Snatched all but one of these up at a 1$ SF hardback clearance sale at my local bookstore. The other, Watson’s The Jonah Kit (1976) came via The Dawn Treader Bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI.
I am not usually interested in Galactic Empires but the collection seems to have some intriguing short authors—for example, Lafferty, Davidson, Shaara, etc whose works I have no been that exposed to. I look forward to slowly working my way through both volumes.
I also acquired my first Robert Holdstock novel, Where Time Winds Blow (1981). Seems intriguing.
My schedule has finally calmed down a little so expect a slew of book reviews in the coming days/weeks…
1. Galactic Empires, Volume I, ed. Brian Aldiss (1976)
(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1978 edition)
From the inside flap: “Interstellar civilizations rise, flourish and fall in this unique collection of superb stories! GALACTIC EMPIRES is more than an anthology: it is a vast two-volume novel of the future by some of the greatest science fiction writers alive, including Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, Clifford Simak, Cordwainer Smith, A. E. Van Vogt, Harry Harrison, and many others.
Brian Aldiss has selected twenty-six stories and assembled them into a mammoth saga which explores many dimensions of the Galactic Empire: its origins, laws, mores, educational systems, not to mention its incredible variety of inhabitants, and their experiences with the natural quirks of the universe in which they, and we, all live. Aldiss has created nothing less than the epic rise and fall of the Galactic Empire.
Some of the stories have been undeservedly neglected since their publication in obscure and now defunct sci-fi magazines; others are acknowledged classics. All of them have been placed carefully so that they fit logically into the overall saga of man’s conquest of the galaxy, the wars of empire, and the final dissolution and destruction of humanity’s greatest endeavor.
The result is a vast panorama which begins with the first quivering of incipient Time and is confined only by the limits of the world’s most daring and creative imaginations.”
2. Galactic Empires, Volume II, ed. Brian Aldiss (1976)
(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1977 edition)
From the inside flap: Same as volume I above.
3. The Jonah Kit, Ian Watson (1975)
(David de Leuw’s cover for the 1976 edition)
From the inside flap of a later edition: “All over the world the whales were coming ashore, in a ritual mass suicide that no species of animal had ever matched. In the laboratories of Tokyo, at the secret police headquarters of Moscow, besides the Big Dish at Arecibo that peered blindly into space for another voice, even among the motorcycle gangs and ordinary citizens of California the phenomenon brought an astonished question: Why? And the answer—Because they have tasted men’s minds, and they are dying of it…”
4. Where the Winds Blow, Robert Holdstock (1981)
(Ron Walotsky’s cover for the 1982 edition)
From the inside flap: “Kris Dojaan is sure that the Time Phantom is Mark, his brother, lost on Kamelios a year before. Though Mark was not precisely lost—stolen, on Kamelios, is a better word to describe the disappearance of the rifters, those works who comb the valleys for artifacts of past and future civilizations.
For Kamelios, with its atmosphere made breathable for unmodified humans only through the use of sealed, movable cities and respirators, poses another threat to its colonists: the time winds, which scramble chronology in both its geological and historical aspects. Those who explore the ruins risk being swept off in the winds—vanishing forever. Yet Kris feels that if he can enter one freely, he will survive—riding the wings like the Phantom—to find his time-lost brother.
But jaded by years of experience and the effects of the fiersigs—fields of energy which sweep randomly over the planet causing abrupt emotional changes—the other rifters feel differently. Veterans Leo Faulcon and his lover, Lena Tanoway, are given charge of Kris, to protect him from his wild scheme, on orders from Commander Guilio Ensavlion, whose hope for solving Kamelios’ riddles lies in communicating with the time-traveling aliens which he alone has glimpsed.
Caught in his anticipation of a reunion with Mark, Kris begins to venture into the rift-valleys, without the protection of his r-suit, which is equipped with a warning siren and enables the wearer to outrun the wind. One morning, Lena ad Leo find him wandering the valley with important news. He has seen the Time Phantom close up, and through the figure is not Mark, the Phantom has told him he can take him to his bother.
And then the worst time win in Kamelios’ history begins to blow, taking Lena and Kris with it, leaving Leo behind to find them…somehow.”