THE HIDDEN SIDE OF THE MOON by Joanna Russ

THE HIDDEN SIDE OF THE MOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Russ retrospective, 1959-84, comprising 27 of her less well-known tales: ghostly fables, weird fairy tales, science-fiction humor, feminist polemics, and auto(?) biographical reminiscences, some of them full-wrought and snarling, others nebulous and convoluted. Among the more substantial entries here: a woman who is haunted by the ghost of herself as an abandoned little girl; a telling, disconcerting Oz pastiche; a hilarious parody of human/alien sex in science fiction; a house and its occupants that never change, while millions of years pass on the outside; a time-travelling rogue who delights in human stupidity and malice; and a strange world where reality is mutable. Elsewhere, ideas tumble forth but rarely assemble themselves into coherent narrative--Russ' habit of casting everything in acutely personal terms results in moments of clarity and insight all too often submerged in a wash of perplexing opacity. Fragmented, quirky material, then, by turns irritating, fascinating, elusive, poignant, self-indulgent, or trying. Russ isn't in top form here, by and large; but as a prodder of quiescent or self-satisfied psyches, she's hard to ignore.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's