Some Chicago finds from Powell Books (Hyde Park)… I own too many SF novels in my to read pile (I have close to 300 waiting to be read so I am going to try to put a stop on rampant — yes, they are cheap — purchases).
Last one of these for a while? Should I take bets?
Some titles definitely not my normal fare — I’ve read Haldeman’s The Forever War (1975), Forever Peace (1999), and Forever Free (1999) but not a single one of his short stories so Infinite Dreams (1978) is a welcome addition to my collection.
Chad Oliver is one of the “second-tier” greats whom I’ve not read…. And Chalker falls in that category as well. Poul Anderson’s The Byworlder (1971) is generally not considered one of his best but it did snag a Nebula award nomination.
1. Infinite Dreams, Joe Haldeman (1978)
(Clyde Caldwell’s cover for the 1979 edition)
From the back cover: “INFINITE DREAMS. An ancient gypsy puts a curse on all mankind. A cranky Martian Jew takes on the largest corporation in the Galaxy. A Mason jar of home-made booze changes the course of history. A mediocre artist is dragged off to serve jury duty — inside a berserk computer. A two hundred year-old child of the future revives the dead art of reading. Plain people and strange people and non-people and maniacs, savants and bumblers — even heroes and villains — inhabit Jo Haldeman stories, stories that sweep through thousands of light-years or spin inside the confines of a man’s skull. Here for the first time are the award-winning short stories, including the Hugo-winning “Tricentennial,” by one of the most imaginative science fiction writers of our time.”
2. The Shores of Another Sea, Chad Oliver (1971) (MY REVIEW)
(Bob Pepper’s cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “It was time killing time for the big cats! The sun dipped low in the East African sky as the rust-colored dust formed an ageless patina, covering the landscape of the dead. As he had many times before, Royce Crawford watched the lions stalk onto the valley floor. Suddenly, Royce head something unusual — a faint bizarre whistling, otherworldly, out of time and place. On the horizon, an arc of white appeared and curved downward toward the earth. The predators scattered. There was nothing. The fading sun lost its warmth. Whatever it was, Royce knew, had come down near the settlement. As he ran toward his jeep one thought raced through his mind: AN UNKNOWN EVIL FORCE HELD THE LIVING IN A DEATH GRIP. Only Royce Crawford could prevent the inevitable holocaust.”
3. A Jungle of Stars, Jack L. Chalker (1976)
(H. R. Van Dongen’s cover for the 1976 edition)
From the back cover: “PAUL CARLTON SAVAGE. Died for the firs time on July 29, 1969 in Viet Nam… and then his troubles really began. Before he knew what hit him, Savage was approached by The Hunter and offered a deal… a deal he was in no position to turn down: immortality in exchange for his services in The Hunter’s continuing war against the Bromgrev. Suddenly Savage found himself pitted again The Bromgrev — an enemy he had never seen… an enemy who could be anyone, anywhere, at any time… an enemy determined to destroy all who opposed him and anything that got in his way. In this raging intergalactic war between Good and Evil, Savage was in peculiar position. He couldn’t decide which side to join… and time was running out!”
4. The Byworlder, Poul Anderson (1971)
(Gene Szafran’s cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “THE SECRET OF THE SIGMAN. Skip Wayburn, artist, drifter, sigaroon, gulped down his food with with nothing on his mind but a long evening of lovemaking. Far above him, the first emissary of interstellar space continued to orbit the globe. For three years it had been there, and still there were nothing but questions. What had lured the voyager from Sigma Draconis to Earth? How did the creature plan to use its incredible power? And most important, why was it waiting… and for what? THen, in a blinding flash of insight, Skip Wayburn suddenly knew the answers… knew with dead certainty what the Sigman had some, who “he” was, and precisely what the Earthman must do. But who would listen to the far-out ideas of a mere sigaroon? Skip didn’t know. But someone had to listen–and fast.”