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Book Title: The Start Of The End Of It All And Other Stories|
The size of the: 521 KB
Edition: The Women's Press Ltd
Date of issue: April 1990
The author of the book: Carol Emshwiller
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: 9780704342194
Read full description of the books The Start Of The End Of It All And Other Stories:Quite a quirky and unusual collections of stories that are not easy to categorize, but are very good and thought provoking. Published by The Women's Press, the cover says science fiction, they won a fantasy award and they are most certainly feminist. A few are clearly science fiction, sort of, but they reflect on life and society now. Some are just straightforward short stories that are easily set in our present, many are open ended and have no obvious setting.
Having said that, these are good stories for a number of reasons. Emshwiller moves easily from lightness and humour to sadness and has a nice touch in satire. In many of these stories the lead role is taken by women, no surprise, but they are almost entirely older women in their 50s and above. They are strong, human surprising, often lonely characters (loneliness is one of the themes). All the characters have flaws, but that makes them all the more attractive and the stories all the better. Many of the female characters feel they don't belong and that is also a theme, as is resolution of this lack of belonging, in ways that vary and are not always entirely comfortable.
These stories do take some reading, often because Emshwiller makes you work for resolutions; it isn't all neatly wrapped for the reader and sometimes thought and a re-read is necessary.
I'm deliberately avoiding much detail about the stories because to describe most of them is almost to tell the stories; there are lots of subliminal and psychoanalytic half-references (watch out for the Jungian psychoanalyst). The alien invaders who promise women an end to the tyranny of men, only to replace it by, yes, you've guessed it! "Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss!"
The best stories are the ones which don't really have a direct science fiction element, they are often much more subtle and a couple of them reminded me of Virginia Woolf's shorter fiction.
All in all a good collection of stimulating short stories.
Read information about the authorCarol Emshwiller is an American writer of avant garde short stories and science fiction who has won prizes including the Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards. Ursula K. Le Guin has called her "a major fabulist, a marvelous magical realist, one of the strongest, most complex, most consistently feminist voices in fiction." In 2005, she was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. Her most recent novel, The Secret City, was published in April 2007.
She is the widow of the artist and experimental filmmaker Ed Emshwiller.
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