More Kit Reed! I enjoyed both her first short story collection Mister Da Vi (1967) and first SF novel Armed Camps (1969). I was impressed enough to track down another—and as she has informed me via twitter “rare”—collection. Rare enough that she does not even own a copy!
Fresh off Tom Reamy’s dark and wonderful Blind Voices (1978), I thought it would be best to explore some of his early short fiction.
There’s nothing wrong with another Robert Silverberg collection from his heyday (late 60s-70s), although, I have read at least two of the thirteen stories in the collection already.
Frank M. Robinson in the early 90s jumped back on the SF scene with the well-received generation ship novel The Dark Beyond the Stars (1991). More involved with editing over the decades, he published in the 70s a series of famous thrillers with Thomas N. Scortia. I found a copy of his first novel, The Power (1956), although, the presence of telepathy (my least favorite SF theme?) makes me less than enthused.
Three of the four following books came via Mike at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature and Tongues of Speculation—he visited Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis and sent me 10 (!!) books I had on my “to acquire” list.
Thoughts and comments are welcome (as always!).
1. Unfamiliar Territory, Robert Silverberg (1973)
(Paul Alexander’s cover for the 1978 edition)
From the back cover: “A TRIP OR TWO TO THE END OF TIME… ….the shimmering joys of holographic group sex, the first robot Pope, a dying Earth too beautiful to live, the last ugly man in the world: these are only a few of the bizarre, otherworldly and unfamiliar stories in this visionary new collection by an award-winning (and always surprising) master of modern science fiction.”
2. The Killer Mice, Kit Reed (1976)
(Peter Jones’ cover for the 1978 edition)
From the back cover: “THE VINE. For centuries the Baskin family had tended the vine; no one knew precisely how old it was or who had planted it. There were those who said the vine sucked the life out of the Baskins, and others who said the Baskins drew their life from the vine. But whatever the truth it seemed as though the vine had an uncanny ability to survive even the worst disasters, while the Baskins were growing weaker all the time…
The Vine is just one of the stories from this amazing collection of stories by one of the bright new female science fiction writers.”
3. The Power, Frank M. Robinson (1956)
(Uncredited cover for the 1957 edition)
From the back cover: “The human mind has unknown, unused powers. If one man could tap these latent abilities he would be as different from his fellows as they are from the apes. And no man did unlock the depths of his mind—and by doing so became the enemy of the human race. Only one other human being suspected the monstrous secret and set out to find the possessor of it—before he could destroy us all. This is a novel of science fiction as real and urgent as the headlines of your morning newspaper.”
4. San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories, Tom Reamy (1979)
(David Heffernan’s cover for the 1983 edition)
From the back cover: “WELCOME TO TOM REAMY’S WORLD. You might hear a middle-aged spinster scream as she faces a sixteen-foot monster with only one thing on his mind.
You might see a teacher cowering behind her desk as the children she taught all year advance on her with bloodlust in their eyes.
You might witness the ritual trek of the nuclear holocaust survivors, avoiding the subsurface creatures that feed on them.
One thing is for sure: you won’t return unchanged!
15 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLII (Silverberg + Reed + Robinson + Reamy)”
The Reamy collection is a mixed bag but there are some very good stories in there: San Deigo Lightfoot Sue, Insects in Amber, The Deitweiler Boy, etc. were among the highlights of reading F&SF in the mid seventies.
I expect a certain unevenness to single author collections (and anthologies) — few are uniformly brilliant. Are there any that scream “every story is brilliant” that come to mind?
For me Christopher Priest’s An Infinite Summer (1979) comes to mind.
And Michael Bishop’s Catacomb Years (1979).
And George Alec Effinger’s Irrational Numbers (1976)…. There are a few others, Sheckley can be brilliant story to story…. Store of Infinity (1960) comes close!
It depends I think,not mentioning any names,upon how prolific the’ve been.You can’t expect even nearly every piece to be brilliant,if the’ve been under strain to constantly produce.SF has been a treadmill I think for several authors trying to make a career from writing SF,especially during their early years,and in the old,dark days of the genre.
There is also a tendancy on the part of various editors to provide filler amongst the highlights of a collection. I think even very prolific authors can produce collections that are uniformly brilliant—but, it might depend a lot on the editor. Priest obviously does not fit this mold as he himself admits that he’s a very slow writer who has produced methodically for many years but not some Silverberg-esque never-ending deluge, hah.
The style of the cover of ‘The Power’ looks similar to that of ‘The Immortals’ by Gunn or ‘Immortality, Inc’ by Sheckley. Both of which I think are also uncredited.
I enjoy The Power cover, I wish I knew the artist. — I featured it a while back in my Vaguely Defined Looming Man Shape art post. It could have also fit in my post on The Power of the Atom!
Yes well,I think you’re right Joachim,but I was also think of authors’ collections published in volumes,that include all the stories.I can otherwise see you’re right though.
Yup yup. In this case I was not referring to omnibus collections as this discussion was prompted by the Tom Reamy collection in the post.
Richard, did my review of Blind Voices (1978) intrigue? Or, is it really not your cup of tea?
Yes I see.Tom Reamy’s output,due to a short writing career,was quite small,so it wouldn’t be surprising if they’re all brilliant.”San Diego Lightfoot Sue” was very good as I remember.
Yes it did.I’ve put on my wish list.As I said,I liked SDLS,that I read in an anthology.I intend to reread it soon.
Oh, this looks like a huge pile of exactly the stuff I feel most comfortable reading.
And and and, did you nab any of them? What have you been reading lately?
I love Peter Jones, I received a copy of Solar Wind a collection of his art from a friend, now sadly gone, which got me hooked. The cover he did for Dick’s Clans of the Alphane Moon is one of my favourite Dick covers. The cover for The Power, has the whole 50’s atomic energy vibe down pat. it is really striking. Of the authors I have only read Silverberg, more titles and names for the list.
I have seen the movie version of the Power and it was a cool movie, I have seen it once or twice. I have not read the novel as of yet. Maybe I can download from the intent achive.
I saw on Robinson’s wikipedia page that they adapted he novel into a film. I have not seen it — despite my enjoyment of 50s SF which can be rather silly sometimes, I find that I have a really low tolerance for B-films…