My month of infrequent posts is over — I’ve returned to Austin after a month long sojourn across Colorado, New Mexico, France and Italy…. So, what do I do in my jet lagged state? Head to the Half Price Books. Not the best haul this time but a few potentially interesting reads.
1. Witch World (1963), Andre Norton
I’ve yet to read any of Andre Norton’s immense number of novels. Not knowing exactly where to start I picked up what is generally considered among her best works — Witch World (1963). It was nominated for the 1964 Hugo award for Best novel and often places in best Fantasy/Sci-fi lists. And the cover is great!
2. Make Room! Make Room! (1966), Harry Harrison
Harry Harrison’s Make Room! Make Room! (1966) is one of the most famous sci-fi works dealing with an overpopulated future (for an incomplete list of works I’ve compiled on this subject, click here). I suspect the work’s reputation rests more fact that it was source material for Charlton Heston’s wonderful film, Soylent Green (1973). Apparently the key final scene in Soylent Green is nowhere to be found in the book….
3. One Million Tomorrows (1970), Bob Shaw
I was sufficiently intrigued by Bob Shaw’s Ground Zero Man (1971) to pick up another one of his novels. The cover art is spectacular — I suspect that was the real reason it ended up in my to buy pile. The premise is intriguing as well: a future where no one dies of old age due to an immortality drug with unusual side effects. Hopefully Shaw explores the social angle of this standard premise…
4. Star Ways (variant title: The Peregrine) (1956), Poul Anderson (MY REVIEW)
Poul Anderson’s third novel was heavily edited without his knowledge. I don’t have high expectations but, as with most of Anderson’s works, it’ll be well plotted and touch on interesting issues in a rather cursory fashion. And, any sci-fi work about hordes of people crammed into spaceships/generationships/etc for a long time interests me…. (my second favorite theme after overpopulation — suggestions welcome).
5. Between Planets (1951), Robert Heinlein
And early Heinlein juvenile = fun, rampant political moralizing, pro-active teen boy fighting against all odds, tertiary female character doing nothing, more fun…. I wish my edition had the cover above: banal spaceship, orb which looks like a proto-Death Star, and a planet. 50s Sci-fi distilled into component parts?
6. The Blood Red Game (1965), Michael Moorcock
I have no idea how to approach Michael Moorcock’s gigantic conglomeration of interconnected novels. I’ve read The Warlord of the Air (1971) and own the two sequels. I highly doubt The Blood Red Game is any good (my father informed me it was one of the worst sci-fi novels he’s ever read). I should read Moorcock’s Elric sequence but I’ve never been that impressed with fantasy as a genre…