Prepare for a glut of “Recent Science Fiction Acquisition” posts!
From my recent travels and a gift from a friend (@SFPotpourri)….
Michael G. Coney is an odd bird. If you’re curious what I might mean, check out my reviews of Friends Come in Boxes (1973) and Hello Summer, Goodbye (variant title: Rax) (1975). In short, I had to procure a short story collection!
Chad Oliver, an early proponent of anthropological SF, intrigues yet frustrates—I need to read more than The Shores of Another Sea (1971) to come to a firm conclusion about his fiction.
And Kate Wilhelm, my views are firmly established — in the spring of last year I put together a Kate Wilhelm guest post series. Check it out! I’ve posted reviews for the following: her early collection (for fans of 50s SF only) The Mile-Long Spaceship (1963), her spectacular collection with numerous award-winning stories (for fans of experimental SF) The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fiction (1968), her solid SF + psychological horror novel Margaret and I (1971), and her even better novel Juniper Time (1979).
And New Dimensions IV (1974), an anthology edited by Silverberg—with a story from one of the unsung SF greats, David R. Bunch. I have discussed but not reviewed his collection Moderan (1972). I placed it on my top 10 SF works (pre-1980) for inclusion in the Gollancz Masterwork series list. And, has anyone read Felix C. Gotschalk? It contains two stories by this unknown (at least to me) author. An overall fantastic lineup (Malzberg, Lafferty, Dozois, Bunch, etc.)….
[does anyone know the artist for the Silverberg edited anthology?]
1. Monitor Found in Orbit, Michael G. Coney (1974)
(Kelly Freas’ cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “The brilliantly innovational mind of Michael G. Coney has rapidly gained him high standing among the big new names in science fiction. His novels FRIENDS COME IN BOXES, MIRROR IMAGE, and THE HERO OF DOWNWAYS have demonstrated his power and have gained him award nominations.
Equally skilled in the field of the short story, many of Coney’s unusual tales have been reprinted in special anthologies. In this new book, Coney presents his own selection of his best. Of his work he stated: “I was aiming at a different type of SF, a type of story where science and characterization went together in such a way that the denouement was a result of the characters of the people concerned and their reaction to the scientific (generally sociological) premise rather than a gimmick ending based on the premise itself.”
MONITOR FOUND IN ORBIT will prove to be a reliable beacon for searchers after fine science fiction.”
2. Children of the Wind: Five Novellas, Kate Wilhelm (1989)
(Morgan Pickard’s cover for the 1989 edition)
No synopsis included. Contains: “Children of the Wind” (), “The Gorgon Field” (), “A Brother to Dragons, a Companion to Owls” (), “The Blue Ladies” (), and “The Girl Who Fell into the Sky” ().
3. Unearthly Neighbors, Chad Oliver (1960)
(Uncredited (Richard Powers?) cover for the 1960 edition)
From the back cover: “The anthropologist’s dream…
Monte Stewart was an extremely intelligent, somewhat contentious anthropologist, with a sense of humor and a non-conformist approach to life. As an expert in his field, he was chosen to approach the first apparently human-like form of life ever to be encountered on another planet.
Here was the chance he had been waiting for all his life—an opportunity to make contact, to investigate, to ascertain the facts about an altogether new man-like species—with the added knowledge that the peace of the worlds depended upon the establishment of friendly relations.
But Steward and his party of experts couldn’t get to first base. They tried for weeks—and then vicious unreasoned tragedy struck their camp.
What had gone wrong?
Who were these ‘people’?
Why had they attacked the humans?
Stewart had failed in his mission, but for his own peace of mind he had to discover the answers—and this he could now only do alone.”
4. New Dimensions IV, ed. Robert Silverberg (1974)
(Uncredited cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “TEN TALES OF INVASION, EXPLORATION, AND THE UNKNOWN—
THE EXAMINATION by Felix C. Gotschalk: A little “girl,” a doctor, and a test—but who is doing the testing?
THE COLORS OF FEAR by Terry Carr. They came from the stars to bring Earth light. Were they angels from heaven or harbingers of hell?
AMONG THE METAL-AND-PEOPLE PEOPLE by David R. Bunch. They lived to fight and fought to win, but the only price was war.
ANIMAL FAIR by R.A. Lafferty. When man comes to his judgement, will a rhinoceros sit on the jury?
STRANGERS by Gardner R. Dozois. If you take an alien rife, will she or you be an alien for life?
NEW DIMENSIONS IV—a journey beyond space and time to the worlds of imagination.”