A Conversation larger than the Universe
Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017
by Henry Wessells
“erudite and altogether fascinating . . . In the year of Frankenstein’s bicentennial, this is essential reading”
— Publishers Weekly
“Wessells is fascinated not only by books as objects, but by their contents as well: he’s widely and deeply read in the field, and his ‘conversations’ with these books feel exactly like that.”
— Gary K. Wolfe, Locus
A Conversation larger than the Universe is an exhibition that will be on view at The Grolier Club in New York City from 25 January 2018 through 10 March 2018. 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 will allow the viewer to 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.
In connection with the exhibition, a one-day Symposium on Science Fiction with a panel of distinguished authors, editors, and scholars will be held on Tuesday 6 March, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Further details will be announced in January.
Henry Wessells is an antiquarian bookseller in New York City and author of Another green world (2003) and Extended Range (2015). A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Science Fiction, his work has appeared in Nature, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Wormwood, Interzone, The Washington Post Book World, and other publications. He is also editor and bibliographer of American science fiction author Avram Davidson.
A Conversation larger than the Universe. Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017, an illustrated collection of essays to accompany the exhibition, including a descriptive checklist of the materials on view, will be published by The Grolier Club in January 2018. The book includes ‘A Hatful of Adjectives’, an original Foreword by John Crowley. Book design by Jerry Kelly. Several sections of the book will appear in Wormwood, Foundation, and The New York Review of Science Fiction in advance of book publication.
Size : 6 x 9 inches, trade paperback, pictorial wrappers with french flaps. 288 pp. With more than 100 illustrations; index. ISBN 978-1-60583-074-2. Price: $35.00.
Preorder from the distributor: Oak Knoll Books, New Castle, Delaware (delivery in early February).
Announcing the subscriber edition of A Conversation larger than the Universe:
A Conversation larger than the Universe. Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017
By Henry Wessells
Foreword by John Crowley
With an original short short story, Reading in Public, by Michael Swanwick.
Published by Temporary Culture in an edition of 75 copies.
6 x 9 inches, 288 pp. With more than 100 illustrations; index.
Hand bound in sand cloth with letterpress label, signed by the authors.
With: Reading in Public (sewn in wrappers, signed by the author).
Price: $300.00 (postpaid in U.S.; overseas add $30.00). Institutional subscribers will be billed.
The book is printed and is in transit. Delivery of the hand bound issue expected by mid-March.
Note: Reading in Public is original to this edition and does not form part of the trade edition.
Inquiries to : wessells [at] panix [dot] com .
Temporary Culture, P.O.B. 43072, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043 USA.