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We Who Are About To...
Joanna Russ; Samuel R. Delany, intro.




Wesleyan
2005 • 144 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Science Fiction / Women's Studies

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6759-8



“This is an important science fiction novel.” The New York Times Book Review

One woman’s quest to die with dignity may doom them all.

A multi-dimensional explosion hurls the starship’s few passengers across the galaxies and onto an uncharted barren tundra. With no technical skills and scant supplies, the survivors face a bleak end in an alien world. One brave woman holds the daring answer, but it is the most desperate one possible.

Elegant and electric, We Who Are About To... brings us face to face with our basic assumptions about our will to live. While most of the stranded tourists decide to defy the odds and insist on colonizing the planet and creating life, the narrator decides to practice the art of dying. When she is threatened with compulsory reproduction, she defends herself with lethal force. Originally published in 1977, this is one of the most subtle, complex, and exciting science fiction novels ever written about the attempt to survive a hostile alien environment. It is characteristic of Russ’s genius that such a readable novel is also one of her most intellectually intricate.

Reviews / Endorsements

“One of the pioneers and luminaries of women’s science fiction!”—K.A. Laity, MS. Magazine

“If this were a film it could be one of Peckinpah’s, violent, self-indulgent, obsessively contemptuous of humanity, nihilistic and fascinating.”Publishers Weekly

“Wesleyan University Press, fortunately, has seen fit to reissue [We Who Are About To...] in a handsome trade-paperback edition. ... This is an important book. Read it afresh and let it speak to you.”New York Review of Science Fiction

Despite her small output – five novels, four short story collection and a novella – Russ’s achievement was huge. Noted for her contribution to feminist science fiction, Russ’s power also lies in her critique of the science fiction dream, particularly immortality among the stars.—BBC Radio 4, Seriously… “10 Women Who Changed Science Fiction,” web tie-in to Herland radio documentary“Perhaps the most subtle, complex, and exciting science fiction novel ever written about the attempt to survive a hostile alien environment. It is characteristic of Russ’s genius that her most sheerly readable novel is also one of her most intellectually intricate.”Carl Freedman, author of Critical Theory and Science Fiction

We Who Are About To… is a seminal work that punctures many science fiction myths; it is about the hubris of humanity and the imperialist mission. It reminds us that maybe we aren’t necessary, that the imperative to keep reproducing is irrational.” Farah Mendlesohn, editor of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction



Best known for her novel The Female Man, JOANNA RUSS is the author of 16 books, many short stories, and several journal articles dealing with subjects of science fiction, feminism, and writing. She lives in Arizona. SAMUEL R. DELANY is a novelist living in New York who has won both Hugo and Nebula awards.



Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:28:00 -0500