I can’t pass up a Sheckley collection!
Nor can I pass up a rather unknown “discovered manuscript” type 1960s feminist dystopia by Marya Mannes. She wrote for Vogue and The New Yorker over her career….
Nor can I pass up a Sturgeon collection (perhaps I will appreciate his more radical SF short stories?)….
And finally, a best of collection by an author who might not be worth exploring, but, sometimes short stories give a better impression of an author’s capabilities than a novel-length work.
As always, thoughts/observations/comments are welcome!
1. They, Marya Mannes (1968)
(Stanley Zuckerberg’s cover for the 1970 edition)
From the back cover: “THEY were young and had built a new world that worshipped only youth…
THEY were free and heedless of all form, all order…
THEY believed that logic and reason were meaningless—and that only psychic and bodily sensation counted…
THEY were about to destroy their past—and five brave defenders of that past.”
2. Can You Feel Anything When I do This?, Robert Sheckley (1971)
(Hans Arnold’s cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “SHECKLEY! In this, his latest collection of short stories, Robert Sheckley offers sixteen bizarre glimpses into the future–sixteen tales to delight, amaze and intrigue those who know as well as those not yet familiar with his work.
Witty and thought-provoking, each is centered around the foibles, eccentricities and desires of some very normal people, people like your neighbors, your friends, perhaps even like yourself.
The time is the future, rules of logic have been thrown to the wind, and Robert Sheckley’s grasp of the human condition often leaves his readers more than a little disconcerted, amused and finally lost in thought.
CAN YOU FEEL ANYTHING WHEN I DO THIS? is Robert Sheckley at his most astonishing, entertaining and spine-tingling best.”
3. The Best of Thomas N. Scortia, ed. George Zebrowski (1981)
(Robert Aulicino’s cover for the 1981 edition)
From the inside flap: “These exciting stories present a dozen memorable moments from the career of one of America’s most popular authors. Even while his work in aerospace helped send probes into the outer solar system, Thomas N. Scortia has been a provocative, thoughtful writer of science fiction, and the co-author (with SF veteran Frank M. Robinson) of several cautionary near-future best-sellers.
Here are the stories of people working to realize their dreams while struggling against the limits of the physical universe and their shortcomings. “The Shores of Night,” a sweeping short novel, projects a vision of humanity’s heroic breakout into the galaxy. “When You Hear the Tone” links past and future with a phone line. “The Prodigy” details a violence conflict with a paranormal child and reaches one of the few unguessable resolutions of the mindpowers theme.”
4. Case and the Dreamer, Theodore Sturgeon (1974)
(Stanislaw Fernandes’ (?) cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “THE UNIVERSE OF THEODORE STURGEON.
ON VEXVELT: When Charie Bux found his garden of Eden and its perfect people, he wanted to share it with the whole universe. If was then he learned why mankind had turned its back on Heaven…
ON EARTH: When the world is yours, anything is possible. WHEN YOU CARE, WHEN YOU LOVE, and when you have enough money, even death can be the mother of life!
IN SPACE: Case had been dead for centuries when they woke him again to love. For mankind was in need of its last explorer of space. Yes, mankind had a desire that only case could fulfill. But Case and his computer had a desire that was greater still!
CASE AND THE DREAMER.”