“erudite and altogether fascinating . . . In the year of Frankenstein’s bicentennial, this is essential reading” — Publishers Weekly.
“an extremely valuable book about what we think of the fantastic and why . . . Wessells knows and loves books, and he knows how to write about them. This is an important book.”
— Andy Sawyer, in Foundation: the international review of science fiction.
A Conversation larger than the Universe. Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017 is an illustrated collection of essays published to accompany the first Grolier Club exhibition of science fiction. A Conversation larger than the Universe is a history of science fiction in seventy literary artefacts and a highly personal tour through the bookshelves of Henry Wessells. The books (many signed or inscribed by their authors), magazines, manuscripts, letters, and artwork date from the mid-eighteenth century to the present and explore the ideas and people that have defined the literatures of the fantastic, from Mary Shelley and H. G. Wells to Philip K. Dick, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree, Jr., and William Gibson, as well as works by W. H. Hudson, Richard Jefferies, and others not so widely known today. Beginning with the origins of science fiction in the Gothic, this ‘Conversation’ contemplates topics such as the End of the World (and After), Imaginary Voyages, Dystopia, Women Authors, Literary Innovation, Humor, the Sixties, Rock ’n’ Roll, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, and what’s happening in science fiction and the fantastic right now. The exhibition adopts a broad description of Science Fiction encompassing Fantasy and Horror as well as bibliography and scholarship in the field.
With a descriptive checklist of the materials on view at the Club from 25 January to 10 March 2018. The book includes ‘A Hatful of Adjectives’, an original Foreword by John Crowley.
Book design by Jerry Kelly. ISBN 978-1-60583-074-2