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The Postmodern Archipelago:  Two Essays on Science Fiction and Fantasy
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The Postmodern Archipelago: Two Essays on Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Author: Michael Swanwick
Publisher: Tachyon Publications, 1997

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Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction / Fantasy
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The publication of Michael Swanwick's "A User's Guide to the Post Moderns" sent angry shockwaves rippling through the science fiction community. Not since the controversy surrounding the advent of the so-called New Wave writers of the 1960s and early 1970s had anyone dared to categorize writers. A work that was originally intended as an homage, to illuminate the works of many of the younger writers in the field, was vilified in numerous fanzine articles and convention panels. But Swanwick's essay was not intended to generate controversy and it remains, beyond the initial conflagration, a thoughtful and insightful look into the science fiction field of the early to mid-1980s. Herein lies the genesis of writers like William Gibson and Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling and James Patrick Kelly. "A User's Guide to the Post Moderns," is published here for the first time since its initial magazine appearance along with "In the Tradition...", Swanwick's elegant assay on the fantasy genre, and a brand new introduction written specially for this collection. BACK COVER: Reviews of "A User's Guide to the Post Moderns": Juicy and intelligent, these critical overviews provide a valuable snapshot of our field... - Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

Some of the writers that he praises may actually believe that they are as important to the field of science fiction as Swanwick says they are. The more they believe that, the more it will hurt when a more accurate perspective is forced upon them. - Orson Scott Card

A bilious assemblage of self-congratulatory twaddle... jejune mixture of bluster and untried arrogance... My God, if this is the direction science fiction is going, it is doomed... A self-conscious piece of snobbery not worth the powder to blow it to Kingdom Come. Like reading a history of Europe written from the point of view of Bulgaria. Swanwick's article has proved nothing, clarified nothing, accomplished nothing except to get his name before a large number of people where he can spout his conspiracy-literary theories in a pseudo-journalistic 'I'm above all this' manner better served by UFO magazines and the Flat Earth Society newsletter.Praise for "In the Tradition... "A brave, lonely attempt to stem the tide. - Nova Express

An incisive essay... - Publisher's Weekly

Thought-provoking and informative, the essay is as beautifully penned as any of the works lauded therein. - Terri Windling

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