My fiancé picked these up for me as she perambulated through Dallas, TX—the birthplace of Half Price Books. And, easily the best one in the country.
Two more Disch novels to add to my collection (I only owned Camp Concentration). The cover and cover blurb for On Wings of Song (1979) is terrifyingly bad—the contents are supposedly magisterial.
I have no idea if Rachel Pollack’s Golden Vanity (1980) will be any good—looks like average space opera.
And, who can resist Poul Anderson?
1. Echo Round His Bones, Thomas M. Disch (1966)
(Uncredited cover for the 1967 edition)
From the back cover: “It all began when Captain Nathan Hansard of “A” Artillery Company of Camp Jackson/Mars Command Post went to Mars. The message he was sent there to deliver made him wish he were dead — in only six weeks’ time the total nuclear arsenal of Camp Jackson/Mars was to be released upon the enemy. Something had to be done and fast. Captain Hansard left for Earth via the instantaneous transmitter of matter, hoping to arrive immediately. But when he sank into the manmitter’s once solid steel floor, he realized that he was a ghost. Only he did not remember dying… Well then, it was as a ghost that he would have to try and save mankind from atomic destruction… Here is an unusual—and ingenious—SF novel by one of the most talented and popular science fiction writers of our day.”
2. Golden Vanity, Rachel Pollack (1980)
(Dan Long’s cover for the 1980 edition)
From the back cover: “Earth was finally entering the galaxy… The “Alies” [sic — Allies?] had arrived, sweeping down from the stars to offer a jaded Earth the marvels of the cosmos. And Earth had gone crazy. Farmers sat back to wait for Vita Flakes to fall from the sky. New York City drank itself into a permanent starstruck stupor. Blissed-out teenagers wandered into the Great Mexican Defoliation Desert to wait for the New Gods to bear them off to the astral plane… But the “Alies” weren’t in the business of trading something for nothing. This impertinent little marketworld might fetch a nice price on the interstellar auction block… particularly if a runaway wondergirl named Golden Vanity was tossed into the bargain!”
3. The Winter of the World, Poul Anderson (1976)
(Gene Szafran’s cover for the 1976 edition)
From the back cover: “FIRST CAME THE ICE—and a magnificent civilization collapsed beneath the glaciers. Then all men became barbarians living in a time of chaos. But out of confusion came new and perhaps stronger cultures: the Seafolk, who were slowly rediscovering the precious knowledge which had long been forgotten; the Rahidian-Barommian Empire, determined to weave its web of power over the entire world; the Rogaviki, a nomadic people whom many named barnarians through they might prove to be the most advanced civilization of all. Each of them had a destiny to fulfill. But if the Empire carried out all its plans, neither the Seafolk nor the Rogaviki would long survive. So Josserek Derrain came secretly to Andalin to meet with the Lady Donya of the Rogaviki. And when the Imperials were ready to march down their road of conquest, Josserek and Donya had made plans of their own. Thus it was that the masters of warcraft collided with the powers of science and a people not quite human in an explosive meeting which changed the future of their world…”
4. On Wings of Song, Thomas M. Disch (1979)
(Lou Feck’s cover for the 1979 edition)
From the back cover: “TO FLY… America—a generation from now. Not as it should be, but as it will be. Back East, there’s violence, starvation, moral decline. But here in the Free State of Iowa, the undergoders preserve the old ways. No smoking, no dancing, no fooling around. And no singing—because to sing is to fly.”