Breakfast in the Ruins, by Barry Maltzberg

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Breakfast in the Ruins, by Barry Maltzberg

Post by Omphalos »


Having been described in the past as one of the United States' best unrecognized authors, Barry Maltzberg has always occupied an ambiguous place in my mind, as well as in the minds of many critics. Maltzberg is an award winning author of some pretty interesting SF, most notably Herovit's World and Beyond Apollo, though he has written scores of other novels and hundreds of short stories, both in and out of the SF genre. Breakfast in the Ruins, published originally in much shorter form in the early eighties as The Engines of the Night, is a collection of Maltzberg's observations of the highs and lows of SF since the founding of the modern American institution in 1926, but mostly concentrating on the developments in writing and publishing within SF from the 1950's through the early-ish eighties. It is a very personal approach to the meta-problems of the whole genre from an author who acknowledges his own failure to help make SF something bigger and better than it was when he came to it. I have always respected Maltzberg, especially after finishing Beyond Apollo. I now have a great deal of respect for him, not because I commiserate with him, but because I think I understand where he is coming from. Fair warning though: Some of you will probably hate this man after reading this book. He has a tendency to ramble, and to some he will come off as an insufferable whiner. Many of his complaints have to do with "the unfairness of it all," to paraphrase, but to me, in the end, once I had waded through all that crap, I found a few kernels of truth, or at least bits of logical wisdom...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)

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