Plumage from Pegasus cover artCosmos Books

August 2006

Hardcover 0-80955-609-X

Softcover 0-80955-610-3

Buy it at Wildside Press

 

 

 

 

 

What happens when the tools and themes of science fiction are applied to the genre of science fiction itself-and to publishing in general?

Surprisingly, the result is not a black hole of dreary self-referentiality but a supernova of literary comedy, in the manner of classicists such as S. J. Perelman, Stephen Leacock and Robert Benchley, and postmodernists such as Mark Leyner, Will Self and Steve Aylett.

In this collection of short, sharp, satirical gems, Paul Di Filippo — noted for his own fiction and criticism, which gives him an insider’s perspective — turns a keen eye on the foibles, fallacies, fads and failures of science fiction the industry, mining comedic gold from the gaffes, pomposities and pretensions of authors, publicists, reviewers, publishers, editors, fans, librarians and bookstore owners.

Using their own words as springboards in many cases, he extrapolates wildly, in the classic manner of the best Galaxy magazine stories, to give us such improbable but inevitable scenarios as literary hit men, self-blinded authors, agents as personal servants and a Victorian internet.

Although these japes abound with in-jokes, nothing more is required to enjoy them than a basic familiarity with science fiction, an empathy for the human condition, and a willingness to laugh heartily.