Reviews: Davin, Eric Leif

A curate’s egg

Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction 1926-1965 — Eric Leif Davin

Gary Farber occasionally cites 2006’s Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction 1926-1965, a text by Eric Leif Davin on the history of women in science fiction. This is a topic that interests me, but I’d never gotten around to tracking down a copy of the book. Then one of the Sadly Rabid Puppy fans, cited it favourably in File770’s comment threads on the current unpleasantness. That made me go “hmmm” while stroking my beard in a way that I hope makes me look thoughtful and not as though I have a flea infestation. It occurred to me that my collection of library cards includes one for the local academic libraries and that this is exactly the sort of book on SF such libraries might have.

What I found was a curate’s egg, a text ranging from useful to dire and often genuinely interesting—as long as you ignore the loud sound of ax-grinding in the background.

A warning: I treat non-fiction as a collection of linked essays. This is one of my longer reviews.

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