Book Review: The Empty People, Barry N. Malzberg (as K. M. O’Donnell) (1969)

Great book review!

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

P1050045

(Howard Winters’ cover for the 1969 edition)

3.5/5 (Good)

“Inspecting a few she found that they were about what she had expected: the science-fiction books seemed to be full of nonsense about extraterrestrials or flights into space, the damnedest silliest stuff imaginable, and the sex part was sheer filth.  There was no question about it; there was no other way to describe those books” (12).

Science fiction as delusion.  More specifically, chapters replete with SF plots with evil aliens with interchangeable names and megalomaniacal claims to power culled straight from the pulps are delusions.  Imagined (perhaps?) by an average American man with “metastases” (14) growing in his brain while a concerned, albeit cheating, normal American housewife waits at his bedside.  The Empty People (1969) is considered Barry N. Malzberg’s (writing at K. M. O’Donnell) first SF novel.  However in the vein of his more famous Herovit’s World(1973), the most convincing interpretation of the novel suggests…

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Empty People, Barry N. Malzberg (as K. M. O’Donnell) (1969)

      1. Well hopefully not this one…. I was pretty clear on the warning 😉

        Read his more famous works like Beyond Apollo (1972) first. Then, if you like that (BIZARRE METAFICTION) then you can tackle some of his lesser known stuff.

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