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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books

England Swings SF

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England Swings SF

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Author: Judith Merril
Publisher: Panther Books, Ltd., 1972
Ace Books, 1970
Doubleday, 1968

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Book Type: Anthology
Genre: Science-Fiction
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The most stimulating challenge that has come to science fiction writers recently has been the question of whether it is time for a change. The advocates of what is called the New Wave say yes. They insist that the "old" science fiction belongs to the past, is stereotyped, and no longer represents the whirl of modern times, the revolution of new thinking and the mind-tingling innovations that seem to be prevalent in all the arts these days.

The New Wave in SF--they prefer to call it Speculative Fiction--has its roots among the imaginative writers of England, most specifically around the magazine New Worlds, and a great deal has been coming from that source that is indeed different and surprising. Judith Merril, an acknowledged authority on science fiction, has made herself the foremost American defender of the New Wave, and in this book ENGLAND SWINGS SF she has produced an anthology and a running, sparkling dialogue between its contributors and its editor on what they are doing to SF in England and why they are doing it.

Are the New Wave advocates correct? Is it indeed time for new forms and new approaches to imaginative speculative fiction? Has science fiction as we have known it really become moribund?

Here is the book which may be the turning point of that New Wave. Ace Books presents it because it is a work, a manifesto perhaps in the form of a group of most unusual SF stories, which everyone interested in science fiction ought to read. It will be a stimulating experience, whether you agree with Miss Merril or not.

Ace Books, long the foremost publisher of science fiction in America, does not take any stand on this controversy. We have published and will continue to publish the best obtainable in all types of writing, from space-action adventures to the award-winning Specials, from the old "classics" to the best of the new collections of short stories. We reprint ENGLAND SWINGS SF not because we are in agreement or in disagreement with it, but because we think it is part of Ace's traditional service to science fiction.

Two quotes may be apropos. Josephine Saxton says, inside the book, "British writers are in the vanguard--one thing they do is make much American S.F. look old-fashioned."

Isaac Asimov said, outside the book, "I hope that when the New Wave has deposited its froth and receded, the vast and solid shore of science fiction will appear once more."

Decide for yourself.

"A mind-stretching, nerve-sizzling adventure."
-- Raleigh News & Observer

"So far out it's left the understandable galaxy."
-- Atlanta Journal

"Intriguing, disturbingly mod... a bit too much of a good thing."
-- Publishers Weekly

"This book is a must for anyone interested in the future of the field of SF. Or in the future."
-- WBAI, New York

"They are closer to the world of Kafka and William Burroughs than to Asimov and Bradbury... it is doubtful that the New Wave will sweep away the more traditional science fiction."
-- Boston Globe

"The first wholesale application of modern styles of writing to the SF short story form."
-- Columbus Dispatch

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