Science Fictionisms Compiled by William Rotsler

Peregrine Smith Books

Review by James Walton

The blurb on the cover of Science Fictionisms says "Quotes from great science fiction writers" as opposed to "Great quotes from great science fiction writers." There is definitely nothing great about this book.

Mr. Rotsler lists the quotes under such headings as Witticisms, Futurisms, Lifeisms, and Physicsisms. The order underneath the headings seems to be quite arbitrary though, with the quotes arranged to look good on the pages.

He fails to cite the source and context of these quotes, that is, which book/character or which speech. This is important because many authors have their characters say and do things which are totally at odds with the author's point of view. (In fact Rotsler quotes Larry Niven on this very subject: "We in the writing profession have this technical term for people who attribute the opinions of the characters to the author himself; we call them idiots.")

Many of the quotes in Rotsler's book are useless without a context and some are downright sinister. ("Anybody who'd kill my wife for what I could afford is too stupid to avoid arrest." Alexis A. Gilliland.)

This volume is more of a curiosity than a learned text. I suspect Mr. Rotsler recorded most of these quotes while sitting in bars with the authors. He may have been better served concentrating on his drinking.

You can safely give this one a pass.

Return to Review Indexes by author or reviewer.

Click here to return to the SIGMA mainpage.

This page maintained by Greg Armstrong