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Paperback (Trade)

Published February 1995
Paperback (Trade) price: $11.95
Weight: 0.85

ISBN-13: 978-0-915368-65-5
ISBN-10: 0-915368-65-X
Page count: 101
Book Size: 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"

A Bookman's Fantasy

How Science Fiction Became Respectable and Other Essays

This text relates to the 1st edition • Paperback (Trade)

by Fred Lerner

Fred Lerner was Special Guest at Boskone 32.

Table of Contents

Science Fiction, Respectable and Otherwise

  • Introduction (original)
  • How Science Fiction Became Respectable (original)
  • Lester and Me
  • Towards a Definition of Science Fiction: A Reply to James Gunn
  • "A Master of Our Art"
  • Reading About Robert Heinlein
  • What I Did on My Vacation
  • The Posthumous Heinlein
  • "The Horror! The Horror!"
  • 1994 Revisited
  • Concerning Purely Personal Preferences

A Librarian Born and Bred

  • Introduction
  • The Science Fiction Library
  • The Cataloging and Classification of Science Fiction Collections
  • The Popularity of Science Fiction
  • Farewell to Alexandria

An Imperfect Vermonter

  • Introduction
  • Vermonting
  • Proceedings and Transactions of the Vermont Commission on Tackiness
  • Uncle Bounce, I'll Miss You
  • An Evening with Richard Snelling
  • The Vermont Bicentennial (original)

A Bookman's Fantasy

  • Introduction
  • A Desert Island Dozen
  • A Goliard Christmas
  • A Day in the Commonwealth
  • All Aboard!
  • Sherlock Holmes in India


"Life is short, and shelving is I purged my shelves of every paperback whose title or cover showed any sign of elf or dwarf, wizard or swordsman, dragon or unicorn. I found it a tremendously liberating experience."

from "Farewell to Alexandria"

"Any attempt to classify science fiction on the basis of story themes pits the classifier's ingenuity against the collective imagination of SF writers; and it would be only a matter of time before a story was published which would not fit into the classification system."

from "The Science Fiction Library"

"Eagles may be indispensable in emergencies, but they can hardly be depended upon to serve as a rapid-transit system. A little steam-powered railroad—no massive, articulated behemoths (though I'd not be surprised to see a few rusting away amid the slag-heaps of Mordor), but rather friendly little pufferbellies—would be just the thing to link Hobbiton with Bree, or to start folk on their journey down the Greenway to Gondor."

from "All Aboard!..."

"Adultery has always outranked technology in its appeal to the American reader, whether his favorite reading-matter be the National Enquirer or the New York Review of Books. The world's work, and the men and women who do it, have never been of much interest to many of our illustrious writers and to most of our so-called "literary intellectuals." "

from "How Science Fiction Became Respectable"

Printing History

Book produced for Boskone 32, February 1995.

Edited by Anthony R. Lewis
Cover art by Merle Insinga