One of Robert Silverberg’s most famous 70s novels…
Barry N. Malzberg’s first published novel (more speculative fiction than SF)…
Lloyd Biggle, Jr.’s best known novel…
And Roger Zelazny’s first published collection of SF shorts…
And some great covers!
1. The Book of Skulls, Robert Silverberg (1971)
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover of a later edition: “Somewhere in the Southwestern desert, in a place called The House of Skulls, an ancient brotherhood guards a mystic rite. It is written that he who comes there with a pure heart will receive the gift of eternal life. Four college students, only half believing, each bearing a dark secret, join together to make the pilgrimage. Eli, the intellectual. Ned, the poet. Oliver, the Midwestern athlete. Timothy, the pampered rich kid. But immortality has a terrible price. Two of them will live forever only if the remaining two die—one must give his life willingly… the other must be sacrificed.”
2. Monument, Lloyd Biggle, Jr. (1974)
(Gary Friedman’s cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover of a later edition: “LOST EDEN. It was a world of dazzling beauty, where pleasure was man’s most precious birthright. In this lost colony the inhabitants had forgotten the very existence of Earth. Only one man remembered. He foresaw the awesome consequences if this paradise were ever rediscovered. MONUMENT.”
3. Four for Tomorrow, Roger Zelazny (1967)
(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1967 edition)
From the inside flap of a later edition: “THE STRANGEST MANHUNT IN INTERSTELLAR HISTORY: when the three mutated men known as The Furies searched across the galaxy for Victor Corgo, captain of the Wallaby, ex-hero of Interstel, now traitor to mankind.
THE PART THAT LASTED FOREVER: where the ultra-rich members of “The Set” reveled for a night, then slept for years, then partied again, and slept again… and all the while they traveled into a more and more alien future in which they were increasingly lost.
THE LEVIATHAN OF VENUS: which had destroyed every Earth expedition sent to capture it… but still one man had to risk his life in a final desperate attempt.
THE LAST OF THE ANCIENT MARTIANS: who was an awesomely lovely girl with a mission she could not fulfill… and a secret for the future…
Here are four great stories of wonder and adventure, beauty and danger in the stars, by today’s most exciting writer of science fiction.”
4. Screen, Barry N. Malzberg (1968) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1970 edition)
From the inside flap: “…Malzberg’s hero possesses the interesting ability to pass through the motion picture screen and enter, sexually and explicitly, the lives of the various actresses depicted thereupon. Including Sophia, Brigitte, Sabrina, Liz and Doris…” (San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner)
This is indeed an apt definition of Malzberg’s theme as treated in Screen, but it only gives a faint idea of the rare beauties contained in the singular novel. So singular that the publisher decided to gamble his reputation on Barry Malzberg’s name, and to bring out the young author’s first two novels at the same time.”