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SF&F encyclopedia (U-U)

Fanzine. JAPAN; Takumi SHIBANO.

UK tv series (1970-73). Century 21 Pictures Ltd Production/ITC. Created
Gerry and Sylvia ANDERSON with Reg Hill. Executive prod Gerry Anderson.
Prod Reg Hill. Script ed Tony Barwick. Dirs included Anderson, David
Tomblin, Alan Perry, Dave Lane, Ken Turner. Writers included Barwick,
Tomblin. Special effects Derek Meddings. 26 50min episodes. Colour.Before
this series the Andersons had been best known for their sf tv puppet
series, such as THUNDERBIRDS. In this first live-action tv series from
them the actors certainly resembled puppets, and the make-up, apparently
deliberately, reinforced the effect. Set in the NEAR FUTURE (1980), UFO
tells how SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization), headed
by Commander Straker (Ed Bishop), fights against hostile, telepathic
aliens in flying saucers ( UFOS). Meddings's special effects were
impressive, though some of the props, costumes, etc., were recycled from
the Andersons' first live-action production, the film DOPPELGANGER (1969;
vt Journey to the Far Side of the Sun). The bland scripts, though more
sophisticated than those of the SuperMarionation puppet series, were
typical of Anderson productions (see also SPACE 1999), possibly because
the Andersons underestimated children's intelligence. Many of the stories,
about elusive disguised aliens, were reminiscent of episodes of The
INVADERS (1967-8). Though there were only 26 episodes, lack of enthusiasm
by the commercial networks led to a gap of more than 2 years between first
and last. Ties are UFO * (1970; vt UFO-1: Flesh Hunters 1973 US) and UFO 2
* (1971; vt UFO-2: Sporting Blood 1973 US) by Robert Miall (Jonathan

Made-for-tv film (1975). Universal/NBC. Dir Richard A. Colla, starring
James Earl Jones, Estelle Parsons, Bernard Hughes, Beeson Carroll, Dick
O'Neill. Screenplay S. Lee Pogostin, Hesper Anderson, based on The
Interrupted Journey (1966) by John G. Fuller. 100 mins. Colour.James Earl
Jones (the voice behind Darth Vader in STAR WARS) tried for years to
secure the finance to make a film about this supposed UFO incident (
UFOS), which took place in 1961. A couple, Betty and Barney Hill,
encounter a UFO while out driving. Subsequent nightmares and feelings of
anxiety lead them to seek psychiatric help which reveals, through
hypnosis, that they possess unconscious memories of being taken and
examined for 2 hours by aliens. It is unusually well made and
intelligently acted for a tv movie. [JB/PN]

A common item of terminology, both inside and outside sf, UFO is an
acronym for Unidentified Flying Object. In the 1st edn of this
encyclopedia, the subject of ufology was discussed under the heading
"Flying Saucers". The change of title reflects the fact that ufology
itself has changed over the past couple of decades, to the extent that it
must now be thought of almost as 3 separate disciplines, one of which
(concerning flying saucers) is a straightforward PSEUDO-SCIENCE, one of
which is a hybrid of aspects of geology and meteorology, and one of which
deals with psychology.The term "flying saucer" was born in 1947 when the
US businessman Kenneth Arnold, while flying his private plane near Mt
Rainier, Washington State, saw what he perceived as 9 disc-like objects
flying in formation nearby; he described their flight as being "like a
saucer would if you skipped it across the water". Sightings continued
through the late 1940s and the 1950s, becoming ever more elaborate and
intimate, and still continue today, decades later, albeit not at the same
feverish frequency as during the height of the Saucer Craze. Reports came,
and still come, from all over the world. Early books on the subject
include The Flying Saucers are Real (1950) by Donald E. Keyhoe (1897-1988)
and Flying Saucers Have Landed (1953; rev 1970) by George Adamski
(1891-1965) and Desmond LESLIE. The latter book marked a new development,
in that Adamski claimed not only to have seen flying saucers but to have
interacted with their ALIEN occupants.However, it would be wrong to think
that flying saucers are solely a 20th-century phenomenon. During Winter
and Spring 1896-7 there were widespread reports of an airship being
sighted over North America: it crossed the USA roughly west to east over a
5-month period. The situation was complicated by hoaxers making false
statements and even sending up appropriately styled hot-air balloons, but
this cannot account for the bulk of the sightings; nor can it explain why
this particular flap started. It ended only when Thomas Alva Edison
(1847-1931) firmly denounced the whole affair as a farrago. Clearly this
was a flying-saucer flap in every respect except that people "saw"
airships rather than saucers; moreover, they did so at a time when the
airship was at the cutting edge of TRANSPORTATION technology and had for a
time featured plausibly in sf stories. Spaceships, although not as yet in
operation, occupied a similar position in the public consciousness by the
late 1940s. In earlier centuries, otherwise inexplicable aerial phenomena
could be attributed to whatever seemed indicated by the TECHNOLOGY of the
day: witches on broomsticks were for a long time popular.That people see
unexplained "objects" in the sky cannot be denied. The vast majority of
such sightings can be confidently put down to misidentifications of
perfectly normal phenomena: oddly shaped and illuminated clouds, the image
of VENUS refracted in the atmosphere, ball lightning (itself only quite
recently recognized as a naturally occurring, though rare, phenomenon),
etc. The remainder have been regarded as simply inexplicable; or
attributed to flying saucers piloted by aliens (variously supposed to
derive from other planets, other DIMENSIONS, the future, or the inside of
the HOLLOW EARTH; whichever, this is dubbed the "extraterrestrial
hypothesis"); or to rare geological/meteorological circumstances involving
processes that are explicable in terms of current scientific knowledge.
The branch of ufology investigating what it prefers to call by such terms
as "transient atmospheric phenomena" ("TAPs") has scored some minor
successes, notably in demonstrating that stressed granite can, as a result
of the piezoelectric effect, produce dancing lights in the air
overhead.The psychological school of ufology accepts that people who
report encounters with aliens are recording genuine experiences - in the
sense that, say, a dream is a genuine experience - and seeks to find
objective explanations for subjective events. Here again there is much to
interest the cultural historian, for there are astonishingly close
similarities between modern descriptions of encounters with aliens and
historical ones of meetings with the Little People. As
withbroomsticks/airships/spaceships, it would appear that the "contact"
experience is interpreted by the human mind in terms of the state of
technology of the age. Modern "contactees" seem to be involuntarily basing
their interpretations on contemporary sf, a hypothesis buttressed by the
fact that there was a noticeable qualitative shift in "contactee" accounts
after the colossal success of the film STAR WARS (1977) - for example,
cute little 'bots were more frequently reported.If sf feeds ufology, how
does ufology feed sf? Most GENRE-SF writers are hostile to the notion of
flying saucers; that is, to the extraterrestrial hypothesis. The hostility
is fuelled by the infuriating public assumption that sf writers are deeply
interested in ufology. Early on, sf writers did indeed quite frequently
assume the reality of alien-piloted flying saucers, but this was almost
always for the purposes of story, irony or symbolism. There are
exceptions: Adamski himself, some time before his famous experiences,
wrote Pioneers of Space (1949), and Dennis WHEATLEY's Star of Ill Omen
(1952) seems to be the work of a believer. Novels rooted in the
extraterrestrial hypothesis include: Shadows in the Sun (1954) by Chad
OLIVER; I Doubted Flying Saucers (1958) by Stan Layne; The Flying Saucer
Gambit * (1966) by Larry MADDOCK in the Agent of T.E.R.R.A. series; Brad's
Flying Saucer (1969) by Marian Place (1910); The Mendelov Conspiracy
(1969; vt Encounter Three 1978) by Martin CAIDIN; The Gismo (1970; vt The
Gismo from Outer Space 1974 chap) by Keo Felker Lazarus (1913); Fade-Out
(1975 US) by Patrick TILLEY, by a very long way the most interesting of
the books in this list; Alien (1977) by George H. LEONARD (not to be
confused with the film tie Alien * [1979] by Alan Dean FOSTER); Close
Encounters of the Third Kind * (1977) by Steven SPIELBERG, a film tie; The
Melchizedek Connection (1981) by Ray Fowler (1930- ); Majestic (1989) by
Whitley STRIEBER; Alintel (1986; no English trans to date) by Jacques
Vallee (1939- ), the famous French ufologist (the model for Lacombe,
played by Francois Truffaut, in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND [1977])
and winner, as Jerome Seriel, of the 1961 Prix Jules Verne; and the UFO
Conspiracy sequence by David BISCHOFF: Abduction: The UFO Conspiracy
(1990), Deception (1991) and Revelation (1991). An anthology is Encounters
with Aliens (anth 1968) ed George Earley (1927- ). The Strieber and
Bischoff titles concern themselves with the notion of the "cover-up", a
CLICHE of ufology: the paranoid belief that the US Government (or other
authority figure) possesses the physical proof that aliens are visiting us
but chooses to keep the information secret. In Strieber's story the case
concerned is the Roswell Incident of 1947, in which a flying saucer is
claimed to have crashed in the New Mexico desert; a story predating this
incident and bearing some resemblance to it was "Mewhu's Jet" (1946) by
Theodore STURGEON. Cover-ups feature also in ufological sf that does not
subscribe to the extraterrestrial hypothesis. In W. Allen HARBINSON's
Projekt Saucer series - Projekt Saucer #1: Inception (1991) and Genesis
(1980; vt Projekt Saucer #2: Genesis 1991 US) - based on UFO reports
during and just after WWII, the flying saucers are human artefacts, the
Nazis being largely responsible. (Some wilder ufologists have claimed that
flying saucers are indeed piloted by ex-Nazis, who fled into the Hollow
Earth at the end of WWII.) A Secret Property (1985) by Ralph Noyes
enjoyably focuses on secret experiments trying to harness a
natural/supernatural (depending upon viewpoint) force, one side-effect of
which is the manifestation of UFOs; the alien myth is a cleverly
engineered disinformation campaign mounted by the US Government, which has
even built phoney dead aliens which are occasionally, in order to spread
the disinformation yet further, shown to ufologists with strict
instructions never to breathe a word of what they have seen.A number of sf
writers have exploited not ufology itself but the social phenomenon of the
widespread interest in it. C.M. KORNBLUTH used the Saucer Craze slyly in
"Silly Season" (1950), in which Earth is invaded but nobody pays attention
because the newspapers have cried wolf too often. Henry KUTTNER used a
flying saucer as a device for a moral parable in "Or Else" (1953), as did
Theodore Sturgeon in "A Saucer of Loneliness" (1953). Robert A. HEINLEIN
exploited saucer fears (as he exploited communist-conspiracy fears) in his
invasion novel The Puppet Masters (1951), and he later used a UFO in his
entertaining juvenile, Have Space Suit - Will Travel (1958). Gore VIDAL's
Messiah (1954; rev 1965) opens with an analysis of UFOs as portents, which
in some ways anticipates the theories of the psychoanalyst Carl Gustav
Jung (1875-1961) in his Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in
the Skies (1958; trans 1959). The made-for-tv film The FLIPSIDE OF
DOMINICK HYDE (1980) and its sequel use a flying saucer from the future as
an enabling device. Very small flying saucers feature in Richard FRANCIS's
Blackpool Vanishes (1979) and in the films LIQUID SKY and *BATTERIES NOT
INCLUDED. An Account of a Meeting with Denizens of Another World, 1871
(1979) by David LANGFORD (presented as being written by William Robert
Loosley) is a spoof.Saucer enthusiasts have themselves been the subject of
sf stories, as in the tv series KINVIG. J.G. BALLARD's "The Encounter"
(1963; vt "The Venus Hunters") leans heavily on Jung, and Fritz LEIBER's
THE WANDERER (1964) deals in part with the reactions of various ufologists
to an actual celestial visitor.The best novel about the UFO experience is
undoubtedly Miracle Visitors (1978) by Ian WATSON; it is widely loathed by
those readers who expect UFOs to be flying saucers. Watson instead
envisages UFOs and "contacts" in terms of altered states of consciousness
and the dichotomy between objective and subjective reality - much as do
ufologists of the "psychological school", in fact. His book, with its
surreal inventiveness and loose link with ordinary causality, is
understandably offensive to determined rationalists, who find it a
nonsense; exactly the same could be said for "contact" experiences
themselves, which is perhaps the mark of Watson's success.
[DP/JR/JGr]Further reading: The UFO Experience: A Scientific Enquiry
(1972) by J. Allen Hynek; UFOs Explained (1974) by Philip J. Klass; The
UFO Enigma: The Definitive Explanation of the UFO Phenomenon (1977) by
Donald H. Menzel and Ernest H. Taves; The UFO Encyclopedia (1980) by
Margaret Sachs.See also: PARANOIA.


Film (1975). Warner Bros. Written/dir Robert Clouse, starring Yul
Brynner, Max von Sydow, Joanna Miles, William Smith. 92 mins. Colour.New
York in AD2022 is in an advanced state of decay after a man-made
biological catastrophe that occurred decades earlier. The leader of a
group who have barricaded a street against gangs of thugs roaming outside
hires the services of a super-Samurai (Brynner). This was promoted as the
first Kung Fu sf movie, following, as it does, the basic formula of the
Kung Fu genre (two camps each with their own champion fight it out to the
death in the final reel) and it was produced by Fred Weintraub and Paul
Heller, who had made Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon (1973), also dir Clouse.
But, surprisingly, it is well scripted and unpretentious, though cynical.
TUW was a forerunner of the post- HOLOCAUST action-movie boom represented
by MAD MAX (1979) and its many sequels and imitations, including ESCAPE

(vt The Last Man on Earth) Film (1964). La Regina/Alta Vista. Dir Sidney
Salkow, Ubaldo Ragona, starring Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia. Screenplay
Logan Swanson (pseudonym of Richard MATHESON, who disliked the rewrite),
William P. Leicester, based on Matheson's I Am Legend (1954). 86 mins.
B/w.This Italian/US coproduction was the 1st film version of Matheson's
novel about the lone survivor of a plague whose victims become vampires, a
metamorphosis for which the novel, unlike the film, provides an ingenious
medical explanation. Each night the survivor is besieged in his house by
"vampires", and each day he kills as many as he can while they sleep.
Finally, however, they succeed in trapping and killing him. The film has a
reputation as being dreadful, but arguably it captures the brutalization
of its hero in the human world's last gasp better than the remake, The
OMEGA MAN (1971), and it is certainly truer to the novel. The film truest
to the novel's spirit, though with a different plot, is NIGHT OF THE

US PULP MAGAZINE. 1 issue Apr 1941, published by Manvis Publications; ed
Robert O. Erisman. US contained both sf and weird fantasy, including "The
Coming of the Giant Germs" by Ray CUMMINGS, but nothing of importance. It
should not be confused with (although it was the successor of) the US
Uncanny Tales (1938-40) - a weird-menace pulp from the same stable, also
ed Erisman - or with the Canadian UNCANNY TALES, which like US did publish
some sf. [FHP/MJE/PN]

Canadian sf magazine, in DIGEST format for 4 issues, then BEDSHEET-size.
21 issues Nov 1940-Sep 1943; published to #17 (May 1942), by the Adam
Publishing Co., then by the Norman Book Co.; ed Melvin R. Colby
(uncredited). The schedule was monthly for 17 issues, then irregular, the
last issue appearing 9 months after #20. Most of the stories, especially
early on, were weird fiction, but a fair amount of sf was added to the
mix. It published original material by Thomas P. KELLEY, Robert A.W.
LOWNDES, Donald A. WOLLHEIM and others, as well as reprinting from US
STORIES.Earlier a US pulp with the same title, a companion to MARVEL
SCIENCE STORIES, had been published by Manvis Publications, 5 issues
1938-40, ed Robert O. Erisman (uncredited), but printed no sf (though it
had 1 sf cover), being a sex-and-sadism horror magazine. [PN/BS]



The world under the sea is an alien environment still in the process of
being explored. John WILKINS, in Mathematicall Magick (1648), offered
speculative designs for submarines and discussed the possibility of
underwater colonization; already, in about 1620, Cornelius Van Drebbell
(1572-1634) had successfully navigated a submarine rowing-boat in the
Thames, and before the end of the century another would-be submariner had
perished in Plymouth Sound. David Bushnell (1742-1824) built a submarine
boat in 1775, and Robert Fulton (1765-1815) remained under water for 4
hours in his egg-shaped submarine in 1800. By 1863 the David, a submarine
built by the Confederacy during the US Civil War, was sufficiently
functional to attempt a torpedo attack on an ironclad; its successor
actually managed to sink a ship, but was lost with all hands. By the 1890s
the French Navy was equipped with 4 submarines and both Germany and the
USA were building them.The first notable literary work to feature a
submarine was a romance by Theophile Gautier (1811-1872) about a plot to
rescue Napoleon, Les deux etoiles (1848; exp vt Partie carree 1851; vt La
Belle Jenny; trans in var colls as "The Quartette", "The Belle-Jenny" and
"The Four-in-Hand"). The classic underwater romance of the 19th century
was, however, Jules VERNE's Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1870; trans
as Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas 1872 UK), in which the undersea
world became for the first time a place of marvels and natural wonders to
be explored. Frank R. STOCKTON's The Great Stone of Sardis (1898), Harry
COLLINGWOOD's The Log of the Flying Fish (1887), Herbert STRANG's Lord of
the Seas (1908) and Max PEMBERTON's Captain Black (1911) feature submarine
adventures, but are concerned primarily with TRANSPORTATION rather than
with exploring the wonders of the deep. The main reason for this relative
uninterest was the impossibility of any real interaction between human
visitors and the alien environment. Apart from the occasional duel with a
sea- MONSTER (almost always a giant squid or octopus) there seemed to most
writers to be little dramatic potential in underwater ventures; for a
protagonist to get to grips with the underwater world, some fantastic
modification was necessary - as in The Water Babies (1863) by Charles
Kingsley (1819-1875) - and the notion of adapting humans to underwater
life by biological engineering did not appear until Alexander BELYAEV's
The Amphibian (1929; trans 1959). The only attempts to set aside this
difficulty in the 19th and early 20th centuries were stories dealing with
the rediscovery of ATLANTIS - which had often, by more-or-less miraculous
means, managed to preserve itself and its air despite its cataclysmic
submersion; examples include Andre LAURIE's The Crystal City under the Sea
(1895; trans 1896), the title story of Arthur Conan DOYLE's The Maracot
Deep (coll 1929), Stanton A. COBLENTZ's The Sunken World (1928; 1949) and
Dennis WHEATLEY's They Found Atlantis (1936).Early GENRE-SF writers showed
relatively little interest in undersea adventures, although film-makers
made persistent attempts to make bigger and better versions of Verne's
novel from the earliest years of silent movies to Disney's 20,000 LEAGUES
UNDER THE SEA (1954). Several pulp-sf stories, however, dealt with
undersea life on alien worlds. An early example was Neil R. JONES's "Into
the Hydrosphere" (1933), but the classics of the species are "Clash by
Night" (1943) and Fury (1947; 1950; vt Destination: Infinity) by Lawrence
O'Donnell (Henry KUTTNER and C.L. MOORE), reflecting the common image of
VENUS as a watery world. The most notable pulp story partly set beneath
the oceans of Earth is The Green Girl (1930; 1950) by Jack WILLIAMSON.In
the post-WWII period sf writers became more interested in the
possibilities of undersea melodrama. Alien oceans figure in "The Game of
Glory" (1958) by Poul ANDERSON, "The Gift of Gab" (1955) by Jack VANCE,
Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (1954; vt The Oceans of Venus) by Paul
French (Isaac ASIMOV) and in the story in which Roger ZELAZNY bade a final
fond farewell to the image of Venus as an oceanic world, "The Doors of His
Face, the Lamps of His Mouth" (1965). The notion of adapting humans to
underwater life by GENETIC ENGINEERING is notably featured in James
BLISH's "Surface Tension" (1952), although Blish had introduced it in a
more tentative form in "Sunken Universe" (1942 as by Arthur Merlyn), which
is combined with the later story in THE SEEDLING STARS (fixup 1957). Blish
and Norman L. KNIGHT's novel A Torrent of Faces (1967) features humanoid
"tritons" engineered for underwater life, similarly carried forward from
Knight's earlier solo work "Crisis in Utopia" (1940).The mid-1950s saw a
minor boom in sf stories set beneath the oceans of Earth, including Frank
HERBERT's submarine spy-thriller THE DRAGON IN THE SEA (1956; vt 21st
Century Sub; vt Under Pressure), Arthur C. CLARKE's novel about
whale-farming, The Deep Range (1954; exp 1957) and the first of Frederik
POHL's and Jack Williamson's Eden trilogy of juveniles dealing with
undersea colonization, Undersea Quest (1954) - a theme to which they
returned much later in Land's End (1988). Kenneth BULMER's City under the
Sea (1957) makes much of the idea of surgical modification for life in the
sea; he further extrapolated the notion in Beyond the Silver Sky (1961).
Other stories of the biological engineering of humans for undersea life
include Gordon R. DICKSON's The Space Swimmers (1963; 1967), Hal CLEMENT's
Ocean On Top (1967; 1973) and Lee HOFFMAN's The Caves of Karst (1969). The
idea is more elaborately developed in such works as Inter Ice Age 4 (1959;
trans 1970) by Kobo ABE, in which Japanese scientists prepare for a new
deluge, and in The Godwhale (1974) by T.J. BASS, whose eponymous
protagonist is a CYBORG leviathan.The scientific community took an
increasing interest in dolphins during the 1960s and 1970s, inspired by
researches into their high INTELLIGENCE. The idea of communication between
dolphins and humans was popularized in numerous sf stories, including the
Dickson titles mentioned above, Clarke's Dolphin Island (1963), Joe
POYER's Operation Malacca (1968), Roy MEYERS's Dolphin Boy (1967; vt
Dolphin Rider) and its sequels, Robert MERLE's The Day of the Dolphin
(1967; trans 1969), Margaret ST CLAIR's The Dolphins of Altair (1967),
Robert SILVERBERG's "Ishmael in Love" (1970), John BOYD's "The Girl and
the Dolphin" (1973) and Ian WATSON's The Jonah Kit (1975). Dolphins gifted
with sentience by means of human ingenuity play a key role in David BRIN's
Uplift series, most notably in STARTIDE RISING (1983), in which a
dolphin-commanded starship takes refuge from a host of enemies in an alien
ocean; similarly blessed - or in this case, perhaps, cursed - dolphins
feature in Alexander JABLOKOV's A Deeper Sea (1992).Analogies may easily
be drawn between submarines and SPACESHIPS. In Harry HARRISON's The Daleth
Effect (1970; vt In our Hands, the Stars) the heroes, in urgent need of a
spaceship, simply attach their drive unit to a submarine. Greater subtlety
is exhibited in James WHITE's The Watch Below (1966), which juxtaposes the
problems of an ALIEN spaceship nearing Earth with those of a group of
people surviving in the hold of a ship which has been under water for many
years. A similar analogy is drawn in Asimov's "Waterclap" (1970), which
deals with a conflict of interest between projects to colonize the sea bed
and the Moon. A curious novel in which huge water drops function as "space
habitats" of an extraordinary kind is Bob SHAW's Medusa's Children (1977).
The CINEMA has carried forward its own tradition of submarine romance as
its technical capacities have grown. Notable sf examples include VOYAGE TO
THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (1961), which spawned a long-running tv series
(1964-68), and The ABYSS (1989). The latter was the most distinguished of
a cluster of such movies at around the same time, others including
DEEPSTAR SIX (1988), LEVIATHAN (1989) and Lords of the Deep (1989). In the
juvenile-adventure tradition of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea came
another tv series in 1993, SEAQUEST DSV, made by Steven SPIELBERG's
production company, and featuring an intelligent dolphin as a crew member.
Sciencefictional submarines are featured in Martin CAIDIN's The Last
Fathom (1967) and Richard COWPER's satirical comedy Profundis (1979).
Alien oceans and races adapted to them are found in Stefan WUL's Temple of
the Past (1958: trans 1973), in which a spaceship which lands in an alien
ocean is swallowed by a whale-like creature, Michael G. CONEY's Neptune's
Cauldron (1981), Joan SLONCZEWSKI's A Door into Ocean (1986), in which
emissaries from a race of peace-loving ocean-dwellers must visit a very
different kind of world, our own, and Piers ANTHONY's Mercycle
(1991).Arthur C. Clarke's constant interest in the sea - reflected in his
nonfiction as well as his fiction - is further demonstrated in The Ghost
from the Grand Banks (1990), about the raising of the Titanic. Another
writer much interested in the sea is marine engineer Hilbert SCHENCK,
whose fascination is evident in the stories in Wave Rider (coll 1980) and
the curiously mystical At the Eye of the Ocean (1980). [BS]See also:

(1948- ) US publisher ( UNDERWOOD-MILLER INC.), bibliographer of Jack
VANCE in Fantasms: A Bibliography of the Literature of Jack Vance (1978
chap with Daniel J.H. LEVACK; rev vt Fantasms II: A Bibliography of the
Works of Jack Vance 1979 with Levack and Kurt Cockram), and anthologist,
always in collaboration with his partner, Chuck MILLER. Their anthologies
include Jack Vance (anth 1980) and 3 studies of Stephen KING: Fear Itself:
The Horror Fiction of Stephen King (anth 1982), Kingdom of Fear: The World
of Stephen King (anth 1986) and Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with
Stephen King (anth 1988). [JC]

US SMALL PRESS founded in 1976 by Pennsylvania-based Chuck MILLER and Tim
UNDERWOOD, who worked in California. Their 1st book, a first hardcover
edition of Jack VANCE's THE DYING EARTH (1950; their edn 1976) almost
accidentally set them on a course which would identify them with that
author, many of whose works, new and old, they have since released. Other
ambitious projects have included a well edited 5-vol edn of THE COLLECTED
STORIES OF PHILIP K. DICK (coll 1987), which came very close to honouring
the claim made by its title - an accomplishment worth noting in the
small-press field, where editing standards sometimes lag significantly
behind ambition, especially (as in collected editions) where archive work
may be required. UMI remains one of the best-run, most prolific and
successful of US small presses, and may be one of the first to move into
general publishing and survive. [JC]

US magazine in DIGEST format, 8 issues Winter 1977-Winter 1979, published
from Boston by Unearth Publications, ed Jonathan Ostrowsky-Lantz and John
M. Landsberg. Subtitled "The Magazine of Science Fiction Discoveries", U's
avowed intention was that all fiction should be by previously unpublished
authors or by authors previously published only in U, or be reprints of
first-sf-story sales by well known authors; these constraints were
slightly relaxed for the last 2 issues. The reprints featured early work
by Algis BUDRYS, Philip K. DICK, Harlan ELLISON, Roger ZELAZNY and others,
but U's main significance came from the new writers it discovered. These
included, among many others, William GIBSON with "Fragments of a Hologram
Rose" (1977), James P. BLAYLOCK with "Red Planet" (1977), Paul di Filippo
with "Falling Expectations" (1977) and S.P. SOMTOW with "Sunsteps" (1977).
The artist Barclay SHAW was another discovery. Alongside this innovative
approach to fiction were the usual departments, plus the series Science
for Fiction by Hal CLEMENT and articles under the heading Writing by
Ellison. [RR]

Film (1963). A Julian Wintel-Leslie Parkyn Production/Independent
Artists/AIP. Dir John Krish, starring John Neville, Gabriella Licudi,
Philip Stone, Jean Marsh, Warren Mitchell. Screenplay Rex Carlton. 74
mins. B/w.In this low-key, unpretentious UK sf film a space scientist
gradually realizes that his wife (who sleeps with her eyes open) is an
alien, one of many who are infiltrating Earth and wiping out the
scientists first. She is ordered by her superiors to kill him but cannot,
having fallen in love with him. This emotional involvement destroys her
ability to survive undetected and the film's strongest image is of her
tears leaving corrosive tracks down her cheeks as she reveals the truth to
her husband. This is a good (but rare) film, untypical of its writer,
Carlton, who was usually responsible for monstrosities like The Brain that
Wouldn't Die (1962). [JB/PN]



Film (1992). Carolco International. Dir Roland Emmerich; exec prod Mario
Kassar; screenplay Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch, Dean Devlin;
starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Ally Walker, Ed O'Ross,
Jerry Orbach. 103 mins.Colour.Crisply made but derivative in most of its
plot turns, US centres on a secret military unit of CYBORGS, many
reconstructed from soldiers who died in Vietnam, their resurrection
dependent on a new drug. They are given great powers of strength and
endurance, and the ability to recover rapidly from wounds - though with a
tendency to overheat - and used by the government as a kind of
super-anti-terrorist unit. Two of these begin to remember their pasts,the
Louisianan Devreux (Van Damme) who was a peaceful kind of guy, and the
brutal psycho Sergeant Andrew Scott (Lundgren), his old enemy. When
investigative journalist Veronica Roberts (Walker) stumbles onto what is
happening, the psycho now called GR13 attempts to kill her and she is
saved by Devreux, now GR44. Violent conflict between the two cyborgs
(envisagedas a kind of good FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER and a bad one) takes up
the rest of the film, which given its predictability as an action thriller
- two martial-arts musclemen its protagonists - is quiteeffective.
Emmerich's sf debut was the confused space-frontier German film Moon 44
(1989); this is better. His STARGATE (1994), however, is much better
again. [PN]

ORIGINAL-ANTHOLOGY series ed Terry CARR (1971-87) and renewed by Robert
SILVERBERG and Karen HABER (1990-current). This is arguably the best (and
also one of the longest-lasting) of all original-anthology series in the
field. Universe 1 (anth 1971) appeared while Carr was still an editor for
its publisher, ACE BOOKS. Since then it has been peripatetic, the 17 vols
of series 1 coming from Ace Books (#1-#2), Random House (#3-#5) and
DOUBLEDAY (#6-#17); series 2 has come from Doubleday Foundation (#1) and
BANTAM Spectra (#2). The further titles are Universe 2 (anth 1972), #3
(anth 1973), #4 (anth 1974), #5 (anth 1974), #6 (anth 1976), #7 (anth
1977), #8 (anth 1978), #9 (anth 1979), #10 (anth 1980), #11 (anth 1981),
#12 (anth 1982), #13 (anth 1983), #14 (anth 1984), #15 (anth 1985), #16
(anth 1986) and #17 (anth 1987), plus The Best from Universe (anth 1984).
The new series, ed Silverberg with his wife Karen Haber, is to date
Universe 1 (anth 1990) and Universe 2 (anth 1992).Carr's #1 contained
Robert Silverberg's NEBULA-winning "Good News From the Vatican";
Silverberg was one of the series' most regular contributors, along with
WALDROP, Ian WATSON and, later, Lucius SHEPARD. Benford and Eklund won a
Nebula for "If The Stars Are Gods" in #4. Gene WOLFE won a Nebula for "The
Death of Dr Island" in #3, as did Waldrop's "The Ugly Chickens" in #10.
Harlan ELLISON's "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (#15) won a HUGO. The awards
(mostly from the early years) do not truly reflect the quality of this
series, which proved again that Carr was one of the outstanding editors in
the field; while he knew exactly what constituted good writing, and never
patronized his readership by feeding them pulp, he also never lost the
popular touch. The series stopped with his death. A volume dedicated to
the memory of both Carr and Universe was Terry's Universe (anth 1988) ed
Beth MEACHAM. The Silverbergs' 1990 relaunch of the Universe series was
exemplary: the new #1 is a strong collection in the Carr tradition (but
much longer), with good stories from Ursula K. LE GUIN, Barry MALZBERG,
Kim Stanley ROBINSON, Bruce STERLING and others. [PN/MJE]

US DIGEST magazine, 10 numbered issues June 1953-Mar 1955; #1-#2
published by Bell Publications, Chicago, the rest by Palmer Publications,
Evanston; #1-#2 ed George Bell (pseudonym of Raymond A. PALMER and Bea
Mahaffey), rest ed (officially) Palmer and Mahaffey.This was a companion
magazine to Palmer's SCIENCE STORIES, and both have been seen as
continuations of his earlier OTHER WORLDS, whose last issue in its 1st
incarnation was dated July 1953. It was USF, however, that changed its
title back to Other Worlds with #11 (May 1955), which confusingly numbered
itself 2 ways, continuing both USF's numeration (#11) and Other Worlds's
numeration (#32). (For the rest of this deeply confusing story OTHER
WORLDS.)Fewer than usual of the contributors were the Chicago hacks so
regularly employed by Palmer, so the fiction was a bit better than his
average - perhaps because of Mahaffey's influence. Authors included Chad
OLIVER and Theodore STURGEON. [PN]

Host to one of the world's biggest institutional collections of sf and
fantasy (65,000+ items); it is surprising to find such a thing in
Australia, a country where sf plays only a minimal role in academic
curricula. The collection is part of the Rare Books and Special
Collections Library, and is publicly accessible. It was begun in 1974, and
dramatically expanded in 1979 when bequeathed the huge collection of Ron
Graham, the very active sf fan who had published VISION OF TOMORROW
(1969-70). A 1991 count showed over 53,000 sf items (books, magazines and
fanzines) and a further 12,000+ items in the COMICS collection (mostly
SUPERHERO titles). [PN]

US magazine, pulp-size Mar 1939-Aug 1941, BEDSHEET-size Oct 1941-Apr
1943, then back to pulp-size to Oct 1943. 39 issues Mar 1939-Oct 1943.
Monthly Mar 1939-Dec 1940, then bimonthly. Published by STREET & SMITH; ed
John W. CAMPBELL Jr.The fantasy companion to ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION, U
was one of the most unusual of all PULP MAGAZINES, and its demise one of
the most lamented. #1 featured Eric Frank RUSSELL's novel Sinister Barrier
(Mar 1939; 1943; rev 1948), but a better indicator of the direction in
which the magazine would develop was, in the same issue, H.L. GOLD's story
"Trouble with Water", a humorous fantasy exploiting the incongruity of
confronting a 20th-century American with a figure out of folklore. While U
featured some ordinary sf and some SWORD-AND-SORCERY stories, particularly
during its first year, it quickly attracted a group of regular
contributors who defined its very individual flavour. Among them was L.
Sprague DE CAMP, with such stories as "Nothing in the Rules" (1939), LEST
DARKNESS FALL (1939; 1941), "The Wheels of If" (1940) and his
collaborations with Fletcher PRATT: "The Roaring Trumpet" (1940), "The
Mathematics of Magic" (1940) - combined in The Incomplete Enchanter, fixup
1942) - The Castle of Iron (1941; 1950) and others. These De Camp/Pratt
stories - the Harold Shea series, in which the hero is transported into a
series of fantasy worlds drawn from Norse mythology, Spenser's Faerie
Queene (1590-96) and so forth - typify the exuberantly wacky approach to
fantasy which U made its own. Other authors who appeared frequently were
Anthony BOUCHER, Cleve CARTMILL, L. Ron HUBBARD - with Slaves of Sleep
(1939; 1948), "The Indigestible Triton" (1940), "Fear" (1940), "Typewriter
in the Sky" (1940) (these 2 collected as Fear & Typewriter in the Sky
[coll 1951]) and many others - Henry KUTTNER, Fritz LEIBER, whose
sword-and-sorcery Fafhrd/Gray Mouser series had a wry, ironic tone which
suited the magazine very well, Theodore STURGEON and Jack WILLIAMSON. U
occasionally carried serials, but most issues included a complete novel or
novella. Notable examples were Robert A. HEINLEIN's "The Devil Makes the
Law" (1940; as "Magic, Inc." in Waldo & Magic, Inc. [coll 1950]),
Williamson's DARKER THAN YOU THINK (1940; 1949), Alfred BESTER's "Hell is
Forever" (1942), Leiber's Conjure Wife (1943; 1953) and A.E. VAN VOGT's
The Book of Ptath (1943; 1947; vt Two Hundred Million A.D.).Until June
1940 U had illustrative covers, of which the best (apart from #1, by H.W.
Scott) were the work of Edd CARTIER, the artist whose style most exactly
caught U's tone. With the July 1940 issue U adopted a lettered cover
intended to give it a more dignified appearance. In Oct 1941 it switched,
3 months before ASF, to the larger bedsheet format, at the same time
changing its name to Unknown Worlds. The Dec 1943 issue was to have
adopted the DIGEST size which ASF had taken the previous month, but it
never appeared: wartime paper shortages had put an end to the magazine.
After WWII, a revival was mooted, and an anthology in magazine format,
From Unknown Worlds (anth 1948) was put out to test the market, but U
never reappeared, although H.L. Gold's fantasy companion to Gal, BEYOND
FANTASY FICTION, was an avowed imitation. Anthologies drawn from U's pages
include The Unknown (anth 1963) and The Unknown Five (anth 1964), both ed
D.R. BENSEN, and Hell Hath Fury (anth 1963) ed George HAY.The UK edn, from
Atlas Publishing Company, had fewer pages and was unusual in appearing for
more issues (41) than the original, outlasting it by 6 years. It was
published regularly Sep 1939-Dec 1940, then intermittently for 3 years,
then mostly quarterly, ending with Winter 1949. Like its parent, but a
little later (June 1942) it changed its title to Unknown Worlds.U appeared
during Campbell's peak years as editor. Its reputation may stand as high
as it does partly because it died while still at its best. [MJE]See also:


[r] JAPAN.

US DIGEST-size magazine. 3 issues 1934-5, published by Fantasy
Publishers, Everett, Pa.; ed William L. CRAWFORD. An advance issue of this
SEMIPROZINE (see also SMALL PRESSES) was published (and mailed) in 2 parts
in 1934, and could be considered as #1, even though the 1935 issues are
referred to as #1 and #2. US was a companion magazine to MARVEL TALES, but
unlike that magazine published no important stories. [FHP/PN]

(1932- ) US writer whose exuberantly polished and opulent style has led
him more than once into realms of FABULATION. In The Centaur (1963)
mythological avatars haunt present-day characters. The government toppled
in The Coup (1978) had ruled an imaginary country - a setting which might
readily occasion comment from within the sf field, given JU's conspicuous
aversion to genre literature in general - as witness his remarkably obtuse
New Yorker review of John Le Carre's Our Game (1995) - and specifically -
as in an earlier review of Vladimir NABOKOV's Ada (1969) - to the creation
of imaginary countries. The Witches of Eastwick (1984) is - though
enfeeblingly dilatory about the fantasy premises it invokes - a genuine
tale of the supernatural involving a Devil-like male and 3 women whose PSI
POWERS develop alarmingly. Only JU's first novel is sf: The Poorhouse Fair
(1959) is set in a NEAR-FUTURE institution for the aged which serves as
the focus of a popular revolt. [JC]Other works: Roger's Version (1986);
The Chaste Planet (1980 chap); Brazil (1994), a magic-realist fantasy
based on the story of Tristram and Iseult.

Lawrence SANDERS.

(1863-1926) UK writer best known for inflamed studies of the politics of
Eastern Europe and for various thrillers set in the same venue; their
RURITANIAN complexion was perhaps inadvertent. In High Treason (1903 chap)
and its sequel, The Fourth Conquest of England (1904 chap), he outlined
the dire consequences of a Roman Catholic takeover of the UK, including a
new Inquisition and the exile of the monarchy to Australia. The Yellow
Hand (1904) is a supernatural tale featuring out-of-body villainy. Of most
interest is The Discovery of the Dead (1910), an sf novel told in the form
of reportage which itself encloses a scientific memoir, within which the
discovery of "necrolite" opens new areas of the spectrum, making the dead
- "necromorphs" - visible. Allergic to the visible spectrum, a great
society of necromorphs lives in a great city at the North Pole; they
themselves are haunted by "dynamorphs" from the bowels of the Earth, and
long to radiate heavenwards. [JC]


Ladbroke BLACK.



(1948- ) US short-story writer whose black verve and acidulous
knowingness about the absurdities of the genre made him, for a while, a
figure of edgy salience in the field. He began publishing with "The
Unkindest Cut of All" for Perry Rhodan 20 (anth 1972), but stopped by the
end of the decade. Some of his best work - like "Custer's Last Jump"
(1976), which illuminates in MAGIC-REALIST terms an ALTERNATE-WORLD USA -
was written with Howard WALDROP, as was "Black as the Pit, from Pole to
Pole" (1977), which has been cited as a significant influence on 1980s
STEAMPUNK. Other tales likewise tend - after the fashion of the group of
writers who came to maturity in Texas in the 1970s - to fabulate (
FABULATION) the USA's past. Some of the stories in Lone Star Universe:
Speculative Fiction from Texas (anth 1976) ed with Geo W. PROCTOR
exemplify this tendency. [JC]See also: HOLLOW EARTH; LOST WORLDS.

The concept of a utopia or "Ideal State" is linked to religious ideas of
Heaven or the Promised Land and to folkloristic ideas like the Isles of
the Blessed, but it is essentially a future-historical goal, to be
achieved by the active efforts of human beings, not a transcendental goal
reserved as a reward for those who follow a particularly virtuous path in
life. The term was coined by Thomas MORE in Utopia (Latin edn 1516; trans
1551; many edns since), although More's work has far more SATIRE than
practical POLITICS in it; he derived the word from "outopia" (no place)
rather than "eutopia" (good place), although modern usage generally
implies the latter, and modern works recapitulating More's ideas -
including The New Moon (1918) by Oliver Onions (1873-1961) and The Rebel
Passion (1929) by Kay BURDEKIN - do so more earnestly than he did.It can
be argued that all utopias are sf, in that they are exercises in
hypothetical SOCIOLOGY and political science. Alternatively, it might be
argued that only those utopias which embody some notion of scientific
advancement qualify as sf - the latter view is in keeping with most
DEFINITIONS OF SF. Frank Manuel, in Utopias and Utopian Thought (anth
1966), argues that a significant shift in utopian thought took place when
writers changed from talking about a better place (eutopia) to talking
about a better time (euchronia), under the influence of notions of
historical and social progress. When this happened, utopias ceased to be
imaginary constructions with which contemporary society might be compared,
and began to be speculative statements about real future possibilities. It
seems sensible to regard this as the point at which utopian literature
acquired a character conceptually similar to that of sf. The scientific
imagination first became influential in utopian thinking in the 17th
century: an awareness of the advancement of scientific knowledge and of
the role that science might play in transforming society is very evident
in Francis BACON's New Atlantis (1627; 1629) and Tommaso CAMPANELLA's City
of the Sun (1637). Bacon's claims for the utopian potential of
technological advance are extravagant, and inspired at least 2 later
writers to undertake the fragment's completion ("R.H. esq." in 1660 and
Jos. Glanvil in 1676); but works such as The Blazing World (1668) by
Margaret Cavendish (?1624-1674), Gulliver's Travels (1726) by Jonathan
SWIFT and Rasselas (1759) by Samuel JOHNSON embody a very different
attitude, parodying the efforts of SCIENTISTS and inventors and mocking
their presumed unworldliness. It was left to a school of French
philosophers during the second half of the 18th century to become the
first strident champions of the idea that moral and technological progress
went hand in hand. L.S. MERCIER's pioneering euchronian novel, L'an deux
mille quatre cent quarante (1771 UK; trans as Memoirs of the Year Two
Thousand Five Hundred 1772) proposed that the perfectibility of mankind
was not only possible but inevitable, with the aid of science, mathematics
and the mechanical arts. Another member of the school, RESTIF DE LA
BRETONNE, concluded La decouverte australe par un homme volant, ou le
Dedale francais ["The Southern-Hemisphere Discovery by a Flying Man, or
the French Daedalus"] (1781) with a description of a utopian state based
on the principles of natural philosophy and scientific advancement.
Scepticism was not, however, entirely overcome. Aristotle's doubts about
the workability of PLATO's Republic, based on the observation that its
citizens would lack incentives to make them work, remained to be
countered; and the end of the 18th century produced Malthus's objection -
that population increase would always outstrip resources no matter how
much TECHNOLOGY increased production - to the utopian optimism of William
Godwin (1756-1836).Despite the international popularity of Mercier's book,
the 19th century was well advanced before the utopian potential of
scientific progress was widely celebrated in English literature. Jane
LOUDON's anonymous SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE The Mummy! (1827) has some utopian
undertones, but Mary GRIFFITH's Three Hundred Years Hence (1836; 1975) was
the first English-language utopian novel to endorse Mercier's optimism
wholeheartedly. In many of the classic UK utopias of the 19th century
there is a strong vein of antiscientific romanticism. Lord LYTTON's The
Coming Race (1870) is more occult romance than progressive utopia. Samuel
BUTLER's satirical Erewhon (1872) and its sequel are PASTORAL and
antimechanical insofar as they are utopian at all. W.H. HUDSON's A Crystal
Age (1887) is a mystical work whose pastoral Ideal State remains
inaccessible to the civilized man who stumbles into it. Richard
JEFFERIES's After London (1885) is even more extreme in its nostalgia for
barbarism. This romantic pastoralism extended into 20th-century UK
scientific romance in the works of J. Leslie MITCHELL and S. Fowler
WRIGHT, both of whom glorified a life of noble savagery in opposition to
the idea of utopia as a city, and a similar suspicion continues to infect
modern UK sf. 19th-century US writers, by contrast, tended to see their
emergent nation as the true homeland of progress - a presumption brought
to full flower in Edward BELLAMY's Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888),
which provoked a great many imitations and replies in kind, including
Alvarado M. FULLER's A.D. 2000 (1890), Arthur Bird's Looking Forward: A
Dream of the United States of the Americas in 1999 (1899), Paul Devinne's
The Day of Prosperity (1902) and Herman Hine Brinsmade's Utopia Achieved
(1912). Most of the dissenting voices objected to Bellamy's socialism on
political grounds, although Ignatius DONNELLY's pioneeering DYSTOPIA
Caesar's Column (1890) argued that technological society's historical
momentum was towards greater inequality and social injustice, and the most
famous of the UK replies, William MORRIS's News from Nowhere (1890 US),
objected to the prospect of humanity living in idleness while machines
supplied its needs. Nevertheless, Bellamy's book became the archetype of a
whole school of mechanized utopias; further technology-glorifying novels
in its wake included The Crystal Button (1891) by Chauncey THOMAS and
Limanora (1903) by Godfrey SWEVEN. Other nations discovered prophets of
technological utopia: the German statesman Walther Rathenau (1867-1922)
wrote Von kommenden Dingen (1917; trans Eden and Cedar Paul as In Days to
Come 1921) and Der neue staat (1919; trans Arthur Windham as The New
Society 1921), while H.G. WELLS became the UK's great prophet of utopian
progress in such works as A Modern Utopia (1905), Men Like Gods (1923) and
The Shape of Things to Come (1933). But scepticism was further renewed
too. Anatole FRANCE's Sur la pierre blanche (1905; trans as The White
Stone 1910) pays homage to Wells, but has a citizen of a future utopian
state declare that peace and plenty are insufficient to ensure happiness,
which is a problem of an entirely different kind. E.M. FORSTER, in "The
Machine Stops" (1909), objected much more fiercely, asserting that
Wellsian dreams were sterile and would lead to stagnation of the human
mind. Alexandr MOSZKOWSKI's Die Inselt der Weisheit (1922 Germany; trans
as The Isles of Wisdom 1924) set out to show that all utopian schemes are
absurd, and that real people could not live in them.Hugo GERNSBACK was a
confirmed euchronian and an enthusiastic propagandist for technological
progress. His PULP MAGAZINES lent what aid they could, practically and
imaginatively, to the cause. In Modern Electrics he serialized his own
utopian romance Ralph 124C 41+ (1911-12; 1925), and he regarded
"scientifiction" as a means of promoting the magnificent potential of
modern TECHNOLOGY. By the time AMAZING STORIES was founded in 1926,
however, there had been a considerable loss of faith in utopian thought,
and dystopian images of the future were becoming commonplace. Aldous
HUXLEY's BRAVE NEW WORLD (1932), a scathing satirical attack on scientific
utopianism as expressed in J.B.S. HALDANE's Daedalus (1924), tipped the
balance decisively in favour of anxiety about how the technologies of the
future might be used. Despite Gernsback's inspiration and intention, GENRE
SF has never been strongly utopian. The early sf pulps abounded with
adventure stories set in pseudo-utopian futures where poverty and
injustice were nowhere in evidence but, when sf writers like David H.
KELLER turned their attention to serious speculation about the future,
unease was manifest. Miles J. BREUER in "Paradise and Iron" (1930),
Laurence MANNING and Fletcher PRATT in "City of the Living Dead" (1930)
and John W. CAMPBELL Jr in "Twilight" (1934 as by Don A. Stuart) all
warned that decadence and decline might be the consequence of
overdependence on machines. Where utopian states were manifest in pulp sf,
as in The Sunken World (1928; 1949) by Stanton COBLENTZ, they were often
small enclaves facing imminent destruction. This was the fate of utopian
dreams outside the sf establishment, too: after WWI they were mostly
relegated to the status of the Isles of the Blessed, as pleasant
impossibilities.Utopian thought in the last half century has to a large
extent dissociated itself from the idea of progress; we most commonly
encounter it in connection with the idea of a "historical retreat" to a
way of simpler life, as in James HILTON's Lost Horizon (1933), in the very
elaborate Islandia (1942) by Austin Tappan WRIGHT and its various sequels
by other hands, in Watch the North Wind Rise (1949 US; vt Seven Days in
New Crete 1949 UK) by Robert GRAVES, in Aldous Huxley's Island (1962), in
In Watermelon Sugar (1968) by Richard BRAUTIGAN, and in Ecotopia (1975)
and its sequel by Ernest CALLENBACH. Even the recent past has been
restored by the momentum of nostalgia almost to the status of a utopia, in
such novels as Time and Again (1970) by Jack FINNEY. Utopian designs
extrapolating individual hobby-horses are still produced - early examples
include Erone (1943) by Chalmers KEARNEY and Walden Two (1948) by B.F.
SKINNER - but large-scale attempts to imagine a technologically developed
future state which is in any sense of the word ideal tend to be highly
ambivalent: in Herman HESSE's Magister Ludi (1943; trans 1950; vt The
Glass Bead Game) the hero finally rejects the ideal on which his society
is based, and Franz WERFEL's phantasmagoric Stern der Ungeborenen (1946;
trans as Star of the Unborn 1946) imagines a futuristic demi-Paradise
which is still under threat from rebellion and war, and retains many
horrors.Within genre sf those novels which can be cited as examples of
analytical utopian thought retain the same deep ambiguity, tending towards
rejection. Theodore STURGEON's Venus Plus X (1960) constructs a
hermaphrodite utopia for evaluation by a man of our time, who fails the
test by failing to overcome his prejudice against hermaphroditism even
though it points, though ambiguously, towards an ideal society. James
BLISH and Norman L. KNIGHT boldly devised a "fascist utopia" for A Torrent
of Faces (1967), but the state seems hardly ideal. Mack REYNOLDS's
determined revisitation of Bellamyesque ideas in Looking Backward from the
Year 2000 (1973) was carried enthusiastically forward in his Equality in
the Year 2000 (1977), but then ran into accumulating doubts in his
Perchance to Dream (1977) and After Utopia (1977). Ursula K. LE GUIN's The
Dispossessed (1974) carries the subtitle "An Ambiguous Utopia". Samuel R.
DELANY's Triton (1976), presumably in response, is subtitled "An Ambiguous
Heterotopia", implying that the word has been devalued along with the
dream and carrying forward the notion that human individuals are so
different, and so prone to change, that only a very heterogeneous society
could possibly aspire to provide utopian opportunities for all - an idea
less convincingly developed in Reynolds's Commune 2000 (1974) and R.F.
NELSON's Then Beggars Could Ride (1976). Suzy McKee CHARNAS's Motherlines
(1979) - a sequel to her dystopian WALK TO THE END OF THE WORLD (1974) -
follows Le Guin in tying uncompromising idealism to social deprivation.
Frederik POHL's JEM: The Making of a Utopia (1979) is relentlessly
cynical, although The Years of the City (fixup 1984) does try to accept
the challenge of developing solutions to the world's problems, as (less
convincingly) does James E. GUNN's Crisis! (fixup 1986). Even a HARD-SF
writer like Poul ANDERSON tends to attribute utopian qualities to
low-technology societies like that of the "Maurai" in Orion Shall Rise
(1983), although a more robustly apologetic line is taken by some other
libertarian writers, notably Larry NIVEN and Jerry E. POURNELLE in their
quasi-utopian "arcology" in Oath of Fealty (1981) - which extrapolates
ideas earlier developed in Mack Reynolds's The Towers of Utopia (1975) -
and James P. HOGAN in Voyage from Yesteryear (1982). It is perhaps
significant that in the works of Isaac ASIMOV and Arthur C. CLARKE, both
proselytizers for the beneficence of technological advance, there is very
little utopian thought. The imagery of Clarke's optimistic Imperial Earth
(1975) cannot compare with that of The City and the Stars (1956), which
echoes Forster's "The Machine Stops" and Campbell's "Twilight", while
Asimov's dystopian settings for Pebble in the Sky (1950) and The Caves of
Steel (1954) are described far more graphically than utopian Trantor,
which is already in terminal decline as the Foundation series begins. Sf
in Soviet RUSSIA, as pioneered by Ivan YEFREMOV's Andromeda (1958; trans
1959), had for a while a presumed mission to look forward to the promised
socialist utopia, and undertook a more enthusiastic championship of the
alliance of technology and socialism than may be found in even Bellamy or
Wells, but the mission faltered well in advance of the collapse of Soviet
communism; the novels of the STRUGATSKI brothers in particular - notably
Trudno byt' bogom (1964; trans as Hard to be a God 1973) and Khishchnye
veshchi veka (1965; trans as The Final Circle of Paradise 1976) - display
an anxiety comparable to that of contemporary Western sf.The necessity for
works of fiction to be dramatic and the fact that workable plots require
conflict inhibit the use of sf to display utopian schemes. These still fit
more comfortably into works of FUTUROLOGY like Brian M. STABLEFORD and
David LANGFORD's The Third Millennium: A History of the World 2000-3000 A.
D. (1985), which offers a moderately detailed image of a future where a
kind of utopia has been secured by technological advancement, especially
in the biological sciences.A theme anthology is The New Improved Sun: An
Anthology of Utopian Science Fiction (anth 1976) ed Thomas M. DISCH.
[BS]Further reading: Utopias Old and New (1938) by Harry Ross; Utopian
Fantasy: A Study of English Utopian Fiction since the End of the
Nineteenth Century by Richard Gerber (1955); Yesterday's Tomorrows (1968)
by W.H.G. ARMYTAGE; American Utopias: Selected Short Fiction 1790-1954
(anth 1971) ed Arthur O. Lewis; The Image of the Future (rev 1973) by Fred
Polak; and British and American Utopian Literature 1516-1975 (1979) by

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