1) Futuristic city? Yes! Is more needed? Okay, okay, I concede, more is needed. I hope Gotschalk’s novel with its fantastic Dean Ellis cover delivers. Among the least known of the Ace Science Fiction Special series…
Check out my older reviews of J. G. Ballard’s “Billennium” (1961), Future City, ed. Roger Elwood (1973), and The World Inside, Robert Silverberg (1971) for more SF on this theme of futuristic cities. If you delve through the archives you’ll find many more examples.
2) Ballard blurbs Martin Bax’s novel as “…the most exciting, stimulating and brilliantly conceived book I have read since Burroughs’ novels.” Hyperbole aside, the two reviews (here and here) I’ve read of Bax’s sole novel puts this at the top of my “to read” pile.
I have cheated a bit by including the cover for the first New Directions edition rather than the later Picador edition I own due to the cover quality.
3) Three acquisitions posts ago (here) I mentioned that the premise of Marge Piercy’s Dance the Eagle to Sleep (1970) did not inspire me to read it anytime soon. Thankfully I found a copy of what many consider her masterpiece Woman at the Edge of Time (1976) cheap at the local used book store.
4) I am not sure why I picked this collection up—I’ve heard good things about Joe Haldeman’s introduction which draws on his experience in the Vietnam War. As Isaac Asimov, Mack Reynolds, etc are not normally authors who intrigue me, I might do something I rarely do and read and review Effinger’s story only (and maybe Poul Anderson’s as he’s better in short form)…
As always thoughts and comments are welcome.
1. Growing up in Tier 3000, Felix C. Gotschalk (1976)
(Dean Ellis’ gorgeous cover for the 1976 edition)
From the back cover: “Tier 3000 is the perfect community of the future, complete with all the exotic—and erotic—luxuries, amenities and technology that man’s imagination could desire. But it is a suicidal and malignant paradise, one that threatens to eat away at the very basics of humanity… and eventually humanity itself.
Written by a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for new writers, GROWING UP IN TIER 3000 is an incredible vision you will never forget.”
2. The Hospital Ship, Martin Bax (1976)
(Uncredited cover for the 1976 edition)
From the back cover of the Picador edition (1977): “Out of Martin Bax’s astonishing vision of contemporary civilization in collapse is The Hospital Ship… an atomic powered ark attempting to salvage a ‘remnant’ from a world whose recent wars have resulted in the total loss of both social and individual stability.
The ship picks up victims of what increasingly appears to be a world-wide disaster. Psychiatrist, Sir Maximov Flint, joins the ship and introduces his own extraordinary solution — love therapy. On the shore the holocaust spreads. The hospital ship sails on… a tiny heroic vestige of surviving humanity.
Savage violence, searing black comedy and a powerful vein of triumphant eroticism make this first novel an extraordinary, indeed a transforming, experience.”
3. Woman on the Edge of Time, Marge Piercy (1976)
(Jerome Podwil’s cover for the 1977 edition)
From the back cover: “Once a college girl, now a pickpocket. Once a loving mother, no a “child abuser.” Once beautiful, now warn and discarded. Connie Ramos. A heroically sane woman, now labeled insane.
Held against her will in a mental hospital, Connie is just another faceless patient–until she is chosen as a subject for a terrifying new neuro-shock experiment.
Now Connie is a woman at war, trying to fight her way out of her hospital prison and into a future that holds more promise than anything she could ever imagine. A future that is in as much danger as Connie herself…”
4. Study War No More, ed. Joe Haldeman (1977)
(Michael Whelan’s cover for the 1978 edition)
From the back cover: “OUT OF MAN’S MOST DEADLY GAME COMES: Peace and freedom through cybernetic regimentation, surrogate warfare via machine-induced illusion, peace as the ultimate venereal disease, war by formalized political assassination, plus six more stories of rare brilliance and intellect.
War has been one of science fiction’s most often explored realms and in STUDY WAR NO MORE, Joe Haldeman, Nebula Award winning author of THE FOREVER WAR and MINDBRIDGE, has brought together ten powerful and original tales of man’s future—worlds at war and worlds beyond war.”
Contents: “Basilisk” by Harlan Ellison, “The Dueling Machine” by Ben Bova, “A Man to My Wounding” by Poul Anderson, “Commando Raid” by Harry Harrison, “Curtains” by George Alec Effinger, “Mercenary” by Mack Reynolds, “Rule Golden” by Damon Knight, “The State of Ultimate Peace” by William Nabors, “By the Numbers” by Isaac Asimov, “To Howard Hughes: A Modest Proposal” by Joe Haldeman.