Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Quote

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I must thank Brian Stableford, first for his lucid essays on the sociology of science fiction, which have appeared all too infrequently over the past decade, then for his supportive correspondence over the past year; also, had he not given me a chance to read in manuscript his exhaustive...

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The American Shore, An Author’s Introduction

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pp. xiii-xviii

A reader who feels acutely the need for an introduction to the serious reading of science fiction, or for an introduction to those science fiction writers—Russ, Disch, and Zelazny paramount among them—whose work, appearing first in the early Sixties, contoured and codified a canon...

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A Road along the Shore: An Introduction to The American Shore

Matthew Cheney

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pp. xix-xxxviii

The American Shore is likely the most thorough exploration of a single science fiction text yet published. No matter what we end up thinking of its approach and insights, no reader could deny that it is anything less than an impressive intellectual performance. Around Thomas M. Disch’s short story “Angouleme,” Samuel R. Delany wraps pretexts...

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1. The Pretext

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pp. 1-4

Concatenated texts—romans fleuves, interrelated series of novels and stories, stories and plays—appear from time to time in mundane fiction. Sometimes the connecting link is so tenuous as to constitute the merest ornamentation, a grace note to the text (as when the imprisoned...

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2. The Refused Text

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pp. 5-24

We shall flex the text with a number of carets, marginally cardinalled for later reference. At the base of the print-line they should not be obtrusive; the average reader seldom looks at more than the top half of the print—it contains quite enough information to read with. The only ambiguities...

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3. The Context

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pp. 25-34

The existence of a series of stories, with its panoply of discontinuities-embedded- in-the-continuous (lacunae in the fictive lives of recognizably continuous characters, settings, situations, as well as the implied gaps between various times of writing, the observable distances between places of...

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4. The Diffused Text

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pp. 35-184

In the structural consideration of a given work what must be structured is, of course, the consideration—the work under consideration presumably having its structure and whatever potential to convey it. We only hope the structure of our endeavor will provide an extensive...

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5. Exotexts

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pp. 185-208

1. Auctorial Interfaces: A Biographical Note. Currently on my shelves are eight books written (two pseudonymously), and one edited (in collaboration with author Charles Naylor), by Thomas M. Disch. This exhausts none of the categories they posit: there exist more story...

Index

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pp. 209-216

About the Author

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pp. 217-218