Friday, June 5, 2009
More Aqueductista Stuff
Here's a new Aqueductista link: Fantasy Magazine has reprinted E.C. Myers' Dear Superman, which originally appeared in Talking Back: Epistolary Fantasies, ed. L. Timmel Duchamp, (#11 in the Conversation Pieces series).
I've also seen some reviews in print publications, for which I have no links:
In her column, carrying the title "The Uses of Disenchantment" in the Aug/Sept Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Elizabeth Hand reviews Ursula K. Le Guin's Cheek by Jowl at length. Actually,Hand does more than review Cheek by Jowl; after praising its "centerpiece," "the long marvelous title essay on animals in children's literature," she launches into a set of interesting, disgruntled reflections on all that Le Guin has "to answer for"-- which she sums up as: "What irks me is the gentrification of fantasy [I'm a middle-aged bobo, therefore irked by gentrification in all its forms], which has grown so all-encompassing that I impatiently await Martha Stewart's contribution to the genre." Hand laments that the "self-referential, recursive nature of so much contemporary fantasy literature has made it increasingly difficult for a writer to deliver that grace note [the "take your breath away" note "found only in the greatest kind of fantasy"], without its sounding like it's already been winded on someone else's ivory horn. Our marvels have grown commonplace. Fairy fruit's available at Costco now, and Whole Foods."
FemSpec Vol. 9 Issue 2 arrived in my mailbox yesterday. It includes some interesting pieces, ranging from Cristy Dwyer's "Queen Lili'uokalani's Imprisonment Quilt: Indomitable Spirits in Protest Cloth" to Robiin McAlllister's essay on a Cuban feminist sf fotonovella by Daina Chaviano, and including lengthy reviews by Janice Bogstad of The WisCon Chronicles Vol. 1 and by Ritch Calvin of De Secretis Mulierum.
Here's Bogstad: "In its mix of writing levels, range of expertise of the interviewers, interviewees, panel transcripts and shorter pieces, this work demonstrates that knowledge can be transmitted at various levels of discourse, underlining the value of events like WisCon and chronicles of those events like this text. . . . I can recommend this book, especially as the chronicle of an event that cannot be repeated: a weekend in time that is also destined to be timeless. While it is neither a fanzine nor a critical work, it is a source document for future scholars of both fandom and the developmental states of feminism and science fiction."
And here's Calvin: "The narrative of De Secretis Mulierum is framed as a letter sent by Jane Pendler to a researcher, Elena, who is examining the relationship of "women in history" and "women who write history" (75). The selected history that a now-aging and -ailing Pendler provides further comments upon and complicates the question of historical accuracy and reliability. What sorts of women's secrets might history hold? What sorts of technologies might reveal them? What kind of evidence counts as evidence? Who might have better access to this information? To what extent do personal and professional ideologies interfere [with and] alter the "science" of history? Duchamp's novella asks profound questions about the limits of our historical knowledge, the socially constructed nature of knowledge, and the gendered and sexual biases therein."
Finally, don't miss the interesting conversation between Matt Cheney and Istvan Csicsery-Ronay on reading in general and reading James Tiptree Jr. Up the Walls of the World in particular.