Edition 46 - featuring the works of John Foyster PDF Print E-mail

Volume 17, No. 2. Feb 2009

ISSN 0314-6677; ABN 64-276-646-616


  • Editorial (copy below)
  • "Wake Up, You Lot!": John Foyster as SF Critic - Bruce Gillespie
    read an excerpt.

John Foyster on J.G. Ballard

  • Gabriel, Not Ghod
  • Review of The Terminal Beach
  • A Note on J.G. Ballard: Some Recent Short Stories
  • Letters on Foyster's Attitude to Ballard (from James Blish and Michael Moorcock)
  • A Note on J.G. Ballard: Three Novels - The Drowned World, The Burning World, The Crystal World
  • J.G. Ballard Versus the Incredible Shrinking Publication
  • The Fauve Thigs and Finagles of Mr B.: A Review of The Atrocity Exhibition
  • Science Fiction Versus Life

The John Foyster Funeral (Transcript)



This issue of Science Fiction has a special focus on the work of Australian sf critic John Foyster (1941-2003).


I like to think I knew John Foyster, yet as far as I can recall, I never actually met him. I have undoubtedly been in the same room as him (particularly during the 1985 Worldcon in Melbourne), but I don’t think we ever spoke or shook hands. I knew him because we shared the belief that science fiction was important, and I knew him because he, like me, was reading and engaging with the fiction of J.G. Ballard.

For me, Ballard’s strange world of exoticism and deviant logic was emotionally and intellectually exciting … but also puzzling, challenging, unsettling. These were the kinds of books that offered a rope-bridge of understanding across vast chasms – but the understanding only became solid through discussion, questioning, conversation. So I talked about Ballard with my friend Terry Dowling (it’s fair to say that Ballard and sf founded our friendship) and I engaged with Ballard through the reviews of John Foyster. (It’s fair to say that my respect for the art and craft of book reviewing owes a very great deal to Foyster [and to long-time Sydney Morning Herald sf reviewer William Noonan].)

This issue would never have come into existence without the help of Bruce Gillespie and Yvonne Rousseau, who helped to point me toward materials, photos, and various pieces of information I would have never uncovered alone. My gratitude to them is immense.

I hope that for readers this issue will be the same journey of re-discovery and re-acquaintance (there’s a difference…) that it has been for me.

- Van Ikin

Cover design and portrait by Dane Ikin

Last Updated on Monday, 07 December 2009 11:09
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