The following posts include (1) "footnotes" for The Doris Piserchia Website (link at left), (2) texts-in-process that will eventually appear there, (3) texts from other websites, and (we hope) (4) stimulating discussion threads. The picture to the left is the back cover of The Spinner (book club edition), depicting a citizen of Eastland "hanging out" while Ekler the cop and Rune the idiot-superman look on.
The blog Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations examines two Doris Piserchia novels. Its review of Doomtime appeared on Amazon a while back and can be read here. (For some reason the uber-tree Tedron is spelled Tendron in the new version of the review.)
In addition, the blog features a review of A Billion Days of Earth:
"Doris Piserchia’s A Billion Days of Earth (1976) is a whimsical, disturbing, and stunningly inventive science fiction novel. This is the second and by far the best of her novels I’ve read (A Billion Days of Earth surpasses Doomtime (1981) in virtually every regard). Not only are the characters better drawn but the plot isn’t as easily derailed by repetitious actions. That said, she isn’t always the best at plotting but her imaginative worldscapes and bizarre creatures more than compensate."
The present blog greatly likes Doomtime and humbly disagrees with this assessment.
SF Gateway, ebook publisher of Doris Piserchia's fiction, has added a photo of her to its author page. Since discovering her fiction almost 40 years ago, and working on this website (off and on, mostly off) for nearly 20, I've never seen a photo of her, so this is intriguing. I'm personally conflicted about photos, especially in the facial recognition/selfie era, but realize they are a time-honored part of book promotion. Science fiction, as a "disreputable" paperback genre, was mostly anonymous back in the day. The "image" promoted was some weird world that somehow just sprang into existence. Nevertheless, one of my favorite books is Patti Perret's The Faces of Science Fiction, which lovingly depicted the most obscure authors in their mansions or trailers, depending on their career arc. Piserchia is as strong as I imagined her.
Looking back at a post I wrote 17 years ago (good grief, has it been that long?), I've had some second thoughts. I was chiding Doris Piserchia for not using the internet to get her stories out there, at a point where they'd been out of print for 20 years. Her approach was to protect her copyrights and let people find the work in libraries and used book stores. In hindsight, with all her books back in circulation as e-books from a major publisher, she was right and I was wrong. At the time I wrote the post I was net-bullish in a way I am not now, post-Snowden and Zuckerberg. Holding the work back, especially when it had already been published in the big leagues, and waiting for publishers to come back around to her, was the right way to go.
Justin E.A. Busch publishes a small fanzine (as in physically small -- each issue is 4 1/2 x 3 inches) called Dreams Renewed: Essays on Rediscovering Neglected Pleasures of Fantastic Fiction. His first issue discusses Doris Piserchia's 1981 novel Earth in Twilight. Here's an excerpt:
Some critics bracketed [Piserchia] with the New Wave. [Her] breathlessly paced prose, combined with an underlying sense of anger about humanity's indifference to its own destructive choices and actions, does occasionally resonate with the tone of Michael Moorcock's New Worlds. Now, though, it is clear that she is really a literary descendant of A.E. Van Vogt, pursuing complicated plots across vividly imagined landscapes portrayed through constantly shifting perspectives. Her aliens, especially, act in ways bizarre in a human context commonsensical on their own mental and physical terms. Unlike most of Van Vogt's work, though, Piserchia's is imbued with a mordant sense of humor, which adds an appealing touch of grotesquerie at apposite moments...
For information on this and other essays in the Dreams Renewed series, write to Justin E.A. Busch, 308 Prince St., #422, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101.
Star Rider, German book cover, found on the Bookogs site (shouldn't that be Bibliogs?).
The edition was 1980, which kind of explains the vaguely punk/new wave image, which misconstrues the novel (Jaks didn't fly through space, they rode dimension-hopping space animals).
Weird nipples, and some kind of nipple-like growth on the thigh -- what's all that about?