THE ARTS AND BEYOND: Visions of Man's Aesthetic Future by Thomas F.--Ed. Monteleone

THE ARTS AND BEYOND: Visions of Man's Aesthetic Future

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An ill-focused and disappointing collection, perhaps reflecting something unsatisfactory about the theme itself. The notion of assembling twelve science fiction stories to depict the genre's approach to Art and the Future must have looked good on the drawing board, but this is intrinsically a much more self-conscious motif than, say, Can-Openers and the Future. There are some very good stories here--Zelazny's flippant little tale of a self-donated museum piece, J.J. Russ' ""The Masterpiece"" with its harrowing portrayal of a mind manipulated by a searching alien consciousness, one of George Alec Effinger's early ventures in the ""TECT"" series about a future world of lonely hedonists ruled by an omnipotent computer-cum-matter-transmitter. But there are also some thin efforts, like Gordon R. Dickson's bathetic, condescending ""Black Charlie"" (about a pioneering alien sculptor who finally rouses the human narrator to the realization that ""this crude statuette was art"") or Monteleone's own story of a blinded photographer who chooses to ""see as an artist"" or ""not to see at all."" The good does indeed outweigh the bad, but this is one of those cases where the selections show each other off to worst advantage. Illustrations by eight young artists will accompany the finished book.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday