Science Fiction Studies

#60 = Volume 20, Part 2 = July 1993


NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE

On the Aldiss Bibliography. I was very pleased and interested by Walter Meyers' review ``Aldiss at Large'' in SFS #59. The Work of Brian W. Aldiss: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide was of course as comprehensive and accurate as I, and my editor at Borgo Press, could make it, and I owe my editor a great deal for checking on your side of the Atlantic those facts which were not available over here.            

I realize now that bibliography is very close to detective work, and that despite the best attentions of agents and the best attentions of publishers, it is not at all easy to trace exact information for all publications. The question of the possible ``non-existent'' SFBC edition of Helliconia Spring is one which I am on the track of. I also hope to take up other suggested improvements in the second edition of the Bibliography which will come along in due course. Other scholars, such as Philip E. Smith II, have also been extremely helpful.                

Walter Meyers implies that my husband, as well as annotating the entries for his books, also chose the quotations from reviews. I can see that the format might lead him to think this, and would like to assure him that I am totally responsible for these quotations, in as objective a manner as possible in the circumstances!—Margaret Aldiss, Oxford, UK.

 

``Science fiction, including utopian fiction, but not...supernatural or mythological fantasy.'' In the 1920s, when universal education was still something fairly new and not universally approved (many a farmer still felt that his children were better off working at home than attending school), we readers of Amazing Stories (many of us, at least) believed that enlightenment was spreading and that scientifiction was preparing the way for the eventual universal triumph of enlightenment over superstition and obscurantism. But we were wrong, as Susan Stone-Blackburn demonstrates in this issue, for in the 19th century science fiction had been infected by spiritualist concepts from which it has never been, and apparently will never be, able to free itself. Stone-Blackburn thinks this a good thing; I think it a bad thing, but, as the T. O'Conor Sloane, M.A., Ph.D., of SF scholarship, I am apparently one of the few materialists still alive.                

I have just rejected an article (at SFS, the editor to whom the article is submitted decides whether to reject it immediately or to submit it to the other editors and to consultants for consideration)—an article written in defense of popular fantasy, quoting our statement of policy, and perhaps hoping to effect a change. Let me say here what I said to the contributor. ``Fantasy needs no defense. In 1973, when I wrote the statement of policy that we still publish, my intention was simply to delimit our field. I have nothing against fantasy; I love Spenser and Milton, Kafka and C.S. Lewis; I agree that human matters can be dealt with in fantasy as well as in realism. But I hold to the principle that the natural is the province of science and the supernatural that of theology, and regret that many writers mix the supernatural with the natural and call the mixture science fiction. A journal that excludes studies of fantasy can hardly publish a defense of fantasy.'' For contributors, the moral is obvious. If you write about fantasy, you had best submit your article to one of the other editors of SFS, who are less hidebound than I am.—RDM.

 

Riverside Quarterly and Blish's Response to Butor. A footnote  in #59 (page 128) spoke of my inability to document my recollection that James Blish had written a response to Michel Butor's Partisan Review article on SF. Leland Sapiro, for some 30 years now the editor of Riverside Quarterly, has written me that the response (rejected by PR) appeared in RQ in a 1968 issue that also contained an article of my own. (Both the Butor and the Blish were also reprinted in an anthology that also contained an article of mine; see above, pp. 232-33). RQ publishes poetry and stories as well as scholarly articles on SF. The two most recent issues contain valuable articles on Fritz Leiber by his son, the philosopher Justin Leiber. The subscription price is $8.00 for four issues; single copies are $2.50 each. Address: Box 958, Big Sandy, TX 75755.               

David Ketterer also wrote in to set the facts straight, as indeed he should have, since it was all his fault in the first place. For I had consulted the index to his book on Blish, which, though it has an entry for everything else that occurred in Blish's life, has no entry for Michel Butor. Even Homer nods.—RDM.

 

Brazilian Fantasy and SF for Export. A copy of Fantastic, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Literature Catalogue, International Publications Series #2, ed. Bráulio Tavares, may be obtained from the Secretaria da Presidência da República, Fundação Biblioteca Nacional do Livro, Seção de Divulgação Internacional, Av. Rio Branco, 219 Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, n.d., perhaps gratis.                

This is a very carefully done bibliography in English of works by Brazilian authors of SF and fantasy for which foreign rights are available (i.e., it omits works for which the copyright owner could not be ascertained). It is truly a pioneering work, for as Bráulio Tavares states in the introduction, ``The present catalog is the first attempt to survey Brazilian fantasy fiction. Our intention is to provide...a comprehensive overview of...a field that has never been the object of systematic study in Brazil'' (5).                

The editors succeed admirably, with well written abstracts of the 135 works listed, which are often accompanied by biographical information about the author. The listing is by title, but there is a comprehensive author index. Some of the books are in the public domain; for the others the name and address of the literary agent is listed.                

This is a bibliography which includes not only works in fantasy and SF of the types familiar to English-speaking readers but also some which fall into the category of Latin American ``magical realism.'' For example, there appear works ranging from EEUU 2076 D.C.: um repórter no espaço (1987; USA 2076 A.D.: A Reporter in Space; foreign rights available) by ``A.A. Smith'' (pen name of Athaíde A. Tartari Ferreira) to Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos (1966; Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, 1969) by Jorge Amado, a modern classic of Brazilian literature which was also made into a popular film. Other well-known authors with listed works include Machado de Assis, Mário de Andrade, Monteiro Lobato, Erico Veríssimo, Murilo Rubião, and Lygia Fagundes Telles. The selection ranges from apparent pulp to highly respected literature.               

The catalog is written in English, but nearly every work listed exists only in Portuguese (a few authors such as Machado de Assis and Jorge Amado have been translated, but bibliographical data appears only for the most recent Brazilian edition).—Jim Rambo, DePauw University.

 

Corrigenda for Salvatore Proietti's Article in #58. On the cover of #58, November 1992, and in the Index for 1992, the given name of the author of ``Frederick Philip Gove's Version of Pastoral Utopianism,'' lacks its final e; it should have been Salvatore Proietti. Note 2 for the article should have included a page number: 24. In the first of the following works-cited items the page numbers were wrong; the other two were omitted:

Canevacci, Massimo. ``Il punk e l'alieno: immagini dialettiche al Pantheon.'' I giorni cantati #2:20-24, 1987.
Ketterer, David. ``A Historical Survey of Canadian Science Fiction.'' SFS 10:87-99, #29, March 1983.
McCormack, A. Ross. Reformers, Rebels, and Revolutionaries: The Western Canadian Radical Movement, 1899-1919. Toronto, 1977.

 

Foundation Relocated. The Science Fiction Foundation has moved its research library. The present address is Science Fiction Foundation, c/o Special Collections, Liverpool University Library, PO Box 123, Liverpool L69 3DA, UK. The journal's address for subscriptions, advertising, etc. is Foundation, c/o New Worlds, 71-72 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0AA, UK. The editor is still Dr Edward James, Foundation, University of York, The King's Manor, York YO1 2EP, UK.

 

Starmont Titles Now Published by Borgo. Many, perhaps most, of the titles in the Starmont Reader's Guide series and other Starmont series have by been purchased by Borgo Press (P.O. Box 2854, San Bernardino, CA 92406-2854), to whom one should write for an up-to-date list.


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