A nice mix with some gorgeous Powers’ covers—some 30s + 50s pulp, three novellas in one of only a handful of female SF author anthologies ever published, and another John Brunner novel for my extensive collections (it’s an expanded novel from one of his earlier pulp works, hopefully he improved the original version).
1. After Worlds Collide, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer (1933)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1963 edition)
From the back cover: “When the group of survivors from Earth landed on Bronson Beta, they expected absolute desolation. This Earth-like planet from another universe had been hurtling through space, cold and utter darkness for countless millennia. All life should have perished millions of years ago. But the Earth-people found a breathtakingly beautiful city, encased in a huge, transparent metal bubble; magnificent apartments filled with every luxury; food for a lifetime in the vast, empty kitchens; but with no trace either of life—or death. Then the humans learned they were not alone on Bronson Beta…”
2. The Crystal Ship (three novellas: Vonda N. McIntrye + Marta Randall + Joan D. Vinge), ed. Robert Silverberg (1976) (MY REVIEW)
(Norman Adams’ cover for the 1977 edition)
From the back cover: “THE CRYSTAL SHIP. High over their home planet, a decadent, dying, drugged, and oblivious people hover in a huge crystal spacecraft, while below their inheritors, a new and alien race, battle for supremacy against forces of fear and superstition. MEGAN’S WORLD. The primitive planet of Taebish, where a feline race still fights with spears and worships bloodthirsty gods, should have been easy for the advanced Terrans to invade and plunder. Yet their plans go awry when a bionic woman takes the side of these alien people against her own. SCREWTOP. Isolated on a steaming, black and red prison planet, where survival was a game of chance and no one ever won, three ill-assorted beings learn to love and struggle for life.”
3. The Time Dissolver, Jerry Sohl (1957)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1957 edition)
From the back cover: “AT THE SUMMIT OF SCIENCE FICTION. A man awakens with a clear memory of his date the night before. He rises to go on about his business as usual—finds he is in a room he has never seen before. He looks in the mirror… it is his face he sees, all right—but ages! He went to sleep on May 15th of one year. He awoke the next day as expected—but eleven years later! The woman in the bed beside him awakens also—in terror at the sight of him. She too went to sleep on May 15… NEITHER HAS SEEN THE OTHER IN HIS LIFE.”
4. Age of Miracles (expanded from: Age of the Star Cities), John Brunner (1973)
(Uncredited—looks like Dean Ellis—cover for the 1973 edition)
From the back cover: “When suddenly all the fissionable material on Earth was exploded, Earthmen had their fist notice of the aliens’ arrival. And by the time the panic, death and chaos had all been sorted out, reports were coming in about mysterious cities scattered across the face of the planet—huge areas of flickering light and awesome free energy, disorienting to human senses and impregnable to attack. THE QUESTION WAS: WERE THEY ALIEN BASES… OR SOMETHING ELSE?”
16 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XCIX (Vinge + Randall + McIntyre + Wylie + Brunner + Sohl)”
Man, I miss these old covers!!
Haha, couldn’t agree more.
I’d love to see your library. Very cool stuff
Eh, it’s mostly not SF actually (mostly medieval history oriented — PhD student)…
Still always a joy to behold personal libraries. Extensive or not. They tell a lot about the owner.
Well, on twitter I have one photo of one shelf — gives you an idea of how they’re crammed on the limited shelf space I have — haha.
I’m kinda curious actually. Do you have a reading list? And how often do your acquisitions make it onto the list?
No reading list. I divide the books out that still need to be read on a separate shelf. I have an Amazon wishlist so that family members can procure gifts for me (haha) but I have my entire existent collection (around 700 or so SF novels etc) and all the books/authors memorized I want so I never buy duplicates…
Very cool! Will continue to look forward to new reviews then.
And, if you have followed my blog a while, you’ll notice that I go back and link the my reviews to the acquisition posts when I have read them. So, with 99 acquisition posts so far I suspect I’ve read a 1/3rd or so of the novels listed. But, I only list newly acquired works (or within the last few months) so I sometimes read books I’ve had for longer than the history of the blog.
I read ‘Age of Miracles’ two years ago. I liked it a lot, it has his emphasis on things like diplomacy to solve problems rather than military force. There is still plenty of action, but not as much as there would be in the typical dystopian novel of that time. I think it’s one of his better books, but not quite as impressive as say ‘Stand on Zanzibar’ or ‘The Sheep Look Up’.
Mike at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature reviewed the original (MUCH shorter) version, The Day of the Star Cities and disliked it greatly (and he’s a Brunner fanatic) — I suspect this expanded vision is far superior.
There is a good deal of exposition in later chapters which made me think he may have wanted to expand the story even further.
The Silverberg anthology looks intriguing. I’ve read the McIntyre novella and can vouch for its quality. Joan Vinge I’m not too keen on, but don’t actively dislike. It’s thus the Randall title I’m most curious to read your review of…
I’m with you on Vinge. I enjoyed Mother and Child but disliked Fireship (rather dull). I found her novella in this volume very forced and inorganic in delivery. Not a fan…
The Randall is better but I haven’t yet read the McIntyre. I enjoyed Marta Randall’s Islands (!976) which I reviewed a while back. Might be worth reading.
That Richard Powers cover is very atmospheric with a well ordered composition.I’d like to think the book itself is just as good…..I know Philip Wylie was an earlier author who wrote books such as the superman novel,”Gladiator”,at a time when sf wasn’t published outside of the magazines.
I haven’t read anything by him though.