Hardcover Ó Immodest Proposals eBook ↠

Immodest Proposals (The Complete Science Fiction of William Tenn, #1) When you go through these complete collections of various SF writers especially the sets that NESFA puts out, which I find pretty valuable you often find that they re collecting writers who have either fallen in obscurity or weren t given their due during the time they were active and have only be rediscovered years later William Tenn is a strange case, though Pretty well regarded when he was active from the late 40s to the late 60s to the point where he had people like Theodore Sturgeon r When you go through these complete collections of various SF writers especially the sets that NESFA puts out, which I find pretty valuable you often find that they re collecting writers who have either fallen in obscurity or weren t given their due during the time they were active and have only be rediscovered years later William Tenn is a strange case, though Pretty well regarded when he was active from the late 40s to the late 60s to the point where he had people like Theodore Sturgeon representing him as an agent in the early days, he wrote a bunch of stories during that timeframe before deciding that teaching wasrewarding and focused on that for the remainder of his working life But even when he wasn t writing he stuck around for quite a while, staying active in the Pittsburgh fandom groups and living nearly until his nineties, only passing away in early 2010 So unlike a lot of other writers who died young and weren t around to hear the plaudits of another generation rediscovering their work Kornbluth comes to mind immediately, although I m sure everyone has their favorites , Tenn born and died Philip Klass got to hear everyone tell him how great he was and give him all the honors that I d say he probably deserved.Because his body of work was so small fitting in two admittedly hefty volumes here, the first covering nothing but short stories, the second gathering together the rest and his scant longer fiction yet remarkably consistent, I think Tenn gets kind of the aura of the one that got away because he retired from writing SF but clearly never stopped being a decent writer He was also one of the few consistently successful satiristst the genre has seen, able to take a well worn trope and turn it inside out or approach it from an angle that told a good story while mocking the very cliche he was attempting to ape Unless you re, I don t know, Mark Twain, humor is probably hard to do and sustain in stories in general and even harder in something like SF because so much of it takes itself very seriously, yet too much of the ha ha s and you run the risk of undermining whatever point you re trying to make as it dives into ridiculousness.I have to admit, I find the satire angle intriguing but at the same time it too often dates a lot of his stories as later events in the world of science could negate the point he s trying to make or society has since evolved where we might find the very thing he s making fun of rather quaint nowadays in these jaded times we live in I don t find him as savage as someone like Barry Malzberg, who I find skews closer to my own sensibilities although to be fair Malzberg didn t start until Tenn had basically retired, so we may be talking about a generational thing as well and he lacks the bizarre edge that someone like Cordwainer Smith could bring to the proceedings, which I find reads a lot easier to today s audience.But Tenn was a good writer just from a pure prose standpoint, able to craft stories that would probably make English teachers the world over swoon Even his early stories, while maybe a tad overwritten and not able to zero in on their targets the way the best of his stories did, generally have something to recommend Interestingly Tenn is often his best critiche contributes a sometimes detailed afterword for every single story and his memory alone is impressive but he s also good at pointing out which stories he didn t think worked very well And while you may be able to accuse him of self deprecation or being too hard on himself, surprisingly his criticism after the fact are often spot on something probably all those years of teaching college English helped with.As I said, his best stories often take apart SF cliches and have some fun with them Many of them deal with aliens and he s quite capable of writing some pretty weird alien stories where the aliens actually do feel like aliens instead of people wearing funny costumes although that happens too in Lisbon Cubed , the one with probably the best oh no he didn t ending A lot of the stories actually have surprise or gotcha endings The Flat Eyed Monster sharing the aforementioned Lisbon Cubed s sense of deadpan tragedy , and he s quite good at that and a good enough writer that even knowing the ending in advance doesn t make it less enjoyable to read Two of the funniest ones have to do with alien sex Venus of the Seven Sexes and the immensely amusing Party of the One Part , showcasing the best use for naughty pictures of amoebas doing whatever it is they do on Discovery Channel series that focus on microscopes and one celled organisms.Other ones act as future histories of sorts, generally about things going terribly wrong The Liberation of Earth and Eastward Ho , both ridiculous in their own way although I find the latter a bitfleshed out while others take a single idea and run it right into the ground the still amusing Null P , although lately I think we d all crave a political landscape stuffed with boring peoplestrangely a lot of his stories seem to end right where other people would start Generation of Noah , The Sickness , although that nicely inverts a we re doomed scenario, A Man of Family which focuses I think on the wrong aspect of the scenario but manages to barely save itself with an ending that falls on the right side of sappy which sometimes makes them feel a bit unfinished even if the central idea is still fairly interesting When they do work, its because he almost makes it a closed loop, like the machinations of The Servant Problem , where everyone operates under the assumption that they re in control only to be busted by their own carefully managed system.You ve also got at least a couple satires on gender relations which I think probably fall under the aw, that s quaint categoryThe Masculinist Revolt and Venus is a Man s World , although its probably safe to say a lesser author might have been quite a bithamfisted in his approach I find his attempts at sheer weirdness don t work quite as well either, with something like Wednesday s Child probably havingimpact in the hands of someone able to convey emotion better, like Sturgeon and stuff like My Mother Was a Witch barely registering, or like The Tenants feeling like a low budget Twilight Zone episode.Part of the problem sometimes why it may be hard to get into Tenn s stories is because he s an authorinterested in ideas than characters, with the people in his plot basically there to get us to the twist or the satire its not that hispersonal stories fall flat, although The Custodian left me cold despite it apparently being his favorite I think that s why stories like Down Among the Dead Men , where a new commander has to bond with his zombie crew and is a good example of a space opera that doesn t ever really go into space or evenlighthearted stuff like On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi which delves underneath all the humor with theserious question of what makes a Jew Or even The Dark Star which brings a human element to the issue of space travel and comes at it from an angle that unexpectedly and surprisingly emotional similar to thebrutal and farsobering The Last Bounce which takes that scenario even further and probably has a better payoff He has some time related stories as well Time in Advance dealswith a future scenario that again trends back toward Twilight Zone territory two convicts serve time in prison for crimes they re going to commit later, earning the right to actually go through with the crime while Winthrop was Stubborn one of my favorites from the set is an amusing twist on time travel where everyone is at risk of being stuck in a future they don t find that appealing because one guy thinks its the bees knees.But there s a rather startling amount of variety in this collection, as Tenn seems to understand that he s only going to be in SF for a limited amount of time and wants to cover as much territory as possible And despite the stories not quite being in order they appear to be organized by collection so the chronology is jumbled you can easily pick out themature works from the ones where the prose is there but he s still finding his voice And its that voice that kept his name alive in SF even when he stopped being an active contributor to the canon, one that, much like a lot of the other greats, is a necessary building block to a lot of the satire and expectation mangling that came later That the best of the bunch still stand up today shows you how effective he was at getting his points across and how little the basics of SF have changed where we can still recognize the tropes he s poking fun at While not quite as barbed as he could be, he s daring in his own way and a witty, welcome voice in a genre where too often writers take themselves ploddingly serious I can t believe I had not heard of William Tenn and only just happened across him in a used bookstore and inexplicably found the back of one of his books appealing enough to note for later investigation Has everybody been going out of their way to keep him from me It seems unbelievable it could happen by accident Although his stories are definitely steeped in the culture of the 50s, they seem so muchmature and less restricted by that time period than almost any others I have read And b I can t believe I had not heard of William Tenn and only just happened across him in a used bookstore and inexplicably found the back of one of his books appealing enough to note for later investigation Has everybody been going out of their way to keep him from me It seems unbelievable it could happen by accident Although his stories are definitely steeped in the culture of the 50s, they seem so muchmature and less restricted by that time period than almost any others I have read And besides just being brilliantly constructed and well written, he uses the most charming and creative phrases and words On top of all this, and let me assure you this is of the highest praise for a science fiction writer, he doesn t waste time in his stories having his characters be stupid or dense Somebody seems to get ill on an alien planet Immediately everyone recognizes the possible causes and consequences and reacts accordingly No letting the story meander off into boring territory while the characters fumble about and you yell at them for being such irritating, frustrating chowderheads No, the characters are just as smart as their author, which lets much muchinteresting action take place 8 Down Among the Dead Men Told from the POV of a weary veteran Humanity is at war with an insectoid race that breeds prolifically To compete, scientists have found methods to recycle tissue from casualties into human clones The first clones are blank eyed, emotionless, and can only perform mundane chores The human crews take to calling the clones zombies and treat them with disdain The protagonist is given command of a new ship He prepares to meet with his all zombie crew The new clon 8 Down Among the Dead Men Told from the POV of a weary veteran Humanity is at war with an insectoid race that breeds prolifically To compete, scientists have found methods to recycle tissue from casualties into human clones The first clones are blank eyed, emotionless, and can only perform mundane chores The human crews take to calling the clones zombies and treat them with disdain The protagonist is given command of a new ship He prepares to meet with his all zombie crew The new clones appear to be perfect human facsimiles The captain s crew greets him with hostility They resent being treated like sub human animals They seethe believing the scientists intentionally made them sterile The captain, attempting to convince his crew that science has not conquered the reconstitution of reproductive organs, confesses that one of his war wounds has rendered him sterile, a condition no doctor has been able to repair The crew finally bonds with him Savage depiction of the cost of war and a thoughtful examination of cloning 9 The Liberation of Earth Earth becomes a battlefield for two warring alien races Each race liberates , then re liberates and re liberates Earth Each alien race spouts propaganda against the other, but determining which race has the moral high ground is impossible The battles millions of human become collateral casualties Earth s ecology is devastated Eventually the aliens depart, taking their battle elsewhere Humanity has been reduced to a stone age existence, the Earth permanently crippled The narrator concludes We about as liberated as a race or planet can be 6 Flirgleflip Scientist, frustrated that the Temporal Embassy has ordered him to cease work on his time travel device, sends a colleague back to the 20th century to ensure that his name goes down in history as the inventor of time travel The colleague is an old man with no useful skills for employment or survival in the 20th century He hooks up with a reporter to try to gain the attention of a temporal agent to rescue him The reporter exposes the scientist s story, making him appear insane Afterward, the reporter confesses that he is a temporal agent, but no rescue will take place The poor scientist must live out his days in the 20th century, such is the grand design of the Temporal Embassy.6 The Tenants The new tenants want to rent the 13th floor of an office building, which the manager insists does not exist They arrange tenancy anyway and occupy their new offices The manager becomes obsessed with visiting the 13th floor, but can never find it He figures out that only people who have official business on the 13th floor can actually find it When the tenants move out, he has his pretense to go visit the floor an official inspection While he examines the office space, the tenants depart, leaving him trapped on the 13th floor A clever but silly yarn.8 The Custodian Humanity has abandoned the planet after discovering that the sun will go nova in a few years The populace polarizes between Affirmers those determined to evacuate humanity from Earth, leaving behind all nonessential artifacts , and Custodians those who believe an effort must be made to preserve objects of artistic, cultural, or sentimental value The protagonist, a custodian, is the last man on Earth He travels the world, viewing the great works of art One day his scanner detects another human He investigates and finds a hidden band of Custodians All have died save one infant The protagonist rescues the child and takes for it The child inspires him to make an effort to escape Earth He procures an abandoned spaceship As he prepares to leave, he fills the ship with as many great works of art as he can carry Elegiac, but ultimately life affirming tale How exactly, can I go about reviewing a book containing some of the most famous and classic science fiction and fantasy, because they are literally fantastic stories, after reading it over a longish period Simply by jotting down things that I loved, some that I liked, and some that I didn t.The stories in this book that I loved were 1 The Ghost Standard2 Party of the Two Parts3 Brooklyn Project4 My Mother Was a Witch5 The Tenants6 Down Among the Dead Man7 The Sickness8 The Jester How exactly, can I go about reviewing a book containing some of the most famous and classic science fiction and fantasy, because they are literally fantastic stories, after reading it over a longish period Simply by jotting down things that I loved, some that I liked, and some that I didn t.The stories in this book that I loved were 1 The Ghost Standard2 Party of the Two Parts3 Brooklyn Project4 My Mother Was a Witch5 The Tenants6 Down Among the Dead Man7 The Sickness8 The Jester9 Project Hush10 Alexander the BaitThe stories in this book that I liked were 1 Lisbon Cubed2 The Flat Eyed Monster3 The Deserter4 The Liberation of Earth5 Eastward Ho 6 The Masculinist Revolt7 Child s Pay8 Wednesday s Child9 The Lemon Green Spaghetti Loud Dynamite Dribble Day10 The Servant Problem11 The Last BounceRest of the stories were not exactly to my liking Whenever and wherever the author tried to be sentimental and overwrote the stories, they lost that punch that had made Eric Frank Russell or Robert Sheckley so special The satire also lost its sharpness when it got spread across so many pages.But that s my problem with works that are longish, and should not stop you from going through these stories that have been resurrected by NESFA Press in the shape of such a beautiful volume Recommended to all those lovers of golden age of science fiction and to anybody who likes to read good stories This was perhaps the best science fiction collection I have discovered Far out ideas, unexpected resolutions, and a variety of philosophical precepts mixed with humor and a wide array of topics make this a lot of fun Some provision must be made in the science due to the timing of its writing, but I give all science fiction a pass. The trouble with collections of one author s works is the same trouble with a package of Double Stuffed Oreos I can t read only a couple of stories at a time or eat only a couple of Oreos at a time You can imagine what that means to my waistline As for my reading life, I get overloaded on a given author quickly and don t give the stories later in the book as much attention as the earlier ones However, with this book, I only had time to read one or two stories each night before sleep It to The trouble with collections of one author s works is the same trouble with a package of Double Stuffed Oreos I can t read only a couple of stories at a time or eat only a couple of Oreos at a time You can imagine what that means to my waistline As for my reading life, I get overloaded on a given author quickly and don t give the stories later in the book as much attention as the earlier ones However, with this book, I only had time to read one or two stories each night before sleep It took about a month to finish, but I was able to enjoy every story worth enjoying Written mostly in the 40s and 50s, with all the political and cultural baggage that implies, the best of the stories are witty, fun and stimulating The lesser stories have plots that have been tortured so that the punchline can be delivered, but are still fun There are author notes at the end of each story, which add a lot to the reader s understanding.My personal favorites were On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi and Venus and the Seven Sexes and Lisbon Cubed I ve added Volume 2 to mywish list, so you know I liked the writer Fairly dated, but contains a few real classics, such as Brooklyn Project and Lisbon Cubed. Immodest Proposals contains the majority of William Tenn s short science fiction It includes such classic stories as Child s Play, Time in Advance, Down Among the Dead Men, and On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi The next volume on the series, Here Comes Civilization, will contain the remainder of his short science fiction, the novel Of Men and Monsters, and the short novel A Lamp for MedusaTenn has long been considered one of the major satirists in the field The Science Fiction Encyclopedia calls him one of the genre s very few genuinely comic, genuinely incisive writers of short fiction Theodore Sturgeon had the following to say It would be too wide a generalization to say that every SF satire, every SF comedy and every attempt at witty and biting criticism found in the field is a poor and usually cheap imitation of what this man has been doing since the s But his incredibly involved and complex mind can at times produce constructive comment so pointed and astute that the fortunate recipient is permanently improved by it ❮Reading❯ ➺ Muerte en Hamburgo (Jan Fabel, Author Craig Russell – Lavons.co.uk Time in Advance [Reading] ➷ Jazz Age Stories By F. Scott Fitzgerald – Lavons.co.uk Down Among the Dead Men ❰Read❯ ➱ Much Obliged, Jeeves Author P.G. Wodehouse – Lavons.co.uk and On Venus ☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ The Wrong Blood By Manuel de Lope ❤ – Lavons.co.uk Have We Got a Rabbi The next volume on the series [KINDLE] ❁ The Customer-Funded Business ❄ John W. Mullins – Lavons.co.uk Here Comes Civilization [PDF / Epub] ✐ The Affair ☃ Emma Kavanagh – Lavons.co.uk will contain the remainder of his short science fiction ☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ Summer People & The Little House By Shirley Jackson ✐ – Lavons.co.uk the novel Of Men and Monsters ❮Epub❯ ➥ Beautiful Creatures ➤ Author Lulu Taylor – Lavons.co.uk and the short novel A Lamp for MedusaTenn has long been considered one of the major satirists in the field The Science Fiction Encyclopedia calls him one of the genre s very few genuinely comic ❮PDF / Epub❯ ✈ Dr. Simon Forman ⚣ Author Judith Cook – Lavons.co.uk genuinely incisive writers of short fiction Theodore Sturgeon had the following to say It would be too wide a generalization to say that every SF satire ❴Read❵ ➪ Susannah (Sunfire, Author Candice Ransom – Lavons.co.uk every SF comedy and every attempt at witty and biting criticism found in the field is a poor and usually cheap imitation of what this man has been doing since the s But his incredibly involved and complex mind can at times produce constructive comment so pointed and astute that the fortunate recipient is permanently improved by it This was probably one of the most amazing collections of sci fi short stories I have ever read. Some of the best science fiction short stories ever written Down among the dead men will haunt you for the rest of your life.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *