Picture of author.
10+ teosta 521 jäsentä 8 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Includes the name: Editor JFA Brian Attebery

Image credit: Idaho State University

Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (2003) — Avustaja — 284 kappaletta
The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (2016) — Toimittaja — 242 kappaletta
Always Coming Home: Author's Expanded Edition (2019) — Toimittaja — 214 kappaletta
The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature (2012) — Avustaja — 112 kappaletta
Snake's Hands: The Fiction of John Crowley (2003) — Avustaja — 45 kappaletta
80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin (2010) — Avustaja — 37 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla

Yleistieto

Jäseniä

Kirja-arvosteluja

When I read this, I annotated The Norton Book of [Women's] Science Fiction. Some of the stories I found were not so good. But that was 25 years ago.
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
PacoMD | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 10, 2020 |
"The House the Blakeneys Built," by Avram Davidson (1965): 8.75
- Ends formulaically and violently, although hasn't been quite prefigured this violent turn in them (save, maybe, their continuing anger at the members who had apparently run away earlier). Nonetheless, an effective take on a common trope, but elastic and menacing enough that it could pass as an antecedent for BOTH generation-ship dystopias like Dark Eden AND straight horror scenarios like The Hills Have Eyes.

"Over the River and Through the Woods," by Clifford Simak (1965): 7.25
- This story: all in the reveal. these surprise visitor kids from the future, sent by parents to protect them from alien threats. Kind of touching in that instance. But strange. Strange how small some of these older stories are. As small, actually, as a story with this exact plot could be. And there's something to that. But what?

"How Beautiful With Banners," by James Blish (1966): 7
- Ugh, just my fear for the worst of New Wave SFF. Marrying the worst aspects of the genre's convoluted prose impulses — confusing verbosity and syntactical obtuseness for profundity or lyricism — with the worst aspects of the NW's new focus on inferiority and transcendent spiritual experience and sexuality. All of that can create quite a potent brew of nothing. I mean, here’s the whole first paragraph—who really wants to continue after this mess: “Feeling as naked as a peppermint soldier in her transparent film wrap, Dr. Ulla Hillstrøm watched a flying cloak swirl away toward the black horizon with a certain consequent irony. Although nearly transparent itself in the distant dim arc-light flame that was Titan's sun, the fluttering creature looked warmer than what she was wearing, for all that reason said it was at the same minus 316° F. as the thin methane it flew in. Despite the virus space-bubble's warranted and eerie efficiency, she found its vigilance—itself probably as nearly alive as the flying cloak was—rather difficult to believe in, let alone to trust.” The story's conclusions tries its best to salvage the proceedings.

"Nine Hundred Grandmothers," by R.A. Lafferty (1966): 8.75
- I sense some of the Lafferty appeal here. The piece: part of crew on alien world (was the crew needed? what did they add? yes, there was the sense that they were cruel, especially in relation to our protagonist, and their presence implied a sort of colonial/capitalist expoloitation/extraction relationship with the einheimische Bevoelkerung, but this all wasn't necessarily factored in to the sfnal thrust of the story, even if a nice peripheral detail to the nature of this world and its hard-hearted people) discovers local inhabitants do not die and he proceeds to find the original, the first one, to get her (grandmother) to tell him 'how it all started'. The Lafferty absurdism (I can' help but think of Vonnegut and the way his mainstream readers perceive him--meaning, his Prosaic Irony traits are all over these roughly 55 -66 ish stories: chicken or the egg? Do V.'s mainstream audiences see him as such an anamoly because they don't understand the strain from which he comes, or is it the other way around?) is what makes this otherwise (until the last two pages) staid mid-century sf story go. We're well outside the realms of Hard SF by even the standards of the time, and that's all well and good because the point is instead to underscore both the inexplicability of the Question as well as the Desire for the Question, and even the markers of moral action. In effect, he's turned common sfnal assumptions/directions on their head: primarily in the sense that it is not the future, but the past that might tell us the most about science, and that these pasts -- even when they're actually, tangibly reachable (!), as with immortal grandmothers -- are themselves inaccessible and impossible to plainly comprehend.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Ebenmaessiger | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 6, 2019 |
This is an odd book; one can tell that as soon as you look at the table of contents. There are not many familiar names or familiar stories here. I think this would be okay if it were marketed as Science Fiction Stories Liked by Le Guin and Attebery, however, it's supposedly The Norton Book of Science Fiction, an overview of an entire genre. The back cover trumpets it as suitable for use in schools, but I think you'd be better off with, say, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One if you want a chunky anthology that gives an overview of the genre. I don't think an overview has to be historically comprehensive, it just has to cover the range of subforms the genre can take, so the subtitle of "North American Science Fiction, 1960-1990" isn't necessarily limiting even if it is arbitrary. But this feels to me like a limited slice of what science fiction can do.

I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone that Le Guin's taste in sf is literary. That's perfectly fine by me, as I like literary sf, and Le Guin is my joint favorite sf writer. What does surprise me from the author of the Hainish cycle is that it's very Earthbound. Very few stories here take place in space. I think that's what makes it feel limited: sf's ability to imagine other worlds and future times is very underrepresented here. There are times this book feels very insular. It's hard to imagine handing this to a literary sf neophyte and having them come away wowed at the possibilities the genre offers.

Random thoughts on random stories:
  • "The Handler" by Damon Knight (1960): This felt very old-school to me, a short story constructed around a sort of Twilight Zone-y concept of a man who operates a human suit. But it's more than just a twist, it tells us something about ourselves in that best sfnal way, so I ended up liking it a lot despite the fact there's not a whole lot to it. (Kind of an odd choice to begin the collection, though, but I guess that's chronological order for you.)
  • "High Weir" by Samuel R. Delany (1968): I really enjoyed this, a tale of explorers on Mars where an encounter with an ancient, dead civilizations ends up unsettling the minds of one of the explorers. I am always meaning to read some Delany.
  • "Day Million" by Frederick Pohl (1969): This is one of the few stories (I think just four?) in the book that I'd read before (in this case, in Ascent of Wonder, a collection it definitely did not belong in). I enjoyed it there and enjoyed it here, a very weird story of romance.
  • "The Women Men Don't See" by James Tiptree, Jr. (1973): Justly a classic. My second time reading it, and I still quite enjoyed it. Cleverly written from the perspective of a male protagonist where you have to read against what he says to sympathize with the female characters.
  • "Schrödinger's Plague" by Greg Bear (1982): A sort of goofy sf thought experiment about a disease that may or may not exist, but clever enough and well told enough (it's a found documents story) to get away with it.
  • "Snow" by John Crowley (1985): A man accesses the life experiences of his dead wife, which had been recorded completely. There's a lot of stories here about people flitting into the lives of the dead, I think, actually, but this is one of the better ones. They didn't exactly love each other, which makes it more poignant.
  • "The Brains of Rats" by Michael Blumlein (1986): This was a dark, disturbing story, of a self-hating male feminist scientist. I wouldn't say I loved it, but I did think it was executed with great skill.
  • "We See Things Differently" by Bruce Sterling (1989): In a future where America is no longer a dominant world power, a Muslim Egyptian journalist interviews a popular rock star. This did absolutely nothing for me, and I'm not sure what the point was, even with the twist at the end.
  • "Half-Life" by Paul Preuss (1989): This is perhaps a typical weak story in some ways, one I wanted to like but couldn't never quite unlock. Something something Marie Curie, but I'd be damned if I could tell you what, and I think how the story is told gets in the way of whatever effect the writer was trying to achieve.
  • "And the Angels Sing" by Kate Wilhelm (1990): Perhaps unfairly, you could say this was like a lot of stories in the volume: something fantastic enters into the lives of humdrum people. That said, I did quite enjoy it, as Wilhelm draws character sharply and has a knack for the uncanny and the weird. A reporter who pushes everyone away suddenly finds an alien and has to figure out what to do, along with a photographer who doesn't like him very much.
There were plenty others I liked, too: "When I Was Miss Dow" by Sonya Dorman Hess, "Stable Strategies for Middle Management" by Eileen Gunn, "(Learning About) Machine Sex" by Candas Jane Dorsey, "Tauf Alef" by Phyllis Gotlieb, "Invaders" by John Kessel, and "Schwarzschild Radius" by Connie Willis. This all gives a disproportionately positive impression, though, because there are a lot of stories I just didn't even mention here, because I just couldn't latch onto them, not even enough to tell you what I don't like about them. Skipping back through the book to pick out the ones I listed above, I found there were so many I just didn't remember. There are some sixty-seven stories in the book, so even thirty standouts wouldn't be a very good rate. (The book took me seven months to read; I read a story over lunch at work one to five times most weeks.)

So, it's definitely got some interesting stuff going on, and there are stories I would revisit, but on the whole, there are definitely better entries into the genre of Honking Big SF Anthologies than this one.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Stevil2001 | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 12, 2019 |
Wide variety of speculative short stories, arranged by date of publication and including all the heavy hitters: Sturgeon, Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Paul Anderson, Zenna Henderson, James Tiptree Jr., Gene Wolfe, Joanna Russ, Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Greg Bear, Octavia Butler, Connie Willis, Margaret Atwood. Missing: Robert Heinlein and Neil Gaiman (maybe Neil was too young). A book to dip into again and again. Introduction by Ursula.
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
deckla | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 28, 2018 |

Listat

Palkinnot

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Karen Joy Fowler Consultant
Lisa Goldstein Contributor
Margaret Atwood Contributor
Molly Gloss Contributor
Howard Waldrop Contributor
Zenna Henderson Contributor
Barry N. Malzberg Contributor
Lewis Shiner Contributor
Carol Emshwiller Contributor
Eleanor Arnason Contributor
Paul Preuss Contributor
Candas Jane Dorsey Contributor
John Kessel Contributor
Phyllis Gotlieb Contributor
Michael G. Coney Contributor
R. A. Lafferty Contributor
Diane Glancy Contributor
Edward Bryant Contributor
Michael Blumlein Contributor
Katherine MacLean Contributor
Eileen Gunn Contributor
Andrew Weiner Contributor
David R. Bunch Contributor
Octavia Butler Contributor
James Jr. Tiptree Contributor
Sonya Dorman Hess Contributor
Pamela Sargent Contributor
Orson Scott Card Contributor
Pat Cadigan Contributor
Robert Silverberg Contributor
Fritz Leiber Contributor
Michael Bishop Contributor
Frederik Pohl Contributor
Samuel R. Delany Contributor
Connie Willis Contributor
Harlan Ellison Contributor
Gregory Benford Contributor
Gene Wolfe Contributor
Poul Anderson Contributor
Greg Bear Contributor
Roger Zelazny Contributor
William Gibson Contributor
Philip K. Dick Contributor
Joe Haldeman Contributor
Bruce Sterling Contributor
James Blish Contributor
Michael Swanwick Contributor
Cordwainer Smith Contributor
Damon Knight Contributor
Robert Sheckley Contributor
James H. Schmitz Contributor
Avram Davidson Contributor
John Varley Contributor
Joanna Russ Contributor
Pat Murphy Contributor
Vonda N. McIntyre Contributor
John Crowley Contributor
Clifford D. Simak Contributor
Kate Wilhelm Contributor
Theodore Sturgeon Contributor
Nancy Kress Contributor
Mike Resnick Contributor
Nicholas Ruddick Contributor
Lisa Yaszek Contributor
Gary K. Wolfe Contributor
Amy J. Ransom Contributor
L. Timmel Duchamp Contributor
Graham Sleight Contributor
Jane Donawerth Contributor
Terry Dowling Contributor
Pawel Frelik Contributor
David M. Higgins Contributor
John Rieder Contributor

Tilastot

Teokset
10
Also by
15
Jäseniä
521
Suosituimmuussija
#47,687
Arvio (tähdet)
4.1
Kirja-arvosteluja
8
ISBN:t
26

Taulukot ja kaaviot