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Unquenchable Fire by Rachel Pollack

Unquenchable Fire (1988)

by Rachel Pollack

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Living World (Book 1)

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186663,528 (3.38)10



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)

I thought this was great. It's set in a near-future world where spiritual forces have taken over, for good and ill, and Jenny from Poughkeepsie becomes pregnant from a dream. It is somewhere between Philip K. Dick and Ted Chiang, though closer to Dick, with a distinct slant of feminist spirituality. There is a lot of vivid language and exploration of the underlying myths (which may be real) of Jenny's world. It's not at all the sort of thing one associates with Arthur C. Clarke's writing (on which more soon) but it is definitely in line with his intellectual interests in later years, and I can see how the judges might have decided to give it the nod. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 11, 2016 |
What would you do if you had a visitation and unwillingly found yourself pregnant with the Saviour of the World?

Pollack's setting - a modern day America with an animist religion reminds one of Ted Chiang's story 'Hell is the Abscence of God' and T. F. Powys earthy, almost pagan Christianity. ( )
  justifiedsinner | Aug 19, 2016 |
This book won the Arthur C. Clarke award, but it didn't work for me. I was contemplating using the Pearl rule because it just started out so blech for me - and I rarely don't finish a book (well, I might set it down, but I usually always return and finish them). It takes place in Poughkeepsie NY, in a post-revolutionary America that is hard to describe. There is a whole new religion with a very bizarre set of creation myths and everyone is always performing various rituals. The new religion is also very commercialized - you can buy all kinds of kitschy junk to support all the rituals that people are performing. The book would alternate telling the new mythology and progressing the protagonist's story. The protagonist is a very ordinary divorced woman who isn't very happy and just goes from day-to-day. She falls asleep after completing her work rounds one day and has a bizarre dream and ends up pregnant. This is at about page 50. She has the baby on p.385 and the book ends on p. 390, when her 17-old daughter goes off to College.

One little interesting point I picked up on was that people who follow the old religions, worship God for example, were called 'secs' or seculars and were looked down upon. ( )
  LisaMorr | Jan 27, 2016 |
*note to self. Copy from A.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Set in the same world as [Temporary Agency], this story tells an inter-related set of stories about a woman chosen to give birth to something.

Pollack's world is an amazing creation: A modern world in which the forces of magic have won out over the forces of logic. Miracles, magic, and spiritual (and demonic) interventions are every day occurrences. ( )
  lquilter | Sep 28, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rachel Pollackprimary authorall editionscalculated
O'Conner, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For belief and help and everything else, this book is dedicated to Edith Katz.
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On the afternoon of the Day of Truth, eighty seven years after the Revolution, Jennifer Mazdan, a server for the Mid-Hudson Energy Board, feel asleep and underwent a strange dream, one not found anywhere in the catalogues.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0879515309, Paperback)

It's uncomfortable to be chosen for Great Things. A lot of fantasists admit that, but Pollack's Jennie Mazdan shows us just how uncomfortable it can be. This is suburban fantasy, reminiscent of Philip K. Dick's suburban SF, and the protagonist is a nice suburban middle-class person who, in a recognizable America informed with rational, non-Christian divine powers, copes with supernatural imposition on her life. Perfectly balancing the anchoring familiar mundanities against her brilliant, fascinating Living World---surly bureaucrats at the National Oneiric Registration Agency, tourists photographing the Founder's Urinal shrine in Poughkeepsie---Pollack tells Jennie and Valerie's story of transformation, acceptance and triumph. Potently stocked with archetypes, yet down-to-earth and even funny, this is great fiction and great fantasy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:42 -0400)

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