The Doris Piserchia Page

-----This page is under construction-----

***Wow! At Wiscon 20 I got a t-shirt with the cover art from Dimensioneers***

As I find more biographical information and read more of Piserchia's novels and short stories, I will continue adding to this page.

Each Piserchia novel is compact, vigorous, and complex. It's difficult to convey their flavor. Her books are all short, but they are built on a grand scale. Her monsters, like Mordak and the Fluger, burst with life, justly angry like John Gardner's Grendel, howling, romping, raging; the more they destroy humanity, the more likable they are. Her heroines and heroes are common in the best sense of the word. They fall into their hero status by accident, and on the way to the end of their quests, they discover essential truths about life, about themselves; they see deeper into the universe when they are through. Her work is action packed, but thoughtful, exploring good and evil, hope and despair, ambition, war, and love.

Piserchia's female protagonists are strong, independent, and complex. They are frequently orphans, with telepathic dimension hopping companion animals. Star Rider, Earthchild, Dimensioneers, and Spaceling are especially good books for young adults.

For some reason I have never met anyone who has heard of her, I've never seen her work appear in any feminist or women's anthologies, and her books aren't currently in print. Despite this, I am positive that her work will be counted as Literature, transcending whatever stereotypes are put on the genre of science fiction. Her books aren't monumental, all-encompassing future histories or detailed universes; they are more like something you can hold in your hand, but they are no less great than the best. In my opinion she ranks up there with Stanislaw Lem, Ursula LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, J.R.R. Tolkien, Samuel Delany, and Sheri S. Tepper. Somebody please get a clue, get on the ball and get her work back in print.

In short, she has been my personal favorite, my writerly idol, for years, and I would be happy to write one book as good as any of hers!

Liz Henry
November 1995

Short Fiction

More Piserchia reviews by Dani Zweig.

ISFDB entry

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