Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXIV (Jakes + Anthology + Malzberg + Zelazny)

Roger Zelazny’s most radical (according to some critics) novel…

A fun Ace Double with a rather disturbing face imprisoned in a skull cover by Kelly Freas….

More Malzberg (one can never have enough)…

And another anthology from the single best year of SF — 1972!  (my opinion of course).


1. Tonight We Steal The Stars / The Wagered World, John Jakes / Laurence M. Janifer and S. J. Treibich (1969) (Ace Double)

(Kelly Freas’ cover for the 1969 edition)

From inside flap for Tonight We Steal the Stars: “Theft of the Seven Stars is impossible, yet somewhere in II Galaxy there are hushed voices, and secretive eyes, and long dreams of the Seven Stars clasped within a closed hand.  And somewhere else in II Galaxy there is a powerful and hulking man with golden eyes who could not even in the wildest drugdream conceive of his fate being tangled up within the Seven Stars.  This burly man will begin a hunt to stop the most dangerous and daring crime in history—and he will end the hunt as one of those who make the impossible possible.  His name is Wolf Dragonard.  This is his adventure, in the ninth age of the star kings of II Galaxy.”

The Wagered World

(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1969 edition)

From the inside flap for The Wagered World: “Having survived a brief invasion from unknown space aliens, the UN selected Angelo diStefano and his crewmates to pilot a newly built starcraft out into the Great Beyond.  Nobody knew how the ship worked—the plans for it had been among the invaders’ debris—but for some reason everyone seemed to regard Angelo as an expendable astronaut.

The ship took off and it landed too.  But where it came to rest was not on a planet, not in the void of outer space, but inside another spaceship.  What was going on there was equally unexpected—it was a cocktail party for the over six hundred races of the Galactic Agreement (whatever that was).

And though a gate crasher, Angelo was invited to join the fun and place a bet on the major attraction party game.  It was only after he had put upon his marker that he learned he had wagered nothing less than the whole Earth on a single play.”

2.  Malzberg at Large, Barry N. Malzberg (1979)

(Bob Adragna’s cover for the 1979 edition)

From the back cover: “ESSENTIAL Malzberg… Fiction, including Nebula nominee “Final War”, that forms the foundation of one of science fiction’s most extraordinary careers.”

3.  Best SF: 1972, ed. Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss (1973)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1973 edition)

Stories by Ken W. Purdy, Brian W. Aldiss, James E. Gunn, Jonathan Ela, Keith Roberts, Robert F. Young, André Carneiro, Alex Hamilton, Howard L. Myers, Victor Sabah, Christopher Priest, Joe W. Haldeman, Brian W. Aldiss.”

4. Creatures of Light and Darkness, Roger Zelazny (1969)

(Uncredited cover for the 1970 edition)

From the back cover: “For this dark time, we’ll simply refer to him as The Man, because his name has been taken from him.  There is no reason to be more specific at this point… The Man has been dead for one thousand years.  Now, he leads the legions of dead he has assembled at his master’s command and approaches his master.  Prostrating himself before his master’s throne he says: “Hail Anubis, Master of the House of the Dead!”  Anubis lowers his black muzzle slightly and his fangs are white within it.  Red lightning, his tongue, darts forward, re-enters his mouth.  He stands, “‘I have a mission to the middle world.'”

16 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXIV (Jakes + Anthology + Malzberg + Zelazny)

    • I’m suspicious of Jakes — he’s primarily a very poor pulp writer. Although, On Wheels (1973) is supposedly pretty solid…

      Yeah, this is an intriguing range of covers. Not sure I like the cover for Malzberg at Large (1979) — but, Lehr is a genius.

      • You’ll remember I think what I said about “Creatures of Light and Darkness”,referring to Brian Aldiss’s comments in “Trillion Year Spree”.Hope you read it and can tell me what you thought about it,but if it isn’t any better than “Lord of Light”,I won’t be interested.

  1. Again, A BIG THANK YOU for another amazing collection of SF novel cover art
    Am intrigued to read: “Tonight We Steal Th Stars”
    Used to love sifting thro 2ndhand bookshops, but unfortunately in the UK, there r v few left, & to find this title wld b next to impossible
    There is online ordering, for convenience sake, but it’s not th same…

    • Thanks!

      Yeah, it’s unfortunate that used bookstores are going out of business. I probably won’t be reviewing the Jakes novel anytime soon so you might as well snatch a copy and find out for yourself if it’s any good!

  2. Now I’m kind of hoping that Tonight We Steal The Stars book is literally about stealing as many stars as someone can stuff in their … uh … star-pockets, or whatnot. I like the idea.

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