Updates: Links from the Vintage SF Blogsphere No. 2 (Soviet SF + Michael Moorcock + Hannes Bok + 70s UK Anthology + Allen Adler)

As a number of my favorite vintage SF sites have either gone into temporary hiatus or stopped posting completely, I’ve decided to make my Links from the Vintage SF Blogsphere a semi-regular feature (Part I). I will also include links to various articles that I’ve encountered that might be older as well.

1) Kaggsy, over at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings, reviewed what appears to be an unmissable collection of Soviet SF: The Air of Mars and Other Stories of Time and Space (1976), translated and edited by Mirra Ginsburg. From her review:

“Normally when I read Soviet sci-fi I end up looking for hidden messages or subtexts, as so many authors living under repressive regimes have turned to sci-fi as a way of hiding up their ideas and their dissent. Certainly, there were elements in some of the stories here, most obviously in “We Are Not Alone”, when any heresy against the dominant ideology is harshly punished. And in “Twelve Holidays” the clever trick used to get rid of a ruler could have been wishful thinking on the part of an author living with the cult of great leaders. However, whether or not there are hidden messages, all of these stories sparkled and entertained and made me look at the world and universe around me with fresh eyes – which for me is what I look for in science fiction writing.”

(Image via Kaggsy. Charles Mikolaycak’s cover for the 1976 edition)

2) Tarbandu, of The PorPor Books Blog, provides brief summaries of a 70s collection filled with many of the best UK authors: Stars of Albion (1979), ed. Robert Holdstock and Christopher Priest. Although we seldom agree on New Wave SF, I doubt this collection is anything other than wonderful.

“Holdstock attributes the unique character of British sf to a resistance to writing stories of an overly commercial nature; in this regard, British sf writers have an independence that allows them to approach the genre in ways that are arguably more imaginative, and less restricted, than writers in the other countries (……….namely, the USA).”

Contains stories by Brian W. Aldiss, J.G. Ballard, Bob Shaw, Christopher Priest, John Brunner, Robert Holdstock, Josephine Saxton, Ian Watson, Keith Roberts, Barrington J. Bayley, and David Garnett.

(Bob Norrington’s cover for the 1979 edition)

3) MPorcius, of MPorcius Fiction Log, reviews Allen Adler’s Terror on Planet Ionus (1957)… Sometimes someone else has to take the hits identifying the “bewilderingly limp and forgettable.” That said, I love learning about authors I’ve never read (and probably won’t in this case). Check the review out.

4) Although this is an older article from 2005, Michael Moorcock’s discussion in the Telegraph of alternate histories where the Nazis won WWII is worth the read. Moorcock claims that:

Only one alternate history series confronted Nazism with appropriate originality and passion. Published by the independent Manchester firm Savoy, David Britton’s surreal Lord Horror and its sequels entered the mind of a deranged surviving Hitler whose visions grew increasingly insane […] Britton’s narrative moved inevitably towards Auschwitz. The novel’s final issue, with its deliberately blank narrative panels among pictures of the concentration camp (followed by actual photographs of victims), was a silent memorial to the murdered, an indictment of our own moral complicity.

Considering how often WWII alternate histories side-step the historical realities of the Holocaust, trauma, and human toll, Moorcock brings up a lot of issues that we, as diligent readers, should keep in mind. Too often alternate histories of WWII slip into Holocaust denial.

5) Paul, over at SF Magazines, reviews the December 1942 issue of Unknown Worlds. I had no idea that Hannes Bok, the famous SFF illustrator, also wrote fiction.

(Hannes Bok interior art)

Note regarding my modus operandi: I am not trying to curate the extent of the vintage SF blogsphere but rather want to showcase a few items that particularly interested me.

For more SF Articles and Links consult the INDEX

10 thoughts on “Updates: Links from the Vintage SF Blogsphere No. 2 (Soviet SF + Michael Moorcock + Hannes Bok + 70s UK Anthology + Allen Adler)

    • You’re welcome. Thank you for writing the review. I find the examples you provide of his interior art (illustrating his own story) quite evocative — hence why I included the image in this post!

  1. Appreciate the linking to the PorPor Blog………..

    ………..sad to see other vintage sf / fantasy / horror blogs either going defunct, or posting only sporadically…….a lot of good material is no longer going to be showcased or previewed to a younger generation of readers…….!!!!


    • No problem. Thanks for all the reviews! (Less a comic book fan so I focus on your summaries of the various SF books you read — and of course, as I might have said in the past, you positive assessment of The Deep helped create my current obsession with John Crowley’s early novels).

    • I’d think one would need a more seriously collected range of data to ever claim a “culture movement.” A lot of discussion has also unfortunately moved to twitter — even John Scalzi, who posts his blog stats, has never been more popular in terms of book sales etc but his site has taken a hit.

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