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Hardcover (Trade)

Original publication February 2001
1st edition, 2nd printing, July 2001
Hardcover (Trade) price: $29.00
Weight: 3.08

ISBN-13: 978-1-886778-19-1
ISBN-10: 1-886778-19-1
Page count: 621
Book Size: 6" x 9"

Ebook (epub)

Original publication February 2001
1st edition, 2nd printing, March 2023
Ebook (epub) price: $9.95

ISBN-13: 978-1-61037-349-4
ISBN-10: 1-61037-349-9
Page count: 621
Book Size: 1 Mb

Ebook (mobi)

Original publication February 2001
1st edition, 2nd printing, September 2023
Ebook (mobi) price: $9.95

ISBN-13: 978-1-61037-022-6
ISBN-10: 1-61037-022-8
Page count: 621
Book Size: 1 Mb

Immodest Proposals

The Complete Science Fiction of William Tenn, Volume 1

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

by William Tenn

This book is the first volume of a two-book project that will bring back into print all of the science fiction and fantasy of William Tenn. This first volume, Immodest Proposals, contains the majority of William Tenn's short science fiction. It includes such classic stories as "Child's Play," "Time in Advance," "Down Among the Dead Men," and "On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi."

The next volume in the series, Here Comes Civilization, will contain the remainder of his short science fiction, the novel Of Men and Monsters, and the short novel A Lamp for Medusa. A volume of his non-fiction, Dancing Naked, was published in September 2004.

Tenn has long been considered one of the major satirists in the field. The Science Fiction Encyclopedia calls him "one of the genre's very few genuinely comic, genuinely incisive writers of short fiction." Theodore Sturgeon had the following to say:

"It would be too wide a generalization to say that every SF satire, every SF comedy and every attempt at witty and biting criticism found in the field is a poor and usually cheap imitation of what this man has been doing since the '40s. [But] his incredibly involved and complex mind can at times produce constructive comment so pointed and astute that the fortunate recipient is permanently improved by it. Admittedly the price may be to create two whole categories for our species: humanity, and William Tenn. For each of which you must create your ethos and your laws. I've done that. And to me it's worth it."

Table of Contents

Bernie the Scheheradze (Introduction by Connie Willis)

Aliens, Aliens, Aliens:

  • Firewater
  • Lisbon Cubed
  • The Ghost Standard
  • The Flat-Eyed Monster
  • The Deserter
  • Venus and the Seven Sexes
  • Party of the Two Parts

Immodest Proposals:

  • The Liberation of Earth
  • Eastward Ho!
  • Null-P
  • The Masculinist Revolt
  • Brooklyn Project

Some Odd Ones:

  • Child's Play
  • Wednesday's Child
  • My Mother Was a Witch
  • The Lemon-Green Spaghetti-Loud Dynamite Dribble Day
  • The Tenants
  • Generation of Noah
  • Down Among the Dead Men

The Future:

  • Time in Advance
  • The Sickness
  • Servant Problem
  • A Man of Family
  • The Jester
  • Project Hush
  • Winthrop Was Stubborn

Out There:

  • The Dark Star
  • Consulate
  • The Last Bounce
  • Venus Is a Man's World
  • Alexander the Bait
  • The Custodian
  • On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi

Between them, the collections will include all the stories that appeared in the Tenn collections published in the 1950s and 1960s by Ballantine (The Human Angle, Of All Possible Worlds, The Seven Sexes, The Square Root of Man and The Wooden Star. They will also include the contents of Time in Advance as well as a number of stories that have never before been included in any Tenn collections (such as "On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi") and the novel Of Men and Monsters.

William Tenn

William Tenn was the pen name of London-born Philip Klass. He emigrated to America in the early '20s with his parents. He began writing in 1945 after being discharged from the Army, and his first story, "Alexander the Bait," was published a year later. His stories and articles have been widely anthologized, a number of them in best-of-the-year collections. He was a professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, where he taught — among other things — a popular course in science fiction. In 1999, he was honored as Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at the Nebula Awards Banquet in Pittsburgh. In 2003, he was the guest of honor at Capclave. In 2004, he was a guest of honor at Noreascon 4, the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention.

He lived with his wife Fruma in suburban Pittsburgh with several cats and many books. He died on February 7, 2010, of congestive heart failure.

He is not the Philip J. Klass who wrote for Aviation Week and Space Technology (and died in 2005).

Edited by Mary Tabasko and James A. Mann
Cover art by H.R. Van Dongen

Other NESFA Press titles by William Tenn

Here Comes CivilizationHere Comes Civilization

Dancing NakedDancing Naked