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Book reviews for "St._Clair,_Margaret" sorted by average review score:

The Best of Margaret St. Clair
Published in Paperback by Academy Chicago Pub (1985)
Author: Margaret St Clair
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Excellent compilation of a long-neglected writer's work
Margaret St. Clair has long been an anomoly in the world of science fiction, and almost impossible to categorize. Under her own name and the nom de plume of Idris Seabright, she has produced some of the edgiest and darkly fascinating fiction of any writer from the 1940s to the 1950s, her most productive period. The reason why St. Clair is hard to define is simple: her stories usually take place in the science fictional realm of other planets, but at the same time the plots closely resemble the best horror fiction of Robert Bloch, with its own distinctly adult twist.

It's easy to say that "The Gardener" is simply the story of how a self-important bureaucrat gets his comeuppance when he displeases an otherworldly arboreal protector, but it's more than that. St. Clair's power of description creates an almost clautophobic atmosphere and by the story's end, the reader is gasping for air. Few of the stories in this book end happily; the protagonists don't seem to deserve happy endings, or that's just the way it goes in an indifferent galaxy beyond their comprehension. St. Clair's best known story is probably "An Egg a Month From All Over" which chronicles a rather sordid man's hobby of hatching exotic eggs and what happens when his latest acquistion responds to his darkest desires. Do we really want to know what we secretly yearn for? St. Clair forces us to explore this thought in a science fictional context. In "Hathor's Pets," she takes the frequent science fiction theme of humans kept as pets by aliens of higher intelligence; however St. Clair sidesteps the common ending of these humans outwitting their seemingly superior "masters," and give us an a chillingly logical ending that will stay with you for days.

St. Clair's power as a writer doesn't come from providing an unexpected twist to her stories. No, that would be too easy. Her power comes from providing the logical finish to what she started, even though that might be even harder to accept and handle. St. Clair is truly a hard writer to define. She used fanciful setting to make us take a hard, unflinching look at the darkest corners of our souls.

To Serve Man: A Cookbook for People
Published in Paperback by Wildside Pr (1979)
Authors: Karl Wurf, Jack Bozzi, and Margaret St Clair
Amazon base price: $14.00
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Hilarious, informative...and delicious too.
I found this book on a friend's bookshelf and was instantly gripped. From the humorous front cover to the delicious-sounding back-cover recipe for "Texas Cowboy With Chili", this book is well worth reading, not only for the grim humor (which is handled, dare I say it, tastefully, and interlaced with actual, useful information) but also for the recipes. I am an experienced amateur cook, and have spent years learning how to evaluate recipes for feasability; the recipies in this book, without exception, are well-written and easy, and would not only work with "long pig" but would be delicious with other mammalian meats.

I rather wish I could give this book 4&1/2 stars; the only reason I am not giving it five is so that I have room in my judging should an even better, wittier, more deadpan and more delicious-sounding cookbook on anthropophagy come along. However, I rather doubt one will, and if one does not I will be well satisfied.

The shadow people
Published in Unknown Binding by ()
Authors: Margaret St. Clair and Jeffrey Jones
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