(Hannah Firmin’s cover for the 1983 edition)
4.25/5 (Very Good)
“Ladies and Gentleman: The age of the machine” (11).
I continue my loose sequence of reviews on medical science fiction with Elizabeth Baines’ evocative fable The Birth Machine (1983) (see notes). Pushing against notions that pregnancy is “medical: illness” (51), the narrative follows a nightmarish tact as an unsuspecting woman is linked up to a nebulously described machine and drugged. Beset by dehumanizing (and often patriarchal) forces, Zelda, without the help of others, comes to terms Continue reading
1) Blunt statement: I need to read more of the Strugatski brothers. I devoured the The Ugly Swans (written 1966-1967, published 1979 in the US, published in 1987 in the USSR) but did not review it.
2) A fascinating speculative feminist novel from The Women’s Press–birth, myth, delusions, dreams, terror. Few reviews exist online so I will go in without much knowledge of the work.
3) I placed Miriam Allen deFord’s collection (filled with numerous gems) Xenogenesis (1969) on a list of SF Gollancz’s Masterwork series should acquire. Her only other published collection for the longest time was priced far out of my reach. This is why you have Amazon lists… scan them frequently, find the deals!
4) A Ballard novel with “pervading auroral gloom, broken by inward shifts of light”? Count me in! As a fierce advocate of Ballard’s early fiction and novels, I cannot wait to read this one…
Related reviews: Billenium (1962), High-Rise (1975), The Voice of Time and Other Stories (1962). The Drowned World (1962) and The Drought (1964) clock in as my favorite of his novels—although both remain unreviewed… Stay tuned for my upcoming review of The Terminal Beach (1964).
Scans are from my personal collection. Click to enlarge.
Thoughts/comments are welcome (as always)!
1. The Final Circle of Paradise, Arkadi and Boris Strugatski (1965, trans. 1976)
(Laurence Kresek’s cover for the 1976 edition) Continue reading