Procuring SF paperbacks never gets old! I have started scanning in the covers (two of the four below) in order to provide higher quality images (click to zoom)— especially if they are hard to find images online and/or I find them aesthetically pleasing (Powers + Lehr in this post).
Let me know if the change is worth it!
Josephine Saxton: Despite reading The Hieros Gamos of Sam and An Smith (1969) years ago, my mind still traces the imprint of its strange ritualistic beauty . Her short fiction was published in a range of SF magazines and collections from 1965 to 1992. I have tracked down a copy of her first collection. Despite its 1985 publication date, eight of the fourteen stories were published in the 60s/70s.
Harry Harrison: A “classic” author whose work I need to explore more: I’ve read Deathworld (1960), attempted to read Make Room! Make Room! (1966) and A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah (1972) at least three times, and Lifeship (1976), which he co-wrote with Gordon R. Dickson. I’ve encountered his short fiction here and there and found “By The Falls” (1970) a satisfying New Wave endeavor. Time for more short fiction!
New Worlds Anthology: I want all of them, end of story.
And finally, the selection bound to surprise and confuse my regular readers…. Aliya Whiteley: Despite my various protestations, I have not stopped reading new SF entirely. And I couldn’t resist finding a copy of Whiteley’s well-received fungal nightmare…. If you’re curious see Jesse’s review over at Speculiction.
1. Prime Number, Harry Harrison (1970)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1970 edition)
From the back cover: “PRIME FARE! Ideas pour into the hopper of Harry Harrison’s imagination, transformed here for your reading enjoyment into ninteen varied and memorable science fiction stories.
Ranging in background from way down south in the land of cotton (“Mute Milton”) to Sardi’s Topside (“The Pod”).
A incorporating all manner of fanciful people and objects such as Professor Hakachinik (“Famous First Words”), and Venusian swamp-think (“The Finest Hunter in the World”), and some curious worms and chameleons (“If”).
A FEAST FOR SF FANS!”
2. The Power of Time, Josephine Saxton (1985)
(Donald Macpherson’s cover for the 1985 edition)
From the back cover: “THE POWER OF TIME. Rebuild Manhattan in the heart of Leicestershire? Enliven dull Utopia by summoning a demon lover? Change your rivals into animals? Do your own brain surgery?
The whimsical and the perverse, the witty and the bored play the most dangerous games, face the most bizarre of consequences. Josephine Saxton’s short stories range in location from the Midlands to far stars and times, but all deal in an elegant taking of risks.
In the continuing development of SF, the short fictions of Josephine Saxton play an important part; they are collected here for the first time.”
3. The Beauty, Aliya Whiteley (2014)
(Stuart Patience’s cover for the 2014 edition)
From the back cover: “THERE WILL BE CHANGE. THE WORD CAN MOVE FROM MYTH TO MATERIAL.
A dark and brutal vision for the future, this is not a tale for the faint of heart.
To start: There will be love. The world was dead. Then it rose from under the earth, took form, came to us and demanded our attention.
In the Valley of the Rocks, Nate is the storyteller, the voice and memory of the Group. Through the nights beyond women, William leads with youth and strength. Doctor Ben tends to their wounds in the dying days of man. Everyone has a role, even Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods.
For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secret can the forest offer to change it all?
Discover the Beauty.”
4. New Worlds Quarterly 4, ed. Michael Moorcock (1972)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1972 edition)
From the back cover: “In this, the fourth issue of the distinguished quarterly New Worlds, Michael Moorcock has brought together new works by some of the most exciting science fiction talents to be found on both sides of the Atlantic.
Stories and articles by: M. John Harrison, Alan Aumbry, Barrington Bayley, John T. Sladek, William A Woodrow, Keith Roberts, Thomas M. Disch, Charles Platt, Marek Obtulowicz.
Illustrations by: Mal Dean, R. G. Jones, Roberts.”