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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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William Kotzwinkle


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Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of William Kotzwinkle and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Kotzwinkle.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Kotzwinkle: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Kotzwinkle tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Kotzwinkle worthy; in sum, to help you rank William Kotzwinkle (and the works by Kotzwinkle listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.


Secondary Disclaimer:
This page has not been updated in a long while; consequently, external links (if any) may lead to dead or moribund pages. I am now cleaning up these pages as fast as I can, but I am one man and it may take me a while to get to every page needing link checking (or even the “Other Resources” section added). Sorry. Please be patient.

A Few Words About William Kotzwinkle

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the "Other Resources" section below will lead you to some information about the "Notable Books" listed farther down this page.

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Other William Kotzwinkle Resources

William Kotzwinkle Resources on the Web

Kotzwinkle is remarkably little known--I once saw a forum posting that assumed the name to be a comic pseudonym--considering that he was the scriptwriter for E.T., has won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (Doctor Rat in 1977) and the National Magazine Award for fiction (twice), and has authored something like four dozen books. Part of the problem may be that many of his books are children's books, and not of a sort likely to seem like literature to many adults (his leading series starts "Walter, the farting dog"), while not a few others are novelizations of screenplays.

He is about as well-represented on the web as he is well-known, which is to say not much. There is a Kotzwinkle web site whose provenance I cannot determine: it seems to be entirely posts by visitors; there is no suggestion that Kotzwinkle himself operates it, endorses it, or even reads it. (He might do any or all of those--it just doesn't say--but it doesn't look like it.) There is a brief but useful article at the Penn State U. site (but its bibliography is incomplete). And there is an extended essay by Robert B. Kohn in College Literature, "The ambivalence in Kotzwinkle's beat and Bardo ties".

There are a few interviews on line; here are some--

There are, however, quite a number of one-off reviews of particular Kotzwinkle books--as always, Google Is Your Friend.

You can even read an entire (if quite short) Kotzwinkle story on line: "The Curio Shop".


William Kotzwinkle Resources in Print

There seems to be only one book (though quite a few magazine pieces, not listed here), that being Eccentric Individuality in William Kotzwinkle's The Fan Man, E.T., Doctor Rat and Other Works of Fiction and Fantasy, by Leon Lewis.


Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by William Kotzwinkle *


(For more possible titles by this author, see the “Unrated Books by Rated Authors” page.)


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This page was last modified on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, at 5:46 pm Pacific Time.