Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CV (Russ + Spinrad + Malzberg + Kornbluth)

Dawn Treader bookstore haul part II [part I]!  A batch of my favorite authors: Norman Spinrad, Joanna Russ, Barry N. Malzberg, and C. M. Kornbluth.  Two novels and two short story collections!

…and some fun covers.


1. No Direction Home, Norman Spinrad (1975)

(Charles Moll’s cover for the 1975 edition)

From the back cover: “A GHASTLY WORLD… AN ULTIMATE ORGASM… A COSMIC NIGHTMARE… Bone-chilling, mind-shattering science fiction that will take you into worlds where there is NO DIRECTION HOME.

A violent rock group with maniacal music boils up a craze for a nuclear blast.

A man finds himself blown into a ghastly world by a bolt of lightning.

A world exists where reality is psychedelic and a “straight trip” is a hideous bummer.

A machine induces the ultimate orgasm, a cosmic nightmare of pleasure, pain and death.”

2. Picnic on Paradise, Joanna Russ (1968) (MY REVIEW)

(Uncredited cover for the 1979 edition)

From the back cover: “Suspended in the jade depths of an ancient Earth sea.  Chrono-hurled to a steep winter planet swept by an eerie future war.  Middle-aged (at 26), tiger-tough (at 4’9”), walking a wild Universe on Time-long legs.  This is a story of a woman named Alyx…”

3. The Marching Morons and Other Famous Science Fiction Stories, C. M. Kornbluth (1959)

(Uncredited cover for the 1963 edition)

From the inside flap: “Would you… —Join the crowds boarding space ships for Venus, the land of blanket trees and ham bushes?  Don’t buy your ticket until you read The Marching Morons!  —Jump two years ahead in a Time Machine to beat a stock market-crash?  You’ll want to read Dominoes first. —Accept official figures discounting and denying the existence of Flying Sauces?  Check The Silly Season before you stop questioning!

All these and more stories—cut to it your imagination—stories from the great tale-twister himself, C. M. Kornbluth, are yours in these pages!”

4. The Cross of Fire, Barry N. Malzberg (1982)

(Uncredited cover for the 1982 edition)

From the back cover: “In the far future, it has become possible in advanced psychotherapy for a man to be given dream as vivid as reality in which he may play andy part he chooses.  If that man were inclined to see his life as a struggle between good and evil, and if he were blessed with a profound sense of the black humor inherent in his situation, he might choose to play the part of Jesus, called the Christ.  If he were inclined to write a book, it might be this one.  THE CROSS OF FIRE.”

10 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CV (Russ + Spinrad + Malzberg + Kornbluth)

    • Thanks. Yeah, I love a lot of the 50s-70s surreal covers — Lehr, Powers, Brian Lewis, some of Jack Kirby’s work, and one in twenty of Moll’s works (the Spinrad is one of his better ones in my opinion, or elements of it). It’s a crying shame that surrealism is not used as much for new SF…

  1. Some great covers as ever Joachim, I’ll be using the Spinrad myself in a themed collection shortly. I love the image for Picnic On Paradise but the typography is just terrible.

  2. I’m slowly coming to realize, with each innovative short story I read, that Kornbluth was a major figure in the field – way ahead of his time, in fact. I’ve read “The Cosmic Charge Account” and “MS Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie” from Marching Morons and loved them both. Hope you do, too.

    • Yeah, I enjoy him as well. I’ve read MS Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie in a collection of his I read before I started this blog. It was great!

      If he had lived past 34 I think he’d be considered one of the greats—and not only for his famous collaboration, The Space Merchants, with Pohl.

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