WOMEN OF VISION by Denise--Ed. DuPont


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Essays and interviews by some of science-fiction's leading women, aimed at discovering why they write, why sf in particular, and whether they have encountered any obstacles (or benefits) being women in a once male-dominated field. Leading off, Ursula K. Le Guin develops her bag theory: a novel, she contends, isn't about heroes or conflicts, it's a sack--""Words hold things. They bear meanings. A novel is a medicine bundle, holding things in a particular, powerful relation to one another and to us."" Agent, editor, and sometime writer Virginia Kidd, thoroughly content to discover and help more talented writers, has no patience with isms: ""Up the individual, up with literature, and down with causes."" Anne McCaffrey contributes an autobiographical piece. Patricia C. Hodgell and Eleanor Arnason relate everything to their own fiction, which makes for tough going if you haven't read any. The late, admirable Mice Sheldon, who wrote under the name James Tiptree, Jr., discusses her use of the male pseudonym. When the ""attractive figure of Tiptree. . .was revealed as nothing but an old lady in Virginia,"" she laments, many male writers friendly with Tiptree became patronizing with Sheldon. Marion Zimmer Bradley, also anti-isms, points out that women have always been in the sf field--it was just that ""the audience identified with male values."" Suzie McKee Charnas adds that the early male writers left vast territories unexplored, ""which was nifty for the women writers who came along in the Sixties and Seventies."" There are also contributions from Lee Killough, Joan Vinge, and Pamela Sargent. No earth-shaking insights, generally speaking, but informative and sometimes revealing--with the Sheldon, Bradley, and Charnas entries adding what amounts to an extra dimension.

Pub Date: Dec. 19th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's