Another wonderful assortment (some from Central Texas bookstores, some from my father as presents, some semi-forgotten works from a few months ago that I forgot to post about)… Regardless, I’m almost finished Zelazny’s Jack of Shadows (1971) and am quite impressed (I loved This Immortal and Lord of Light). Another PKD, Dr. Bloodmoney or How We Got Along After the Bomb (1965), swells my already extensive collection of his novels and short story collections — again, the premise is vintage PKD surrealism (girl with twin brother growing inside of her in a post-apocalyptical wasteland). I bought the Wilson Tucker novel, Tomorrow Plus X (1956), because of the gorgeous Richard Powers cover… A few of his works are supposedly readable, but this one is probably justly forgotten. The Cordwainer Smith collection, Space Lords (1965), will be my first exposure to his work — very excited! Now that I think about it, I do have a copy of Norstrilia (1975) languishing somewhere.
1. Jack of Shadows, Roger Zelazny (1971)
(Robert Pepper’s cover for the 1972 edition)
From back cover, “AN OVERPOWERING ADVENTURE OF A WORLD HALF IN DARKNESS, HALF IN LIGHT… The Earth no longer rotates. Science rules the dayside of the globe, Magic rules the World of Night. And Jack of Shadows, Shadowjack the Thief, who broke the Compact and duped the Lord of High Dudgeon; who was beheaded in Inglés and rose again from the Dung Pits of Glyve; who drank of the blood of a vampire and swallowed a stone — Shadowjack walks in silence and in shadows to seek vengeance upon his enemies. Who are his foes? All who would despise him or love the Lord of Bats: Smage of the Jackass Ears, the Colonel Who Never Died, the Borshin, and Quazer, winner of the Hellgames and abductor of the voluptuous Evene. One by one, Shadowjack would seek them out and have his revenge, building his power as he goes. And once his vengeance is obtained, he would some to terms with all other who are against him, he would united the World of High Dudgeon, destroy the Land of the Filth, and bring peace to the Shadowguard. But to accomplish all, Jack of Shadows must find Kolwynia, the Key That Was Lost…”
2. Dr. Bloodmoney or How We Got Along After the Bomb, Philip K. Dick (1965)
(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1965 edition)
From the back cover from a different edition, “Seven years after the day of the bombs, Point Reyes was lucker than most places. Its people were reasonably normal — except for the girl with her twin brother growing inside her, and talking to her. Their barter economy was working. Their resident genius could fix anything that broke down. But they didn’t know they were harboring the one man who almost everyone left alive wanted killed.”
3. Tomorrow Plus X (variant title: Time Bomb), Wilson Tucker (1956)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1957 edition)
From the back cover, “The Bombings formed a strange, inexorable pattern — Each Explosion came on a rainy night. Each struck only in a “Restricted” area. Each was related to the other. Each was directed at a leader of the fanatic, misnamed Sons of America. Each was fatal. And each left no cluse! Without clues, you can catch a killer in only one way: at the scene of the cime. But how can you stop a criminal who moves through time and space to murder his victims — completely and irrevocably — days before the moment of actual death?”
4. Space Lords, Corwainer Smith (1965)
(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1965 edition)
From the back cover, “Giant planoforming ships ply the spaceways… Men “built” animals to do mankind’s labor — and plot in secret… Living weapons guard the most important secret in existence… A thousand planets acknowledge one ruler — the Instrumentality of Mankind…”
10 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XXXI (Dick + Zelazny + Tucker + Smith)”
I have a different version of Space Lords with a cover that I really like, but I like that image as well. It is the one used for the NESFA collection Rediscovery of Man that has all Smith’s work in it.
Space Lords is the collection that introduced me to Paul Linebarger’s SF work and made me a lover of it as well.
I have a different edition as well…. Jack Gaughan’s dismal ’68 edition.
Oh, and see I like that version of the book. Possibly it is because that is the first one I read, but also I like the 60’s vibe. Not a big fan of the man on it, but I like the weird black ships.
Have you read this?
Nope, I haven’t read anything by Smith. I like the ships but not the man and the gigantic phallic rocket…
You don’t actually expect me to read when you are showing me shiny cover art, do you? 😉
Let Norstilia languish, if not burn. I also have Space Lords but my sights are set very low after that abysmal wreck of Norstrilia. I just don’t understand all the praise for it.
What’s wrong with Nostrilia? I think I remember reading your review a while back….
Besides being silly to the point of losing all its so-called humor, it’s pulpy and corny. The 2nd-hand bookstore won’t even take it. The memory haunts me.
Well, I’ll definitely read his shorts in Space Lords first….
That Dr. Bloodmoney cover is moody and atmospheric,but the actual novel is funnier than the cover suggests.I like it though.