Over the years since 1965, Algis Budrys has emerged as the leading critic of modÂern speculative fiction: insightful, ecÂlectic, and notoriously uninhibited. Benchmarks collects the material that started itÂ—all 54 Galaxy Bookshelf book-review columns Budrys created for the now-vanished Galaxy Magazine. WritÂten for what was then the worldâ€™s leading SF periodical, these legendary summaÂtions and summary judgments coincided with the period when newsstand-borne science fiction and fantasy were evolving from pulp toward literature. Budrysâ€™ Galaxy reviews trace an incisive, someÂtimes wickedly acerb path through that sparsely charted literary territory.
Budrys defines his standards and his function in his own words: Â“A book should he good. A bird should fly.
Â“Writers of imperfect, tousled books should be made aware that standards of breeding and grooming exist. I strive to fulfill that function.â€
"Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English." â€”Chicago Tribune
Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. From the author of The Doors of Perception, Island, and countless other works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and poetry, comes this powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment.
Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel's enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron's.
"We will each write a story," Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal.
The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, "would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror â€” one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart."
James Tiptree, Jr., burst onto the science fiction scene in the late 1960s with a series of hard-edged, provocative stories. He redefined the genre with such classics as Houston, Houston, Do You Read? and The Women Men Don't See. For nearly ten years he wrote and carried on intimate correspondences with other writers--Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, and Ursula K. Le Guin, though none of them knew his true identity. Then the cover was blown on his alter ego: "he" was actually a sixty-one-year-old woman named Alice Bradley Sheldon. A feminist, she took a male name as a joke--and found the voice to write her stories.
Based on extensive research, exclusive interviews, and full access to Alice Sheldon's papers, Julie Phillips has penned a biography of a profoundly original writer and a woman far ahead of her time.