Ron Goulart Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

In the tradition of Anthony Boucher (with whom he once studied), Alfred Bester, Mack Reynolds, and Hal Clement, the prolific Ron Goulart successfully blends—and bends—the disparate mediums of mystery and detective fiction and science fiction. He is the only writer ever to win a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award for what is arguably a science-fiction novel (After Things Fell Apart, 1970). Even his “conventional” mystery and detective fiction often requires the willing suspension of disbelief necessary for the enjoyment of science fiction. His stories are notable for iconoclastic satire, wry humor, and a perceptive and sometimes compassionate insight into the human condition. Goulart—who was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1966 for his short story “Calling Dr. Clockwork”—except for perfecting the crossover story that combines elements from various traditions, has brought no major innovation to either the mystery and detective or the science-fiction field. Aficionados of both genres, however, can savor his distinctive fiction.

Ron Goulart Bibliography

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Bell, Thomas R. Review of Odd Jobs No. 101 and Other Future Crimes and Intrigues, by Ron Goulart. Library Journal 99, no. 19 (November 1, 1974): 2874. An unfavorable review of this collection of mostly detective stories set in the future or science-fiction stories written like detective stories. The reviewer found the tales “predictable, repetitive, and unredeemed by Goulart’s humor.”

DeAndrea, William L. Encyclopedia Mysteriosa: A Comprehensive Guide to the Art of Detection in Print, Film, Radio, and Television. New York: Prentice Hall, 1994. Contains a brief entry on Ron Goulart, focusing on his work in the mystery genre, particularly Hollywood private eye John Easy.

Goulart, Ron. “Comic Book Noir.” In The Big Book of Noir, edited by Ed Gorman, Lee Server, and Martin H. Greenberg. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998. A good sample of Goulart’s expertise in the field of comic books, wherein he demonstrates that the medium of comics, influenced by European expressionist films and by pulp magazines—and led by such creations as Superman, Batman, and the Spirit—was a standard-bearer of noir sensibilities from the late 1930’s.

Kirkus Reviews. Review of Elementary, My Dear Groucho, by Ron Goulart. 67, no. 19 (October 1, 1999): 1526-1527. An unfavorable review of this...

(The entire section is 411 words.)