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Cover of: Bimbos of the Death Sun | Sharyn McCrumb
About the Book

Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun is a strange work. Ostensibly a mystery novel complete with a murder and an array of suspects with plausible motives, it won an Edgar Award in 1988 for Best Original Paperback Mystery. Although we follow the plot, curious to know who killed famed novelist Appin Dungannon and why, the fact is that what happens in this novel is in some ways much less important than where it happens. Bimbos of the Death Sun is not a mystery that merely happens to be set at a science fiction and fantasy convention; it's a novel about a particular, peculiar American subculture, and it just so happens that a murder and investigation occur while the Trekkies and Dungeon Masters are convening to buy and sell memorabilia and don their hobbit costumes. In fact, the novel is really a parody of that culture and, as such, it has garnered understandably ambivalent reviews from the science fiction and fantasy community it caricatures. The perspective of the novel is decidedly that of an outsider's. The protagonist is a man named James Owen Mega who, under the pseudonym Jay Omega has published a science fiction novel named Bimbos of the Death Sun. Omega, though, is no science fiction fanatic or frequenter of conventions He and his girlfriend, Dr. Marion Farley, are both professors at a local university, and Omega wrote the novel in his spare time as a fictionalized account of his scientific research. The reader, therefore, experiences the convention's peculiarities and surprises along with the bewildered and amazed professors. . The pair represents, in some ways, two different approaches to the pageantry of obsession and fantasy that swirl around them. Omega, as a guest author and conference V.I.P., tries to tread lightly around the customs and peculiarities of the sci-fi aficionados so as not to offend or become too involved. Marion, as a professor of comparative literature, casts a more critical eye on the proceedings, giving the touted big-shots and aspiring authors little credibility.McCrumb, however, also tempers the satire somewhat with her choice of protagonists. By informing us that Marion actually teaches a course on science fiction and fantasy novels at the university, McCrumb is careful to acknowledge that science fiction is a legitimate literary genre. Like any legitimate literary genres, it has its noteworthy practitioners (Tolkein, Asimov) as well as its charlatans (the terrible Appin Dungannon). Her target, McCrumb wants us to know, is not the works themselves but the obsessive culture that springs up around the works, and by making the shy, bookish Jay Omega her sympathetic protagonist, McCrumb is also making it clear that her target is not simply the socially maladroit. The satire is directed, rather, at people who have made these escapist fantasies a life obsession.

6 editions First published in 1987

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: Bimbos of the Death Sun
Bimbos of the Death Sun
2002, RosettaBooks
E-book in English
Cover of: Bimbos of the Death Sun
Bimbos of the Death Sun
December 28, 1996, Fawcett
Mass Market Paperback in English
Cover of: Bimbos of the Death Sun
Bimbos of the Death Sun
December 28, 1996, Ballantine Books
Paperback in English
Cover of: Bimbos of the death sun.
Bimbos of the death sun.
1989, Penguin
in English
Cover of: Bimbos of the death sun
Bimbos of the death sun
1988, TSR
in English
Cover of: Bimbos of the death sun
Bimbos of the death sun
1987, TSR
in English

History

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July 22, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot remove fake subjects
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