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A last judgment on the genre from science fiction's foremost critic

Look Inside

Part 1: The Forest

Part 2: Forefathers

Part 3: The Bully Pulpit

Part 4: Selected Larger Trees

Part 5: Crazy Neighbors

Part 6: After the Future

Copyright © 2005, Thomas M. Disch. All rights reserved.


Praise for Thomas Disch:

"One of the most remarkably talented writers around."
---Washington Post Book World

"[Disch] is without doubt one of the really bright lights on the American SF scene."
---Fantasy and Science Fiction

This collection by the much-loved and lauded science-fiction writer Thomas Disch spans twenty-five years of his career, during which he has supplemented his creative output with reviews and critical essays in publications as diverse as the Nation, the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic Monthly, and Twilight Zone.

Disch's perspectives on his genre are skeptical, novel, and often incendiary. The volume's opening essay, for example, characterizes writers of science fiction as "the provincials of literature." Other essays explore science fiction's roots-Poe, Bradbury, Clarke, Asimov, Vonnegut-as well as modern practitioners such as Stephen King, Philip Dick, Robert Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and William Gibson.

Disch entertains and provokes with essays on UFOs, Science Fiction as a Church, and Newt Gingrich's Futurist Brain Trust. Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Madame Blavatsky also get the Disch treatment. Throughout, the writing is lively, agile, and irreverent, exhibiting an incisive honesty that is undiluted by Disch's own attachments as a sci-fi practitioner. On SF will appeal equally to lovers of science fiction and connoisseurs of the finest critical prose.

Thomas M. Disch is master of many literary genres, including science fiction, poetry, drama, and children's literature. He is the author of numerous books, including The Genocides and Camp Concentration. Other books from the University of Michigan Press include The Castle of Perseverance and A Child's Garden of Grammar.