Another batch of volumes from the mysterious person with the initials KWG who ditched their entire collection at the local Half Price Books.
I have rarely seen the New Writings in SF series edited by John Carnell on used bookstore shelves. But, as I am a fan of discovering new authors who might not have collected volumes of short stories, it pretty easy to justify snatching them up…. A while back I featured the covers of David Mccall Johnson, and now I have my first physical copy with his art!
More Algis Budrys… Is it my need to read the major “classics” so I can “rewrite” the canon? Certainly not out of any love for his SF (or criticism for that matter) —> see my review of The Falling Torch (1959) and my short review of Michaelmas (1976). I will probably read his short story collection I recently acquired before another one of his novels.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcome/appreciated.
1. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys (1960)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1960 edition)
From the back cover: “THAT OLD DEVIL MOON. During all recorded history she has hovered near the earth, a timeless symbol for the lover’s ecstasy, a vast frontier for the adventurer’s curiosity. Goddesses and Gibson girls have tripped the light fantastic of her surface while sonneteers and scientists have scanned her changing phases.
Now man had actually reached the moon—and on it the explorers found a structure, a formation so terrible and incomprehensible it couldn’t even be described in human terms. It was a thing that devoured men—that killed them again and again in torturous, unfathomable ways.
Earthbound were the only two men who could probe the thing—Al Barker, a suicidal maniac, whose loving mistress was Death, and Dr. Edward Hawks, a scientific murderer, whose greatest mission was rebirth.
2. New Writings in SF 4, ed. John Carnell (1965) (MY REVIEW)
(Robert Foster’s cover for the 1968 edition)
From the inside flap: “SUB-LIM—Keith Roberts. A film director discovers a terrifyingly effective technique for making movies better than ever!
PARKING PROBLEM—Dan Morgan. The ultimate answer to the automobile question creates a perplexing problem of its own.
BERNIE THE FAUST—William Tenn. A smart New York wheeler-dealer runs into a super-hustler with an uncommon angle!
HIGH EIGHT—David Stringer. A wave of bizarre suicides heralds the arrival of a nameless terror at a lonely power station.”
3. New Writings in SF 7, ed. John Carnell (1971)
(David McCall Johnston’s cover for the 1971 edition)
Note: according to The Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry this is not the same as the the UK publication New Writing in SF 7 (1966). Rather, this volume contains stories from volumes UK editions 7-9 .
From the back cover: “FUTURE SHOCK. New Writings in Science Fiction is a close look at the far-out—a continuing selection of the best thinking by the most exciting writers of our time. SF7 includes two short novels: Colin Kapp’s “The Pen and the Dark”; a sinister, inexplicable construction on an alien planet… Vincent King’s “Defense Mechanism,” a dark vision of the way megacity can die. And stories about the impossibly probably future by five major new writers.”
4. New Writings in SF 9, ed. John Carnell (1971)
(Gene Szafran’s cover for the 1971 edition)
Note: according to The Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry this is not the same as the the UK publication New Writings in SF 9 (1966). Rather, this volume contains stories from later volumes.
From the inside flap: “STRANGE ENCOUNTERS
Enter the pages of this book and you will discover…
A planet of living clouds and the man who is in love with one.
A stumbling moron who is wiser than the great scientist he works for.
A world where the dead don’t die and where the perfect killer finds his inevitable victim.
A time when man cannot survive without the monkey on his back.
A monstrous, dying city and the strange, new life growing within it.
A love that outwits time itself.
The surprising results of dumping garbage carelessly.”
From the back cover: “SF opens a door to new worlds, worlds that spin far out in space, other worlds that circle within your mind.
SF can amuse you, terrify you, startle you; it can break your heart.
SF can do anything but bore you.”