Ann Arbor’s Dawn Treader Book Store contains the best used SF collection I have encountered in my perambulations (fortunately, I live far away or else I would empty my bank account). Prepare for its manifold and manifest joys (multiple parts over the next month or so)!
What a haul! I have yet to read a Chelsea Quinn Yarbro novel—this one is her most famous work so I look forward to it despite the creepy wolf/man with blood on the cover. Also, Farmer has somewhat redeemed himself in my eyes with Strange Relations (1960)—thus, the metafictional account of a man who recreates the Burrough’s Tarzan tales sounds like an experimental New Wave SF novel right up my alley.
As does Christopher Priest’s Indoctrinaire (1970)… I think I will read this one before I tackle Inverted World (1974) that I acquired a while back but never felt like reading.
And, I bought FOUR novels by one of my favorite authors, Barry N. Malzberg—the first is On a Planet Alien (1974). Will read this one soon.
Thoughts? Have you read any of the novels?
1. False Dawn, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1978) (MY REVIEW)
(Gary Friedman’s cover for the 1978 edition)
From the back cover: “It is the turn of the twenty-first century. War, disease, and pollution have made the Earth nearly unfit for human habitation. In America, food is scarce, and what food remains is quickly confiscated by the Pirates—a murderous band of raiders determined to save themselves and to destroy the last stronghold of civilized human beings—the mutant population. One of these mutants, a woman named Thea, has eluded the Pirates for years. Armed only with a crossbow, her pride, and her common sense, she has been slowly making her way Eastward to Gold Lake—a legendary place of safety and enlightenment. Until one day she meets Evan Montague, a man who needs her help, a man who is also on the run from the Pirates, but for a different reason—he had led the Pirates himself and has now become the most bitter and most hunted enemy. Together, Thea and Evan trek across a dangerous and wasted California, hoping to survive the brutality of twenty-first-century live… and perhaps, to find Eden before they die.”
2. Indoctrinaire, Christopher Priest (1970) (MY REVIEW)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1971 edition)
See above cover image for blurb!
3. On a Planet Alien, Barry N. Malzberg (1974)
(Charles Moll’s cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “FOLSOM’S PLANET—An Alien Land Yet So Familiar. If the mission were a success, Folsom’s planet would bear his name for eternity. The barbarians would be civilized; the planet would join the Federation; the Federation’s integrity would be preserved. But Hans Folsom had to be on guard. The aliens were intractable, his crew possibly traitorous. There was an incident during the voyage he couldn’t quite remember. And a prophetic runic stone… Had ancient spacemen visited here in the past? Did that explain the strange religions, the ancient ruins, the mysterious runic stone?”
4. Lord Tyger, Philip José Farmer (1970)
(Bob Pepper’s cover for the 1972 edition)
From the back cover of a later edition:” MY MOTHER IS AN APE. MY FATHER IS GOD. I COME FROM THE LAND OF GHOSTS. So sings Ras Tyger, Philip José Farmer’s superb incarnation of a modern-day Jungle Lord. He is fluent in four languages. He devours grubs, insects, and palpitating flesh. He communes with wild beasts and proffers them his love. Men he butchers. He is feared as a ghost, yet the village women welcome him at night. Savage, heroic and beautiful, he is master of this world—until the day when the incredible truth of his existence begins to unfold…”