Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXXV (Heinlein + Sheckley + Anderson + Zebrowski)

A fun bunch of thrift store finds and gifts….  I’m most excited about Robert Sheckley’s novel Immortality, Inc. (1958) — not only is the cover gorgeous (the initials read LSG but I can’t figure out who the artist might be) but Sheckley is fast becoming a favorite of mine (for example, the short story collections Store of Infinity and The People Trap).

I know very little about George Zebrowski’s novels.  So, I’ll approach The Omega Point (1972) with a tad bit trepidation.  Has anyone read him?  If so, what do you think?

I’ve read Heinlein’s The Man Who Sold the Moon but I have a much later edition and sort of enjoy the standard pulp cover for the 1951 edition.

And another Anderson classic….

1. Immortality, Inc., Robert Sheckley (1958) (MY REVIEW)

(Uncredited — brilliant — cover for the 1959 edition)

From the back cover: “Want to be immortal?  You can in 2110 A.D. Just go to the Hereafter Insurance Corporation and hook yourself up to The Machine.  There’s nothing to fear.  That is…if it happens to be working right, and if nobody slips another mind into your body when you’re not looking, and if you’re not on a poltergeist hate-list…”

2. The Omega Point, George Zebrowski (1972)

(Ray Feibush’s cover for the 1974 edition)

From the back cover: “Gorgias was one of the last surviving members of the ancient and might race, the Herculeans.  Their rival Empire had dared challenge Earth’s supremacy of the stars.  In vicious retaliation their race was nearly wiped out, and their home planet left lifeless and burnt out.  These old and terrible memories were etched deep in Gorgias’ memory.  They drove him on over the lonely and hate-filled centuries, seeking a vengeance that would bring eternal glory.  But the lovely Myraa, beloved from long ago, had a strange and different vision.  A vision that did not include empires and wars and armies.  And she constantly called him, drawing him always back to her side…”

3. The High Crusade, Poul Anderson (1960)

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1964 edition)

From the inside flap of a later edition: “In the year of grace 1345, as Sir Roger, Baron de Tourneville, was gathering an army to join King Edward III in the war against France, a most astonishing event occurred: a huge silver ship descended through the sky and landed in a pasture besides the little village of Ansby in northeastern Lincolnshire.  The Wersgorix, whose scouting ship it was, were quite expert at taking over planets, and having determined from orbit that this one was suitable, they initiated standard world-conquering procedure.  That is, one to the crew showed himself — a sight that customarily terrorized backward natives.  The tactic had never failed; superstitious aborigines were always quickly subdued — or wiped out — leaving Wersgorix free to establish a base, gather specimens of indigenous plants, animals and minerals, and report their findings home, facilitating future conquest.  Ah, but this time it was no mere primitives the Wersgorix sought to slaughter or enslave.  They’d launched their invasion against Englishmen! [etc… the blurb is incredibly long].”

4. The Man Who Sold the Moon, Robert A. Heinlein (1950)

(Stanley Meltzoff’s cover for the 1951 edition)

From the back cover: “‘WANTED: Seven passengers for first scheduled flight to moon.  Great opportunity for two married couples to set up permanent housekeeping in Luna City.  Contact DD. Harriman, Harriman Enterprises, immediately.’  Here is your ticket the fascinating world of the future — a world where energy from the sun will be converted directly into power; where all cars and trains will have disappeared to make way for a nation-wide network of rolling roads; where men will hunger for new worlds to conquer — and will reach for the stars.”

3 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXXV (Heinlein + Sheckley + Anderson + Zebrowski)

  1. “The High Crusade” is great fun, and one of my favorites. I have not read it yet (it’s in my to-read pile), but I know Zebrowski’s book was part of a trilogy based on the philosophy of Teilhard de Chardin. I love the style of that era of Signet SF paperbacks, like the one for “Caves of Steel.”

    • I’ve been reluctant in the past to pick up a copy of The High Crusade — perhaps because I’m a medievalist and don’t really want to read a SF/F take on the subject (perhaps it’s related to my general disliked of medieval themed fantasy — the only fantasy that appeals to me are the more literary and strange/surreal/bizarre incarnations of the genre a la VanderMeer, Calvino, Borges etc).

      Yeah the Zebrowski book is from the Omega Point trilogy…. This is book one and if I don’t like it I certainly won’t make an effort to track down the sequels.

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