On SF

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 271 pages
2 Reviews
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.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - librarianbryan - LibraryThing

Disch and I aren't always in harmony (he slays one of my favorite novels [admittedly one I haven't read in years:]), but his vision is insightful, focused, consistent, hence, refreshing. Anyone ... Read full review

Review: On SF

User Review  - Katharine Osborne - Goodreads

Disch is a little pretentious at times, but he dissects the sacred cows and truths of the genre with glee and vigor. Read full review

Contents

The Embarrassments of Science Fiction
3
A Popular Misconception
16
The Further Embarrassments
25
PHRHIilD Forefathers
39
Brave Netu World Revisited Once Again
49
Sic Sic Sic
56
Isaac Asimov 19201992
65
Time Space the Limitlessness of the Imaginationand
72
Queen Victorias Computers
147
An Afterword
160
PRRT FIDE Crazy Neighbors
171
UFOs and the Origins of Christianity
184
Science Fiction as a Church
190
The Evidence of Things Not Seen
198
Science Fiction and
205
Newts Futurist Brain Trust
213

PHRT THREE The Bully Pulpit
79
Talking with Jesus
89
The Labor Day Group
97
Fluffand Fizzles
105
The Feast of St Bradbury
115
PHRT FDUR Selected Larger Trees
133
Wolfes New Sun
141
A Closer Look at Close Encounters
220
PHRT SIN lifter the Future
235
Guides to the Ghetto
242
Measures of Hanging
248
Acknowledgments
261
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Thomas Disch was a popular & prolific poet, playwright, essayist, & novelist. He is the author of many works of science fiction & the poetry collections "Dark verses & Light" & "Yes, Let's: New & Selected Poems".

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