Tag Archives: winter 2007

9/11: The Culture of Commemoration

David Simpson University of Chicago Press ($14) by Brian Bergen-Aurand September 12, 2001, was in some sense a moment of utopian potential; there appeared to be an awakening of international solidarity, global empathy, and planetary possibility in the world’s responses to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon the previous day. Neighbors, […]

THE NEUTRAL: Lecture Course at the College de France (1977-1978)

Roland Barthes translated by Rosalind E. Krauss and Denis Hollier Columbia University Press ($24.50) by Spencer Dew What if, wonders Roland Barthes, in response to one of those “large, pompous, arrogant, pedantic questions” which so dominate intellectual and especially academic life—“‘Is there a writing specific to women and a writing specific to men?’ ‘Do you […]


Neal Shusterman Simon & Schuster ($16.99) by Kelly Everding Disaffected youth everywhere will relate to this dark tale by master story-spinner Neal Shusterman. In his young-adult thriller Unwind, Shusterman imagines a near-future America after a second Civil War, dubbed “The Heartland War,” which pits Pro-life and Pro-choice forces against each other. A strange compromise of sorts […]

THE NEW SPACE OPERA: All New Stories of Science Fiction Adventure

edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan Eos ($15.95) by Alan DeNiro The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, as noted in the introduction to The New Space Opera, defines space opera as “colorful action-adventure stories of interplanetary or interstellar conflict.” Many of the authors collected in this anthology are well known to readers of science fiction, […]

SOUCOUYANT: A Novel of Forgetting

David Chariandy Arsenal Pulp Press ($16.95) by Kristin Thiel Subtitled “a novel of forgetting,” David Chariandy’s first book is also, of course, a novel of remembering. We can’t face one without facing the other. An okay version of Soucouyant would have lingered on the book’s most obvious example of this: the narrator’s mother’s early onset dementia. But […]


Michael Swanwick Tachyon Publications ($14.95) by Kristin Livdahl Michael Swanwick’s impressive world-building and imaginative use of genre tropes makes him one of the best short-story writers in speculation fiction. The Dog Said Bow-Wow showcases those talents, bringing together sixteen recent stories, including three Hugo Award winners. In this fifth and, arguably, best collection of his stories, populated […]


J.M. Coetzee Viking ($24.95) by Spencer Dew The first part of this book, “Strong Opinions,” is a collection of essays written by a man named C., who, like J. M. Coetzee himself, a South African living in Australia, the author of Waiting for the Barbarians, and an acclaimed intellectual whose novels have earned him a fortune. […]


Stephen Dixon Melville House ($16.95) by T. K. Dalton Certain writers writing about writers writing (or, worse, writers writing about writers who are trying to write and not writing) remind me of a story from Louis Sachar’s Sideways Stories from Wayside School, the one where Sammy, a new kid, won’t take off his raincoat inside. His […]


Philip Cioffari Livingston Press ($15.95) by Donald Lemke A book entitled Catholic Boys inevitably invites a few clichéd presumptions; innocent schoolboys, lustful priests, and the ensuing tensions and scandals are expected and delivered. In this debut novel, however, author Philip Cioffari retains a certain degree of inventiveness by focusing on his conflicted protagonist rather than the lives […]


Myriam Gurba Future Tense Books/Manic D Press ($14.95) by Jacklyn Attaway Desiree Garcia remembers 1992 as the Year of the Crazy Girl: while jumbled images of Heidi Fleiss, Lorena Bobbitt, and Amy Fisher were splattered on the television, she painted her nails black, listened to Bauhaus, and resisted urges to jerk and randomly shout “cunt!” […]