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Authors: Pamela Sargent

Behind the Eyes of Dreamers

BOOK: Behind the Eyes of Dreamers






“Sargent is a sensitive writer of characterization rather than cosmic gimmickry.”

Publishers Weekly

“One of the genre's greatest writers.”

The Washington Post Book World

“Pamela Sargent is an explorer, an innovator. She's always a few years ahead of the pack.”

—David Brin, award-winning author of the Uplift Saga

“Over the years, I've come to expect a great deal from Pamela Sargent. Her worlds are deeply and thoroughly imagined.”

—Orson Scott Card, author of
Ender's Game

“Pamela Sargent's cool, incisive eye is as sharp at long range, visionary tales as it is when inspecting our foreground future. She's one of our best.”

—Gregory Benford, astrophysicist and author of
Foundation's Fear

“If you have not read Pamela Sargent, then you should make it your business to do so at once. She is in many ways a pioneer, both as a novelist and as a short story writer. … She is one of the best.”

—Michael Moorcock, author of
Elric of Melniboné

“[Sargent is] a consummate professional [who] exhibits an unswerving consistency of craft.”

The Washington Post Book World

Alien Child

“An excellent piece of work—the development of the mystery … is well done. Ms. Sargent's work … is always of interest and this book adds to her stature as a writer.”

—Andre Norton, author of the Solar Queen series

“Count on Pamela Sargent to write a science fiction novel that is both entertaining and true to human emotion. I wish I had had this book when I was a teen because all the loneliness, all the alienation, all the apartness I felt from my family would have made more sense.”

—Jane Yolen, author of
The Devil's Arithmetic
Cards of Grief

“This story of Nita, a girl growing up in an insulated environment where she gradually comes to realize that she might be the last person left on Earth, has conflict and suspense from the beginning. … Vividly depicted.”

School Library Journal

“This finely crafted work never falters with false resolution. … An honest and compelling examination of ‘What if …?'”

Publishers Weekly

“An engaging narrative in Sargent's capable hands. An essence of otherworldliness is present in the gentle guardians, and since Sven and Nita are raised solely by the two aliens, there is a freshness in their perceptions of their own species. … Clearly and simply presented—thoughtful—a worthy addition to any SF collection.”

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“Sargent does not lower her standards when she writes young adult fiction. Like the best of young adult writers, her artistic standards remain as high as ever, while her standards of clarity and concision actually rise. … The intelligence and resourcefulness she showed in
The Shore of Women
are undiminished in
Alien Child

—Orson Scott Card, author of
Ender's Game

“Thoughtful, serious, and written without condescension, the novel contains all of the qualities we have come to expect from this author.”

Science Fiction Chronicle

The Golden Space

“Pamela Sargent deals with big themes—genetic engineering, immortality, the ultimate fate of humanity—but she deals with them in the context of individual human lives.
The Golden Space
reminds me of Olaf Stapledon in the breadth of its vision, and of Kate Wilhelm in its ability to make characters, even humans in the strangest forms, seem like real people.”

—James Gunn, writer and director of the film
Guardians of the Galaxy

The Golden Space
is a major intellectual achievement of SF literature. It will not be possible for any honest story of immortality hereafter to ignore it; it is a landmark.”

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“Brilliantly handled—all of us have got to hand an accolade to the author.”

—A. E. van Vogt, author of
The World of Null-A

“Sargent writes well, the many ideas are fresh, and their handling is intelligent to the extreme.”

—Asimov's Science Fiction

“What next, after universal immortality becomes a fact of life? Pamela Sargent's brilliant book,
The Golden Space
, shatters the imaginative barrier that has held stories about immortality to a simplistic pasticcio of boredom, degeneration, and suicide.”

The Seattle Times

The Mountain Cage

“[Sargent] is one of our field's true virtuosos, and in
The Mountain Cage: and Other Stories
she gives us thirteen stunning performances, a valuable addition to a repertoire that I hope will keep on growing.”

—James Morrow, author of
Only Begotten Daughter

The Shore of Women

“That rare creature, a perfect book.”

—Orson Scott Card, author of
Ender's Game

“A cautionary tale, well-written, with excellent characterization, a fine love story, as well as much food for thought … An elegant science fiction novel.”

—Anne McCaffrey, author of the Pern series

“Pamela Sargent gives meticulous attention to a believable scenario. … A captivating tale both from the aspect of the lessons that the author tries to impart and from the skills she has used to tell it.”

Rocky Mountain News

“How many perfect science fiction novels have I read? Not many. There are at most three or four such works in a decade. Pamela Sargent's
The Shore of Women
is one of the few perfect novels of the 1980s. … Her story of a woman exiled from a safe high-tech city of women, the man ordered by the gods to kill her, and their search for a place of safety, is powerful, beautiful, and true.”

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“A compelling and emotionally involving novel.”

Publishers Weekly

“I applaud Ms. Sargent's ambition and admire the way she has unflinchingly pursued the logic of her vision.”

The New York Times

Ruler of the Sky

“This formidably researched and exquisitely written novel is surely destined to be known hereafter as the definitive history of the life and times and conquests of Genghis, mightiest of Khans.”

—Gary Jennings, bestselling author of

“Scholarly without ever seeming pedantic, the book is fascinating from cover to cover and does admirable justice to a man who might very well be called history's single most important character.”

—Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, anthropologist and author of
Reindeer Moon

Child of Venus

“Masterful … as in previous books, Sargent brings her world to life with sympathetic characters and crisp concise language.”

Publishers Weekly

Behind the Eyes of Dreamers
and Other Short Novels
Pamela Sargent


To Martin H. Greenberg and John Helfers, riders to the rescue more than once




Introduction by George Zebrowski



The time is now long past when I have to worry about repeating the vast praise given to Pamela Sargent for her work from critics and reviewers, and from sources as diverse as Michael Bishop, Gahan Wilson, Gregory Benford, James Morrow, Harlan Ellison, and George Alec Effinger. If I extended this list, I would have no room in this introduction for anything else. They all say what I have always known—that Pamela Sargent is one of the best living writers of any kind.

Although for many years she was not even nominated for a single award, and has been the subject of laughably misguided reviews, it was a continued sign of her influence and acceptance that she was long believed to have been nominated for and won awards. I had listened to writers complain in her company that they had never won an award, despite having been nominated often, and watched their jaws drop when she calmly told them that she had never been on a final ballot. This, of course, kept her out of membership in “the Nebula Award losers club,” which she cannot join even today, because she won when she was nominated for the first time.

She was nominated for and won other awards in the 1990s, and the praise continues at a high level; but Pamela Sargent does not promote herself and belongs to no clique. She finds asking another writer for a jacket comment distasteful. She has never attended a writing workshop. At one time this was thought to be shyness on her part, but the shyness was only the superficial sign of something deeper and stronger—an individualism that has always known that in matters of achievement we must all stand alone. No one can write the story or novel for you; no one can see, feel, and think as you do; and this individuality is all that an artist has to offer. Dilute it with too many other voices and that uniqueness is destroyed. Too many human activities are imitative and unnecessary in their repetitiveness. Likewise, activities that make the garnering of praise an overly collective, political skill, risk the reward of overpraise, even of lies.

Sargent’s prose style reflects her sturdy individualism. Electric currents of feeling and thought flow through her stories, sometimes overwhelming readers who expect something more amiable; but whether they like the work or not, they are not likely to forget it. Sargent opens up human hearts as few writers of science fiction have ever done, and she does so with a spare, flinty, gritty, sometimes nervous prose that does not tolerate the lazy reader.

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