There is a spectre haunting the science fiction genre—the spectre of Barry N. Malzberg.
In a genre that, with one hand, claimed to be the ultimate storehouse of innovation, and with the other, leveled strict rules for writing and codes of narrative conduct onto its authors, Malzberg stuck out like a forked tongue, composing works of bona fide literature that dwarfed the efforts of his contemporaries and established him as one of science fiction’s most dynamic enfant terribles.
Originally published in 1975, Galaxies is a masterwork of the Malzberg canon, which includes over fifty novels and collections. Metafictional, absurdist and sardonic, the book mounts a concerted attack against the market forces that prescribed SF of the 1970s and continue to prescribe it today. At the same time, the book tells a story of technology and cyborgs, of bureaucracy and tachyons, of love and hate and sadness . . .
Despite his deviant literary antics, Malzberg could not be ignored by the SF community, winning the first annual John W. Campbell Memorial Award and receiving nominations for numerous other accolades in the genre. Nonetheless his writing has not received the attention it so profoundly deserves.
Galaxies is among the works listed in acclaimed SF editor David Pringle’s Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, published in 1985. With an introduction by Jack Dann, this special anti-oedipal paperback edition ushers Malzberg’s genius into the twenty-first century.
BARRY N. MALZBERG is an American writer, editor and agent. His prolific career has spanned numerous genres, most notably crime and science fiction. Malzberg was particularly active in the SF scene of the early seventies, although he became disillusioned with the market forces defining the field and has rarely published SF works since. His most recent activity in the field has been in the form of advice columns for writers in the quarterly magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Malzberg won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for his novel Beyond Apollo in 1973. Over the years, his writing has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, among others.
"There are possibly a dozen genius writers in the genre of the imaginative, and Barry Malzberg is at least eight of them. Malzberg makes what the rest of us do look like felonies!" —HARLAN ELLISON
"Malzberg makes persuasively clear that the best of science fiction should be valued as literature and nothing else." —THE WASHINGTON POST
"One of the finest practitioners of science fiction." —HARRY HARRISON
"Barry N. Malzberg's writing is unparalleled in its intensity and in its apocalyptic sensibility. His detractors consider him bleakly monotonous and despairing, but he is a master of black humor, and is one of the few writers to have used science fiction's vocabulary of ideas extensively as apparatus in psychological landscapes, dramatizing relationships between the human mind and its social environment in an SF theater of the absurd." —THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION
"The writer who attempts to use the SF mythos as Malzberg has is bedeviled by the inappropriateness of the 'rules' pertaining to the production and consumption of mass-produced fiction." —BRIAN STABLEFORD
"Malzberg is a true hero." —THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
"There is no one, with the possible exception of Philip K. Dick, whose works, each one of them, are so unpredictable or so outrageous and outraged." —THEODORE STURGEON
"Barry Malzberg is one of science fiction's most literate and erudite writers." —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW