The Secret History of Science Fiction

By James Patrick Kelly (Editor); John Kessel (Editor)
(Tachyon Publications, Paperback, 9781892391933, 424pp.)

Publication Date: October 2009

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This ingeniously conceived anthology raises the intriguing question, If Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow had won the Nebula award in 1973, would the future distinction between literary fiction and science fiction have been erased? Exploring the possibility of an alternate history of speculative fiction, this literary collection reveals that the lines between genres have already been obscured. Don DeLillo’s “Human Moments in World War III” follows the strange detachment of two astronauts who are orbiting in a skylab while a third world war rages on earth. “The Ziggurat” by Gene Wolfe traverses a dissolving marriage, a custody dispute, and the visit of time travelers from the future. T. C. Boyle’s “Descent of Man” is the subversively funny tale of a man who suspects that his primatologist lover is having an affair with one of her charges. In “Schwarzschild Radius,” Connie Willis draws an allegorical parallel between the horrors of trench warfare and the speculative physics of black holes. Artfully crafted and offering a wealth of esteemed authors—from writers within the genre to those normally associated with mainstream fiction, as well as those with a crossover reputation—this volume aptly demonstrates that great science fiction appears in many guises.

About the Author

James Patrick Kelly is the author of Burn, Think Like a Dinosaur, and Wildlife, and the coeditor of Feeling Very Strange and Rewired. He is a columnist for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and the winner of two Hugo Awards. He lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire. John Kessel is a Nebula-, Sturgeon-, Tiptree-, and Locus-award winner and the author of Corrupting Dr. Nice, Good News from Outer Space, and The Pure Product. He is the coeditor of Feeling Very Strange and Rewired and teaches science fiction, fantasy, and fiction writing at North Carolina State University. His criticism has appeared in Foundation, Los Angeles Times Book Review, New York Review of Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Age. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Praise For The Secret History of Science Fiction

"These stories are good enough to make The New Yorker's Eustace Tilley pop his cartoon monocle."  —io9

"A compelling collection . . . very unique and thought-provoking."  —Sacramento Book Review

"All I really want to do, at the moment, is embrace the unsuspecting editors in a massive, spine-crunching bear hug."  —Los Angeles Times

"You’ll love this anthology." —

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