Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Monday, March 01, 2004

The Works of Allen Drury

Allen Drury was dang good, yet his novels are disappearing from the shelves of our local library. Right now, when his ideas and observations are more cogent than ever, I would like to encourage you to read lots of Drury!

Policy Review ran an article on "Allan Drury and the Washington Novel", and the Washington Post on "Allan Drury, Father of the D.C. Drama". Also, here's a bibliography of Drury's works, both fiction and nonfiction. If you're wondering why an sf site would list Drury, it's because many of his works fit comfortably as science fiction. In fact, Drury was one of the few to predict the Soviet Union's sudden collapse -- though only as a best-case scenario. ;) Remember, political science is a social science, too!

Anyway, I'm not the only person who appreciates Drury. And thanks to that Power Line post, I found this post on A Mind That Suits, written by one of Drury's nephews. Pretty cool, no?

(And if the nephew comes here -- yes, I know I'm quoting huuuuuge chunks here, but it's so hard to pick out isolated quotes! And besides, I can't exactly convince people by taking my library books to their houses and reading out the good bits...well, unless there's an audiobook release of all the books. Hey, and wouldn't that be great? Dramatic readings on CD...yum....)

The best thing is that A Mind That Suits is busy archiving and protecting his uncle's papers (either these or whatever Drury didn't give to Stanford -- and it's not uncommon for an author to have several sets of apers around!), apparently in preparation for a book on him. Obviously I think a biography is badly needed. But I am also envious of the nephew's good fortune. There is something strangely intimate about going through someone's papers, as I learned as an archives intern. The little doings and thoughts of a stranger can become part of your life, and their times your own -- for a while. To do this service for a relative is overwhelmingly interesting and bittersweet. In point of fact, I couldn't bring myself to do it when I was asked to type out my grandfather and dead grandmother's WWII letters. It just got to be too much. (Well, that and I honestly couldn't read Grandpa's handwriting.) So I give A Mind That Suits my kudos for taking this on.


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