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The Detached Retina: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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We devotees of SF enjoy its diversity of opinion, the bustle of bright and dark, the clash of progress and entropy, the clamour of theories about the past, the future, the ever-present present, everything. In this fascinating collection of essays, one of the world's pre-eminent SF writers explores a wide range of SF and fantasy writers and writing. We devotees of SF enjoy its diversity of opinion, the bustle of bright and dark, the clash of progress and entropy, the clamour of theories about the past, the future, the ever-present present, everything. In this fascinating collection of essays, one of the world's pre-eminent SF writers explores a wide range of SF and fantasy writers and writing.


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We devotees of SF enjoy its diversity of opinion, the bustle of bright and dark, the clash of progress and entropy, the clamour of theories about the past, the future, the ever-present present, everything. In this fascinating collection of essays, one of the world's pre-eminent SF writers explores a wide range of SF and fantasy writers and writing. We devotees of SF enjoy its diversity of opinion, the bustle of bright and dark, the clash of progress and entropy, the clamour of theories about the past, the future, the ever-present present, everything. In this fascinating collection of essays, one of the world's pre-eminent SF writers explores a wide range of SF and fantasy writers and writing.

33 review for The Detached Retina: Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    A solid collection of sf essays but the quality of essay is highly variable. There are a variety of audiences being addressed and topics bouncing all over the place. I think two books would have been better with one devoted to Aldiss discussing his own work and another to work of others. My favorite parts were early on as he builds cases for B. Malzberg and O. Stapledon as forgotten masters. However the work on HG Wells, Shelley, Orwell and CS Lewis just drags on for me. (Not helped by my lack o A solid collection of sf essays but the quality of essay is highly variable. There are a variety of audiences being addressed and topics bouncing all over the place. I think two books would have been better with one devoted to Aldiss discussing his own work and another to work of others. My favorite parts were early on as he builds cases for B. Malzberg and O. Stapledon as forgotten masters. However the work on HG Wells, Shelley, Orwell and CS Lewis just drags on for me. (Not helped by my lack of interest in all 4). I am massively spoiled after Engines of the Night by Malzberg; author driven lit crit for me is done after reading Engines - everything else will always be runner up to that seminal work. Parts of Retina are great - but I would borrow it from a university library before purchasing. I am working on a complete Aldiss collection so I own the hardcover but only the most hardcore devotee should have this on the shelf. 2 stars for me means very good, as I dont waste time reading anything truly bad. So not bad, but I prefer his excellent fiction.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Zepp

    Sci-fi theory can really suck. The life, the blood, the magic. This collection, however, represents an exuberant and thoughtful journey through the genre. I read this at the same time I was reading Delany's criticism, Medea and the chorus overlapping their lines on the stage, without their masks. Also, I was once again convinved that Frankenstein is great to talk about, but awful to read. Sci-fi theory can really suck. The life, the blood, the magic. This collection, however, represents an exuberant and thoughtful journey through the genre. I read this at the same time I was reading Delany's criticism, Medea and the chorus overlapping their lines on the stage, without their masks. Also, I was once again convinved that Frankenstein is great to talk about, but awful to read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Yatman

    Despite some eye-rolling moments of bitchy point-scoring, Aldiss says some very perceptive things about the many meanings, functions and flavours of SF.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yan Wei

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Real Fred Bloggs

  6. 4 out of 5

    Philip

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karl Bunker

  9. 5 out of 5

    Purblind

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adal

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mat Joiner

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steve Dewey

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jelena Bulatovic

  15. 4 out of 5

    severyn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  17. 5 out of 5

    James Bowman

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve French

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tomas Vargas

  20. 5 out of 5

    Edward

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vicwong

  22. 4 out of 5

    Menashi

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mckenzie Ragan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gordsellar

  25. 4 out of 5

    Clayborn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jengordon

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  28. 4 out of 5

    John Adkins

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Smith

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cambria

  31. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Clarke

  32. 5 out of 5

    Alex F. Brown

  33. 4 out of 5

    Vesna Kovach

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