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Norman Spinrad


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Norman Spinrad is the author of over twenty novels, including Bug Jack Barron, The Iron Dream, Child of Fortune, Pictures at 11, Greenhouse Summer, and The Druid King.

He has also published something like 60 short stories collected in half a dozen volumes.  The novels and stories have been published in about 15 languages.

His most recent novel length publication in English is He Walked Among Us, published in April 2010 by Tor in hardcover and April 2011 in trade paperback.

He's written teleplays, including the classic Star Trek, The Doomsday Machine, and two  produced feature films Druids and LA Sirene Rouge. He is a long time literary critic, sometime film critic, perpetual political analyst, and sometime songwriter.

He's also briefly been a radio phone show host, has appeared as a vocal artist on three albums, and occassionally performs live. Heís been a literary agent, and President of the Science Fiction Writers of America and World SF.  Heís posted 30 YouTube videos to date.

He grew up in New York, has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Paris, and travelled widely in Europe and rather less so in Latin America, Asia, and Oceania.

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Raising Hell
Author: Norman Spinrad
Publisher: PM Press/ Outspoken Authors
ISBN: 978-1-60486-810-4
Published: 07/14
Format: Paperback
Size: 7.5 x 5.5
Page Count: 128
Subjects: Science Fiction


An all-new story designed to take a poke at both Christian fundamentalists and corporate CEOs, “Raising Hell“ is a rousing account of the fight to improve working conditions in Hell, with the help of such deceased immortals as Jimmy Hoffa, John L. Lewis, and César Chávez. “The Abnormal New Normal,“ which casts a cold and razor-sharp eye on current trends in popular culture, shows how they reflect the domination of the one percent, and suggests a radical fix.

Also featured is our Outspoken Interview, the usual mix of intimate revelation, celebrity gossip, insight, opinion, and outright lies.


“Norman Spinrad, one of the sacred heroes of my coming-of-age as a writer, has never quit redefining his role as dissident and sage, inviting the bullies of the present moment outside for a throwdown, and somehow also conjuring possible futures despite all the odds against those—he’s that most miraculous of creatures, a Utopianist’s Dystopianist.“
—Jonathan Lethem

“Spinrad is without a doubt one of the best contemporary American novelists. Endowed with an acuity as terrifying as it is pertinent.“
Rolling Stone

“Norman Spinrad, like his characters, takes great risks; the rewards for readers willing to meet him halfway are commensurate.“
New York Times Book Review

“Norman Spinrad is a hip, worldly, high-tech Nostradamus whose engaging predictions are occurring on CNN as you turn his pages.“
—Timothy Leary

“Norman Spinrad has a rich and passionate imagination. At once subtle and humane, he’s a very fine writer indeed, working at the peak of his gifts.“
—Greg Bear

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raisingRaising Hell: A Review
By Paul Di Filippo
October 9th, 2014

Whenever discussion turns to candidates for the next SFWA Grandmaster Award, the name of one author who is fully entitled to such a distinction is notably missing. I refer to Norman Spinrad. After a career that began in 1963—that’s fifty-plus years and counting, folks—and which includes epochal work during the seminal New Wave movement; a continuing stream of top-notch, impassioned, always varied novels and stories thereafter; two stints as SFWA President; and a wealth of critical essays that have helped to elucidate the intellectual and narrative storyspace occupied by fantastika—well, one would think such credits would render the possessor a shoe-in for the honor.

But giving Norman Spinrad the Grandmaster title would be like sitting the court jester on the throne; like taking a rebel leader from the jungle and putting him in the Presidential palace; like making Mother Teresa the Pope. Institutions would be upended, black would be white, and hogs would grow pinions.

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raisingRaising Hell: A Review
Publishers Weekly

Jimmy DiAngelo is in Hell, but he's faced worse situations as a disreputable union organizer, and he sets out to make conditions better for the demons in a satire that fails to make a point beyond a banal "life is hell." Spinrad (Osama the Gun) opens with distasteful references to anal penetration as he sets up the bleakness of Hell and how unfair it is to Lucifer and the others. When DiAngelo works with other union leaders to establish a new bargaining agreement between Heaven and Hell, he opens up a rebellion on a celestial scale and provides a opening for corporate monsters to exploit people in the afterlife. The futility of Lucifer's situation matches the oppressively cynical writing, which focuses heavily on Spinrad's disgust both for corporations and for the worst aspects of the labor movement. This feeling extends into the author interview and the more competently written essay about the current economic climate that complete this short, skippable set piece.

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Iron and Chromium: Five Novels by Norman Spinrad in the Los Angeles Review of Books
by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Los Angeles Review of Books
March 10th, 2014

"A brief concluding thought on accolades. As the The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction summarizes, Spinrad “won the Prix Utopia in 2003, a life achievement award given by the Utopiales International Festival in Nantes, France; he won no significant awards in America or the UK.” While it’s true that his work has never reached the critical thresholds of popularity or fellow peer support needed to earn these awards, we should remember that he has been nominated for six Hugo awards and six Nebula awards across categories that include dramatic presentation, novel, novella, novelette and nonfiction book. Perhaps my favorite of Spinrad’s short stories is “Carcinoma Angels,” which first appeared in Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions, and which tells the story of Harrison Wintergreen, a prodigy who can seemingly accomplish anything he sets out to, except taking pleasure in his own accomplishments — with tragic results. That story is a compelling reminder to enjoy what we do have while it lasts."

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