“the ‘aliens’ destroying this world are us”
March 31, 2023 8:50 AM   Subscribe

“Heat Death” might not at first reading strike the reader as science fiction at all. It contains no bug-eyed monsters, interplanetary flights, postapocalyptic worlds, or technological marvels. It focuses not on outer space as much as it does inner space—notably that of a woman—and the geography of the mundane—that of the home and the supermarket—rather than the fantastic or extraordinary.
A Space of Her Own by Mary E. Papke, is an essay about Pamela Zoline and her 1967 science fiction story The Heat Death of the Universe.
posted by Kattullus (8 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
One of the very few sf stories that genuinely deserves to be called great.
In some ways it represents a road not taken for sf - it didn't have to be an inward looking genre always in dialogue with itself.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:36 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]

Thank you for posting this! I had not heard of this story and it's astounding.
posted by jquinby at 9:37 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]

I had not heard of it either and really liked it. It's as if Aubade got out of Callisto's room at the end of Entropy and went on to live her own, heat-death-haunted life.
posted by chavenet at 9:46 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Wow what a story. I’d never heard of it before but it will stay with me a long time.
posted by Mchelly at 3:33 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Oh yes, I read it when I was a teenager and it stayed with me. Thank you for the post.
posted by jokeefe at 3:40 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]

I've never come across that one before now. It's a hell of a piece, I'm glad I stopped to read it. Thanks for posting.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:33 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

"Sometimes, at extremes, her Body seems to her an animal on a leash, taken for walks in the park by her Mind." I feel that!
posted by tavella at 9:04 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]

I have absolutely fucking loved this story for several decades. I have no idea where or when I first read it, but I'd guess some time in the mid-1980s. It is so good in so many ways and on so many levels. I am amazed and disappointed that it is not better known.
posted by Hogshead at 11:08 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]

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