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George Turner, Part Two

Harlan [Ellison] liked the story but felt that it did not fit the portrait of Australia that the anthology sought to create. I gathered that on his visit here he had been impressed by cave paintings, Ayres Rock and the vast open spaces, so that my urban portrait of animal despair was out of kilter with what he and Terry [Dowling] required. So I wrote him another tale, which cannot appear here, and he rang me from San Francisco to say how much he liked it. That's the way a writer yearns to have his ego stroked!

--George Turner, introducing his story 'the Fittest' in A Pursuit of Miracles.

Isn't that just great?

In other news, I finished The Sea and the Summer (or Drowning Towers, for the Americans), and it held up nicely until the end. Nothing is really tied up in the end, and the bookend pieces, ultimately, add nothing. But overall, the book was really fine, and if you're one of those people who read Geoff Ryman's Air this year, I think you'd dig the book.

Maybe someone will reprint it. Anyone reading this blog paying attention?


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Nov. 14th, 2006 11:23 am (UTC)
felt that it did not fit the portrait of Australia that the anthology sought to create

I'm somewhere between gobsmacked and utterly unsurprised that this should be the case. Oh, and a little angry.
Nov. 14th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC)
well, there's only turner's words to go on, so i've no idea how correct it is, but it makes me laugh to read it put that way. i don't think that anthology ever actually appeared, however.
Nov. 14th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, would that be the most famous anthology never published?
Nov. 14th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
well, one of them. i think ellison has a couple. but i believe he talks about the anthology in the intro to DREAMING DOWN-UNDER.
Nov. 14th, 2006 11:23 am (UTC)
Yo. I thought it petered out too - and did think the 'future' sections were much weaker than the 'present' stuff, although I guess I did like the way they did put the conditions in the 'present' sections into context.

(Sorry - am not lookign to reprint it. I got me a copy :-)
Nov. 14th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
Actually, though, I'm not planning to *keep* my copy so if anyone wants mine they can have it after I've finished reviewing it. It's old and crumbly...
Nov. 14th, 2006 12:11 pm (UTC)
i think if he had given us more of the future, and give us more of this capitalist free democracy, and so forth, that it would have worked. the final future bit is particularly weak--but it's a minor thing int he book overall.
Nov. 14th, 2006 11:48 am (UTC)
I rather liked "The Fittest". I think it's the only thing by George Turner I've ever read.
Nov. 14th, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)
it's an early version of THE SEA AND THE SUMMER, actually. so if you dug that, i think you'd dig the book. though i haven't read it myself, so i've no idea how different they are. (a quick flip showed it as not being that different.)
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