, some throw off intriguing but undeveloped ideas. Others offer little more than plot summaries, and still others assume too much knowledge of obscure works and writers on the part of the reader. Even making aliowances for conference papers being, by their very nature, brief and informal, Visions lacks unity. Allienne Becker's introduction begins by stating the need for "a working definition of the fantastic." Becker goes on to devote a paragraph apiece to summaries of French, Argentinean, Polish, and American critics of fantasy. These summaries, arranged chronologically from the early nineteenth century to the present day, would better have been presented as an annotated bibliography. Reading one summary after another is mind-numbing. Worse, rather than formulating her own definition, Becker concludes that "there is no definitive theory of the fantastic, every scholar has a unique vision" (p. xix). Hence, quite a few essays are only tenuously related to fantasy. Even if the genre is defined capaciously, what, to name two examples, are studies of Katherine Anne Porter's treatment of the 1918 influenza epidemic in Pale Horse, Pale Rider or of the "Sub lime Grotesque" in Nathanael West's Miss Lonelyhearts do ing in a volume on the fantastic? The one essay that almost makes this expensive volume worth buying is also the least relevant to the conference theme. In a wonderfully droll and insightful send-up of Ham Jet scholarship, Brian Aldiss retells the story from the per-SFRA RevieIV #229/230, page 31


spective of Claudius and Gertrude, "two middle-aged people, happily united at last, whose honeymoon in a remote castle is spoiled by the interference of an aging teenager in black" (p. 24). Aldiss playfully loads down his argument with arcane references. For example, among the cures for melancholia discussed by Robert Burton in Anatomy of Melancholy is "black hellebore," best applied "through the skin at needle point" (p. 23). ClaudiUS, Aldiss maintains, doctors Hamlet's foil with hellebore, not to kill him, but to medicate a dangerous melancholiac. Aldiss concludes with the story of a (surely fictitious) scholarly coup. In an antique shop, Aldiss found a letter by Samuel Taylor Coleridge describing a ballet version of Hamlet. Lacking the noble language Shakespeare places in Hamlet's mouth, the ballet made Coleridge sympathize with Claudius. The title of the essay, "If Hamlet's Uncle Had Been a Nicer Guy", is purportedly a quotation from Coleridge's letter. The other outstanding essay in Visions is james W. Flannery's "Staging the Phantasmagorical: The Theatrical Challenges and Rewards of William Butler Yeats." One of the most appealing aspects of his paper is that Flannery details the stages by which he overcame his negative view of Yeats as a dramatist and, progressively, came to admire Yeats's mystical and demanding dramatic vision. Flannery defines "phantasmagoria." a term Yeats used to describe his own plays, as "a pattern of related images -some traditional and some invented," which put the audience in touch with "the collec tive unconscious, or anima mundi" (p. 150). Having directed 22 of Yeats's plays himself, Flannery believes that these plays are seldom performed outside of Ireland because actors elsewhere are not equipped to meet the demands of Yeats's poetic language and dance-like effects. As a director, Flannery learned to score blocks of text-like music. Here, he discusses little known works with passion, clarity, and a natural erudition. Some other conference presentations, though not logically sustained arguments, toss off suggestions that would be worth exploring and developing at length. For example, although "Simmons and Powers: Postmodernism to Postromanticism" is rather disjointed and jargon-ridden, janeen Webb does suggest intriguing juxtapositions. She draws delicious parallels between Simmons's Hyperion books and, of all things, Lewis Carroll's Hunting the Snark! She compares Aldiss's Frankenstein Unbound and Tim Powers's The Stress of Her ReS'FRA RevielV#229/230, page 32


gard, both of which have romantic poets as characters. Though Webb's essay fails to reach a unified conclusion, it suggested to me that a good topic for an essay would be a comparison and contrast among works of fantasy or science fiction in which the characters interact with actual literary figures and fictional characters they created. Kim Newman's Dracula Unbound and Tim Powers's The Anubus Gates are other examples of this device not mentioned by Webb. Two of the best essays in the volume are among the five dealing with vampires. The monsters in Frankenstein and Dracula have, Elizabeth Miller notes, been linked in the popular imagination from their inception. In "Frankenstein and Dracula: The Question of Influence", Miller demonstrates ways in which the text of Dracula shows the influence of Frankenstein. Miller explores the ethical implications of the device of mUltiple narrators in both novels. Neither monster tells his own story directly: his words are filtered through texts created by his enemies. Both novels, Miller provocatively concludes, "link textual appropriation and the destruction of monstrosity" (p. 125). Vampires appear peripherally in another essay worth spe cial mention: "The Wail of the Banshee: Vampire Ghosts, Man-Eating Ghosts, and Other Malevolent Spirits in Irish Fairy Tales" by Maureen T. Krause. Irish Catholicism, according to Krause, still incorporates Druidic beliefs in banshees, vampire ghosts, and animal demons. To prove her point, she summarizes a series of Irish folk tales, collected by Yeats and others. In the last paragraph Krause states that she has in terviewed relatives in Ireland about their beliefs and that she found accounts of spirits in Irish newspapers. If she had expanded on the primary sources at her disposal, Krause could have written a more original study. For a researcher, a conference presentation may be a means of bouncing ideas off a receptive audience before fleshing them out as a finished work of scholarship. Much of my dis satisfaction with Visions undoubtedly arises from the fact that short pieces intended for oral presentation are presented in book form, creating the illusion that they are finished essays. Although the Aldiss and Flannery essays are absolute gems, I cannot recommend that a library or individual shell out $55 for this volume. Only a book reviewer would be motivated to plough through the whole thing. Wendy Bousfield SFRA Review #2291230, page 33


Elliot, Jeffrey M. The Work of Pamela Sargent: An Annotated Bibliography & Literary Guide, Second Edition. Bibliographies of Modern Authors, Number 13. San Bernardino, California: Borgo Press, 1996, 144 pages, hardcover, $29.00, ISBN 0-89370-396-6; softcover, $19.00, ISBN 089370-496-2. It was on a cold Sunday morning in 1976 that I spied Cloned Lives on a rack of books at the newsstand where I still greet the New York Times after its overnight train ride to the far north. What caught my eye was the author's name, Pamela Sargent. Although I did not know her, we had both graduated from Harpur College in 1969 (Isaac Asimov was the commencement speaker), and I had frequently seen her chain smoking with bridge players and nascent SF writers in the college snack bar. As it happens, 1976 was also the year that my department was sufficiently alarmed about enrollments to allow me to teach science fiction. Cloned Lives was on that first reading list and remained on it in subsequent semesters until it went out of print. Students responded favorably to the book, as they would later to Watchstar and The Shore of Women. At the time I was surprised at how quickly Cloned Lives vanished from the shelves, but after two decades of teaching SF I've become accustomed to seeing well-crafted novels driven from bookstores, their niches filled or eradicated by fast propagating series and sure-thing genre mass productions. My discovery of Cloned Lives was serendipitous, but in future years I sought out Sargent's new work and, as my developing research interests demanded, her already published short ficLion and non-fiction. Jeffrey M. Elliot's The Work of Pamela Sargent, both the 1990 first edition and this expanded second edition, have been invaluable research tools. This edition brings the compilation of Sargent's written works, editorial projects, public appearances, awards, and critical reception up to date. It's 64 pages (80%) longer than the first edition and includes two reprints of Sargent's recent nonfiction prose. The listings are thorough and accurate and include unpublished and non-print material. Elliot's book is subtitled "An Annotated Bibliography and Literary Guide"; it is certainly the former. It opens with a brief Introduction in which Sargent's remarks figure prominently. followed by a detailed chronology of Sargent's life, SO-plus pages of bibliographic entries, 15 pages of excerpts SFRA Review #2291230, page 34


from reviews, two recent Sargent essays ("Nicotine Fits" and "Writing, Science Fiction, and Family Values"), and a brief autobiographical Afterworu Lhat Sargent wrote for the 1990 edition, titled "Through the Looking Glass." The Introduction is short but informative. Its title, "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger", is certainly less optimistic than that of the Introduction to the first edition, "Let the Rest Take Care of Itself." The change reflects personal challenges specific to Sargent and professional disappointments with which most writers could easily identify. The protracted struggle to find a publisher for Child of Venus, the projected conclusion to the Venus trilogy begun in 1986, and the disastrous results of the failure of Crown Publishers to promote Ruler of the Sky, the 1993 historical novel about the life of Genghis Khan (a book which has done quite well outside the United States) have been significant career setbacks, even given the 1993 Nebula for "Danny Goes to Mars" and the Guest of Honor appearance at the 1996 SFRA conference. Even a cursory jaunt through the bibliography suggests Sargent's perseverance and versatility. The combination of fourteen novels, eleven edited volumes, four dozen short sto ries, over six dozen non-fiction pieces, two short story collections and a Nebula Award sounds like a career to me. The four Women of Wonder collections two from the seventies and two current -are important contributions to the history of the genre and to the careers of women SF writers. Whether Elliot's book is a "Literary Guide" is another matter. The list of secondary sources is complete but is not annotated beyond classifying the entries (e.g. "profile," "critique," etc.). There is no revelation or discussion of the substance of any of the critiques. The section, inauspiciously titled "Quoth the Critics", features a hodgepodge of what look like dust jacket endorsements along with excerpts from book reviews, some by prominent voices in SF. Some of the commentaries, though truncated, are insightful and demonstrate the high regard in which Sargent's work is held by SF writers and critics. However, some of the more interesting issues in Sargent criticism are not addressed. For example, there is her exchange with Peter Fitting in the pages of Science-Fiction Studies (these pieces are cited in the bibliography). Fitting's commentary on The Shore of Women, ably rebutted by Sargent, took issue with the novel's dystopian vision of gender and SFRA Review #2291230, page 35


societal relations. A woman who takes on such issues especially if she eschews doctrinairism is liable to get hit from either or both ends of the critical-political spectrum, something that Sargent has noted in public addresses. Then there is the relationship between SF and historical fiction. Sargent's panoramic but neglected (in the US anyway) Ruler of the Sky is a remarkable blend of research and fabulation. Genghis Khan's armies have more finesse than the villains of Mars Attacks!, but to the unfortunate civilizations that encountered them they must have seemed just as alien a visitation. Sargent's excellent essays in Para .doxa and the SFFWA Bulletin offer enlightening observations about the SF-histori cal fiction connection. The absence of sustained critical analysis in no way detracts from the usefulness of Elliot's book. Had it not been subtitled a "Literary Guide," I wouldn't have even raised the issue. What Elliot does he does well; what he does not do is the task of those who might choose to use his work as the valuable resource it is. -Tom Morrissey Elliot, Jeffrey M. & Robert Reginald. The Work of George Zebrowski: An Annotated Bibliography & Literary Guide, Third Edition. Bibliographies of Modern Authors, Number 4. San Bernardino, California: The Borgo Press, 1996, 136 pages, hardcover, $29.00, ISBN 0-89370-392-3; softcover, $19.00, ISBN 0-89370-492-X. Descrihed as an exceptional writer, a worthy successor of Olaf Stapledon or H.G. Wells, and an excellent editor by various well known writers and critics of science fiction, George Zebrowski deserves a well-researched and well-written bibliography. That is exactly what Elliot and Reginald have delivered. This book is described in the publisher's flyer as a "thor oughly updated and expanded" edition of the book written by Elliot and Reginald, and it appears to be just that. It is divided into sixteen sections, beginning with an introduction which helps readers who are unfamiliar with this author to become acquainted with his place in science fiction. The introduction is followed by a thorough chronology. The next eight sections identify the various pieces that Zebrowski has written: books and monographs, short fiction, short nonfic-SFRA Review #2291230, page 36


tion, editorial credits, juvenilia, unpublished works, and things done in other media. Following the original publication information on the piece, Elliot and Reginald describe the story, contents, or thesis of the work, then list and evaluate places where the work has been reprinted, identifying any changes that have been made to the work. The next two sections deal with honors and awards received by Zebrowski and his public appearances. The thirteenth section deals with secondary sources, major and minor, of information about Zebrowski and his work. Then the authors describe miscellanea dealing with Zebrowski. Next, the authors give the reader some indication of where Zebrowski is ranked in the field of science fiction by quoting critics and other science fiction writers. The quotes section is arranged to cover general comments about Zebrowski, the novels, short fiction, anthologies, and nonfiction. This section is followed by a short afterword and a thorough index. The book appears to be carefully and thoroughly researched and arranged in a logical manner which would certainly be useful to fans, students, and researchers alike. It appears to be an excellent bibliography and extremely use ful. -Sherry Stoskopf French, Sean. The Terminator. BFI Modern Classics. Lon don: British Film Institute, 1996,72 pages, softcover, $9.95, ISBN 0-851-70553-7. Distributed in the U.S. by Indiana University Press. It is a relief to report that French, who calls The Terminator (1984) "the most important and influential film of the '80s," finds the film has no subtexts, no hidden meanings, not even any real political message. It is simply a well-made movie and French's only task is to tell us why it works. He notes that writer-director James Cameron became expert at his craft at Roger Corman's B film factory; that Cameron had control of all aspects of the film with almost no studio interference; and that the tight but adequate budget imposed needed discipline on the production. The longest chapter in this short book considers the film's star, of whom French writes (unfairly in my view) "there is very little that could be described as a performance in Schwarzenegger's role as the Terminator." French asks why an emotionless machine, SFRA Review #2291230, page 37


played by an actor he considers essentially a self-mocking comedian, could dominate the film; and why audiences admire a character who kills roughly one person for every two words he speaks (74 words, by French's count). French's Terminator belongs in all serious film collections, but it might have been an even richer study if French had considered the film as an SF work, not just as a movie. He notes that Cameron borrowed from sources as diverse as !vletropolis (1926), The Road Warrior (1981), and the TV series The Outer Limits, and he audaciously compares Schwarzenegger's Terminator with Karloff's Frankenstein monster, but he could have added that the film, a middlebudget production which emphasized suspense and fear over effects, was a welcome throwback from the Lucas-Spielberg age to the SF films of the 1950s. He reports that The Terminator features a time travel paradox, but he does not mention that it was the first major Hollywood film to do so, a year before Back to the Future (1985) and only a few years after Thc FinaJ Countdown (1980) timorously sidestepped a true paradox. I-Ie does not note that robots in SF films (particularly the Star W;Jrs films, 1977-1983) were almost always comic characters whose humor depended on their looking like machines but acting and talking like humans, while the Terminator was frightening because he looked like a human but thought and acted like a machine. Finally, French could have pointed out that The Terminator is one of the few films with a sophisticated and dramatically successful depiction of non-human intelligence (as when the Terminator scans a menu in his computer brain before selecting an appropriate remark: 'Tuck you, asshole."). There is also a slight factual error in French's short chapter on the film's sequel, Terminator 2: judgment Day (1991); he incorrectly states that the T-I000's last line in the movie is "Get out" (instructing a pi lot to jump from a police helicopter while in the air), when in fact the T-l 000 has several more lines in the steel plant, both in his "usual" form and while impersonating Sarah Connor in an attempt to lure the young John Connor to his death. I reviewed Don Shay's and Jody Duncan's The /'IJaking of Terminator 2 and Cameron's published screenplay for T2 in STRA Rcvic\\' #195. A book in the BFI Film Classics series, Salman Rushdie's The Wizard of Oz (1992), was reviewed in ,...,'FHA Revic\\' #203. Bn has published at least three other books on fantastic films, Christopher Frayling's Things to Comc (1995) and Frieda Graf's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir SFR.\ Revic\\ #2291230, page 38


(1995) in the Film Classics series, and Mark Sanderson's Don't Look Now (1996) in the Modern Classics series. Michael Klossner Gunn, James. Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction (Revised Edition). Lanham, Maryland: The Scare crow Press, Inc., 1996, 277 pages, hardcover, $36.00, ISBN 0-8108-3129-5. The 1982 edition of this newly-revised critical biography justifiably won a Hugo for Best Non-Fiction Book. Expanded by about a third and updated to include discussions of the best sellers Asimov wrote in the ten years before his death in 1992, this volume is an essential addition to the collection of every science fiction scholar and fan. Asimov published so much (470 books), including multiple autobiographies, that a surfeit of information about his life and work is a problem for any chronicler. Limiting himself to Asimov's science fiction, Gunn explains that his task is to "tell the Asimov story more selectively ... bring the details of the life into focus in illuminating the work, ... explain the work in terms of a thesis that may have been too close to Asimov for him to perceive ... [and] to comment on the state of criticism as well as the work and the author at hand" (3). Gunn succeeds admirably. After building the case that the prime characteristic of Asimov's science fiction is its ratio nality, and that the mystery is the form that makes best use of Asimov's belief in the triumph of reason, Gunn uses these touchstones to work his way through the body of work. In lucid, thorough prose, Gunn recounts the seminal relationship between the teen-aged Asimov and John W. Campbell, the powerful editor of Astounding, under whose mentorship were published "Nightfall", many of the early robot stories, and the stories that eventually became The Foundation Trilogy. After laying the groundwork for what Gunn himself calls '''criticism in context'" (3), Gunn establishes a pattern of introducing a segment of Asimov's work, then summarizing and critiquing the narrative. Gunn puts each period of Asimov's career in the context of Asimov's personal life at the time, his progress as a writer, and the state of science fiction. SFRA Review #2291230, page 39


Early chapters are devoted to the original Foundation Trilogy, the robot stories, and the other short stories. Gunn then makes the case that the initial robot novels, The Caves of Steel (1954) and The Naked Sun (1957) are Asimov's best work. In these science fiction murder mysteries, both character and setting are of crucial importance. Further, Gunn claims that these two works "exemplify a basic difference (perhaps the basic difference) between science fiction and mainstream fiction -the concept of human adaptability" (118). Gunn then turns his attention to Asimov's other novels, most notably The End of Eternity (1955) and The Gods Themselves (1972), the latter written after a long period in which Asimov had abandoned science fiction for science fact. That The Gods Themselves, published in the wake of the New Wave's style-conscious dominance of science fiction publishing, won both the Hugo and the Nebula proved that Asimov still belonged at the top of his field. Next, Gunn brings his formidable critical acumen to bear on the best-selling Foundation and Robot novels of Asimov's last decade, and comments cogently both on Asimov's attempts in those novels to weave all of his work into the same general future history and on weaknesses in the writing due to the publisher's reluctance to edit Asimov's work. A brief discussion of Nemesis (1989) rounds out the chapter. The volume concludes with a brief chronology of Asimov's life; a checklist of his fiction, the science fiction anthologies he edited or co-edited, and other related titles; a very select list of works about Asimov; and the transcript of an interview Gunn conducted with Asimov in April 1979. In that interview Gunn tells Asimov that he was "interested in treating [Asimov's] work as being not only the unique product of [his] own personality, but also a kind of expression of what science fiction was at the time, in the sense that what [Asimov] wrote encapsulates what science fiction was concerned with" (249-50). Here Gunn once again achieves his goal. He not only presents thorough readings of all of Asimov's important science fiction, but also puts Asimov's work in the context of the history of American science fiction. Insightful enough for the scholar, essential for the academic, clearly and entertainingly written for both the average fan and a reader new to Asimov's SFRA Review #2291230, page 40


work, this revised edition of Isaac Asimov: The Foundation of Science Fiction belongs on every shelf of science fiction criticism. -Agatha Taormina Houfe, Simon (Editor). The Dictionary of 19th Century British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists. Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors' Club, 1996, 367 pages, hardcover, $85.00, ISBN 1-85149-193-7. Illustrated, with Bibliography and Appendixes. [Note: This book is available in the United States from Bud Plant Comic Art for $79.50 and may also be available from discount bookseller Edward R. Hamilton at a lower price.] First published in 1978 and revised in 1981, this new edition of Simon Houfe's Dictionary has about 150 additional entries with many of the original entries revised to include new bibliographical information and other material. Introductory chapters on the art of illustration have been dropped, but these may, according to the author, be expanded into a "suitable companion to the Dictionary" on book illustration and its collecting. The thirty-page preface is accompanied by a number of color reproductions. The dictionary itself is copiously illustrated with well-reproduced black-and-white illustrations, with one or two illustrations on almost every page. Many of Houfe's entries are quite short, amounting to little more than dates and a sentence or two on the artist's life and work, but the most prolific and important illustrators have more comprehensive entries, along with notations of exhibitions, maga zines to which artists contributed, a bibliography of books illustrated, holdings in museums, and bibliographic information. Although many of the interior illustrations record British life and customs in a realistic style, the importance of fantasy is apparent in the reproductions of illustrations by artists as varied as Arthur Boyd Houghton, Richard Doyle, Kay Nielsen, and S.H. Sime. There is a splendid example of Maurice Grieffenhagen's work in an illustration for H. Rider Haggard's The Holy Flower, and Houfe even includes an illustration from a story in a boys' magazine. SFRA Review #229/230, page 41


The popularity of fairy tales is reflected in the work of a number of artists. Color illustrations by Walter Crane and Edmund Dulac for "Beauty and the Beast" are used on the front cover of the dust jacket and frontispiece, while an im pressive portrait by Arthur Rackham of Father Christmas is reproduced on the back cover of the dust jacket. The result is a comprehensive guide that, along with a companion volume (Alan Horne's The Dictionary of 20th Century British Book Illustrators, Antique Collector's Club, 1994), should be a cornerstone for every research collection of 19th and 20th-century illustration. -Walter Albert Landon, Brooks. Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man to the Stars. Twayne's Studies in Literary Themes and Genres No. 12. New York: Twayne, 1997,251 pages, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 0-8057-0962. Brooks Landon took on the Herculean task of writing an overview of twentieth-century SF in about 250 pages; only Twayne's Studies in Literary Themes and Genres series would ask this. Perhaps only Brooks Landon could have managed the feat with such modesty, scope, usefulness, and readability. "Modesty"is a curious word to use but it captures an important quality of Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man to the Stars. Acknowledging the impossibility of writing a surveyor history of twentieth-century SF, Landon takes on the more modest task of producing an overview of "the broad historical and theoretical concerns" and illustrating these concerns with a few important works, a task he accomplishes beautifully. Modesty also allows Landon to introduce, acknowledge, define, and deploy a number of terms and concepts from a wide range of SF critics: we find the terms "novum" (Malmgren), "icon" (Wolfe), "megatext" (Attebery), and "edisonade" (Clute), for example, all valuable for discussion of SF, all employed here with generous acknowledgement and appreCiation. Landon's own contribution to SF with this volume lies in how he has managed the scope of the project. He chooses texts and discussions which emphasize his thesis that SF is, among other things, a self-referential literature of change, characterized in both the fiction and in its criticism by "sciSFRA Review #2291230, page 42


ence fiction thinking"(4). This thesis is Protean without being wishy-washy. Landon's first chapter introduces the range of terms and concepts of science fiction thinking and applies them to what he sees as the three main periods of twentieth-century SF: the pre-pulp scientific romance, represented by Forster's "The Machine Stops"; the genre SF of Gernsback and Campbell, represented by Campbell's "Twilight"; and the "New-Waveand-beyond" reaction to "the limitations of Campbellian SF" (xix), represented by Pamela Zoline's "Heat Death of the Universe". Chapter Two focuses on SF's movement "from dime novels through the pulp era and into its 'golden age,'" emphasizing the works of john Campbell and Robert Heinlein, neither condemning nor vaunting that era (xix). Chapter Three looks at non-American SF, with particular emphasis on Stanislaw Lem's His Master's Voice and the Strugatsky brothers' Roadside Picnic. The fourth chapter, and the one I found the most stimulating, focuses on two "countertraditions" within the genre: one which questions "the stability of reality itself" (xix), represented, of course, by Philip K. Dick; the other, feminist SF, represented by joanna Russ, Ursula K. Le Guin, and james Tiptree, jr. The final chapter traces SF from the "New Wave," through cyberpunk, to the 1990s, using Ballard's Crash, Gibson's Neuromancer, and, both ingeniously and successfully, Gardner Dozois's The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twelfth Edition (published 1995 with works from 1994). This organization is part of what makes the volume so use ful. It spans the twentieth century without inundating us with the vast detail possible (see the Panshins' World Beyond the Hill), yet acknowledges the value of such detail and points those of us who want it toward the appropriate sources. The use and acknowledgement of SF terms and concepts from a variety of critics works in the same way. The traditional apparatus of a Twayne study -chronology, bibliographic es say, and recommended titles -adds to the book's useful ness. SFRA Review #2291230, page 43


Finally, Landon's style -informal, lucid, straightforward -makes all of its other fine assets accessible to students, teachers, and scholars of SF. As a scholar and teacher of SF, I found myself inspired to reintroduce theory to my classes, finding it so clearly handled here; as for my own work, the emphasis on self-reflexivity and the idea of the megatext will be especially helpful. This volume is a must for any collection of SF, public or private. -Joan Gordon Lavery, David, Angela Hague, and Maria Cartwright (Edi tors). Deny All Knowledge: Reading the X-Files. Syra cuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1996,233 pages, softcover, $16.95, ISBN 0-8156-0407-6. A student saw this book on my desk, leafed through it, and said, "Books like this make me wonder if we are reading too much into things." An apt comment about a book on The X Files, I thought, and an idea that I had already entertained. After all, can a television series hold up under Lacanian analysis, and are we elevating what is, after all, mass entertainment to loftier heights than it deserves? Well, yes and no. As the introduction to this collection of essays points out, "The X-Files is as complex and controversial a phenomenon as the medium of television has produced in many years" (3), and as many of the individual contributors to this volume suggest, the series is a fairly volatile and intriguing mix of much contemporary cultural anxiety: the fear of disease, of loss of control, of conspiracy, of powerless ness in the hands of government and perhaps the hands of "aliens," of attraction to the body, and so forth. Yes, it is a popular television series -but it is also a compelling commentary upon the fears and desires of late twentieth-century America. The essays, in their various ways, limn these fears and desires. Deny AJI Know/edge presents ten separate essays on The X-Files. Although they are not of consistently high quality, overall they give the reader different critical views of the series, and all are well-grounded not only in film and media analysis but also in literary analysis. The book, after all, is subtitled "Reading the X-Files", and one of the pleasures of the book is the extensive use of quoted material from the scripts. The word, rather than the image, is what matters SFRA Review #2291230, page 44


most to the writers of these essays, although there is commentary about the use of camera angles, intercut techniques, lighting, and so forth. But discussion of telefilm technique is secondary to discussion of narrative. The essays move logically from ones that explore the con text of The X-Files and some of the reasons for its popularity to more complex, postmodern readings of the series. The first essay in the collection, "Rewriting Popularity" (by Jimmie L. Reeves, Mark C. Rodgers, and Michael Epstein), places The X-Files in historical context, making thoughtful connections between the popularity of this series and that of Star Trek, and pointing to its narrative connections with Magnum, P.I (both series fall somewhere between the episodic series and the open-ended serial) and Twin Peaks. The second essay, "DDEB, GATB, MPPB, and Ratboy: The X-Files' Media Fandom Online and Off" (Susan]. Clerc) continues to explore the se ries in its popular culture context, focusing on the importance of cyber discussions of The X-Files and some of the interplay between fans and creators. This particular essay is more useful for its insights into fandom and the impact of the Internet upon fans of television series than it is for understanding the show itself, but nonetheless makes fascinat ing reading. It is with Allison Graham's essay, "Conspiracy Theory and The XFiles", that the collection begins to hit its stride. Although one need not be a survivor of the sixties and seven ties to see that The X-Files is grounded in conspiracy theory, Graham's essay goes beyond pointing out the obvious. Hers is a well-informed examination of the effects of Watergate, in particular, upon an entire generation of Americans, using everything from Mort Sahl's political satire to films like Three Days of the Condor to argue her points. Along the way, the reader is treated to such tidbits as the fact that Duchovny's father wrote a 1967 off-Broadway play entitled The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, a fact previously unknown to this X-Phile. Other essays in the collection are from the folkloric point of view (Jones's "Last Week We Had an Omen"), the feminist (Parks's "Special Agent or Monstrosity?"), and, especially, the Lacanian. In fact, one criticism I would make of this volume of essays is that it depends too heavily upon Lacanian analy sis; three of the longer essays use Lacan as theoretical bedrock, and at least one other essay employs Lacanian analysis as part of its argument. Lacanian analysis is tempting when SFRA Review #2291230, page 45


analyzing a series that depends so heavily upon looking, see ing, and spying, as well as upon the use and misuse of masculine power, but the collection would be stronger if it had a wider theoretical base. The trouble with the emphasis on Lacanian analysis is that the last few essays in the collection become repetitious, making similar points and often using the same episodes as evidence. Badley, in "The Rebirth of the Clinic" (the most solid of the Lacanian pieces) writes that Scully is "body knowledge in all senses: she is the female body as ground of being, as victim and test subject; as Other; she also represents the medical perspective, the clinical gaze, the self-and flesh-destroying X-ray" (156). Substantially the same point is made in Parks's essay, "Special Agent or Mon strosity?": "Scully ... becomes the very monstrosity she had previously set out to investigate; put another way, her body becomes the scientific object ... nature's actor/agent, which she -the scientist and lawmaker is supposedly equipped to resolve" (133). The other criticisms I have of the volume concern the appendix of episodes and the bibliography. The editors include an appendix of Episode Summaries from 1993-1996, including episode title, air date, writer, and director. This is a use ful table of information, but would be even more useful if brief plot summaries were included. The X-Files is notorious for not providing on-screen titles of episodes, and for using titles that are often mysterious ("The Erlenmeyer Flask," "3", "DPO", and so forth), and short descriptions would be beneficial in identifying particular episodes. The Works Cited section could benefit from sub-division. The editors have chosen Simply to list all the works cited by all the authors, with no attempt to separate out Lacan's theoretical works from books on media history from Omni articles on The X-Files. Having separate sections for theoretical works, for historical works, and for works specifically centered on the series itself would have made more sense, and would be more useful to the reader wishing to track down additional information. Still, this is an important volume of essays -to my knowl edge the first scholarly collection of articles on this important cultural phenomenon. There are at least three, perhaps four, absolutely first-rate essays, and the rest are very good. The editors are to be commended for pulling together a volume of this quality on relatively short notice; the series, of SFRA Reviell' #229/230, page 46


course, continues in its fourth season, and this volume was published at the end of the third. I found myself watching fourth season episodes while I read this book, making connections between the television screen and the book at my side. Many of these writers have theories about the meaning of the show that are borne out by fourth season episodes. I suspect there will be a companion volume to this in a year or so; I hope its overall quality will be as high, and its theoretical base somewhat broader. -M. Daphne Kutzer Manguel, Alberto. Bride of Frankenstein. BFI Film Clas sics. London: British Film Institute, 1997, 68 pages, softcover, $9.95, ISBN 0-851-70608-8. Distributed in the U.S. by Indiana University Press. She was born as an adult woman, lived about two minutes and died all on camera. She never spoke a word but her hisses and screams have resounded for six decades. Her closeup adorns the cover and the last page of this short study of james Whale's Bride of Frankenstein, often considered the best horror film of the old, non-explicit type. The nameless female creature, the Frankenstein Monster's intended mate, interests Manguel more than any other character in the film, even Boris Karloff's Monster and Ernest Thesiger's wickedly amusing Dr. Pretorius. Manguel briefly describes the film's production, which was marked by tension among the film's personnel and pressure from censors. Elsa Lanchester, who played both Mary Shelley and the Bride, remembered Whale as "nasty" and "bitter"; Whale later dismissed Karloff with an airy "He was a truck driver, you know." Manguel quotes several of the warnings sent to Whale by Hays Office censor joseph Breen and notes their effect on the film. He claims that jack Pierce's classic Monster makeup in Whale's Frankenstein (1931) was not all Pierce's inspiration but was influenced by others, including Whale. While he dislikes Colin Clive's performance as Fran kenstein, Manguel defends character actress Una O'Connor's much-criticized comic relief performance as the frequentlyscreaming Minnie. Finally, he compares several scenes with the parodies of the same scenes in Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein (1974). SFRA Review #2291230, page 47


Manguel finds influences on Bride everywhere from the Bible to Goethe, Benjamin Franklin and Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926). Unsurprisingly, after so many writers have pas sionately debated Bride, Manguel does not come up with any big new ideas about the film. He accepts the commonly-held view that Frankenstein (who constantly shoos his fiancee from his laboratory) was trying to create life solely through male power, without women. He notes the familiar notions of film makers as Frankensteins who create life in each film; of the Frankenstein story as a creation myth and of the Bride as Eve; and of the Monster as a representative of outcasts such as Jews (comparing Bride to the Golem films) and homosexuals (Whale was gay). Manguel provides sharp-eyed scene-by-scene analysis of the film, references to many related works, quotes from in terviews, reviews and other sources, a couple dozen illustrations, notes, a bibliography, and the film's credits, but no index for this short volume. He concludes that Bride was "terrifying, subversive, hilariously irreverent and yet touched with rare insight and pathos." Recommended for all serious film collections. For a more detailed account of the production of the Universal Frankenstein films, see Gregory Mank's It's Alive! (1981). Michael Klossner Senft, Theresa M. and Stacy Horn (Editors). Sexuality & Cyberspace: Performing the Digital Body. A special issue of Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist The()[y, ISSN 0740-770X. New York: New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, 9:1, #17 (1996), 267 pages + "Yel low Pages", $9.00. Subscription/back issue information: Women & Performance, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10003. So we're all cyborgs, are we? Well, not exactly ... 95% of all Internet users, for instance, live in North America and Eu rope. So, okay, for those of us who are cyborgs, can we at least agree that "there's no gender in cyberspace"? Well, again, not exactly .... "You might not believe in gender, but gender believes in you" (17), as Theresa M. Senft writes in her introduction to this special issue of Women & Performance. In fact, choose your favorite celebratory or liberatory cliche about computers, access, equality of opportunity, transcending the limitations of material identities, or whatever, and SFRA. RevielV #2291230, page 48


you'll probably find it held up for close scrutiny here. The accumulated effect of the pieces in this issue amounts to a quite radical examination of much of the optimistic rhetoric which has developed around cyberspace, the Internet, the World Wide Web, information technologies, prosthetic living, and the performance of everyday (electronicized, digitized, and computerized) life at the end of our very weird century. The perspectives are feminist, gay, queer, political, and relevant to all of us. Sexuality and Cyberspace isn't directly about science fiction, but by the time I'd finished reading the fourteen or so articles, two reviews, one glossary for "net neophytes," and one list of "feminist yellow pages of cyberspace" which make up this very diverse special issue, I was convinced all over again that we're living science fiction right now and that things will only get stranger as we continue down the electronic highway. Talk about an exercise in defamiliarization ... I really recommend that you read this collection, whether you're a feminist or not, whether you're in or out of any material or virtual closets, whether you're interested in gender issues or not, in fact, whether you have a computer or not. If these are the kinds of debates which are swirling around bodies, subjectivities, and technologies these days -and they certainly are -then we all should be paying attention, because they're talking about us. This is also an eminently readable collection. It includes scholarly analysis, personal reminiscence, transcripts of electronic dialogues, descriptions of feminist performance art, and (as they say) much, much more. There are thoughtful attempts to come to some understanding about how gender functions in cyberspace, the construction of electronic subjectivities, the "place" of the material body in virtual experience, the "meaning" of the digital body. Senft's introduction, "Performing the Digital Body -A Ghost Story", deploys the work on gender and performance undertaken by theorists like Donna Haraway and Judith Butler to begin an examination of the kinds of digitalized embodiment conferred on human beings through their interactions with information technologies. (Obviously, the term "performance" here takes on wider connotations and spills over into events and activities outside the confines of drama and theatre.) In a nice take-off from the work of French feminism, Senft points out that the stories in this collection "move away ('rom the body polities of L'ecriture Feminine, and towards a cyborg SFRA Review #2291230. page 4l)


politics of L'ecriture Digital" (13). The overarching question in these pieces is Judith Butler's question: "Which bodies come to matter -and why?" (13). And which communities, affinity groups and technological networks, which fusions of material bodies and machines come to matter -and why? And although the perspectives throughout this collection tend to be cautious ones, there is also some sense of the utopian possibilities of cyborg lives. As Senft concludes her essay: "Sometimes, in our rush to prove machines aren't phallic, feminists miss just how fragile and sublime the digital life can be... Machines cannot save lives. They can, however, extend lives, make them richer, re-define them, and help people forge connections they might not ever have, otherwise. It's funny. Those are exactly the reasons I believe in feminism" (30). Taken altogether, the pieces in Sexuality & Cyberspace map out a field of analysis which looks at bodies, at genders, at digital ideologies, at medical imaging techniques, at transgendered bodies in women-only (virtual) spaces, at the homophobia which destroyed Alan Turing's life/work, at the experience of being electronically stalked, at the efficacy of on-line group therapy, at the queering of the machine, at the nature of phone-sex chat-lines, at the failure of attempts to wire up the disenfranchised, at what it might mean for technology to be both "inclusive" and "appropriate." Add to all this a really useful glossary of terms for "net neophytes" and "a feminist yellow pages of cyberspace" and the sum total of this special issue of Women & Performance is very impressive. Nor is it alone in its attempts to examine questions about subjectivities in cyberculture. Interested readers may also want to look at some of the following titles: Scott Bukatman's Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction (Duke UP, 1996); Allucquere Rosanne Stone's The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Me chanical Age (MIT Press, 1996); Claudia Springer's Electronic Eros: Bodies and Desire in the Postindustrial Age (University of Texas Press, 1996); and Mark Dery's Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (Grove Press, 1996). -Veronica Hollinger SFRA Review #2291230, page 50


Simkin, John E. (Editor). The Whole Story: 3,000 Years of Sequels and Sequences. D.W. Thorpe, 1996, vii + 1.198 pages, $135.00, ISBN 1-875589-26-0. Distributed by Reed Reference. By including Homer's two works, Simkin's subtitle implies that we've had books in series for many centuries. That's literally true, but probably 95% of the approximately 85,000 series books Simkin lists here, as well as 10,000 "related works," were published in this century, and I would guess maybe three-fourths since 1950. He limits himself to English language works, including translations (e.g., 137 of the Perry Rhodan tales). and to books rather than short fiction. Even with these limitations this is by far the most comprehensive list of series books ever published. For the record, the lengthi est series by far is that of Sexton Blake, 1,615 titles by 11 9 authors, from 1915 through 1978, which Simkin says is "cer tainly not a complete list." The continuing Doctor Who se ries was the largest SF series, 166 titles so far. The most comprehensive list for SF and fantasy books is Science Fiction and Fantasy Series and Sequels (1986). compiled by Tim Cottrill, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh. This lists about 1.160 series and more than 6,900 individual books. A second volume, listing short fiction se quels, was supposed to be published but never appeared. It's getting a bit dated. Reginald's comprehensive bibliographies have series listings, as do my own guides to SF and fantasy. The entry for "series" in the Clute/Nicholls encyclopedia provides a useful brief perspective. Whether these books were consulted by Simkin 1 can't tell, since he doesn't list his sources -but a lot of spot-checking revealed that he certainly didn't miss much. The listings are in three alphabetical sequences: by series title, with all books in the series numbered, showing author(s), year of publication, variant titles, omnibi, and related works; by individual book title; and by author, cross-referenced to series title (and sometimes number in the series). Some se ries names were invented, and if you don't find such series under one name, you can check the author list. For example, the books set on Mars by Burroughs are listed in Simkin under "tvlartian series," although similar series by Brackett, Lin Carter, and Kline are under "Mars series." Reginald prefers "Mars series"; I looked under "Barsoom series." The Carson Napier series set on Venus are simply listed under "Venus SFRA Review #2291230, page 51


series" with no cross-references, although there are many other useful cross-references and similar notes. The text is in four columns and is set in small type -very small type for the second and third sections. The layout is clear, however, and the matte finish on the fairly thin pages solves any glare problems. The 8 112 by 11 inch trim size results in a book about the size and weight of a large telephone directory. Its price will limit it to larger public and academic libraries. For fantastic fiction scholars, this is probably a work of marginal value, but if you need "the whole story," this is certainly the place to start. Neil Barron Sullivan, C. W. III (Editor). The Dark Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Ninth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Number 71. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997,240 pages, hardcover, $65, ISBN 0-313-29477-1. This long delayed selection of essays from the Ninth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (1988) has the characteristics one would expect from such a volume. One main problem is that several of the more substantial es says have appeared since 1988 (usually in revised forms) in journals and in other books. Still, the collection has the usual virtues: interesting and provocative explorations of major ideas and works and helpful introductions to a number of artists likely to be unfamiliar to most readers. C.W. Sullivan III provides an introduction that briefly explains his organizational idea and accounts for the delay in publication. He has arranged the twenty-one essays into five parts, fairly loosely organized around the theme of darkness in several senses of the word. The seven essays in part one are connected by the theme of "The Dark Self". Colin l\lanlove's "Closer than an Eye: The Interconnectedness of Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", views the novel as a journey to the dark interior of the self and as revealing the socially constructed identity to be a thin skin imperfectly concealing and controlling an amoral vitality within. Maria A. Salgado introduces Ruben Dario, a 19th-century Chilean immigrant precursor of Hispanic fantastic fiction. Allienne Becker, in "Hoffman's Fantastic Sandman", argues that the SFRA Review #2291230, page 52


ambiguous tale expresses resistance to Enlightenment thought. Nancy M. Kason explores the contribution of Argentina's Eduardo Holmberg (1852-1937) to fictional treatments of automata. In "Genetic Experimentation: Mad Scientists and the Beast", Faye Ringel constructs a brief history of treatments of genetic experimentation and analogs, with special attention to H.G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau and the television series Beauty and the Beast. joseph Andriano's "The Unholy Circle: A jungian Reading of Dracula", focusing on Dracula's "daughters," argues that the novel "contains a complete subtext dictated as it were by the unconscious, counterpointing the Christian pieties of its epistolary voices. While patriarchal religious consciousness declares the feminine darkness unholy, the instinctual archetypes keep insisting that it is only through darkness that light has meaning" (55). Richard West examines illusion and self-deception in the fiction of Peter S. Beagle. Sullivan groups the five essays in part two under the rubric, "The Mainstream Dark". jeannette Hume Lutton examines identity crisis in Book I of Milton's Paradise Lost, looking at how Milton creates drama out of the unformed identities of the fallen angels, who are no longer what they were and have not yet become the devils they will be when they enter into human history. Nicholas Ruddick works out an explanation of the development of Brian Aldiss's thesis that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is the origin of science fiction. Tony Magistrale compares Nathaniel Hawthorne and Stephen King in their uses of New England settings and characters. Glenn Edward Sadler compares Hans Christian Andersen and George MacDonald, with special attention to Andersen's "The Shadow" and MacDonald's "Shadows". Carol Franko analyzes a dialogue between fantasy and utopia in Doris Lessing's Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five; she argues that Lessing uses the theme of longing that is central to fantasy to critique the utopian complacency of Zone Three as well as to unsettle the other tendencies toward stasis that impede the regeneration of a static world. The four essays of part three deal with "The Dark Arts". Dorothy joiner introduces the satirical Georgia sculptor, Betty Edwards. Sue Hart surveys Harlan Ellison's uses of televi sion, radio, film, theater and other popular dramatic arts in his fiction. In "Rites of Passage in Contemporary Vampire Films", Sharon Russell and james Backes posit a shift in the subjects of vampire stories away from the father/sons rivalry SFRA Review #2291230, page 53


over the possession of women with its concern for attaining sexual manhood toward more adolescent rites of passage into sexual experience and social belonging. Russell and Backes examine Once Bitten (1985), Fright Night (1985), Vamp (1986), and The Lost Boys (1987). Roger]. Mesley works through religious themes in the provocative photographs of Joel-Peter Witkin. Part four consists of two essays on "Humor in the Dark". Eric P. Shaffer and Patrick D. Murphy examine plot and narration in the second of the Alien films (Aliens), showing how Ripley becomes a complete female hero, how the plot is structured as a horrific science-fiction comedy, and how humor is used in a variety of ways to draw the audience into the film. Donald E. Moore characterizes Kurt Vonnegut's satire as deriving from the tradition of Lucian and Apuleius, satirists "who use the fantastic to criticize their society and its values" (162). l\Ioore divides Vonnegut's career after Slaughterhouse Five (1969): the basic truth underlying the first six novels is the necessity of loving "whoever is around to be loved"; underlying the last six novels is the realization that such love can restore a vision of the wholeness of life (168). Part five, "Theory", includes three essays. Kathryn Hume discusses "Postmodernism in Popular Literary Fantasy". She sees popular science fiction and fantasy as conservative genres that tend to resist postmodern projects, but at the same time, she sees contemporary writers attempting with some success to develop postmodern ideas. Among the writers she dis cusses are Lem, Calvi no, Dick, Benford, and Piercy. She concludes with the hope that popular writers will become more succes:-.lully postmodern: "More hierarchies should be reversed, more hidden agendas be made explicit, more systems decentered" (182). Don Riggs studies "Fantastic Tropes in Thc Folk or thc Air", showing how Beagle's uses of figurative language help to naturalize the fantastic in his tale. The final essay is perhaps the most provocative: Leo Daugherty's "Genres of Desire: A Prologue to a Theory of Science Fic tion". Daugherty argues for abandoning traditional literary approaches as explanations of the functions of genre, and sketches a theory that accounts for genre in terms of human desires. I-Ie locates what we call science fiction among the sub genres of a large aspirational genre, which is made up of the products of culture that we seek out in order to persuade ourselves and the world "that we are, in fact, someone" (201). SFR:\ Rcvic\\-#2291230, page 54


In this context, he defines science fiction as: nonreportorial, narration-based language behavior. .. that (1) promotes ... the freedom from any and all "generic" oppression, including place-boundedness and time-boundedness; ... (2) promotes ... the true liberation of "coming to one's self" in the only possible way: through the pursuit of one's own personal interests; [and] (3) promotes ... the normative claim that personal interests should themselves be aspirational... (207). The volume concludes with an index and sketches of the contributors. To read through this selection reminds one again of the variety of materials and approaches to be found in the study of fantasy. Probably, however, except for the theoretical contributions of Hume and Daugherty that should interest anyone concerned with fantasy, the book's main value will be to scholars interested in the topics of the individual essays. -Terry Heller Wang, An-chi. Gulliver's Travels and Ching-hua yuan Revisited: A !vlenippean Approach. Comparative Cultures and Literatures 2. New York: Peter Lang, 1995, 175 pages, softcover, $29,95, ISBN 0-8204-2139-l. Wang's ambitious attempt to apply the features of Menippean satire to an analysis of two utopian or satirical texts which are often compared to one another, is of interest. So is her introduction of the Chinese text Ching-hua yuan (Flowers in the !vIirror) to the Western reader and a positioning of a would-be comparativist looking at these two texts (Gulliver and Flowers) in the context of a scholarly dialog surrounding their comparison. As she outlines in her introduction, there are many studies which make this comparison along the lines of satirical techniques and narrative structure that they share. The travel to distant fantastic lands in both is the narrative thread which allows for satire of the social and political customs of the author's contemporaries. One crucial difference in these texts which she does not suf ficiently explore is the narrative time-difference. Gulliver's Travels is set in a world of similar time-frame to the author, while Flowers in the Mirror is set in the early Tang dynasty rule of the empress Wu Zetian (624-705) in a novel which is written in the Ch'ing dynasty (1828), fully a thousand years later. SFRA Review #2291230, page 55


The author has taken on several major tasks. She begins by arguing that her work is a metacriticism (my words) of previous critical and comparative research on each of these novels separately and the two of them together. She argues that if we critique these works through the lens of Menippean Satire, features of each novel which have caused critics to fault the authors' skills will be explained. (Part I -Introduction). In the body of the text, she then outlines her understanding of Menippean Satire (Part II), making tentative links with this Greek literary form and the two novels in question. Her next step adds a further complication. She introduces the Chinese concept of feng-ts'u, or a type of moral-political satire widespread in Chinese literature (Part III). Frankly speaking, up to the present, there is not yet a very systematic examination of the whole literary tradition of feng-ts'u in serious theoretical criticism. A fascinating discussion of a fascinating topic, this could obviously be a book in itself, as could a comparison of Menippean satire and feng-ts'u. The argument here is too brief to either determine the nature of the technique or outline its links to Menippean satire, much less its usefulness in relation to a comparison of the two fictional works. In Part IV, Wang takes on a discussion of Chin-hua yuan, listing its many stylistic and ideational triumphs, as well as a survey of approaches to the novel. The Menippean connection is made only in the last two pages of the chapter as a sort of summary and critique of these approaches. Hence the connection to this satirical form is not established by her discussion. Gu1liver's Travels occupies Part V with a reprise of major critical approaches to this work, which she describes as encyclopedic in dimension and multifarious in content, revealing Swift's serious intention as well as intellectual manner of dealing with the complex, inexorable, and inexhaustible human situation from all possible objective facets. This and similar general statements constitute her evidence for 1) the similarity to Ching-hua yuan; and 2) the applicability of evaluating the work in relation to Menippean satire. She does not evaluate it in the light of feng-ts'u, which further causes one to question her purpose in writing this work. The short conclusion (Part VI) is a comparative catalog of Menippean elements in both fictional works, again ignoring feng-ts'u and begging the question of its earlier laborious and incomplete introduction. SFRA Review #2291230, page 56


One can go to this text with the expectation of reading about a number of interesting topics, many of which require detailed attention as the individual object of a sludy. Each of the sections is an argument in its own right, but without the connections to each other which one expects from the title and format of the book. The conclusion is not detailed enough to accomplish this end and so one is not sure if Wang is arguing that: 1) Gulliver's Travels and Ching-hua yuan are Menippean satire (insupportable because the Ch'ing author could not have been writing from this mode); 2) they are comparable because they both have some features which we find in Menippean satire (not supportable because they currently are and have historically been compared for many reasons); or 3) past critiques of the works are invalidated because the novels should be evaluated in light of Menippean satire (see 1, above, but also unsupported by this work as the critiques are neither fully outlined nor fully defused). Addi tionally, it is hard to say what function the chapter on fengts'u serves, aside from a brief introduction to that Chinese literary concept. As a collection of papers on a number of interesting topics, this book is informative, with parts for a scholar trained in the Western literary tradition, other parts for one trained in the Chinese literary tradition. The many topics it touches upon are fruitful jumping-off places for scholars. It should not be read or understood as a unified argument about Gulliver's Travels, Ching-hua yuan, Menippean Satire, fengts'u, or comparisons of either the two novels or the two criti cal frameworks. Nonetheless, the author has made several interesting beginnings and it would be very exciting to see her carry anyone of them through in a more convincing manner. While these would be difficult tasks, we do have a successful model of how this may be done well in Qingyun Wu's Female Rule in Chinese and English Literary Utopias (1996; reviewed in SFRA Review #223). Wang is to be congratulated for her ambition and her scholarship, and encouraged to expand on her presentation. (As the author chooses to use the Wade-Giles transliteration system throughout her text, I have followed this convention, except in the case of Qinyun's name -she uses the pinyin system in her book). Janice M. Bogstad SFRA Review #2291230, page 57


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Clarke, Arthur C. 3001: The Final Odyssey. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997, 197 pages, hardcover, $25.00, ISBN 0-345-31522-7. This is, presumably, the last of the "Odyssey Quartet" (193) written over a period of thirty years, nearly fifty years if you count the genesis of it all, "The Sentinel" (written 1948, published 1951). This "final" tale is the shortest of them all (177 pages of text), and like the others it ends with the possibility, despite its subtitle, that there may be more to come. Both Prologue and Epilogue hint at this possibility, though Vale diction equally implies an ending to the saga. Three major events dominate the plot: the recovery and revival of Frank Poole from the journey begun in chapter 25 of 2001; contact with Dave Bowman for the first time since 2061; and the eclipse ofLucifer (the former Jupiter) described in Chapter 60 of 2061 and how that comes about. Frank Poole is, of course, the major player in the first, and it is his presence that also makes possible the other two. He is rather like the traditional traveler to utopia, a man of vast curiosity, who insists on being quickly brought up to speed in as many matters of this new world as possible. In the process the reader, too, learns of many significant occurrences during the thousand years of Frank's slow voyage beyond Saturn. As Clarke has pointed out in each of the books that succeeded 2001, this is not a linear sequel to the earlier books; they are "variations on the same theme, involving the same characters and situations, but not necessarily happening in the same universe" (196). The past of 3001 differs from the futures predicted in the earlier books, for the most part because humanity's knowledge of the universe has increased and our ability to manipulate Nature to our own ends has moved even more rapidly than the writer had anticipated. Clarke finds both good and bad in such developments. Mostly he is pleased with the progress Poole learns about. One of the first things he learns of is the discovery five hundred years earlier of the Olduvai monolith described in Part I of 2001. Among other wonders are the inertial field drive, advanced robots, "enhanced bio-organisms" (e.g., a dinosaur SFRA Review #2291230, page 59


gardener, 46), the equatorial geostationary orbit ring, the four towers (improvements on the space elevator of The Fountains of faradise), the end uf war and disease, and an almost universal enlightenment of humanity. There has always been something utopian about Clarke's views of the future, and both text and the twenty pages of notes, acknowledgments, and valedictions that conclude the book appear to strengthen his sense that the future will be good. He does not appear to find any problem with the nanochips, placed at birth in the palm of each hand ("for redundancy," 15) that serves to identify each member of society, alert society to possible mental problems, and permit instant contact with anyone else, nor with the Braincap that enables individuals access to data banks that can provide both knowledge and dreamlike adventures, nor with the brainwashing that uses the few potential deviants as servants before turning them into useful citizens with no memory of their past. As always, Clarke writes clearly and creates both attractive characters and interesting events. Thus, with the barely mentioned Nova Scorpio (36) he sets the stage for the near disaster averted by Poole and Bowman (now "Halman") at the end of the book. The rapid rise of human technology since the 21 st century of the first three books has all occurred since the first transmission of the Monolith to its immediate superior 450 light years from Earth, Halman informs Frank. That report, sent before the utopian conditions of 3001, would have shown humanity in an unfavorable light. "If the Monolith's let us say Supervisor -replied at once, any further instructions should be arriving about now" (152). Since Nova Scorpio was actually a planet igniting as had Jupiter, and the Great Wall monolith on Europa has lately been receiving" a continuing string of messages," there is cause for alarm. Humanity takes preventive action, ironically with some of powerful computer viruses long-since stored in high security chambers to prevent their ever being used again. A cryptic epilogue, presumably by the "Firstborn" of the Pro logue, leaves things more unresolved than might be expected. As noted, the books of this series are all tied together, and just as the last chapter of 2061 looks forward to the year 3001, the Epilog of 2010 looks forward to the year 20,001. The jacket blurb calls Clarke "the greatest science fiction writer of all time." Whether or not this is so, he is certainly a major force in the field, and this newest book, which has been on the best seller list for some weeks now, deserves to be SFRA Review #2291230, page 60


treated with respect. For me, 3001 was less exciting than the earlier books of the series, but it kept my attention, and I was sorry to have it end so soon. I rather hope for a 20,001. -Arthur O. Lewis Dorsey, Candas Jane. Black Wine. New York: Tor, January 1997, 285 pages, hardcover, $22.95 ($29.95 Canada), ISBN 0-312-86181-8. Candas Jane Dorsey is a well-regarded poet, the author of the much-praised short-fiction collection !vlachine Sex and Other Stories, and the driving force behind Tesseract Books, the top SF publisher in Canada. She has a reputation as a fine stylist who is not afraid to experiment and she is also known for writing honestly and bluntly about issues connected with gender, sex, and power. Black Wine is Dorsey's very promising first novel, and while it is not up to her best short fiction, it clearly demonstrates these attributes. The book begins with what appears to be three parallel narratives. In the first, a nameless young woman, who remembers nothing of her past, lives as a slave in a hellish society vaguely reminiscent of Suzy McKee Charnas's Hold fast. Used sexually by those with power over her, she develops a more human relationship with an elderly madwoman who lives in a cage. Purchased as a body servant by the corrupt ruler of a neighboring city, she then becomes the lover of another slave who has had his tongue removed. In the second thread, a young woman named Essa lives as an apprentice merchant in an ocean-side city where a revolution is brewing. Her boss, with whom she is considering a romantic relationship, has just arranged for her to travel halfway across the world by dirigible to establish new trade connections for him. She simultaneously plans to look for her mother, who abandoned both her and her father when she was small. In the third narrative, yet another young woman, the princess Ea, flees her tyrannical husband, preferring the company of her lover Annalise and the clean air of the Remarkable Mountains to life at a Court riddled by intrigue and perversion. Alternating between these three stories, the reader gradually begins to notice connections, similar bits of biography. It becomes apparent that several of the characters may be related to each other, may actually be the same people. The need to unravel these relationships as well as the novel's con-SFRA Review #2291230, page 61


voluted timeline turns Black Wine into a mystery of sorts and increases narrative interest considerably. Dorsey's thematic concerns here are several, but much of the novel centers on the interconnection between power and sex, the impossibility of having a truly equal sexual relationship when one person holds power over another. We witness a wide range of sexual and love relationships, some healthy, some extremely sick, some straight, some gay, some more complex than our language can easily label. Language, in fact, is also important to Dorsey. Most of the major characters in the book are multi-lingual, and on occasion discover that certain things that can be said in one language, cannot be said -or even thought -in another. A slave can consider himself in some sense free because he "speaks" a sign language unknown to his masters. Another man speaks a language lacking in nouns and lives in world where specific objects are difficult to identify. Even lovers find themselves tripped up by misunderstood idioms and mistranslated concepts. Dorsey's universe is a stripped-down sort of place. Although the beauties of nature or a lover's body may be described in some detail, we learn very little about the world of the novel as a whole, or how it's connected with our own world. In general the technology seems relatively primitive, approximately on the level of the late-nineteenth or early-twentieth centuries. Ships use both sails and engines. Dirigibles ply the airlanes. Abacus-like calculators are in common use. The authorities use tanks to quell a riot and a printer uses a pantograph to copy documents. There are no discernable geographic connections to our world, but several characters make obvious references to western literature, including Shakespeare and Tennyson, which are sometimes rather jarring. It's also unclear as to whether or not the novel should be considered science fiction or fantasy. Much of the book has a vaguely science-fictional feel to it, particularly to the extent that it seems to generically correspond with the work of Joanna Russ or Suzy Charnas, but there are also a few elements that seem magical. The most spectacular of these is an apparently immortal being known as the Carrier of Spirits. This woman. who for a while becomes Essa's talented (but hardly supernaturally-endowed) lover, stores within herself the spirits of the dead and has the amazing ability to bring forth simulacra of their faces on her body (swelling out from SFRA Revie\\' #2291230. page 62


a cheek or a breast, for example) to hold conversations with others. Also unexplained is Essa's ability, apparently something not considered particularly odd in this world, to genetically share in the making of a baby simply by making love with the biological mother and father at the time of conception. The considerable power of Black Wine lies in our gradual discovery (and for that matter their discovery) of who the major characters are and how they are related. As the book comes to a close, however, the narrative pace slows and things become rather talky. Dorsey feels the need to have Essa spend a considerable amount of time reestablishing connections with the people she has previously left behind on her journey and to speak at length with them about what she has learned. Having done this, the author skips a generation and has someone else explain Essa's life to her daughter. In real life, of course, such reconnections and discussions may well be necessary -they may be a prerequisite to both moral development and peace of mind -but they make for a rather static and somewhat disappointing conclusion to what is otherwise a brilliant piece of work. Michael Levy Eisenstein, Phyllis (Editor). Spec-Lit: Speculative Fiction, No.1. Chicago: Columbia College Chicago, 1997, 175 pages, softcover, $6.95, ISBN 0-932026-45-1. Spec-Lit is a great read! It is an anthology of fifteen sto ries, all but two written by students in Phyllis Eisenstein's speculative fiction class at Columbia College. In her introduction, Eisenstein, says that she launched the publication because, during seven years of teaching, she observed her students filing away exceptional stories rather than sending them out for publication. Since Spec-Lit is designed to look like a science fiction pulp magazine, with "No.1" conspicuously on the cover, the implication is that there will be future volumes of student work. The title, Eisenstein explains, is taken from Robert Heinlein's essay, "Science Fiction: Its Nature, Faults, and Virtues" (1959). A writer of speculative fiction, Heinlein suggests, extrapolates the scientific facts at his disposal into an "imaginary -but possible" future. The stories represented here are speculaSFRA Review #2291230, page 63


tive, if Heinlein's definition is broadened to include the so cial sciences. Most of Eisenstein's students take a trend or institution e.g., government-sponsored gambling, our grow ing dependence on mood-altering drugs, making a religion of physical fitness -and extrapolate its disastrous future consequences. It is odd and unfortunate that the anthology begins with the only poor story. Sam Weller's "Chief" is written in an old-fashioned, supposedly humorous dialect, never spoken in New Mexico (where the story takes place) or anywhere else. The narrator, a good old boy returning from a night of drinking, brings home an alien whose saucer has crashed in the desert. The alien, in rapid succession, soils its uniform and eats the dog, cat, and little boy next door. If readers begin with this distasteful story, they might not go on to discover the gems that follow. My two favorite stories are George Alan's "Fugue" and Tom Traub's "Dr. Max Gets His Questions Asked." "Fugue" is a haunting story of a man and woman, strangers, who wake in bed together in a luxury resort they identify as French from the labels on cosmetics in the bathroom. Both remember only isolated incidents from their respective pasts. While engaging in the requisite vacation activities, they piece together enough to conclude that they were petty criminals who testified against their associates. Persuaded to enter "the Program," they were prepared for assassination and espionage missions through physical enhancements. Alan's descriptions of the thought processes of a man whose brain has been altered by computerization and artificially introduced neurotransmitters are masterly: "THERE ARE DREAMS OF GREAT UNFORMED BLACKNESS AND COLUMNS OF COBALT BLUE DIGITAL READOUT AND A BURST OF MINDNOISE THAT BLOCKS HIS OWN VOICE OUT OF HIS HEAD WITH THE STATIC OF DEAD TELEVISION CHANNELS ... (p. 88). People in the Program alternate between missions they are programmed to forget and vacations at elegant resorts with a succession of partners. The couple fall in love and, as a defense against the inevitable amnesia, tattoo one another's names on their bodies. The story is poignant, lyrically told, and full of wonderful throw-away details that hint at a future in which tech nically altered humans, tracked by satellite, are the primary weapons in the wars giant corporations wage against one another. SFRA RevielV#2291230, page 64


"Dr. Max Gets His Questions Asked" is memorable for its quirky humor. Dr. Max, a trouble-shooter for a company that sells virtual reality simulations, spends his days correcting programming errors. Traub's descriptions of simulations gone wrong are hilarious. In the "Be the Man with the Answers" fantasy, for example, academics proclaim such delicious nonsense as: "It's my opinion that the Tarnsman of Gor books simply became too depressing when Sylvia Plath began writing them ... (p. 19). Spending his days in one fantasy scenario after another, Dr. Max becomes so uncertain about the rules governing his own time and place that he seeks out his favorite writer of simulations for enlightenment. What he learns recalls Stanislaw Lem's Futurological Congress, in its suggestion that there are layers "above" and "below" the re ality we experience. Craigh ton Hippenhammer's "Righ tHorned", jeff jacobson"s "Night Ride", jeremy Efroymson's "The Gambler", and john O'Shaughnessy's "To Protect and Profit" all deserve special mention. Space permits discussion only of the latter two, stories that extrapolate the future consequences of measures governments take to balance their budgets: state-sponsored gambling in "The Gambler", seizure of assets of suspected criminals in "To Protect and Profit". In "The Gam bier", utility rates, grocery bills, and paychecks are determined by games of chance. Citizens in all states but one are required to invest a certain percentage of their income in state-sponsored gambling games. The narrator and his pregnant wife are attempting to flee to Kansas, the only state without government-mandated gambling, because they face arrest for a discrepancy in their "Earnings/Gambling ratio" (p. 125). Details of the omnipresent gambling games are wonderfully astute and funny. For his monthly utilities bill, the narrator is instructed to "scratch off one of the eight silver boxes," each with "dollar amounts between $25 and $200" (p. 120). In "To Protect and Profit," police are surgically equipped with an "eye-cam," through which the "Intervid" audience watches arrests, brutal treatment of suspects, and property seizures -each translating into points. "Players" from different cities compete fiercely. Racing to score against the opposing team, the narrator, Rodgers, triumphs despite a series of life-threatening reverses, caused by teammates who have bet against him. At the end of the story, Rodgers, al-SFRA Review #2291230, page 65


most killed by his treacherous partner, learns compassion from a group of bums who save his life. Besides the student work, there are stories by two wellknown science fiction writers, Algis Budrys and Gene Wolfe, both of whom also taught fiction writing at Columbia Col lege. Coincidentally, the protagonists of Wolfe's "Living Alone in the Jungle" and Budrys's "The Changeling" each must come to terms with a double. These stories by these professionals are entertaining, but not significantly higher in quality than the student work. "The Changeling", first published in 1968, is dated by its references to the Korean war, hitchhiking across the country, and Catholic schools taught entirely by nuns. Eisenstein would have done better to let the work of her students stand on its own. Though Eisenstein introduces the collection and supplies humorous headnotes describing the author of each story, she includes no story of her own -perhaps because she has written no speculative fiction. The two novels of Eisenstein's that 1 have read, Born to Exile and In the Red Lord's Reach, are quasi-Medieval fantasies with a protagonist who can transport himself magically from one place to another. Eisenstein's novels consign women to familiar roles. The same is true for the stories in Spec-Lit, only one of which has a female author. However, while Eisenstein may not foster the writing of feminist science fiction, the best of her students' stories have characters that inspire genuine compassion. Eisenstein is clearly a gifted teacher and should be congratulated for bringing fine student work to the public. -Wendy Bousfield Leiber, Fritz. The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich. New York: Tor, 1997, 125 pages, hardcover, $18.95, ISBN 0-312-85408-0. Having read just about all of Fritz Leiber's fiction and be ing in agreement with Harlan Ellison that he was one of the absolute greatest fantasy and science fiction writers in his tory, I was enormously pleased to hear that a lost Leiber novella had turned up and was being readied for publication by the highly capable editor (and SFRA member) David Hartwell. The story, it seems, was written back in the midSFRA Review #2291230, page 66


1930s but was rejected by Weird Tales. Leiber then revised it for publication in Unknown Worlds in the 1940s. but that magazine folded due to the World War II paper shortage. Eventually the story simply got lost among the writer's papers for several decades. Written at a time when Leiber was in correspondence with H.P. Lovecraft, the story clearly shows that author's influence. Sub-titled "A Study of the t--Iass-In sanity at Smithville", it purports to be George Kramer's (the narrator) account of his attempt to visit two old college friends, Kesserich and Dr. john Ellis, who both live in a small town in California. As in the typical Lovecraft story, Kramer has come in response to a distraught letter from an old friend, Ellis, whose wife has recently died after eating an orange that had been sprayed with insecticide. Reaching Smithville, how ever, he finds that both his friends have apparently disappeared and that a number of very strange things are going on. just as he is about to knock at Kesserich's door a small rock appears beneath his foot, then another appears a little way down the road, then another, and another, leading him cross country to the very tree where Mary Ellis was poisoned. just as he returns to Kesserich's house, the entire place blows up, leaving nothing but charred remains and a mysterious, partially destroyed notebook full of strange, unfathomable statements in Kesserich's handwriting that hint at drug use and time travel. Then the inhabitants or Smithville begin to manifest bizarre irrational behaviors, becoming obsessed, for example, with the possibility that Mary Ellis may have been buried alive! The Dealings of Daniel Kcsserich is not Leiber at his very best. It is unlikely to replace "Conjure Wife" or "Our Lady of Darkness" as anyone's favorite Fritz Leiber horror story, but there is real power here. Leiber may be borrowing from Lovecraft (and from H.G. Wells too, for that matter), but he makes the materials his own. The strange way in which each person in town becomes obsessed with the possibility of t--Iary Ellis's premature burial and, in fact, worries that he or she may be personally responsible for that burial, is genuinely creepy. The descriptions of time travel and its physical ef fect on Kesserich are unlike anything else I've come across in the genre. Adding to the enjoyment of the novella are a series of superb black and white illustrations by jason Van Hollander, and readers are invited to look for the artist's homage to Lovecraft in one of the pictures. This is a decidedly old-fashioned sort of story and is unlikely to be of much SFRA Rcvic\\'#2291230, page 67


interest to devotees of either post-modernism or splatterpunk horror. For those of us, however, who are old enough to remember the days when the primary purpose of horror fiction was to send a shiver down your spine rather than to upset your stomach, The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich is indeed a treat. Michael Levy Pringle, David (Editor). The Best ofInterzone. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997, xvii + 518 pages, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 0-312-15063-6. This collection of 29 stories (the "Dear Reviewer" letter claims only 28 and omits Dave Garnett) amply demonstrates why Interzone deserves the awards (including the Hugo in 1995) and glowing critical reception it has received. As David Pringle points out in his Introduction, Interzone has played an important role in the development of new writers. Thus far over 200 different writers, half of them new writers, have been published in Interzone's pages, mostly British and to a lesser extent American, with a "scattering ... from other coun tries" (xv). None of these stories has appeared in any other anthology. Although the earliest issues of Interzone often emphasized stories by established writers (Brian Aldiss, ].G. Ballard, An gela Carter, John Harrison, Keith Roberts, Brian Stableford, Ian Watson, etc.), its early purpose was to provide a place, as had New Worlds a couple of decades earlier, in which new writers would be especially welcome. Some of those whose early work appeared in Interzone, including Greg Egan, Nicola Griffith, Paul]. McAuley, and Geoff Ryman, have continued with distinguished writing careers. Both groups are represented in this volume. The book concludes with brief biographical notes by David Pringle. A major objective of the recent SFRA anthology, Visions of Wonder, is to demonstrate the various kinds of speculative fiction published in the last decade or so. The Best of Interzone performs a similar task, and the two volumes serve as complementary approaches. There is little overlap: only Brian Aldiss and Brian Stableford appear in both (Stableford's contribution to Wonder is a critical essay). SFRA Review #2291230, page 68


Stories in The Best of Interzone follow many of the usual paths of science fiction: time travel, end-of-the-world, alternate history, modified bodies, fantasy, robot/AI, strange anthropology, virtual reality. Satire is prominent in several. One of the best, the opening (and longest) story is Greg Egan's "Mitochondrial Eve", a satire on the ultimate in race and gender prejudice. Fittingly enough, this work by one of the newer writers is followed by ].G. Ballard's "The Message from Mars", another satire on nationalism, the conquest of space, and the flightiness of public opinion. Most of the stories have a quirky kind of relationship with earlier stories in the same vein. Molly Brown's "Bad Timing" is a time travel story in which the traveler knows his time destination exactly but can't quite hit it despite numerous tries. David Garnett's "Offthe Track" is an alternate history tale of an English couple's visit to the American West years after the nuclear bombing of Hanoi had not only failed to stop the Vietnam war but had caused world wide destruction. In another alternate history, Kim Newman's "Slow News Day" describes the British celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of D Day and the successful German landings on the Channel beaches. In Ben ]eapes's "The Data Class", the rebel who refuses to give up is an AI who first uses Marx ism and then fascism in an attempt to lead Als in a revolt against humanity. The concluding story, Eugene Byrne's "Cyril the Cyberpig", satirizes the entertainment industry, national differences, artificial intelligence, and, again, the flightiness of public opinion. This collection reflects a high level of achievement in the short story form. The stories are for the most part well-written and entertaining, and the quirkiness noted above is often a thought-provoking and appropriate addition to the plot. If you don't already subscribe to Interzone, you might wish to do so after reading The Best. -Arthur O. Lewis Shelley, Mary (Jacob Weisman, Editor). The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short Stories of Mary Shelley. San Francisco, California: Tachyon Publications, 1996,58 + xviii pages, softcover, $10.00, no ISBN. The most interesting -though not the best -feature of this new collection of Mary Shelley's stories is the "narrative introduction" by Michael Bishop, "The Unexpected Visit of a Reanimated Englishwoman." As Bishop tells the story, he was SFRA RevielV #2291230, page 69


sitting in his office, trying to write an introduction to the volume, when suddenly Mary Shelley herself walked into the room, returned to the world by unexplained means. She and Bishop then carryon a polite conversation about the five stories in the collection and the themes that permeate her work, incorporating references to other authors and critics (who are listed at the end of the passage), until she announces that she must leave. If this all sounds rather strained and awkward, that is exactly how it reads; indeed, since this must be classified as fiction, it probably qualifies as the worst story the talented Bishop has ever published. Someday, a scholar searching for all of Bishop's uncollected fiction may search long and hard for this piece, and she will be gravely disappointed v\'hen she finds it. While there are several possible reasons why Bishop adapted this odd strategy, he is, perhaps unknowingly, making a point: that Shelley has not only attained the status of a major canonical author (like, say, William Faulkner), but she is also emerging as a vivid character, someone readers can relate to as a person (like, say, Ernest Hemingway). We all know her extraordinary story: she grew up without a mother; she was brieny swept into the enlightened circle of Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, John Polidori, and others, for whom she wrote her first and greatest novel, Frankenstein; she then experienced a series of personal tragedies as Percy Shelley, his first wife, Byron, her half-sister, and three of her four children all died; but she bravely persevered, continuing to work and earn a living as a writer until her death in 1851. We can envision her in portraits, dark hair pulled severely back, staring out at us with a combination of wary friendli ness and grim determination. And we have seen her por trayed in films like Bride or Frankenstein, Gothic, and Frankcnstcin Unbound. Feeling this sense of familiarity, Bishop may have thought it only natural to approach an analysis of Shelley's works by carrying on an imaginary conversation with her. Although there is nothing wrong with coming to see an author as a personality, it does create the danger of overemphasizing a biographical interpretation of her works. Bishop seems to succumb to this at one point when he tells Shelley that her recurring theme of "the reanimation of the dead" results from her "Subconscious wish-fulfillment fanta sies" (xl, implying that she wrote about the dead returning ,";FR:\ RCFiclI'#229/230, page 70


to life simply because she dreamed that her own dead family members and friends might do the same. Yet the two stories in this collection directly about this subject "Roger Dodsworth: The Reanimated Englishman" and "Valerius: The Reanimated Roman" -both explore quite clearly why returning to life in a strange future world may be less than desirable for all concerned. Indeed, contemporary people seeking to oppose cryonic preservation of human life could find materials for their argument in Shelley's portraits of her alienated survivors. Labeling such stories as "Subconscious wish-fulfillment fantasies" only serves to trivialize them; and while sympathizing with Shelley the sorrowful survivor, we must also acknowledge her as a profound and original thinker. The case for Shelley's greatness, however, would be better founded on her novels Frankenstein and The Last Alan than on the five stories in this slender volume. "Dodsworth" takes the form of an essay, not a fiction, and "Valerius" was unfinished and unpublished in her lifetime, suggesting that Shelley found it difficult to shape these ideas into effective narrative. "Transformation" and "The Dream" are most noteworthy because they offer the only happy endings in Shelley's supernatural fiction. In the former, a wastrel regains his status in life after he trades bodies with a misshapen dwarf who proceeds to repair all the damage done by his previous irresponsible behavior; in the latter, a woman who feels she cannot marry the man she loves because he was involved in her father's death is persuaded to marry him anyway after a dream of the man languishing in prison awakens her sympathy. In Shelley's world view, perhaps, only magic and dreaming can bring happiness, while science and rational thinking lead to tragedy. The one masterpiece in this collection, and the major reason to purchase this book, is the title story, "The Mortal Im mortal". In her story about a student of Cornelius Agrippa (also mentioned in Frankenstein), who accidentally drinks his master's elixir and becomes seemingly immortal, Shelley skillfully conveys the agony and loneliness of a man who lives on while his world dies, with an especially poignant section describing how the still-youthful man must observe the ag ing and death of his wife. Publishers seeking other ways to profit from the conveniently out-of-copyright Shelley might consider producing a volume containing the 1818 text of Frankenstein, The Last Man, and "The ]\Iortal Immortal" which SFRA Review#229!230, page 71


could be properly titled The Essential Mary Shelley. Until that appears, however, this inexpensive volume which brings that story back into print would be a reasonable investment for scholars and libraries. Gary Westfahl Stableford, Brian. Fables & Fantasies. West Warrick, Rhode Island: Necronomicon Press, 1996, 30 pages, softcover, $4.95, no ISBN. Those of you who are recently more familiar with Brian Stableford's work as a critic, scholar, and a major force within science fiction and fantasy will find this collection of ten short Fables & Fantasies, two them appearing for the first time, delightfully refreshing. Somewhat in the tradition of Poe or Lovecraft, Fables & Fantasies also resonates with themes developed by Harlan Ellison in his Deathbird Stories, which appeared in the early 1980s. But this handsomely packaged little pamphlet does not take itself in total seriousness. For example, "Three Versions of Fable", a reworking and interpretation of Oscar Wilde's fable "The Nightingale" from three different viewpoints, brought to mind the "Fractured Fairy Tales" feature of the Rocky & Bullwinkle television show of the late 1950s and early '60s. Stableford articulates his academic associations (his doctoral thesis was The Sociology of Science Fiction) with a bit of ambiguity in "The Annual Conference of the Prophets of Atlantis". One wonders if the conclusion of this tale is an exercise in wish fulfillment on the part of a science fiction author who finds himself trapped inside the protective walls of the ivory tower -perhaps Stableford has attended one too many academic conferences. Interestingly enough, ].R.R. Tolkien had his own Atlantis complex, as he called it; maybe it is a common thread in the works of a creative writer work ing within the confines of the academy. "The Shepherd's Daughter" was, for me, the most gripping and hopeless of the tales in the collection, told in its own voice and different from the other stories. It all seemed so predictable -but only after one finished it. I liked some of the tales better than others, but all are worth reading and rereading, because, after all, the tale is in the telling. I think it SFRA Review #229/230, page 72


would be great fun to share this collection with a group and read it out loud while passing it around in Bardic Circle fash ion. 1 leave the remaining seven tales to the reader, because I believe in leaving something to the imagination. Philip Kaveny White, James (Mark Olson and Bruce Pelz, Editors). The White Papers. Framingham, Massachusetts: NESFA Press, 1996,399 pages, hardcover, $25.00, ISBN 0-915368-71-4. Published for LACon III, this collection of short stories and essays honors White's appearance there as Guest of Honor. Like similar NESFA collections by Robert Bloch, Lee Hoffman, Bob Shaw, and Terry Carr, it also gives readers a chance to compare the writer's professional and amateur writing, the things done for a professional market and those done to share with other faaaans. In addition, readers are likely to be curious about the personal as well as professional life of someone prominent enough to be a Worldcon GoH, and this book gives a multi-faceted picture of White. In the ten stories that fill the first part of the book, the overall impression is of earnest niceness. If the prose is a bit bland and the characters flat, each story is readable and even enjoyable because it is so good-natured. A typical White character is interested in others, eases their distress by paying attention to them, and seriously exerts himself to solve their problems. The ghost story "House Sitter", published here for the first time, is based not on terror but on grief, which the hero compassionately soothes. The subject of "Custom Fit ting" looks extremely unpromising: the efforts of a tailor to design the formal suit a centaur-like alien will wear in its first ceremonial public appearance. Improbably, though, the story avoids farce and brings a gentle smile to the reader's face. The tailor is genuinely concerned not just with solving tech nical problems but with making his customer look good so that he (not "it") will be comfortable, and the alien genuinely appreciates the human's dedicated craftsmanship. Less benign characters, such as a stuffy diplomat in "Custom Fit ting" or a cynical newsman in "Sanctuary", sound somewhat less convincing, but they don't interfere with the others very much; all they really need is a good talking to. If this sounds a bit improbable, the premise of White's most famous cre-SFRA Review #229/230, page 73


ation, the vast Sector General space hospital, sounds downright absurd: How likely is it that any race would send desperately ill members off to be treated by alien physicians necessarily unfamiliar with details of the patients' physical makeup and without clues about the unknown disease that has baffled the doctors back home? Nevertheless, in each story, Dr. Conway and his non-human peers do effect a cure. They're smart, they respect each others' talents, and they really care about their patients. Reading White's stories in a stretch may not be a good idea, because their tone is so simi lar, but they're thoughtful and solid enough to be very satis fying, even comforting. The last portion of the book is taken up by White's fan writing, mostly from Walt Willis' fanzine Hyphen from the 1950s and '60s. Frankly, my first reaction to these pieces was embarrassment. What read so well in mimeo ink on green paper doesn't look as impressive in a printed and bound book. Expeditions across Ireland with visiting fans, epic battles with water pistols, heroic struggles to stay awake all night at conventions it seems a very small, ingrown world. And so it is, but it still matters in general human terms. Reading on, one realizes that it's a world built out of mutual respect. Fans, as White describes them, are essentially curious, bright, helpful yes, nice people. Irish Fandom, under the surface whimsy and slapstick, was a small miracle of lasting friendships, a talisman from the times when it did seem a proud and lonely thing to be a fan. One piece deserves special mention. I've always distrusted who proclaim that some one story is worth the price of a whole book; however, White's "The Exorcists of IF" is worth a great deal. In his essay in Science Fiction Fandom (199-1-), fan rich brown describes this story as the outstanding piece of modern fanfiction (a story that features fans as characters and deals with fannish concerns). "Exorcists" is set in contemporary Ireland, a society that violently discour ages friendships between people of different backgrounds. The surviving members of Irish Fandom have gone separate ways over the years, but they have been summoned to Walt Willis's former home by a real estate agent who hopes they can dispose of the unquiet spirits who still haunt it. What they discover and what they resolve is surprising, moving, and right. In some ways, this little non-commercial story is the most impressive piece in the book; though anyone can SFRA Revicl\ #2291230, page 7-1-


play games with ghosts and aliens, White does it rather better than most. "Exorcists", however, has to assert hope in the midst of Troubles caused by human pettiness. Nevertheless, here White proves that he has earned his faith that humans still are capable of caring for each other. NESFA intends to keep this book in print permanently. It deserves that honor. Genuine niceness matters a lot. Joe Sanders SFRA Review #2291230, page 75


Arte Publico Press, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun, Houston TX 77204 Borgo Press, PO Box 2845, San Bernardino CA 92406 (fax 909888-4942) Bowling Green University Press, Bowling Green OH 43403 Bud Plant Comic Art, PO Box 1689, Grass Valley, CA 95945-1689 Columbia College Chicago, Fiction Writing Department, 600 South Michigan Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller, Falls Village, CT 06031-5000 Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, c/o Associated Univer sity Presses, 440 Forsgate Dr, Cranbury NJ 08512 Greenwood Press, PO Box 5007, Westport CT 06881-5007 (1800-225-5800) Howlett-West, Stephanie, 1100 Sylvan #153, Modesto CA 95350 Indiana University Press, 601 N Morton St, Bloomington IN 47404 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 10 Industrial Avenue, Mahway NJ 07430-2262 t-.lcFarland, Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640 Necronomicon Press, PO Box 1304, West Warwick RI 02893 NESFA Press, PO Box 809, Framingham MA 01701 (add $2 shipping & handling) Peter Lang Publishing, 275 Seventh Ave, 28th Floor, New York NY 10001-6708 Routledge, 29 W 35th St, New York NY 10001-2299 Scarecrow Press, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham MD 20706 Syracuse University Press, 1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse NY 13244-5160 (315-443-5547) Tachyon Publications, 1459 18th St #139, San Francisco CA 94lO7 Twayne Publishers, Macmillan Publishing Company, 866 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022 University Press of Kentucky, 663 S. Limestone St, Lexington KY 40508-4008 S'FRA Review #2291230, page 76


Walter Albert is a retired teacher of French. He has contributed essays on illustrators and illustration to AOW4 and Fantasy Literature (1990), and is contributing to the upcoming volume on fantasy and horror, edited by Neil Barron. The second edition of his Detective and Mystery Fiction: An International Bibliography of Secondary Sources will be published this spring by Borgo Press. Neil Barron is the editor of the reader guides Anatomy of Wonder, Fantasy Literature, and Horror Literature. Dr. Janice M. Bogstad is an Associate Professor and Col lection Development Librarian at the McIntyre Library, Uni versity of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Wendy Bousfield is a reference librarian (English, linguistics, and Italian Bibliographer) at Bird Library, Syracuse Uni versity. She has written articles for reference books, including Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (Salem Press, 1996) and Guide to Reference Books, 11 th Edi tion (American Library Association, 1996). Besides science fiction, her interests include images of the disabled in literature, the Bible, vampires, and tales of terror. Joan Gordon teaches at Nassau Community College, and is currently the President of the SFRA. Terry Heller teaches in the English Department at Coe Col lege in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Veronica Hollinger teaches in the Cultural Studies Pro gram at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and is Co-Editor of Science-Fiction Studies. Philip Kaveny returned to graduate school after almost a 25-year absence and is working towards a doctorate in li brary and Information Studies dealing with the relationship between libraries and the Internet. He is also doing work in Medieval Studies, and has a score of published works of short fiction. Michael Klossner, of the Arkansas State Library, wrote the film/tv chapter for Neil Barron's Horror Literature, Fantasy SFRA Review #2291230, page 77


Literature and Anatomy of Wonder 4, and is working on the same chapter for Barron's upcoming Horror and Fantasy Literature. M. Daphne Kutzer is a Professor of English with at the State University of New York -Plattsburgh. She has an interest in children's literature and cultural studies. Michael M. Levy is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Stout where he teaches science fiction and children's literature. Arthur O. Lewis is Professor Emeritus, English, and Associate Dean Emeritus, College of the Liberal Arts, The Pennsyl vania State University. He is a former president of the SFRA (1977-78) and is Chair Emeritus, Steering Committee, Society for Utopian Studies. Sandra J. Lindow is a Reading Specialist at a residential institution for emotionally disturbed adolescents. She is a widely published poet and a seven-time nominee for the Rhysling Award for Fantasy and SF poetry. Thomas Morrissey is University Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the State University of New York Col lege of Arts and Sciences at Plattsburgh. He has published literary criticism as well as articles on pedagogy and writing program administration. He is a frequent presenter at the lArA annual conference. Joe Sanders is Immediate Past President of the SFRA. He teaches English at Lakeland Community College, Kirtland OH. Sherry Stoskopfteaches in the English Department at Minot State University, Minot, North Dakota. Agatha Taormina is a Professor of English at the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling, Virginia, where she occaSionally teaches a course in the literature of science fiction. She is most interested in time travel and in the function of archetypes in science fiction. Gary Westfahl. who teaches at the University of California at Riverside, recently served as a Consulting Editor to John Clute and John Grant's The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. SFIlv\ Rcvicl\' #229/230, page 78


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, booksellers, editors, publishers, archivists, and scholars in many disciplines. 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 an nual 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: Foundation. Discounted subscription rate for SFRA members. Three issues per year. British journal, with critical, historical, 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 #2291230, page 79


ANNUAL SFRA MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS Dues: Individuall Jointz Student3 Institution4 Emeritus5 U.S.A. $60 $70 $50 $80 $30 Canada $65 $75 $55 $80 $35 Overseas $70 $80 $60 $80 $40 I all standard listed benefits; 2two members in the same household receive two listings in the Directory and one set of journals; 3category may be used for a maximum of five years; 4all privileges of individual membership except voting; Sreceives 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 M. 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: [-mail: Home Phone: Work Phone: Fax: principal interests in fantastic literature are (limit to 30 words) (Repeat last year's entry ): .<..,TRA Review #2291230, page 80


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