Sherryl Vint, Animal Alterity

Nothing detailed here, because a longer review will be turning up in The Goose in the fall, but I just finished Sherryl Vint's Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal, and I really enjoyed it.

In brief, I'm still unclear on why she chose to talk about the books and stories she did, and as a result I'm not convinced she's not something of an advanced dabbler in science fiction. (But then I'm even more of a dabbler than she is, so maybe it's just that I'm ignorant enough that the pattern's invisible to me!) Still, her comments are clear and focused, especially on the early days of Amazing Stories, and she does a great job of demonstrating how human-animal studies can be used to shed light on literature and culture: and vice versa. Thoughtful, prickly, and careful, Animal Alterity generated a lengthy reading list for me, damn Sherryl Vint anyway. This book is a really good read for academics with an interest in the literature/environment intersection, important for those interested in literature's handling of animals, and I suspect it'd be a good read even for a lot of sf readers without much interest in literary theory.

Maybe it's not worth the $109.50 CDN that Amazon's charging for it, but then what is? Obviously Robert Wiersema's latest would be, Walk Like A Man, but I haven't laid hands on that one yet, and it's priced much more competitively anyway.

Check out the current issue of The Goose, though: lots of commentary on writing from and/or about Canada, with a tight focus on connections between culture and environment, including more than twenty book reviews!


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