I’m continuing my anthology kick (my review of one of them is already up)—a fascinating way to explore the work of lesser known authors who might have produced some quality SF but never had solo collections or novels published. Also, an unknown quantity in Joseph Green… Has anyone read his work? I do think that the Josh Kirby cover is quite evocative although the premise seems ridiculously silly.
Joachim Boaz trembles with excitement as he picked up another work by one of my all time favorite SF authors, Michael Bishop! If only I could convince myself to finally review Catacomb Years (1979) which was downright fantastic…
1. The Mind Behind the Eye (variant title: Gold the Man), Joseph Green (1972)
(Josh Kirby’s cover for the 1972 edition)
From the back cover: “‘EXCELLENT…THE STYLE IS LUCID AND INTELLIGENT, THE THEME AUDACIOUSLY ORIGINAL. In the farly near future, genetic engineering has produced two super-intelligent men: Gold in the U.S.A. and Petrovna in the U.S.S.R. Meanwhile the solar system has been visited by aliens who seem to want to eliminate homo sapiens. An alien ship comes to grief, but its occupant survives with extensive brain damage. He is—wait for it—a 300 foot humanoid giant. Petrovna has a good idea: scoop the damaged brain section out, install a computer control of muscles plus a chamber to contain a human being, then return said giant to his own planet so that the spy in his head can find out what’s cooking. Petrovna is killed, but Hold and Petrovna’s female assistant carry out the mission…”
2. Orbit 1, ed. Damon Knight (1966) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1967 edition)
From the back cover: “In this first volume launching an exciting new annual series of SF anthologies, Damon Knight brings together nine brand new stories, never before published in paperback, by the finest of today’s writers.
On a distant planet… Earth colonists face a bitter choice: to leave their Eden, or spoil it forever, in… “The Disinherited” by Poul Anderson.
On a moon of Saturn… A woman scientist struggles with the unholy hybrid formed when a native organism merges with her “living” spacesuit in… “How Beautiful with Banners” by James Blish.
In an alien spaceship… A liaison officer must solve the cultural riddle of the gentle, kangaroo-like aliens, before a xenophobic military commander destroys them. in… “Kangaroo Court” by Virginia Kidd.
Also included are stories by Kate Wilhelm, Thomas M. Disch, Sonya Dorman, Richard McKenna, Allison Rice, and Keith Roberts.”
3. A Little Knowledge, Michael Bishop (1977)
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1978 edition)
From the back cover: “2068—AND AMERICA HAS BEEN “SAVED.” Shouting, shaking, speaking in tongues—fundamentalist sects rule a born-again America of domed cities and stern laws. The Cyngusians, Earth’s first visitors from the stars, arrive on a world swept with the fever of Revival, and they are kept hidden by the Authorities until… A compulsory municipal service in Atlanta. The preacher makes the “call” to the altar. A hinged, hourglass-eyed being starts down the aisle to be saved.”
4. The Best SF Stories from New Worlds #2, ed. Michael Moorcock (1968)
(Uncredited cover for the 1968)
From the inside flap of the Ballantine edition: “From NEW WORLDS #2: In ‘You: Coma: Marilyn Monroe,’ J. G. Ballard bids farewell to hallucinatory forests and discovers the rectilinear form of finite time.
Meanwhile, far from the spinal landscape, P. F. Woods dares to suggest that man cannot turn on the secret of the cosmos without blowing his mind.
‘Another Little Boy,’ says author Brian Aldiss, is a light-hearted warning about how idiotic our favorite scruples are going to look three generatins from now…
And in Kit Reed’s “Sisohpromatem,” Kafka’s beetle undergoes a very startling metamorphosis!
These writers and a myriad of other stars from the NEW WORLDS galaxy make this volume, without doubt, a best SF buy.”
9 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXX (Anthologies 2x + Bishop + Green)”
Really excited about that Bishop novel! Maybe you’ll review that one…
Yes, I remember Heloise’s stellar review of this particular one. Too bad I didn’t bring it with me to Europe so it’ll be a while before I get to it.
I remember reading “The Mind Behind The Eye”. At the time (high school, late 1970s) it impressed me, I wonder how well it’s held up.
Hmm, I wonder if it had the vibe conveyed by the back cover… which is, well, rather amateur in premise. SF encyclopedia’s assessment is rather positive… (hence why I knew about the book): “Green’s best novel is probably his second, Gold the Man (1971; vt The Mind Behind the Eye 1972), which deals very competently (though not in depth) with a variety of themes from Superman to Aliens and Intelligence”
“You:Coma:Marilyn Monroe” is in “The Atrocity Exhibition”.It is a very bold experimental work that only partially succeeds I think.In the 1970s he would write some excellent books that returned to a conventional mode.
I guess it depends on what you mean by “succeed” — if you mean, provoke, be “bold,” experimental in a good way then I bet it is something of a success in that regard 😉
Yes I agree…..the’re are a bit confusing as I remember though and not convincing as a narrative as I think they were supposed to be,being seperate pieces.Still,if you don’t try,nothing will be achieved,as you say more or less.
The Bishop is very good, although I’ve not re-read it for a long time.
I read the Joseph Green book at least twice back when it came out but ultimately didn’t like it enough to keep. The set-up was the best part of it, with much of the alien encounter really a bit dull. As I recall, the protagonist is brilliant but very socially awkward and at one point early on he’s greatly cheered when his response ‘I hear ya talking’ apparently goes down well…
As for being a silly premise, I guess it’s comparable to Eddie Murphy’s Meet Dave! 😉
I also read his Conscience Interplanetary, which wasn’t as good.
I’ve read some of the short stories in them, but not these particular anthologies.
I now realize I missed your comment Mike! My apologies.
That said, iI’ll reiterate, with your comments now in mind, that I am even less likely to read the book if you thought The Mind Behind the Eye wasn’t worth keeping.