Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXVI (Anderson + Simak + Ballard)

Gifts!  From my fiancé!

Four more wonderful books…  I can’t wait to read J. G. Ballard’s The Burning World (1964) and Poul Anderson’s short story collection Time and Stars (1964)…  Ballard is a genius and Anderson is a solid writer who always produced fun plot-driven works (I suspect his Hugo nominated There Will Be Time (1973) will be similar).  Also, despite my general frustration with Clifford D. Simak’s ouvre, I’m intrigued by Why Call Them Back From Heaven? (1967)….

Enjoy the two Powers covers!

1. The Burning World, J. G. Ballard (1964)


(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1964 first edition)

From the back cover: “World without Water.  ‘The Drought’ everyone called it, as day after day after day went by with no rain.  All over the world it was still ‘the drought,’ though the rivers had turned to trickles  and the trickles to mud as the earth dried, cracked open, and crumbled into dust.  Dust that was at first ankle-deep, then calf-deep, then knee-deep… Most of the world’s population streamed ocean-wards, choking the highways by the millions as they all sought the same thing: the last of the water.  And the sun beat down remorselessly on a world no longer capable of sustaining life…”

2. Why Call Them Back from Heaven?, Clifford D. Simak (1967) (MY REVIEW)


(Diane and Leo Dillon’s cover for 1968 edition)

From Judith Merril’s review on the back cover: “Extremely provocative… deals with the effect on society of the kind of deep-freeze potential immortality we have heard so much recently.  Simak describes a rigid neo-puritan culture, a world of penny-pinching, body-saving, emotional isolationists, living as unremittingly for the ext Life as ever fundamentalist Christian did, because any man or woman who fails to provide an adequate investment sum to grow for him while he is frozen will be unable to compete in the reawakened society.  The only free men in such a society are the outcasts.  In the world of Forever Center, this means the rare criminals who have had a ‘death sentence’ and walk as living ghosts through the rest of their natural lives, aware that when they die, it will be for the last time, and forever…”

3. There Will Be Time, Poul Anderson (1973)


(Uncredited cover for the 1973 edition)

From the back cover: “Time travel-impossible!  There is no machine that can take you into time, past or future.  But what if you are born a time traveler?  Jack Havig did not know how he could cross the centuries merely by willing himself.  But the fact remained, he could.  And, thought Jack, if I can travel through time, there must be others!  So Jack Havig, human being extraordinaire, set out to see te world — the world of Ancient Rome, of the Byzantine empire, of the American Indian tribes, and ultimately the world of the future.  And, seeing the future, Jack found meaning in his life and a reason for his gift.  He must seek out others like himself throughout the centuries and together they must try to affect the future of mankind   For that future threatened the extinction of man’s entire civilization…”

4. Time and Stars, Poul Anderson  (1964) (MY REVIEW)


(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1965 edition)

From the back cover: “There is danger in the stars… when a spaceship crew encounters a race of machines that feed on human energy.  There is laughter in the planets… when an amorous spaceman gets shipwrecked on an uninhabited world with three lovely ladies.   There is suspense on earth… when a former pilot conceives of a daring plan to rescue three buddies stranded in space.  There are more stories to… giving you an exciting glimpse into the world of the future and the lands beyond the stars.”

21 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXVI (Anderson + Simak + Ballard)

  1. Bought The Burning World as The Drought, I have the feeling you’ll like it. Time and Stars, great cover, I’ve read several of the stories and they were solid — “No Truce with Kings” stands out in my mind, it was a Hugo winner after all.

    • Ah, yeah, I should list that as the alternate title. I adored The Drowned World so predict that The Burning World will be a wonderful read.

      Yes, I think it’s near the top of my list — the cover, especially the face is amazing.

  2. The Burning World is probably one of my top Powers covers. When I bought it the bookstore owner encouraged me to buy a reading copy too. I told him not to worry, I’m buying it for the cover and don’t want to ruin it. He was surprised, he had never heard of anyone collecting Sci-Fi books for their cover art!

      • Of that group of ‘disaster’ books, I’ve only read The Crystal World. Which was good but it’s one of his early books and doesn’t show off his style as clearly as say ‘High Rise’ or ‘Concrete Island’.

        Embarrassing that I bought ‘Burning World’ 20 or so years ago and it’s still on the to be read list! Guess that’s what happens when you collect so many books!

      • Also – if you haven’t already, I would think you could write a post on the difference between reading the original book and the reprint. I care to a certain extent about not damaging the old collectible copy, but I’d rather use the book than just let it sit on the shelf. While still being careful of course!

  3. A pretty consistent theme of coming over here and seeing your new stuff is that my list of things to search for gets longer. I still have a Ballard from an older post of yours I am wanting to track down. And the two Powers covers are excellent, I want them both!!! And the stories inside look darn good too.

    • I think the only Ballard novel I’ve reviewed was High-Rise (1975)…. Wow, that was a long time ago — haha. I’ve read The Drowned World in between but was unable to sit down and actually write a review for whatever reason… I did put it on my best of the 60s list. I’m reading Time and Stars at the moment and the first novella — 54 pages — is highly readable.

  4. I just finished an Anderson collection from the eighties, called The Gods Laughed. It was enjoyable. I haven’t read “hard” Science Fiction in a long time.

      • Ah . . I didn’t realize that the stories were that old. Well, compared to what I’ve read in recent years, I would consider it that. Space travel, faster-than-light space ships, aliens . . . there’s a lot of true science in these stories. I have to admit some of it was way over my head.

        • Hehe, yeah, it’s always nice to check the publication history on isfdb.

          Here’s the collection’s listing.


          I find his sci-fi rather adventuresome and soft — or at least most what I’ve read of his. Obviously he wrote Tau Zero which is definitely a hard science fiction classic. But, I think his work moves in and out of that style.

          Perhaps the stories in The Gods Laughed are more hard science fiction inclined….

  5. Great scans, I particularly like the Simak cover which almost looks like a text book from my school days! Enjoy reading The Burning World, it’s a fantastic novel.

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