It’s been a while since I returned to one of the more well-known authors of the 50s — Isaac Asimov. I’ve read many of his novels and short story collections (Foundation Trilogy, The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn, Robots and Empire, The Currents of Space, The Gods Themselves, Nemesis, etc) and have never been too impressed. However, with a run of recent bad 50s sci-fi works under my belt (review for David Duncan’s egregious Dark Dominion is upcoming) I feel the need to reappraise a few of the 50s greats. So, when I was perusing some gorgeous old paperbacks with well-preserved covers I purchased two Asimov novels for the first time since I was a young teenager.
And another Brunner to add to the 20+ works of his I already own…. Unfortunately the one edition I find was the one edition where the editor edited + modified Brunner’s words without his permission.
And some Aldiss short stories from the 50s….
A gorgeous collection of covers!
1. Pebble in the Sky, Isaac Asimov (1950) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1957 edition)
From the back cover: “PEBBLE IN THE SKY takes a man of today, and follows him into a hugely distant, prophetically strange future, where he was a relic from an almost forgotten past — his language buried in antiquity. By the standards of Galactic Era 827, he was a candidate for euthanasia.”
2. The End of Eternity, Isaac Asimov (1955)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1958 edition)
From the back cover: “Temptation in Time. He was a Eternal, a relentlessly disciplined member of an elite class charged with monitoring the past and present… But when he fell in love with a non-Eternal woman, he dared to use is frightening techniques to twist time to suit their purposes…”
3. No Time Like Tomorrow, Brian Aldiss (1959) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “Out of the World. A monster travels back in time to destroy a race called Man on a planet called Earth… A mild-mannered husband is stranded centuries ahead in a world of peep-show barbarianism… A jaded sportsman returns to the prehistorical past to hunt a gigantic brontosaurus… The governor of a penal spaces settlement makes the supreme sacrifice for the colony he loves…”
4. The Productions of Time, John Brunner (1966)
(Uncredited cover for the 1967 edition)
From the inside flap: “May we introduce Manuel Delgado, a brilliant innovator, an Argentine playwright who has assembled before him the cast of his yet unwritten play. He is addressing a group of actors who will create his masterpieces. A play of passions with its roots in their own disorders. Each member of his carefully chosen cast has been brought to ruin and disrepute by abnormal behavior: a former drunk, a sadist with a weakness for pornography, a junkie, a pederast, a lesbian, and a strange, unattached girl who seems to have no major maladjustments and no purpose. They are a group of down-and-out actors with a common bond. Their depressed circumstances have created a total dependence on Manuel Dela=gado. Manuel Delgado has plans and powers beyond their wildest streams. The language he speaks has not even been invented.”