Book Review: What Entropy Means to Me, George Alec Effinger (1972)

(Stanislaw Hernandez’s cover for the 1973 edition)

5/5 (Masterpiece) (*caveats below*)

Nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award (lost to Asimov’s disappointing The Gods Themselves)

“She was Our Mother, so she cried.  She used to sit out there, under that micha tree, all day as we worked cursing in her fields.  She sat there during the freezing nights, and we pretended that we could see her through the windows in the house, by the light of the moons and the hard, fast stars.  She sat there before most of us were born; she sat there until she died.  And all the time she shed her tears.  She was Our Mother, so she cried” (11)

What Entropy Means to Me (1972) is one of the more satisfying products of the New Wave science fiction movement of the 60s and 70s that I’ve read.  I place it in the pantheon of Malzberg’s Revelations (1972), Samuel Delany’s Nova (1968), and Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar (1968).  Effinger revels, and I mean gloriously revels, in metafictional Continue reading