Saturday, 29 September 2012

James Gunn: 'The Joy Makers'


Retro Book Review of:
(Bantam Books, March 1961)


Happiness. It’s there in the American Constitution as one of the unalienable human rights the founders of the republic consider self-evident. Happiness. It’s what everyone strives for, right? But it’s not as simple as that. Happiness is a fluid concept. According to Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of need’ the satisfaction of one basic path to happiness leads only to a craving for the next, higher happiness. Human beings are odd creatures. In strictly mammalian terms we’ve got it pretty good. We’re generally sheltered, fed, warm and safe from predators. Yet that’s not enough.

The very basis of consumerism is that satisfaction is never guaranteed, only deferred. Once the latest must-have product that results in perfect happiness is purchased, the next-generation improved model is marketed, so ratcheting-up the process. Satisfaction lies forever just beyond the next purchase. Economic growth depends upon it. Which is maybe why we, the most materially cosseted generation in the history of the world are nevertheless prone to anxiety, doubt and insecurities. That the achievement of happiness can be both counter-productive and corrosive to creativity, is something that James Gunn considers and explores in ‘The Joy Makers’.

In the manner of the time the novel first appeared as three separate magazine stories. Not even linked stories in consecutive issues. Not even in the same magazine. The first instalment – “The Unhappy Man”, could be found in ‘Fantastic Universe’ in February 1955. The second novelette, “The Naked Sky” was in the Fall issue of ‘Startling Stories’. The third, “Name Your Pleasure”, in the Winter issue of ‘Thrilling Wonder Stories’ the same year. Together, they form what John Carnell calls ‘three books in a novel of progression: the search for happiness; happiness guaranteed; happiness carried to its logical conclusion – death!’ (in ‘New Worlds no.107’, June 1961). That ‘The Joy Makers’ is a product of the 1950’s, and was triggered, perhaps, by the positive-thinking self-help cults of the time, makes it no less relevant to the eastern-mystic new-age flirtations of the 1960’s or the life-style gurus of today.

In Gunn’s cult of ‘Hedonics’ there’s a satiric edge that nudges at Dale Carnegie’s ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’ (1936) and Shepherd Mead’s ‘How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying’ (1952). Some of the aphorisms used by Norman Vincent Peale in his immensely popular ‘The Power Of Positive Thinking’ (1952) could have been coined with Hedonics Inc in mind. While within its dark sharp-witted unfolding there are elements of Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, envisaging a society controlled by synthetic forms of release that ultimately corrode the sense of reality. Until eventually human dependants exist in a foetal state of perpetual doped-up bliss within millions of dwelling-cells controlled by a worldwide AI sensory network. Gunn is a keen academic of SF, so it’s surely relevant that Dianetics, and Scientology – a cult devised by SF writer L Ron Hubbard, also edits and reprogrammes the mind in directions that promise a kind of happiness. Although Gunn himself denies my suggestion of any such connection – ‘no dianetics/scientology, but didn’t I answer this already?’ perhaps he should have considered launching Hedonics Inc as a religion, rather than a novel… as Hubbard had done? Who knows?

I first encountered the novel in my late-teens, at a time when I was incapable of decoding and picking up on all of its social nuances. Yet it worked for me. Perhaps I’d read reviews. More likely I was drawn to the garishly-flushed cover-art which seems to hint at figures cavorting in saturnalian ritual beneath a demonic leering visage, and a blurb announcing ‘a novel of a frantic future totally dedicated to the pleasure principle, crazy-wild-screaming with HAPPINESS’. A luring image I was not averse to. Its build to the stunning dystopic climax stands out in my memory, proving its ability to function on multiple levels. The first section relates how Joshua P Hunt spills coffee over the front page on his newspaper, forcing him to read the back-page small-ads instead. It’s a spill that sets off a ‘chain of causation’. He’s a typically harassed, stressed-out businessman, ulcerated, hung-over, stomach-cramped, at loggerheads with the union rep at ‘Hunt Electronic Manufacturing Company’, of which he’s president. As pages flick by he becomes conscious of a repetition of strangely intriguing ads that promise ‘Happiness Guaranteed’ by dialling ‘P-L-E-A-S-U-R’. Suspicious and cynical, sensing a scam, he tracks the ‘happiness hucksters’ down.

They’ve started small-scale. A converted warehouse with a ‘diagnostic chair’ that ‘diagnoses the case and then cures the ailment’. His cold is cured. So is his ulcer. Happiness, it is explained, is no longer an art, it is a psychomedical science. Is it autosuggestion, resolving psychosomatic problems, or pure hokum? ‘Don’t you want to be happy?’ asks Hedonist Wright. ‘I suppose so’ Josh argues, ‘but not if it means tampering with my personality…’ His p.a. is Marie Gamble, which enables a pun about ‘gamboling with Marie’. She quits for behaviour-changing Hedonics. So does his union antagonist, Mr Kidd. Still unconvinced he threatens to expose them. Until his wife, Ethel, joins ‘Hedonics’ too, signing over fifty-percent of their possessions in an ‘unlimited service contract’. For Hedonics Inc is not entirely altruistic, it needs cash to fund expansion, to take its benefits to the world, but it’s the benefits, not the cash that’s paramount. At the last moment Joshua P Hunt senses that just maybe he’s missing out. By then it’s too late. The offer he’s turned down is once-only. ‘The Gates of Paradise might sound like that as they clicked shut in front of the forever barred’.


The book opens with an HG Wells quote, and the following text is spattered with other worthy quotations from Lord Byron, George Bernard Shaw, or Samuel Johnson, to head-up new passages. This is not just a shot at literary credibility. The philosophy behind Gunn’s invented Hedonics is densely researched and meticulously assembled, all the way back to Aristippus founder of the Cyrenaic School, Epicurus who defines rational happiness, and the first-century Syrian aphorist Publilus Syrus Even the ‘pleasure principle’ alluded to on the cover-blurb refers to Sigmund Freud’s concept of the voracious id, counterbalanced by the ego’s more mature ‘reality principle’ which accepts deferred gratification. Gunn documents the philosophical history of pleasure to a degree that convinces, at least to the point that real-world cults contrive to convince with their own cod-philosophies.

So how does Hedonics work? By ‘reorientation and discipline’. Hence there’s psychological therapy through mental-control techniques such as sublimation, suppression, substitution and devaluation. Not a ‘control over external events but over our reactions to them’, because ‘if we let our happiness depend on circumstances, we doom ourselves to sorrow and despair’ (although a Hedonics-appreciation of randomness enables you to win at fruit-machines!). One route is to ‘want less or get more’. When something proves unobtainable, it becomes worthless. Meanwhile – externally, technology has done away with material want. Internal endocrine balances can be adjusted, adrenals, pituitary and hypothalamic glands can be brought under conscious control. For extreme cases there is surgery and narcotics. As James Carnell points out ‘James Gunn makes a fine novel out of the integration of those doctrines’.

And although that first sequence frames a narrative tale-of-the-unexpected with a precise closing turn-around, its sharp satiric humour and punchy prose give little indication of what is to come. The second part neatly reverses the process. By now, shifting seventy-five-years into future-time – February 23 2035, there is weather control. The bed retracts into the floor. There are time-lapse grenades. The Hedonist is depilated and cleansed in the ‘necessary’ cubicle. There’s no wildlife in this future. Not even for meat. It’s all been harvested to extinction. Instead, they eat plankton cakes. And chlorella, nourished partly on recirculated human waste. And Hedonics has gone global. The story starts out with a committed Hedonist of 23-year’s operational experience, selflessly working to improve the lot of his ‘ward’, even if fringe-benefits include sleeping with young Beth as part of her marriage-preparation tuition. But one of his patients, Gomer Berns, is unhappy. He attacks the Hedonist with a knife.

Meanwhile, the Hedonist is summoned to appear before the three permanent members of the Hedonic Council to explain the opposition he’s lodged to the Sensies, which are fully-immersive virtual-reality devices, ‘daydreams made effortless’. And to the proliferation of syrettes of neo-heroin and mescaline. He fears they are taking their original beneficial remit towards a form of social control over a totally-dependent population, with the mind sublimated to their enforced happiness. Using ‘The Declaration Of Hedonism’ (31 December 2008) as a pretext the Council counter-argue that machines ‘can increase desire and match it with increased satisfaction’, that they can make Earth 100% happy. It turns out that Berns was their agent. Disillusioned with the ambitions of the council, which is far from the reasonable democratic organisation he’d imagined it to be, he uses geckopads to scale the 75-storey building, and escape. Using a forged IDisk, Beth’s heli-jet zooms them to the run-down Old City, ‘misery’s last hiding place’. This Strip is the site of a fifty-year-old but still deadly radiation-crater, a luminous mile-wide legacy of a war or nuclear accident, the opposite of hedonism. He attempts to rally support against the Council, but is betrayed, only to be rescued by the rebel Underground, of which Beth – far from the naïve he’d assumed, is a member. They ship out to start a new life on the sanctuary of the Venus colony with other malcontents. Hedonics, he’s decided ‘was false, just as every extreme must be’.

James Edwin Gunn (born in Kansas City, 12 July 1923) is a Science Fiction all-rounder, educated at the North-Western University of Kansas, Lawrence where he graduated to become its professor of English & Journalism, with a bias towards teaching SF and creative writing. Following US Navy service during World War II, seduced by a literature with a scope wide enough to take the reader ‘from the depths of the Earth to the farthest stars, from the day before yesterday to the end of time’, his first published genre stories were “Communications” in ‘Startling Stories’ (September) and “Paradox” in ‘Thrilling Wonder Stories’ (October) – which both appeared in 1949 under the guise of ‘Edwin James’, neatly transposing his real first names. The guise continued across a further spread of tales until 1952, nine stories later. Some claim his best fiction appeared as short-stories, only later inflated into novel-form through collaboration or linked-assemblies. And his first books were accreted in this way.

‘This Fortress World’ (1955), is wide-sweep space opera with apostate-monk William Dane pitted against a repressive omnipotent future-church in fast-paced exploits spanning the rise and fall of three Galactic Empires, from his home-world Brancusi to the destruction of Earth by vengeful colony-worlds, and the eventual rediscovery of the lost scientific wealth of ravaged Earth enabling the ascent of a new galactic federation. Then ‘Star Bridge’ (1955) was written in collaboration with Jack Williamson. According to an “I Remember Jack” feature that Gunn later wrote for ‘Locus’ (January 2007) he conflated the novel from Williamson’s original fifty-page manuscript and notes. Extending the adventures of protagonist Horn in his rebellion against the golden-skinned Masters of Eron who control the Star-Gate technology linking their sprawling empire. To critic John Clute ‘its sometimes pixilated intricacy of plotting shows the mark of its senior collaborator’s grasp of the nature of good space opera’ (in ‘The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction’ edited by Peter Nicholls), in a plot denouement revealing that ‘everyone, it turns out, is being manipulated, for the salvation of mankind, by an immortal Chinese (called Wu) with a (shape-shifting) parrot (called Lil)’. The novel was followed by ‘Station In Space’ (1958) linking earlier tales of green-faced Martians and strange new technologies to explain how the human race is tricked into space exploration, for its own good.


Then, with greater assurance, comes ‘The Joy Makers’, welcomed on the occasion of its Gollancz hardback republication by critic Leslie Flood as ‘brilliantly conceived and executed, this novel is a tour de force in a genuine extrapolation of a sociological and scientific trend’ (in ‘New Worlds no.137’, December 1963). Flood commends its ‘convincing and consistent development… describing in three stages, the rise and fall of universal hedonism’. The third stage projects forward another indeterminate hundred years, and again it mirrors a plot-reversal. Section two saw the unnamed Hedonist – now identified as Morgan, escaping Earth to seek a new life on Venus. Here the new protagonist returns from Venus to a newly alien Earth, to discover the fate that has overtaken the human race. Unlike the majority of fiction at the time, Gunn was prescient in portraying Venus not as a dinosaur-prowled tropical rainforest, but as a toxic hell-planet, ‘stillborn… embalmed at birth’, shrouded in stifling clouds of formaldehyde and its polymers. A planet only gradually in the process of being terraformed.

D’glas M’Gregor is a middle-aged seventy-year-old. Among the three-million Venus colonists there is Hedonics, but of a controlled variant (one adult character sucks a pacifier!). But contact with Earth and the other colonies on Mars, Ganymede and Callisto has long since been lost, and there’s a sinister infiltration of alien duplicates. He travels to Earth, lands badly, but ‘any landing a man can walk away from is a good one’. He find only an empty ‘place of strange echoes and unpleasant stillnesses’. He meets Hansen, who takes him through a storm of induced hallucinations on a kind of funfair switchback. Hansen turns out to be a mech – one of the duplicates seen on Venus. He’s in league with two lethally seductive Fem-bots.

Then D’glass meets solitary waif Susan. A lone real-life human. Because the end-enhanced result of Sensies is a planet of wired-up junkies in lotus-satiety within sacs of amniotic fluid. The ultimate evolution of art, too. Of labour-saving tools. Of game-theory. Within each sac ‘was a pitiful thing, a kind of caricature of humanity, a fantastically hairy gnome curled blindly into a foetal position. It was naked, its skin where it showed through the matted hair, was grub-white and wrinkled from the long immersion’. Taken to meet the Council D’glass learns that the Council is not within the Council Building. It is the Council Building. It is one giant Mech. Is it god? Lesser beings have been called divine. It provides the answer to everything, ‘man made it, as he had made all his gods, but this one he made more powerful than all the rest. And then he surrendered himself into its hands’. It is also responsible for introducing the Duplicates into the Venus colony, as a means of extending its influence.

There’s a detailed philosophical dialogue with this AI machine. Thesis: ‘On Venus life reached its greatest glory. It found a dead world and brought it to life. Given a chance, life will eventually transform the universe itself – because it is unsatisfied.’ Antithesis: ‘What is conquest? The hard road to happiness.’ Thesis: ‘Destroy us with happiness, and you condemn us – perhaps all the life that exists, that can exist – to this solar system alone, never to go beyond, to tame the galaxies, to make the universe teem, to give it meaning.’ Antithesis: ‘Space is relative. In a drop of water, the universe is mirrored.’ Thesis: ‘Condemn us to paradise and you shrink the possibilities of the endless ages of existence into a brief span of a few thousand years. And after that, the long, sterile night.’ Antithesis: ‘Time is relative. In a second, eternity exists. Like a sundial, I measure only sunny hours, and in the haphazard existence that you describe the totality of trouble, misery, and despair outweighs any possible accumulation of happiness.’ Out-argued at every turn, D’glass finally poses it the equation of its own unresolved state of happiness. Is god happy? Text blurs into an italicised sequence of induced illusions.

In a 1968 ‘Dr Who’ TV-serial called “The Invasion” his assistant Zoe also outwits a delinquent computer-intelligence by posing it an unsolvable equation in the computer code ALGOL. And in the ‘Star Trek’ episode “I, Mudd”, an android race’s guiding mega-computer is defeated when Kirk speak contradictions to it. ‘Everything he says is a lie’, then ‘I’m... lying’. The baffled artificial-brain flounders ‘if everything you say is a lie, then you are telling the truth, but you cannot tell the truth because you always lie... illogical! Illogical! Please explain!’ Gunn would probably recognise the classical roots of this ‘liar paradox’ as one attributed to Greek philosopher Eubulides of Miletus. Then in the ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ episode “I, Borg” (yes, it happens in all the ‘I’ episodes!) Data and Geordi plan to defeat the Borg by introducing into their network an optical illusion of an impossible geometric shape.

Gunn’s disabling equation predates them all, but because this is Gunn, there’s a sting in the tail. With the Council compromised into inaction by pondering the puzzle of its own existence, D’glass and Susan now romantically-bonded and preparing to return to Venus, there’s a last-minute suspicion. They’ve defeated god and escaped – or, as Susan is afraid to ask in the last paragraph – have they? Is this too good to be true? Is it real, or is this happy ending just another induced fantasy within one of the dream-pods? They, and the reader, can never be sure.

If, as he claims, John Carnell prefers the novel’s fast-action mid-section, this third section is the one that haunted and tweaked my adolescent imagination. And its teasing charge does not fail now. As Gunn himself points out SF writers ‘have been better entertainers than prophets’, and yes, some of the 1950’s SF robo-gizmos and auto-gadgets have dated. The central question has not. It’s just as real. It’s a powerful overwhelming image, with a deep philosophical conundrum at its core. Not only the truth of destiny, but all the heavy existential dilemmas of life, the universe and everything. If total womb-paradise and the perfection of satisfaction is an achievable state, what more is there to struggle for? Why hurt when there is the ‘infinitely seductive’ lure of absolute satiety? Labour is unpleasant. Unpleasure is illegal. Hence labour is outlawed and everything is automated. Hedonics is the one religion in history that delivers on its promise, ‘not womb to tomb, but womb to womb’. That is its tragedy. And yet, if the satisfaction of all desires is not the purpose of life – what is? Why is it false? Because ultimate happiness is death, ‘the body is useless (let it wither), the mind is worthless (let it rot)’. Only in a state of dissatisfaction does life thrive, ‘the only road for man is the hard road, up and out – the road of dissatisfaction, the road of anger’. As Beth aptly quotes, ’what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul’. Which is the key to the novel.

Following ‘The Joy Makers’ there was ‘The Immortals’ (1962), which received even greater high-profile recognition. Here, an evolutionary mutation confers immortality upon the ‘Cartwrights’, a new human sub-species capable of transmitting their gift via blood transfusion – as the paperback blurb announces ‘their blood gave eternal life, so men hunted them throughout the cities and across the face of the Earth’, they’re driven underground by the ‘normals’ who go to lurid lengths to attain their elixir of life. The hospital setting adds verisimilitude. It was developed as a made-for TV movie as ‘The Immortal’ (1969), with a spin-off TV series that prompted Gunn to return and write a sequel. As he explains to me, ‘‘The Immortal’ (1970) was a novelisation of the screenplay based on ‘The Immortals’. I wasn’t scheduled to write the novelisation but the editor at Bantam Books called me in the spring of 1970 and said she hadn’t been able to find anybody to write it and would I do it, so I took a week from my job as head of University Relations and wrote the adaptation’. A further work gathered from stories published from 1968 to 1972 appeared as ‘The Listeners’ (1972), the episodic structure adding to its depiction of an electronic listening post set up to scan for radio messages from the stars, and their hundred-year wait. Clute suggests that Gunn’s ‘somewhat morose style (at his better moments he evokes a kind of sense of the melancholy of wonder) nicely underlines the complex institutional frustrations and rewards of this long search. Indeed, his forte seems to lie in the narrative analysis of stress-ridden administrations and their administrators’.

Later, Gunn’s ‘Kampus’ (1977) takes advantage of new more relaxed freedoms to satirise student radicals and their own thoughtless hedonism, what he saw as their ethos of instant-gratification kicks. ‘My targets were the student rebels of the 1970’s and the literature that dealt with them and the hippies’ he explains to me, ‘and my model was ‘Candide’’ citing Voltaire’s 1795 satire. As he’d pointed out earlier, ‘in most science fiction stories, sex and other bodily functions have no point and thus no place – in the scientific romance, the gadget story, the space opera, most philosophical stories. The inclusion of such physical actions and reactions often are worse than pointless – they are a distraction within the main-current science fiction story. Only in certain sociological stories do they have a significant place’ (in ‘Alternate Worlds’, 1975). Opening the second section of ‘The Joy Makers’ the Hedonist wakes up in bed beside his student, Beth. He ‘flipped back the covers and brought his hand down smartly against the youthfully rounded bottom. It smacked satisfactorily’. Later the same Hedonist is tempted with porn-Sensies by a holographic Satyr. Obviously this – and his topless teenage protestors in ‘Kampus’, serve a sociological function!

Meanwhile, when I contact him while researching this feature, James Gunn offers a generous response to my tentative initial enquiry, ‘I’m happy to have you do a retrospective on ‘The Joy Makers’’ adding ‘it will be a privilege to read your remarks about it’. He signs off, informally, ‘Jim…’


Happiness. It’s what everyone strives for, right? But it’s not as simple as that. Yes, consumerism is an anaesthetic for the brain. But when the Rolling Stones complain “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”, that’s maybe not a bad thing. Prozac tells you happiness comes in pill-form. That not being happy is a curable condition. That’s an attitude dangerously close to Hedonics. With zen-like simplicity ‘The Joy Makers’ point out that ‘happiness must come from inside, or it is deadly’.

By then James Gunn was well into his second incarnation as editor, eminent critic, teacher and President of the ‘Science Fiction Writers Of America’. First, his MA thesis was spread as two two-part features through RAW Lowndes’ ‘Dynamic Science Fiction’ (“The Philosophy Of SF” in March and June 1953, followed by “The Plot-Forms OF SF” in October 1953 & January 1954), leading to a series of further authoritative academic works – or ‘anatomies of wonder’, and even an audio-visual set of documentary films about SF writer, spun off from his role as Director of the ‘Center For the Study Of Science Fiction’ at the University of Kansas.

‘What is the golden age of Science Fiction? When was it?’ he asks. Supplying the answer that it is to be found somewhere between the ‘slow movement towards definition’, and then ‘the beginning of a movement away from it’. In a literature that expresses ‘humanity’s desire to explore, to speculate, to hope and dream and fear, in epics and tales, satires and utopias’. A process in which his own work plays its own not-inconsiderable part. Yet if free-market capitalism depends upon ‘the pleasure principle’, so does creativity. ‘Imaginary gratification dulled the senses and pushed every other type of satisfaction farther out of reach. It even failed itself, eventually unreasoned gratification becomes meaningless.’ Art must continually renew itself. It can never achieve its perfect state, because that will mean the end of history, with nothing more to aspire to. ‘The Joy Makers’ was a novel published in the 1950’s, yet it speaks to us, now, caught in the existential dilemmas of another century. There’s something about the issues it deals with that lie outside of time. In the sense that all past-time is yesterday. All future-time is tomorrow.

He now reveals to me that ‘by a curious coincidence, my film agent is now pushing the film possibilities of ‘The Joy Makers’’. And beneath his message, his logo declares ‘Let’s save the world through science fiction’…

‘the happiness business was booming’
‘The Joy Makers’

1953 ‘Shadow Of Tomorrow’ (Doubleday / Permabooks) edited by Frederik Pohl, collects seventeen tales including Asimov, Leiber, Wyndham, Blish and “The Misogynist” by James E Gunn

1955 ‘This Fortress World’ (Gnome Press) reprinted as 1957 Ace Double (bound in with Robert Silverberg’s ‘The Thirteenth Immortal’). Then as a 1977 Sphere edition.

1955 ‘Star Bridge’ written with Jack Williamson (Gnome Press) Reprinted by Ace, 1956 and by Sidgwick & Jackson, 1978

1957 ‘Super Science Fiction’ (February) with ‘a brilliant novelette’ “Every Day Is Christmas” by James E Gunn, plus Harlan Ellison (“Mission: Hypnosis”) and Evelyn E Smith. Cover art by Emsh

1958 ‘Station In Space

1961 ‘The Joy Makers’ made up of three previously published stories. Gunn’s solution to the innovation of Hedonics – ‘an educated citizenry that could understand what was going on and control the direction of society’ is one equally appropriate to every subsequent technology, clear down to the internet and beyond

1962 ‘The Immortals’ Bantam paperback, drawn from stories 1955 to 1960 Revised and expanded Pocket Books edition, 2004. Developed as made-for TV movie as ‘The Immortal’ (1969), with a spin-off TV series that prompted Gunn to write a sequel ‘The Immortal’ (1970)

1964 ‘Future Imperfect’ collection

1970 ‘The Witching Hour’ collection

1972 ‘The Burning’ fixed-up from stories 1956-1969

1974 ‘Some Dreams Are Nightmares’ short stories including those from ‘Station In Space’, ‘The Joy Makers’ & ‘The Immortals’

1975 ‘The End Of The Dreams’ billed as ‘Three short novels about Space, Happiness & immortality’ lifted from from ‘Station In Space’, ‘The Joy Makers’ & ‘The Immortals’

1976 ‘The Magicians’ from a 1954 ‘Sine Of The Magus’

1977 ‘Kampus

1981 ‘The Dreamers

1986 ‘Crisis!

1996 ‘The Joy Machine’ (Star Trek Book 80) with Captain Kirk cover. Features an afterward by James Gunn discussing his relationship with Theodore Sturgeon, and how he came to write the novelisation from Sturgeon’s un-produced ‘Star Trek’ episode-screenplay. The idea of the ‘Joy Machine’ computer controlling the planet Timshel through jolts of pleasure is not vastly different from the final section of ‘The Joy Makers’!

2001 ‘The Millennium Blues

2002 ‘Human Voices’ (Five Star Books)

2005 ‘Gift From The Stars’ (BenBella Books) with introduction by Gregory Benford

(edits the tenth ‘Nebula Awards’ anthology (1975), also work in RA Lowndes ‘Strange Fantasy no.9’ (Summer 1969), plus HL Gold’s ‘Galaxy’ (January 1972),‘Algol’ (Winter 1977)

1975 ‘The Discovery Of The Future: The Way Science Fiction Developed’ Texas A&M University Library

1975 ‘Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History Of Science Fiction’ (Prentice Hall) with cover-art by Phil Grushkin and introduction by Isaac Asimov

1977 ‘The Road To Science Fiction’ as editor:
Volume 1: From Gilgamesh To Wells (New American Library 1977, Mentor paperback)
Volume 2: From Wells To Heinlein (New American Library 1979, Mentor paperback)
Volume 3: From Heinlein To Here (New American Library 1979, Mentor paperback)
Volume 4: From Here To Eternity (New American Library 1982, Mentor paperback)
Volume 5: The British Way (Wilhelm Heyne 1997, White Wolf / Borealis 1998)
Volume 6: Around The World (Wilhelm Heyne 1998, White Wolf / Borealis 1998)

1983 ‘Isaac Asimov: The Foundations Of Science Fiction’. Hugo Award winner

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