A nice range of 60s/70s SF….
A wonderful Richard Powers cover and another by Don Punchatz which grows on me ever day (hauntingly surreal in its illustration of the book’s plot)….
Bob Shaw is Mr. Perpetually Average–see my reviews of Ground Zero Man (1971) and One Million Tomorrow (1971)—but MPorcius claims Night Walk (1968) is worth the read [here]—I took a peek at the first few pages and it shows promise. But SF Potpourri’s lengthy rundown of his other work casts a shadow [here]!
Who can pass up Lafferty? I have to admit, the premise of this particular novel does not appeal to me in the slightest. But, I purchased the book for less than $2 and it’s a $25+ (with shipping) paperback online!
Another Ted Thomas and Kate Wilhelm collaboration—one of my Kate Wilhelm’s SF guest posts [here], by Mike White, argues convincingly that it is not one of her better novels…. alas.
And an anthology edited by Robert Hoskins.
Some great covers!
1. The Reefs of Earth, R. A. Lafferty (1968)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1968 edition)
From the back cover: “A PLAGUE OF DEMONS—that’s what the people of Lost Haven called the six children (seven, if you counted Bad John) of the Dulanty family. They looked like normal Earth children… except when they flicked their ears like animals, or made their eyes glow with a green fire… and if you looked at them sideways they did look strangely like nightmarish gargoyles.
The truth is: these children are Pucas, aliens from a strange planet. And they have taken it upon themselves to reduce the world to a population of six (seven, if you counted Bad John). Wishing will make it so, for by making up an appropriate death-rhyme, they can destroy their victims.
These frightening, far-out kinds take a black delight in destroying their neighbors, and the Earth people are hopeless against them….”
2. Night Walk, Bob Shaw (1967)
(Don Punchatz’s cover for the 1970 edition)
From the back cover: “INTO THE BLACK. The police of prison planet Emm Luther had taken Earth agent Sam Tallon’s eyes and exiled him into a swamp as dense and eerie as the black void of his sightless days…
But then Tallon invented a means of seeing—awkward, painful, but still a way to make escape just faintly possible. He saw through the eyes of a bird, a doc, a woman guard. Soon he would see himself through the eyes of his enraged Emm Lutheran pursuers. For they’d never let him go. They’d seal off the whole planet first. For Sam Tallon was the possessor of the most important single secret in the universe…”
3. The Year of the Cloud, Ted Thomas and Kate Wilhelm (1970)
(James Spanfeller’s cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “There was a race going on such as the world had never experienced before. It was a race to save humanity from death by thirst…. It was a race that might not even finish much less win.”
4. The Far-Out People: A Science Fiction Anthology, ed. Robert Hoskins (1971)
(Gene Szafran’s cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “TEN DAZZLING ANDERS TO THE QUESTION: WILL MAN ENDURE?
TOMORROW! Dreams of human progress to boggle the mind. Nightmares of human degradation to shatter the spirit. Which destiny awaits man as he plunges into the twenty-first century and beyond? The inquisitive authors in this volume cross the frontiers of time and traverse the boundaries of the human psyche as they speculate on life tomorrow with the far-out people.
The writers whose work appears in this collection are Isaac Asimov, Michael Fayette, Robert Hoskins, John Jakes, Kris Neville, William F. Nolan, K. M. O’Donnell [i.e. Barry N. Malzberg), Chad Oliver, Alexei Panshin, and Roger Zelazny.”