Science Fiction Studies

#61 = Volume 20, Part 3 = November 1993

Notes, Reports, and Correspondences

Thomas D. Clareson, 1926-1993. This issue of SFS is dedicated to the memory of Thomas D. Clareson, who did more than anyone else to institutionalize the study of science fiction. In 1958 a group of scholars came together to establish a Science-Fiction Conference at the annuual MLA convention. The first issue of Extrapolation: A Science-Fiction Newsletter was submitted to those attending the second Conference in 1959, who gave it their approval and elected Tom the editor. The Conference, later the Seminar, for which a petition had to be submitted to the MLA each year, continued to flourish. Extrapolation, as its newsletter, was published semi-annually, mimeographed through 1969, printed thereafter. The MLA authorized a Forum for the 1968 convention, but continued to refuse the seminar a permanent status.

Discussions aimed at organizing the Science Fiction Research Association began in 1969. I had some part in these discussions but do not now remember details. Suffice it say that Tom, Darko Suvin, and Fred Lerner met one night and decided to plunge ahead. The organization was formalized in October 1970 at the third meeting of the Secondary Universe Conference, chaired by Virginia Carew. Tom was the unanimous choice for president; an executive board was elected; Extrapolation was made the official journal of the Association; and everything in SF academe has been just fine ever since.

Tom’s first major study in the field, his University of Pennsylvania dissertation, which may well have set a sales record for dissertations in the University Microfilms format, found regular publication in 1985 as Some Kind of Paradise: The Emergence of American Science Fiction, following the 1984 publication of his Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources. He also edited our first collection of scholarly articles, SF: The Other Side of Realism, as well as a number of other collections.

Once when I was ill and in the depths of despond, Tom visited me in Terre Haute and restored my spirits. He was a good man. The academic SF community is much the poorer for his loss.—RDM.


The Time Machine: Past, Present, and Future. The H.G. Wells Society and the Eaton Program for Science Fiction and Fantasy Studies announce a joint international symposium to be held at the Imperial College in London, July 26-29, 1995, to mark the centenary of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine. Proposals for papers are invited in the following areas: (1) The Time Machine as text, (2) The Time Machine and the fin de siècle, (3) The Time Machine and 19th-century science, (4) The Time Machine and the international development of modern science fiction, (5) The Time Machine and modern cosmology: the coming together of biology and physics.

Enquiries and proposals should be sent to Dr Sylvia Hardy, H.G. Wells Society, English Department, Nene College, Moulton Park, Northampton NN2 7AL, England. Closing date: October 31, 1994.


Radio Free P.K.D., the successor to the PKDS Newsletter, has now published its second issue. The first contains, among other things, a short article by Dick on SF movies; the second features a forum (Michael Bishop, Thomas Disch, Tim Powers, John Shirley, Robert Silverberg, Ernesto Spinelli, and the editor, Gregory Lee) on whether or not Dick’s work will still be read (and if so, understood) a century or so from now. Subscriptions: One year (four issues) $12.00 in the US, elsewhere US$16.00. Noel Productions, 27068 S. La Paz #430, Aliso Viejo CA 92656.

Collaborator Sought. On 25 April 1993 Thomas P. Dunn retired and left me without a collaborator on the upcoming project: Clockworks 2: The Sequel: A Database of Works Useful for the Study of the Human/Machine Interface in SF. So I’m looking for a short-term collaborator and long-term successor. Desiderata: (1) a knowledge of SF; (2) some experience with databases, computer networking, and/or computers more generally; (3) a willingness to do detail work of the bibliographical, filmographical, discographical, and other "ographical" nature. Write me at English Department, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056-1633, or telephone 513-529-7189 (office) or 513-523-5265 (home).—Richard D. Erlich.


Cyborg Short Story Contest. Chris Hables Gray, who is studying early research in cyborgs under a NASA grant, announces a contest for short stories on cyborgs in space, cyborgs at war, cyborgs in love, cyborg philosophers, cyberpunks. . . . The winning story will be included in a new work on cyborgs. The deadline is January 1, 1994. Send submissions to Dr Gray at Center for the Humanities, Oregon State University, 811 SW Jefferson Ave., Corvallis OR 97333.


Corrigenda. With respect to SFS #60, Rob Latham has written in to note that on page 271 Norstrilia has an extra l; Mareen Barr to note that the title her book is Feminist Fabulation (as in appears in Veronica Hollinger’s review) not Feminist Speculation (as it appears on the cover); and David N. Samuelson to note that the and in line 17 of page 219 is not in his manuscript (the copy-editor probably intended to put it before rather than after the even). The erroneous pp. 232-33 in line 17 of page 299 resulted from forgetting to change it to p. 233 during the final paging of the issue.


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