SFRA newsletter

SFRA newsletter

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


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University of South Florida Library
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S67-00061-n169-1989-07_08 ( USFLDC DOI )
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The SFRA Newsletter Publislled ten times a year for Tile Science Fiction Researcll Association by Alan Newcomer, Hypatia Press, Eugene, Oregon. Copyright @ 1989 by the SFRA. E-Mail: COLLlNS@SERVAX.BITNET. Editorial correspondence: SFRA Newsletter, Englisll Dept., Florida Atlantic U, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (Tel. 407-367-3838). Editor: Rol)ert A. Collins; Associate Editor: Catherine Fischer; Review Editor.' Rol) Latham; Film Editor: Teel Krulik; Book News Editor: Martin A. Sclllleider; Editorial Assistant: Jeanette Lawson. Send changes of address to tile Secretary, enquiries concerning subscriptions to the Treasurer, listed below. SFRA Executive Committee President Elizabeth Anne Hull Liberal Arts Division William Rahley Harper College Palatine, Illinois 60067 Vice-President Neil Barron 1149 Lime Place Vista, California 92083 Secretary David G. Mead English Department Corpus Christi State University Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 Treasurer Tilomas J. Remington English Department University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614 Immediate Past President William H. Harclesty Englisll Department Miami University Oxford, Ohio 45056 Past Presidents of SFRA Tilomas D. Clareson (1970-76) Arthur O. Lewis, Jr. (1977-78) Joe De Bolt (19.79-80) James Gunn (1981-82) Patricia S. Warrick (1983-84) Donalel M. Hassler (1985-86) Past Editors of the Newsletter Fred Lerner (1971-74) Beverly Friend (1974-78) Roald Tweet (1978-81) Elizabeth Anne Hull (1981-84) Richard W. Miller (1984-87) Pilgrim Award Winners J. O. Bailey (1970) Marjorie Hope Nicolson (1971) Julius Kagarlitski (1972) Jack Williamson (1973) I. F. Clarke (1974) Damon Knight (1975) James Gunn (1976) Thomas D. Clareson (1977) Brian W. Aldiss (1978) Darko Suvin (1979) Peter Nicholls (1980) Sam Moskowitz (1981) Neil Barron (1982) H. Bruce Franklin (1983) Everett Bleiler (1984) Samuel R. Delany (1985) George Slusser (1986) Gary K. Wolfe (1987) Joanna Russ (1988) Ursula K. Le Guin (1989)


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 President's Message So, What Else Is New? Since the rest of the Newsletter this month is filled with news about the Annual Meeting in Oxford, I've decided to devote my column to a report about another organization that some of you may be interested in. The independent Republic of San Marino was the site for both the Eurocon and the World SF Annual Meeting 17 20 May 1989. Dominated by beautiful fairy-tale castles, San Marino seemed the perfect locale for a convention devoted to the fantastic. As Fred and I overnighted at Rimini on our way from Milan, we were already greeted by appropriately illustrated posters on the streets advertising the event. Fortunately, in Rimini we ran into Adam Hollanek and Jacek Rodek from Poland and rode up on the bus to San Marino with them, and thus had their help on arrival to carry our bags from the bus station to the taxi rank (up a long flight of stairs). Others had similar tales to tell of their difficulties on arrival; we could understand how San Marino managed to defend its sovereignty over the years. But difficulties with logistics soon faded into perspective as we made contact with old friends and enjoyed various restaurants specializing in veal, fish, and pasta. Eurocon and World SF Meetings Eurocon finally opened Thursday afternoon about an hour late, according to the schedule, with a welcome from organizer Dr. Adolfo Morganti, and a speech from toastmaster Ernesto Vegetti, with remarks from Ion Hobana of Romania and Frederik Pohl (speaking for World SF in lieu of its President, Norman Spinrad, who arrived later). Friday morning World SF got down to its business providing a forum for communication among the 42 delegates from 19 countries who officially registered. At least three more countries were repre sented by professionals at the Eurocon. There were formal or informal national reports on SF/F publishing and other events of relevance to the field from Japan (Takumi Shibano), the UK (Brian Aldiss), the U.S.A. (Robert Silverberg), Poland (Wiktor Bukato), China (Yang Xiao), Yugoslavia (Darije Kjokich), East Germany (Heiner Rank), Canada (Judith Merril) the Netherlands (Annemarie van Ewyck), the U.S.S.R. (Eremei Parnov), Italy (Piergiorgio Nicolazzini), France (Norman Spin rad), Sweden and Denmark (Sam Lundwall), Romania (Ion Hobana), 3


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 and Finland (Pekka Supinen). Elizabeth Anne Hull gave an academic report on SF/F teaching and research. Many countries are suffering from inflation and/or recession, with Inevitable economic impact on the publishing industry. English-lan guage translations continue to dominate around the world, squeezing out possibilities for translation of SF originating in most other lan guages, even sometimes depressing the market for native-language SF in several countries. Fantasy and horror comprise a growing share of the markets in most areas. Another widespread global phenomenon is the growth of sequels, series, and shared worlds, which makes It harder to publish "single" novels not planned as a launching pad for another book. The British report sparked a lively discussion of the international response generated by the publication of The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. World SF unanimously passed two resolutions: 1.) World SF condemns murder (or any use of physical force) as a form of literary criticism; and 2.) World SF regards aff pOlitical and religious censorship as unhealthy. World SF in Poland, Yugoslavia, China ... Three countries bid for the honor of hosting World SF in 1991. Both Yugoslavia and Poland proposed to hold World SF in conjunction with the 1991 Eurocon, for which they were competing. The Eurocon committee settled that question by awarding their convention to Poland in 1991 and to Yugoslavia in 1992. At that point Yugoslavia agreed to defer their World SF bid to 1992. This proposal will be considered (along with any others that arise) at the 1990 meeting, to be held at The Hague in conjunction with the World Science Fiction Society Convention. Meanwhile, China made a pitch for a World SF meeting in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in the People's Republic of China. China has been extending invitations to World SF for several years. Their bid was supported by several Europeans as well as virtually all the non Europeans. The most compelling arguments made were that World SF has never had a meeting in Asia, which comprises a large part of the world's population and a significant part of SF publication. After much debate, China was given provisional approval, pending details to be worked out by the President in the next six months, with Poland as a fall-back. All this occurred, of course, prior to the massacre in Beijing Continued on Page 55 4


No. 169, July/August 1989 SFRA 20: Conference Report Text by Rob Latham Pictures by Elizabeth Anne Hull The Twentieth Annual Conference of the Science Fiction Research Association, held at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio on the weekend of June 22 -25, was the first I had attended. Given the high quality of the various presentations and the atmosphere of warm collegiality, it certainly won't be the last. Well-organized by past president Bill Hardesty, the conference was gifted with bright skies and the brilliant contributions of the attending authors and scholars. Paper sessions featured exceptional and often challenging work, and stimulated enthusiastic discussions. The panels, author readings, and other special sessions were well-con ceived and well-attended. And the accomodations the elegant aPPointments of the Miami Inn, the spacious meeting rooms of the Marcum Conference Center, and the intimate surround of the gor geous Oxford campus, with its stately red brick buildings and leafy greens were first-rate. Plenary Session Thursday evening featured a plenary session devoted to the topic "Science Fiction: The Last Twenty Years, the Next Twenty Years." Moderated by Peter Hall of Miami University, a panel of SF authors Lois McMaster Bujold, Alexei Panshin, and Mike Resnick offered their sometimes barbed thoughts to a frequently feisty audience. The discussion quickly devolved into a debate between Resnick, a smooth professional who spoke of SF frankly as a marketplace and of his own work as product, and Panshin, an avid fan who insisted there had to be more to the genre than mere commerce -a spirit of intellectual adventure, of expanding horizons. Meanwhile, Lois Bujold who, as this year's Nebula winner for best novelist, might be expected to have much to offer on the topic of SF's present and future struggled to get a word in edgewise. (Happily, though, for those eager to hear this author's thoughts, Saturday featured a special-session "open conver sation" between Bujold and J.w. Campbell-Award winner Joan 5


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Slonczewski, moderated by Martha Bartter.) With input from the floor including Fred Pohl's historical expertise and Thom Dunn's bolel suggestion that SF's adventurousness had now been co-opted by avant garde comics like Alan Moore's Watchmen, this plenary session was a blast. Indeed, the debate was still going big guns when I had to slip out to attend. in newsletter editor Bob Collins' place, the Executive Committee Meeting (minutes from which can be found elsewhere in this issue). Friday's Sessions Paper sessions began Friday morning, bright and early at 8:30 AM. The session I attended featured excellent papers by Joan Gordon (on Gene Wolfe) and Joe Sanders (on the criticism of Damon Knigtlt and Sam Moscowitz). Session Chair Mack Hassler also read an extraordi nary paper, detailing the appearance of eighteenth century "Georgic" tllemes in Samuel Delany's Dhalgren, tllat ranks among the best critical treatments of this difficult novel I have seen: it ought to be and probably will be -published. (It is impossible, in this brief report, to mention every paper I heard over the weekend, much less the many I didn't; but I can say that, in general, the papers I did hear offered fine, sometimes ground breaking, discussions. Many no doubt will find their ways into Extrapolation, Science-Fiction Studies, and other journals and pUblications.) 10: 15 AM saw the first of several interesting and entertaining special TOM CLARESON and FRED POHL discuss the impact of academe. 6


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 A. { PLENARY SESSION featured panel discussion among, left to right, Mike Resnick, Alexei Panshin, Lois McMaster Bujold, with Peter Hall as moderator. sessions: a dialogue between Fred Pohl and Tom Clareson. Pohl reminisced about Ilis days as an SF editor, offering fascinating glimpses of Robert Silverberg at the dawn of his career and E.E. "Doc" Smith at the close. Prompted by Clareson's query of how academic interest in SF has impacted the genre, Pohl spoke of his own transfor mation as a writer, moving from the witty satirical works of the 50's to the more mature, sophisticated treatments (of character as well as idea) of the 70's and 80's. The dialogue was wide-ranging and absorb ing, providing insight into one of the most diverse and productive careers in SF history. Of Panshin and Panels, Neil Barron and Batman Following lunch, members gathered for the afternoon sessions, which began at 1 :30 with a talk by Alexei Panshin, at which the author expanded on the vision of SF he had adumbrated the night before. Panshin argued convincingly for the conclusion that SF, through most of its modern history, has provided a mythic frame for the experience of an advancing technological society. Panshin's entlluslasm for the genre was obvious, making his reservations about the current state of SF where film novelizations and other media crossovers crowd ambitious work off the bestseller lists and bookstore shelves -all the more sobering. Panshin, whose writing career has been diverted of 7


SFRA Newsletter, No, 169, July/August 1989 late into historical and critical studies. also announced the publication of a new book on modern SF. called The Place Beyond the Hill, forthcoming from J,P Tarcher's Among the afternoon sessions was a panel on book reviewing, chaired by Neil Barron, at which Russ Letson and Joe Sanders spoke about reviewing for fan and professional publications, and (taking Bob Collins' place again) I discussed reviewing for this newsletter and for the Science Fiction ancf Fantasy Bool< Review Annual. published by Meckler, Barron began by offering a synoptic perspective of the cur rent state of SF publishing and review ing. Wllich led to more specific remarks. like Sanders' poignant (and not a little bitter) complaints about the procrustean worel limits enforced on reviewers of SF by general-circulation newspapers, I spoke about Illy own editorial policies. and provided statistics on the last two years of this newsletter's review section (some of which appear in Bob Collins' LOIS MCMASTER BUJOLD reading for fans. editorial in the June issue), There was. as usual. much perspicuous comment from the floor, The long day wrapped up with after-elinner readings by authors Bujold, Panshin, Resnick and Slonczewski. all of whom read engag ingly from works in pl'ogress, Peter Hall suggEsted mounting a raid on the movie Batman, which had just premiered in town. harnessing Steve Carper, Judith Kerman, and me in an enterprise that proved ultimately fruitless due to the horde of undergraduates that had long since swarmed the theater, We returned to join the nighthawks haunting the downstairs bar in the Miami Inn until ungodly hours, indulging in happy chat about cyberpunks and postmodernists and other midnight topics, 8


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 PAPER SESSION includes Paul Frazier, Judith Kerman, and Steve Carper. Saturday's Sessions Saturday morning began with a slate of paper sessions followed, at 10: 15, by a well-attended special session devoted to "SFRA and SF Journals," presided over by President Betty Hull. This session was designed to present and discuss VicePresident Neil Barron's proposal of a flexible membership benefits package. Extrapolation was represented on the panel by its co-editor Mack Hassler; Charles Elkins, representing Science-Fiction Studies, read a letter from co-editor Robert Philmus. Philmus argued that Barron's proposal would change the institu tional identity of SFRA, breaking its intimate association with the two journals which give it a scholarly presence in the academy, a point with which Hassler generally agreed. In response. Barron urged members to entertain a broader conception of criticism than that purveyed by academic journals, arguing that by offering sLich publications as Thrust and The New York Review of Science Fiction, the SFRA might attract new members. A very frank general discussion followed, the consen sus holding that the SFRA should continue its association with the two scholarly journals. Even those who expressed reservations about S-F Studies and Extrapolation agreed that they were important sources of critical material on SF, as well as being significant venues for publica tion. (The further discLlssion and vote at Sunday's business meeting bore out this consensLis.) Among the afternoon paper sessions was one devoted to 9


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 .. AWARDS banquet: Joan Gordon (center) presents Pilgrim Award as Presi dent Betty Hull (left) and Conference Director Bill Hardesty listen. "Feminism in/and SF/SFRA." chaired by Joan Gordon. Following the provocative papers of Patrick Murphy, Jane Donawerth and Veronica Hollinger. and the lively discussion they stimulatecl. Gordon and Mur phy presided over a caucus on feminism in SF and the SFRA, The Pilgrim Trophy 10 pur'pose of the caucus was to or-ganize a forum (called, by general consent, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Feminist Forum) designed to provide a support network for scholars in terestecl in feminism in/and speculative fiction. The Forulll plans to disseminate. via a newsletter, information about books and events (special ses sions of academic conferences, for example) of interest to its members. Those seeking infor mation on the newsletter (or who wish to volunteer their editorial services) should write to Patrick Murphy. English Department. In diana University of Pennsylvania. Indiana. PA 15705, Dues are $5 and should be sent to JOclil Gor don. 1 Tulip Lane, Commack, NY 11725,


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Pilgrim Banquet At 6:30 PM, everybody gathered for the Pilgrim Award Banquet. Following an excellent dinner, conference director Bill Hardesty took the podium to introduce President Betty Hull, who immediately sur rendered the platform to her husband Fred Pohl for a special presen tation. Pohl then announced that World SF, an international organiza tion of which he has long been a prominent member, had given a special award "for independence of thought in SF" to Vice-President Neil Barron, for the excellent coverage of international science fiction included in the third edition of his Anatomy of Wonder. Accepting the handsome blue lucite plaque from Pol1l, Barron declared his intention LIZ CUMMINS (left) accepts Pilgrim on behalf of Ursula K. Le Guin. to update his reference work every five years although, he said, his publisher might decide to curtail the coverage of foreign SF in future editions. Joan Gordon, representing the Pilgrim Committee, then took the podium to announce the winner of tile 1989 Pilgrim Award. Her presentation speech, which was prepared by Veronica Hollinger, is included in these pages, as is the brilliant and charming speech of acceptance of Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin's speech, which was read by Liz Cummins, was received with rapt attention and avid applause. Following it, President Hull announced tl1at she had spoken with Le 11


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Guin, who had expressed not only deep regret at not being able to attend the conference but also an interest in possibly attending the 1990 meeting, "closer to home" in Longbeach, California. (More infor mation on next year's conference, which will be hosted by Peter and Christine Lowentrout, appears elsewhere in this issue.) Following the banquet, members who had placed bids on the scholarly works on display in Neil Barron's marvelous book exhibit gathered to haggle and claim their spoils (I personally forked over seventy bucks). Then everyone repaired to a latenight party in another of the Marcum Center's apparently endless supply of gigantic rooms this one equipped with a pool table, at which Peter Hall bested me twice. Later, back in the Miami Inn, the party continued, in and out of doors, until the last straggler stumbled off to bed. See You in Long Beach! Those earlier to bed were able to avail themselves, first thing Sunday morning, of a nature hike led by Rich Erlich and Carol Stevens. Then, at 8:30, came the business meeting (minutes from which are included in this issue). And then conferees began to make their departures. They left knowing that the SFRA had managed to weather a difficult period in its history and emerge strong and successful. Under the new executive committee, the membership decline was halted and reversed, with the total now back above 300 and climbing. Financial problems were overcome through the discovery of a new publisher for the newsletter willing to produce that journal almost at cost. The newsletter itself was expanded, under Bob Collins' editorship, into a major publication in the field. The scholarly identity of SFRA was reaffirmed in the continued commitment to Extrapolation and S-F Studies. And, in its Twentieth Annual Conference, the SFRA provided another showcase for exciting critical work, as well as an opportunity to make new friends (and catch up with old ones). I had a great time, and I look forward to seeing many of you next year at Long Beach for number XXI. -Rob Latham 12


SFRA Newsletter, No 169, July/August 1989 Science Fiction Research Association XXI Annual Conference Long Beach, California June 28 I. 1990 The venue for the 1990 SFRA conference will be the Hyatt Edgewater Hotel In Long Beach, California. Located in the picturesque Long Beach Marina, the hotel is less than five minutes walk from dozens of restaurants and shops, two movie theaters (with fourteen screens), one of the best (and least utilized) beaches in Southern California, and the longest sportfishing pier on the West coast. Through Supershuttle, the hotel Is inexpensively connected to the whole of the Southern California region. Conference trips to choice aerospace facilities in the area are currently being arranged. Conference Fees'and Costs The Hyatt Edgewater Hotel has offered us rates of $68 per day, single or double. The Hyatt has also offered to extend those rates for those who would like to stay on after the conference. These rates are exceptionally reasonable for this area, especially as we are coming to Long Beach in the prime summer season. The Conference fee will be $80 (postmarked by June 14th), and Includes the cost of the Pilgrim Award Banquet, conference trips, the nightly hospitality suite, and other conference events to be announced. The registration fee after June 14th will be $85. Please help us plan accurately by registering early. Act Now! We will keep you abreast of the program as it takes shape. It already promises to be exceptionally rich, and it will likely fill early. We en courage those who want to participate in the program, especially those who must participate to get their travel funded, to contact us as early as possible with paper, session, or panel ideas. Send proposals to us at 1017 Seal Way, Seal Beach, CA 90740. Don't miss out on SFRA's Coming of Age party in Long Beach! Christine and Peter Lowentrout, Conference Directors 13


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Pilgrim Presentation Speech Protean Pilgrim Maps Frontiers 01 Narration Prepared by Veronica Hollinger Delivered by Joan Gordon The existence of the Science Fiction Research Association is one relatively rare instance of the breaking down of a time-honored opposition between "high" and "low" culture. As a professional as sociation dedicated to the critical enjoyment of science fiction. SFRA has for two decades maintained its interests in both academic studies and popular fictions; we thus manage to have our cake and eat it. too, a contemporary (we might even say post modern) approach to areas more commonly perceived as irreconcilably opposed. It is a distin guishing feature of our meetings. as well. to invite participation by the writers of science fiction as well as its critics. another instance of the replacement of "either/or" by "both/and." For this reason, It is a real pleasure for the members of the Award Committee to offer the 1989 Pilgrim Award to someone who has for many years been active in the overcoming of various conventionally opposed positions: between ethics and politics; between the intellect and the imagination; and. especially noteworthy in the present context, between the role of the writer and the role of the critic. Our winner this year is one of an Impressive group of contemporary writer-critics which includes the likes of Stanislaw Lem. Brian Aldiss, the late James Blish, Joanna Russ, Samuel R. Delany. and Damon Knight. As a "creative" writer, she has produced novels and stories of the highest calibre, evidenced at least in part by the number of major awards conferred on her writing over the last two decades. These include the Hugo, Nebula, Gandalf, Kafka. and National Book Awards. as well as a Boston Globe-Hornbook Award and a Prix Lectures-Jeunesses. As a "critical" writer, she has produced numerous commentaries on her own work, the work of other writers (both mainstream and fantastic), and on SF and fantasy literature in general. These have appeared in publications ranging from Foundation to Science-Fiction Studies. from The New Republic to Galaxy. from Critical Inquiry to The Yale Review -nor Is this list by any means complete. Her most recent major publication is also the latest collection of her non-fiction writing. a "carrierbag" of essays, reviews, and talks which covers over ten years of prolific activity as reviewer, critic, theorist. feminist, and traveller, appropriately 14


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 entitled Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. As most of you realize by now, this year's Pilgrim Award winner is Ursula K. Le Guin. If the criterion for the Pilgrim Award is that the winner be someone who has changed the way we read SF and fantasy, then Le Guin would qualify if only for the essays in her previous collection of non-fiction, The Language of the Night (1979), which includes pivotal pieces such as "A Citizen of Mondath," "Myth and Archetype in Science Fiction," "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie," and "Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown." The Language of the Night taught many of us to re-examine the ways language, character, point of view, and philosophy interact with the creation of imaginary worlds. Le Guin has also worked to raise the level of reading, teaching, and writing of science fiction through public addresses and workshops ranging from the Goteborg Book Fair to the First Australian Workshop in Speculative Fiction. Recently, she has been establishing links from fiction to other art forms, creating new audiences for and new forms of interaction with speculative fiction. These links include collaborations with composers, artists, and choreographers. An ongoing project combining Le Guin's texts with music by Elinor Armer is called Uses of Music in Uttermost Parts, sections of which have been performed in San Francisco and Seattle. Dance pieces inspired by the culture portrayed in Always Coming Home were performed in 1988 by the Portland State Dance Company, and a forthcoming book joins texts from the same novel with photographs by Alan Nicholson and Ernest Waugh. Other Le Guin experiments include a published film script, a libretto for a science fiction opera recorded In 1983, and a set of poem/performances for voice and electronic recording. These, like her fictions and her essays, represent explorations of the limits and capacities of narration. The "carrier-bag" metaphor is one Le Guin introduces in her essay, "The Carrier-Bag Theory of Fiction," and it provides a particularly apt indication of the wonderfully diverse pleasures to be found in Dancing at the Edge of the World, which is both a self-aware writer's examina tion of her own creative processes and the nature and potential of the genre she has chosen to call her own, and a woman writer's explora tion of what it means to write as a gendered subject, as a woman. In her introduction to The Language of the Night, Susan Wood wrote that "these essays are critical in the most creative sense. They work from practical experience to formulate theories: they use those theories to suggest the potential that individual works, and the genre as a whole, can reach. They are 'critical' in the sense of making judgments when writers ignore the possibilities open to them in favor 15


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 of easy formulas." Dancing at the Edge of the World is an impressive continuation to this Important critical project. Rather than continue this presentation in my own words, therefore, I would like at this point to turn to some of the thoughts offered by Ursula K. Le Guin In Dancing at the Edge of the World. On Utopia: I don't think we're ever going to get to utopia again by going forward, but only roundabout or sideways; because we're In a rational dilemma, an either/or situation as perceived by the binary computer mentality, and neither the either nor the or Is a place where people can live .... I am offered the Grand Inquisitor's choice. Will you choose freedom without happiness, or happiness without freedom? The only answer one can make, I think, Is: No. On SF futures: The future Is not mere space. This Is where I part company with a whole variety of science fiction, the Imperialistic kind. as seen In all the Space Wars and Star Wars novels and films and the whole branch of sf that reduces technology to high-tech. In such fictions, space and the future are synonymous: they are a place we are going to get to, Invade, colonize, exploit, and suburbanlze. On narrative: One relationship among elements In the novel may well be that of conflict, but the reduction of narrative to conflict Is absurd. (I have read a how-to-wrlte manual that said, "A story should be seen as a battle," and went on about strategies, attacks, victory, etc.) Conflict, competition, stress, struggle, etc., within the narrative conceived as carrier bag/belly/box/medlclne bundle, may be seen as necessary elements of a whole which Itself cannot be characterized either as conflict or as harmony, since Its purpose Is neither resolution nor stasis but continuing process. On the politics of writing: Since the belief In a privileged view of reality Is no longer tenable outside privileged circles, and often not even within them, fiction written from such lin assumption will make sense only to a decreasing, and Increasingly reactionary, lIudlence .... The choice, then, would seem to be between col lusion and subversion: but there's no use pretending that you can get away without making the choice. Not to choose, these days, Is a choice made. All fiction has ethical, political, and social weight, and sometimes the words that weigh the heaviest are those apparently fluffy or escapist fictions whose authors declare themselves "above politics," "Just entertainers," and so on. On the responsibility of the science fiction writer: At present It seems that many people are allowing market control over sf to dominate other options and values, and correspondingly the feeling of community among sf people seems rather weaker than It was. But whether we choose to write for a market, for the critics, for love, for fans, for survival, or for all of that or none of that or a mixture, I don't see how anybody can be blamed or praised or held responsible for our words but ourselves. It is our very great pleasure to award the 1989 Pilgrim to Ursula K. LeGuin. 1989 Pilgrim Award Committee 16


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Pilgrim Acceptance Speech Spike the Canon by Ursula K. Le Guin "I think the teaching of literature in the universities perpetuates a false ranking, a pernicious hierarchy of values." I wish I could be with you to receive and thank you for this award, which puts me in such good company with all the people who have been Pilgrims before me, and all the crew of SFRA who (as It were) built and supplied and sail the Mayflower. May our voyage continue to prosper, and may we have thanksgivings together on many New Worlds In the future! A short talk is traditional on this occasion, and since I could not come to bore you in person, please consider Liz Cummins as being obliged to read you a letter from your Mad Great-Aunt Ursula in Oregon. Thus: My Dear Nieces and Nephews: I wonder If It seems to you, as it does to me, that lately in s.f. journals and courses we have plenty of studies of individual books and authors, but less general discussion than we used to have ten or fifteen years ago discussion about what s.f. is and does, or of the difference between what It is and how it is perceived, or of the status of s.f. as a subject in academe or as a genre or mode of fiction. I see descriptions of many trees, but not many maps of the forest. Feminist literary theory has both clarified and complicated my own understanding of what "genre" is (though nothing will ever make it a word one can really pronounce comfortably in English). I was brought up of course to believe that the Canon of English Literature what they taught in English courses was the best fiction and poetry in our language. Uppity women have Induced me to see that Canon as a selection from the best -a group of works passed through a filter designed to admit only certain kinds of writing by certain kinds of writer, and to exclude the rest as inferior, minor, secondary, of political Interest, of historical interest, of interest to women, for children, or 17


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 otherwise qualified. Here then in the curricular flask we have the distillate, the Great Tradition, the pure quintessence; and over there somewhere in a lot of little bottles and old Mason Jars is all the other stuff, including all genre fiction. Those who use the canonical filter maintain that it is an aesthetic Sketch by Margaret Chodos "As' understand it, the s. f. teacher and critic has two general options or directions. One Is to accept and foster s.f. as a genre --to teach separate courses In s. f. and defend Its unique virtues. To do so Is to admit the damInance of the exclusionary canon, either as an aesthetic fact or as force majeure. The other option Is to refuse to genrlfy, and to try to spike the canon. one, that it ranks ar tistic merit. Those of us who have stopped using It did so because we con sider it to be less aesthetic than politi cal. and do not like its politics. I first thought about this issue of genrification not as a woman writer but as a writer of science fiction, fantasy, children's books, and young adult books four fictional modes categorized by both publishers and academics as genres, and thereby, by the simple designa tion, excluded from serious criticism and consideration as literature. (Yes, there are exceptions; there are always excep tions: there are battered husbands; there is Jane Austen; there is Alice in Wonderland; a critic here and there includes Tolkien among the "major writers." I am happy to discuss exceptions as long as they are not being dragged in as red herrings to lead us away from the fact that, as 95% of battered spouses 18


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 are women, 95% of canonical authors are white men writing realism for adults.) Having been myself so thoroughly genrified, I was quite ready to accept the feminist perception of the construction of Literature as essentially political, an issue of power and control. The exclusion of women from the literary canon is an aspect of the exclusion of women from public authority and power; one need hardly inquire to whose advantage. But what about the genres, such as kiddilit or s.f.? Who profits, whose power and control is reinforced, when they are excluded or trivialized? There are people in the s.f. community with a ready answer to that question. The Literary Establishment! they say. The Mainstream! they say. The damned elitist snobs (some of them say) who write for the damned elitist New Yorker and the fancy quarterlies and get reviewed in the damned elitist New York Times Book Review and the fancy quarterlies and eat quiche. While us good ole boys and gals write good ole honest entertainment and compete for the good ole honest fans' beer money, so get off our backs with that fancy litterchoor shit cuz we just work in the baloney factory and we're damned proud of it. I can't buy all that, and not only because I've worked in the quiche factory on and off. I can't buy it because I see absolutely no opposition between art and entertainment; and I can't see science fiction as a brave little hero (with some half-million-dollar advances in his slingshot) up against a giant bully Mainstream, defending Yaddo, I suppose. If the mainstream definably exists, then I think it is itself a genre; one among many ways of writing fiction one of the many modes I myself work in. What's important to me is not setting up these polarities and rivalries, but getting free of them. I want us to be unquestionably free to work without penalty in any mode or genre of fiction we want. and to cross from one to another, and to crossbreed them, too. I believe that a lively literature is nourished not by purity but by promiscuity. Categorization and the ranking of classes in a hierarchy is a useful and necessary intellectual activity, in its place. Misused, it serves not understanding, but authority. I want to say -very carefully, because I love the idea of the university and of universal education, the bedrock of political freedom I want to say that I think the teaching of literature in the universities perpetuates a false ranking, a pernicious hierarchy of values. Fifteen years ago I believed things were changing fast. and talked about the walls falling, the ghettoes opening, the streams mingling. I thought the English departments were ready to accept the full wealth 19


SFRA Newsfetter, No. 169, Jufy/August 1989 and diversity of modern literature; I thought the defensive territorlalism of the Canoneers was weakening, so that research and teaching in the so-called genres wouldn't keep meeting resistance or being shoved off Into sidelines and backwaters. How naive was I? There has certainly been some advance or at least consolidation, and I should like to know from you who do the research and teaching whether, and how much, you think we have gained. It seems to me that s.f. studies have not been integrated into literature any more than women's studies have, or black studies: they all remain exceptions, marginalized, gemified. If I am wrong in this I will truly welcome hearing so! I may be wrong in laying so much responsibility at the academic door; but then I consider academics to be particularly responsible people. Writers are responsible for what they write, publishers for what they print and sell, editors and critics for what gets reviewed and how, and the judges and juries are responsible for who gets the grants and "What's Important to me Is not setting up polarities and rivalries, but getting free of them. I want us to be unques tionably free to work without penalty In any mode or genre we want, and to cross from one to another, and to cross breed them, too. I believe a lively literature Is nourished not by purity but by promiscuity. awards that are now so enormously important to scholars. But all these people were trained in the schools and universities. Literary judgment is formed in the schools; the curriculum is what continues to be read, and therefore forms the standard against which all works are judged. The politics of the curriculum is central. As I understand it, the s.f. teacher and critic has two general options or directions. One is to accept and foster s.f. as a genre to teach separate courses in s.f. and defend its unique virtues. To do so is to admit the dominance of the exclusionary canon, either as an aesthetic fact or as force majeure. The other option is to refuse to genrify, and to try to spike the canon. This is done by accepting only appropriate aesthetic criteria in choosing what is to be taught, while refusing the agenda which distorts artistic values in order to support certain vested interests; or by identifying the vested interests as such and using other criteria equally but differently political to choose and to judge literature by. The pure aesthetic criterion is quixotic, and the alternate political criterion is difficult, because it challenges the defenders of the canon directly. 20


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 I was very pleased to find a brother of mine, who has mostly dwelt on the misty moors of British Romanticism and in the scary Badlands of Native American writing, come and make himself at home this year in s.f. criticism. I hope there will be many more such crossovers. I hope they will take place out of, as well as into, s.f. studies comparisons, studies of influence, demystifications of genre, and some useful defini tions. (Somebody has got to do some serious thinking about fantasy some informed thinking so that fakes like Todorov don't keep clogging up the scene!) I hope that obstinate genre-busting and large-scale, radical questioning will begin to have a good effect. not perhaps on minds that closed down years ago, but on the younger minds, among whom, after all, lurk the future chairpersons and mem bers of Curriculum Committees, as well as the editors, publishers, librarians, critics, readers, and writers of books. So, my dear and courageous nieces and nephews, I close with the hope that you will be dismayed neither by the Giant Mainstream, nor by the ogre Grantless Project in the Slough of Disapprobation, but will slog cheerily on, singing with me our song: Then Fancies flee away! I'll fear not what men say, I'll labour night and day To be a Pilgrim! Your loving and grateful Auntie, -Ursula Cyberpunk Conference "Cyberpunk: Fiction Approaching the Year 2000," a conference co-sponsored by Leeds University and the University of California (Riverside), was held on the Leeds campus June 28 July 1, 1989. Local co-ordlnators Tom Shippey and John Christie (a/k/a "Go-Cap tain" and "Stop-Captain") mixed an intensive program of talks with ample after-hours opportunities to sample the brew at local pubs and generally confabulate about the probable future of SF. The quality of papers was generally agreed to be outstanding, and a publisher is being sought. Participating writers included Lewis Shiner, Greg Bear, 21


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Gregory Benford, and Harry Harrison; participating editors Included Edward James of Foundation and Lee Montgomerle of Interzone. Scholars presenting papers Included Istvan Cslcsery-Ronay, Carol McGuirk, Paul Alkon, Rob Donahoo, Tom Shippey, George Slusser, Alistair Spark, Brooks Landon, Ruth Curl, Lance Olsen. John Christie, John Huntington, Eric Rabkin. and David Porush. Many of the papers concentrated on Neuromancer, and consensus assigned a very high value to Gibson's work. There was less discussion (at least during the formal sessions) of the probable future of the Movement as a whole. It was a delight to see such interesting work being done on SF of the 80s and (for this participant, anyway) a relief that the SF community's relationship to cyberpunk Is moving beyond the denial and anger stages to compromise and acceptance. Carol McGuirk Campbell & Sturgeon Awards The Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas presented awards for the best SF works of 1988 at the annual Campbell Award Conference, held on the KU campus July 22-23. Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net (Morrow) won the 16th John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel of the year, and George Alec Effinger's "Schrodlnger's Kitten" won the third Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best work of short fiction. Runners-up for the novel prize were Kim Stanley Robinson's The Gold Coast (Tor) and Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsdawn (Del Rey), while Howard Waldrop's "Do Va, Do Ya Wanna Dance" and Neal Barrett Jr.s "Stairs" placed second and third, respectively, In the short fiction category. James Gunn, KU professor and director of the Center, chaired the International commltee of teachers and writers who chose the Campbell Award winner; the Sturgeon Award winner was decided by a committee chaired by Orson Scott Card and composed of con tributors to Short Form (a critical journal for short SF and fantasy). some SF writers of the Nebula Jury. and the short-story critic from Locus magazine. The awards are original trophies crafted by KU sculptor Elden C. Tefft. -James Gunn 22


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 by Neil Barron My book display and sale at the June conference was a great success, and so I am pleased to announce that it will be a feature at next year's meeting also. In fact, I plan to have a gala exhibit in Long Beach -a book display with a special emphasis on the "Highlights of SF Scholarship, 1930s-1980s." Pete Lowentrout tells me that there will likely be a dealer's area next year as well, with a selection of new and used fiction. So the 21 st SFRA Conference should be a utopia for bibliophiles. Books for Sale A number of excellent titles remain from the last book sale. I'd like to offer them now to the general membership. List price in U.S. $ (rounded to the nearest dollar) follows year of publication. My price is shown in bold face. Books are 1988 hardcover editions unless other wise noted. Cash or check accepted. Canadian dollar price is 30% higher. Make all checks payable to Neil Barron, 1149 Lime Place, Vista, CA 92083, #619-726-3238 (call 7 A.M. Pacific time weekdays, or later on weekends). (jeneml Reference T. SF OiticislI/: AI/I/otated Chccklist. 72. $IJ. 5 Hist"ry & Criticism Bussing. Sabine. Ali('lls ill 111(' HOII/c: The CI,ild il/ HOImr Ficliol/. X7. $11. 17 Gross, Louis S. the AII/clical/ (/othic: Froll/ Wiclal/dlo Dar of Ih(' Dcad. $4(). 20 Sammons, Mart ha <. '. '}l B('I/('r ": l,focl/Ms of Religiolls FC/1//as\' & SF. $15. IX Tymn, Marshall. cd. SF' A Tr:acha's (;lIidc & Rcsollrce Book. $ I (, ph. III Widmer. Kingsley. COIIIllClil/gf: Utopiall Dialcctics ill COIlfCII/POlWI' COI/ lexts. 2() AuthOl' Studies (by SubjeCt) Warren. Alan. Roald DaM. $f) ph. (j Siegel. Mark. Hugo Gem.sback. $X ph. 5 What more, D.E. H. Rider Haggard: A Bi/Jliography. R7. $4X. 24 Levack. Daniel. DIII/ClI/lISla: Frank Herbert BilJlio,l,'rc/p1!". $45. 25 23


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Hoppenslrand. Gary. Gothic muM Stephell KillK. $13 ph. 1 Magistrale. Tony. Stephell KillK's Am('fiuIII Got"ic. $ U ph. 1 Munster. Bill. cd. SlIdden Fcar: HOImr & Dark SlIsp('nse Ficlion /)Pall R. Koontz. $11 ph. 6 Stephenson-Payne. P. CM. Komblflth: Working Bihli()grapln. $2511 ph. 1 _-:-_. Keith Lalllner: m,rki"g Biflliogral'hr. $3 ph. 1.50 Fowler. Douglas. I,.a uvi". $ III ph. 6 Christopher. Joe R. CS. uw;s: Annola/eel C"ecklisl. '73. $211. 6 Clarke. Boden. William F. Nola,,: A ",!Owled Bi/1/iograpfn', $ I 3 ph, 1 Buranelli. Vincen!. Edga,. Alia" Poe. 2nd cd. $ 1(1.9 Phy. Allene S. Mary Shelley. $10 ph. 6 Thornhurg, Mary. /1/(11/.1'1('1" in '''c /\1i/7"(II": S('//lilllel/la//(;o/"ic in Frankenstein. I Mm'Y Shelleyl 'X7, $40, 20 Carter. Margaret L. Dram/a: 1'il1llpirc & Cfilics,I8ram Stnkerl $45, 25 Stephenson-Payne. p, Jack Vallce: II'(wkillg Bi/1/iographr, $350 ph. 1.50 Drake, H.L. TI,c NIII/-A "",rids A.E. Va" VOKt, $1511 ph. I Allen, William R., cd. Cmll'CI"salimls Il'i", K",., VOllllegflt. $ 15 ph. 8 Broer. Lawrence. Sanily Plea: Sdl;;:op"rcI/ia in Nords of KII'" VOlllleglll. '89. $40.20 Pieratt. Asa B ct al. KII,.t Votltlegflt: Comprcflensil'c Bibliography. '87. $40. 22 Film & TV Bouzereau. Laurent. TIlc DePalma CIII. $211. 12 McCarty &.. McGee. Lillic Slwp of H01ml:\ Book. $13 ph. 6 McGee. Mark T. Roger COl7llall: B('.\'I of' Cllcal' Aels. $25 ph. lJ Reemes. Dana M. Dirccled 1).1' .lack A 171 old. $19. 8 Tclolle, J.P. Dreallls of Dar/(1/e,u: Fanlmy ({nd I"e Fi/ms "f 1"Cl/ LCl1'lon. 'RS. $19.10 Waller, (ircgory A., cd. A 111 e/ieall Homll:\,: Essays Oil Ille /lfodcm Americall HOImr Film. '87. $IS ph. 8 Upcoming Conferences Society for Literature & Science The 19a9 Conference of the Society for Literature and Science will meet at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on September 21-24. Plenary speakers Include Donna J. Haraway, Professor in the History of Consciousness at the University of California (Santa Cruz); George Levine. Director of the Center for Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture at Rutgers University; and Samuel R. Delany, well-known SF author and current Writer-in-Residence in the Dept. of Comparative Literature at Amherst. Scheduled sessions include "Metaphor and the 24


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Roots of Scientific Epistemology," "Terminal Beach: Knowledge at the Margins," and many others of interest to scholars of SF/F, including two sessions on science fiction. Early registration (before August 21) costs $80 per person and includes the opening reception and one luncheon. The registration fee after August 21 is $95. Registration forms are available from Professor Frederick Amrine, Conference Director [Germanic Languages. 3110 Modern Languages Bldg., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor. MI 481091275], or call the U-M Extension Service Conference Dept., at 313-7645305. South Central MLA The South Central Modern Language Association will meet in New Orleans on October 26-28. There will be a session offered on SF and Fantasy, with papers ranging from "popular culture to symbolic poetry." Though the deadline for SUbmissions has passed, those interested in attending can write for information to Joe R. Christopher [Dept. of English, Tarleton State Univ., Stephenville, TX 76402), who chairs the SF/F section. Society for Utopian Studies Founded in 1975, the Society for Utopian Studies is an international interdisciplinary association devoted to the study of both literary and real-life experimental utopias. Scholars from many specialties join with architects, futurists, urban planners, and environmentalists. The society's 14th annual meeting will be held November 16-19 at the Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, on California's Monterey Peninsula, a lovely site. It may still be possible to organize a panel or give a paper; those interested should write the program chair: Lyman Sargent [Political Science Dept., Univ. of Missouri, 8001 Natural Bridge Rd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4499]. The society publishes selected papers from the conferences and will present the Arthur O. Lewis Award (Lewis is an ex-SFRA President) for the best paper delivered by a junior scholar. Membership in the society includes announcements of meetings and the newsletter, Utopus Discovered. Dues are $10 for regular membership, $5 for students, and one may become a Sponsor for $25, a Benefactor for $50. or a Patron for $100. The last three receive a free copy of the proceedings; others pay $7.50, a subsidized price. Dues are tax deductible in the U.S. Send check payable in U.S. dollars to Lawrence Hough, Secretary-Treasurer. SUS, [Political Science Dept., East Carolina Unlv., Greenville. NC 27858). 25


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Newsletters, Journals and one BIG Book Nuclear Texts & Contexts The second (spring 1989) issue of Nuclear Texts and Contexts appeared in January and is equally rich in information. (See newsletter #160, p. 27, forthe scope ofthese twice-a-year bulletins.) Last August eighteen scholars organized the International Society for the Study of Nuclear Texts and Contexts (ISSNTC), and members are solicited. Dues are $5 ($6 outside the U. S.), $3 for students. and should be mailed to WIlliam J. Schelck,lSSNTC Treasurer [English Dept., Parlin Hall 1 08. Unlv. of Texas, Austin, TX 78712-1164]. Issues 2 and 1 were free; to receive future Issues you must be a current member of the ISSNTC. If you have an interest in promoting the scholarly exchange about the nuclear threat, a membership is inexpensive and likely to be rewarding. Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts M.E. Sharpe, the original publisher of the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, sold the magazine, including back issues, to Orion PUblish Ing [1401 N. Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13208]. Orion published v. 2, no. 1, spring of 1989, a bit late, but should resume regular quarterly publication. The 1 Issue is more attractively designed, with a cover illustration and a number of b&w interior illustrations, including four by Virgil Finlay which haven't seen print for a decade. The spring Issue focuses on the horrific, eerie, weird, and supernatural In literature and film. The summer Issue, guest-edited by Brooks Landon (the general editor Is Carl Yoke), will be devoted to SF film. The fall issue, which will focus on the work of Doris Lessing, will contain Marshall Tymn's bibliography of the year's scholarship in SF/F, formerly an annual feature of Extrapolation. Annual subscriptions to JFA are $20 for individuals ($35 for two years), $25 ($45) for institutions. Members of the International Associa tion for the Fantastic in the Arts receive the quarterly as part of their annual membership. SFRA members may receive a direct mail solicita tion at a reduced rate. The Humanist The March/April 1989 issue of The Humanist has several short pieces under the general rubric, "Science Fiction Writers Speak to the Future." Included are Isaac Asimov. Connie Willis, L. Sprague de Camp, and Robert A. Heinlein, whose 1952 comments broadcast by Edward R. Murrow on his "This I Believe" series are reprinted (they 26


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 were also reprinted In the December 1986 Locus). The final contributor Is Hermann J. Muller, winner of the 1946 Nobel Prize for his work in medicine. Fantasy Commentator Although the newly published 39th issue of Fantasy Commentator (v. 6, no. 3, summer 1989) says its publication is irregular, it does appear twice yearly, even if not at precise six-month intervals. The 76 offset pages of neatly typed text aren't cluttered with ads for the latest paperback potboilers. A. Langley Searles, the editor, and his con tributors emphasize the history of SF and fantasy, often unearthing fascinating sidelights on welland lesser-known figures. In the current issue, Mike Ashley updates a 1985 article on Blackwood's early, little-known fiction, drawing from his authoritative 1987 study, Algernon Blackwood: A BioBibliography. Sam Mos cowitz continues his chronicle of Bernarr Macfadden. this time dredg Ing up all sorts of interesting information about Fulton Ousler (18931952), whom I recall only as the author of the 1949 bestseller The Greatest Story Ever Told. Ousler was involved in a number of Macfad den publications. Sam also has the ninth part of his SF history. called "Voyage Through Eternity." this short segment devoted to Verne. Charles Hornig, a young fan editor in the late 30s, is Interviewed. There are other pieces, plus two lengthy reviews of recent and older books, four poems, and letters. This issue, and issues 29-39. are $4 each from A. Langley Searles [48 Highland Circle, Bronxville, NY 10708-5909). SOL Rising The third issue of SOL Rising, the newsletter of the Friends of the Spaced Out Library, In Toronto, was published earlier this summer, the first issue in more than two years. There's more substance to this issue than to earlier ones I've seen. The prolific John Robert Colombo has a light piece citing quotations about Canada by fantastic fiction writers (Heinlein, Wells, Bradbury, Wyndham). One of the few Canadian mem bers of First Fandom is interviewed. The books of Diana Wynne Jones are hurriedly surveyed. A bibliography of 1988 Canadian fantastic fiction in English and French. novels and short fiction, should prove useful to bibliographers. Obituaries of John Flint Roy (1913-1987), a Burroughs-buff, and R. Bruce Robbins (1946-1987). a bilingual fan/dealer. complete the 16-page issue. $20 will make you a member of the Friends of the SOL: send to 40 St. George St.. Toronto. M5S 2E4. Canada. 27


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 The SOL opened its doors back in 1970, its collection (about 5000 Items) having been donated by Judith Merril. Today this noncirculat Ing research collection, part of the Toronto Public Library system, has about 22,000 books and 16,000 magazine issues, pulp and fanzine. (Sharing the space is the Osborne collection of rare children's books.) Unfortunately, the library has run out of space and may be forced to put large portions of the collections in storage. See the July 1989 Science-Fiction Studies, pp. 248-49, for details, and whom to write to. If you happen to have a few hundred thousand dollars for seed money, send It along. Bleile." SF Guide Forthcoming Science Fiction: The Early Years by Pilgrim winner Everett F. Bleiler, assisted by his son Richard (at Ohio State University), will be published by Kent State University Press, probably next winter, price not set. This is a companion volume to his earlier Kent State title The Guide to Supernatural Fiction (1983, 723p., $55, original price). Approximately 2400 numbered entries covering about 3000 Individual stories, from short fiction to novels, dating from earliest times to 1930 will be critically analyzed. Coverage includes genre books to 1930; mainstream works with SF elements; Victorian and Edwardian periodical material (from Harpers, The Strand, The Black Cat, etc.) not collected In books; dime novels; SF from pulp magazines like Adventure, Argosy, All-Story, other Munsey publications, Weird Tales (to 1930); the Gernsback magazines (excluding Amazing); utopias over lapping SF; boys' adventure stories; and plays with SF elements. Like the '83 supernatural guide, each numbered entry will contain full bibliographic information, including original periodical publication details and reprints, plot summary (up to 2000 words), critical/historical comments, plus basic biographical data about the author. Included will be an author/editor/introducer/translator index, a comprehensive and unique motif index, and a date index (listing stories by date of publi cation). Ev Bleiler based his guide, as always, on personal reading of every item within the past five years, not on other sources. Hundreds of hitherto unknown works are discussed, some extremely rare, in some instances surviving only in a handful of copies. Much of the biographi cal information is new in a single source. This massive guide, almost 1000 8 1/2 by 11 Inch pages, will unquestionably be t/1e major guide to SF prior to the development of the specialty pulps. No serious student of SF can afford to do without it. 28


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 1989 Non-Fiction list Forthcoming My column next month will feature a comprehensive list of 1989 non-fiction titles, supplementing and updating the information con tained in the March issue (#165). Stay tuned. Neil Barron U. S. Commercial Releases May Paperbacks: ADAMS, ROBERT. ed.Alt(,l71atil'cs. $3.50. Baen Books. Fantasy alter-nate histories anthology. BAILEY, ROBIN W. Enchanter. $.1.1}:'i. Anlll Books. Fantasy. BLAKENEY, JAY D. Tlrl' Goda If-{Ir. $.150. Ace Books. SF. BUJOLD, LOIS McMASTER. TIl(' IftCmior's Appr{'/lticl'. $2.1)5. Bacn reissue. SF. CARL, LILLIAN STEWART. IFinl:.1 OFP(lIf<'r. $3.1)5. Ace Books. Fantasy. CLARKE, ARTHUR C. 20M: Ot!I'SIt\' Thrcc. $4.95. Del Rcy. previously a Del Rev he, SF. DALMAS. J()HN. TIre Lmlfcl71 oj God. $3.C)5. Baen Books. SF. -----. Re,l.,rimcllI. $.1.50. Bacn Books reissuc. SF. DEAN. PAMELA. Tlrc IHrim oFlhe Dragon. $4.50. Ace Books. Fantasy. DRAKE, DAVID and BILL DIETZ. CllIst<'1" Command. Crisis of Empire II. $3.50. Baen Books. SF. -----and BILL FAWCETT. eels. Break Tlrl"OlIgh: TlIC Flecl: Book 3. $3.95. Ace Books. SF. -----and SANDRA l'vIlESEL, cds. A Scpllralc .""wr. $3.50, Baen Books. Sf anthology (trihute to Rudyard Kipling), FARREN, MICK. Tlrc Al7lwgcdcloJl Crazy. $3.95. Del Rey, SF. FOSTER, ALAN DEAN. Qr/(dl. $4.50. Ace Books. SF. FRIESNER, ESTHER. Demon BllIl's. $3.50. Ace Books. Fantasy humor. (jELB, JEFFREY AND LONN FRIEND. HoI Bloocl: An Anllrolo,r....,, oj PrV\'vCt1ti!'c HOImr. $3.95. Pocket Books. Horror anthology. HUGHS, ROBERT DON. Tlrc Forging of lire Dragon. Book I of the Wizard and Dragon series. $.tIJ5. Del Rcy. Fantasy. JOHNSON, JAMES B. Ha11ll. $.1.1)5. DAW. SF. KNAAK, RICHARD A. Firc Drake. $3.1)5. Popular Library. Fantasy. LeGUIN, URSULA K. Tlrc Lallre o(Hc(/l'en. $3.50. Avon reissue. SF. MacDONALD, GEORGE. Prol'illK lire UllseCll. $3.50. Del Rey. Inspirational essays. 29


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 McDONALD. IAN. 0111 011 Blllc Six. $4.50. Bantam/Spectra. SF. McOUAY, MIKE. Tllc N<:\1/S. $4.:'0. Bantam/Spectra. SF. POHL, FREDERIK and C. M. KORNBLUTH. /f-(JIj71llllC. $2.95. Baen Reissue. SF. POLLOTTA. NICK and PHIL FO('L10. AlicflS. $3.1):'. TSR. SF -Humorous. RA WN. MELANIE. P,illcc: Book 1/: n,l' Star Scroll. $.t.!):'. DA W. Fantasy. SALVATORE, R. A. Strcoms o( Silt('/'. Book 2 in The kcwind Dale Trilogy. $3.95. TSR. Fantasy. SIMMONS, DAN. Pllascs (!(Gral'it\'. $450. Bantam/Spectra. SF. STANTON, MARY. Pip('/' at tllc G(/tc. $.'.50. Baen Books. WALLACE, IAN. Mc!!.alo/1ulIIia. $.l75. DAW. SF. WEAVER, MICHAEL D. Biood/llll!!.. concludes the Blondfang Trilogy. $3.50. Avon Bonks. Fantasy. WEINSTEIN, HOWARD. Star Trek: TI,c Next GellaaliOlI: POll'('/' HIIII""Y. $3.')5. Pocket Books. SF. WEIS, MAR< iARET and TRACY HICKMAN. Rosc o(t"c Pmpflct, Vol. II in The Paladin of t he Night. $ ... 50. Bantam/Spec! ra. WHITEFORD, WYNNE. Lak(' SIIII. $350. Ace Books. SF. WILLIAMS, MICHAEL. "'e'ascl's LIICk, Dragon Lance Heroes Vol. 3. $3.95. TSR. Fantasy. WILLIAMS, PAUL O. TIll' Gijts o( tllc (iOl"'odllc ,.(111 dal. $3.95. Ballan tine. SF. WINTERS, MICK. FilII Mooll. $3.1)5. Berkley. Horror. YEp, LAURENCE. Star TIde SIIallotl' Lord. $3.1):'. Pocket Books reissue. SF. ZELAZNY, ROGER. A Dark TI'lII'C/ill!!.. $3.50. Avon Books from the Walker hc. SF. June Paperbacks: ANDREWS, V. C. Gates (!( Paradisc. $ .... :'11. Pocket Books. Horror. ANTHONY, PIERS. Bio ()( a Sp(/c(' 0'/'(1111: '()I. 2: J\/accIICTIy. $3.50. Avon reissue. SF. BENNETT, MARCIA .I. Scckill!!. tllc Drcam Brotller. $3.():'. Ballantine Books. Fantasv. BLAYLOCK, .lAMES P. TIle StollC (/iallt. $3.1):'. Ace Books. Fantasy. BOYER, ELIZABETH H. TI,c CIIIW o(SI(/R/id. $.'.1)5. Ballantine Books. Fantasv. BRADBURY, RAY. Tllc TiJ."II"c(' COIII'Cctor. $.tl):'. Bantam/Spectra. pre viously an Alfred A. Knopf he. SF collection. CAIDIN, MARTIN. BCCTI7llidcl:I. $.1.1)5. Bacn Books. SF. 30


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 ------. TI,c God Maclrille. $J.50. Baen SF. CHERRYH, c..I. Legiolls (If Hell. $3.'>.). Baen reissue. ------and LESLIE FISH.A Di'"KclorSallis. $.ll):". Baen Books. Fantasy. DEITZ, TOM. TI,c (i'yplrml Killg. $3.()5. Amn Books. Fantasy. DlLLARD,.I. M. Star Trek 1-:' Tllc Filial Frolltier. $4.50. Pocket Books. SF movie tic-in. ELLIOT. TOM. Tllc Dwellillg. $3.95. SI. Martin's Press. Horror. ERWIN, ALAN BERT A. /IIct/llI.lelalr ("lrildrC'll. $J.5(). Baen reis:-.ue. SF. LACKEY, MERCEDES. /IIagic's Pm..", The Last Herald Ma.'!e: Book I. $3.95. DAW Books. Fantasy. LLYWELYN, MOR(jAN. Tlrc Islcs o(tlrc Blest. $3.9:". Ace Books. Fantasy. McAULEY. PAUL.1. Offlrc Fall. $.l')5. Ballantine Books. SF. McCOLLUM, MICHAEL. TlllIIldcr SIIil\e. $4.50. Ballantine Books. SF. POURNELLE, JERRY. /mpeTial Stan: I 'tIl. 3: TI,c' Craslr of Empire. $3.95. Baen Books. SF. PREUSS, PAUL. Al1lrllr C. Clarkc's 1'('1111,\ P,illlc: 1111.3: Hide alld Scck. $3.95. Avon BOllks. SF. REYNOLDS, MACK with MICHAEL BANKS. /lIcrccllarylrolll TO/l/(lr roll'. $2.()5. Baen reissue. SF. WASSER, MARGARET. TI,c P,imy. $3.95. Pocket Books. Horror. WOLLHEIM, D( )NALD A.. ed. Tllc NiNAIIlI/wl II (wId's Besf SF. $3.1)5. DAW Books. SF collection. July Paperbacks: ADKINS, PATRICK H. FC(flfll1 Dcptlrs. $3.50. Ace Books. Fantasy. ANDREWS, KEITH and WILLIAM. Frcedom's Rallgers. $3.1). Berkley Books. SF. ANTHONY, PIERS. Kirliall Qllcst, third in The Cluster series. $.1.95. Avon reissue. BERGSTROM, ELAINESlra({('1'cd Gla.u. ttl) .love Books. Horror. BETANCOURT. JOHN (iRE(iORY. D,: BOlles #4: Tllc Drago"s Komall. $3.50. Ace Books. SF. BISHOP. MICHAEL. Ullicol7I !l/o/lllwill. $".(15. Bantam/Spectra. Fan tasY. BRENNER, MAYER ALAN. Ca((/Sfl"(lp/rC'S Spcll. $3.1)5. DAW Books. Fantasy. 31


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 CLARKE, ARTHUR l'. and (iENTRY LEE. Cradle. M."5. Warner Books. SF. CLEGG, DOUGLAS. Goat Dalla. $4511. Pocket Books. Horror. COOK. HU(iH. nrc Oraclc. \Vi/ard War Chronicles #4. ()lIcstar. Fantasy. DRAKE, DAVID. Lacey alld Iris Flimc/s. Baen SF. -----and JANET MORRIS. Explorers ill Heff. $3."5. Bacn Books. Fantasy. DVORKIN. DAVID amI DANIEL. Star TIde nre NCXf (it'llcrafioll #7: nrc Capfaill \-HOllOI'. Pockcl Books. SF. FAll ST .. IOE CLIFFORD. DcspefCIrc Meas"rcs. Del Rey. SF. FINCH. SHEILA. nrc SlrapCl' Exile: HII. I: nrc (ia/'(Ie" or rlre Slrapcd. $.1.1 '5. Bantam/Spectra reissue. SF. FRANKOWSKI. LEO. nrc Ratiialll 1I'(lI7ior. Bllok 3 in The Adventures of Conrad Stargard. Del Rey. SF humorous. GEAR. W. MICHAEL. nrc 1I('/J(/rSl'ic/er. $4.95. DAW Books. SF. GREENBER(i. MARTIN H .. cd. nrc FlII1lrcl' Ac/I'cllfllres Barnum. Bantam. Anthology. HAMBLY. BARBARA. nro.H' II'7ro HI/III rlrc Niglrt. 1;4.511. Del Rcy. Fantasy. HARRISON, HARRY. Bi/f flrc Cialaerie Hc/'(): nrc Plallcf (Ir rlrc Rolwf SIan's. $.t"5. Avon Books. SF humorous. LANSDALE. JOE R. nrc D,i\'('-ill J. $"."5. Bantam/Spectra. SF. LAUMER. KEITH. Dillosa/lr Beac/r. $2."5. Baen reissue. SF. MASTERS .I. D. Sfecle. Charter Books. SF. McCARTY. DENNIS. nrc Lords or Tir/assu /lfcy.third in the Thlassa May series. $.1\)5. Del Rcy. Fantasy. MORRIS, .lANET and DAVID DRAKE. $.1.1)5. Ace Books. SF. NORTON, ANDRE ami MARTIN H. (iREENBER(i. cds. Car{llllfaSfic. $.11)5. DAW Books. Fantasy anthology. O'HAR. (iEOR(JE M. Psyclric Fail'. $.-,,1'5. Pocket Books. Fantasy. SHAW. BOB. nrc !!'clOdell Spaceslrip.l. $.151l. Baen Books. SF. ------. Orf,if.ITi/fc DC/lllllllrc. $2.')5. Baen reisslle from DA W. SF. SHWARTZ. SUSAN. ct!. Am"eS(lrle.l. $"."5. Avon Books. Fantasy ant hology. SKIPP, JOHN and CRAI(i SPECTOR. cds. Book flrc Dead. M.50. Bantam. Horror ant IlOlngy, STASHEFF. CHRISTOPHER. nrc lI(wlock /llsallc. $J."5. Ace Books. Fantasy. VOLSKY, PAULA. nrc S(lI'caC/"s Ciln('. third in the Sorcerer's series. Ace Books. FantasY. 32


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 VORNHOLT. JOHN. Slar 7i"ek: The Next Gel/cratiol/ #7: /\/a\k\. $."\.95. Pocket Books. SF. WIL,,)ON, F. PAUL. Dydeeloll"l/ II'tIrld. $3.50. Bat;n Books. SF. YARBRO, CHELSEA QUINN. Bcastl/ighls. $4.1)5. Warner Books. Horror. ZIMMER. PAUL EDWIN. II/gil If the Mad. $3.1)5. Ace Books. Fantasy. ZINDELL. DAVID. Ncn'/7/css. $4.1)5. Bantam/Spectra. SF. August Paperbacks: AAMODT. DONALD. A Nalllc to COlljllre With. $.l50. Avon Books. Fantasy. ADAMS. ROBERT. Stail1l"l1r 10 Forcn.,.. Bacn B\loks. Fantasy. BARKER, CLIVE. Ca/wl: Niglll/Jr('cd. $4.50. Pocket Bonks. Horror movie tie-in. COOKE. JOHN PEYTON. TI,c Lakc. $3.95. A\"\lI1 Books. Horror. COOK, RICK. Lilllbo $.l50. Baen Books. SF. DUANE. DIANE. Star Trek: Spock's "/JIM. $4.1)5. Pocket Books. SF. LEE. TANITH. A Heroillc of thc ml/M. $3 ."i0. DAW Books. Fantasy. NIVEN. LARRY with DEAN IN(;. JERRY POLIRNELLE. and S. M. STIRLlN(i. MClII-K::ill "/U'S II. $.ll)5. Bacn Books. SF. ROHAN. MICHAEL SCOTT. TIle Forge ill tlrc Forest, Ii>/, 2 ill Tllc Willt('/" of the "'rJrld. 53.50. Amll Books. Fall,a.IY SPRINGER. NANCY. A/Jocall'{ $3.1)5. Baen Books. Fantasy. STIRLlN(;. S. M. anti SHIRLEY MEIER. Tlte Cage. $3 ."iIJ. Baen Books. Fantasy. STRIEBER, WHITLEY. TI,c Breakthrollgh, sequel to COllllllllllioll. $4.1)5. Avon Books. TEPPER. SH ERI S. Thc (jatc to WOlllell '.I' COlllltr\'. $4 ."i0. Ban tam/SplTtra. SF. Trade Books: ALDISS. BRIAN. Forgo((cll LUi'. $IH.1)5 he. Atheneum. Mainstream April 24. JlJHI). ASHERMAN, ALLAN. TlIC' Srar 7i"ek COIII{J('//dilllll. $1O.1)."i trade paper. Pockct Books rcvised reissue. Non-fiction. BOVA. BEN. (I'/Jcr/)()oks. $ 17.<)."i he. Tor Books. SF. May 9, 11)i{lJ. ------, ctl. TIle Besl Ndntlas. $14.1)5 trade paper. SI. Martin's Press. SF collection. April 17. 19:;;(). BROER, LAWRENCE R. Sl1Ilitr PIca: Sclli:ophrcllia ill the NOl'ds o( KlII1 VOlll/Cgllt. $39.95 he. L1MI Research Non-riction. l')H

SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 CH ERRYH. C. J. Rimlllf/flcn. $19.9) he. Warner BOllks. SF. June 2H. l!}R!}. DATLOW, ELLEN and TERRI WINDLING. 77/(' Best Sccolld AIIIII/al Col/cclioll. $ n.(I) trade paper. S,. Martin's Press. Fantasy collection. July U. I!JX(I. de CAMP. L. SPRAGUE. 77,e HOI/oft/hIe B(//b(//1all. $Hi.9) he. Del Rey. Fantasy. July 19tN. EDDINGS. DAVID. 17lc Diamolld 77/r(}//c. Book One of The Elcnium. $18.95 hc. Del Rey. Fantasy. May 19XIJ. FERO USSON. BRUCE. 77/(' Mace 0(.";0/1 Is: A Non'l Six Killgdoms. $20.95 hc. William Morrow &. Co. Fantasy. June n. GILLIAM, TERRY and CHARLES McKEOWN. 77,e Adrelllllres vf Bamll M,,"cllmls<'II. $12.() trade paper. Applause Books. Fantasy. May 19X(I. GLASHOW, SHELDON .I. with BEN BOVA. IIIfCraelir}//.I: A 1011171CY 77/r()f/gll Ille Mi1ld of (/ Pm1icle Pllrsicisl a1ld II,c Malter o( Tllis I VOIM. $t2.9) trade paper. Warner Books. Science .Junc I (Il'N. GROSS. U )LlIS S. Red

SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 STEWART. MICHAEL. Gmcc. $IH.'}) he. Atlantic Monthly Pres'>. Supernatural. July J9H9. STINE. HANK and .IAN RAE FRANK, illustrated by Ron and Judith Miller. 771C Nell" El'cs: Hcroillcs of Scicllce Firlioll. $1:!.1J) trade paper., $40.00 limited cd. he. signed & numhen:d. Starhlaze. Non-fic tion art. July I'}HI}. TURK. H. C. Black $ I'}.')) he. Villard Books. Horror. August JR. IIJXIJ. UNDERWOOD. TIM and CHlICK MILLER. cd. Bare BOlles: Cmll'cr saliollS 011 7i.'/7WI\il" SI<'P"CII Killg. 'liK

SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 b.) Vice-President Barron reported that he had sent 207 solicitation letters; 25 new members can be Identified as fruits of this labor. Barron presented the results of the membership poll and the draft of his proposal to create a new benefits plan. c.) Secretary Mead reported that the Directory will be mailed by August 1, and that the proposed Bylaws changes had been overwhelmingly approved (Article VIII-2: 43 for, 1 opposed, 1 abstention; Article Vlll-4: 42 for, 1 opposed, 2 abstentions). d.) Treasurer Remington presented a financial statement to the EC, noting that the savings on Newsletter printing costs which came as a result of our association with Hypatia Press will generate a slight surplus In revenues for the year. He reported that some International members want to charge their dues on VISA; the EC reJected this proposal. Remington asked for advice regarding the cutoff date for the membership year; the current procedure was affirmed, despite the fact that Extrapolation Is now sending back Issues for subscriptions begun after the first few months of the year. e.) Newsletter Reviews Editor latham reported Bob Collins' resignation as editor (for health reasons). Collins will continue through Issue 170 (Septem ber). He will continue to edit the book review section and the Meckler annual collection. The EC discussed finding a new Newsletter editor. A number of suggestions were discussed, Including discontinuing the Newsletter and printing the Information In either Extrapolation or Science-FIctIon StudIes, and finding an editor not Involved In SF. It Is understood that some problems will result as a consequence of the change of editors. latham presented some financial and publication Information regarding the Newsletter under Collins' editorship. III. Old Business a.) Mead reported that presentation plaques based on artwork done by leon D. Mead would cost about $25 each. A plaque will be presented retroactively to all Pilgrims. Hull presented the EC with a letter from Adam Frisch suggestIng changes In the appointment procedure for the Pilgrim Committee; Hull will continue the customary procedure. Barron reported that there had been no response from Hal Hall on the proposed history of the Pilgrim, mainly because the World Con committee has not yet decided on Hall's grant request and he doesn't know yet about the funding of the volume. b.) Hull reported for Marty Greenberg that the Harper & Row SFRA anthology Is In print. Apparently the repeated sale of Harper & Row has Interfered with the distribution of contributor'S copies. c.) Hull, reporting for leonard Heldreth, said that the committee to develop an annual volume of criticism had come to no conclusion yet; Heldreth wants Hull to appoint at least one more member, which Hull will do. 36


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 d.) Lynn Williams, chair of the committee to develop a new award for criticism, proposed a method for selecting the outstanding critical article of the year. The committee received this report with thanks. e.) Hull reported for Bylaws Review committee chair William Schuyler that there has been no review of the Bylaws because the committee hasn't been fully appointed. Hull said she would appoint the rest of the committee. f.) Peter Lowentrout reported satisfactory progress In arranging the 1990 meeting In Long Beach, CA. Room rate will be $68 per night, single or double. g.) There was no report on the 1991 meeting, presumed currently to be destined for Iowa City under the chairmanship of Brooks Landon. h.) Barron reported he was delaying revisions of the membership brochure until the membership vote on proposed changes In the benefits package. I.) Charlotte Donsky reported that the lawyer who Is overseeing the SFRA filing for tax-exempt status In Utah recommends refiling In Ohio, where the association Is Incorporated. He will continue to work for a $500 fee, payable when the filing process Is completed. The EC decided to continue our relation with the attorney for the time being. IV. New Business a.) Information was received from Frederlk Pohl on the terms of the contract which contributors to Extrapolation are being asked to sign by Kent State University Press. After some discussion, It was decided to ask Mack Hassler to work with us to eliminate the obJectionable terms before confronting the KSU press directly. b.) By unanimous vote, the EC set a new schedule of dues and mailing costs for non-Canadian foreign members. Overseas members will pay $55 dues, which Includes surface mall charges, and an additional $t 5 If airmail Is desired. Overseas student members will pay dues of $45, which Includes surface mall costs, and optional airmail cost of $15. Respectfully submitted, David G. Mead, Secretary SFRA Business Meeting 25 June. 1989 Miami t1niwl"sity. OXr()nl. Ohio I. The annual Business Meeting of the association was called to order by President Hull at 8:38 a.m. 37


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 II. Reports a.) Conference DlrectorWllllam H. Hardesty, III reported that the conference had come very close to breaking even. 53 persons registered formally, and 60 attended the Pilgrim banquet. He thanked the many folk who had helped him with the meeting. A hearty round of applause was tendered Chairman Bill and his assistants In appreciation of their successful work. b.) President Hull asked the membership to nominate Institutions which might be Interested In housing the Clifford Simak papers. She also reported that she had received several letters of complaint on various Issues but that none of these would require action. c.) Vice-President Barron reported that membership was currently 302. He outlined the recruitment effort he had undertaken, noting that he would now focus on subscribers to Extrapolation and members of the Popular Culture Association. He also reported the results of the poll on benefits. Foundation continues to be a popular third choice and will continue to be offered to members at a reduced rate, the cost to be noted on the membership form. He also noted that the Newsleller would soon publish a "market report." Martha Bartter asked that the Newsleller publish the names and addresses of organizations, such as the Utopian Studies Society, with Interests related to science fiction and fantasy studies. d.) Secretary Mead reported that the 1989 Directory would be mailed before August 1, and that next year the cutoff date for Inclusion In the Directory would be May 1. He also reported the results of the ballot on changing Article VIII ofthe Bylaws; both changes were approved (see EC minutes for details). e.) Nell Barron, reporting for Treasurer Tom Remington, distributed Information about the 1989 bUdget, noting that we would enjoy a small surplus as a result of less-thanprojected printing costs. There was some discussion of the Investment of surplus funds. The change In dues and airmail costs for overseas members was announced (see EC minutes for details). f.) Hull reported the resignation of Bob Collins as editor of the Newsleller, summarized a report on the nature of the Newsleller under Collins' editor ship, and called for nominations or volunteers for the editorship. It was noted that the editor will need Institutional support In the way of secretarial and computer services. The resignation of Rob Latham as Book Review Editor was also announced. Collins will continue to manage the Book Review section of the News/elter. III. Old Business a.) Mead displayed the artwork which will be used for the plaque to be presented to each Pilgrim Award winner. Each plaque will cost about $25 and will be presented retroactively. 38


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 b.) Hull announced that she has received nominations and volunteers for the 1990 Pilgrim Committee and Intends to appoint the committee by Sep tember. Hull also announced that Hal Hall Is seeking funding for the History of the Pilgrim Award from the Atlanta WorldCon committee but that there was no news yet as to the success of his request. c.) For Martin Greenberg, Hull reported that the SFRA Anthology from Harper & Row Is In print and available. Difficulties of obtaining contributors' copies may have stemmed from the repeated sale of H&R. d.) Hull also reported that she would soon appoint a third member to the committee to develop a proposal for an annual volume of criticism; a female volunteer Is being sought to Join Tom Remington and leonard Heldreth. e.) Hull announced that the Executive Committee had received a proposal from the committee chaired by lynn Williams for Identifying and making an award for the best critical article of the year. The proposed procedure was explained, with the modifications suggested by the EC. Strong support for the establishment of such an award was shown In a straw vote. The EC will continue to work on this project. f.) Hull announced that the Bylaws Review Committee, to be chaired by William Schuyler, has not yet been constituted; volunteers and nominees are sought. Contact Betty Hull. g.) Peter lowentrout, co-chair of the 1990 annual meeting with Christine lowentrout, presented Information about the current plans for SFRA XXI at California State University, long Beach. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Edgewater Hotel over the weekend of June 28 to July 1, 1990. The room rate will be $68 per night, single or double. There are a number of attractions near long Beach of Interest to the science fiction community, Including a model of NASA's proposed space station. h.) President Hull reported that the lawyer who prepared our filing for tax-exempt status In Utah now recommends refiling In OhiO, where the organization Is Incorporated. The EC has decided to accept the proposal and to continue our relation with the attorney, who asks no Increase In fee for this change. IV. New Business a.) Hull announced that the site of the 1991 annual meeting Is Indeflnlte, although Brooks landon has tentatively offered to host the meeting at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m. Respectfully submitted, David G. Mead, Secretary 39


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 [Editor's Note: Due to the extensive coverage of the June SFRA Conference included among the other front matter, this issue's review section has had to be abridged (if we hadn't added eight pages to our usual total. It would nearly have been cancelled altogether). The review-article on Darko Suvin's Positions and Presuppositions in Science Fiction I promised In last month's Issue will thus be delayed until September, which number will also be packed with the reviews I'm currently sitting on. I realize that Bob Collins announced, in his June editorial, that we were surrendering the reins of this newsletter as of the current Issue; but the unexpected backlog of review material has made it possible for us to turn another issue around fairly quickly, As a result, we now plan to stay on through # 170, which ought to appear in your mailboxes very soon. Consider it an allreviews supplement to the current news-stuffed chronicle, Also, there was a dumb error in last month's review section that I must correct. The review of David Dvorkin's Ursus, bylined to Bill Collins, was actually written by Michael R. Collings. I don't know why this mix-up happened; perhaps it was the similarity in the reviewers' names, perhaps It was because Bill Collins had previously reviewed two other books by Dvorkin. Maybe it was just overwork. But there's no excuse for it, and I'm sorry, Bill and Mike. --Rob Latham] Non-Fiction Something to Get Your Teeth Into Carter, Margaret L., ed. Vampirism i/1 Literature: A Critical Bibliog raphy. UMI Research Press, Ann Arbor, MI, May 1989, viii + 135p. $39.95 hc. 0-8357-1998-7. Carter's been a vampire buff for decades. She's had two earlier UMI books Issued, Including the excellent collection of essays she edited, Dracula: The Vampire and the Critics (1988). This bibliography super sedes her much more abbreviated Shadows of a Shade: A Survey of Vampirism in Literature (1975). It supplements and updates a book she acknowledges, Martin Riccardo's Vampires Unearthed: The Complete MultiMedia Vampire and Dracula Bibliography (Garland, 1983), which Includes a list of citations to films and other material outside her scope. 40


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 The initial chapter provides a useful bibliographic survey of the major articles and books dealing with vampirism in literature, whose number has grown rapidly since the 1970s. This survey is linked to chapters 9 and 10, which provide full citations to the books and articles. Chapter 2 reprints Devandra Varma's "The Vampire In Legend, Lore, and Literature," which introduced the 1970 Arno reprint of Varney the Vampire. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the fiction of vampirism, from works modeled fairly closely on Dracula to more peripheral works like Colin Wilson's pair of novels about psychic vampirism, The Space Vampires and The Mind Cage. Just how peripheral is suggested by the key to the fiction citations, which has 33 thematic codes keyed to the fictions, some of which have up to three codes. V = traditional vampire, but consider "Rob" (robot, android, or cyborg vampire) or "DisH" (disease, hereditary and/or metabolic: as a mutation in a human line of descent, overlaps with vampire as alien). I like her eclecticism. The core of the book is chapter 5, in which about 1200 novels and shorter fictions published originally in English are cited. This includes every story I've ever heard of, and a lot I hadn't, from well-known tales to pornography and TV-inspired rubbish. Pierre Kast's important The Vampires of Alfama (translation 1977) Is improperly cited here (she hasn't read it) rather than in the 23-item chapter 7, "Non-English Vampire Fiction in Translation." I think Jack Williamson's Darker Than You Think (coded as alien, humanoid), with its interesting pseudo scientific explanation of lycanthropy, is outside her scope. But why pick nits? This is as complete a bibliography as we're likely to have for a while, with some Interesting period illustrations. Greg Cox is preparing The Transylvanian Library: A Consumer's Guide to Vampire Fiction, forthcoming from Borgo Press. And Carter herself plans to issue annual updates of her fiction citations beginning next January. (Write her at 105 Phipps Lane, Annapolis, MD 21403.) Recommended for larger libraries, especially those lacking Riccardo. Neil Barron Fine Contribution to Shelley Scholarship Mellor, Anne K. Mary Sheffey: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. Methuen, NY. 1988, 276p. No price given. 0-41601761-4. The literature on Mary Shelley continues to grow; already Frankenstein has been analyzed from every known critical perspec tive. Nevertheless, Anne K. Mellor's new study proves Its worth from the first chapter and is one of the top three or four books on the subject. The text is as readable as Muriel Spark's recently revised study and as penetrating as Jean de Palacio's acclaimed analysis in French, Mary 41


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Sllelley dans son oeuvre. Mellor is a professor of English at UCLA, where she has directed a program of women's studies. Yet the reader need not share her feminist ideology or agree with all her interpreta tions to benefit from her thorough scholarship and keen insights. Mellor attempts no comprehensive overview of the works of Mary Shelley. Both the Twayne and Starmont series have provided this. She chooses rather to concentrate on Frankenstein, with some thoughtful attention to The Last Man and briefer mention of other fiction felt to reflect with special vividness her subject's psychological state. While the story of MaryShelley's life has been often told, with special focus on her feelings toward her parents (noted social philosophers) and husband (famous Romantic poet), Mellor's commentary makes the story worth hearing again. It will come as no surprise to readers of earlier biographies that Mary had ambivalent feelings toward her husband and father, both of whom she worshipped extravagantly yet had reasons to resent. It Is also well known that she transmuted many events of her life Into her fiction. Other studies have convincingly demonstrated her genuine importance to English letters and popular thought. Mellor's would seem to be stressing yet again that Mary Shelley was a significant person in her own right, and not merely the daughter of Godwin and Wollstonecraft, the wife of Shelley, or the friend of Byron. Yet this new study presents not only re-emphasls but new supporting evidence as well. Mellor is especially interested in Mary Shelley's feelings about the "bourgeois nuclear family," as reflected in Mary's writing and revealed In the frustrations and sorrows of her life. Like many women of her time and later, Mary was torn between her strivings for self-fulfillment, her belief that women should be equals in marriage and education, and her desire for the protections of father and husband In a patriarchal society. Though her life after the death of Shelley which occurred when she was only twenty-five demonstrated conclusively her ability to earn a living as a writer and successfully rear a child as a single parent, she continued to define herself throughout her fifty-four years as the daughter and wife of famous people and later as the mother of Sir Percy Florence Shelley. One of the chief merits of Mellor's study is her use of unpublished archival material and original manuscripts found in England. She successfully demonstrates that the literary influence of Shelley upon Mary was not always beneficial. In writing her masterpiece, Mary was not merely a pregnant teenager crudely trying to fashion a provocative vision into fiction with the help of her genius mate. Though many of Shelley's revisions of the manuscript of Frankenstein did improve the 42


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 text, they did not always do so. In all too many instances, Shelley changed Mary's straightforward Anglo-Saxon phrases into pompous Latinate equivalents. It Is in part his fault that readers today find Mary's style stilted and humorously euphuistic. Mellor Is not writing primarily for the fantasy-science fiction com munity. Yet she does show a knowledge of the critical writing in this field. While she does not choose to discuss Mary's germinal influence In The Last Man, she readily acknowledges the originality of Frankenstein and Its status as the quintessential science fiction novel. She even offers her own definition of the genre as that which "(1) is grounded on valid scientific research; (2) gives a persuasive prediction of what science might be able to accomplish in the foreseeable future; and (3) offers a humanistic critique of either specific technological Inventions or the very nature of scientific thinking." Mellor offers new suggestions, along with psychoanalytic and feminist insights, about the stock figure of "the mad scientist." In sum, this is a fine contribution to the critical literature of English Romanticism, with considerable relevance to SF studies. and is highly recommended, essential for academic and public libraries and desirable for private collections. Allene S. Phy-Olsen A Work of Candor and Compassion Oppenheimer, Judy. Private Demons: The Life of Shirley Jackson. Putnam, NY, 1988, 304p. $19.95 hc. 0-399-13356-9. Shirley Jackson believed in magic, and her fiction reflects that belief. The stories for which she is remembered today usually open in a familiar setting -a house in the suburbs, a commuter train, a city apartment then casually introduce something out of the ordinary that seems disconcertingly at home. In stories like "Charles" and "One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts," the union of the mundane and the magical is a source of benign irony. In other stories, it produces grimmer effects: "The Lottery," Jackson's classic, begins in an average American town, where "the morning of June 27th was clear and sunny with the fresh warmth of a full summer day"; it ends 4000 words later with the ritual stoning of a townswoman. Regardless of whether it serves to lighten or darken a particular story, Jackson's magic has one paradoxical quality that helped distinguish her work from that of her contemporaries: it only rarely admits the supernatural. Though she often evokes images of demon lovers, witches and other fantastic creatures, the most potent resource forthe extraordinary events in her stories is the natural human capacity for the diabolical. 43


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 As Judy Oppenheimer makes clear in her insightful biography, this cynical and even morbid undercurrent In Jackson's fiction cannot be dissociated from the Influence of her "private demons," neuroses bred by a personality In conflict with itself. We may never know exactly how much Jackson projected her own psyche Into her stories, but certainly the contradictions that finally pulled her apart would have been fitting traits for a Shirley Jackson character. Her lifelong impulse to rebel against her family and their values masked her secret need for their approval, lust as her public persona of Intellectual aloofness concealed her private vulnerability and sensitivity to rejection. The contrast be tween the Inner and outer Jackson was underscored most notably by the Irony of her success as a writer: the notoriety of "The Lottery" notwithstanding, Jackson's largest audience knew her as an author of Jean Kerr-like domestic comedies. Few realized that the warm and amusing mother of four who emerged from her stories was dependent on amphetamines and alcohol, and suffered from an uncontro"able weight problem that was to hasten her death at the age of 48. Considering the revelations that have cropped up in other recent author biographies, the facts of Jackson's life are not particularly shocking. Nevertheless, Oppenheimer tempers the candor of her reporting with compassion to make her self-tortured subject deserving of our sympathy. She also generally resists what must have been a strong temptation to look at a" of Jackson's fiction as "crypto-biog raphy," which may explain the book's critical shortcomings. Though not uncritical, Private Demons Is not a critical biography. Oppenheimer's eye is focused on Jackson's personal life, and quite understandably she treats Jackson's work as only one facet of It. Novels like The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle are described little more than synoptically, as events punctuating Jackson's final slide into depression and substance abuse. Other stories aren't mentioned at a". There's little discussion of Jackson's work In the context of other fiction that was written at the time; this wouldn't seem so large an oversight had Jackson herself not been aware that the unique and often controversial character of her fiction set her apart from others. Despite these minor complaints, Private Demons is a fine attempt to reconstruct a life we have known too little about for too long. Should Oppenheimer's biographical skills stimulate greater interest In her subject, perhaps some publisher wi" reprint a" of Jackson's short stories and novels, most of which ahve been inexcusably out of print for years. Stefan Dziemianowicz 44


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Pulped Parente, Audrey. Pulp Man's Odyssey: The Hugh B. Cave Story. Starmont House, Mercer Island, WA, 1988, 146p. $19.95 hc. 1-55742039-4. $9.95 trade pb. -038-6. Starmont Popular Culture Study #6. In 1977, Karl Edward Wagner's Carcosa House published Mur genstruum and Others, a large collection of horror stories by Hugh B. Cave. Before that, Cave's fantastic fiction had been scattered through myriad pulp and slick magazines, so that neither Tuck nor Reginald even mention him. Cave estimates that he published over 800 magazine pieces. If Lovecraft cultivated the image of gentleman recluse, Cave was a breezy, businesslike producer of whatever the market demanded. But his fiction deserves a closer look (both the pulp tales and recent novels such as The Evil) for its vividness and vigor. This book about Cave is fascinating and frustrating. It is packed with details, obsessively documented, yet it doesn't get inside Cave very often; it shows some interesting things about what Cave did, but little about how or why he did it. For example, after becoming a successful writer, Cave spent several years in Haiti and Jamaica. This book describes incidents from that time but gives little insight into what made Cave go there (he says Haiti "called to him") or what he got out of the experience besides the background for some stories. The temptation is to blame this omission on Starmont's cramped format, but it's likely that greater length would merely have let Parente add more of the same. Cave deserved better. A selection of Cave's letters to Carl Jacobi, written during the early 30s while Cave was batting out stories at a fabulous pace, does suggest the man's gusto and ingenuity. People who are interested in the pulps generally or who know about Cave will find, however grudgingly, that they should own this book for the facts it gathers. Others may wonder why such unpolished mass entertainment deserves notice at all; they'll still be wondering when they finish. But it does. -Joe Sanders Fun to Browse Wolf, Leonard. Horror: The Connoisseur's Guide to Literature and Film. Facts on File, NY, March 1989, 262p. $27.95 hc. 08160-1274-1. $17.95 trade pb. -2197-X. Wolf should be fairly well known to horror fiction fanciers. He edited a horror anthology in 1979 and intelligently annotated well-reviewed editions of Dracula and Frankenstein. Both his introduction and bibli ography show that he knows these fields. 45


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 The guide consists of 379 entries in a single alphabet: 195 films (one made for TV). 121 short stories. 54 novels (including a few novellas), 8 poems/verse, anci a play. 80 b&w illustrations supplement the text, about 2/3 film stills. the balance author photos or book illustrations. A mildly gory Reubens painting, "The Head of the Medusa," adorns the cover. The index includes authors, key people (directors, actors) listed in the credits for the annotated films. and the titles of all the novels, shori fiction. anci films. The last is mostly redunciant, but a few films are briefly discussed in entries other than their own. The films selected include all the important horror films, from Caligari to a few splatter films (Wolf calls today's gory films the "pornography of pain") and a few chosen because of their sheer awfulness (e.g. Attacli of the 50-Foot Woman). The length of the allalyses is proportional to the film's importance. from a paragraph to all 8 1/2 X 11 inch page. and there is none of the cineaste's tedious, lorlg-winded and usually unerllightening blather. Wolf sometimes chal lenges the consensus, as when he argues the viriures of I Spit on Your Grave. whose exploitation title causes critics to prejudge the film. Many of tile fictions upon which films have been based are discussed together with the films themselves: Psycho. Carrie. The Bircls, etc. Not all film discussions show their fictional sources. such as Curse of the Demon. based on "Casting the Runes" by M.R. James. The novels range from Gothics to welland lesser-known. Similarly, the shorter fictions cover a wide range, from the 18th century to Clive Barker. Everyone will have their own favorites, and Wolfs selection from the several thousand available is probably as good as any. One modern reprint of older novels ane! short fiction is shown in the header information The sole play is Shloimeh Ansky's The Dybbuk (1921 in Yiddish. 1926 in English). whose description suggests that Wolf may have seen a modern reviVal. Tile poems and verse are quoted from, discussed. but not reproduced in full. Although there are many boolis about horror literature and film, few deal with both in any systematic way. Wolf's closest competitor is The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror ancl the Supernatural (Viking, 1986; eel. Jack Sullivan). whose 600 entries include about 150 films, as well as author anel theme entries. Novels and short fiction are discussed in the author entries, although not in as much detail as Wolf provieles. Like Sullivan, Wolf is fun to browse. check a fact, or revive a memory, and both are reliable. Sullivan is more comprehensive in its scope and a better buy. Wolf is recommended to public libraries and anyone needing a basic reference source who lacks more detailed works. Neil Barron 46


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Fiction His Brother's Keeper? Bujold, Lois McMaster. Brothers in Arms. Baen, NY, 1989, 338p. $3.95 pb. 0-671-69799-4. Miles Vorkosigan, introduced in The Warrior's Apprentice (1986), leads a complicated life. As a "Vor," a member of the military caste of the patriarchal and aristocratic hierarcllY of Barrayar, he's a junior officer ill their military service; and he's also (and simultaneously) Admiral Miles Naismith of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet, covertly assigned to Barrayaran security. Brothers in Arms takes up the story of Miles and his Mercenaries after the raid on Dagoola chronicled in "The Borders of Infinity" (in Free Lancers, ed. Elizabeth Mitchell, Baen, 1987: to be gathered in Bujold's Borders of InfilJity. forthcoilling from Baen) and their subsequent flight frolll Cetaganelan vengeance. On Earth to rest, recuperate (lilel refit, all the Oenclarii Ileed is their expense money from Barrayar to settle their bills and move on. Eal1h is a peaceful planet, with no jobs worth their time or so they believe. But tile Dendarii payroll fails to arrive. Miles finds himself assigned to tile Barrayaran Embassy, sharing a room with his cousin Ivan, a not too bright but very handsome member of the ruling family. As Lt. Vorkosigan, Miles can hardly turn down the assignment: as Admiral Naismitll, he can hardly manage not to. But before Miles splits himself into completely separate personalities, he finds that someone else no friend of Barrayar ._has done the job for him. He discovers an illegal clone of himself. one which has been artificially deformed to match Miles' birth defects in every detail. Is the clone his son, his brotller, or just Ilis nemesis? Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan stories are fascinatingly realized. Easy answers to the problems Miles faces from Barrayaran history, Komar ran politics and Cetagandan vengeance may exist. but none of them are open to him so long as he remains true to the tradition he upholds and the responsibilities that came to him, like his physical deformities, before his birth. We learn 1110r'e about Barrayaran history as we explore the problems that have been handed off to another Miles who does not share Ilis upbringing. Can the original Miles afford literally to become his brother's keeper'? Is that in the best interests of anyone, including the brother? Facing not only multiple identities IJut problems of multiplying complexity economic, political, sexual. psychologi cal, and moral -Miles must make choices that not only may mean 47


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 life or death for himself and his army but may also have long-range consequences for the planet he both loves and despises even while he serves it, ill his own fashion. Brothers in Arms presents Miles at his funny, inventive, complicated, post-adolescent best. Which is saying quite a good deal Martha A Battier Visionary Speculation Kelly, James Patrick. Look Into the Sun. Tor, NY, May 1989, 280p. $17.95 hc. 0-312-93148-4. Around tile middle of the next century, architect Philip Wing whose masterwork, The Glass Cloud, has just become the second of the world's Seven Wonders -is chosen by the alien "Messengers" to go with them to Aseneshesh, a planet of 82 Eridani populated by the humanoid Chani, there to design a glorious mausoleum for Teaqua, the Chani's living goddess. To accept the commission, Wing must leave forever his wife, Ilis work, his world, and. transformed by Mes senger biotechnology, his human form if not his humanity. As Wing is already alienated from almost everything of importance in his life, this new abandonment becomes for him the occasion for self-discovery and renewal. For the ChElili on Aseneshesh, the building of Teaqua's tomb marks a cultural crisis: the thearchy ruled by Teaqua is struggling to maintain the stability of Chani society as it confronts the intellectual, philosophi cal. and technological changes brought by the Messengers. The goddess. listening to her "whispers," must find a way to open her world to change and growth without destroying the heritage of the Chani religion. Philip Wing and his monument are means to that end. Look Into the Sun is an ambitious book that deserves to succeed, on the ground of imaginative richness alone, more than it actually does. But Kelly best known to date for his short fiction, including "The Glass Cloud" on which this book is based, and Freedom Beach (witll John Kessel)-has tried to write a novel of character rather than action, and he comes up short. There simply isn't enough space here to build for us tile very complex minel and motives of Philip Wing, to create a rich sense of the Chani, orto bring to life the mysterious Messengers. We are asked to accept assertions about the lives of the principals rather tllan being shown these lives in the making: the amount and density of "felt life" (if one can invoke Henry James these days) is siniply too litlie to realize the admirable ideas Kelly wishes to explore. 48


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Despite its thinness of texture. Look Into tile Sun is a provocative. thoughtful work by a promising autllor. and it will be read by many with pleasure. However, as it is overpriced in hardback, everyone except libraries should wait for the paperbound edition. -David Mead Cybernetic Wave-Rider McDonald, Ian. Out on Blue Six. Bantam/Spectra. NY, May 1989. 335p $4.50 pb. 0-553-27763-4. [Spectra Special Edition) Out on Blue Six is set in the wall-girt metropolis of Great Yu centuries after the Break that ended our own imperfect world. Now the city is a hyperregulated quasi-utopia called the Compassionate Society in which people are divided into castes with names like yulps. tlakhs. and migros, and carry about witll them embodied social consciences in tile form of electronic famuli controlled by the Ministry of Pain. Courtney Hall, a cartoonist, dares produce a strip of Socially Irresponsible satire, Wllich brings her to the attention of the Love Police. She goes (literally) underground, meets up with an assor1ment of outcasts including the King of Nebraska. a group of bioengineered raccoons and an amnesiac Messiah. and after an epic journey out of the Sub-Urbs and over the Wall. tile anarchic rebels succeed in transforming Yu by introducing into the city "a little pain and wonder and yearning and a touch of mystery." As migllt be expected from the author of Desolation Road and Empire Dreams. Out on Blue Six is a logomaniac's delight, a fantastic catalogue of allusions: "Cybernetic universes. mathemagical domains. angels with the heads of pins. worlds resting on crystal pillars borne up by the back of teenage mutant turtles. dungeons. dragons, and damsons, alphanumeric logopoli, corporate ziggurats, hallucinatory almostplaces with floating islands and flying whales." Though tile plot is as banal as it sounds and tile characters are Saturdaymorning cartoon-figures. the novel is a stylistic tour de force, a pas tiche/homage to the first wave of cyberpunk with everything on the Dante-Dos Passos-Dick axis thrown in. And that's just the D's. While I continue to feel McDonald is the most gifted SF stylist writing today (though still under tllirty. he seems to have read and assimilated everything), my doubts about Ilis progress grew a little with Out on Blue Six. A thousane! literary allusions don't add up to a work of literature, yet McDonald knows so much and writes so well that he ought to be a little more thematically ambitious or else he'II be accused, with some justification. of parasitism. He's like one of his own characters: so transported by dreams of the empire of words that he 49


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 needs to have his sleeve tugged and be reminded that. as a fellow Irishman once put it, in dreams begin responsibilities --Nicholas Ruddick A Cautionary Tale Resnick, Mike. Paradise: A Chronicle of a Distant World. Tor, NY, May 1989, 321p. $17.95 hc. 0-312-93183-2. The distant future world of the titie is Peponi (Swahili for paradise), but its story is a cautionary tale about the coming of "civilization" that stretches the definition of science fiction. The story is narrated by Matthew Breen, a scholar turned travel journalist, who unveils Peponi's history as he learns it, over time, from several very different sources. The dying August Hardwycke describes the early days of settlement, the "civilizing" of the natives and how safaris led by Hardwycke and the other great hunters of the early years began the destruction of indigenous wildlife. The events of the "Kalakala Emergency" and something about Buko Pepon, president of the now independent World, are told him by Amanda Pickett and other early settlers, farmers for the most part, who have fled Peponi following independence. Two later visits to the planet itself, one on the invitation of President Buko Pepon and the second after BUko's death, lead Breen to conclude that where his other informants hacl dreamed of the times just before their own as true Paradise, only Buko Pepon "looked ahead and thought he could see it, and he was wrong too .... [T] he tiny piece of Paradise" so long sought by others can only be found, ultimately, for themselves by the inhabitants of Peponi. This same conclusion equally well describes presentday Kenya, and one need not know Mike Resnick's liking for writing about Africa nor read Ilis tongue-in-cheek foreword to realize that he intends us to recognize it. Persons, places, events, flora, and fauna of Peponi are close counterparts of those found in Kenya. Thus, for Buko Pepon read Jomo Kenyatta; for Kalakala Emergency read Mau Mau Emergency; for Buko's tribe, the Bogoda, reael Kenyatta's tribe, the Kikuyi: for Landships and their valuable eyes read elephants and their valuable tusks; for the Republic read the British Commonwealth of Nations. Dust Pigs, Demoncats, Sabrehorns, Silvercoats, and other fauna, too, have Kenyan counterparts. Not that there is anything wrong with this approach: using our own historical past as framework on which to hang a science fiction tale is an honorable and often used narrative technique. When it is well done, as in this case, there is a resonance, an amplification, that produces an important eHect and permits the writer to make points about our 50


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 society. And certainly Resnick has written a tale of past mistakes that can serve as a warning for the future. In that sense, it is truly science fiction. I liked Paradise, and I recommend it. --AI1hur 0. Lewis Wolfe's Endangered? Not By Critics Wolfe, Gene. Endangered Species. Tor, NY, March 1989, 506p, $19.95 hC.0-312-93154-9. Endangered Species is Gene Wolfe's third collection of short fiction, reminding us that Wolfe is a writer not only prodigiously talented but pretty prolific, too. This volume contains 34 stories as well as an introduction, and none of the pieces appears in his two earlier collec tions, The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and other stories and Gene Wolfe's Book of Days Further, the collection includes works from throughout his career, Witll the earliest copyright 1968 and the most recent 1988. Since many pieces would now be very difficult to find, published first in convention program books and overseas an thologies as well as in American -zines and anthologies, this collection performs a real service for the avid Gene Wolfe fan. (Some superb stories, however, remains uncollected, such as "Parkroads -a Review" and "Westwind. ") The most important consideration should be quality, of course, and the volume does not disappoint. Not every work is a masterpiece: Wolfe's writing can be a bit precious when his technical brilliance overpowers his subject ("Kevin Malone"), when the ambiguity which is his trademark tends toward aimlessness ("The Map"), when emotion runs dry ("The Nebraskan and the Nereid"), or when there is too heavy a reliance on a surprise ending ("The Headless Man"). But these weaknesses do not make for shoddy stories, only stories less fine than Wolfe can produce. Wolfe's best shori fiction deserves a place Witll the best by other masters of the form in and out of the literary mainstream, and several examples of Wolfe's mastery are present in this volume. of which I'll cite just three. The first is really a sequence of four connected stories: "The Dark of the June," "The Death of Hyle," "From the Notebook of Dr. Stein," and "Thag." These stories have long been personal favorites of mine, but, since they were only available in the four voluilles of Roger Elwood's out-of-print anthology series Continuum, they weren't widely known. The cycle is a sort of Jungian expression of a parent's distress as a child matures and leaves the nest. In the first story a young woman escapes her family by a technology which allows her incorporeality: ghosts and SF mer'ge Her father searclles for her by Illeans of the 51


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, same technology in the second stor: 11P follows her Into the under world. In the third story Freudian psychiatrists cannot help a child possessed by the spirits of father, daughter, and other ghosts. Finally, all these spirits are united in the archetypal world of myth and fairy tale in the last story. These stories, published in 1974 and 1975, show Wolfe's ability to combine the icons of SF with myth, his skill at adapting style to content, and his sensitIvity in evoking the lost child. "The Last Thrilling Wonder Story" is not only a metafictional tour de force, but manages to use the cliches of space and horse opera to explore faith in a witty and sophisticated way. "The Detective of Dreams" is at one level a literary pastiche Edgar Allan Poe meets G.K. Chesterton while succeeding also as a serious allegory, the whole beautifully and movingly expressed. There is more to be said about endangered Species: how it shows the range of Wolfe's style, how we cah see the seeds of his novels In many of the stories, how this collection more than any other displays his fascination with fairy tales. But instead I'd like to address Wolfe's introduction, in which he proclaims his audience to be "you," the reader, not "some professor," as if professors didn't become such because they were readers to start with. I continue to be puzzled by Wolfe's hostility to academic criticism (though I realize this is a tradi tional SF attitude), because Wolfe usually avoids predictable stands, is certainly treated admiringly by critios. and writes fiction so dense in metaphor and allusion that close critical reading can only enhance understanding. For Gene, the critic seems to be an autocrat demand ing "a beginning, a middle, and an end," one who thinks "criticism the most important part of the process," and that "Great Literature ... is about love and death, while mere popular fiction like this is about sex and violence." These statements apply to some critics, certainly, but they apply to ordinary readers as well who are, after all, amateur critics, just as critics are professional readers. Surely the critic's job is to be the ideal reader on whom nothing is lost. In the process she may discover what isn't there, or succumb to hubris, or lapse into conten tiousness, since Sturgeon's dictum applies to criticism too, but every vocation has its dangers. Gene Wolfe's vocation is writing and he is, I think, the most gifted of all SF writers. Being less susceptible to his own vocation's dangers than most, he should rise above the less gifted among critics. Any decent SF collection should Include Endangered Species; Its slightest stories delight and edify, and its best are magnificent. -Joan Gordon 52


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Young Adult In Old Peru Anderson, Poul. The Year of the Ransom. Walker/Millenium, NY. 1988, 105p. $15.95 hc. 0-8027-6800-8. The Year of the Ransom, part of the Millenium line of young adult science fiction, is not the major new novel for which Anderson's numerous fans, myself included. have been waiting. Rather, this novel la-length work is an enjoyable but routine addition to what I've always felt was one of Anderson's less interesting series, his tales of the Time Patrol. Previous books in the series indude The Corridors of Time (1965) and Time Patrolman (1983). The story involves a plot by the time criminals known as the Exaltationists to disrupt history at the time of Pizarro's conquest of Peru. Anderson gives us a selection of characters of exactly the sort we'd expect to find in such a tale: a heroic Time Patrol agent; fanatical Exaltationist agents; a plucky young student who finds herself swept up in the action; a resourceful conquistador who may turn out to be either hero or villain. These characters are placed in a series of standard scenes: the Time Patrol agent undercover In old Peru; the Exaltationist agents in their secret fortress; the student trying to come to terms with time travel; the conquistador trying to deal with a 20th-century apartment. Anderson's prose is always serviceable and the novel contains all sorts of interesting information about the conquistadors and the Incas. The characters, however, are thin and the action fairly predictable. The Millenium series is designed to feature. in each volume, a major SF theme, but unfortunately (perhaps because of the YA audience) the author here avoids the more pyrotechnic use of time paradox found in the masterpieces of the genre, from Robert A. Heinlein's "All You Zombies" to Robert Silverberg's Up the Line to Mike McQuay's recent Memories. $15.95 seems a lot to spend for a mere 105 generally routine pages, especially considering how poor the book's illustrations are, but Anderson's fans will want to check this one out of the library. -Michael M. Levy 53


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Children's Two Wondrous Picture Books Le Guin, Ursula K. Catwings. Orchard, NY, 1988, 40p. $11.95 hc. 0-531-08359-4. ___ Catwings Return. Orchard, NY, 1989, 49p. $11.95 he. 0-53105803-4. The beautifully detailed pen-and-ink drawings and wash, in com bined line and full color by S. D. Schindler, and the attractively designed 5 1/4 by 7 1/4 inch format suit perfectly Ursula K. Le Guln's captivating tale of Thelma, Roger, Harriet, and James winged cats whose normal cat mother urges them to fiy away to a "better place" than the filth and dangers of the alley in which they were born. Yet, when they do, the young fiying cats quickly learn that all places have dangers. In the woods, food is hard to catch, and other animals and birds treat them as strangers. Helped by some children with "gentie hands," they do remain until, in Catwings Return, they go back to the city to visit their mother miraculously, just when she and a new little sister need their help. Whether Le Guin writes fantasy, science fiction, historical novel. or essay, her writing is always convincing, and any fantasy totally credible. However, the realization that Le Guln, in the restricted form of the picture book with its minimal number of words, can so swiftly and deftly depict the personality of each cat and of the children by whom they are befriended, is awesome. Anyone junior reader, young adult, or adult reading these books (especially reading them aloud to a child) will become totally involved in their depth of feeling and the rhythm and sound of their words. With strong roots in reality, the reader, charmed, will journey ecstatically with the enthralled lis tener to worlds where cats fly. -Muriel Rogow Becker 54


SFRA Newsletter, No. 169, July/August 1989 Continued from Page 4 and turmoil in other parts of China, so it remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved. There's an old Chinese blessing/curse which says: May you live in interesting times. We seem to be exceedingly blessed/cursed. Awards Given, Samizdat Displayed In keeping with one of World SF's most important concerns, the recognition of excellence in translation, the Karels are awarded each year. The 1989 winners are Erik Simon of East Germany, Helene Collon of France, Tauno Petolo of Finland, and William Wheeler of the U.S. President's Awards went to Roger de Garis (Macmillan Publishers) for "Special Efforts in Promoting SF in the World" and to Neil Barron for "Independence of Thought." [For the presentation of Barron's award, see the report on the SFRA meeting, included in these pages. Ed.) The Harry Harrison Award for Contributions to Science Fiction was bestowed on Vladimir Gopman of the U.S.S.R. A special award for the "Most Arduous Journey" to attend the meeting was shared by Yang Xiao from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, and Boris Zavgorodny from Volgograd, U.S.S.R. Zavgorodny displayed a collection of samizdat at the Eurocon. These books are produced as a labor of love, outside official channels, five at a time on a typewriter with carbon copies, each bound carefully to extend their life in circulation to hundreds of readers per copy. Samizdat remains popular in spite of glasnost since paper is still in short supply and the Soviet Writer's Union controls normal publication channels through allocation of official resources. Several people had to leave the meeting early, due to an announced rail and bus transportation strike, called for 24 hours beginning Satur day at midnight. Again fortunately, Fred and I were traveling after the meeting by car with Karen Haber and Bob Silverberg up to Ravenna to see the mosaics and on to Venice, where we had arranged to meet the Shibanos and Yang Xiao for some sightseeing. But unexpectedly, Harry and Joan Harrison also appeared in our hotel in Venice with their son Todd and daughter Moira and her husband Ed. It's a small world, the world of SF! -Elizabeth Anne Hull President 55


SFRA Newsletter No. 169 Robert A. Collins, Editor English Department Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL 33432 Non Profit Organization U. S. POSTAGE PAID BOCA RATON. FLORIDA Permit No. 77 DATED MATERIAL PLEASE DO NOT DELAY


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