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The Secret History of Science Fiction
Edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
Review by Mary Rose-Shaffer
Tachyon Publications Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781892391933
Date: 01 October 2009 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

Kelly and Kessel’s The Secret History of Science Fiction is a diverse anthology. Covering a span of 37 years (with stories ranging from 1971 – 2008) and authors ranging from whole-hearted genre writers to those perceived as mainstream, this collection would be worth a look for its ambitious approach alone. The fiction collected here is excellent and each story is very different from the next.

From official release/information:

Product Description: This ingeniously conceived anthology raises the intriguing question, If Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow had won the Nebula award in 1973, would the future distinction between literary fiction and science fiction have been erased? Exploring the possibility of an alternate history of speculative fiction, this literary collection reveals that the lines between genres have already been obscured. Don DeLillo's "Human Moments in World War III" follows the strange detachment of two astronauts who are orbiting in a skylab while a third world war rages on earth. "The Ziggurat" by Gene Wolfe traverses a dissolving marriage, a custody dispute, and the visit of time travelers from the future. T. C. Boyle's "Descent of Man" is the subversively funny tale of a man who suspects that his primatologist lover is having an affair with one of her charges. In "Schwarzschild Radius," Connie Willis draws an allegorical parallel between the horrors of trench warfare and the speculative physics of black holes. Artfully crafted and offering a wealth of esteemed authors—from writers within the genre to those normally associated with mainstream fiction, as well as those with a crossover reputation—this volume aptly demonstrates that great science fiction appears in many guises.

(Source: Tachyon Publications)

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