1) What a bonkers cover from Carol Inouye (her only credited piece according to The Internet Speculative Fiction Database)! I do not have high hopes for the novel. T. L. Sherred published little SF in his career–he was a technical writer for the Detroit auto industry. Clute over at SF Encyclopedia describes Alien Island (1970) as “comic but fundamentally melancholy.”
2) Another SF novel from Aldous Huxley. I’ve wanted a copy of Ape and Essence (1948) for a long time. I’ve always preferred Brave New World (1931) to both Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and Yvengy Zamyatin’s We (1921). Excited! Thoughts?
3) A wide-ranging SF anthology from Judith Merril. I am especially interested in reading her intro… and Ward Moore’s “The Fellow Who Married the Maxill Girl” (1960) as Admiral.Ironbombs has been reviewing and enjoying a lot of his work as of late: Bring the Jubilee (1953), “Lot” (1953), and “Lot’s Daughter” (1954).
4) A Jack Vance fix-up novel/short story collection containing seven additional stories in the Dying Earth sequence. Confession time: I read half of the stories in The Dying Earth (1950) recently and could not finish it. There was a certain half-hearted attempt to create a future mythology that slips all too easily into bland fantasy mode. Conflicted.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.
Note: I’ve finally settled on a new look for my site. There are a few minor issues (not showing comment numbers at the top of the post etc.) but I think the look is more professional and focuses on showcasing content.
1. Alien Island, T. L. Sherred (1970)
(Carol Inouye’s cover for the 1970 edition of Alien Island (1970), T. L. Sherred)
From the back cover: “Earth had not been attacked–no, indeed–and the Visitors were not about to allow the Establishment to intervene between them and the man-in-the-street.
The Establishment had, in fact, been spending considerable time, energy and (taxpayers’) money on an effort to shield the tender, hyper-sensitive feelings of the publis from the panic it assumed would result were it ever to become generally known that the Earth had Visitors–and had been having them for several years.
It was, of course, the Establishment which was scared witless. So they were bypassed.
And there wasn’t a thing the united governments of the Earth could do about it.”
2. Ape and Essence, Aldous Huxley (1948)
(Uncredited cover for the 1964 edition of Ape and Essence (1948), Aldous Huxley)
From the back cover: “APE AND ESSENCE is Aldous Huxley’s savagely satirical successor to BRAVE NEW WORLD. It is his horrific view of the world in the twenty-second century, after the Third World War, when a civilization dedicated to “perfection” attempts to suppress all man’s rebellious desires.
Like BRAVE NEW WORLD it has the shockingly sardonic quality and the acute insight into the challenges and dangers of our time which made Huxley one of our century’s most potent satirists.”
(John Van Zwienen’s cover for the 1962 edition of The 6th Annual Edition: the Year’s Best S-F (1961), ed. Judith Merril)
From the back cover: “Here are over forty of the past year’s best creations from master writers of outstanding science fiction and fantasy, including short stories, articles, fantastic poetry, cartoons, humor, S-F blues and ballads and a new, annual commentary by author-critic, Anthony Boucher.”
From the back cover: “In the dim far future of Earth, when the sun had shrunk to a small red disk in the dark sky and the race of man lived in isolated cities that echoed with the vastness of the world’s history, science, myth and magic had become one. Sorcerors who read the books of ancient time held great power, and fearsome monsters created in ages long forgotten stalked the land.
In this world of mystery and danger, the adventurer known as Cugel the Clever was forced to undertake a quest for Iucounu the Laughing Magician–a quest that was to take him to lands stranger than any he had dreamed of, and pit his wits and his sword against powers from beyond time itself.
In this long-awaited new novel of the Dying Earth, Jack Vance has written a tale that you will want to read again and again, for its marvels are unending.”