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About the Author

Includes the name: Gary Wolfe

Obras por Gary K. Wolfe

American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels 1953-56 (2012) — Editor — 207 exemplares
American Science Fiction : Five Classic Novels 1956-58 (2012) — Editor — 195 exemplares
How Great Science Fiction Works (2015) 96 exemplares
The Best of Joe Haldeman (2013) — Editor — 53 exemplares
Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996 (2005) 21 exemplares
Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001 (2010) 17 exemplares
Science Fiction Dialogues (1982) 16 exemplares
The Known and the Unknown (1979) 12 exemplares

Associated Works

The Sword of the Lictor (1981) — Introdução — 1,476 exemplares
Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories (2011) — Contribuidor, algumas edições503 exemplares
The Poison Belt (1913) — Introdução, algumas edições448 exemplares
The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (2003) — Contribuidor — 283 exemplares
Conjunctions: 39, The New Wave Fabulists (2002) — Contribuidor — 197 exemplares
The Best of R. A. Lafferty (2019) — Contribuidor — 152 exemplares
The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature (2012) — Contribuidor — 111 exemplares
Nebula Awards Showcase 2001 (2001) — Contribuidor — 101 exemplares
Visions of Wonder (1996) — Contribuidor — 89 exemplares
Edited By (2020) — Introdução — 36 exemplares
Parabolas of Science Fiction (2013) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
The Aesthetics of Fantasy Literature and Art (1982) — Contribuidor — 13 exemplares
Polder: A Festschrift for John Clute and Judith Clute (2006) — Contribuidor — 13 exemplares
Locus, July 2011 (606) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Locus Nr.492 2002.01 — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Wolfe, Gary Kent
Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Missouri, USA
literary critic
Weil, Ellen (spouse)
Roosevelt University
Prémios e menções honrosas
SFRA Pilgrim Award (1987)
IAFA Distinguished Scholarship (1998)



In this LOA volume, Mr Wolfe introduces 4 sci fi novels which he believes to be the best of sci fi writing near the end of the 1960s. Unfortunately, these stories faded away unable to sustain the attention of readers. Historically, they were deeply influenced by the times the stories were. Perhaps it is what makes the stories more compelling and interesting.
walterhistory | 1 outra crítica | Jun 17, 2023 |
LOA has published a series of sci-fi novels over 4 volumes covering the 50s and 60s. In this volume, 4 novels by different authors are intended to show the continuing evolution of sci-fi genre. Although these stories were relatively unknown at the time, they were unique in their own respective ways.
walterhistory | 1 outra crítica | Jun 16, 2023 |
These four novels are all considered classics of science fiction, or at least landmark books. I had never read either Lafferty's or Russ's. I found Past Master a bit of a let down, despite being very interested in both Thomas More and R.A. Lafferty. Picnic on Paradise was very good and has stood the test of time except for the fact that in today's context, it doesn't seem revolutionary to have a capable female protagonist. Nova was a reread for me and confirmed my memory of Delany's excellent. The same is true for Emphyrio.… (mais)
nmele | 1 outra crítica | Mar 20, 2023 |
The High Crusade (1960) by Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson isn't an author I have much experience with, but I did love his time travel fantasy There Will Be Time (1972), which I read many times as a kid. But on the other hand, my copy was part of a Signet double with The Dancer from Atlantis (1971), which I never even got through the first chapter of despite several attempts! LibraryThing tells me I own many anthologies with his stories in them, but most of the time I don't mention his contributions in my reviews, so I must not have found them notably good or bad. Thus, I was very curious how I would take this book.

It turns out that I took it very well! The High Crusade opens in medieval England, where an alien spaceship lands in a country village, ready to frighten the locals. However, guile, brutality, and sheer luck lead to an upset when the villagers manage to slaughter all of the aliens bar one and take over the ship. The local baron loads most of his village's population onto the massive ship. He intends to fly the ship to the Holy Land and "liberate" it, but the surviving alien tricks him and engages the autopilot, taking the ship back to the alien colony from whence it came, with no reference coordinates to enable a return to Earth.

It's hilarious and charming. The humans are outclassed and outgunned, but keep going anyway. The baron doesn't even know how to use a napkin, but manages to outwit aliens who have hand-held nuclear weapons through superior strategy and a propensity to bluff outrageously. The novel is narrated by a monk named Brother Parvus. Would the novel's plausibility hold up to strict scrutiny? Perhaps not, but it's such a joy to read that you won't want to hold it up to strict scrutiny. It zips along (only 140 pages long in this edition) and doesn't outwear its welcome, as it continuously escalates. Soon the baron is organizing an interstellar alliance against the invading aliens and converting other aliens to Christianity! Jo Walton has a great tribute to the novel here, and says it better than I can.

It is a bit funny that this lost the Hugo Award for Best Novel to A Canticle for Leibowitz, also a science fiction novel about a Catholic monk (or monks) recording information for posterity. Must have been something in the air in 1960! I think it would be pretty difficult to argue that Canticle wasn't the right choice—it's certainly the one of the finalists I would have voted for—but this is a worthy finalist for sure, and well worth reading, and I'm glad editor Gary K. Wolfe included it in this Library of America anthology of 1960s sf. Poul Anderson was a finalist for Best Novel seven times, but never won; he did win many times in the various short fiction categories, however: twice in Best Novella, thrice in Best Novelette, and twice in Best Short Story.

Way Station (1963) by Clifford D. Simak
In 1964, the Hugo Award for Best Novel was given to Clifford Simak's Way Station. Simak is an author I haven't read much of; last year, I read his 1967 novel Why Call Them Back from Heaven?, but other than that it's just pieces of scattered short fiction in anthologies like The Science Fiction Hall of Fame. (I do remember liking his story "Immigrant" in Galactic Empires, Volume I.)

Way Station is an odd book: after the American Civil War, a Union soldier named Enoch returns home to Wisconsin and is recruited to operate a "way station" for Galactic Central, a place where aliens can materialize and rest on their way to destinations further out in the spiral arm. For this, he is essentially granted immortality. At the time the book takes place (much of it is told in flashback), four things converge: the CIA discovers and takes an interest in this immortal man, a political faction in Galactic Central wants to close the way station on Earth by any means necessary, Enoch takes a woman into his home when she's abused by her father, causing the locals to end their longstanding policy of ignoring him, and an important peace conference is breaking down, meaning the Cold War may be about to turn hot.

Like Fritz Lieber's The Big Time (1958), also a Hugo winner from this era, it has big ideas, but takes a subdued, personal, perhaps even slow approach to them. That said, many like to point to Simak's style as "pastoral sf." (Searching "pastoral, science fiction" as a tagmash on LibraryThing brings up sixty-nine works, though only the top dozen would really seem to count. Simak is its top practitioner with his 1965 novel All Flesh Is Grass, and Way Station itself comes in sixth.) It's a defense I buy: I imagine that even in 1963, this felt like a story from another era. Simak's style captures the emotions Enoch must feel as a man out of his own time and the tone really communicates his isolation without slipping into being maudlin. The flashbacks we go into about Enoch's life over the years, encounters he's had with various aliens especially, are effective and Simak manages to evoke a world that is beyond Enoch's comprehension (and ours) but tantalizing and promising. Probably one of the most admirable parts of the novel is the way Simak communicates Enoch's orientation toward the universe, one of wonder and hope.

Given that even good contemporary sf often seems to want to emulate streaming television programs rather than play to the strengths of prose, I appreciated how different this book was. (Oddly, a Netflix film adaptation of this book was announced in 2019, though nothing has been heard since.) That said, I occasionally found myself wanting to skim—the pacing is a bit too languid from time to time!

There is, in the end, a lot going on here, and at the novel's conclusion, all those things kind of collide. Simak handles this very effectively, as elements of different plots and strands cross with one another in unexpected ways. But there's not just a unity of plot but also one of theme. People these days like to talk about "hopepunk" (thanks, I hate it), but sf has always provided us with hope. In Way Station, hope comes from caring: Enoch cares of course, but so does the woman Enoch rescues, and so do many of the various aliens Enoch meets, and so does Enoch's postman, and even the CIA agent assigned to shadow Enoch does, and without all of these people caring about things, the ending would have gone much differently. Near the end, Enoch thinks this:

A million years ago there had been no river here and in a million years to come there might be no river—but in a million years from now there would be, if not Man, at least a caring thing. And that was the secret of the universe, Enoch told himself—a thing that went on caring.

It's a sentiment worth awarding.
… (mais)
Stevil2001 | 1 outra crítica | Dec 9, 2022 |



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