Science Fiction Studies

#79 = Volume 26, Part 3 =November 1999


NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE

In Defense of Kingsley Amis. With luck, I will not be the only one to com-plain about Nicholas Ruddick’s ungenerous review of Eric Jacobs’ biography of Kingsley Amis (SFS 26.1 [1999]). SFS is not a pulpit. Ruddick is so busy preaching against Amis that he scarcely bothers with the book. In his view, Amis was “intellectually lazy, and impatient for gratification”; his friend, Robert Conquest, wrote a novel which is “one of the lowest points of British sf” (to win against such formidable competition must be an honor of some sort!), while Amis’s friend, Philip Larkin, was “probably an even more unsavoury human being.” All in all, Amis was “quite unlikeable.”                

Surely Ruddick has had a fit of morality to the head? What he says is largely pious rubbish. I knew Kingsley quite well over a number of years. He had a host of friends. I found him an amusing and kind friend, even-tempered, cheerful, always eager to discuss an sf novel or story. Indeed, in all my profligate years of consorting with sf types, I have never known anyone keener to talk about sf. Laughter was the prevailing mode when with Kingsley. His company enhanced people’s lives.                

Ruddick is incorrect in saying that Kingsley had “only the mildest interest” in sf. He and Bob Conquest and Bruce Montgomery (Edmund Crispin) were staunch defenders in print of sf, and forced many an ill-informed philistine to keep silent. Also, Amis wrote quite a lot of sf, remember?                

Quite why Amis turned from socialist to conservative is rather a poser. Perhaps Bob Conquest could answer it. Certainly one cannot say, with Rud-dick, that “the answer is simple”; solutions to the complexities of life rarely are simple. However, two tentative and more generous approaches to the question might be that, during the Cold War, Amis saw many “Lefties,” as he termed them, taking up positions in universities and elsewhere who were less well disposed to free speech than they were to the Soviet Union. Then again, it is no unique thing for a man to begin in youth as a bit of a firebrand and revolutionary and then, as gradually he becomes older, and the torch burns lower, and he gets more set in his views—and perhaps owns a bit of property, that sinful thing—to grow a mite red in the face when advanced views are discussed in his presence.                

As this applies to Amis’ politics, so it applies to his views of sf. He believed that sf took too grand a view of itself; it was at its best in the Galaxy  scoffing mode. Maybe he was incorrect there (though shrewd in naming Fred Pohl as a writer par excellence). He suspected me of being one of the chaps who were dragging sf towards respectability, but was too polite to say so. The dragging, of course, has led, not to respectability, but to increased commercialization, and to sf being regarded as product, by writers, publishers, and punters. On those grounds, one can see in retrospect there may have been some force in Kingsley’s argument.

Perhaps he was not a good man; few of us are. But he was a good friend. He deserves to ’scape whipping from the virtuous and chilly heights of Regina. And, by god, what about all his novels? Did he make us laugh? You bet! Not once but many a time.—Brian W. Aldiss

Nicholas Ruddick responds: I never met Kingsley Amis and have no personal axe to grind against him. Any animus Brian Aldiss detects in my review derives from Amis’ writing or, in this particular case, writing about him. To clarify my position (I am quoting from my review): I consider Amis a “light comic novelist and versifier” who “was always a competent, readable writer.” That he was “quite unlikable” as a human being is my hardly controversial extrapolation from Jacobs’s biography. Perhaps if I had known Amis person-ally, I might have felt differently. Perhaps not. After reading the biography I confessed some grudging respect for a subject “who could authorize such an unattractive biographical portrait,” as well as admiration for Jacobs, who “manages to evoke more than a modicum of sympathy” for Amis.                

My review was intended for a readership of sf academics who might be expected to be interested in the biography of a writer who Aldiss has told us had a “great and amiable interest in sf over a number of years” (Detached Retina [Syracuse UP, 1995] 106). If that was the case, Jacobs found little evidence of it, nor is there any more evidence of it in Amis’s own Memoirs (Hutchinson,  1991), which I reviewed elsewhere some years ago. My review was not a condemnation of Jacobs’s biography, which is strongly written and everywhere struck me as having the ring of truth. It was intended to send a message to readers of SFS that they should not raise their hopes that the biography will offer any insight into sf, and that consequently they should not expend a portion of their sf library acquisition budgets on it.     

Aldiss accuses me of preaching “pious rubbish” and of using SFS as a pulpit. At the same time I am accused by implication of being ungentlemanly, of speaking ill of a dead knight of the realm. Am I preaching orthodoxy or heresy? As for Amis’s belief that the ruination of sf was caused by dragging it toward respectability, this argument has not the slightest force in it if one thinks, as Aldiss apparently does, that sf has been ruined by commercialization. (Actually I don’t agree with either of these views.) I concede that my reference to the Conquest novel was an attempt to taint by association¾the same thing that Aldiss tries with me when he refers to the “virtuous and chilly heights of Regina.” Regina is indeed chillier than, say, Oxford (except in the summer). I cannot speak for its relative virtue; but as a 3-D version of Abbott’s Flatland it is entirely innocent of elevation.—Nicholas Ruddick, University of Regina

 

Translations Necessary? The July 1999 issue of SFS, with its focus on “A History of Science Fiction Criticism,” was excellent. But I wonder why such a sophisticated publication with its references to Baudrillard and Bataille, Jameson and Barthes, feels constrained to translate even the simplest French phrases. For example, would any SFS reader really have to struggle with Cyrano de  Bergerac’s Histoire comique des états et empires de la lune? Or L’Autre monde? And yet these titles are followed by English translations; nor are the examples cited here confined to that article. As Rhett Butler remarks after Scarlett O’Hara slaps his face for not being a gentlemen—while Atlanta burns and an entire civilization collapses—“A minor point at a moment like this.” Notwithstanding that last remark, I think translating simple French phrases is somewhat condescending, especially when one considers where they appear: SFS.—Alan S. Wheelock, Skidmore College 

While taking your point, we believe that it is better to offer too much assistance than too little. So our editorial policy is to translate all foreign phrases and titles, whether Greek (as in this issue) or French and German. With an international readership scattered across several continents, it seems best not to make assumptions about transparency: i.e., which languages call for trans-lation and which do not.—CM

 

Neil Barron on the Bibliography of SF Criticism in #78.  I read with interest the four essays surveying the history of sf criticism in the July issue. It brought back memories of my sifting and selecting for the four editions of Anatomy of Wonder, especially in the earlier years when the secondary literature was thin and few reliable and comprehensive reference tools were available. There are several omissions that I think should be called to the attention of SFS’s readers. Donald M. Hassler makes no mention of Martin [Burgess] Green’s important early essay, “Science Fiction,” originally published in The Kenyon Review (Fall 1963) and reprinted in Science and the Shabby Curate of Poetry: Essays About the Two Cultures (Longman 1964; rpt. Greenwood 1978). Green, a British critic and poet, has sensible and harsh things to say about sf that I think are still pertinent. I was also surprised to see Gary Westfahl omit any mention of Lester del Rey’s The World of Science Fiction, 1926-1976: The History of A Subculture (Garland 1976). The book’s insider and parochial views are, I regret to say, still around. (See, for a current example, Eric Leif Davin’s Pioneers of Wonder: Conversations with the Founders of Science Fiction [Prometheus 1999]). Lester del Rey’s influence, like Hugo Gernsback’s, has generally been baleful. Although Brian Stableford’s Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950 and The Sociology of Science Fiction are cited, none of his collections of graceful and insightful essays are mentioned: Masters of Science Fiction (Borgo 1981, expanded as Outside the Human Aquarium, Borgo 1996), Algebraic Fantasies and Realistic Romances, and Opening Minds (both Borgo 1995). Finally, although you may have judged it outside your scope, a listing of the major sf repositories is still needed. Few public libraries will have more than a fraction of the several hundred books, essays, and other materials you have cited in the useful bibliography. Scholars will have to rely on interlibrary borrowing from the handful of libraries worldwide that make more than token attempts to acquire the better secondary literature.—Neil Barron

 

David Hartwell on the Bibliography. I am in part impressed with the history of sf criticism issue, knowing the amount of work that goes into such a project. The chief value of a checklist such as the concluding bibliography, it seems to me, is to prevent anyone who comments on sf from assuming that little or no prior work of any importance has been done either in literary history or in criticism in the field, or that sf has only recently grown up and produced works worthy of critical attention. For decades, sf criticism has been hampered by the sloppy scholarship of critics not particularly well read in the field who  nonetheless feel qualified to generalize.                

Your bibliography is a compilation of what seems “important, influential, or historically noteworthy” to the authors and editors of SFS. Yet what “seems” important to the editors of a distinguished journal is usually flat out what is important. Since the only citations to the Gregg Press introductions from the late 1970s and early 1980s are references to essay introductions by Mary Elizabeth Bowen, whose last name in both cases is misspelled as “Cowen,” I feel the need to point out that there were nearly two hundred books in that reprint series with introductions by such writers as Joanna Russ, Samuel R. Delany, and Thomas M. Disch. In other cases, such as in the collections of Frank R. Stockton or Jack London from Gregg, the introductions are nearly the only work done in the field on that writer’s fiction. Ormond A. Seavey’s introduction to the reprint of Richard Adam Locke’s The Moon Hoax, for instance, tracks down a reference, from the 1830s, to the incipient invention of a new kind of fiction, scientific fiction. Other significant lacunae: 1. the critical essays of Joanna Russ, not collected in the 1970s, many still uncollected, but arguably the single most important body of criticism in sf in that decade (she was a contributing editor of SFS, adding luster to the magazine, and won a Florence Howe award from the MLA). She helped invent feminist criticism, and was certainly one of the first to introduce feminist criticism to the sf field in the 1970s. 2. The Australian Sf Review. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Australian criticism flowered therein, with essays by Stanislaw Lem, the criticism of George Turner, and a body of other work that was an international model in the field. During the 1980s, the second series of that journal was just as important. 3. Leslie Fiedler’s various chapters on sf during the 1970s—I recall him as a very significant critical presence in sf from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. 4. The Khatru Symposium on Women in Sf, conducted and published as a special issue of his fanzine in 1975 by Jeff Smith in Baltimore, who was later the heir to the Tiptree estate. It is now unobtainable, but a late 1980s reprint was done by SF3, the Madison sf society for Wiscon, under the auspices of Jeanne Gomoll, and I believe they still have copies for sale. 5. Heinlein’s Denvention speech from 1941 (immensely  influ-ential—admittedly a rare pamphlet now, in need of reprint). 6. Theodore Sturgeon’s 1953 Philcon speech (“Sturgeon’s Law”). I would also submit that the introductory essays (and sometimes afterwords) in anthologies, but especially in those various year’s-best anthologies that devote 50-100 pages to such material, really must be included or the whole picture is skewed.     

All this is intended to be helpful and supportive of your efforts. And to get you to publish a revised and expanded list. It is a useful task, certainly a collaborative one, and it needs to be done.—David G. Hartwell

 

We thank Neil Barron, a distinguished bibliographer of sf, and David G. Hartwell, who ably edited the Gregg Press reprint series mentioned in his letter and who has been a Force for Good in sf for some years. Both have noted omissions that will be included in the expanded bibliography that will eventually be available on the SFS website. We will also correct the misspelling of Mary Elizabeth Bowen’s name.                

Particularly in the case of uncollected essays, the bibliography was selective, not complete. Joanna Russ’s landmark essay “Towards an Aesthetic of Science Fiction” (SFS 2:2 [1975]: 112-19) is, incidentally, listed in the bibliography printed in July, as is How to Write Like a Woman (Indiana UP, 1995), which collects some of her previous essays. We should add a separate listing of another essay contributed by Russ during the first five years of SFS: the wonderfully witty “Sf and Technology as Mystification” (SFS 5.3 [1978]: 250-60), with its still topical comparison of Star Wars and Star Trek: “Star Wars generates only one desire—the desire for a sequel” (252). I produced abstracts for the first five volumes of SFS recently, and Russ’s other contribution through 1978 was a (terrific and caustic) letter, “Four Complaints,” which began by chiding the gentleness of Ursula K. Le Guin’s book reviews. Those were amazing years.                

VH, citing Sarah LeFanu (In the Chinks of the World Machine [Women’s Press 1988: 105-106]), has sent to me this description of the Khatru Symposium mentioned in David Hartwell’s letter: it took place in 1975, as a written discussion among Suzy McKee Charnas, Virginia Kidd, Ursula Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre, Raylyn Moore, Joanna Russ, Luise White, Kate Wilhelm, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro; also contributing were three (as everyone thought) men: Samuel Delany, Jeffrey Smith, and James Tiptree, Jr. The symposium was published as a double issue of the fanzine Khatru 3 and 4 (1975). Tiptree was asked to withdraw, as being an annoyingly masculinist voice! (Her persona was revealed in 1976 by the same Jeffrey Smith.)                

We invite readers to send other suggestions, especially to fill in gaps in the listing of uncollected essays. We ask you to consider whether each nominated item is truly significant, however. For instance, while our bibliography cites Judith Merril’s introduction to her Best of the Best anthology (1967), we decided against referencing individual introductions in all the “year’s best” volumes edited by Merril, Terry Carr, Donald A. Wollheim, Gardner Dozois, and others: many are not so much critical as descriptive, being more concerned with registering the year’s production than with broad issues of evaluation.            

We will publish additions as a running list here in Notes, crediting all contributors though probably not (because of space limitations) printing the full text of letters. The expanded bibliography on the website will also include these additions. To help us enter these new titles quickly, we’d appreciate a full bibliographic reference. With readers’ help, we hope to shape up the biblio-graphy of sf criticism as a major on-line resource.—CM

 

More on SFS #78. I have received the July S(-)FS, and I am enjoying it. I hope you continue to publish Dale Mullen’s articles. While I would assign to Ray Cummings an interest value slightly above zero, it is nice to read Dale’s surprisingly genial opinions, proving he was still at heart an old pulp-story sentimentalist. My nearly-as-old sentimentality is tempered. I have read many pieces by Cummings, that indefatigable pulpist and recycler ad infinitum of just a few basic themes.               

Incidentally, sentiment was the order of the day in the recent auction of Sam Moskowitz’s library at Sotheby’s, on which I report briefly below. All lovely, old-time stuff. Dale would be happy to know that Cummings did not do badly. A collection of five novels, all first editions, estimated at $400 to $600, was knocked down at a neat $900!     

I like the idea of a “history of sf criticism.” To offer it as a chronologically consecutive appreciation is a worthy project. In no small way, it removes the genre further from what my mother used to describe as my “crazy, fantastic magazines,” into the academic world. I got a hearty laugh from Carl Freedman’s precise skewering of Thomas Disch, which, fortunately, was not in person, as Disch is capable of skewering right back. I approve Freedman’s fine remembrance of Kubrick, whose 2001, popular as it has been, never achieved the popularity of George Lucas’ films, but was a masterpiece far beyond that popularizer.—Ben P. Indick

 

The Sotheby Auction of the Collection of Sam Moskowitz. Sam’s widow, Christine Haycock, a surgeon and professor emeritus, decided after his unexpected death several years ago that his collection of sf books, magazines, art, letters, and fanzines should be sold at public auction, and so she contacted Sotheby’s in New York City. Joseph Wrzos, a friend of Sam’s for many years, was a willing and capable intermediary, and Jerry Weist was in charge. The auction was held June 29, 1999 in conjunction with but separately from an auction the day before of comic books and comic art.                

The obvious stars were the cover paintings by Frank R. Paul, wonderful reminders of what sf looked like more than half a century ago. A major item was a signed letter from “A. Einstein,” sent to Sam as a confused young fan. “Dear Sir,” the typed letter begins, and without prelude discusses in two paragraphs relativity and velocity of light. More confused than ever, Sam wrote to Fred Hoyle for an explanation of Einstein’s explanation. The two letters plus a carbon of his own letters made up the lot. Very early fanzines, of which Sam had saved as many as he ever received, were plentiful, including the fabulous set of Futuria Fantasia by a young, fannish Ray Bradbury (and his buddy, still equally unknown, Hannes Bok). There were many pulps, including the first appearance of Tarzan in The All-Story, incomplete runs of Startling Stories and Terror Tales, a huge run of Science Wonder Stories, a long run of Ghost Stories, and others.                

Books included H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth (with jacket and errata sheet—amateur bookmaking, yes, but desirable), The Shunned House (non-Arkham House binding), Dune, a signed Fahrenheit 451 in asbestos binding, Timlin’s The Ship That Sailed To Mars, and many more. There was a large William Hope Hodgson archive of letters, photos, mss., etc, and much (M.P.) Shieliana in letters. Less than the cream would have to be auctioned in lots of five or more books, since time and  interest would not allow individual bidding.                

The auction had perhaps a 70% attendance in the hall, but the power money was ready, in person and on the phone. The sale was a great success, and while I have not seen a total, it had to be between $200,000 and $300,000. Fahrenheit 451 went for $7,000; an unsigned copy of The Martian Chronicles for $900, and Dark Carnival for $950. The All-Story with the first appearance of Tarzan of the Apes, complete in the one issue, brought $15,000. Forty-four issues of Black Mask, including The Maltese Falcon in its first appearance, brought $9,000. The Ghost Stories run brought $3,250 and Science Wonder $1,900. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers went for $2,000, as did Stranger in a Strange Land. Asimov’s Gnome Press Foundation trilogy brought $3,500; Dune fetched $3,000. The precious Einstein letter was sold for $15,000; Timlin’s Mars-bound Ship for $1,500. A lot of eight Hubbard books on scientology and dianetics failed to exceed $200, but Slaves of Sleep, signed by Ron both under his own name and his pseudonym, “Rene Lafayette,” brought $3,250.                

Bradbury’s fanzine Futuria Fantasia—four issues giving hope to all fanzine editors—brought $1,500. The Hodgson archive went for $23,000. Sam had Lovecraft: The Outsider and Others brought $1,100, and Beyond The Wall of Sleep $750. The Shunned House, which copy caused me some conniptions, brought $1,700, and The Shadow Over Innsmouth sold for $3,750. HPL’s The Recluse brought $1,900, and a lot of 18 HPL fanzine appearances brought $3,000. The Paul covers averaged $25,000, but the best—for Science Wonder Quarterly, Winter 1930—brought applause as it was knocked down after spirited bidding for $67,500. Drake’s A Hornbook For Witches, an Arkham House scarcity, was one of the few lots that did not reach its low estimate of $1,200; it came in at $900. It was not alone. I was told that on the previous day the copy of the fabled first appearance of Superman brought a disappointingly low figure of $40,000 against a low estimate of $50,000 for the humble ten-cent comic book.  

Sam’s copy of The Shunned House, not the Arkham House binding, had been bound in a reddish black cloth, the title stamped on the spine. The catalog described it as “red cloth,” and until I actually examined it, I was concerned. Some years ago I did a lot of detective work on that book and the infamous forgery, which was bound in red linen with a gold-stamped leather spine. In the end, I could only get its distributor, a British book dealer, to call it a “second edition,” which was nonsense. If it were the forgery, I debated with myself, should I reveal this to Sotheby’s? Finally I got to examine it pre-sale. Happily, it was unquestionably a genuine set of sheets, in no way false. My good feeling helped eliminate my misery over not getting my paddle in the air even once.—Ben P. Indick

 

Dick 2000.  I am an Italian scholar helping to organize an international Philip K. Dick conference, to be held in Italy in October 2000 in the town of Macerata. The conference host will be the University of Macerata; co-sponsors include some local governments and town councils and the Fanucci publishing house (which publishes most of PKD in Italy). The conference will focus on academic analysis of Dick’s opus; proceedings will later be published. Our hope is to enhance Dick’s (already impressive) reputation in Italy, but we may also have an international audience. Most contributors will focus on a single PKD novel/short story/essay. While dates are still tentative, this will be a two-day event (Friday-Saturday), perhaps during the first weekend in October.  For further information, contact Dott. Umberto Rossi, Via Petrarca, 12, 00040 Pomezia (RM), Italy.—Umberto Rossi

 

SFRA 2000 (Cleveland). For its next conference (June 28-July 2, 2000), the Science Fiction Research Association has joined with a writers’ conference sponsored by Cleveland State University. Conference theme is “The Many Dimensions of Science Fiction”: sf in relation to other genres, prospects for the coming millennium, and connections to other disciplines. Topics may include any author, including Richard A. Lupoff (Guest of Honor), Karen Joy Fowler, Geoffrey A. Landis, Maureen F. McHugh, Mary Doria Russell, and Joan Slonczewski (Special Guests). For a paper proposal, send a 250-word abstract including title, your name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. For a panel proposal, send a panel name and a 250-word abstract including the panel title, the chair (who may be one of the presenters), mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address of each presenter. Receipt of all proposals will be confirmed by e-mail. Mail or e-mail submissions to Joe Sanders, English Department, Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Drive, Kirkland, OH 44094; (440) 953-7215: <joesanders@aol.com>.  Deadline for proposals is Saturday April 1, 2000. For more details, consult SFRA’s Website at <www.sfra.org>.—Kenneth Andrews

 

NEXUS Launched. Through the e-mail discussion group Rede Global Paraliteraria, moderated by Roberto de Sousa Causo and Bruce Sterling, we have received news of a new sf magazine: “I am a Polish writer, translator (Russian-Polish), journalist, and editor. With a circle of friends I’ll soon start publishing in Poland a new magazine called NEXUS, a bi-monthly devoted to foreign sf. I hope to make NEXUS truly international, not only printing British or American stories. I’m in contact with people translating from Spanish and Russian, but am still looking for stories by non-English writers. My e-mail address is<p.gociek@rmf.fm>.—Piotr Gociek

 

Nesvadba Website. There is now a website in English dedicated to the eminent Czech sf author Joseph Nesvadba, produced with his cooperation. It features a recent interview and biography (both translated into English for the first time) as well as five stories, two from a rare Prague edition of translated short fiction that is almost impossible to find in the United States. The address of this website is <http://home.sprynet.com/~awhit/nesvadba.htm>.—G.S. Evans

 

FEMSPEC: Call for Submissions. FEMSPEC, an interdisciplinary feminist journal dedicated to critical, pedagogical, and creative works of sf, fantasy, magical realism, and supernatural genres, is soliciting material for coming issues. We encourage a variety of interdisciplinary approaches and an international perspective, and will be publishing articles on teaching as well as literary and cultural criticism and creative material. Deadline is April 10, 2000 for the next in-house issue. Special theme issues have different deadlines. For further information, including themes, editors, and deadlines for special issues, contact the Department of English, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115; telephone 216-687-6870, fax 216-687-6943. The e-mail address of the journal is <femspec@popmail.csuohio.edu>. Batya Weinbaum is editor <b.weinbaum@csuohio.edu>and the associate editor is Robin Anne Reid <Robin_Reid@tamu-commerce.edu>.—Robin Reid

 

Russian SF Awards. Dmitry Vatolin and Andrei Nikolayev recently reported to Rede Global Paraliteraria on Interpresscon-99, the 10th convention of Russian sf professionals, held near St. Peterburg from May 4-7, 1999. This annual meeting draws together Russian authors, editors, and publishers and distributes sf awards. This year the “Bronze Snail” award was presented by Boris Strugatsky, who also selects the winner. The Interpresscon award winner was determined by a vote of all conference participants.
                                                                Winners of the Bronze Snail Award:
Novel: E. Lukin for Zona spravedlivosti (Zone of Justice)
Novella: V. Schepetnev for Sed’maya chast’ T’my (Seventh Part of Darkness)
Short story: V. Schepetnev for “Pozolochennaya rybka” (Gilded Little Fish)
Criticism: S. Pereslegin for a cycle of afterwords to vols. 6-13 of the Strugatskys’ Complete Works
                                                                Winners of the Interpresscon awards:
Novel: E. Lukin for Katali my vashe solntse (We are Rolling Your Sun)
Novella: M. and S. Dyachenko for “Gorelaya bashnya” (The Burned Tower)
Short story: A. Lazartchuk and M.Uspensky for “Zheltaya podvodnaya vodka”  (Yellow Submarine), a short story. (Yes, the reference is to The Beatles.)
Short-short story: A. Gromov for “Byl’ o malen’kom zvezdolyote” (A Tale about a Small Spaceship)
Criticism: S. Loginov for Russkaya fantasy–novaya Zolushka (Russian fantasy–new Cinderella)
New writer: A. Yetoyev for Begstvo v Egypet (Escape to Egypt)
Publisher: S. Shykin —Dmitry Vatolin and Andrei Nikolayev (trans. by Andrei Novikov).

 

Interview with Boris Strugatsky.  Andrei Novikov also reported to RGP about “the best websites devoted to SF/Fantasy in Russian, including some with English translations.” The main web address of “Russian Science Fiction” is  <http://www.rusf.ru>. Try also <http://www.sf.amc.ru>. An  interview with Boris Strugatsky (in English) can be found at <http://www.rusf.ru/abs/ int/ans-eng1.htm>.—CM

 

Undergraduate Sf Degree. An item from SF Weekly, also posted on the Library of Congress sf discussion group: in September, the University of Glamorgan (UK) will begin to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Science and Science Fiction.—Mary W. Satlin

 

New SF Film Website. I have just launched a website primarily intended as a medium for research on sf cinema and film audiences. The homepage explains my approach and is followed by a questionnaire. The site also features a critical bibliography, a filmography, and some papers I have given on this topic, together with a dozen or so illustrations. The bibliography is to be updated and the filmography will include details such as director, producer(s), etc. Address is: <http://www.chez.com/offworld>.—Raymond Perrez, Université de Toulouse-Le-Mirail

 

Futurians Sought. I am currently researching a book about the New York Futurians and the Hydra Club and am attempting to contact anyone and everyone who might be able to help me with my research. I’m a Research Fellow in the English Department, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia. E-mail address is <jazza@english.usyd.edu.au>. Many thanks.—Justine Larbalestier

 

Freedman Wins SFRA’s Pioneer Award. The recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award is Carl Freedman, for “Kubrick’s 2001 and the Possibility of a Science Fiction Cinema,” published in SFS #75 (July 1998). Nominees also included Brian Attebery (for “Super Men”) and Roger Luckhurst (for “The Science- Fictionalization of Trauma”); these articles appeared in SFS #74 (March 1998). Our congratulations to each. SFS can only be as strong as the essays we are sent, and we have been very lucky in our contributors.—CM

 

Website Launched! The new “official” SFS website, designed by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. and maintained by Rob Latham, is now up and running at www.uiowa.edu/~sfs/. We are most grateful to John Brogan, English Department webmaster at the University of Iowa, for his sterling advice and for helping us eliminate the bugs. We also thank the University of Iowa itself for its generosity in hosting us.                

The site includes abstracts of every article published in SFS since its founding in 1973; full texts of every review (subject to a one-year blackout from the current issue); documents of sf published in SFS (including hard-to-find occasional writings by Bellamy, Wells, Morris, Maitland, Čapek, Renard,  and others); links to interesting and useful sf sites (ortho and hetero), and eventually a massive bibliography of sf criticism, still under construction. The site is replete with awe-inspiring graphics throughout and includes selected full-text essays from recent issues of SFS—currently featuring Gwyneth Jones’s “Metempsychosis of the Machine: Science Fiction in the Halls of Karma” and I.F. Clarke’s (Pioneer-winning) “Future-War Fiction: The First Main Phase, 1971-1900.” Come on in!—ICR


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