Science Fiction Studies

 

#81 = Volume 27, Part 2 = July 2000


Notes and Correspondences

Dating H.G. Wells. When the Sleeper Wakes (1899), A Story of the Days to Come (SDC, 1899), and Anticipations (1901) are among the titles by Wells whose order of composition is particularly significant because of their intertextual relationship. What would now be called the futurological content of the three is substantially the same. Yet while Sleeper engages, evaluatively, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888), SDC bears on, and defines itself in relation to, William Morris’s News From Nowhere (1890/91)—as Wells makes clear from the start of each (through the name Morris/Mwres and Graham’s resemblance to Julian West as a chronic insomniac). Anticipations, by contrast, uses nonfictional speculation to account for how Sleeper’s and SDC’s future evolves. Immediately at issue, then, is Wells’s starting point: did he begin (insofar as "beginning" can be determined) with Bellamy, with Morris, or with a vision of an early 22nd-century megalopolis that he imagined independently of Looking Backward or News From Nowhere?

Sleeper (Jan.-May 1899) precedes SDC (May-Oct. 1899) in order of (serial) publication, which suggests Bellamy rather than Morris as Wells’s starting point. As for Anticipations, it began its run in the Fortnightly Review of April 1901, roughly fifteen months after Sleeper and SDC had appeared in hard covers. Yet its early chapters recycle (nearly verbatim) speculations already lodged in the fictive frameworks of Sleeper (§12) and SDC (§§2-3), raising the possibility that the idea of the coming megalopolis came first. Either way—and more importantly—Sleeper, SDC, and Anticipations appear to be implicated with one another.

With Wells, it may seem safe to assume that the dates of publication and composition are proximate to one another. From the moment that he decided to make his living by writing, he worked hand-to-mouth, so to speak; nor did he have to accumulate a drawerful of manuscripts before getting one accepted (contrary to what was becoming the rule by the late nineteenth century). Even so, it cannot be taken for granted that he conceived of his works in strict accordance with their order of publication. The War of the Worlds’ Martians, for instance, are traceable to his speculations not only about "The Man of the Year Million" (Pall Mall Gazette, 1893) and "Intelligence on Mars" (Saturday Review [SR], 1896), but also about "Another Basis for Life" (SR, 1894), which in turn develops an idea that Wells first articulated in his days at the Royal College of Science during the late 1880s. At least part of his conception for the 1898 book, then, was in his head years before Wells wrote The Island of Doctor Moreau (1895/6) or The Invisible Man (1897). And by the same token, it does not necessarily follow that Wells conceived of Sleeper, SDC, and Anticipations in their published order.

The main basis for deciding composition dates is the evidence supplied by letters from and to Wells. With Sleeper, I am confident of both termini, a quo and ad quem. According to the notes I made in researching the University of Illinois Wells Collection, Wells on May 14, 1897 reported to J.B. Pinker (his literary agent) that he’d started Sleeper and should be done by Christmas. Geoffrey West (124) records the actual completion date as March 6, 1898, with Wells and Amy Catherine setting sail for Rome the next day. Wells hurried the finish. To J.M. Dent on November 19, 1897, he writes that for "fourteen months [from August of 1896 on] I have worked to & fro on two books [Sleeper and Love and Mr. Lewisham]. And neither ... is nearly finished yet.... ‘When the Sleeper Wakes’ is a pile of big fragments" (Correspondence, ed. Smith [hereafter CW], 1:295). To George Gissing in Rome, ca. January 1, 1898 (Gissing replied on the 13th), Wells writes that Sleeper is nowhere near delivery and the Roman holiday (finally realized in March; see above) must be postponed:

My Dear Gissing, I had hoped with the new year to get things sufficiently fixed up to tell positively that we could come to Italy.... I do still hope. But only dogged industry will finish [Lewisham and Sleeper] before the month of February. I am (strangely enough) highly satisfied with both these things. [Sleeper] is twice as long as anything I have done before already, and I have done crowds of people, a revolutionary tumult, and a description of vast buildings and contrivances, in a way that even on a temperate reading does not shame me. Parts I have reshaped, rewritten and retyped time after time.... And there are symptoms of a play coming on. But that shall not bar the way to Italy I swear. (Gettmann, ed., 69-71).

In fact, 1899 would arrive before Sleeper saw serialization (in weekly installments of The Graphic from January 7th to May 6th—and, pretty much concurrently, in Harper’s). So it may be that Wells worked on it further after returning from Italy. On the other hand, once he returns, all letters I have seen report only illness—and frantic effort with Love and Mr. Lewisham.

I can date the finish of Days to Come and some part of its progress, but not its inception. Wells notified Pinker on April 16, 1899 that he had completed it; just a few days before, he twice consulted his friend and doctor, Henry Hick, on the story’s final details. Earlier, on March 17 and 18, Pinker reported that he had some of the proofs in hand (Wells customarily sent them after having made his corrections). As for Wells to Hick, the two letters bear no date or return address, but the first is headed (in a hand that is not Wells’s) "Arnold House, Sandgate." Wells in Experiment in Autobiography (379) reports moving to Arnold House on March 31, 1899—in good time for letters to pass between himself and Hick before April 16th, the end date. (The "Arnold House" header is rejected on chronological grounds by David Smith, but he sets the serializing of SDC two years too early, in 1897—perhaps inheriting the mistake from "G.H. Wells’s" [i.e., Geoffrey West’s] bibliography, 217). Actually, the Pall Mall Magazine’s six monthly installments of SDC began in May 1899.

The two letters to Hick both ask the doctor how best to kill off Bindon (not named). The first reads:

Dear Hick, I want things thus in a story. ¶ A ‘man of pleasure’ is in pursuit of a young person of beauty & virtue [—] to her & the sympathetic heroes [sic] misery. The man of pleasure feels ill & consults a doctor who tells him either that he is within X days of death or that he will be in excessive pain in X or an undefined number of days. ¶ He determines to commit suicide & desists from this pursuit [i.e., of Elizabeth]. ¶ Thinking over things he perceives fresh aspects of the case, interviews the young people in a vein of enormous magnanimity & departs to commit suicide as if it were on the girl’s account. ¶ They [i.e., the Dentons] treasure his memory for ever after. ¶ ?What might the disease be to satisfy the conditions of this story? ¶ ?Some pending news terrible that arises from excess would be good.—But N.B. diseases in magazine stories must be decent. [My ¶s replace Wells’s indents.]

In a follow-up, Wells writes: "My dear Hick, May I give the gentleman angina pectoris with the other things? On the other hand, I’ve thought simply of giving him ‘beans’ without explanation. Like God a novelist must supply phenomena—not explain ’em." This letter, like the previous one, indicates that the writing of SDC extended into the spring of 1899, possibly well into April.

Evidence about the composition of Anticipations is scanty. The earliest sign I find of Wells’s committing to the project dates from March 26, 1900, when his literary agent, Pinker, probably echoing Wells, speaks of "The Great Prospectus" (see Smith’s H.G. Wells, 91-92 & n; Smith, by the way, makes sporadic use of the Wells-Pinker letters as a biographer but next to none as CW’s editor). Pinker (again according to Smith) kept after Wells, urging him in mid-May to embrace the duty of "thinking literary men" (Pinker’s phrase) to declare their views on public matters. Pinker monitored Anticipations’ installments for "style, as well as their saleability" (Smith says); and Alfred Harmsworth swayed Wells by offering him space (almost as if "commissioned"—this word is the Mackenzies’ [161], who apply it to the arrangement Wells in the end reached with W.L. Courtney for the Fortnightly serialization of Anticipations. So Wells in all this was not the freest of literary spirits.). One last piece of evidence for the dating of Anticipations is a letter of July 2, 1901 from Wells to Elizabeth Healey, in which he informs his friend that "Last December I was writing some ambitious stuff called Anticipations for the Fortnightly Review & I am writing it still—& it is July!" (CW 1:379)—i.e., well into the Fortnightly serialization of April-December 1901.

All the evidence I have confirms, then, that work on Anticipations didn’t begin in earnest until Sleeper and SDC—both of which, separately and together, anticipate much of it—had come out in hard covers (the latter in Tales of Space and Time). Wells altered at least two of these three works in the short space between their serialization and their book appearance. Among other things, he got rid of Sleeper’s original ending (in The Graphic version [69 (May 6, 1899): 561-63], Graham dies sentimentally in the arms of a shepherd); and he also removed an absurdity of another kind: a reference to the use of ergot and strychnine as prophylactics against the ills of flying an "aėropile" (Graphic 69 [Mr 18, 1899]: 330). Far less extensive but of greater import were the changes he made to the Pall Mall Magazine SDC. He eliminated the chapter subtitles that located the story at the close of the 21st century, removing with them any contradiction of the internal fictifacts that allow SDC to coincide chronologically with Sleeper (i.e., the outset of the 22nd century). But he also added a reference to "Ugh-lomi" and specified "bears and lions" as animals inimical to neolithic humankind—expressly and by allusion thus connecting SDC to A Story of the Stone Age, its predecessor in Tales of Space and Time.

As for Anticipations, many of the footnotes that Wells added, mostly to the 1914 edition, take into account criticisms and suggestions in a way that makes the book something of a collaborative effort. At the same time, he reviews his turn-of-the-century’s predictions in the reissue’s Preface, unduly congratulating himself on some (e.g., concerning Russia) and prematurely recanting others (notably, his prophecy about the impact of the automobile on social organization). In this last respect, Anticipations acquires the character of a work-in- progress, something implicit from the start by reason of its emanating from Sleeper and SDC (as the chronological relationship of the three in point of composition confirms).—David Y. Hughes (with RMP)

WORKS CITED

Gettmann, Royal A. George Gissing and H.G. Wells. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1961.

Mackenzie, Norman, and Jeanne Mackenzie. H.G. Wells. New York: Simon, 1973.

Smith, David, ed. The Correspondence of H.G. Wells. 4 vols. London: Pickering, 1998.

))))). H.G. Wells, Desperately Mortal. New Haven: Yale UP, 1986.

Wells, Geoffrey H. H.G. Wells, 1887-1925. A Bibilography, Dictionary and Subject Index. London: Routledge, 1926.

West, Geoffrey. H.G. Wells. New York: Norton, 1930.

News from France. Each spring for the past four years, the "Galaxiales" science fiction conference has taken place in Nancy, France, and this year was no exception. On April 13-16, an international group of sf writers, critics, publishers, artists, and fans met in Nancy for three days of informal talks, round-table discussions, author signings, and other sf festivities. Organized by Stéphane Nicot and an editorial team of the French sf magazine Galaxies, the event was sponsored by a variety of public and private organizations, including the mayor’s office of the city of Nancy, the regional bureau of Cultural Affairs of Lorraine, the IFRAS, Radio France, FNAC, and many Parisian publishing houses who carry sf lines, including Robert Laffont, J’ai Lu, Flammarion, Fleuve Noir, and Pocket.

Guests of honor and other sf writers invited to attend this year included Pat Cadigan and Robert Reed—the only SFWA member from Nebraska, as he pointed out—from the USA, Andreas Eshbach from Germany, Michael Marshall Smith from Great Britain (who never showed), and René Réouven and Bernard Werber from France, among many others.

In addition to the literary sessions, this year’s "Galaxiales" also featured several art exhibits by illustrators Philippe Caza and Manchu, sculptor Philippe Pasqualini (who designed an impressive statue of Dan Simmons’s "Shrike"), and special-effects latex artist Paul Lancon, an exposition of facsimile covers from the US pulp sf magazines of the 1920s and 1930s (courtesy of the Maison d’Ailleurs in Switzerland), a remarkable exhibit for adolescents called "SF in 15 Stations" by Claude Ecken, as well as showings of both classic and modern sf films in the evenings.

Finally, a new award was inaugurated this year called the "Prix Alain Dorémieux"—in memory of the sf author, critic, and editor of the French journal Fiction, who died last year. The award is for young sf authors who have exceptional promise, and it was given to Claire and Robert Belmas, whose sf short stories appeared in Galaxies in 1999.—Roger Bozzetto, Université d’Aix-Marseille I

Darko Suvin on Fascism. I’ve read with great interest your issue #78 surveying the history of sf criticism. I don’t enjoy backseat drivers and as a rule conduct my answers or polemics by developing further essays. But there is one matter in the lively survey by Donald M. Hassler that I think calls for brief dissent, both personal and general: his metaphoric use of "fascism" as a kind of escapist idealism yearning for "a fresh, universalized, purer narrative of heroes ... and of utopian possibilities for the future" (213). This defines not only sf but also all other products of the human mind (except for the most Philistine babbitry lauding the present as the best of all possible worlds) as fascism, so none of us should be surprised if we are tarred with that brush. But if one wants to collapse into the same category a utopian liberal such as Asimov, a Puritan revolutionary such as Milton’s Satan (one of the saints in my calendar), and more or less socialist left-wingers, from pink to deep red, by seeing them as "identified and defined by [an idealism] in contrast to stifling system" (222), then strange ambiguities (to say the least) will ensue.

As a careful and well-meaning scholar, Hassler notes the commitment of all Marxians to the master’s "demystification" (224-25), and he kindly and rightly includes me in that explicitly anti-fascist trend (228 and 229 passim). But in the same breath he also suggests, in spite of that, that my thinking "provides the logical support" for his interpretation of much sf and/or sf criticism as "fascist." This horrifying conclusion, a total novelty to me, calls for support beyond hints and metaphors.

For the grossly de-historicized context of present-day postmodernism, I may appear too finicky. But as a pre-teenager, my life was seriously threatened by one real fascist state (Germany), and I’ve been interned by another (Italy) and almost killed by a third (Croatia). I have had two grandparents and two uncles killed by fascists (German and Croatian), and so cannot swallow the illicit metaphoric extension of the meaning of "fascism"—in Professor Hassler’s account, by the way, bereft of its main economic, political, and indeed ideological connotations (racist, sexist, etc.)—even to liberals (the real ones, of the Jefferson-cum-Mazzini kind), much less to socialists or communists like me. As developments all over the world show, fascism is resurgent underneath our fake globalization: in the US it calls itself "libertarian militias."

I do not impugn Mack Hassler’s well-meaning aims, and I’m in favor of academic and other mischievousness. I’ve personally always found him a friendly gentleman, and he has just in these last months bent over backwards to accept very quickly a very long study of mine on fantasy (forthcoming, he tells me, in the Fall issue of Extrapolation). But I cannot risk falling under the adage "whoever remains silent, consents." Dixi et salvavi animam meam!—Darko Suvin

DMH Responds. Even though the resonance of passion seems more strident than I prefer, the opportunity that Darko Suvin has given me to think again about my small researches of last year into fascist images is welcome. As best as I can reconstruct my thought for the essay he cites, I think that I allowed my mind to wander toward what Suvin in his note nicely labels "strange ambiguities" and "horrifying conclusion [s]." I posed the question as I planned the essay of how the character of Satan, whom Suvin celebrates as a "Puritan revolutionary," might help us to read the character of the rhetorical fascists such as Mussolini and how both might help us to read sf characters and sf effects. If my thinking collapsed too many distinctions, I am sorry. I can only say that my intention was academic rather than political or personal. But clearly another of the strange ambiguities in work is how soaked we always are in the personal, even the metaphoric. So I continue to look at the vast cultural study on fascism that emerges ghostlike from the depths of the century we are just completing. Most recently I am reading Paul Morrison, The Poetics of Fascism (Oxford UP, 1996). At the same time, I hope to remain friends with Darko Suvin. Tantae molis erat (Aeneid I, 33).—D.M. Hassler

On Global SF. I enjoyed the two-part discussion of global sf very much, but I do wish someone had mentioned in some detail my Science Fiction for Young Readers (Greenwood, 1999), in which scholars from the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, and Australia discuss the history and development of sf for the young adult markets in those countries.—C.W. Sullivan III

[Ed. Note: We plan to cover SF for Young Readers as part of a review-essay, probably to appear in the November issue.—RL]

SF and Fantasy M.A. Track at FAU. The Department of English at Florida Atlantic University is developing a graduate concentration in Science Fiction and Fantasy and expects to begin offering courses in this program in Fall 2000. A few teaching assistantships are available to highly qualified students that provide an annual stipend of $12,000 and a 90% tuition waiver. Application materials are available at <www.fau.edu>. Submit application, transcripts, and GRE scores to the Office of Graduate Admissions, and a writing sample and two letters of recommendation to Howard Pearce, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431. For additional information, write to Professor Pearce at <pearce@fau.edu>.—William A. Covino, Chair of English, FAU

SF Conference in Greece. From October 18-21, 2001 the Department of American Literature and Culture at Aristotle University (Thessaloniki) will hold an international conference on science fiction, the first ever held on Greek soil. The focus is on "Biotechnical and Medical Themes in SF," and the special guests include Greg Bear, Joan L. Slonczewski, and Susan M. Squier.

Recent studies have blamed sf for enveloping biotechnology, genetic engineering, and cloning in a negative climate: they have accused sf of generating bias, distorting facts, sounding false alarms, and infecting the public with the virus of skepticism. The conference will debate the role of science fiction in non-fictional debates about biotechnology. Areas of study include print sf and sf cinema, television, and theater; the length of presentations will be twenty-five minutes maximum. Send to the conference chair, via air mail, abstracts (300-500 words) and proposals for panels by March 31, 2001; include title, name, mailing address, phone number, a brief cv (1-2 pages), and e-mail address. Although the panels will not be restricted to discussion of anglophone sf, the language of the conference will be English. Further information is available at <www.enl.auth.gr/sf>.—Domna Pastourmatzi

New Journal. Winedark Sea, a new Australian journal of the surreal, the fantastic, and the magically real, is looking for submissions (from one sentence to 10,000 words) of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Multiple submissions and e-mail submissions are accepted, but we will not consider simultaneous submissions or reprints. Payment is about AUS$10 per thousand words for first Australian serial rights and non-exclusive rights to electronic publishing. For contributor’s guidelines, send a business-sized, stamped, self-addressed envelope to Winedark Sea, PO Box 367, Southgate, Sylvania NSW 2224, Australia. Our e-mail address is<editors@winedark.com>; our webpage is located at <http://www.winedark.com/>.—The Editors, Winedark Sea

Call for Essays: SF and Theory. The SFRA Review is inviting 1,500-2,000 word essays by SFRA members on the relation of contemporary literary theories to sf and sf pedagogy. Joan Gordon and Shelley Rodrigo Blanchard, editors of the series, are looking for studies of major critical works or surveys of particular theoretical stances (reader-response, eco-feminism, queer theory, etc.). Potential contributors may contact either editor by e-mail with a brief proposal: <joangordon@dellnet.com> <Shelley.rodrigo@asu.edu>.—Joan Gordon and Shelley Rodrigo Blanchard

Call for Papers: Television and the Fantastic. The Science Fiction Foundation and Association for Research in Popular Fictions are co-sponsoring a conference on television and the fantastic at the University of Reading, England from April 7-9, 2001. Abstracts of proposed papers (on individual programs, themes, technological issues, culturally specific television fantasy, and considerations of globalization) should be sent by September 30, 2000 to Dr. Farah Mendlesohn, Middlesex University, White Hart Lane, London N17 8HR, UK, or e-mailed to <Farah3@mdx.ac.uk>.—Farah Mendlesohn

Call for Essays: Two Special Issues of Para*doxa. For "Fifties Fictions," essays are sought on crime fiction, juvenile delinquency stories, Westerns, sf, comics, neglected literary fiction, gay and lesbian romances, and studies defining the psychosocial paradigms in and of the era (such as the works of David Riesman, William H. Whyte, and Erving Goffman), as well as the influence of editors, reviewers, publishers, and anthologists (such as Arnold Hano, Judith Merril, and Anthony Boucher). We welcome studies of single authors and single works as well as comparative studies. Our interests include but are not limited to Charlotte Armstrong, Carl Barks, Alfred Bester, Robert Bloch, Vance Bourjaily, Leigh Brackett, Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Fredric Brown, Howard Browne, William Burroughs, R.V. Cassill, Alice Childress, Richard Condon, Donald Cory, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, William Demby, Philip Dick (sf and mainstream), Harlan Ellison, writers and artists of E.C. Comics, William Campbell Gault, David Goodis, Cameron Hawley, Chester Himes, Dolores Hitchens, Edward Hoagland, Dorothy Belle Hughes, Evan Hunter (Ed McBain), Shirley Jackson, Jack Kerouac, John O. Killens, Cyril Kornbluth, Elmore Leonard (Westerns), Thomas McGrath, Richard Matheson, Judith Merril, Margaret Millar, Vin Packer (Ann Aldrich), Ann Petry, Frederik Pohl, Peter Rabe, Craig Rice, Irwin Shaw, Mickey Spillane, Theodore Sturgeon, Jim Thompson, Nedra Tyre, Alex Raymond, and Jack Vance. It’s important that potential contributors realize what we are not looking for as well: writers too canonical for our project include James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor, and Gore Vidal. Guest Editors for the special issue are Samuel R. Delany (SUNY Buffalo) and Josh Lukin <jblukin@acsu.buffalo.edu> (SUNY Buffalo). Deadline for submissions is December 1, 2000.

For the special issue "Horror," the deadline is February 1, 2001. We invite fresh approaches that concentrate on neglected aspects of primary texts, approaches to horror from rarely considered critical vantage points, and new readings. We encourage submissions on such neglected authors as the Flemish writers Jean Ray and Thomas Owen or Lovecraft’s disciple Clark Ashton Smith, as well as writers operating across genre lines (e.g., Jonathan Carroll, Angela Carter, Michael Blumlein, M. John Harrison, or Graham Joyce). Other possible topics include female writers, ethnicity and race in horror, themes (such as horror and war, or horror and post-colonialism), scriptwriters such as Andrew Kevin Walker, Arkham House, the pulp tradition, magazines such as Fangoria, splatterpunk, horror awards and organizations, horror tropes in such games as Quake or Resident Evil, influential horror anthologies, collaborative writers, horror criticism, horror in the literary mainstream, horror pastiche, crossovers (horror/sf, horror/historical romance), and horror serials from McDowell’s Blackwater to King’s Green Mile. The guest editor for this special issue is Steffen Hantke <steffenhantke@hotmail.com>, Regis Univ., Denver.

Potential contributors should consult submission guidelines on the inside back cover of the journal.—David Willingham, Managing Editor & Publisher

Call for Papers: 2001—A Celebration of British SF. The Science Fiction Foundation and the University of Liverpool welcome paper proposals for a conference to be held at the University of Liverpool from June 28–July 1, 2001: guests of honor will include Brian Aldiss, Stephen Baxter, Nicola Griffiths, Gwyneth Jones, and Ken MacLeod. The focus will extend to all aspects of post-war British science fiction (print sf, art, music, film, and television), but of special interest would be proposed papers on Arthur C. Clarke (patron of the Science Fiction Foundation) and John Wyndham (whose papers are held by the University of Liverpool). A list of postwar British sf authors can be found at <http://www.liv.ac.uk/~asawyer/2001.html>. Abstracts should be sent by September 30, 2000 to Dr. Farah Mendlesohn, Middlesex University, White Hart Lane, London N17 8HR, UK, or e-mailed to <Farah3@mdx.ac.uk>.—Farah Mendlesohn

2001: Once and Future Odysseys. The 22nd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts will meet from March 21-25, 2001 at the Fort Lauderdale Airport Hilton. The conference theme is "Once and Future Odysseys"; Guests of Honor will include John Crowley, Brooks Landon, and Patricia McKillip. Further conference information will soon be posted on the IAFA website: <http://www.iafa.org>.—VH

Myth and Legend of the Pacific. The Mythopoeic Society is an international literary and educational organization devoted to the study, discussion, and enjoyment of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams. It believes the study of these writers can lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of the literary, philosophical, and spiritual traditions that underlie their works and can also engender an interest in the study of the genre of fantasy as well as the realm of myth and legend from which such authors derive their inspiration. From August 18-21, 2000, the Society will host a conference at Kilauea Military Camp, Island of Hawai’i; Guest of Honor is Steven Goldsberry, author of Maui the Demigod: An Epic Novel of Mythical Hawai’i. While the deadline for session proposals has passed, registration information is available at <http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon31.html>.—Edith L. Crowe, Clark Library, San Jose State University

Hong Kong 2001: Technology, Identity, and Futurity. Hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong in conjunction with the University of California, Riverside, this conference will be held on January 4-6, 2001. Confirmed guests include Gregory Benford, Scott Bukatman, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr., Jack Dann, N. Katherine Hayles, David Pringle, Takayuki Tatsumi, and Janeen Webb. Although the Western and Eastern worlds were once divided by geography, ignorance, and xenophobia—as revealed in speculative fiction and elsewhere—modern science and technology are now breaking down the boundaries between East and West and threatening traditional cultures and values. A juxtaposition or blending of disparate values is visible in the high-tech underworlds of cyberpunk fiction and in the growing number of sf novels and films produced by Asian countries. Focusing primarily on literature and film, this conference is open to proposals from all relevant disciplines that deal with the past and present interactions of technology, tradition, globalization, and identity along the East-West axis. The conference coordinators are Wong Kin Yuen (kinyuenwong@cuhk.edu.hk), George Slusser (george.slusser@ucr.edu), and Gary Westfahl (Gwwestfahl@aol.com). Inquiries and proposals should be sent to Gary Westfahl no later than September 30, 2000 via e-mail or to this address: Gary Westfahl, The Learning Center 052, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. Acceptance letters in response to good proposals can be provided immediately for prospective speakers seeking financial support.—Gary Westfahl

New "Early SF" Book Series: Call for Submissions. Wesleyan UP has just announced a new book series entitled "Early Classics of Science Fiction" to be launched in 2001. This series will consist of scholarly editions of classic English-language sf and new translations of non-English sf—both featuring critical introductions, extensive notes, bibliographical materials, etc.—as well as monographs and other scholarly studies that focus on early sf (pre-1940). According to Wesleyan, the primary goal of this "Early Classics of Science Fiction" series is: "to provide a venue for the publication and scholarly study of neglected early works of science fiction and, in so doing, to expand and enrich the traditional definitions of the genre."

Wesleyan is now soliciting manuscripts, proposals, ideas, and volume editors for potential books in this series. Please send your suggestions and/or submissions directly to the General Editor: Arthur B. Evans, Department of Modern Languages, EC L-06, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN 46135, e-mail: <aevans@depauw.edu>. For further information about the series, contact Wesleyan UP at the following address: Suzanna Tamminen, Editor-in-Chief, Wesleyan University Press, 110 Mt. Vernon St., Middletown, CT 06459, fax: (860) 685-2421, e-mail: <stamminen@wesleyan.edu>.—ABE

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

Carol Margaret Davison will take up her new post as an Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor this July. Anti-Semitism and British Gothic Literature, a revision of her dissertation (McGill University, 1998), will be published next year by Macmillan UK.

Amanda Fernbach is currently in the English Department at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, where she is completing her doctoral dissertation, "Synthetic Selves, Techno Idols and the Dominatrix: Cultural Fetishisms from Decadence to the Post-Human," of which this article will form part of a chapter. Her other work on fetishism includes "Dracula’s Decadent Fetish," in Dracula: The Shade and The Shadow: A Critical Anthology, and "Wilde’s Salome and the Ambiguous Fetish," in Victorian Literature and Culture (forthcoming).

A contributor to SFS since 1983, Carl Freedman is the author, most recently, of Critical Theory and Science Fiction (Wesleyan UP, 2000) and the winner of the 1999 Pioneer Award for Excellence in Scholarship from the Science Fiction Research Association. Currently at work on a book about Richard Nixon, he teaches English and serves on committees at Louisiana State University.

David Ketterer is professor of English at Concordia University in Montréal. The recipient of the 1996 Pilgrim Award, he is the author of New Worlds for Old: The Apocalyptic Imagination, Science Fiction, and American Literature (1974), Imprisoned in a Tesseract: The Life and Works of James Blish (1978), The Rationale of Deception in Poe (1979), Frankenstein’s Creation: The Book, the Monster, and Human Reality (1979), Edgar Allan Poe: Life, Work, and Criticism (1989), and Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy (1992). He is the editor of The Science Fiction of Mark Twain (1984) and of Charles Heber Clark’s A Family Memoir (1995). He is currently working on a book about John Wyndham.

De Witt Douglas Kilgore is Assistant Professor of English at Indiana Univer-sity, and is the author of The Wonderful Dream: Nation, Race and Science Fictions of an American Future in Space (forthcoming).

David A. Kirby earned his PhD from the University of Maryland in Evolutionary Genetics. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at American University, where he is pursuing research into how representations of biology have been mediated in popular culture. He has published scientific articles in Genetics and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has a forthcoming book chapter in the anthology Drive-In Horrors, which explores the anxieties surrounding the discovery of DNA as expressed in drive-in horror films.

Kenneth Krabbenhoft is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. He has written three books on the Spanish seventeenth century and articles on Spanish, Portuguese, and Brazilian literature, sf, and mysticism. He is currently preparing an annotated translation of the kabbalist Abraham Cohen de Herrera’s Puerta delcielo.

Brooks Landon, currently chair of the English Department at the University of Iowa, is the author of The Aesthetics of Ambivalence: Rethinking Science Fiction Film in the Age of Electronic (Re)Production (Greenwood, 1992) and Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man to the Stars (Twayne, 1997). He was recently selected as Guest Scholar for the 2001 International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.


moonbut.gif (4466 bytes)Back to Home