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Vittorio Caffè (Rome, Italy)

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Silent Interviews: On Language, Race, Sex, Science Fiction and Some Comics (Literature; 20)
Silent Interviews: On Language, Race, Sex, Science Fiction and Some Comics (Literature; 20)
by Samuel R. Delany
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesing, not just for those who like or are interested in Delany, 25 April 2010
Delany was an excellent writer (he hasn't written much fiction recently) and is a brilliant scholar. You can read this book if you are interested in his fiction (and graphic novels) but also if you are interested in comics, science-fiction, sexuality, gender, whatever. Chip Delany has a lot to say on all these topics and more.


The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1973-1974: 003
The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1973-1974: 003
by Philip K. Dick
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Badly edited, 25 April 2010
These books are, unfortunately, collectors' items--though they are the letters of a writer whose prestige and notoriety is steadily growing. The price of the volumes keeps many potential readers far; and the difficult availability makes them a problematic resource for scholars and students. They never even tried to print a paperback edition, and that's bad; they didn't even complete the hardbound edition, and that is way worse (a volume with Dick's 1980-1982 letters has been announced, but it's never been published)!

Moreover, these volumes lack proper editorial care. No index of names and titles! This makes reading them a real nightmare! Lots of typos that may be in the original letters (and Dick often jokes about this, and it's one of the genuinely funny aspects of the letters), but might also be due to the poor editing; couldn't they add a (sic!) when needed?

All in all, a necessary text for those who want to write something meaningful on Dick; but an incomplete and blunt tool, and difficult to access!


Philip K.Dick: Exhilaration and Terror of the Postmodern (Liverpool Science Fiction Texts & Studies)
Philip K.Dick: Exhilaration and Terror of the Postmodern (Liverpool Science Fiction Texts & Studies)
by Christopher Palmer
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars No more than a collection of articles, 25 April 2010
This book has some of the pros and all of the cons of a collection of articles that have been published in academic journals and then put together: it lacks coordination. Some of the chapters are good, some are interesting, some are disappointing, some curiously unfocused. It's plain to see why: an article which has a limited but clear purpose when published as a standalone piece on a journal may well be at odds with other pieces published elsewhere by the same author; when you put 'em all together, the differences are glaring. I wonder why Palmer didn't work on the already published pieces when he used them as chapters of this book. All in all, what could have been a general assessment of Dick's oeuvre turned into a fragmentary picture, much like a broken mirror; you see many small pictures, but not a well-harmonized portrait of an author who badly needs one. It's a pity.

Having said that, one should also notice that Palmer is sometimes sloppy with plots and details. Not always, but a bit too often--and one would expect a bit more care and attention from a book published by Liverpool UP.


Thomas Pynchon (Modern Critical Views)
Thomas Pynchon (Modern Critical Views)
by Prof. Harold Bloom
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.52

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary scholarship, 15 April 2010
This is a collection of excellent essays on Pynchon--necessary for anyone who wants to write criticism on this (post)modern classic.


Fear & Typewriter in the Sky
Fear & Typewriter in the Sky
by L. RON HUBBARD
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before Scientology, 15 April 2010
Yes, this is THAT L. Ron Hubbard. Yes, the founder of Scientology. Yes. Before he invented Scientology, turning science-fiction into religion, Hubbard was a hack sf and fantasy writer. Some of his works, though, are quite good. Even an immensely better writer like Philip K. Dick liked Hubbard's Fear. And Typewriter is a witty, provocative novelette which somewhat parodizes pulp adventure fiction. Maybe you don't like Scientology; yet this these two novelettes deserve attention--and are fun to read.


The Postmodern Humanism of Philip K. Dick
The Postmodern Humanism of Philip K. Dick
by Jason P. Vest
Edition: Paperback
Price: £33.24

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vanity Press?, 15 April 2010
This is just a PhD dissertation published by a small but well-organized press--not that it's badly written, but it isn't very original, and its attempt to connect Dick with some Big Modernist Writers is not wholly persuasive. Since Kim Stanley Robinson's PhD thesis on Dick is still available at a print-on-demand publishing house, if I were a student who should write a thesis or a dissertation on Dick I'd go for that book, not this. (One more remark: Vest seems to think that Dick is a postmodernist writer, period. Well, Dick was a writer who wrote very different things, among which pulp science-fiction, bestseller realism, fantasy, and some works which may well qualify as postmodernist. Dick isn't Kafka.)


Miracle Visitors
Miracle Visitors
by Ian Watson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird. Mesmerizing. A page-turner., 15 April 2010
This review is from: Miracle Visitors (Hardcover)
Provided you like science-fiction and appreciate a writer who does have a personal and remarkable style, you should love this. I have read sf since I was 6 (I'm 50 now) and love all the classics; well, I have to admit that this novel is Something Completely Different. It deals with UFOs, and alien abduction, but it does that from such an original point of view that it was a big, really big surprise to see how things turned out in the end. It's a wonderful novel, evidently inspired by the works of Philip K. Dick, but not at all derivative. Bravo, Mr Watson!


Dream Makers the Uncommon People
Dream Makers the Uncommon People
by Charles Platt
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting for sf buffs and scholars, 15 April 2010
In the Seventies Mr Platt, sf buff and writer, travelled all over the English-speaking world to interview the famous sf writers then active. He really contacted the titans of this genre: Phil Dick, James Ballard, etc. If you love sf this is a book you shouldn't miss. The interviews are something, but also Platt's comments are nice. And sometimes outright funny.


Away and Beyond (Panther science fiction)
Away and Beyond (Panther science fiction)
by A.E.Van Vogt
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it, 15 April 2010
If you loke Van Vogt, maybe the pulpiest of the sf writers, buy this book. If you hate Van Vogt, don't even think of buying this. These short stories are pure Van Vogt, with his lurid prose style (which sometimes reaches a somewhat crackpot lyricism), his plots full of unlikely twists (which will never bore you), his characters which start as common people and often turn into godlike creatures (which had forgotten who and what they really were, due to some unlikely conspiracy or secret plan or whatever). If there is an Ed Wood of pulp sf magazines, that man is Van Vogt.


How Much Does Chaos Scare You?: Politics, Religion, and Philosophy in the Fiction of Philip K. Dick
How Much Does Chaos Scare You?: Politics, Religion, and Philosophy in the Fiction of Philip K. Dick
by Aaron Barlow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.04

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 28 Feb 2010
This is a PhD dissertation that was published without proper editing. It doesn't even have an Index. There may be some interesting ideas, but it is quite evident that the author was not helped by professional editors to strenghten this text and turn it into a useful academic essay. I doubt that it may be of some utility to other students which are writing theses or dissertations on Dick, or to Dick scholars. Maybe it may be interesting for collectors and those P.K. Dick's fans who wish to have just everything is connected to their favorite writer.


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