Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLVI (Holdstock + Howard + Guin + Anthology with Zelazny, Pohl, Dick, Aldiss, et al.)

An eclectic range of books from my annual pilgrimage to Ann Arbor, MI.  Unfortunately, the anthology series I was most excited about—Best of New Worlds and Orbit—were lacking from the shelves of Dawn Treader Books….


World’s Best Science Fiction: 1967 (1967) contains stories famous stories by Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny (2xs), R.A. Lafferty, Michael Moorcock, Frederick Pohl, Brian W. Aldiss, and lesser known stories by Dannie Plachta, Paul Ash, Bob Shaw, A. A. Walde….

Also, I also procured a 1967 Nebula-nominated novel by Hayden Howard, more Richard Holdstock, and a collection containing the famous short story “Beyond Bedlam” (1951).  Over the next few weeks I’ll post the rest of my acquisitions.


1. The Eskimo Invasion, Hayden Howard (1967)


(Stephen Miller’s (?) cover for the 1967 edition)

From the back cover: “Dr. West was puzzled, frustrated, and mad.  He knew something was wrong up there in the Boothia Sanctuary, but what?  Why, really, did the government want to keep him out?  He didn’t for a moment believe the spurious political excuse of preserving a “cultural sanctuary” intact.  What were they hiding?  What could possibly be wrong with a harmless, lovable, group of Eskimos?  Dr. West could never leave a puzzle alone.  Besides, if he went up there, maybe he could get proof.  Of something.  Unfortunately, even when he did, no one believed him…”

2. Earthwind, Robert Holdstock (1977)


(Carl Lundgren’s cover for the 1982 edition)


One a stone-age planet in 36th-century space, a world of flying beasts and primitive men, Elspeth stands alone, shivering and naked, enthralled by the power of the mysterious rune the natives call the Earthwind.  There is something she dimly remembers, something she must come to understand before too long.  Something that might still save the others from Earth before the reckoning… before it is too late to know the vital secret of the EARTHWIND.”

3. World’s Best Science Fiction: 1967, ed. Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr (1967)


(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1967 edition)

From the inside page: “WORLD’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: 1967 contains possibly the most unique collection of sf stories ever assembled in one book.  In it you will enter the world just around the corner—the illusive and fantastic corner of time:

The future millenia [sic] away—when Man is extinct and only his computers and robots roam the Earth, in senseless mechanical patterns worshipping the long-dead race that created them….

Or the reverse corollary—when future Man worships the computer, and each man has a personal god who answers his prayers, even though Man has found the key to immortality…

Throughout this marvelous realm of the new science fiction on theme is outstanding: How might any of countless alternate futures affect Man—affect you…?”

4. Living Way Out, Wyman Guin (1967) (MY REVIEW)


(Ronald Walosky’s cover for the 1967 edition)

From the back cover: “How Far Is Way Out?  If WYMAN GUIN tells you, it’s more miles than man can count and lost time which man cannot even contemplate.  In these choice suburbs, you’ll find families whose lives are similar to ours, even though often something is terribly wrong.  Earth, too, is a choice suburb and the events in Guin’s earth families are plagued by something wrong.  The only way to discover these awesome secrets is to try LIVING WAY OUT in these pages.”

33 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLVI (Holdstock + Howard + Guin + Anthology with Zelazny, Pohl, Dick, Aldiss, et al.)

    • Howard’s novel certainly seems oddball… Here’s John Clute’s description/take on SF encyclopedia.

      “His one sf novel, The Eskimo Invasion (stories April 1965-April 1967 Galaxy; fixup 1967), set rather unusually in Canada, comprises a speculative view of Overpopulation problems conveyed through an episodic tale based on seven stories published in Galaxy, beginning with “Death and Birth of the Angakok” (April 1965 Galaxy) and ending with “The Purpose of Life” (April 1967 Galaxy). These episodes describe how a group of indigenous Canadian Inuit (referred to as Eskimos, a term not then deprecated) is transformed by an Alien presence into an apparently benign, fast-breeding new species called Esks, which duly become an Esk Problem.”

  1. I imagine the reason “The Eskimo Invasion” isn’t better known is because of the racist slur in its title, which has probably kept it from being reissued. Today, you’d have to call a book like that “The Inuit Invasion”, as that is the more proper term for them now. And even then, some of them wouldn’t like it. To say nothing of a lot of us more prim and proper Canadians nowadays, who are trying to create the incorrect impression that history will be made better for us all if we erase the memory of the racists who walked among us once.

    Nobody likes being called a “snow eater”, which is what “Eskimo” meant in the language of their enemies. But that stuck, wrongly.

    “The Nunavut Invasion” might be better, too. That is, after all, their ancestral homeland, which the British stole from them but the Canadians gave back to them. Although I doubt the capital city, Iqaluit, is big enough to hold even a token invasion force.

  2. Hi

    Some really intriguing books in this haul. I like Holdstock’s SF, I have not read this title but I will have to. Everything about The Eskimo Invasion by Hayden Howard, sounds interesting, I love the cover. And Living Way Out in the suburbs of space, that has to been fun.

    Happy Reading

  3. Thanks Joachim

    I found Eye Among the Blind quite thought provoking so I was really interested to read your comments. Your analysis was excellent, and I agreed with a number of your concerns and you also brought up other issues that i missed. I have read some of the other titles you mentioned but I should read the ones I have missed and reread the others so I can compare them. I am interested in anthropological SF, I majored in Anthropology so it has always been of interest to me. I read the Bishop/Watson collaboration Under Heaven’s Bridge recently which I thought a very good example of the genre and it presented some very interesting aliens. Your review gave me a lot to think about, thanks for mentioning it.

    All the best.

    • I enjoy anthropological SF as well (Michael Bishop is one of my favorites — A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire, Stolen Faces, And Strange at Ecbatan the Trees, etc) — as you read, I thought that some of the ideas were wonderful in Eye Among the Blind — but, there were other failings…

    • Thanks for the article! I’ll definitely incorporate a few of SIlverberg’s comments into my review, if, and when I get around to reading/reviewing the collection. I definitely want to read his story “Beyond Bedlam” (1951).

      • I’m forced to agree with you. While I do think the story Silverberg mentions by her is indeed her best-known to the general readership, she wrote other noteworthy stories like “Dead Center.” I have yet to pick up THE BEST OF JUDITH MERRIL, but its very existence suggests a corrective to the reductive one-story author idea.

        • I’ve reviewed two of her collections over the years and enjoyed a range of her stories — my favorite, and I think it is absolutely the best of hers I’ve read is “Daughters of Earth” (1952) — tracks the exploration of space via the women descendants of a family…

          Daughters of Earth (1958)

          And, Out of Bounds (1960)

          And you’re absolutely right, I LOVED “Dead Center” (1954)—check my review of Out of Bounds for my write-up.

          • I seem to remember “Daughters of Earth” (the novella) was very fine indeed. Thanks for the review links, will check them out in a minute 🙂 By the way, looking back on past entries of your blog earlier today, I saw you listed several Silverberg titles as some of your favorites from the 60s. Just as a small plug, I have a book of conversations with him, TRAVELER OF WORLDS, coming out in August.

            • Yes, I’ve reviewed many many many Silverberg novels and collections — 13 in total and that’s not counting the numerous volumes he edited as well…

    • I’ve sort of run out of Merril collections/novels etc. What I want to read is Shadow on the Hearth (1950) but it is always so pricey online — alas. There is a lot of overlap between her collections unfortunately — I’ve read 5 of the 11 stories in THE BEST OF JUDITH MERRIL in the two collections I’ve already reviewed.

    • I think if I grab a copy of Survival Ship and Other Stories (1974) I’ll have read the vast majority of her collected short fiction — and almost everything in the Best of Collection. I have a plan!

  4. I’m pretty sure the cover artist for “The Eskimo Invasion” (1967) is Stephen Miller. He’s the artist who painted the covers for Ballantine Books’ 1968 set of six William Tenn titles. Compare the background pattern of the “Eskimo” cover with the background patterns of the Tenn covers.

      • You’re welcome. Not just the background patterns – which seem to be inspired by agate cross sections – but also the use of strong vertical elements makes me think it’s the same artist’s vision at work in both the Tenn and Howard covers. (The Howard cover is more like a collage, while the Tenn covers are pure paintings, but most artists work in multiple mediums.)

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