Born April 20, 1943, in St. Albans, England; son of John William (a postmaster) and Ellen (Rowley) Watson; married Judith Jackson (an artist), September 1, 1962 (died, 2001); children: Jessica Scott. Education: Balliol College, Oxford, B.A. (first class honors), 1963, B.Litt., 1965, M.A., 1966.
Home—Daisy Cottage, Banbury Rd., Moreton Pinkney, Near Daventry NN11 3SQ, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Novelist and educator. University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, lecturer in literature, 1965-67; Tokyo University of Education and Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, lecturer in English, 1967-70; Birmingham Polytechnic, Birmingham, England, lecturer, 1970-75, senior lecturer in complementary studies (science fiction and futures studies) for School of the History of Art in Art and Design Center, 1975-76; writer, 1976—. Japan Women's University, Tokyo, lecturer in English, 1968-69; writer-inresidence, Nene College, Northamptonshire, England, 1984.
Science Fiction Writers of America, London Science Fiction Foundation (member of governing council, 1974-90).
John W. Campbell Memorial Award runner-up, World Science Fiction Convention, 1974, for The Embedding; Prix Apollo, 1975, for French translation of The Embedding; Premios Zikkurath, 1978, for Spanish translation of The Embedding; Orbit Award, 1976, and British Science Fiction Association Award, both 1978, both for The Jonah Kit; Southern Arts Association literary bursary, 1978; Hugo Award nomination for best short story, World Science Fiction Convention, 1979, for "The Very Slow Time Machine"; British Science Fiction Award runner-up for best short story, 1981, for "The World SF Convention of 2080," and 1987, for "Jingling Geordie's Hole"; Hugo Award nominee, World Science Fiction Convention, and Nebula Award nominee, Science Fiction Writers of America, both 1984, both for Slow Birds and Other Stories; Prix Europeen de Science Fiction, 1985; Arthur C. Clarke Award finalist, 1989, for Whores of Babylon; British Fantasy Award finalist, 1989, for "Lost Bodies"; Eastercon Award finalist, 1990, for "Eye of the Ayatollah"; Eastercon Award finalist and British Science Fiction Association Award runner-up, both 1993, both for "The Coming of Vertumnus"; Seiun Award nomination, for The Woman Plant; guest of honor at numerous science-fiction conventions.
The Embedding, Gollancz (London, England), 1973, Scribner (New York, NY), 1975.
The Jonah Kit, Gollancz (London, England), 1975, Scribner (New York, NY), 1976, reprinted, Gollancz, 2002.
Orgasmachine (French translation of original English manuscript), Èditions Champ-Libre, 1976, revised Japanese translation published as The Woman Plant, 2001.
The Martian Inca, Scribner (New York, NY), 1977.
Alien Embassy, Gollancz (London, England), 1977, Ace (New York, NY), 1978.
Miracle Visitors, Gollancz (London, England), 1978, reprinted, 2003.
God's World, Gollancz (London, England), 1979, Carrol & Graf (New York, NY), 1990.
The Gardens of Delight, Gollancz (London, England), 1980, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1982.
(With Michael Bishop) Under Heaven's Bridge, Gollancz (London, England), 1981, Ace (New York, NY), 1982.
Deathhunter, Gollancz (London, England), 1981, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1986.
Chekhov's Journey, Gollancz (London, England), 1983, Carrol & Graf (New York, NY), 1989.
Converts, Granada (London, England), 1984, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1985.
Queenmagic, Kingmagic, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1986.
The Power (horror), Hodder Headline (London, England), 1987.
Meat (horror), Hodder Headline (London, England), 1988.
The Fire Worm (horror) Gollancz (London, England), 1988.
Whores of Babylon, Paladin (London, England), 1989.
The Flies of Memory, Gollancz (London, England), 1990, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1991.
Nanoware Time (bound with The Persistence of Vision, by John Varley), Tor (New York, NY), 1991.
Lucky's Harvest (The First Book of Mana), Gollancz (London, England), 1993.
The Fallen Moon (The Second Book of Mana), Gollancz (London, England), 1994.
Hard Questions, Gollancz (London, England), 1996.
Oracle, Gollancz (London, England), 1997.
Mockymen, Golden Gryphon Press (Urbana, IL), 2003.
"BLACK CURRENT" TRILOGY; NOVELS
The Book of the River, Gollancz (London, England), 1984, DAW (New York, NY), 1986.
The Book of the Stars, Gollancz (London, England), 1985, DAW (New York, NY), 1986.
The Book of Being, Gollancz (London, England), 1985, DAW (New York, NY), 1986.
The Books of the Black Current (omnibus), Science Fiction Book Club, 1986.
Yaleen (omnibus), Benbella Press, 2004.
"WARHAMMER 40,000" SERIES; NOVELS
Inquisitor, Games Workshop (Brighton, West Sussex, England), 1990.
Space Marine, Boxtree (London, England), 1993.
Harlequin, Boxtree (London, England), 1994.
Chaos Child, Boxtree (London, England), 1995.
Draco (first book in "Inquisition War" trilogy), Games Workshop, 2002.
The Very Slow Time Machine, Ace (New York, NY), 1979.
Sunstroke and Other Stories, Gollancz (London, England), 1982.
Slow Birds and Other Stories, Gollancz (London, England), 1985.
The Book of Ian Watson (includes nonfiction), Ziesing (Willimantic, CT), 1985.
Evil Water and Other Stories, Gollancz (London, England), 1987.
Salvage Rites and Other Stories, Gollancz (London, England), 1989.
Stalin's Teardrops, Gollancz (London, England), 1991.
The Coming of Vertumnus and Other Stories, Gollancz (London, England), 1994.
The Great Escape, Golden Gryphon Press (Urbana, IL), 2002.
The Best of Ian Watson, three volumes, Cosmos Books, 2003.
Contributor of stories to numerous science-fiction anthologies.
Japan: A Cat's Eye View (juvenile), Bunken (Osaka, Japan), 1969.
Japan Tomorrow (juvenile), Bunken (Osaka, Japan), 1977.
(Editor) Pictures at an Exhibition: A Science-Fiction Anthology, Greystoke Mobray (Cardiff, Wales), 1981, Borgo (San Bernardino, CA), 1987.
Conversations with Ayckbourn, Macdonald (London, England), 1981, new edition, Faber & Faber (Boston, MA), 1988.
(Editor, with Michael Bishop) Changes: Stories of Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction about Startling Metamorphoses, Both Psychological and Physical, Ace (New York, NY), 1982.
(Editor, with Pamela Sargent) Afterlives: An Anthology of Stories about Life after Death, Vintage (New York, NY), 1986.
The Lexicographer's Love Song (poetry), DNA Publications (Radford, VA), 2001.
Contributor of stories and articles to science-fiction magazines and literary journals, including Chicago Review, London Magazine, Ambit, Interzone, Weird Tales, Mythic Delirium, Playboy, Transition, and Transatlantic Review. Foundation, features editor, 1975-90, consultant editor, 1990—. Received story credit for screen story, A.I.—Artificial Intelligence, Warner Brothers, 2001. European editor of Science Fiction Writers of America Bulletin.
Watson's manuscripts are housed at the Science Fiction Foundation, University of Liverpool.
According to a reviewer for the Washington Post Book World, Ian Watson is "probably the best thinker" in British science fiction. "I'm attempting to alter the states of mind of my readers, to make them more conscious of the operating programs that are running their brains—the sort of thing that John Lilly refers to as 'metaprogramming,'" Watson told Charles Platt in Dream Makers: The Uncommon People Who Write Science Fiction. "I'm interested in ways of examining the structure of your thinking, and trying to present narratives that make people think a bit about the pattern and style of their thoughts, and what alternative thought-structures they could enter into. That is what I say science fiction ought to be about, presenting you with an alternativereality paradigm, a different way of conceptualizing reality and the universe." Watson's novels and stories present an ongoing fictional exploration of the nature of being and reality, language and memory, morality and religion—in other words, of humankind's metaphysical, epistemological, and spiritual relationship to the universe. Both Spider Robinson in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact and Alex de Jonge in Spectator admitted that Watson's books are not easy to read, but nonetheless recommended them strongly. Robinson in particular viewed Watson's multiplicity of ideas as one of his strengths: "Daring, heady stuff . . . not to be missed by the thoughtful, and not in a million years to be taken for light entertainment."
Discovers SF as a Child
Watson was born in 1943 and raised in northern England, a heavily industrialized region. He found an outlet for his imagination at the local newsagent's shop, where he bought his first science-fiction novel, a pulp number called Antro the Life-Giver by Jon Deegan. He moved from Jon Deegan to what he refers to as "classic" science fiction: works by such writers as A. E. van Vogt and Isaac Asimov.
Written before its author made the break to fulltime fiction writing, Watson's first novel, The Embedding, involves the search for a primary language which, if discovered, may provide clues to understanding the nature of reality. Platt noted in Dream Makers that "the book suggests that an isolated group of children, educated to think differently, would inhabit a different reality from ours, with different natural laws." Similar themes are explored in The Jonah Kit, in which the universe is discovered to have existed for only a few microseconds after its creation and a whale is imprinted with a human soul, and in The Martian Inca, in which an extraterrestrial microorganism accidentally infects both a group of Andean natives and a pair of U.S. astronauts. In each case, a character's perception of the universe surrounding him changes and, for that character at least, the universe itself changes correspondingly.
A contributor to A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction called The Embedding "a serious, difficult and fascinating book, one that assumes its reader's intelligence." Gerald Jonas, writing for the New York Times Book Review, praised Watson's first two novels as "distinguished by an irresistible blend of narrative energy and intellectual interest," but had reservations about 1977's The Martian Inca. While noting that "the book fails to cohere" and that Watson's "ideas, while fascinating in themselves, are not really dramatized," Jonas nonetheless concluded that the novel, "with all its faults, . . . is still superior to most contemporary sf." Eric Korn, in the Times Literary Supplement, found The Jonah Kit "flawed in realization," adding that "most of the characters exist only to break the exposition up into easy chunks of dialogue." However, Korn said of Miracle Visitors, Watson's 1978 novel about the origin of UFOs, that "there is, as usual, a richness of character and description."
Reflects on Nature of Almighty
Watson's novels God's World and The Gardens of Delight are less about the perception of reality and the evolution of consciousness than about the nature of God. God's World concerns a trip to heaven. Angels appear at sacred places all over the globe, inviting humanity to join God, who lives in a star system some distance away. A spaceship with neo-crusaders aboard sets out, using technology provided by the angels, but, on their arrival, the humans' expectations are shattered. They find themselves in a world with its own heaven, which can be reached by dreaming or death, but they discover that the struggle between good and evil is not nearly as simple as it seems. Alex de Jonge, writing in the Spectator, dubbed God's World "quite as good" as Watson's earlier works. "Never for a moment do we feel the author has overreached himself," added de Jonge, who called the novel "a work of great distinction."
The Gardens of Delight is based on the triptych "The Garden of Delights" painted by Hieronymus Bosch; the work's center panel, filled with outsized animals, bizarrely shaped vegetables, and nude men and women, has been interpreted by some as a surrealistic vision of life after death, while the left and right panels are generally believed to represent the Garden of Eden and Hell, respectively. Watson's novel follows his spaceship crew as they search for God against the backdrop of Bosch's allegorical work. Mysterious immortal beings, in an attempt to bring purpose to their existence, have been molding worlds to fit what they have learned about other forms of life. A chance encounter with colonists from Earth causes the aliens to transform one world into a living replica of Bosch's painting. When a second spacecraft arrives some years later, its crew begins a search for the aliens, who fancy themselves "God."
Reviewing The Gardens of Delight for the London Times, Gay Firth opined that Watson is attempting to retell a story which was "better described by Dante and John Bunyan." On the other hand, Tom Easton praised Watson's novel, writing in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact that The Gardens of Delight is "a strange book, as strange as Bosch's original painting. But Watson has handled the imagery well, emerging with a story that could stand discussion in terms of Bunyan and Dante. It's an allegory that denies itself even as it says perfection of the soul is possible."
In Watson's own opinion, God's World and The Gardens of Delight are studies of the search for God; although alike, they represent views from opposite angles. As the author told David Langford in Science Fiction Review: The novels "are mirror images in the sense that, in the former, the journey to an objective alien world is presented as a journey through imaginative space, the physical starship journey being also a journey through the imagination—whereas, in the latter, the creators (who are also the inhabitants) of the alien Bosch-world have to imagine (and create) a human starship arriving there, in order to understand their own reality."
Publishes "Black Current" Trilogy
The "Black Current" trilogy is probably Watson's most popular and successful work. Comprised of The Book of the River, The Book of the Stars, and The Book of Being, the trilogy takes place in a fantasy world divided by a sentient river. On one side of the river lies a female-dominated society; on the other, a male-dominated society. If men try to cross the river, it drives them insane. The action of the trilogy centers on the travails of its female protagonist, Yaleen, as she unravels and confronts the origins and meaning of this world. Although more adventure-oriented than much of Watson's other work, the "Black Current" trilogy still contains a good deal of speculation on the nature of reality and the universe.
Critical reaction to the "Black Current" trilogy was mixed, particularly as reviewers approached the book from their own political viewpoint. Arguing that a male novelist can indeed create a feminist utopia, Jonas in the New York Times Book Review said that Watson "outdoes himself" with The Book of the River. Easton, in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact commented that he did not review The Book of the River because he "felt you didn't need my comments to know how good it was." The critic found The Book of the Stars "a little far-fetched," but concluded that Watson "tells the tale vigorously and convincingly." In contrast, a Booklist reviewer argued that The Book of the Stars is "too discursive, too philosophical, and too slow in pace," but concluded that fans of Watson's work "will enjoy this tale." A Kirkus Reviews critic expressed similar objections to The Book of Being but also concluded that fans of Watson would find "a suitable and worthy conclusion, with . . . cosmic complications aplenty." The trilogy was published in an omnibus edition in 1986.
Watson's 1986 novel Queenmagic, Kingmagic isafantasy that mirrors the game of chess. Two kingdoms, white Bellogard and black Chorny, engage in a recurring battle, with individual characters representing various chess pieces. The plot of the book revolves around a pawn and his companions who travel through several alternate worlds in an attempt to break this endless cycle. Writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, Judy Kowalski stated that "the worlds Watson creates are thought provoking about the games we play and the rules we follow." Kelvin Johnston in the London Observer deemed Queenmagic, Kingmagic "much more robust than the general run of fantasy novels," while Chris Morgan in Fantasy Review described it as "a less cerebral novel than one is used to from Watson, and none the worse for that."
Watson's first book of the 1990s, The Flies of Memory, is a continuation of a previously published story. According to Mary Gentle in the Washington Post Book World, The Flies of Memory "has all the bravura that space opera should have, without being any such thing." Alien invaders, the flies of the title, land on Earth. Their goal is not to conquer the planet, but rather to memorize and recreate its most famous architectural accomplishments. When, despite their apparently peaceful intentions, the aliens' rights to do so are challenged, parts of famous Earth cities vanish and reappear on Mars. An expedition is subsequently sent to Mars to attempt to rescue the human survivors who have been transported along with the cities. Gerald Jonas in the New York Times Book Review found the novel "engaging," but was critical of its "paragraphs of pseudoscientific explanation." Gentle concluded: "Deep-structure reality, Nazis on Mars, and a memory-construct voodoo mama are only a few of the sparks the book throws off as it whirls—all purely science fiction, all grounded in respectable speculation, all wonderfully gonzo."
Watson's two-volume "Book of Mana," an epic based in part on Finnish folk legend, is the story of Lucky Sariola, an interstellar Earth colonist in Kaleva who discovers an asteroid lifeform that responds to storytelling. A Books reviewer called Lucky's Harvest, the first book in the set, "vibrant, challenging and multi-layered," concluding that Lucky's Harvest is Watson's "finest work to date." Farren Miller, writing in Locus, stated that "Watson isn't content with any mere tomfoolery of enchanted swords, pale maidens, and ravening monsters, linked to sf with a little rubber science; there's a sharp, rational mind at work (and play) in Lucky's Harvest." The Fallen Moon, the second volume in the "Book of Mana" series, was published in 1994.
In 1997 Watson released the sci-fi spoof Hard Questions, in which British computer expert Clare and her psychologist boyfriend Jack take an ill-fated trip to a conference in Tucson, Arizona. There the couple becomes the target of cultists, motorcycle gangs, and international spies who believe Clare and Jack hold the secret to Qua, a quantum computer whose control of consciousness threatens the universe. A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised Watson for staying in control of his "wild plot" by providing both "hilarious imaginings" and "some worthy probings into hard questions about life and lust, mind and matter." To Reba Leiding in Library Journal, the author's "irritating" tendency to introduce new characters does little to offset the value of Hard Questions as "an interesting commentary on modern American life from a British point of view."
Oracle, a 1999 thriller, presents Englishman Tom Ryan, who one day crosses paths with a time-traveling Roman centurion. Tom learns that the technology that sent the Roman centuries forward is called Oracle, a secret project of the government designed to investigate past events to forestall "threats to national security." The sleuthing Tom also discovers that Oracle was responsible for the plane-crash deaths of Tom's parents twenty years earlier; this knowledge puts Tom and his sister, Mary, in jeopardy. "This is a rather cerebral thriller," noted Booklist's Roland Green, "since Watson is a master of language and characterization rather than pacing."
Transcends Personal Tragedy
In the spring of 2001 Watson encountered personal tragedy when his wife, artist Judy Jackson, died of cardiac arrest due to complications from emphysema. The novelist devoted much of his time to his wife's care during her final months. The occasion of Jackson's death coincided with the release of the Steven Spielberg-directed film A.I.—Artificial Intelligence, for which Watson had been given a screen story credit due to the fact that he wrote the movie's treatment when the film was in development with director Stanley Kubrick. Watson was particularly proud of inventing the character Gigolo Joe, an android played in the film by actor Jude Law. Following his wife's death and the release of A.I., Watson traveled extensively, visiting Spain, Germany, and Italy. He also stopped in Katowice, Poland, where he was the guest of honor at the 2001 Polish National Science-Fiction Convention.
In 2002 Watson released the short-fiction collection The Great Escape, and followed it up a year later with the novel Mockymen, which focuses on a small group of immortal mechanized aliens whose request to inhabit the bodies of human coma victims is looked at with some suspicion by a savvy British secret agent. The plots of the nineteen tales Watson includes in The Great Escape sometimes touch on obsession, such as the fixated couple who collects worthless knickknacks; or the hang-glide pilot whose quest is to find the secret "Amber Room" of the Russian tsars. Issues of the elderly also surface, as in the story of seniors who, rather than dying, "have their personalities loaded into their relatives' brains," as a Kirkus Reviews contributor reported. The critic added that Watson's ability "to conjure up weird and terrifying situations blazes forth" in The Great Escape. "Diverse and thoughtful" was the assessment of a Publishers Weekly critic in reviewing the collection. Reviewing Mockymen for Booklist, Regina Schroeder dubbed the novel "an entertaining and clever read" that combines such diverse elements as superstitious Nazi rituals and reincarnation in a novel "full of adventures on other planets, alien takeovers, and conspiracy."
If you enjoy the works of Ian Watson
If you enjoy the works of Ian Watson, you might want to check out the following books:
Dan Abnett, Ghostmaker, 2000.
Marc Gascoign, editor, Crucible of War, 2003.
Graham McNeill, Warriors of Ultramar, 2003.
David Pringle, Deathwing, 2000.
Watson once explained that he most enjoys science-based or "hard" science fiction because "it deals with the impact of scientific ideas and discoveries; and however farfetched these ideas or discoveries may be, they should be dealt with from a standpoint of realism, not fantasy or magic. But at the same time, SF should be metaphorical—in that it functions as a tool for thinking about the world and its future, Man and the Universe, flexibly and boldly.... SF should be contradictory, in that it envisages a multiplicity of possible futures. SF should be rooted in a sense of Man (adequate characterization, not puppets; sense of real social milieu). Yet it should be this without being 'earthbound' (by refusing to consider the nature of Alien experience or the Universe at large). Indeed, it must try to tackle ultimate questions: about the nature of reality, about the origin and significance of the Universe, and of life within this Universe."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Mackey, Douglas A., The Work of Ian Watson: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide, Borgo Press (San Bernardino, CA), 1989.
Platt, Charles, Dream Makers: The Uncommon People Who Write Science Fiction, Berkeley Publishing (New York, NY), 1980.
Pringle, David, Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, Xanadu (Coochland, VA), 1985.
St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.
St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, fourth edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Searles, Baird, and others, editors, A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction, Avon (New York, NY), 1979.
Staicar, Ted, editor, Critical Encounters II: Writers and Themes in Science Fiction, Ungar (New York, NY), 1982.
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, March, 1979; June, 1979; September, 1982, Tom Easton, review of The Gardens of Delight; October, 1986; February, 2003, Tom Easton, review of The Lexicographer's Love Song, p. 138.
Booklist, May 1, 1986; October 15, 1986; January 1, 1999, Roland Green, review of Oracle, p. 842; October 1, 2003, Regina Schroeder, review of Mockymen, p. 308.
Books, September/October, 1993, review of Lucky's Harvest.
Economist, August 20, 1983.
Fantasy Review, August, 1984; April, 1985; July, 1985; November, 1985; May, 1986; November, 1986.
Interzone, September, 1997.
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, March, 2003, Paul de Filippo, review of The Lexicographer's Love Song.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1986; September 1, 1986; October 1, 1997, review of Hard Questions, p. 1495; November 1, 1997, review of Oracle, p. 1613; February 15, 2002, review of The Great Escape, p. 229.
Library Journal, October 15, 1997, Reba Leiding, review of Hard Questions, p. 95l November 15, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of Miracle Visitors, p. 102.
Locus, February, 1991, p. 60; January, 1994, Farren Miller, review of Lucky's Harvest, p. 15; May, 2002, review of The Great Escape.
New Scientist, October 25, 1997, review of Oracle, p. 49.
New Statesman, April 24, 1987.
New York Times Book Review, July 20, 1975; September 12, 1976; November 27, 1977; March 9, 1986; September 21, 1986; July 8, 1990, Gerald Jonas, review of The Flies of Memory, p. 22; February 9, 1992, p. 20.
Observer (London, England), February 20, 1983; August 5, 1984; December 26, 1986; December 28, 1986, p. 20; April 26, 1987.
Publishers Weekly, April 11, 1986; October 10, 1986; November 14, 1994, p. 56; October 27, 1997, review of Hard Questions, p. 57; March 4, 2002, review of The Great Escape, p. 61; October 6, 2003, review of Mockymen, p. 66.
Punch, June 13, 1984; December 12, 1984; November 6, 1985; June 4, 1986.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review, January, 1982; July, 1983.
Science Fiction Chronicle, November, 1987, p. 53.
Science Fiction Review, spring, 1982; winter, 1982; summer, 1985; spring, 1986.
Scream Factory, spring, 1996.
Spectator, August 26, 1978; January 12, 1980; September 13, 1980.
Times (London, England), February 3, 1980, Gay Firth, review of The Gardens of Delight; March 3, 1983; October 31, 1985.
Times Literary Supplement, September 11, 1973; May 23, 1975, Eric Korn, review of The Jonah Kit; July 8, 1977; January 27, 1978; May 30, 1980; July 18, 1980; September 10, 1982.
Voice Literary Supplement, October, 1984; July, 1985.
Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 1988, Judy Kowalski, review of Queenmagic, Kingmagic, p. 98.
Washington Post, June 6, 2002, review of The Great Escape.
Washington Post Book World, July 26, 1981; March 28, 1982; April 28, 1985; January 26, 1992, Mary Gentle, review of The Flies of Memory, p. 6.
West Coast Review of Books, July, 1979.
Science Fiction Weekly,http://www.scifi.com/ (June 10, 2002), Nick Gevers, "Ian Watson's Artful Intelligence Generates a Cinematic Gigolo—and More."
Scifidimensions.com,http://www.scifidimensions.com/ (January, 2004), John C. Snider, review of Mockeymen.*