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NASA's disregard for Evans' physical and mental well-being while remaining focused on what's next after the moon seems to be the point at which Malzberg is aiming his critical guns, and no better a tragic figure could exemplify that than a crazy Evans. Then again, it could be just the fictionally artful diatribe of space program dissenter A thin book at pages but with 67 chapters , it is a quick but powerful read.
Dense, allusive, cutting yet indirect in its commentary, the novel is a prime example of New Wave science fiction that transcends the genre. Beyond Apollo , contrary to the overwhelming majority of science fiction, is not, in fact a traditional story. Fiction, yes, but the structure of the book is a collage of perspectives not all of which, if any, amalgamate coherently. Ostensibly insane, Evans has been institutionalized by the space program in an attempt to draw from him the truth about what went wrong on the mission. What happened to Captain Josephson?
Was he murdered?
Beyond Apollo by Barry Malzberg
Did he commit suicide? How did events transpire? With Evans fully willing to speak his mind, the problem is winnowing the truth from his thoughts. Beyond Apollo is a light shone through a crystal. The reader never gets to see the crystal or the light, only the resulting refraction. Appearing in all colors and luminosities, Evans account of the Venus trip is anything but linear or concrete, and is something the reader must be prepared for.
Certainly off-putting to most mainstream genre readers, it requires an inquisitive mind to absorb the voices, perspectives, and perceptions and ponder how they fit together to form possible realities. An artistic novel, Malzberg paints a literary picture of the space program in cynical, mercurial hues. Evans the symbol of what Malzberg imagines a trip to Venus to mean for a human, he punishes the character physically sexually and psychologically near schizophrenia —drives him to insanity in fact—as a result of the mission.
Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Beyond Apollo, winner of the John Campbell Award, finds Harry Evans as the lone survivor of the first Venus expedition, a space journey that went disastrously wrong.
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Mass Market Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Harry M. John W. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Beyond Apollo , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 07, mark monday rated it really liked it Recommended to mark by: Nate D. Shelves: scifisss , new-wave , sexathon , rain-man-reviews , new-dimensions.
Under this theory, the rationalization for space exploration became preposterous. One would have been better off accepting from the beginning the internal truth of oneself or, failing that, seeking competent care in an institution where for relaxation cryptograms, hairgrayers, puzzles, and sexual biography would serve the essential purposes while keeping allotted time free for introspection and the consideration of inner space.
Dec 19, Bradley rated it it was amazing Shelves: reality-bending , shelf , sci-fi.
Beyond Apollo by Barry Malzberg
This here is a very unusual novel. Most of the time I read it, I was equally disgusted and remorseful for the kinds of pathetic sexualizations that came out of the early 70's. Being a New Wave SF novel, thoroughly in league with the heyday's literary works of "genius" in that the complicated concerns of mainstream knocked heads with a heavily SFnal landscape, I shouldn't have guessed otherwise.
Sexuality was always made so large that they became frankly absurd. And the best novels turned this on This here is a very unusual novel. And the best novels turned this on its head and gave us Pure Absurdity. I think Beyond Apollo, which might rightfully be renamed Beyond Venus, is one of those novels. The fixation on sex is fully intentional every step of the way.
It's rife with a lack of self-awareness and hyperawareness, impotence and hyperpotence, guilt and anger with his wife and wanting relations with his male captain, and possibly murder.
Multiple murders. In all kinds of ways. On the surface, it's just a failed expedition to Venus in a two-man capsule and trying to come to terms with being the only survivor. Things get REALLY weird like an LSD trip when the MC tells us he will write the story as a novel, starts mixing his identities, gets super fixated on sex, aliens living on Venus, his multiple failures and rationalizations, his horrible marriage, and even the possibility that all of outer space is just a story we just made up.
That timelines are like revisions in the story. That the universe is nothing more than a meta-fiction. That time travel, the re-ordering of the Solar-System, and a sense that everything is as malleable as virtual reality is a major question If not always consistently great, it is nonetheless brilliant. I'm willing to hate it a little while appreciating just how it always keeps us teetering on the edge of full collapse. Who knows? I love to hate it a little, too.
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But damn View all 6 comments. Sep 20, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: award-winner-campbell , award-nominee-campbell , multiple-award-nominee , award-nominee-locus , sf-explore-colonize-1st-contact.
Arguably Barry Malzberg's finest novel and certainly the one he is most remembered for. A one of a kind novel that is "unlike" any other novel I have ever read. Certainly not "light" reading but one that has stayed with me even though it has been years since I first read it. Winner: John W. I just re-read the novel on January 21, , and the novel has not lost any of its powe 5. I just re-read the novel on January 21, , and the novel has not lost any of its power. May 19, Nate D rated it really liked it Recommends it for: plummeting into the sun.
Shelves: post-modernism , read-in , sci-fi , 70s-delerium , favorites. Continuing project: pinpointing the more outre instances of new wave science fictional experimentation. While on the one hand there's a certain sense here that the hyper-prolific, wildly uneven Malzberg may simply be re-routing various post-modern narrative discoveries of his time, on the other, the post-modern discoveries of his time are actually very well suited to conveying his story: of psychological deterioration and narrative fragmentation under the extreme stress and confinement of space Continuing project: pinpointing the more outre instances of new wave science fictional experimentation.
While on the one hand there's a certain sense here that the hyper-prolific, wildly uneven Malzberg may simply be re-routing various post-modern narrative discoveries of his time, on the other, the post-modern discoveries of his time are actually very well suited to conveying his story: of psychological deterioration and narrative fragmentation under the extreme stress and confinement of space travel. Written in and set in , this one one of those odd cases, like Dhalgren, when one of a writer's most experimental works may be their best known deals with the collapse of the hopes of the space program.
The Apollo program was ultimately unfulfilling, a subsequent Mars mission has gone wrong , and now our narrator has just returned from the two-man venus mission, alone and apparently unable to come up with the truth of his experiences to convey to his superiors.
Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Malzberg
Instead, he supplies a constant stream of garbled memory, fabricated endings, possible explanations, general disconsolation about the collapse of his marriage just prior to and concurrent with the mission, other psychosexual disturbance a favorite with Malzberg narrators making it difficult to extract whether its Malzberg or his avatars who seem to have an iffy relationship with the opposite sex -- and then, of course, notes towards the novel he hopes to write to at last disclose the full experience of the trip, which may be the one the reader is holding.
But it's not just a haphazarding of fragments of narrative possibility although that may be the essential form , but a deeper sense of structure comes through. In particular, the intimations that it all could just be yet another simulation designed to pinpoint psychological instability pre-mission or else, it's not but the stresses of similar tests create instability in any member of the space program pre mission.
Or better yet, where does the warping effect of the mission give off and where begins the warping effect of the chillingly undescribed "mechanical interrogation" that the frustrated Program resorts to?
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