Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LVII (del Rey + Knight + Pohl + Kornbluth + Weinbaum)

A nice collection of old, venerable, classic authors….  I’ve yet to read any of Weinbaum’s pulp — a short story collection is probably a good place to start…. I was somewhat impressed with Lester del Rey’s The Eleventh Commandment (1962) so I look forward to his short stories — and, the fantastic Richard Powers collage cover will be a welcome addition to my collection.

1. A Martian Odyssey (variant title: A Martian Odyssey and Other Classics of Science Fiction), Stanley G. Weinbaum (1962) (MY REVIEW)

(Robert E. Shultz’s cover for the 1966 edition)

From the back cover: “Weinbaum exploded on the science-fiction world with the impact of a 100-megaton bob with his wirst story, ‘A Martian Odyssey’… [His stries] were all interplanetary adventures with original plots, crisp, believable dialogue, and mature and human love interests.  Weinbaum endowed us with alien entities that were truly alien.”

2. Mortals and Monsters, Lester del Rey (1965) (MY REVIEW)

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1965 edition)

From the back cover:  Science fiction’s most argumentative writer.  Mr. del Rey is an authority on music, religion, biology, witchcraft, extra sensory perception,  flying saucer and worse.  In fact, he would probably be unbearable if it were not for his sense of humor, wit and love of fallible humanity.  This is what makes him a good writer.  In fact, very good indeed.  Science fiction hans have long known this.”

3. A for Anything (variant title: The People Maker), Damon Knight (1959)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1965 edition)

From the back cover: “Gismo.  The Gismo was a simple-looking contrivance of wood and copper and glass.  It could only do one think: duplicate an exact replica of anything placed on it.  Jet planes, old masters, money, you name it:  the gismo could duplicate it.  The golden age of man’s leisure had arrived.  But then… In the middle of the twenty first century man returns to all the horrors of medieval serfdom.  A society where everything is supplied by the Gismo can only produce a rigidly stratified social order.  Underlying the whole civilization are the Slobs — the slaves at the bottom who wait patiently for the day when…”

4. Wolfbane, Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth (1957)

(Ken Barr’s cover for the 1976 edition)

From the back cover: “Six-sevenths of the human race was dead!  The pyramid creatures had taken over.  Man was reduced to an organic component in their vast machine.  Servile.  Hopeless.  All but one.  He held the key to humanity’s survival and the future of the universe.  They called him Wolf.”

10 Replies to “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LVII (del Rey + Knight + Pohl + Kornbluth + Weinbaum)”

  1. Love that Paul Lehr cover. I have yet to see one of his that I don’t like and want to own.

    I’ve only read one story by Lester del Rey, “To Avenge Man”, but it remains one of my favorite short works. I need to pick up a collection of his work.

    1. Yes, it’s great. I sort of like the Ken Barr cover as well — and considering the cover blurb (pyramid aliens) he did a pretty good job making it NOT cheesy… hehe. But knowing the authors, the work is more of a satire…

  2. A for Anything is one of those rare novels that I re-read every couple of years, but I come away disappointed each time. It feels like it ought to be better than it is, but I guess that between the Inevitable Reversion To Feudalism to which too much science fiction is prone and the Solution To Everything Is To SPACE! it feels like a placeholder for a better book.

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