Picnic on Paradise

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Open Road Media, May 8, 2018 - Fiction - 152 pages
5 Reviews
A new kind of sci-fi heroine, the tough-as-nails Alyx, is introduced in this Nebula Award finalist that Poul Anderson called an “extraordinary” novel.
 
Set in a semi-utopian world, Joanna Russ’s groundbreaking debut novel is the story of Alyx, a female soldier, survival guide, and agent of the Trans-Temporal Authority. Displaced in time from her ancient Greece, Alyx is tasked with safely leading a group of pampered human vacationers—including some unconventional nuns and a detached teenager known as the Machine—across an uninhabited scenic terrain to a relief station. But the journey proves more challenging than anticipated as they confront one another’s failings; the physical dangers of an icy, hostile wilderness; and Alyx’s own personal demons.
 
Long before the kick-ass heroines of current science fiction and fantasy, Russ unapologetically introduced readers to a short, strong, middle-aged (for her world/time) woman of twenty-six who knows how to survive but struggles with the emotional nuances of her charges and the confusion of her own mixed feelings. With iconic characters like Alyx, Russ “four decades ago helped deliver science fiction into the hands of the most alien creatures the genre had yet seen—women . . . [and] helped inaugurate the now flourishing tradition of feminist science fiction” (The New York Times).

 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - majackson - LibraryThing

Highly stylized concept: a female street-fighter is saved from death in ancient Crete to lead a party of effete picnickers in the far future through a minor war on an ideal Terra-formed planet. Most ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheDivineOomba - LibraryThing

I picked it up because of the author. I recognized the name, but haven't read anything by her. Unfortunately, this is probably not the book to start with. I didn't like any of the characters - the ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
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About the author (2018)

Joanna Russ (1937–2011) was a radical feminist writer and academic who became one of the seminal figures of science fiction during the 1960s and ’70s, when women began to make major inroads into what had long been a bastion of male authorship. Her best-known novel, The Female Man, is a powerful mix of humor and anger told from the alternating points of view of four women—genetically identical, but coming from different worlds and vastly different societies. Russ wrote five other novels—including the children’s book Kittatinny—and is renowned for her literary criticism and essays. Her short stories appeared in leading science fiction and fantasy magazines and have been widely anthologized as well as collected into four volumes. She received the Nebula Award for her short story “When It Changed” and a Hugo Award for the novella “Souls.”
Russ received a master of fine arts degree from the Yale School of Drama and was a 1974 National Endowment for the Humanities fellow. She was a lecturer at Cornell and other universities and a professor of English at the University of Washington, where she taught from 1984 to 1994. Her scholarly work includes How to Suppress Women’s Writing and To Write Like a Woman, among others. Her papers are collected at the University of Oregon.
 

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