SF readers were delighted by the 1967 publication of ``The Heat Death of the Universe'' in the British magazine New Worlds, but Zoline's appeal extends beyond that genre. In a collage style, ``Heat Death'' juxtaposes the principle of entropy and the life of a California housewife, which offers one small, moving illustration. Here, according to Nabokov's prescription, Zoline's cerebral, painterly prose combines the passion of the scientist with the precision of the poet. If nothing else in this first collection matches the title story's concision, emotional electricity or absurdist humor, Zoline's distinctive voice and postmodernist undercutting of cliche and formula remain intact throughout. A photographer's mental breakdown in ``The Holland of the Mind'' becomes a sensory overload of Dutch sights and sweets, of Rembrandt and Vermeer, of a new language that seems ``a kind of clown English.'' The novella ``Sheep'' is a dotty encyclopedist's anthology by association of ideasof lullabies, sleep, dreams, counting sheep, sheepherders and cattlemen, shepherds and the pastoral as a literary genre, etc. This overdue collection is to be savored while awaiting Zoline's first novel, also long anticipated. (April)
In these five stories, Zoline might juxtapose the drudgery of daily existence with space age realities; or mix images of lovers, childhood memories, and sleep research on animals; or in meticulous prose describe a character existing in an encyclopedic world where everything is in its proper box. Her stories are vastly different, yet imagery and detailed approach tie them together as if with colored threads. In ``Holland of the Mind,'' her Dutch-for-travelers excerpts may irritate, but in the end what fascinates is a subtle reversal of style. Lauded as a ``new wave'' writer in England, Zoline should find an audience here. For larger collections. Robert Dorn, Rockland Community Coll. Lib., Suffern, N.Y.