Science Fiction Studies

#24 = Volume 8, Part 2 = July 1981


The Identity of E.V. Odle

E.V. Odle published only one SF novel, The Clockwork Man (1923), well received at the time, a minor classic now. In his essay on the book (in Survey of Science Fiction Literature, edited by Frank N. Magill, 1979), Brian Stableford suggests that Odle— whoever he was—may have been influenced by the work of J.D. Beresford. The name sounds like a pseudonym, and in my own research for an entry in The Science Fiction Encyclopedia I was unable to find any data at all on E.V. Odle, man or nom de plume. More recently, however, I've been granted a touch of serendipity. While reading Horace Gregory's short study, Dorothy Richardson: An Adventure in Self-Discovery (1967). I came across a reference to the younger brother of her husband, Alan Odle: this younger brother, Edward Vincent, married to a woman named Rose, had literary ambitions it seems.                

As The Clockwork Man is dedicated to Rose. I thought I had my man. I was close. On checking with Richardson's (and, it turned out, Odle's) literary executor. I discovered that indeed Edwin Vincent Odle (1890-1942) was the author of The Clockwork Man, that he was the first editor of an English magazine, The Argosy from 1926 to about 1938, and that, as a member of the Richardson circle, he must have been in contact with J.D. Beresford, who was instrumental in the first publication of Pilgrimage. Rose Odle's privately printed autobiography, Salt of our Youth (1972) fills the picture out. As reader for Collins, Beresford helped Odle publish his first novel, The History of Alfred Rudd (1922) a rather Kipps-like exercise, and was very angry with Odle when he took The Clockwork Man to Heinemann's.                

For the rest of his short life, ill health (and perhaps tactical naivete) kept Odle from further attempts at making a career as a novelist. A small set of critical connections has been illuminated by biography: it is interesting, all the same, that Stableford arrived at the pertinent insight solely through reading the text. —John Clute


In Memory of Marjorie Nicolson

Marjorie Hope Nicolson, formerly of Smith College and Columbia University, died March 10, 1981, at the age of 87. A most honored American scholar, she was past president of the Modern Language Association of America, past president of Phi Beta Kappa, and holder of 16 honorary degrees across the country. Her reputation rests perhaps most widely on her standard work, Science and Imagination (reprinted by Archon Books, 1976), a study in the impact of science, especially astronomy and the microscope, on the imaginations of Donne, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Swift, and their contemporaries. Many readers of this journal will best remember her Voyages to the Moon (Macmillan, 1948), the exhilarating story of old moon mariners Lucian, Godwin, Cyrano, et al., whose imaginations, she said, "were not confined by the reality of flight." The history of ideas was her passion. She dedicated Voyages to the Moon to the students who kept her up on the pulps, the comics, and the movies, and who shared with her, she said, "the different meanings different ages have read into the old tag, Sic itur ad astra." —David Y. Hughes       


A New Canadian Fanzine

We welcome a new Canadian fanzine which has emerged from Edmonton. Aptly entitled New Canadian Fandom the fanzine has published its first issue of April-May 1981. It is edited by Robert Runté. Subscriptions, at the introductory rate of $2.00, should be sent to Box 4655, Southside P.O./ Edmonton, Alberta/ Canada TOE 5G5. —The Editors


Jerucon '82

The First International Integrative Congress on Science Fiction, Fantasy and Specu- lative Science in Jerusalem will be held at the Convention Centre, Jerusalem, from June 27 -July 2, 1982. People and organizations who will participate include: Alfred Bester, Ben Boom, John Brunner, Harlan Ellison, Forrest Ackerman, Martin Greenberg, Harry Harrison, Barry Lonyear, Robert Sheckley, Robert Silverberg, Norman Spinrad, the Center for UFO Studies, the SFRA, National Space Institute, European Publishers, Fan Clubs from Romania, Holland, Scandinavia, West Germany, France, and others.               

Some of the proposed topics include: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Speculative Sciences, Space Sciences, Utopias, Science, Future and Medicine.                

For information write to Organizing Secretariat, Jerucon '82. P.O. Box 394, Tel Aviv 61003, Israel.—Sheldon Teitelbaum


The Starmont Series: A Clarification

In his review of Mary T. Brizzi's Philip Jose Farmer (SFS No. 24), Mark Siegel says that it "is apparently the first release" though it's labelled number 3. In fact, it is the "first release" of the third publication in a series. Here, with number and publication date, are the Starmont Reader's Guides in print and forthcoming (I edit all of them): Eric S. Rabkin's Arthur C. Clarke (No. 1, 1979, rev. ed. 1980), Carl B. Yoke's Roger Zelazny (No. 2, 1979, rev. ed. forthcoming 1981-82), Brizzi's Farmer (No 3), Joan Gordon's Joe Haldeman (No. 4, 1980), David M. Miller's Frank Herbert (No 5. 1980), Lahna Diskin's Theodore Sturgeon (forthcoming, 1981), Carolyn Wendell's Alfred Bester (forthcoming, 1981), and Jeff Frane's Fritz Leiber (No. 8. 1980).                

Siegel's confusion is especially strange because he is also writing a book for the series, on James Tiptree. Jr., and therefore had been sent a copy of the above list.—Roger C. Schlobin


Immortality in SF: A Call for Papers

As part of Greenwood Press's continuing series, Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy (General Editor, Marshall Tymn), we are editing a book on the themes of immortality and mortality entitled Death and the Serpent: Immortality in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Essays for this volume will fall into two broad categories: (1) Themes Studies: a section that will treat various general topics, such as: immortality and the loss of humanity, transhumanness, secular and scientific parallels to the notion of "The Fortunate Fall," immortality in horror literature, immortality of entire populations, etc.; (2) Specific Author and Novel Studies: a section that will treat immortality in a particular author, a particular novel, or a series of fictions.                

We are inviting you to submit a proposal (of approximately 500 words) that will give us an idea of what you intend to write about. We will accept the best ideas which seem appropriate to the themes of the book, on a first-come, first-served basis. We would like to complete the proposal stage by December 15, 1981. Should your proposalbe accepted, we will provide you with more comprehensive instructions about preparing your final manuscript for us. We plan that all final manuscripts will be due by January 1, 1983.                

Those whose essays appear in this book will receive a copy of the volume and 25 offprints of their contribution.                

Please send your proposals, or inquiries, either to me, c/o Honors & Experimental College/ Kent State University/ Kent, Ohio 44242 or to Carl B. Yoke at the Office of Regional Campuses at Kent State.—Donald M. Hassler


The Year's Work in SF Criticism: A Call for Volunteer Bibliographers

Prompted by his desire to become more involved in other types of projects, Roger C. Schlobin has decided to resign as a bibliographer for "The Year's Scholarship in Science Fiction and Fantasy." In the future, the bibliography will be published, under my editorship, as an annual monograph by Kent State UP. With the help of interested scholars, I hope to be able to maintain the project at its present level. To this end, I am soliciting persons to serve on a newly-created editorial board whose primary responsibility will be to assist in compiling the bibliography, beginning with the 1980 installment. Announcement of the new board is planned for early fall and notices will appear in Extrapolation, Science-Fiction Studies, and other journals. I am seeking people to annotate articles in fanzines, semi-pros, and scholarly journals. A pressing need is coverage of the articles listed in the MLA International Bibliography. Other needs are coverage of Ph.D. dissertations, foreign-language studies, AV materials, introductions to Gregg Press reprints (and other significant introductions to works of fiction), film journals, and non-fiction from the major professional SF magazines. (I will continue to take care of all annotations of books; applicants volunteering to do abstracts of articles should be willing to deal with more than one journal title.) Those wishing to apply for an editorial position should contact me immediately at -721 Cornell St./Ypsilanti, MI 48197—indicating qualifications and particular areas/titles which you are willing to annotate. —Marshall B. Tymn                     


Conference on the Fantastic

Papers concerning the theory, use or value of the "fantastic" in literature, film, art, music, theater, and philosophy are sought by the Third International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Sponsored by the Thomas Burnett Swann Fund, the conference will meet March 10-13, 1982, on the Florida Atlantic University campus.                

A complete list of the more than 60 session topics, with names and addresses of session leaders, will be sent upon request. Selected papers from the conference will be published by Greenwood Press. General deadline for submissions is January 15, 1982.                

A program of readings by writers of fantasy and SF will also be presented. Published writers who wish to consider a 30-minute reading from an unpublished work, or work-in-progress, should query.               

A four-day, intensive workshop for SF writers, presented by Brian Aldiss, Gene Wolfe, James Gunn, and Barry N. Malzberg, will be held concurrently with the academic conference. Applicants should submit manuscripts of approximately 5,000 words on or before January 1, 1982, for screening.                

A one-day intensive workshop for teachers of fantasy and SF will be presented by Marshall B. Tymn, Friday, March 12, 1982.                

For detailed information concerning any of these programs, send name and address to Conference on the Fantastic/College of Humanities/FAU/ Boca Raton, FL 33431. —Robert A. Collins

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