New Worlds: An Anthology Paperback – Sep 10 2004
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
New Worlds is in a sense 'before my time' for it ceased publication as a magazine when I was a child. It must have been wonderful to be part of a avante garde literary movement! You will not find the sort of "alien fires ray gun at human--human fires ray gun back at alien" stories here. New Worlds aspired to intelligent and literary science fiction. It brought opposition from some quarters, which Moorcock writes about in his introduction. It wrote about sex and drugs. It engaged in literary experimentation; for example, the story The Tank Trapeze by Michael Moorcock uses quotes from a newspaper. The story The Four-Color Problem by Barrington Bayley has a technical mathematical section. The anthology also includes stories from other masters of the genre such as Brian Aldiss and J.G. Ballard. The science fiction genre was indeed reshaped by these coterie of authors which have been called "the new wave." I am not aprori opposed to it experimentation. Sometimes it doesn't not work. But sometimes it can serve the author's purposes. And the literature of the fantastic has not always had "typical" narrative anyway. Take, for example, two novels, Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, and Dracula by Bam Stroker. The Journal of the Plague Year, written before the 20th Century--I forget which century, sorry--is a fiction story based on a real plague which killed around 100,000 people in London. That story is written in the form of a journal which includes facts. Dracula is told in the form of more than one journal.
The idea behind the story should be interesting, and the form and content of the story is to be of service to the idea; this was achieved in the pages of New Worlds.
This new US anthology is a representational collection of stories and features drawn from the magazine New Worlds which flourished from 1965 and saw its last issue in 1995. It was closely associated with a development of sf which became known as the UK 'New Wave' movement and nowadays is probably best known as 'slipstream'. The British movement was a conscious break with modernism and attempted to find a literary form which reconnected with the general reading public as well as to develop new conventions which, as far as the writers were concerned, better described their contemporary experience.