Literary Reviews, Page 30

“Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane,” by Jonathon Sullivan

In my review page of the internet zine Bewildering Stories, I noted that it is the only fiction weekly that I know of. I must now amend that assertion, as I have recently become acquainted with Strange Horizons. Strange Horizons is not only a weekly internet publication, it is also one that offers professional rates to contributors. It is to speculative fiction as The Pedestal Magazine is to literary works. Like Pedestal, Strange Horizons is a non-profit enterprise and receives funding from donations and grants. The staff is entirely of a volunteer nature, and, as with Pedestal, they should be commended for their dedication to advancing online literature.

Strange Horizons offers speculative fiction, which the zine asserts is a broad classification encompassing traditional science fiction, as well as fantasy and a host of sub-genres. It also presents visual art, poetry and a range of non-fiction articles and essays, including interviews, reviews and criticism. I would particularly commend to the reader the essays of frequent contributor Matthew Cheney for his astute and incisive analysis regarding various matters of literature. I would particularly recommend an article by Mr. Cheney from 2005 entitled “In Borderlands Between the Clans,” in which the points the author raises concerning the clashing values between literary and popular fiction writers are most pertinent to observations I have made in the course of my own reviews. I shall provide the link for this superb article following the link for the story reviewed here.

Editor-in-Chief Susan Marie Groppi, Senior Fiction Editor Jed Hartman and all the staff at Strange Horizons deserve considerable credit for presenting a highly professional online publication and managing to keep up the quality of the offerings, a considerably more difficult proposition in a weekly publication than in the typical monthly format of most fiction publications. Indeed, two of the fiction stories presented on the zine have recently been nominated for a Hugo and a Nebula, while another piece was one of the ten finalists for the 2006 Million Writers Award.

“Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane," [Strange Horizons; 18 July, 2005] by Jonathon Sullivan, is a sort of cross-genre piece combining elements of historical fiction with fantasy. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the title character was one of the foremost physicists of the Twentieth Century. Among a host of other accomplishments, he was the formulator of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, which bears the name of the city in which he was born and worked. Professor Bohr was half-Jewish by heritage, which in the benighted, racialist theories of the Nazis rendered him Jewish, a point most germane to this story. Click to continue:

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