Buxom Blondes with Ray Guns

EP6: Carol Emschwiller -1957

This is Buxom Blondes with Ray Guns, a show highlighting science fiction by female authors on KCSB-FM Santa Barbara 91.9, and I'm Hannah Wolfe. This week I read two stories by Carol Emshwiller, "This Thing Called Love" and "Hunting Machine." I played contemporaneous music from 1957 when "Hunting Machine" was published. The intro today was the main title from "The Monolith Monsters" which was composed by Irving Gertz. "The Monolith Monsters" was about a large meteorite that crashes in the desert in Southern California. The Meteorite explodes and the fragments have strange properties, expanding in size when exposed to water.

The next song was Agon, a ballet composed by Igor Stravinsky and choreographed by George Balanchine which priemered December 1st 1957 in New York. The performance we are listening to was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomans.

First I read "Hunting Machine" by Carol Emshwiller, which was first published in Science Fiction Stories, May 1957. I censored it slightly, she used colorful words to describe the hound. Her first novel "Carmen Dog" (1988) was a feminist allegory in which women are transformed into dogs and dogs are transformed into women. In the background we listened to "Metamorphosis" by Vladimir Ussachevsky, a chinese american electronic music composer.

Next I read "This Thing Called Love" by Carol Emshwiller, which was first published in Future Science Fiction, #28, in May 1957. The soundbed for the story was Varianti by Luigi Nono, an Italian avant-garde composer. Afterward we listened to "Requiem for Strings" by Toru Takemitsu, a Japanese composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Stravinsky "discovered" Takemitsu and brought him to international attention, when he heard "Requiem for Strings" while in Japan in 1958.

The stories today were by Carol Emshwiller. Emshwiller was born in 1921 in Ann Arbor Michigan. She received her BA in music and later design from UofM Ann Arbor. While getting her BA in design she met her husband Ed Emshwiller, an artist and experimental filmmaker, who illustrated many early pulp science fiction. They moved to paris where she was a fullbright fellow and he studied at the Ecole de Beaux Arts. She said, " I started writing science fiction in the first place because I met my husbands friends who were science fiction writers. Unklike my college literature classes, they spoke of writing as if a normal human being could do it ... maybe even me. They spoke of technical problems and solutions." Afterwards they moved to Long Island New York, where she spent the rest of her life. Her first published science fiction novel was published in 1955. She's won the World Science Fiction Award in 1991, Philip K Dick Award in 2002 for the Mount and Best Short Story Nebula in 2002 for "Creature". These awards were 36 and 47 years into her career.