The End of All Our Exploring
(Fairwood Press, 2018)
The stories in F. Brett Cox’s debut collection move through multiple genres and many times and places, from the monsters of the 19th century to the future fields of war, from New England to the South to the American West, from the strange house at the top of the hill to the bottom of your childhood swimming pool. But whatever the time and place, and whether utterly fantastic or all too real, all of these remarkable fictions pose the fundamental question: what’s next? The End of All Our Exploring features 27 stories, and it also includes Cox’s unique historical notes.
"Whether investigating a dusty corner of weird Americana or telling a contemporary tale reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone," Cox artfully adapts his style to the subject. This motley yet not ungainly collection offers the consistent pleasure of surprise; a few stories even read like dramatic monologues or prose poems stitched together with song lyrics." - Margot Harrison, Seven Days
(University of Illinois Press, 2021)
Roger Zelazny combined poetic prose with fearless literary ambition to become one of the most influential science fiction writers of the 1960s. Yet many critics found his later novels underachieving and his turn to fantasy a disappointment. F. Brett Cox surveys the landscape of Zelazny's creative life and contradictions. Launched by the classic 1963 short story "A Rose for Ecclesiastes," Zelazny soon won the Hugo Award for Best Novel with …And Call Me Conrad and two years later won again for Lord of Light. Cox looks at the author's overnight success and follows Zelazny into a period of continued formal experimentation, the commercial triumph of the Amber sword and sorcery novels, and renewed acclaim for Hugo-winning novellas such as "Home Is the Hangman" and "24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai." Throughout, Cox analyzes aspects of Zelazny's art, from his preference for poetically alienated protagonists to the ways his plots reflected his determined individualism. Clear-eyed and detailed, Roger Zelazny provides an up-to-date reconsideration of an often-misunderstood SF maverick.