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From: "Alice K. Turner" 
Subject: Re: (urth) 5HC a good introduction to wolfe? (was Washington Post article)
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 05:14:34 -0400

In my own case, I fell for 5H because of its perversity and cruelty. I think
(I really don't recall) that I first read only the first novella, which I
found (and find) dazzling, a model of what science fiction could do if it
grew up.(Does that mean I consider perversity and cruelty to be grown up?) I
don't know that I thought if it that way; it's just that I am not a
gee-whizzist, and neither, obviously, is Wolfe. When mantis discovered the
Proust connection I was really impressed--in fact I gee-whizzed! I don't
think it was till after I was hooked by the New Sun that I read the second
and third novellas, which take some patience, but when I did and put them
together in my mind--well, it's quite an achievement. Formally, it's Wolfe's
most impressive work, and I simply don't believe the yarn that he knocked
out the second and third novellas only to ensure publication. Perhaps
there's a slightly show-offy tinge to it--look, this is what I, and this
marginal field, can do with slightly shop-worn ingredients. I liked Delaney
at the time for some of the same elements, but nothing Delaney has written
is nearly as carefully crafted as 5H, though he too was trying to do
original things with genre cliches.

Sorry, rambling a bit here!



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