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Frankenstein Unbound

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Joe Bodenland, a 21st century American, passes through a timeslip and finds himself with Byron and Shelley in the famous villa on the shore of Lake Geneva. More fantastically, he finds himself face to face with a real Frankenstein, a doppelganger inhabiting a complex world where fact and fiction may as easily have congress as Bodenland himself manages to make love to Mary Joe Bodenland, a 21st century American, passes through a timeslip and finds himself with Byron and Shelley in the famous villa on the shore of Lake Geneva. More fantastically, he finds himself face to face with a real Frankenstein, a doppelganger inhabiting a complex world where fact and fiction may as easily have congress as Bodenland himself manages to make love to Mary Shelley. This title was made into a film, starring John Hurt, Raul Julia, Bridget Fonda, Jason Patric and Michael Hutchence.


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Joe Bodenland, a 21st century American, passes through a timeslip and finds himself with Byron and Shelley in the famous villa on the shore of Lake Geneva. More fantastically, he finds himself face to face with a real Frankenstein, a doppelganger inhabiting a complex world where fact and fiction may as easily have congress as Bodenland himself manages to make love to Mary Joe Bodenland, a 21st century American, passes through a timeslip and finds himself with Byron and Shelley in the famous villa on the shore of Lake Geneva. More fantastically, he finds himself face to face with a real Frankenstein, a doppelganger inhabiting a complex world where fact and fiction may as easily have congress as Bodenland himself manages to make love to Mary Shelley. This title was made into a film, starring John Hurt, Raul Julia, Bridget Fonda, Jason Patric and Michael Hutchence.

30 review for Frankenstein Unbound

  1. 3 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”The monster at my feet said, ‘This I will tell you, and through you, all men, if you are deemed fit to rejoin your kind: that my death will weigh more heavily upon you than my life. No fury I might possess could be a match for yours. Moreover, though you seek to bury me, yet will you continuously resurrect me! Once I am unbound. I am unbounded!’” Original cover art from the first edition in 1973. I like it. Joe Bodenland is living in the midst of a dying Earth in 2020. A nuclear war in space ha ”The monster at my feet said, ‘This I will tell you, and through you, all men, if you are deemed fit to rejoin your kind: that my death will weigh more heavily upon you than my life. No fury I might possess could be a match for yours. Moreover, though you seek to bury me, yet will you continuously resurrect me! Once I am unbound. I am unbounded!’” Original cover art from the first edition in 1973. I like it. Joe Bodenland is living in the midst of a dying Earth in 2020. A nuclear war in space has torn the fabric of the universe, and now everyone is experiencing timeslips. The future and the past are now blending. He might go to bed in 2020 and wake up in 1984 or 1432. The timeslips are unreliable. He might be in 1776 for an hour or twenty hours before he is snapped back into the present in 2020. ”By seeking to control too much, we have lost control of ourselves.” When Bodenland finds himself in 1816 Switzerland, he can’t help but explore. He drives his 21st century nuclear powered car out from his temporarily relocated house to take a look around. Before he can return, the timeslip...slips again... and he is stuck in the 19th century. He is not that unhappy about it; in fact, he is rather giddy at the thought of meeting the Romantic poets who just happen to be vacationing in Switzerland at this very moment in time. Byron, Shelley, and his soon to be wife, Mary, are welcoming, but after meeting Victor Frankenstein over a stein of beer, Bodenland realizes that there is a mashup of the real and imaginary happening as well. He sees the creature, the fiend, the Frankenstein’s monster, and feels that something must be done before this beast, already a murderer, kills again. He goes to Mary Wollstonecraft, hoping that she can give him insight into a book she hasn’t even written yet. She is not yet eighteen, a young mother, but at the height of her beauty, and at an intriguing stage of her developing intellect. Bodenland is starstruck. ”Seen in the soft green light of the window, speaking with her serious calm air, Mary Shelley was beautiful to behold. There might be a melancholy here, but there was none of Shelley’s madness, none of Byron’s moodiness. She seemed like a being apart, a very sane but extraordinary young woman, and a slumbering thing in my breast woke and opened to her.” Bodenland knows more about Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley than she knows about herself at this point in her life. He is enamored with the woman she is going to be, as much or more as he is of the young girl she is at this moment. ”Let your sunlight and my moonlight mingle!” She says, which means exactly what you think it does! Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Doesn’t a woman look sexy writing a novel? I can think of a number of literary crushes I have on writers: Marguerite Duras, Clarice Lispector, or Daphne du Maurier to name a few. I may have to add Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to the list. Bodenland becomes obsessed with stopping Frankenstein before he creates another creature. Frankenstein feels compelled to comply with the Monster’s request, due to his own guilt and the very real fear that, if he doesn’t supply the Monster with a woman, he will be torn to shreds. Bodenland finds himself desperately chasing these creatures, taking the role that Frankenstein fulfilled in the original book. ”Nothing could refresh my soul; I was a Jonas Chuzzlewit, a Raskolnikov. I had lied, cheated, committed adultery, looted, thieved, and ultimately murdered; henceforth my only fit company was the two brutes who journeyed somewhere ahead of me, my only fit surroundings the frigid hinterlands of hell which I now entered.” He has become worse than those he feels must be destroyed. Will he himself be unhinged, unbound, unfit? Brian W. Aldiss is a huge fan of the novel Frankenstein. He ”has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story because, in contrast to previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character ‘makes a deliberate decision’ and ’turns to modern experiments in the laboratory’ to achieve fantastic results.” He certainly felt respect, maybe mingled with a bit of lust, for Mary Wollstonecraft, which I find to be charming and only slightly pervy that he fulfilled a sexual fantasy in fiction through a surrogate character. I wish that Aldiss had developed the interactions with Shelley and Byron more thoroughly. They are such dynamic, fascinating characters that I felt shorted by the drive-by moments that they appeared in the novel. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed Tim Power’s book The Stress of Her Regard Interesting concept, so interesting in fact that I wanted more. I felt the idea of the book was sold short and could have been a terrific book if Aldiss had drilled down deeper into the thoughts and feelings this situation inspired. Recommended for fans of Frankenstein and his monster. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    Meta fictional adventure, in which an earthquake shakes our main character and his car from a dystopian future into a past in which Mary Shelley's brain power as some have long suspected in a curious form of head birth even as Zeus strained to bring forth Athena has given real life both to Frankenstein and his monster. This leaves the main character with the curious task of returning the monster to a purely fictional status through violent means, a course of action which the monster finds object Meta fictional adventure, in which an earthquake shakes our main character and his car from a dystopian future into a past in which Mary Shelley's brain power as some have long suspected in a curious form of head birth even as Zeus strained to bring forth Athena has given real life both to Frankenstein and his monster. This leaves the main character with the curious task of returning the monster to a purely fictional status through violent means, a course of action which the monster finds objectionable. The one pursues the other not simply in replication of Mme Shelley's story, but also as her narrative haunts our imagination, with its evergreen tale of our own neglected creations turning against us.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Brian Aldiss has a mother complex. There's no other way to explain his novel FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND. In it, Joe Bodenland, a man from the 21st century slips back in time to the 19th century; specifically, to Switzerland, where he first meets Victor Frankenstein and his monster and then, after another displacement, Mary Shelley and her illustrious companions. He becomes obsessed with thwarting first Frankenstein, and then his monsters. There's some good stuff along the way. Aldiss' portraits of Percy Brian Aldiss has a mother complex. There's no other way to explain his novel FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND. In it, Joe Bodenland, a man from the 21st century slips back in time to the 19th century; specifically, to Switzerland, where he first meets Victor Frankenstein and his monster and then, after another displacement, Mary Shelley and her illustrious companions. He becomes obsessed with thwarting first Frankenstein, and then his monsters. There's some good stuff along the way. Aldiss' portraits of Percy Shelley and Lord Byron are colourful and convincing. The narrator's various meditations on the scientific quest to learn more and improve on nature are occasionally though-provoking, raising interesting questions about, for instance, whether rationality has really done more for human dignity than religion, even when the points they make are debatable (did religion really protect the basic dignity of every human being more than reason-based capitalism? It seems unlikely). Aldiss' depiction of the monster and its mate (yes, Frankenstein Makes Woman in this pastiche) are pretty good, too. But there's little sense to it all. The narrator is obsessed with destroying the monster and his mate, even though they seem to deserve it little enough. Bodenland himself becomes a bit of a monster in his murderous quest. There are one too many time-slips, and nothing is really explained or tied up. Most egregious of all, the narrator sleeps with Mary Shelley, for little reason other than that he is there, and he makes her happy by telling her that he is a time traveller who can vouch for the eventual success of her novel. It seems highly out of character from what I've read of Mary Shelley, who was no libertine, and certainly the fact that the narrator is presented as an old man, a grandfather, at the end of his career, makes the liaison that much stranger. I think Aldiss just wanted to fantasise about making love to Mary Shelley, whom he has often described as the mother of his genre, and to hell with sense or plot coherence. Having written this bit of slash fic, he then built a fairly shoddy structure around it, and then, being of a thoughtful bent of mind, fleshed it out a bit with philosophical ramblings. The end result is less than a novel, not quite an essay. An alogether vexatious and disappointing exercise. Aldiss is one of the more interesting and original literary SF writers, and one with a keen engagement with the genre's nature and history. I expected much more from his take on what he holds to be one of the first, if not the first, SF novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    Aldiss no sólo tiene buenas ideas, también escribe bien. Y lo demuestra en este homenaje a Mary Shelley y a su inmortal obra. 'Frankenstein desencadenado' comienza mostrándonos a Joe Bodenland en Texas, en el año 2020. El mundo está en guerra, lo que ha provocado la ruptura del espacio-tiempo, causando el deslizamiento de zonas de este mundo hacia el pasado. En uno de estos deslizamientos, Bodenland llega al siglo XIX, a 1816. En esta realidad, se da la circunstancia de que coinciden tanto él, co Aldiss no sólo tiene buenas ideas, también escribe bien. Y lo demuestra en este homenaje a Mary Shelley y a su inmortal obra. 'Frankenstein desencadenado' comienza mostrándonos a Joe Bodenland en Texas, en el año 2020. El mundo está en guerra, lo que ha provocado la ruptura del espacio-tiempo, causando el deslizamiento de zonas de este mundo hacia el pasado. En uno de estos deslizamientos, Bodenland llega al siglo XIX, a 1816. En esta realidad, se da la circunstancia de que coinciden tanto él, como Mary Shelley, Percy, Polidori y Byron, así como Frankenstein y su Criatura. Una vez se da cuenta del entorno en el que se encuentra, Bodenland nos narrará mediante un diario todas sus aventuras. Al mismo tiempo, se encomendará una misión: acabar con el monstruo. Mediante un lenguaje evocador y poético, Aldiss nos describe los encuentros con estos personajes, así como la figura atormentada de Frankenstein. También aprovecha para reflexionar sobre el progreso, el tiempo y la ética. Sin duda, nos encontramos, no sólo ante un clásico de la ciencia ficción, sino también ante una gran novela.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura V.

    Pensé que estaba leyendo Frankenstein Educador, obviamente me equivoqué, pero como el libro no iba mal lo seguí. Me gustó un poco. ¿Qué pasaría si despertara en un tiempo donde la realidad y la ficción se entremezclan? "El creador y las criaturas se encadenarán unos a otros en una relación de vida y de muerte."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

    In the year 2020 (so begins Frankenstein Unbound), a great war has created cataclysmic conditions on Earth. Nuclear warfare between warring nations has created - not an uninhabitable world, but - a condition wherein so-called "timeslips" occur. That is, the inhabitants of 2020 find themselves thrust into times and places throughout history and beyond, before the timescale corrects itself and reverts them to their proper time and locale. This chronological dyspepsia is the direct result of the nuc In the year 2020 (so begins Frankenstein Unbound), a great war has created cataclysmic conditions on Earth. Nuclear warfare between warring nations has created - not an uninhabitable world, but - a condition wherein so-called "timeslips" occur. That is, the inhabitants of 2020 find themselves thrust into times and places throughout history and beyond, before the timescale corrects itself and reverts them to their proper time and locale. This chronological dyspepsia is the direct result of the nuclear bombing of opposing nations' moon colonies. Heh, heh... no, hang on now. Joe Bodenland, married father of two, finds himself propelled into the year 1816 - "the first man ever to be displaced in time" - along with his automobile. Within moments, he finds himself encountering the fictional Dr. Frankenstein in a pub in Switzerland. Obviously, Joe surreptitiously follows the man closely, watching as Frankenstein's Monster bursts forth from a thunderous mountaintop to do mortal battle with the good doctor. Fortunately for the storyline, he escapes. Unfortunately, poor Joe Bodenland is no literary scholar, and finds himself having difficulty recalling the precise details of Mary Shelley's classic work. To rectify this, he seeks out Ms. Shelley herself (then known as Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, for she had yet to wed Percy Bysshe) to inquire as to the finality of her fictional creation. As it turns out (ha, ha, ha!), Joe takes Mary Shelley to bed, and they fall in love! Joe then hunts down the mysterious Dr. Frankenstein in order to protect mankind from his abhorrent monsters - and yes, it is finally revealed that Joe's car is outfitted with a gun turret, just like all 2020 models will be - but winds up in prison for the suspected homicide of the missing Frankenstein. Joe, however, finds himself sprung from jail during the fracas of a freak flash flood, after which he begins his hunt anew. Heh, heh, heh! No, really! This is just the first half of the book! Just wait until you get to the part where Frankenstein's Monster and the "Bride of Frankenstein" get into their little mating ritual! Or the torching of Frankenstein's stone-walled castle with the use of a dry butane lighter. Or the part where Joe finds his car again (powered on uranium, so it never needs refueling - just like all 2020 models will be), and drives it throughout the mountainous terrain of the Swiss Alps in hunting the murderous duo. Have I ruined it for you? I'm sorry... Go read it for yourself. No, seriously! You've really got to read this for yourself!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Randolph

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is just terrible. I hate to think what the Dracula counterpart was like. I’m going to mark it as abandoned even though I will probably slog through the rest of it. The writing is pre-pubescent at the best of times and the whole thing smells like a dash off. I know it’s science fiction but the whole thing is also preposterous. The premise is shabby and the execution even more so. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, not to mention Byron, and Percy Shelley, would be spinning in their graves if t This book is just terrible. I hate to think what the Dracula counterpart was like. I’m going to mark it as abandoned even though I will probably slog through the rest of it. The writing is pre-pubescent at the best of times and the whole thing smells like a dash off. I know it’s science fiction but the whole thing is also preposterous. The premise is shabby and the execution even more so. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, not to mention Byron, and Percy Shelley, would be spinning in their graves if they knew a half-wit hack like Aldiss hitched his wagon to her team. It would take me as much time to explain this mess as the book is long, so I’m not going much into the nonsense that is supposed to be a plot. The action starts in the distant future of 2020. Now for some time I’ve been telling sf authors you need to pitch things a whole lot farther in the future, or make it at least hazy and ambiguous what “future” time we’re talking about, like “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away,” but nobody listens. The otherwise excellent Philip K. Dick made some of the same mistakes. Millennials don’t know or care dick about Nixon (How’s that for clever prose? Wait on it. You’ll get it eventually.). If you don’t do this the future “era,” so to speak, looks stupid because you know it won’t turn out that way no matter how prescient you think you might be. Better to project an alternative history future. It sits better, like Blade Runner 2049. Otherwise you’ve already got one foot in the grave with the “future” reader. Then there’s the romance between Mary Godwin and our protagonist Joe Bodenland. Could have only been written by a repressed male. Never mind. There’s also these time slips where bits of the Earth presumably get pushed forward and backward in time and space. These provide Aldiss’s Deux Ex Machina to move things conveniently along when he needs to. Then there’s the fact that the whole Frankenstein story is somehow “real” and not Mary Shelley’s invention. Like she wasn’t clever enough to come up with it on her own. Aldiss was always a lightweight in the circle of New Wave speculative fiction; the right place at the right time. Michael Moorcock should be ashamed for writing the introduction and not telling the reader it was a practical joke, like L. Ron Hubbard’s stuff.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    This is the book that the Roger Corman movie was (loosely) based on. I actually thought the film, although definitely a 'B-movie' did a better job in some respects of delineating the parallels between the sci-fi scenario that Aldiss sets up and the classic story of Frankenstein. In the 21st century, nuclear war in space has ruptured the space-time continuum, causing bizarre 'time-slips.' Caught in one of these, an influential man finds himself 200 years in the past - but a past where it seems that This is the book that the Roger Corman movie was (loosely) based on. I actually thought the film, although definitely a 'B-movie' did a better job in some respects of delineating the parallels between the sci-fi scenario that Aldiss sets up and the classic story of Frankenstein. In the 21st century, nuclear war in space has ruptured the space-time continuum, causing bizarre 'time-slips.' Caught in one of these, an influential man finds himself 200 years in the past - but a past where it seems that the fictional story of Frankenstein is fact. We meet our infamous scientist, and our protagonist is soon caught up in trying to save an innocent woman from being executed for a killing committed by the monster. Another 'slip' occurs, and our protagonist now finds himself some months later, in what may or may not be a different reality again, hanging out with Byron, Shelley and Mary Godwin (soon-to-be Mary Shelley). Reality seems to be unraveling. Our protagonist becomes somewhat obsessed with tracking down the monster in his 21st-century car and killing it. But is the real problem that humanity, in whatever century one may be in, seeks out forbidden and dangerous knowledge, as the original Frankenstein illustrates? Or is it the human hatred of and violence toward anything different and unknown? This short, philosophical novel is really Aldiss' musings on these issues. It's OK, but perhaps could have been better executed. I liked how, in the movie, the protagonist was actually a scientist responsible for the device which caused the timeslips, setting up a nice parallel between him and Dr. Frankenstein. In the book, he's just a random guy, it seems.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This is a rather silly tale...it reminds me of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris " where the protagonist travels back in time to visit his heroes who were living in Paris in the twenties. Here the protagonist is transported back in time from 2020 to 1816, and the banks of Lake Geneva where he might conveniently meet Mary Shelley and her creation Frankenstein and his monster. The protagonist,Joe Bodenland, manages this time travel feat through a time slip which results rather improbably from the n This is a rather silly tale...it reminds me of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris " where the protagonist travels back in time to visit his heroes who were living in Paris in the twenties. Here the protagonist is transported back in time from 2020 to 1816, and the banks of Lake Geneva where he might conveniently meet Mary Shelley and her creation Frankenstein and his monster. The protagonist,Joe Bodenland, manages this time travel feat through a time slip which results rather improbably from the nuclear bombing of opposing nations' moon colonies. Joe has trouble remembering Mary Shelley's original book and seeks out Mary Shelley to find out more details of the story, having already encountered Dr Frankenstein and his monster. After meeting Mary Shelley, her lover, the poet Percy Shelley and Lord Byron, Joe goes off to try to destroy the monster and the "Bride of Frankenstein", which the Doctor created to appease his monster. Joe has managed to bring with him from 2020, a uranium powered Felder, a car which conveniently doesn't need refueling...although this is less convenient when he wants to burn down Dr Frankenstein's castle. The author is clearly a big fan of Mary Shelley, as the founding mother of science fiction and attempts to give us a new take on her original story. As a science fiction reader, I would have liked more exploration of the time-slip idea itself or possibly more exploration of creating a monster from spare body parts and a lot of electricity.

  10. 3 out of 5

    ☠ Daniel

    El Hombre se ve excedido por sus invenciones, por sus actos y creaciones que se vuelcan en contra de él, pues intenta controlar lo que no comprende, trata de domar a la bestia de lo desconocido y es herido en su intento de "perfeccionar" la naturaleza y la vida del hombre y al propio Hombre. Una persona descubre un elemento que puede proporcionar energía por largo tiempo beneficiando a sus congéneres, otra persona piensa en usar dicho elemento para crear una bomba atómica. Una persona descubre l El Hombre se ve excedido por sus invenciones, por sus actos y creaciones que se vuelcan en contra de él, pues intenta controlar lo que no comprende, trata de domar a la bestia de lo desconocido y es herido en su intento de "perfeccionar" la naturaleza y la vida del hombre y al propio Hombre. Una persona descubre un elemento que puede proporcionar energía por largo tiempo beneficiando a sus congéneres, otra persona piensa en usar dicho elemento para crear una bomba atómica. Una persona descubre las vacunas, otra los antibióticos, otra la higiene, con esto se prolonga la vida de las personas, al final se produce una sobrepoblación con detrimento de la calidad de vida. Victor Frankenstein en su papel prometeico logra de una manera deplorable su cometido. Pretende otorgar un regalo a la humanidad, mejorando la naturaleza, pretende crear vida, prolongar la vida del hombre, o al menos vencer a la muerte y al hacerlo se aleja de la misma naturaleza, creando un ser que representa la antivida. Así como la creación de Frankenstein se opone a su creador algunas invenciones del hombre representan más daño que beneficios planeados provenientes de dichas invenciones, pensamientos o simples actos, y tales daños producidos por la propia maldad inherente del hombre, maldad cuyo origen se encuentra en la superioridad de la que se cree poseedor el hombre. Léanlo y vean la película.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liesbeth Jochemsen

    Ik las Het uur van Frankenstein: nieuwe gruwelverhalen van meester vertellers. Deze verhalenbundel van uitgeverij Aeropagus bevat verhalen van Benjamin M. Schutz Brian Aldiss Charles de Lint Chelsea Quinn Yarbro David J. Schow Esther M. Friesner F. Paul Wilson Garfield Reeves- Stevens George Alec Effinger Joyce Harrington Karen Haber Katherine Dunn Kurt Vonnegut jr. Loren D. Estleman Michael Bishop Mike Resnick Philip José Farmer S. P. Somtow Steve Rasnic Tem en Melanie Tem. Het boek begint met een inleiding van I Ik las Het uur van Frankenstein: nieuwe gruwelverhalen van meester vertellers. Deze verhalenbundel van uitgeverij Aeropagus bevat verhalen van Benjamin M. Schutz Brian Aldiss Charles de Lint Chelsea Quinn Yarbro David J. Schow Esther M. Friesner F. Paul Wilson Garfield Reeves- Stevens George Alec Effinger Joyce Harrington Karen Haber Katherine Dunn Kurt Vonnegut jr. Loren D. Estleman Michael Bishop Mike Resnick Philip José Farmer S. P. Somtow Steve Rasnic Tem en Melanie Tem. Het boek begint met een inleiding van Isaac Asimov, waarin vertelt wordt over de geschiedenis van de kunstmensen. Van de Golems uit de Joodse legenden tot de Tsjechische term “robot”, wat “slaaf” betekent. Ook wordt kort stilgestaan bij hoe Mary Shelley op het idee voor Frankenstein is gekomen. Het boek eindigt met een korte filmografie van Leonard Wolf. Het boek komt uit 1991, maar sommige verhalen zijn nu misschien wel actueler dan toen. Wat alle verhalen gemeen hebben, is dat niet het door Victor Frankenstein gecreëerde schepsel het monster is, maar Victor zelf en de mensen die het schepsel als een monster behandelen. Dit zet je ook aan het denken: hoe gaan wij om met mensen die afwijken van de norm? In “Bijna-vlees” van Katherine Dunn heeft een vrouw drie mannelijke sekspoppen die ze steeds verder kan upgraden, totdat ze bijna menselijk zijn. Toevallig zag ik pas een aflevering van de documentaire “Robo Sapiens” op Canvas waarin Jelle Brandt Corstius ingaat op de vraag in hoeverre wij een relatie met een robot kunnen aangaan. De sekspoppen en robots die nu op de markt zijn, zijn zo levensecht dat het verhaal van Dunn binnenkort weleens werkelijkheid kan worden. In “Het schepsel op de bank” van Michael Bishop wordt er stilgestaan bij de vraag Wat als het monster van Frankenstein naar de psycholoog gaat? “Monsters van het middenveld” van Mike Resnick gaat over of iemand die in feite bestaat uit onderdelen van verschillende personen, wel mee mag doen aan een sportcompetitie. Dit gaat een stap verder dan onze huidige kijk op doping waarin sporters (verboden) middelen gebruiken om beter te presteren. “Habeas Corpus” van Chelsea Quinn Yarbro gaat over het recht dat een verdachte van een misdrijf binnen een bepaalde termijn van zijn aanklacht in kennis moet worden gesteld, dat hij in levenden lijve aan een rechter moet worden voorgeleid en dat gevangenneming slechts mag volgen op gerechtelijk bevel. “Kleine Frankie” van Joyce Harrington behandelt de ethische kwestie in hoeverre het is toegestaan om een perfect kind te maken. Mag je alle genetische foutjes eruit halen? Een heel actueel thema in een tijd waarin we sommige genetische afwijkingen vroegtijdig kunnen opsporen en soms zelfs kunnen behandelen. Een stap verder gaat het natuurlijk wanneer je gaat selecteren op eigenschappen als oogkleur en muzikaliteit. “De staat tegen Adam Shelley” van Benjamin M. Schutz speculeert over de vraag Wat als het monster van Frankenstein als baby is geboren en in de maatschappij opgroeit? Wat moet de overheid met zo'n kind aan? “Het laatste avondmaal en een oliebol toe” van George Alec Effinger gaat over de vraag wat er van je moet worden wanneer je geen sofi-nummer hebt (tegenwoordig BSN) en dus geen uitkering kunt krijgen en ook nergens aan het werk kunt gaan. “Reünie voor de zonen van de angst” van David J. Schow is een vermakelijk verhaal waarin het monster van Frankenstein, graaf Dracula en een weerwolf een reünie houden. Daarnaast is er nog een verhaal waarin het monster van Frankenstein een leven als filmster leidt (“Oscar-gekte” van Esther M. Friesner). Maar wat als de nabestaanden van al die onderdelen hun eigendom terugeisen en een schadevergoeding willen? De auteurs zijn allemaal zeer creatief in hun benadering van dit klassieke verhaal van Mary Shelley. Sommigen leggen meer de nadruk op de psychische kant. Hoe is het om de enige van je soort te zijn? Wat doe je als je altijd een vrouw bent geweest, maar ineens wakker wordt in het lichaam van een man (“Dromen” van F. Paul Wilson)? Anderen leggen de nadruk meer bij het medische aspect. Hoe kun je met je hersenen je armen aansturen, als die armen oorspronkelijk aan een ander toebehoorden? En als je bestaat uit allemaal stukjes aan elkaar genaaide dode mensen, krijg je dan geen afstotingsverschijnselen? De ene auteur beschrijft het verhaal vanuit het perspectief van de omstanders, of vanuit het oogpunt van de krankzinnige dokter (hoewel die niet altijd even krankzinnig is). De ander kiest voor het perspectief van het monster. Er zijn verhalen bij die zich in het (verre) verleden afspelen en verhalen die spelen in de (nabije?) toekomst. Er zit een soort toneelstuk bij (“Doorzettingsvermogen” van Kurt Vonnegut jr.) waarin de vraag wordt gesteld in hoeverre je door mag gaan met de behandeling van een patiënt. Een ander verhaal is in feite een lange brief en weer een ander verhaal bestaat uit een reeks krantenartikelen. In elk verhaal herken je elementen van het origineel. In sommige wat meer, in andere wat minder. Hoewel dingen soms erg plastisch en beeldend worden beschreven, had ik nergens het idee dat ik een horror aan het lezen was. Eerder een psychologische thriller, die je ook heel erg aan het denken zet. Een mooie toevoeging is dat elk verhaal wordt voorafgegaan door een zwart-wit tekening die past bij het verhaal.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dave Morris

    I've had this book for decades and I was going to toss it, but then I had to go on a business trip to the Arctic Circle and it seemed the perfect book to take along. It's a quick read, fun, well-written and would score more highly (much as I abhor giving books star ratings at all) if it added anything substantial to the Frankenstein story. As it is, a solid entertainment.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Maybe I'll appreciate this more once I've read Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (on my to read pile). --- Ok, now I've read "Frankenstein", I probably need to re-read this because I don't remember it that well. Not sure I'll ever get around to it though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Moira Russell

    A great idea, really poorly executed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brad Hodges

    It is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, which in some ways was the first science-fiction novel. There have been many pastiches that look at the story from different angles, and many film adaptations, and I've read/seen quite a few. In 1973, science-fiction author Brian Aldiss, who passed away last year, did his take on the subject with Frankenstein Unbound. The narrator is Joe Bodendland. It is the year 2020, and a conflict, "largely an irrational war It is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, which in some ways was the first science-fiction novel. There have been many pastiches that look at the story from different angles, and many film adaptations, and I've read/seen quite a few. In 1973, science-fiction author Brian Aldiss, who passed away last year, did his take on the subject with Frankenstein Unbound. The narrator is Joe Bodendland. It is the year 2020, and a conflict, "largely an irrational war of varying skin-tones," has ripped the fabric of space-time, enabling things called "time-slips," or portals to another time. Bodenland goes through one, and ends up in Switzerland in the year 1816. He quickly realizes he's inside the novel Frankenstein. You may wonder how that could be, given that Frankenstein is fiction. Well, Bodenland does, too. Later, he will find himself in the company of Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and his future wife Mary during that dark summer when she dreamt up her famous work. He explains it: "But I had come to an 1816 (and there might be countless other 1816s of which I knew nothing) in which he shared – and his monster shared – an equal reality with Mary and Byron and the rest." This is a wonderful premise but Aldiss makes some errors that diminished my enjoyment. For one, he tries to write in Shelley's florid style, which means he breaks one of Elmore Leonard's rules: too many exclamation points. For another, Bodenland, who is a grandfather, becomes attracted to Mary and they share an intimate relationship (she's only 19) which really amps up the "ew" factor. What are we to do with dialogue like this "‘Oh, Mary, I had to journey two centuries to find such a lover! There never was a love like ours before! Dearest Mary!’" other than wretch? Also, Bodenland's mission is unclear. At the outset he is trying to save the life of Justine Moritz, who in the book is executed for the murder of Victor Frankenstein's brother William, when it was the monster who killed him and Victor knows it. He fails at that, though, and for much of the novel just kind of wanders around. Then he tracks the monster and his mate to the far north with the intent on killing them. I would recommend this book only for Frankenstein enthusiasts such as myself. For the casual reader, it requires having read the original to fully appreciate.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carl Rayer

    Although full of amusing ideas, the book is an excuse for the author to have a conversation (via his time-traveller) with both Mary Shelley and Victor Frankenstein (et al). No real explanation is provided how the author exists along with her creation. The main interest remains Aldis' vision of the world in 2020: cars equipped with machine guns, homes guarded by robots, and telegrams. Moorcock did a better job at time-travel with his Dancers at the End of Time books, where his prose convincingly Although full of amusing ideas, the book is an excuse for the author to have a conversation (via his time-traveller) with both Mary Shelley and Victor Frankenstein (et al). No real explanation is provided how the author exists along with her creation. The main interest remains Aldis' vision of the world in 2020: cars equipped with machine guns, homes guarded by robots, and telegrams. Moorcock did a better job at time-travel with his Dancers at the End of Time books, where his prose convincingly conveys the sense of the fantastic - which, alas, this one does not.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Tom Britz

    This tongue in cheek tale of time-slip in the year of 2020 takes Joe Bodenland back in time to 1816 Switzerland, where he meets Victor Frankenstein, his monster and their creator, Mary Shelly. It would help to allow the story to unfold and leave your critical mind at the door. There are many strange and improbable happenings, but if you let the story take you along it is a nice tale of a man thrown out of his time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    it started off quite interesting bit towards the end was dull, and found myself just wanting to skip through it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Scope

    It's no doubt make love to mary Shelley is no good, and it doesn't matter even if you're a past-perfect-time-shifting-traveler. But, you know, Brian is that kind of narrator that I used to love.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Krystl Louwagie

    First, some quotes I liked from this book: "When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults." "Flesh without spirit was obscene. Why else should the notion of Frankenstein's monster have affronted the imagination of generations, if it was not their intuition of God that was affronted?" I think there would have been more, and I wish I would've thought to highlight them as I as going, but, like most often, I didn't. Anyways, this was a fairly short science fiction novel that takes place in 2020, w First, some quotes I liked from this book: "When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults." "Flesh without spirit was obscene. Why else should the notion of Frankenstein's monster have affronted the imagination of generations, if it was not their intuition of God that was affronted?" I think there would have been more, and I wish I would've thought to highlight them as I as going, but, like most often, I didn't. Anyways, this was a fairly short science fiction novel that takes place in 2020, which when it was written was considerably more in the future than it is now, in which the wold has had world wars with nuclear powers, and as a result, the continuum of time and space has ripped, allowing for "time-slips" where people can be transported to different times and places, sometimes they return, and sometimes they don't-some times the landscape changes permanently, sometimes it returns.In one of these time-slips, he narrator travels to a time when both Victor Frankenstein AND Mary Shelley (though not Shelley yet-she's not married yet). So he becomes both part of fiction and history. A kind of cool idea, but one that maybe would've served more interest as a short story? I'm not sure-though it's fun to see and return to the Frankenstein novel that I love, I don't think he served much of a purpose in it that the original Frankenstein didn't serve. This narrator did DO much, even if he tried. Moreover, he didn't remember very many details about the Frankenstein novel, which is sort of appalling-if you're going to meet the author and be a part of the story, and say your're a huge fan, you should remember the book, man! On the other story line, where he meets Shelley, it feels more like a fantasy fan-fiction. In other words, he and Shelley have sex and he tells her how wonderful she is, and that's about it (he also doesn't seem to care that before the time-slip he had a wife and he is currently recording all of this time-slip for her, but hey, since Mary's so famous, I guess she'll have to forgive him for sleeping with her). Also, to me, this author/narrator feels like he got part of the message of Frankenstein wrong. Or maybe I did. But honestly, in my eyes, Frankenstein isn't a monster for creating his monster; he's a monster for creating and then completely abandoning it, and not just abandonment, cruelly HATING it and refusing to treat it with any compassion what so ever. The theme of fault in this novel is with his creating the creature and "by seeking to control to much, we have lost control of ourselves". And, overall, this novel was written with a pretty male chauvinistic and "holier-than-thou" air-like "I Am Legend" and "Planet of the Apes" and a lot of the older science fiction novels written by males. Also, there seems to be a movie made of this a while back? I'd like to see it, but Netflix doesn't have it...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2684342.html I had not actually read this before - but I had long ago listened to a 1978 commercially released cassette recording of Brian Aldiss actually reading the book. The tapes together were only 2h42m, so it must have been somewhat abridged (though the book is anyway only 216 pages). Aldiss is at his best when he examines fragmentation and transition. (That's why the first two Helliconia books are much better than the third.) Here, his protagonist, Joe Bodenlan http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2684342.html I had not actually read this before - but I had long ago listened to a 1978 commercially released cassette recording of Brian Aldiss actually reading the book. The tapes together were only 2h42m, so it must have been somewhat abridged (though the book is anyway only 216 pages). Aldiss is at his best when he examines fragmentation and transition. (That's why the first two Helliconia books are much better than the third.) Here, his protagonist, Joe Bodenland, is yanked from the world of 2020, recovering from a global conflict where space and time have come adrift, and deposited in Switzerland in 1816, in both the world of Mary Shelley and the Villa Deodati and the world of Frankenstein's Geneva which she invented. Bodenland weaves in and out of both stories, making love to Mary, pursuing the monster, ending in the middle of nowhere anticipating doom. Given Aldiss's own reverence for Shelley as the originator of science fiction (two hundred years ago this summer) there's a lot going on here, and I don't feel fully able to unpack it, but I really liked it. The 1990 film starred John Hurt as the protagonist (renamed Buchanan, which may be easier to say but has less linguistic resonance), Bridget Fonda as Mary Shelley and Raul Julia as Frankenstein. I may even try and watch it some time.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Vitor Frazão

    Tal como é comum nas obras Aldiss: ideias brilhantes, com execução mediana. Conflitos humanos transferidos para a superfície lunar; diluição das linhas entre realidade e ficção; ruptura do tecido espaço-temporal, resultando em Deslocamentos Temporais aleatórios, e o conceito dos objectos mais banais, desde relógios a carros, serem movidos a urânio (esta última uma ideia particularmente aterrador), são elementos com forte potencial, infelizmente o resto da história deixa um pouco a desejar, em es Tal como é comum nas obras Aldiss: ideias brilhantes, com execução mediana. Conflitos humanos transferidos para a superfície lunar; diluição das linhas entre realidade e ficção; ruptura do tecido espaço-temporal, resultando em Deslocamentos Temporais aleatórios, e o conceito dos objectos mais banais, desde relógios a carros, serem movidos a urânio (esta última uma ideia particularmente aterrador), são elementos com forte potencial, infelizmente o resto da história deixa um pouco a desejar, em especial certos factores da interacção do viajante com personagens históricas. Reconheço que os diálogos do protagonista com Lord Byron e Percy Shelley estiveram bons, respeitando, acima de tudo, as obras de ambos e o modo como elas se inseriram nas mudanças culturais da Revolução Industrial. Agora, não havia necessidade nenhuma dele se enrolar com Mary Shelley. Toda essa parte parece-me gratuita e desprovida de contexto narrativo. Já agora, não me lixem, um carro a passear pela Suíça de 1816 devia ter dado muito mais escarcéu. Além de um leque de boa ideias, salvou-o o respeito pela simbologia de "Frankenstein" e o modo como explorou essa temática.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Siisso

    A Timeslip stands no worse than a landslide—a fault in the spatial infrastructure. In a near-future world, there had been an ongoing war among opposing Western, South American, and Third World Powers who have been using nuclear weapons of increasing caliber—within the orbits of Earth - Luna system. 'The Present' must be viewed with with increasing suspicions as T/timeslips increase—some timeslips are not timely enough to warrant a capital T. Herefore, these jumps can only take place in an Etern A Timeslip stands no worse than a landslide—a fault in the spatial infrastructure. In a near-future world, there had been an ongoing war among opposing Western, South American, and Third World Powers who have been using nuclear weapons of increasing caliber—within the orbits of Earth - Luna system. 'The Present' must be viewed with with increasing suspicions as T/timeslips increase—some timeslips are not timely enough to warrant a capital T. Herefore, these jumps can only take place in an Eternalist's universe; since when Joe slips back in Time, the world is still unfolding as per that date. Remember how they say about alternate universes coming to save time travel from its paradoxes? Then, doesn't that give it more power? Like merging a fictional lifeline to an existing one. A Timeslip eventful enough in length requires the chrono-marker to regard its time as Time, so Joe Bodenland does that, to events lasting beyond a few hours.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Siemann

    I teach Frankenstein in college classes quite often, and I love books in various genres that reenvision the Romantic poets, so I figured this would be right up my alley. But the whole thing seems to exist to show that its protagonist, 21st century man Joe Bodenland, is the only sane one of the lot (except Mary!), fictional or historical, as both Victor Frankenstein and his creature are portrayed as essentially evil and insane. Byron and Shelley, likewise, are shadows of their real selves, leavin I teach Frankenstein in college classes quite often, and I love books in various genres that reenvision the Romantic poets, so I figured this would be right up my alley. But the whole thing seems to exist to show that its protagonist, 21st century man Joe Bodenland, is the only sane one of the lot (except Mary!), fictional or historical, as both Victor Frankenstein and his creature are portrayed as essentially evil and insane. Byron and Shelley, likewise, are shadows of their real selves, leaving Mary Shelley open to a torrid affair with Bodenland. While Mary Shelley's Romantic-era prose comes across as OTT sometimes, Aldiss kicks it up another couple of notches, while not making use of the potential depth of the characters. The thing I enjoyed most (from my 2014 perspective) was seeing Aldiss's 1975 imaging of where we would be in 2020.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Miquel Codony

    La premisa me parece intrigante y lo salva un poco el tramo final, muy potente; la prosa de Aldiss; y algunas de las reflexiones que plantea como contrapunto al Frankenstein de Mary Shelley, aunque acerca demasiado su tono (para mi gusto) al del panfleto catastrofista. También me interesa cómo revisita la personalidad de algunos de los personajes de la novela clásica, pero en general me parece una mala novela que no sabe motivar el interés hasta el final. El protagonista, aunque puede leerse com La premisa me parece intrigante y lo salva un poco el tramo final, muy potente; la prosa de Aldiss; y algunas de las reflexiones que plantea como contrapunto al Frankenstein de Mary Shelley, aunque acerca demasiado su tono (para mi gusto) al del panfleto catastrofista. También me interesa cómo revisita la personalidad de algunos de los personajes de la novela clásica, pero en general me parece una mala novela que no sabe motivar el interés hasta el final. El protagonista, aunque puede leerse como una desintegración de la personalidad interesante, tiene muchos problemas de contrucción. No la recomiendo más que cómo curiosidad. Si no hubiera sido por el último cuarto de novela le hubiera clavado solo una estrella.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Andrew

    a fairly swift read this as its not the longest tale a novella on format I guess...Anyhow this is a time travelling tale which presents Victor Frankenstein and his experiments factual and running concurrently with events in the lives of the shelley's and Lord Byron. It's not a reworking of Frankenstein as such but it does use elements of that tale to fairly good effect...in fact the tone and character of the book seems about right albeit this involves more modern elements to it being a time trave a fairly swift read this as its not the longest tale a novella on format I guess...Anyhow this is a time travelling tale which presents Victor Frankenstein and his experiments factual and running concurrently with events in the lives of the shelley's and Lord Byron. It's not a reworking of Frankenstein as such but it does use elements of that tale to fairly good effect...in fact the tone and character of the book seems about right albeit this involves more modern elements to it being a time travelling tale. All in all this was a decent enough tale which although not really the most gripping tale was easy to follow and was enjoyable enough.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Doremili

    No me gusto. Comenzo muy prometedor, con ciencia ficcion y traslados temporales. Pero si lo Frankensteniano hubiese quedado en metafora y centrado en otro tipo de historia lo habria apreciado mejor. *Spoiler* Fue una sorpresa que realmente se encontrara con Victor Frankenstein, incluso prometia, pero cuando llego con Mary Shelley... ¿Que se fumo el autor? ¿Esta tan obsesionado con Mary que sus sueños humedos eran con ella? Esto es casi un Fanfic de Frankenstein que mientras avanzaba se hacia mas No me gusto. Comenzo muy prometedor, con ciencia ficcion y traslados temporales. Pero si lo Frankensteniano hubiese quedado en metafora y centrado en otro tipo de historia lo habria apreciado mejor. *Spoiler* Fue una sorpresa que realmente se encontrara con Victor Frankenstein, incluso prometia, pero cuando llego con Mary Shelley... ¿Que se fumo el autor? ¿Esta tan obsesionado con Mary que sus sueños humedos eran con ella? Esto es casi un Fanfic de Frankenstein que mientras avanzaba se hacia mas aburrido y confuso. No me gusto.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bo

    As a fan of Brian Aldiss I've always thought his biggest weakness was his characters and in this novel its narrated in first person. That soured the whole experience a bit for me. The story is the alt history kind where famous historical people (aswell as fictional in this particular case) are characters and I also tend to find that trope quite annoying. On the more positive side the concept of the Time-Quakes that allow the main character to travel back to the early 1800s interested me but it wa As a fan of Brian Aldiss I've always thought his biggest weakness was his characters and in this novel its narrated in first person. That soured the whole experience a bit for me. The story is the alt history kind where famous historical people (aswell as fictional in this particular case) are characters and I also tend to find that trope quite annoying. On the more positive side the concept of the Time-Quakes that allow the main character to travel back to the early 1800s interested me but it was mostly forgotten except for the very beginning and end of the book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Keith Davis

    The author believes Mary Shelly is the mother of the science fiction genre, and in this odd novel Mary Shelly and her family and friends (including the poets Byron and Shelly) live in the same world as Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. A time traveler falls in love with Mary and it just gets weirder from there.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Christian

    I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I'm a fan of the Romantic writers, so the slips into florid prose and speeches didn't bother me, and I loved the sense of the Sublime that Aldiss creates - the harsh Arctic wilderness, the end of man. The episode where the narrator sleeps with Mary Shelley read like fanfic, though.

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