BOOKS IN REVIEW
Utopias Imagined and Utopias Attempted
Kenneth M. Roemer. The
Obsolete Necessity: America in Utopian Writings, 1888-1900.
State University Press, 1976, xiv+239, $10.00.
Charles Pierce LeWarne. Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885-1915.
This most recent of a growing number of works about Utopia is one of the best. Dealing
with perhaps the most important dozen years in the history of American utopian writing, it
is, as the author points out, neither a literary study, nor a social history of actual
utopian communities, but "primarily an attempt to examine 160 American fictional and
non-fictional utopian, anti-utopian, and partially utopian works...." Starting from
eminently clear goals: "to make the utopian authors' ideas and attitudes more
accessible," "to evaluate the relevancy of specific utopian reforms and utopian
speculation in general," and "to see what the utopian works can tell us about
American culture, past and present," Professor Roemer's measured and careful
interpretation of the works with which he deals reaches a high level of competency.
The book is logically organized. Thus, the first chapter attempts to respond to the
question of why in the last decade of the nineteenth century a form of writing present
from the beginnings of American history should so suddenly, as demonstrated by both
popularity and numbers of publications, achieve so influential a role. The quite simple
answer is that, in that time of turbulent transition, the world Americans had been
promised appeared more than ever threatened by machines, by crime, by political and
economic struggle. At the same time as various reform movements gained strength there was
always the possibility that some unifying vision might provide the means to eliminate the
bad elements, preserve the good, and bring order out of chaos. Such visions were the stock
of utopian writers, and, because they were reasonably representative of their time, an
investigation of what they had to say can tell us much about American society at the end
of the nineteenth century.
The next three chapters examine the basic assumptions about how to achieve an American
utopia. The utopian writers were especially concerned with questions such as when and
where will "The Change" occur and can human nature be changed. For the most part
the answers were now, in America, and yes, the individual may be
"converted, led, whitewashed and conditioned." In responding now they
saw possibilities of both catastrophe and paradise, often coming out of violence, and
their descriptions of the manner in which utopia might be reached frequently alluded both
to destructive forces--floods and volcanoes were popular images--and to the powerful
Christian symbolism of Resurrection. In responding in America these writers
differed from their predecessors, who had generally set utopias in far-off places away
from the known world, and almost inevitably located their utopias in the United States.
(As Roemer points out, this was so even when the utopia was on a distant planet or an
imaginary island since these places were analogies for an ideal America.) Although a
partial reason for thus locating utopia was the traditional American faith in
virgin--unoccupied--land either as a powerful stimulus to begin anew or as a necessary
condition for the founding of model communities, two modified versions of these
expectations, that of exploring ways of reclaiming the land from the evils to which it had
been subjected and that of transforming model communities into activist movements that
would eventually reform the continent, were equally influential. In responding yes,
human nature can be transformed, they suggested several possibilities for achieving
this goal: at one end of the spectrum was sudden, individual, inward conversion; at the
other was a gradual process dependent upon man's ability to manipulate his environment and
predetermine the characteristics of human nature; and between these extremes were
glorification of a culture hero who inspires mass conversions and implied dominance by a
preferred group and elimination or neutralization of others to produce the desired traits.
Following examination of these basic assumptions are four chapters concerned with
analysis of what utopia would be like, once attained. In turn, Professor Roemer looks at
problems of economic reform--chiefly aimed at replacing economic inequality; moralistic
outlook--usually favoring a genuinely Christian society; technological advances--not
always intrinsically good; education--generally a life-time experience, universal, free,
and utilitarian; and changing sex and family roles--much disagreement among those who
advocated the conventional Victorian family as ideal, those who advocated a structure that
freed women from economic dependence upon men, and those who proposed elimination of both
economic and social functions of the family.
Treated in less detail are views of government, the arts, international relations, law,
food, clothing, language and mass communications, and leisure. In all of these areas the
most persistent characteristic is, as Roemer correctly points out, an ambivalence towards
change: "Almost everything about the present had to be changed, but the ultimate goal
of all change was world without change." Although this concern for simplicity and
unity produced a group of reformers blinded to the possibilities of human enrichment that
might be found in this world of change, this very "awareness of the fragmented
meaninglessness of much modern living" foreshadowed quite similar attitudes in our
own time. In the last of the chapters dealing with utopia achieved the perfect city of the
future is examined as an overview of the utopian culture. All that was best and perhaps
all that was worst in the utopian ideal are found in these immense and lovingly
constructed metropolises. In their desire to combine the best of the city with the best of
the country the utopian writers frequently used technology on a vast scale to create
rigidly organized and orderly communities. As a result of their preoccupation with unity
and coherence they created urban landscapes of glass and steel, but their pyramids,
rectangles, beehives, circular cities, and parks carefully planned down to the last blade
of grass were populated by citizens pledged to the ways of cooperation and order which
were seldom to be found in the chaotic cities of their own day.
In his final chapter, Roemer suggests that these utopian works are an index to
late-nineteenth century American culture, to a time when things seemed to be coming apart
because traditional perspectives and values seemed to be out of touch with day-to-day
realities. Yet, though they were fearful of letting go traditional values, the utopian
writers were willing to accept the need for change, and, if they were nationalistic,
charged with a sense of urgency, and often naive and limited, they were still able to see
not only the good but also the fearful possibilities of some of the utopian ideas they
presented. Today, says Roemer, we find the good of these utopias unlikely of achievement
and we fear even more the bad. Nevertheless, speculating about bringing the good life to
everyone is certainly better than "drifting from expedient to ad hoc buoyed only by
piecemeal reforms and fragmented values that are out of touch with much of our everyday
experience." To study these works is to learn more about ourselves.
The book concludes with fifty pages of notes and bibliography which complement the text
proper. In the notes are found both detailed documentation of sources and references to
additional items of interest. The bibliography includes excellent listings of selected
bibliographies and secondary sources and a thorough, year-by-year, annotated listing of
utopian, anti-utopian, and partially utopian writings published in the United States from
1888-1900, certainly the best of its kind to date.
This is a good book, a carefully written and thoroughly comprehensive study of an
important period in our nation's history. There are, as always in this less than perfect
world, a few typographical errors; for example, "Counsul-General" (p 143),
"New Leat Mills" (p 195), and the garbled Eddy-Flory entry (p 209). A more
serious error is ascribing authorship of The Legal Revolution of 1902 to William
Stanley Child. (Here the fault is not Roemer's, but mine, for he obviously accepted my
Arno reprint designation of Child as the author; as the Library of Congress has pointed
out, I placed too much trust in a cataloguer's decision which was in turn based on
insufficient evidence.) But I note these errors less as carping criticism than to point
out how excellent a study this book really is.
There are numerous high points of accomplishment such as the discussion of why these
American writers were so much more concerned with the path to utopia than their European
predecessors and contemporaries, the analysis of Mark Twain's ambivalent attitude about
progress in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, the examination of the
perils of placing technological power in the hands of the wrong man in W.N. Harben's The
Land of the Changing Sun, and above all those sections throughout the book in which
what these frequently less than literary writers had to say about an ideal society is
related to the concerns of our own time. It is thus a work that points the way to further
study, some of which Professor Roemer has already completed and published elsewhere. But
there is room for much more, of value, and perhaps others will now follow his example.
Charles Pierce LeWarne. Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885-1915.
University of Washington Press, 1975, x+325, $12.50.
No one will read this study for entertainment, but anyone interested in utopian
ventures will find it difficult to continue further investigation of the field without
having read it. The book discusses a small number of communitarian settlements in
Washington state during the period around the turn of the century. These experiments
resulted from a renewal of interest in communitarian ideals, following the several decades
of dormancy which had succeeded the activity of the first half of the 19th century.
Although many panaceas for grievances of the time were in evidence--single tax, Christian
socialism, anarchism, and other fermentative movements--LeWarne believes that this revival
flowed most directly from the efforts of Laurence Gronlund, Edward Bellamy, and Julius A.
Wayland, who, though "not the only exponents of socialism...[had a] distinctly
American ideology" that was of significance.
Although there had been a few scattered utopian experiments in Washington from its
earliest settlement, the first significant modern communitarian colony was the Puget Sound
Co-operative Colony at Port Angeles, begun in 1887 and officially dissolved in 1904.
LeWarne deals with this colony and then in turn with Equality (1897-1907), Freeland (1899-
), Burley (1898-1913), and Home (1896-1919), concluding with a few words on the
semi-revival of communitarianism in the 1960s. Between these two limits he describes in
detail the goals, the leaders, the people, the trials, the successes, the dreams of these
colonies. Although these attempts failed, their influence both in Washington and
throughout the nation was significant. Thus, since most of the colonies recruited to the
state many persons who remained and raised families, persons who were liberally inclined
in their thinking, reading, and associations before they arrived, the atmosphere of
Washington was generally more hospitable to radical views and activities than might
otherwise have been the case. Many of the colonists both during and after their stay in
the colonies became active in socialist politics, and some were elected to public office.
Others, leaving both the colonies and Washington, became prominent in other areas and in
similar enterprises. Publications printed in the colonies had some influence throughout
the country, and some of the writers and editors of these periodicals continued in
journalism elsewhere after leaving the colonies.
If one may generalize in regard to the fate of these experiments, it would be that the
noble and idealistic hopes of their beginnings failed in the face of human weakness and
concluded in acrimony and litigation. In fact several of the colonies were ordered into
receivership by judges, and the actual liquidation took up to a dozen years to accomplish.
It some cases there was no absolute end. Thus, it is not really clear when Freeland as an
experiment ceases (that may be because it was never a colony in its narrowest sense but
simply a gathering of like-minded radicals who sought to retain the socialist entity
outside the confines of a regimented communal existence), and there are still a few
descendants of the original settlers living in the area as is the case in Burley and in
Home. This is a chapter in American history, a study of which reveals as well as any other
might, the difficulties of putting the foundations under one's dreams. Human nature, both
within the experiment and without, with its characteristics of petty jealousy, ambition,
suspicion, and fear was, in the end, the real cause of failure. Yet these were noble
experiments from which much of value can be learned.
LeWarne has presented one of the most thoroughly documented studies of a specific
phenomenon that has been published in recent years. The notes and bibliography are
thorough and extensive, and there are some excellent illustrations, mostly contemporary
photographs. It is clear that if there are documents, published or unpublished, bearing on
these colonies which he has not examined, there could not be much of value in them. In
addition, he has interviewed survivors whenever possible--almost fifty of them. His
conclusions are well substantiated by the evidence. No serious utopian scholar can afford
to ignore this highly competent contribution.
--Arthur O. Lewis
Fantasy versus Science Fiction
C.N. Manlove. Modern
Fantasy: Five Studies.
Cambridge University Press, 1975, viii+308,
These five studies in post-Romantic "fantasy," with their admirable readings
of the various texts, will be invaluable to anyone working on any of the five subjects:
Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies (1863), George MacDonald's Phantastes
and Lilith (1858,1895), C.S. Lewis's Perelandra (1943), J.R.R. Tolkien's
The Lord of the Rings (1954-55), and Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy
(1946-59), each viewed in the light of the author's life and the main body of his work.
The thoroughness of Mr Manlove's preparation for the reading of the texts themselves is
comparable to that of David N. Samuelson for Visions of Tomorrow. But chapters 1
and 7, the "Introduction" and "Conclusion," are less satisfactory,
which is to say that the book is more rewarding in its particulars than in its
generalizations. In the second paragraph of his introduction Mr Manlove gives us for
"fantasy" a dichotomizing definition: A 1fiction 2evoking
wonder and 3containing a substantial and irreducible element of 4the
supernatural 5with which the mortal characters in the story or the readers
become on at least partly familiar terms [superscripts added]. He then takes up the
parts in the order 1, 4, 3, 2, 5. When he comes to the 4th part, he expands it, utterly
without notice, into supernatural or impossible worlds, beings or objects. Having
completed his partition, he "repeats" his definition, with the 4th part
expanded, as if completely unconscious of any revision. Although this confusion can be set
down to a simple proof-reading error, the error itself--his forgetting to replace the
original second paragraph with the revised version--may with some confidence be ascribed
to his preference for the first form of the definition, his unhappiness at having to
struggle with defining the impossible, a concept on which there is simply no consensus.
By "supernatural or impossible" Mr Manlove intends not a dichotomy but a subsumption: the supernatural is a species of the impossible, and the response of readers
to the supernatural-or-impossible is different from their response to the possible. In one
place he speaks of "Something which we know at the outset to be impossible...a system
of angelic planetary intelligences like Lewis' Oyeresu or a stone which is a gateway to
mystic union as in Charles Williams' Many Dimensions" (p 2), and in another
he says "As soon as the 'supernatural' has become possible we are no longer dealing
with fantasy but with science fiction" (p 3). But to me the gateway in Many
Dimensions is no more impossible than the interstellar gateways of science fiction,
and while I see no reason to believe in the existence of the Oyeresu, I also see none to
believe in their impossibility: except for making a stone so large He can't lift it,
nothing is impossible to an infinite God. The supernatural is subsumed by the impossible
only in the mind of the unbeliever, and therefore must not be so subsumed in definitions
that depend on the responses of believers as well as unbelievers. If there is a fantasy of
the impossible, it must be regarded as different in kind from supernatural fantasy.
Mr Manlove needs a definition of the impossible only because of his prior determination
that Titus Groan, Gormenghast, and Titus Alone are fictions of
the same kind as Perelandra and Many Dimensions:
This phrase [supernatural or impossible worlds, beings or objects] is meant to cover
whatever is treated as being beyond any remotely conceivable extension of our plane of
reality or thought. Peake's Gormenghast, for instance, has no connection with our sphere
of possibility: the author suggests no way in which it might be reached from our world,
nor does he give it any location in time or space. Nothing 'supernatural' or magical by
our standards is in fact present: the inhabitants of the castle are bizarre, and the
ancient Ritual by which they govern their lives makes them still more odd, but they are
none of them gods, angels or fairies, and there are no miracles. Only the existence of the
realm itself is impossible or wholly 'other' in relation to ours, just as ours would be to
it: the situation is one of two separate natures. In science fiction we find that such
otherness is never present, however remote the location: for example, the planets
described in Frank Herbert's Dune or the far galaxy in Asimov's Foundation
trilogy are possible worlds in that they are set in our universe and describe the sorts of
events and civilizations that conceivably could exist, whether now or in the future. [p 3]
What all this comes down to is the proposition that if the author neglects to tell us
how to reach his fictive world or neglects to locate it in time or space, then that world
is necessarily "beyond any remotely conceivable extension of our plane or reality or
thought" and "impossible or wholly 'other'"--a principle that would move
Asimov's "Nightfall" and many another story out of SF into "fantasy."
As a matter of fact there are a thousand things in the first two volumes of the trilogy
to locate Gormenghast on our planet (e.g. the phases of the moon), in the northern
hemisphere (the passing of the seasons and months), and in the 19th-century West if not
indeed in 19th-century Europe (the names of the days of the week as well as the months of
the Gregorian calendar, the clothes the people wear, the furniture in their homes, their
domestic animals, their tools and vehicles, what they eat and drink, including the
laudanum with which Sepulgrave soothes himself). To be sure, Gormenghast appears to be
isolated from the rest of the world, but this is only a reflection of the degree to which
the community is turned in upon itself (it is perhaps the purest example of
"collective solipsism" in English literature), for the Gormenghastians enjoy all
the comforts of 19th-century England, and if we were to imagine on the basis of what is
not said that they have no international commerce, we would also have to imagine something
else that is not depicted: an extraordinarily diverse and productive industry and
The one apparently impossible thing in the trilogy occurs at the beginning of the third
volume: Titus's riding out of Gormenghast into a great city technologically somewhat
further advanced than any in our world--i.e. out of the near past into the near future.
The science-fictional nature of Titus Alone might well cause us to ask whether
the first two volumes would not be better described as SF than as "fantasy." The
thing in, rather than absent from, these stories that makes the difference
between England and Gormenghast greater than that between England and Ruritania or
Graustark is the ancient Ritual mentioned by Mr Manlove, the apparently meaningless public
ceremonies led by members of the royal family (who seem to have no other governmental
duties) in which the people worship not God or even the State but instead their dimly
remembered past. These ceremonies, and the relationships they imply between various
segments of the social order, make Gormenghast a heterotopia, and if we need some location
for it in the continuum, there is no reason why we should not posit an alternate time
track in which, in at least some parts of Europe, the old religions died out but
Christianity never took hold.
With respect to the possible/impossible we must make a tripartite distinction. First,
we know pretty well what is possible in the here-and-now of the natural order viewed as
unpenetrated by whatever powers may exist in supernature, the past or future, or outer
space. Second, we do not and cannot know what is possible for mankind in the future or for
psychozoa in other parts of the natural-order universe. Third, those of us who have never
had a mystical experience, who have never seen a god, ghost, or fairy, who have never been
visited by a time-traveler or extraterrestrial, do not and cannot know (however strong our
opinions on the matter) that such beings are not among us here and now.
Fiction may deal with acknowledged reality (things we all know to be
occurring here and now), with acknowledged unreality (things of a kind which we all
agree are not occurring here and now but which might occur in the future or in other parts
of the universe, e.g. regularly scheduled and public interstellar trade and
travel), or with disputed reality (things such as are said to be occurring here
and now by those who believe that gods, devils, extraterrestrials, and/or time travelers
move among us). In putting extraterrestrials and time travelers with gods and devils, we
are merely recognizing the fact that over the last two centuries a new mythology has
arisen from science, pseudoscience, and science fiction--a mythology that makes possible
belief/disbelief in material beings as powerful as the supernatural beings of the older
All fictions deal to a large degree with acknowledged reality. I would apply the term mytho-logical fantasy to those that deal also with disputed reality, and the term science
fiction to those that deal also with acknowledged unreality (recognizing that the two
can be blended, as in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land or Lewis's Perelandra).
Since the terms realistic and naturalistic have long been applied to
make distinctions among those fictions that deal only with acknowledged reality,
I would prefer not to use either for distinguishing such fictions from SF and fantasy, and
would suggest instead a term that has sonic currency in SF fandom: mundane fiction.
Brian W. Aldiss and Harry Harrison, eds. Hell's Cartographers: Some Personal Histories of Science Fiction
Harper and Row, 1976, vi+246, $7.95. (Also UK: Weidenfeld
and Nicolson, 1975, same pagination, ¬£3.50.)
I want very much to set down my thoughts and my experiences of life. I want to do so
now that I have come to middle age and now that my attitudes are all defined and my
personal drama worked out. I feel that the toil of writing and reconsideration may help to
clear and fix many things that remain a little uncertain in my thoughts because they have
never been fully stated, and I want to discover any lurking inconsistencies and
So begins The Passionate Friends (1913), and so--or in much the same
way--begins one or two of the other novels that Wells wrote in the first person, as well
as Experiment in Autobiography, all in recognition of the classic motive for
autobiography: not just to tell, but to learn, about oneself. Of the six contributors to
this volume, only the first, Robert Silverberg, seems to have this motive in even a small
At last to speak of one's self. An odd temptation, which mostly I have resisted, in the
past, maintaining that I'm not ready to undertake a summing up, or that I'm in the midst
of some intricate new transition still not fully understood, or that I'm bored with myself
and talking about myself. Yet I have granted all sorts of interviews, and spoken quite
explicitly, all the while protesting my love of privacy; the one thing I've never
attempted is explicit written autobiography. I manage to hold all poses at once, esthete
and man of commerce, puritan and libertine: probably the truth is that I have no
consistent position at all. We'll see. [pp 7-8]
But the promise of the last sentence is not kept: Silverberg tells us what he already
knew about himself before taking up the task, not what he learned (if anything) during the
process, for otherwise the self-pity would not have risen to the surface as often as it
does in these pages, and neither he nor we would have been as surprised as we were to
learn that he was indeed "in the midst of" or on the verge of the
"intricate new transition" recounted in "Postscript, 1975," to this
piece (Algol, Winter 1976, pp 17-18). For his decision to abandon SF for a
"period of rest and rehabilitation as a screenwriter" in Hollywood follows
logically from his managing "to hold all poses at once," i.e. from his
determination to reap all the reputed rewards of writing well--big money, fannish
adulation, serious critical regard--however contradictory these might be.
The title of this review comes from the last of the six essays. When Aldiss began
writing fiction his "intention was partly to write social novels":
John Osborne's play, Look Back in Anger, and Kingsley Amis's novel, Lucky
Jim, embodied for me then much of the experience of my generation.... Laughter is
But there was a bigger persuader: the atomic bomb....
The new-born nuclear power was something greater than social life....
So I perceived, and have been trying to perceive more fully ever since, that my fiction
should be social, should have all the laughter and other elements we associate with
prosaic life, yet at the same time should be shot through with a sense that our existences
have been overpowered (not always for the worse) by certain gigantic forces born of the
Renaissance and achieving ferocious adolescence with the Industrial Revolution.
But such matters are best reserved for discussion in fiction, rather than in a chatty
memoir. [p 189]
Well, yes, if by "such matters" is meant the "gigantic forces" by
which "our existences have been overpowered," and perhaps also yes if the
"personal history" of an SF writer must be a "chatty memoir." But if
the matters in question are the perceptions that led the writer to devote himself to one
kind of fiction rather than another, then the place to discuss them is the
autobiographical essay. But even so, Aldiss in his essay seems to stand at the opposite
pole from Silverberg, concerned with the interplay between his mind and subject matter and
thus with science fiction for its own sake rather than as a means of fulfilling his
A year or so ago I wrote in a letter published in RQ--6 (1976):242-44--that
"literary scholars have not yet learned to bring the full weight of their learning to
bear on popular fiction," and I would now add that that SF writers ("the poor
man's highbrows," to use Aldiss's happy phrase [p 3]) have not yet learned how to
think and write about themselves, their motives, their craft. Silverberg speaks several
times of the "dreadful facility" with which he wrote, and that I think is part
of the problem: having been assigned an unaccustomed task, the great temptation was to
avoid the difficulties and pains of self-examination and just write it off the top of the
head. That Aldiss's essay is much the best in this book probably derives in large part
from the fact that he was the only one of the six with any appreciable experience in
autobiography (as, for example, in The Shape of Further Things, 1970).
Alfred Bester, Harry Harrison, Damon Knight, and Frederik Pohl were all in New York
during the false dawn of the science-fiction boom, 1938-41, when a number of new magazines
flourished briefly before succumbing to the war-time paper shortage. Very heaven it was to
be young and a Futurian in that time and place, and Knight in "Knight Piece"
gives us a running account of who talked with, celebrated with, slept with, quarreled
with, wrote for, married, divorced, and published whom. But of what really happened in the
hearts and minds of these prominent figures in the science-fiction movement we remain
almost as ignorant as we were before this book was published.
Frederik Pohl. The
Doubleday, 1976, vii+183, $5.95.
The best of Frederik Pohl, as in The Best of Frederik Pohl (Ballantine 1975)
is very good indeed. And the young Pohl was a smart kid, the editor of a science-fiction
prozine at 19 and within a few years the author or co-author of dozens, if not hundreds,
of SF stories. The Early Asimov and The Early del Rey gave us all the
early stories that had not been collected in certain books (see SFS 2:278-80); The
Early Williamson gave us a selection of the stories that had made Williamson one of
the most popular of the pre-Campbell writers (Ibid.); The Early Long gave us the
best stories of Long's major period, which was only coincidentally an "early"
period (SFS 3:94); the present book gives us a number of quite un-Pohl-like stories
originally published under pseudonyms and hitherto buried in the pages of forgotten pulp
magazines, where they should have been allowed to disintegrate with the paper. And in the
introductory and intercalary portions of the book Pohl outdoes Del Rey and Long in
blandness. Pohl bland? Yes, Pohl!
Fans and Pros
Cy Chauvin, ed. A
Multitude of Visions. T-K Graphics (Box 1951, Baltimore, MD 21203),
[1976; ¬©1975], iii+67, pb, $4.25.
This booklet contains four articles by SF writers (Blish, Le Guin, Lem, and Disch) and
four by fans, all reprinted from fan Magazines. The best article in each category comes
from SF Commentary: Lem on Dick's Ubik and Bruce R. Gillespie on the SF
short story in the 70s. Blish, in an article revised just before his death, "The Arts
in Science Fiction," gives us thoughtful and informative, though all too brief,
survey of "the role of the arts in SF proper;...the effects of the arts on
and...the influence of SF on the arts." Le Guin writes briefly on the relationship of
her fiction to various literary traditions, and Disch on "Representation in SF,"
which he approaches through "pain and anger, joy and fear" in an essay that
suggests more than it says and makes me wish he had worked harder and longer at the task.
The word for the three other fan writers is "promising": each attempts an
ambitious analysis of an important SF writer--Sheryl Smith of Lafferty, Jeff Clark of
Aldiss, Bob Richard of Blish--but does not quite bring it off.
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