Blind Voices

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First edition, cover art by David Plourde

Blind Voices is a 1978 science fiction novel by Tom Reamy. Reamy's only novel, it was published "posthumously in a complete but not final draft"[1] by Berkley Books.


In the early 1930s, three young women in a small Kansas town discover Haverstock's Traveling Curiosus and Wonder Show, and find themselves attracted to its exhibits — some of whom are far more than they seem.


Blind Voices won the 1979 Balrog Award for best novel,[2] and was a finalist for the 1978 Nebula Award for Best Novel[3] the 1979 Hugo Award for Best Novel,[4] and the 1979 BSFA Award for Best Novel.[5]

Kirkus Reviews considered the novel to be "unsatisfying" and "disappointing", faulting Reamy's exposition as "plodding", and "at odds" with the "grotesqueness" of the subject matter.[6] Jo Walton, conversely, described it as "beautifully written" and "Bradburyesque".[7]

Roz Kaveney found its ending to be "slightly tentative and elegiac", and noted that Haverstock's creation of the freaks via rudimentary genetic engineering was a "pretext" for classifying the book as science fiction — one which "has little to do with the feel or plot."[1] Algis Budrys called the novel "substantial" and "adventurous and suspenseful", lauding Reamy's depictions of characters and setting, and stating that if he were to — like Reamy — be found dead at his typewriter, he "wouldn't be ashamed if something like Blind Voices were in it."[8]


  1. ^ a b Reamy, Tom, by Roz Kaveney; at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction; edited by John Clute and John Grant; originally published June 1, 1997 in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy; retrieved June 23, 2018>
  2. ^ Balrog Award, at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction; published June 1997; archived online 1999; retrieved June 23, 2018
  3. ^ Blind Voices at Science Fiction Writers of America; retrieved June 23, 2018
  4. ^ 1979 Hugo Awards, at; retrieved June 23, 2018
  5. ^ British Science Fiction Association Award, archived at Worlds Without End; retrieved June 23, 2018
  6. ^ BLIND VOICES, reviewed at Kirkus Reviews; published September 5, 1978; retrieved June 23, 2018
  7. ^ Hugo Nominees 1979, by Jo Walton, at; published April 17. 2011; retrieved June 23, 2018
  8. ^ Books, by Algis Budrys, in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, published October 1978; archived in Benchmarks Continued: The F&SF "Books" columns (Volume 1: 1975-1982) (Ansible Editions, 2012)