I’ve held to my promise not to buy any more books this summer considering I have at least 40 unread sci-fi books looming over my shoulder. However, other people are welcome to procure books FOR me! And they have — all of the following were gifts! Thank you!
1. The Last Starship from Earth (1968), John Boyd (MY REVIEW)
I’ve read multiple reviews which claim that John Boyd’s The Last Starship from Earth is a lost classic. However, opinion are far from unanimous (for example, the sci-fi author Joanna Russ wrote a scathing review blaming the publishers for subjecting her and fellow readers to Boyd’s novel). I don’t shy away from reading the occasional average work (and this fulfills my interest in seldom read sci-fi).
2. Tower of Glass (1970), Robert Silverberg
Considered a Silverberg classic… So far I’ve found his classics classic (The World Inside, Downward to the Earth) and his other works completely dismal (my recent review for Master of Life and Death is a case in point). So, I’ll go forth with high expectations.
3. To Live Again (1969), Robert Silverberg (MY REVIEW)
I lesser read Silverberg work generally considered to have some redeeming qualities (again, according to online reviews I’ve found).
4. Who Can Replace A Man? (1967), Brian Aldiss
I’ve not yet read any of Aldiss’ short stories so I greeted the addition of this collection to my library with warm welcome. I’ve found that his novels lack sufficient fleshing-out (Earthworks, The Dark Light Years) so perhaps this collection will showcase his substantial talents in shorter form. I’m looking forward to this one!
5. The Weapon Makers (variant title: One Against Eternity) (1947), A. E. Van Vogt
I’m still not decided on Van Vogt. Pros: he’s writing extremely complicated works quite early in the history of the genre (40s, 50s). Cons: I find some of his work dry/stilted/and occasionally, incomprehensible (intrigue for the point of intrigue without motives etc). For example, The World of Null-A… At this juncture I’m leaning towards Damon Knight’s well-known opinion that Van Vogt is a hack…. Hopefully this will prove him wrong.
6. The Garments of Caean (1976), Barrington J. Bayley (MY REVIEW)
I forgot to include Barrington J. Bayley’s The Garments of Caean (1976) on an earlier incarnation of this post series. Bayley was my “virtually unknown author of the year” find last year and I haven’t read one of his novels this year. Despite the egregious cover, The Garments of Caean is considered one of his best works. I did enjoy The Fall of Chronopolis…
7. Nightwings (1969), Robert Silverberg
Nightwings (1969) is a fix-up novel of three linked novella/novelettes (Nightwings, Perris Way, and To Jorslem). The novella form of Nightwings won the Hugo Award — and Silverberg claims he changed almost nothing. And the cover! Absolutely beautiful!