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The Heat Death of the Universe and Other StoriesLd college notebooksmy apologies for all the grammatical errors but I will just copy my review word for wordthe problem with this story is that it has no purpose other to vent the authors purposelessnessthe story has no moral nor a message of hope One wonders if the author wrote this for sympathy to expound on the drab dull trivial existence of suburban iving in the hopes #that a reader can agree that in a of Sugar Frosted Flakes and cancer is is a ot of #a can agree that in a world of Sugar Frosted Flakes and cancer is is a Desejo Indomado (To Tame A Playboy, lot of This piece being written in 1967 was a caricature coinciding of the immense changes occurring in the world at that time On a general socialevel people were beginning to become a integrated ecological animal with their world Books such as the Greening of America were written examining the so called Counter Culture with its emphasis on natural holistic foods communing with nature and breaking away from the sterility of the world of Sarah Boyle who has so Dangerously Attractive (Harlequin Intrigue little meaning in herife she can t even remember how many kids she has and is so bored she Mistress labels and numbers the separate objects and items with her own household This story is jump on the bandwagon of how aware people thought they were by recognizing theifelessness of a TV dominated pre packaged Instant Everything society Sarah Boyle is so out of touch with what she could or might be she buys every available cleaning antisepticory sic device in the market a manic depressant compulsion to belong to a schizophrenic world that caused her disunity between mind and bodyIt is a story of helplessness and a faint detection that something is not uite right in Cinderella Story Part 2 (36 Hours) life children eating food that only mostly causes tooth decay while choking on plastic toys unseen as gifts amongst the food It is a world of routine of paralysis towards theife force Sarah s pet turtle is dying but all she can do is watch it die as she writes HELP help help help on her modern day appliances totally impotent to changeEssentially Zoline s antiseptic ife world is the scapegoat for the purposelessness of the victims of that world With no solutions or alternatives to that drudgery but hysterical violent destruction of it Zoline s approach to a solution is only infantile and base adolescent Need is apparent for change out of the ife style but the only hope Zoline can offer is death and destruction This view is very pessimistic and childish and is indicative of a A Doctor, a Nurse, a Christmas Baby lack of insight and power of a foresightful visionistic mind on the part of Zoline Accordingly destruction is one course of action to change the course of an existence of a frustrated Sarah Boyle type character but it is only a reflection of theack of purpose hope and meaning that the author imparts to us Recognition of a malady is the first step towards recovery and cure but spitefulness towards the sickness will never remove it only remedies will And until there are remedies or even uests or searches for remedies and Zoline doesn t even give us a glint of those we will only be presented with despair futility anxiety and purposelessness which is the essence of the short story The Heat Death of the Universe by PA Zoline too depressing for my taste Makes Plath seem upbeat for The Heat Death of the Universe It is a shame we only have one collection from Zoline The title story alone makes this worth seeking out The Heat Death of the Universe is one of my very favorite short storie. Ase of Fire 1985Sheep 1981Busy about the Tree of Life 198. ,

H Boyle imagines in her mind s eye cleaning and ordering the whole world even the Universe Filling the great spaces of Space with a marvelous sweet smelling deep cleansing foam Deodorizing rank caves and volcanoes Scrubbing rocks The story holds up as feminist fiction as psychological fiction as a successful example of where mucking around with structure actually serves the story It s not what I would call science fiction but I can see why it s Zoline S Best Known Work Why Only s best known work why only publications were interested in it and why readers at the time took noticeThe other story I iked was The Holland of the Mind about a young American couple who move to Holland with their young daughter He s a freelance writer she doesn t work and they end up just kind of floating through Her Kind Of Cowboy life andetting the forces of the world around them tear them slowly to shreds As with Heat Death the structure is odd interlaced with tourist guide blurbs phrasebook translations historic factoids Again the structural oddness works in this story because it matches the theme and the central metaphor the troubled mind is His Pregnant Christmas Princess like Holland which has to constantly maintain dams and dikes to keep the forces of destruction at bayBy theast two stories Zoline s style was starting to feel gimmicky and excruciatingly boring Sheep is the Through the Language Glass longest and by far the strangest in the collection There are several strands of what couldoosely be termed a plot but the piece seems mostly to exist to create a sort of iminal wakey dreamy state for the reader with the repetition of counting sheep while simulating the odd and meaningless productions our mind s theater throws at us when we re on the edge of slumber Ten pages of this and I could #have nodded sagely and said ah yes how very artistic and smart you #nodded sagely and said ah yes how very artistic and smart you Ms Zoline But 80 pages just felt ike a coordinated assault on my tenacity as a reader I made it through but barely and I m sure I missed most of the Private Arrangements (Forged of Steele, literary nuance of the thingTheast story Busy About the Tree of Life was entertaining for awhile and also if you suint maaaybe a tiny bit science fictional It starts with a young child Gabriel who is being raised alone in some sort of facility overseen by scientists We never You Are Not A Gadget learn than that and that s as close to SF as it gets Most of the story follows four generations of Gabriel s ancestors starting with all 16 of his great great grandparents Every single one of his progenitors dies young in some horrific tragedy the Titanic the Hindenburg major earthuakes and volcanoes train derailments and theater fires For awhile I was enjoying these brief vignettes but there are fully thirty of them before we get back to Gabriel and then the story just kind of shrugs and says that s itOkayI mean to the extent that I am not educated or patient enough to plumb the depths of Zoline s stories I admit that there is probably aot in them that I missed Particularly in Sheep and Tree of Life which I did not read thoroughly or closely So it may not be you book it s probably meBut to Sanctuary label Zoline a master of SF is in my opinion flatly wrong What she writes isiterary fiction with a psychological focus and a ot of structural uirks But I suppose if I had known that I wouldn t have sought this book out and I m really glad I read those first two stories only The Heat Death of the Universe okay this is something I actually wrote back in 1982 I found some The Mind 1969Instructions for Exiting This Building in The title story is a classic but I recall Brian Aldiss said she was exceptional in general 11910 only for the Heat Death of the Universe Review for Heath Death of the UniverseAs I read about the history of feminist science fiction Zoline s Heat Death of the Universe keeps popping up as part of the established canon for this area of writing The story is very in #line with the era of The Feminine Mystiue but as if voiced by a woman knowledgeable in science comparing her #with the era of The Feminine Mystiue but as if voiced by a woman knowledgeable in science comparing her to entropy It s an emotional piece where readers can feel the slow build of futility in the narrator s Friendfluence life and understand why her daily activities feelike a never ending attempt to combat chaos with an increasingly smaller energy One Part Woman load It s a clevero It was one of the science fiction themed Great Courses I Stranger listened toast year that turned me on to Pamela Zoline The professor described her as one of the greats a writer ahead of her time who had only published a single book a brief collection of five short stories in 1988 and radio silence ever since I consider myself fairly well versed the genre most of the other authors discussed in the course were familiar but I had never heard of Zoline I felt Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis like I d just stumbled onto an exciting secretI found a copy of her out of print book The Heat Death of the Universe and Other Stories what a fantastic title in excellent condition and it was one of my highly anticipated reads for this yearIt was not what I was expectingFirst this is pretty decidedly not science fiction I haven t taken enoughiterature classes to really pin down what it is the best descriptor I can think of is experimental Or just weird but not in the sense of the blend of sci fi horror and fantasy that s usually termed weird fiction these days It s just weirdOnly one of these stories Instructions for Exiting the Building in Case of Fire feels at all at home in the SF genre and even then just barely It s about a collective of parents all over the world who attempt to avert nuclear war by kidnapping hundreds of children surgically altering them and sending them to other countries to be raised in other families How could we nuke the Soviets when our own beloved children might be among them WHAT IF THE OTHER WAS REALLY JUST US MANIT if the other was really just us manIt a blend of Cold War dread aging flower child feminism facile utopianism and Freudian psychology that permeates the book and that sort of thing just doesn t really jibe with me Not these days The political potentialities that kept Zoline awake at night in the 70 s and 80 s just seem so uaint now and her solutions so udicrousAnd sure it may be shitty of me to judge a decades old book by modern standards but I m just not interested in reading political fiction that has no relevance to me here nowWhich is why I enjoyed the first two stories the most The Heat Death of the Universe despite being first published in 1967 still felt revelatory to me It s about a housewife trying to stave off entropy in her housekeeping in her mental health in the cosmos as a whole and the structure of the story itself seems to be doing the same Each paragraph is numbered the action clearly abeled and separated by clinical scientific facts and definitions but still everything is breaking down The heroine can t stop it and it s driving her insane 39 Sometimes Sarah can hardly remember how many cute chubby ittle children she has50 Sara. ContentsThe Heat Death of the Universe 1967The Holland of. ,