Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Book cover: Mildred Clingerman's
"A Cupful of Space"

  • Title: A Cupful of Space
  • Subtitle: A Heady Brew of Science-Fiction Stories
  • Author: Mildred Clingerman (1918-1997)
  • Cover artist: Richard M. Powers (1921-1996)
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (519K)
  • Cover price: 35 cents
  • Year: 1961
  • Pages: 142
  • Format: Paperback
  • Back cover: See full image at bottom of post
  • Number of stories: 16
  • Sampling of story titles: "Birds Can't Count", "Letters From Laura", "Mr. Sakrison's Halt", and "The Little Witch of Elm Street"
  • Random sentence #1: "I'd been looking, but there are so many books, and all so higgledy-piggledy..."
  • Random sentence #2: "She straightened suddenly as the dream ended, trying to shake off the languor that held her while a strange, ugly man stroked her arm."
  • Goodreads rating: 3.92 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Goodreads review excerpt #1: In 2011, Stig wrote: "On the cover the stories are touted as 'science fiction', but actually they play out in the murky borderland between science fiction, fantasy and horror. Another reviewer has compared her to [Jack] Finney, and I totally agree, but I also think there are influences from Lovecraft and Bradbury here. Seek it out; it's worth it."
  • Goodreads review excerpt #2: In 2015, Alison DeLuca wrote: "Clingerman wrote deceptively simple prose and evoked horror in the most mundane places. Who creates sci fi in the middle of a Christmas tree shop?"
  • Amazon rating: 5.0 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Amazon review: In 2016, Stephen K. Clingerman wrote: "I had to give the 5 stars, because my mother was the author!"
  • About the author: As one of the relatively few women with published fantasy and science-fiction stories in the middle of the 20th century, Clingerman certainly deserves more of the historical spotlight. Her writing receives high praise. These accolades are from MildredClingerman.com:

    • "Mildred Clingerman stands just a few niches below Shirley Jackson in the fantasists' Pantheon, for her wit, invention, prose stylings and ability to capture the zeitgeist and transform it into indelible imagery and happenings. Her name should be broadcast just as widely." – Paul Di Filippo for LOCUS Magazine
    • "Mildred Clingerman is one of the lost women of 1950's science fiction. A subtle, strange, modern writer, her name and her evocative stories vanished from histories of the field." – Eileen Gunn

    Mildred McElroy Clingerman was born in Oklahoma and raised in Oklahoma and then Arizona, where she attended the University of Arizona and later founded a writers' club. During World War II, she worked at a flight-training school while her husband, Stuart, served in the Army. A Cupful of Space was the only book published during her lifetime. 2017's The Clingerman Files contains all of her published stories, thus casting a much wide net than A Cupful of Space. ... According to Fancyclopedia 3, "she was also a collector of books of all kinds — especially those by and about Kenneth Grahame — and of Victorian travel journals."

The back cover

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