Updates: Links from the Vintage SF Blogsphere No. 3 (Aldous Huxley + Soviet SF + Cyberpunk nightmares + et al.)

My third installment (earlier ones here) of Links from the Vintage SF Blogsphere… Be sure to check out the reviews linked from other amazing sites (and subscribe to them). And, as always, there are some fascinating covers to behold!

Go forth and read!

(Uncredited cover–Michael Hooks?–for the 1964 edition)

1. Mike White posts an earlier review of Aldous Huxley’s Ape and Essence (1948). Let’s just say I can’t wait to review the book myself.

From his review:

“Huxley’s not offering hopeful alternatives; we’re doomed by our essential nature. As a work of post-apocalyptic fiction, the book is a powerful exploration of the relationship between science and civilization that has brought humanity to the brink of near-total annihilation.”

2. Guy, a frequent commenter on this site and proprietor of A Jagged Orbit, recently wrote a review of a childhood favorite of mine — Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (1962).

From his review:

“I enjoyed rereading the novel for many of the reasons I enjoyed it the first time, the nod to mathematics, the idea of jaunting around the universe meeting aliens, and the horrific regimentation of the planet Camazotz.”

3. Curmudgeonly Reader reviews J.K. Jeter’s Dr. Adder (1984). The book some say would have been THE cyberpunk novel (i.e. not Neuromancer) if a press took the risk and published it when Jeter wrote it i.e. 1972.

From the review:

“I love a book that pushes into strange areas and defies convention, and this book certainly does that.”

(Barclay Shaw’s cover for the 1984 edition)

4. Mike over at Tongue of Speculation RETURNS! ….with a review of a work of Soviet SF: Vadim Shefner’s The Unmen (1967, trans. 1980)

From the review:

“As Stefan’s story is a flight of fancy, so too does Vadim Shefner take a leap from the serious side of Soviet scifi (pardon the alliteration) in order to warm the reader to a likable lass such as Stefan. It’s for fun, not intellectual reflection.”

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1980 edition)

5. MPorcius over at MPorcius Fiction Log is working his way through the stories in Tomorrow (1975), ed. Roger Elwood. Be sure to explore the earlier and later reviews — but his review of Brian Aldiss, Terry Carr, and Sonya Dorman stories particularly caught my eye.

6. [non-SF]. Biblioklept reviews Gisèle Prassinos’s surrealist anti-fables and scans in a few examples.

From the remarkable review:

“Prassinos’s anti-fables offer ways of reading a mind that doesn’t know what it knows, of singing along with the free faceless astonishing voice. Highly recommended.”

7. Tarbandu, over at The PorPor Books Blog, reviews an Alfred Coppel novel–The Apocalypse Brigade (1983)–I’ve never heard of. He’s best know in SF circles for the post-apocalyptical The Dark December (1960) which I recently snagged a copy of. Apparently, Coppel pushes hard-right political opinions as well…   Again, despite not syncing with my own political perspectives, learning more about books I’ve never heard of is always intriguing.

7 thoughts on “Updates: Links from the Vintage SF Blogsphere No. 3 (Aldous Huxley + Soviet SF + Cyberpunk nightmares + et al.)

  1. Thanks for the mention! I’ve been eager to get back to writing about post-apocalyptic fiction, now that a few major time-consuming projects are out of the way in my offline life.

    Agree with Curmudgeonly Reader on Dr. Adder. Like Neuromancer, it’s an atmospheric book that really has a cyberpunk feel. It’s amazing that the book was written in 1972 – I haven’t come across anything like it from the early 70’s.

    • No problem. I meant to include it last time I had a Links from the Vintage SF Blogsphere post but forgot.

      I look forward to any and all future SF reviews you post!

      I need a copy of Dr. Adder… as I mentioned in the comments to his review, it’s not super cheap in paperback online and I like to own the physical books.

  2. I mostly enjoyed Coppel’s The Dark December, except that Major Garvin seemingly lost himself in the end, so I tracked down The Apocalypse Brigade a couple years ago and read it. I didn’t take notes, but summarized the read as, “Story didn’t live up to the title.”

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