Christmas giftcard expenditures continue…
An interesting collection of acquisitions — Clifton’s Eight Keys to Eden (1960) is considered, at least by the reviews I’ve found online, to be a little read classic — i.e. my kind of sci-fi novel. Aldiss always has wonderful ideas and The Long Afternoon of Earth (variant title: Hothouse) is generally proclaimed one of his best — I’m still waiting for work which garners the same magic as his masterpiece Non-stop (variant title: Starship) (1958).
After reading Kornbluth’s masterful short story collection The Explorers (1953) I felt obligated to pick up a copy of one of the more famous Pohl + Kornbluth collaborations, Gladiator-In-Law (1954).
A few intriguing Malzberg stories in Future City (1973) compelled me to snatch one of his lesser known novels off of the shelf — In The Enclosure (1973) tells the story of an alien tortured by his human captives. I find Malzberg’s relentlessly dark visions very appealing… He has a HUGE catalog I’ve yet to read.
1. The Long Afternoon of Earth (variant title: Hothouse), Brian Aldiss (1962)
(Uncredited cover for the 1962 edition)
From the back cover (of a later edition), “The sun is dying. It never rises, never sets, on an Earth that has long since ceased to spin. Half the Earth is in perpetual shadow. On the other half — where it is always afternoon — a handful of humans struggle for existence against a creeping green horror that has devoured all other animal life. Men who have never seen the stars — less than insects on the planet they once ruled!”
2. Eight Keys to Eden, Mark Clifton (1960) (MY REVIEW)
(Ralph Brillhart’s cover for the 1962 edition)
From the back cover, “Eden. An Earth colony eleven light years away in the black void of space was not answering the urgent signals of Communications from Earth. The colonist were a tough, determined, disciplined group. It was their job to colonize — they had been doing so for years — setting things up for other, less rugged groups to come, and then passing on to the next planet Earth assigned them to. It was unthinkable that some person among them would not find a way to respond to Earth’s signals — unless something was very, very wrong indeed on Eden.”
3. Gladiator-At-Law, Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth (magazine 1954) (MY REVIEW)
(Richard Powers cover for the 1955 edition)
From the back cover (of a later edition), “Futureland U.S.A. Where vicious youth gangs are enthralled by blood-circus spectaculars. Where a dedicated crusader, a drug-inspired genius, a juvenile war lod and a reformed coward attempt to pull off the wildest liberation of all time.”
4. In The Enclosure, Barry N. Malzberg (1973) (MY REVIEW)
(Lila M. Culhane’s cover for the 1973 edition)
From the back cover, “Escape is all that Quir thinks about. Escape from the enclosure on Earth. Escape from the endless interrogations. Quir’s memories have been burned out; all he knows is that he must give scientific data to humans whenever they ask for it.”