The Hughes War of the Worlds in
H.G. Wells. The
War of the Worlds. Edited by David Y. Hughes. Introduction by Brian
W. Aldiss. The World's Classics. NY: Oxford UP, 1995. xlvi+188. $6.95 paper.
The text of this edition is that of Indiana UP critical edition reviewed in
November 1993, with a new and briefer set of explanatory notes. The Introduction by Brian
W. Aldiss discusses Wells's career as one of the great men of his day, his early sf and
its influence, and particularly the impact and later influence of The War of the
Worlds. The remainder of the apparatus, by Patrick Parrinder, is the same as that in
the OWC edition of The First Men in the Moon reviewed briefly in our last issue.
This is of course the best edition for classroom use or for anyone who feels he cannot
afford the critical edition. It must be regretted that the book is not available to
teachers, students, and readers in Britain.
Everyman Time Machine Re-Edited.
Further to my review of the new Everyman editions of Wells ("Questionable
Guides," SFS #64), it should be noted that the defective Moorcock edition of The
Time Machine has now been withdrawn and replaced by a new 'Centennial Edition' with a
different editor (The Time Machine: The Centennial Edition. Ed. John Lawton.
liv+106. £3.99, $3.95. The Everyman Library. London: J.M. Dent, and Rutland VT: Charles
E. Tuttle, 1995.) Though not wholly free of error (what is?), this is a substantially
corrected version of the original 1935 Everyman text with a new introduction and a careful
and much-needed Note on the Text. Unlike its predecessor, it is likely to prove a very
adequate edition for teaching purposes.
Writing for a Purpose.
Carol Farley Kessler. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Her Progress Toward Utopia, with
Selected Writings. Syracuse University Press (800-
365-8919), 1995. xi+316. $34.95 cloth, $16.95 paper.
Kessler states that Gilman's life and utopian writing are "a potential model for
readers today" (4). Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a potential model for how today's
literary critics can author truly useful books. It exudes Kessler's ability to anticipate
and to fulfill readers' needs. The first three chapters-- an overview of Gilman's life, a
survey of her utopian writing, and a discussion of connections between the life and the
utopias--are followed by ten not readily accessible short stories and chapters from four
novels. This combination of scholarship and original work adroitly enhances readers'
understanding of Gilman's unique contribution to feminist knowledge and utopian fiction.
This volume's "complex communication process" (5), its emphasis upon an author's
writing and living, shows that Kessler wishes to impact upon readers' lives. She insists
that Gilman's words can do things: "Whether Gilman's utopian writing continued or
instigated her healing, it has the potential to initiate ours.... Gilman's utopian fiction
might guide us into transitional spaces that could encourage our passages to other worlds.
We, too, can progress toward utopia in reading fiction that asks us as readers to imagine
other possibilities for the conduct of our lives" (12). When Kessler describes words
transporting people to other worlds, she evokes Le Guin's new notion of
"churten," outer space travel in which stories propel spaceships. Are critics
and writers currently undertaking "a journey of exploration" (9) in which
theorizing gives way to moving readers to new worlds, to utopia? I think that the answer
is affirmative and I think that the critical enterprise at large can derive a much needed
progressive thrust from generating texts which function like churten ships to carry
readers to new spaces. Kessler provides a model for how feminist critical words can lead
to actions in readers' lives. Like Gilman, Kessler is "writing for a purpose"
Kessler's juxtaposition of practical and critical approaches emphasizes Gilman's
relevance to contemporary concerns. She explains that Gilman is still ahead of her time
(43) and she illustrates exactly how Gilman impacts upon contemporary life. Undergraduates
living on Whoppers and French fries, for example, would be excited to learn that
"fast food chains, frozen prepared food companies, take-out windows in restaurants,
and catering services testify to the efficacy of Gilman's reform, if not to the quality
available, often falling far short of the healthful nutrition Gilman required" (46).
Many of their teachers would be glad to know that "Gilman forces us today to rethink
commonplace daily activities and recognize their relatedness to larger social goals"
(64). I am impressed by Kessler's insight that Gilman reflects contemporary fiction, that
Gilman writes metafiction: "Long before the fashion for metafiction, Gilman self-
consciously wrote a story about stories--about the possibilities for alternative outcomes,
beyond the expectations of the genre" (113). This point provides a means to link
Gilman with today's feminist fabulators. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, then, is appropriate
for students and for professors, pedagogical and critical pursuits. Furthermore, the
volume could be read with pleasure by the general public. Kessler's ability to engage
diverse audiences shows a progress toward utopian critical writing.
I expect readers to be
intrigued by Kessler's ideas about linking Gilman to contemporary feminist thought.
According to Kessler, Gilman anticipates Chodorow (58), relates to Gilbert and Gubar
(111), and is applicable to Russ (59) and to Piercy (107). Connections such as these
strengthen feminist discourse. I quickly switch from strength to weakness to express my
appreciation for Kessler's willingness to state that all aspects of Gilman's life and work
are not utopian. She informs readers that Gilman is both at ease "with a position of
white racial superiority" (73) and "waxes anti-Semitic" (77). Despite
Gilman's insights about housework, I cannot, with the ease advertisements attribute to
floor care products, gloss over texts which wax anti-Semitic. Kessler alerts me to the
fact that it is sometimes necessary to read Gilman positioned as Judith Fetterley's
"resisting reader." Charlotte Perkins Gilman is an interesting and practical
means to make more people members of the "developing community of readers" (115)
whose lives are touched by Gilman's living and writing. Kessler educates readers and
provides her colleagues with an example of how to bring academic writing closer to
becoming a move toward utopian space.
--Marleen Barr Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University,
Text and Context.
Doris T. Myers. C.S.
Lewis in Context. Kent State UP, 1994. xvi+248. $28.00.
Yet another book on C.S. Lewis? One more that purports to place him and his work in
context? Hasn't this been done many times before? There are biographies (A. N. Wilson's
remains the best), studies of his Christianity and his Romanticism, his role as a teacher
and as a popular moralist, his friendship with Tolkien and the Inklings, his space
trilogy there is even a companion to the Narnia books. What more can be said about Lewis'
Judging from Doris Myers' new book, a very great deal indeed. Her happy thought
is to apply to Lewis' fiction some of the same techniques he used in his academic
publications to elucidate medieval and early modern literature: to examine his
presuppositions and the context in which he created his works. By following this approach,
she is able to demonstrate that, contrary to the common view of Lewis as a displaced
Edwardian (or worse), Lewis' fiction is rooted in contemporary issues and controversies,
especially the debates over the nature of language and metaphor that were common in
British intellectual life during the interwar years. Myers first analyzes the language
issues which concerned Lewis, then shows in successive chapters how these influenced The
Pilgrim's Regress (1933), Out of the Silent Planet (1938), Perelandra
(1943), That Hideous Strength (1945), the Narnia chronicles (1950-56), and Till
We Have Faces (1956). Lewis' other fictions, The Screwtape Letters (1942)
and The Great Divorce (1945), have less to do with philosophy of language, in
Myers' reading, and are not treated.
It was not the development of technical analytic or
linguistic philosophy that provoked Lewis, but rather a more accessible publication, C. K.
Ogden and I.A. Richards' The Meaning of Meaning, first published in 1923 when
postwar disillusionment with government propaganda and distrust of language were
widespread. Ogden and Richards represented what Lewis came to see as the "low
evaluation" of language, that words simply refer to things, not to universals, and
have no inherent connection with the things designated. The mind is no more than a passive
recipient of sensory data. Empirical, objective meanings of words can be established
through analysis of usage and behavior. Only such scientifically based language,
therefore, can yield valid knowledge. The opposing view the "high evaluation" of
language was expressed by Owen Barfield in Poetic Diction (1926). To Barfield,
coming from a background in Platonism, Coleridge, and Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy,
words refer to universals and thus are inherently connected to things, language is
metaphorical, and the mind is active in formulating concepts which correspond to
universals. At bottom, scientific language is no less figurative than poetry; both can
produce knowledge through their common basis in metaphor.
This debate is, of course, a
version of the familiar medieval controversy between nominalism (words as merely names)
and realism (words referring to real universals), made newly relevant, as Myers clearly
demonstrates, by postwar disenchantment with linguistic manipulation by government,
business, and media. It is no news that Lewis adopted the realist position, in part
through his friendship with Barfield. What is new is how closely Lewis' fictions engaged
the language issues of the day. Myers' sensitive reading of The Pilgrim's Regress,
for example, reveals that this allegorical satire of modern culture is far more based in
language issues than previously recognized: the metaphorical nature of language, the
specific metaphors employed (especially the geographical metaphors which recur throughout
Lewis fiction), the wordplay that satirizes numerous examples of current literary
criticism and linguistic analysis.
Myers' approach to the Ransom or space trilogy to focus
on the most science-fictional of Lewis' works for the purposes of this reviewis to
consider Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra in the context of
literary genre and the distinction between highbrow and lowbrow readers, while That
Hideous Strength is treated in connection with the issue of language control. In
essence, Myers argues that in the Ransom trilogy Lewis deliberately attempted to reach
both "lowbrow" and "highbrow" readers, the former by writing adventure fiction, the latter by emphasizing "style, classical background, and moral
seriousness" (28), and uniting them by using mythic structures. Despite his
conservative outlook, Lewis strongly defended genre fiction when well done. In 1953 he
sharply criticized cognoscenti for ignoring Childhood's End while taking seriously
"any `realistic' drivel about some neurotic in a London flat."
detailed comparisons of Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra with their Wellsian
counterparts, The First Men in the Moon and The Time Machine, usually
but not entirely convincingly to the detriment of Wells. Her contention that Perelandra
owes far more to The Time Machine than to Milton should be considered seriously.
Regarding language issues, Myers makes much of the fact that in the first two novels of
the trilogy Ransom is a philologist (like Tolkien and Barfield), not a linguist; and so,
to a certain extent, is Merlin in That Hideous Strength. As a philologist, Ransom
is concerned with the documentary study of classical languages, interpretation, and the
relationship of language to culture, not behavioral studies of nonliterate peoples. By
virtue of this grounding, Ransom is open to understanding and to coping with the reality
that is revealed on other worlds, while Weston, the caricature of a scientist, is
narrow-minded and rigid, incapable of grasping reality as it actually is. It is not easy
going even for Ransom, however. In Perelandra, as Myers cogently demonstrates,
the strangeness of the language used by Tinidril, the unfallen Eve, owes much to
Barfield's theory of metaphor as well as to her own innocence of human social convention.
Hideous Strength, surely one of Lewis' least successful fictions, considers the
effects of the improper use of language and science on the modern world. Its context is a
secondary school textbook, The Control of Language by King and Ketley, which
adapted Ogden and Richards to the teaching of English. Lewis attacked it directly in his
Riddell Lectures, The Abolition of Man (1943), and indirectly in the third Ransom
novel. He believed that the educational practices proposed by King and Ketley, especially
avoiding emotion in language, would stunt young persons' emotional growth and their
ability to reason. What makes us human, Lewis believed, is trained emotions, the ability
to recognize the affinity between emotion, aesthetic response, and reason. In the novel,
modern science's attempt to reduce everything, including language and humanity itself, to
observable facts and analyzable objects leaves everything, including science itself, open
to manipulation. Science becomes power, not knowledge; language becomes propaganda, not a
relationship between mind and the universe. Merlin, who replaces Ransom as the principal
protagonist, succeeds in overcoming the enemy and setting matters right through his power
These few highlights of Myers' analysis must suffice. They do not do justice
to the complexity of her exposition. Her book is clearly written, detailed in its
analyses, firmly based in the texts of Lewis and his contemporaries, and by no means
uncritical of Lewis' accomplishments. Myers is persuasive in showing that Lewis' fictions
are indeed grounded in a contemporary context of language philosophy and that their
function is misunderstood if they are viewed as thinly disguised moralistic or theological
tracts. C.S. Lewis in Context is one of the indispensable books on Lewis.
--Robert Galbreath University of North Carolina
Vonnegut, A to Zog.
Marc Leeds. The
Vonnegut Encyclopedia: An Authorized Compendium. Greenwood Press
(800-225-5800), 1995. xvi+693. $75.00. Leonard Mustazza, ed.
The Critical Response to Kurt Vonnegut.Greenwood
Press (800-225- 5800), 1994. xxxiii+346. $59.95.
Although published by the same press, these volumes are otherwise about as different as
they could get.
The Critical Response collection, part of a series, is attractively bound
in blue-grey buckram. Inside, the typeface and format look remarkably like those of
itself a few years back. Aside from one very brief 1952 review (in those early years Kurt
Vonnegut seems to have been invisible), it contains essays and reviews during the quarter
century from 1966 through 1991. For the record, one of the essays (by Daniel L. Zins,
1986) is from SFS, and one of the reviews is by me (from National Review, 1973).
While I find its other aspects attractive, the proofreading is abominable (as a shameless
example, I found four typos in the three pages of my review). Materials are arranged
chronologically by novel; thus the second item in the book is an essay from 1983, because
it is about Vonnegut's first novel, the 1952 Player Piano.
Vonnegut's career can
be charted in any number of ways, with the graphs taking different kinds of roller-coaster
rides. As one of the later reviewers noted, he went "from the science fiction racks
to the black humorists' clique to the Spokesman for Youth lectern to the mainstream."
In the 1980s, his books were selling in the millions and, judging by my own
twenty-one-year-old, he is still popular with Youth. But on the other hand, there is a
general critical consensus that his best novels came early, and that the best of all was
either God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater or my own favorite, Cat's Cradle. A
break in quality occurred after Slaughterhouse Five, when Vonnegut announced in Breakfast
of Champions that he was giving his characters their freedom. Indeed, a few years ago
a session at the Modern Language Association convention was devoted to "Vonnegut's
Second Career," evaluating the merits of the later novels as though they belonged to
a different genre than the early ones.
Or one could worry about Vonnegut's relation to sf.
Taking their cue from the infamous "chrono-synclastic infundibulum" of Sirens
of Titan, to some extent from Slaughterhouse Five (where the Tralfamadorians
reappear), and from some of Vonnegut's own statements, a number of essays in this
collection see sf as mainly an aspect of comic relief. But Vonnegut's first novel was
"straight" sf, and Cat's Cradle is also based on a solid, straight sf
premise--here it is religion (Bokononism) that delivers the comedy. And the critics enjoy
quoting Eliot Rosewater's praise of Kilgore Trout and the other sf writers, "I love
you sons of bitches" (in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, one of the few
Vonnegut works that doesn't have sf elements). Consequently other essays here are devoted
to Vonnegut's use of his scientific background and outlook.
This collection is
consistently of high quality. The only disappointment is an early review from the New
York Times by Terry Southern, written when he and Vonnegut were both lumped among the
Black Humorists. It is dutiful, surprisingly so, but less than inspired. The most curious
piece is a later review (actually an article) by another novelist, John Irving, a
shameless rave for the weak Railbird. Irving calls Vonnegut "our strongest
writer," emphasizing the moral elements. He even compares him to Dickens which happens
to be the highest praise that Irving, a real Dickens fan, can bestow on anyone. Irving
gets downright mawkish in his praise of
Railbird: "Its last word with a
proper chill, and a proper sadness is 'Good-bye.'" Garp! If you have been collecting
books on Vonnegut, you already have a number of these essays, including three by Jerome
Klinkowitz from his various Vonnegut collections, and two by Mustazza himself on Vonnegut's last two novels from his own recent book. His essays are as good as any others here.
we turn to The Vonnegut Encyclopedia we find a different kettle of Kurt. Less attractive
binding, different typeface, better proofreading. This is a one-man job by Marc Leeds, and
apparently comes with Vonnegut's blessing, as he has written a one-page foreword. Not
content with writing an encyclopedia, Leeds has also included a "concordance."
In other words, this book is intended as a guide to characters, places, ideas, and key
words in Vonnegut's work. Even though Marc Leeds seems to have written a dissertation on
Vonnegut, he apparently didn't merit any entries in Mustazza's extensive bibliography, and
his encyclopedia seems to be an amateur production; in fact, the first words of Leeds'
preface are "I am an unabashed Kurt Vonnegut fan. In the academic marketplace this
may not get me very far...." Perhaps Dr. Leeds should be abashed.
The problems are
mostly those of inclusion and exclusion, but also include an apparent inability to
condense anything, and a certain amount of indigenous ineptitude. To take the concordance
aspect first, I can understand why every mention of the atomic bomb is listed; this might
be a useful way to use up two pages in a Vonnegut encyclopedia. However, I found it under
the listing "Abomb, American bomb, atomic bomb, atom-bombed, atom-bombing,
atombombed, atomic weapons, hydrogen bomb, the bomb...neutron bomb." Why is all this
listed under "A-bomb" when not one of the five long quotations under this
heading mentions "A- bomb," while four mention "atomic bomb"? This is
a real problem, since an entry for "atomic bomb," if it existed, would have come
fifteen pages later too far for browsing. Anyway, two pages are devoted to the reasonable
subject of nuclear bombs but why are three-and-a-half pages devoted to "stairs,
staircase, stairheads, stairway, stairwell"? Not one of the many quotations makes the
concept of "stairs" significant; it is not a meaningful concept in Vonnegut in
the way that "stars" might be. I say it might be, but "stars" is not a
word included in this concordance. (Note: after finishing this, I found, curiously enough,
a spirited defense of precisely the "stairs" entry in the "feature
review" of a recent SFRA Review [#217:21-25, May-June 1995].)
On to the
names of characters. Here Leeds is reasonably competent, but often misses part of the
significance. For instance, "Hartke, Eugene Debs." Leeds notices that
"Hartke is the second of three Vonnegut characters named for Indiana labor leader
Eugene Debs." But he fails to mention (as the several essays in Mustazza's book that
include this character fail to mention) that "Hartke" is also a significant
Indiana name. Vance Hartke, one-time senator from Indiana, was practically a Vonnegut
character himself thirty years ago; if memory serves, Hartke was strikingly liberal for an
Indiana politician, but he was also voted by his peers the least effective member of the
Senate two years running. So it goes. As Vonnegut's books served me as a rather bizarre
guide to Indiana when I moved here some time ago, I can testify that they include many
comic references to Hoosierdom; Leeds has missed many of them. In fact,
"Hoosier" isn't even in his concordance, even though it is Vonnegut's prime
example of a granfalloon.
And another problem. None of the essays in Critical Response
makes a connection between the struggle with mental illness of Vonnegut's son Mark and
Vonnegut's own works; in fact, only John Leonard mentions Mark Vonnegut's book The
Eden Express. I looked up Mark in the Vonnegut Encyclopedia and couldn't
find him where he should have been; instead he appeared under the heading "Vonnegut,
Dr. Mark" several pages earlier. All of which reminds me that in Cat's Cradle,
chapter fifty-five is titled, "Never Index Your Own Book." Probably one
shouldn't alphabetize one's own encyclopedia either. I did say that this appeared to be an
--Charles Nicol Indiana State University.
Thinking About (Thinking About) the
Peter Schwenger. Letter
Bomb: Nuclear Holocaust and the Exploding Word. Baltimore, MD: Johns
Hopkins UP, 1993. xviii+163. $38.50 cloth, $13.95 paper.
I have been wanting to review this book, however tangential to the study of sf it might
be, for quite some time now. Like a text by Jacques Derrida, however, which one tends to
approach obliquely rather than directly, Letter Bomb rather defies the process of
intellectual translation which makes for a straight forward review. I do not find it
surprising that Derrida's is an important presence in this meditation on the nuclear
While not directly concerned with sf, Letter Bomb certainly recognizes
the relevance of sf to its project and periodically introduces various genre and
slipstream texts into its discussion. For this reason, and because of the very original
and relevant variation it plays on that field which has come to be known as "nuclear
criticism,"* it is
well worth undertaking a reading of this dense and occasionally visionary study. Letter
Bomb, as its author is well aware, names not only its subject but itself; it explores
explosions, real and fantasized, feared and desired, at the same time as it wants
passionately to set off its own intellectual explosions in the minds of its readers.
Perhaps it would be accurate to characterize Letter Bomb as a work of meta(nuclear)theory.
Reading more like something by Paul de Man than Paul Brians, Letter Bomb reflects
upon some of the ways in which post-industrial culture has thought about the nuclear
event. Its purpose is less to explore individual works, however, than it is to construct,
slowly and indirectly, a kind of composite portrait of apocalypse, one drawn from fact and
fiction, theory and narrative, politics and psychoanalysis. This portrait is not the last
word, however; in the "final" analysis, Schwenger is concerned with how we have
arrived at these constructions and what they can teach us about the power of language
and/in its interactions with the human psyche.
Schwenger builds up the layers in
Letter Bomb through the deployment of some unusual juxtapositions. Derrida's
theoretical text, The Post Card, is discussed alongside David Brin's sf novel, The
Postman, and both are placed beside/against Peter Townsend's nonfiction account of The
Postman of Nagasaki. Derrida's "seminal" statement on deconstruction,
"Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" and Russell
Hoban's postmodern post-apocalyptic novel, Riddley Walker, are read through each
other. Jacques Lacan's revisionary psychoanalysis is juxtaposed with the surreal
dream/reality which is Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.
As all of this might suggest,
Letter Bomb can be difficult reading, especially for readers unfamiliar with its
theoretical languages and contexts. It rewards persistence, however; its images, ideas,
suggestions, arguments, and readings proliferate widely and wildly, like the weapons
stores of some unregenerate nuclear power, all aimed at setting off those explosions of
which Schwenger believes language is capable.
Schwenger opens Letter Bomb by
deploying Derrida's 1984 commentary on the nuclear event, "No Apocalypse, Not Now
(full speed ahead, seven missiles, seven missives)." In this early and very
influential example of nuclear criticism, Derrida argues that the nuclear apocalypse
remains "fabulously textual, through and through" (qtd. xiv; emphasis in
original); that is, it exists only in our own imaginative constructions of it. This,
however, does not simply amount to another formulaic deconstruction of material reality
which is followed by absolutely no material consequences. As Schwenger argues,
"Nuclear strategy mingles science with beliefs about others' beliefs, and of course
about others' science, and one's own, in a proliferating and paradoxical network of
speculation which yet constitutes our reality" (xv).
The texts through which the
apocalypse is constructed have their own intensely important roles to play in the world.
For this reason, Schwenger is interested in the ways in which the human imagination
constructs and then interacts with the idea(s) of the nuclear holocaust, and in the role
of language and reading in such interactions. He tells us that Letter Bomb
began as a study of literature about nuclear holocaust that is, a study of what
literature could "tell" us about nuclear holocaust and our reactions to its
suspended potential. The nature of the telling itself was always, of course, in the
foreground but so complicated was this nature where the nuclear referent was concerned that
the question soon generated another, its reversed mirror image: the book became a study of
what the nuclear referent could tell us about literature. (xi)
Nuclear fiction has its own specific role to play: "A post-nuclear war narrative
is addressed to, posted to, those who live in a prewar condition. To the degree that this
is a didactic fiction, its aim is to initiate a `return inquiry' into the origins of that
postnuclear world in the world we are inhabiting now" (7). Schwenger comments not
only on Brin's The Postman and Hoban's Riddley Walker, but on Maggie
Gee's The Burning Book (1983) and Denis Johnson's Fiskadoro (1985), as
well as on the massively technologized Robert Wilson/Philip Glass "opera," Einstein
on the Beach (1976). His reading of Riddley Walker is particularly good,
raising important questions about representability and narrative, the interplay of absence
and presence, within the context of "Circling Ground Zero" (the title of the
What, finally, is the role played by these imaginative textualizations which
include not only fiction, but studies like Maurice Blanchot's The Writing of the
Disaster and René Girard's Violence and the Sacred? By extension, we are
also asking about the role played by Letter Bomb itself. Perhaps surprisingly, Schwenger's
aim is a consciously utopian one. He turns finally to the philosophy of Ernst Bloch,
because, for Bloch, "the work of art performs a particular, and particularly
important, utopian function. It is an aesthetically attempted preappearance: art for Bloch
is a laboratory of forms and impulses" (146). In the last of his many unexpected
juxtapositions, Schwenger turns from Bloch's philosophy of utopia to Lacan's commentary on
language's potential . as a process of growth, one which, ideally, terminates in "a
radical destabilizing, indeed an explosion of self" (149). Finally, then, it is
language and the productions of language which Schwenger contrasts to the nuclear
explosion which promises only absence. Letter Bomb concludes on a note of faith in humanity's ability to image, and therefore to help insure, a future. While I do not always
share its faith in the powers of imagination and language, I am compelled by its rigorous
arguments and I am certainly attracted to its postmodern philosophy of hope.
[*In his introductory chapter, Schwenger notes that "nuclear
criticism" came into its own in the mid- 80s. See, for example, the SFS special issue
on "Nuclear War and Science Fiction" (#39, July 1986); see also Paul Brians' Nuclear
Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895-1984 (Kent State UP, 1987)]
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