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Science Fiction Studies

#50 = Volume 17, Part 1 = March 1990


CORRESPONDENCE ET CETERA

News About Marshall Tymn

Many of our North American readers will by now have heard something about Marshall Tymn's near-fatal accident. Marshall, who is well known among students of SF as a bibliographer extraordinaire and one of the principal motive forces behind the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA), was exiting from a shopping center in Ann Arbor on October 20th of last year when his car was broadsided by some maniac going 75 mph. In the collision, Marshall sustained very severe head injuries and presently lapsed into a coma. Everyone who knew of the accident feared for his life.                

We are happy to report that the dire rumors that were circulating are untrue. According to the latest word we have, Marshall has regained consciousness and appears to be on his way towards a full recovery (as his doctors prognosticated). Indeed, at this point he has every intention of attending the IAFA Conference in Florida at the end of March. In all likelihood, however, he will have to remain in hospital until then.                

Judging by the multitude of inquiries that we have had, we would suppose that many of you would like to convey to Marshall your sympathetic wishes. You can do so by writing to him c/o St Joseph's Mercy Hospital/Room 1148/5301 East Huron River Drive/Ann Arbor, MI 48197.

 

Additions to and Corrections of "The Beginnings of Fiction'"

I am grateful for George Slusser's interesting and informative account of Fiction in the November 1989 SFS. There is much more to be written about this seminal magazine, and I hope Mr Slusser will pursue the subject in other essays. Writers like Claude F. Cheinisse, Claude Veillot, Nathalie Charles-Henneberg, and Henri Damonti deserve extended treatment. I would be especially happy to learn more about Damonti, a Strasbourg lawyer who might be described as the French R.A. Lafferty.               

There are, however, a few mildly objectionable things in the translations of French texts: for example, on p. 327, where Slusser contrasts the French mage with the English "magician," as if there were no French word for magician or no English word for mage.                

On p. 314, I am credited with a story called "No Way Out." Unless Mr Slusser is confusing me with Sartre, I can only imagine that this is a backtranslation of a French version of "Not With a Bang," although the only one I know of was called "Sans éclat." -- Damon Knight,  Eugene, Oregon   


Disagreeing Over The Definitive Time Machine, Again

In the introduction to his edition of The Definitive Time Machine, Harry M. Geduld lists in chronological order eight versions of Wells's text, culminating with the 1924 Atlantic edition which, Geduld alleges, "provides the standard text of The Time Machine." Nowhere does he show any awareness of later editions with which the Adantic text ought to be compared. It is surprising, therefore, to find him declaring in his reply to David J. Lake (SFS No. 49) that he considered and rejected a variant reading found in the 1933 Scientific Romances text of The Time Machine (SR). So far as I know this is the first time Geduld has indicated that he had done any editorial work on the post-1924 versions.                

Although in 1924 Wells described the Atlantic text as definitive, Here is reason to suppose chat he must later have changed his mind. There are in fact at least three later versions of The Time Machine with claims to supersede the Atlantic edition. These are the text included in the Benn Complete Short Stories (1927), the 1931 Random House edition (with a preface specially written by Wells), and SR. If we look at the phrase from the penultimate sentence of Chapter 5 taken as a test case by Geduld and Lake, we find that all three later texts agree in printing "these signs of the human inheritance." Given the weight of evidence here, many scholars are likely to agree with Lake that the Atlantic variant is "clearly faulty," possibly as the result of a compositor's error. Of course, Geduld is enticed to exercise his editorial judgment in this matter, but no uninitiated user of The Definitive Time Machine can possibly have any idea of what is at stake. The existence of later editions of The Time Machine which may be superior to the one taken as copy-text has, apparently, been suppressed. We must all hope for better things in later contributions to the series of critical editions to which Geduld's is, we are told, a "pioneer volume"; but editing Wells is a minefield, and it is time that scholars and academic presses recognized this fact. -- Patrick Parrinder, University of Reading 

In his haste to censure me and rush to the support of his friend David Lake, Patrick Parrinder overlooks the fact that Lake himself justified my editorial procedure. In my letter responding to Lake's nitpicking non-review of my Definitive Time Machine, I quote Lake's own 1979 SFS article, in which he repeatedly refers to the Atlantic Edition as "the final text" and "the final version" and describes chat edition in a footnote as "the present standard text (with minor verbal revisions, deleted headings, and altered chaptering)." I don't recollect Parrinder's taking Lake to task for those assumptions. However, I must commend Parrinder for his loyalty. After all, that's what friends are for. -- Harry M. Geduld, IndianaUniversity


                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                             
Utopian Studies

A new journal, Utopian Studies, has just become the official organ of the Society for Utopian Studies. Edited by Lyman Tower Sargent, Utopian Studies appears twice yearly (with about 200pp. per issue) with original articles in English and translations from French, German, and Italian. Inquiries and books for review should be sent to the journal at the Department of Political Science, University of Missouri/St Louis, MO 63121-4499.

 

The Associazione Internazionale di Studi sulle Utopie was founded a little over a year ago to: (1) promote scholarship in the utopian field, (2) establish a depository for pertinent documents, (3) liaise with cognate groups both in Italy and abroad, (4) publish a regular bulletin, and (5) organize congresses and the like. Participants in any one of the three international conferences held in the 1983-89 period in Rome/Reggio Calabria already qualify as members merely for the asking. Others may apply by writing to Professor Eugenio Battisti, AISU Chairman/166 Viale dei Quattro Venti/00152 Roma/Italy. A membership fee of 15,000 Lire, or US$14.00, brings the AISU bulletin and an invitation to present a paper at a future Italian conference (hitherto always sometime in May; the paper need not be in Italian).

 

A Call for Papers on SF and Science

The Society for Literature and Science (SLS) is looking for papers on SF for its third annual conference, "Science and Literature: Bridging the Gaps," to be held in Portland, Oregon, October 4-7, 1990. Any proposal should be sent in quadruplicate to Dr Lissa Roberts/History Department/San Diego State University/San Diego, CA 92182. The announcement we received (just after our November 1989 issue went to press) gives a deadline of March 1st; so if you are interested, you should contact Dr Roberts immediately (we have not been able to get her phone number). Prospective participants must be members of SLS (whose annual dues come to US$25.00).

 

Short Stories Wanted

Stephen Kruger is looking for contributors to his anthology of SF short stories. The stories he wants must: (1) be previously unpublished, (2) of more or less usual length (rather than novellas), (3) dealing centrally with a legal theme (though the law may be fictitious), and (4) involving technology in some way. (Examples of what he is seeking include Asimov's "A Point of Law," Killough's "Caveat Emptor," and Wellen's "Origins of Galactic Law.") The deadline for submissions is June 15th. Interested parties can contact Mr Kruger by writing to him at 405 West 6th Street/San Pedro, CA 90731, or telephoning 213-8325945 (his law office).


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