NEW WORLDS FROM THE LOWLANDS: Fantasy and Science Fiction of Dutch and Flemish Writers by Manuel--Ed. van Loggem

NEW WORLDS FROM THE LOWLANDS: Fantasy and Science Fiction of Dutch and Flemish Writers

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While eclectic readers will welcome this opportunity to acquaint themselves with Dutch language f & sf, the contents here (32 pieces spanning 1947-80, with a preponderance of 1970s items) don't match the overall, albeit modest, ambitions. As the title implies, the tone is generally New Wave (emphasizing inner space and graphic sex/violence), but the recognizable sf content is small, with most of the yarns best described as modern folk tales: Biblical evocations and alternate worlds, witches, doppelgangers, overcrowding, pollution, mutants, carnivorous plants. Furthermore, most of these pieces are too short (a few hundred words) to generate anything more than twist-ending shock value. There are some standouts: Belcampo's surefooted yarn about an impoverished town offering a fake ancient pagan Easter rite as a tourist attraction; an eerie, Borgesian tale from Olga Rodenko about a job-seeker entangled in an interminable series of identical waiting rooms; a quietly understated radioactive snowfall by Ward Ruyslinck; Bob van der Goen's ironic piece on the last quiet place left on Earth; a sparkling yarn from Raoul Chapkis set in the year 2065, where an attempt to recreate the conditions of 1966 succeeds all too well; and from Patrick Conrad, a trim little black humor piece involving an apparently pregnant robot female. Interesting tidbits, but deficient in substance.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1982
Publisher: Cross-Cultural Communications (239 Wynsum Ave., Merrick, NY 11566)