Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCVII (Farmer + Leinster + Williams + Anthology)

I’ve returned! New books!

If you missed it, I also posted a new review of a fantastic novel that melds New Wave sensibilities with an engaging narrative. Check it out.

1. A gift from a family friend…. But what a John Schoenherr cover!

2. Another gift…. a fun space medic premise but I do not trust anything produced by Leinster to have depth yet alone be “thought-provoking” as the blurb proclaims.

3. A Toronto, CA find — unfortunately a tag mutilated the cover…

4. Another Toronto, CA find — while browsing through the shelves I was reminded of one of Tarbandu’s infrequent 5/5 reviews…. We don’t always agree but he introduced me to John Crowley!

As always, comments are welcome.



  1. Alien Worlds, ed. Roger Elwood (1964)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1964 edition)

From the inside page: “In just a few pages your imagination will embark on the strangest journey it will ever take — an extraordinary trip through time and space to experience the wonders, terrors and excitements of ALEN WORLDS. Your guide will be Roger Elwood, the editor of this volume. To make your travels unforgettable, he has asked along ten of the most expert practitioners of the high art of science-fiction adventure!”

Contents: Eric Frank Russell’s “Afternoon of a Fahn” (1951), Philip K. Dick’s “The Cosmic Poachers” (1953), Robert Sheckley’s “Dawn Invader” (1957), Poul Anderson’s “The Last Monster” (1951), Robert Block’s “The Fear Planet” (1943), John Brunner’s “Singleminded” (1963), Edmond Hamilton’s “The Stars, My Brothers” (1962), John W. campbell, Jr.’s “The Brain Stealers of Mars” (1936), John Wyndham’s “The Man from Beyond” (1934), Clifford D. Simak’s “Madness from Mars” (1939).

2. S. O. S. From Three Worlds, Murray Leinster (1967) (MY REVIEW)

(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1967 edition)

From the back cover: “Virtually the only connecting links between the innumerable colonized planets were the Med Ships–lone starships carrying only one man and one beast. These trained teams of supermedical engineers took their lives in their hands on every planetfall. And for the team of Calhoun and Murgatroyd, three calls for help meant three challenges beyond all the experience of all their systems.

Plague, mystery, and menace marked the missions–and the human enemies they cased on each world were just as virulent as the microscopic ones.

Murray Leinster, dean of science-fiction writers, is at his thought-provoking best in this exciting space adventure.”

Contents: two novellas and one novelette in the Med Service series — “Plague on Kryder” (1964), Ribbon in the Sky (1957), and Wuarantine World (1966).

3. Inside Outside, Philip José Farmer (1964)

(Uncredited cover for the 1964 edition)

From the inside page: “DO YOU REMEMBER those old-fashioned snowball paperweights–the round glass ball containing a miniature world of snowmen, or igloos, or perhaps a Santas Clause fixed firmly to one side of the ball–the kind which, when shaken, produced a pleasant flurry of floating flakes to obscure, for a little while, the tiny world so safely encased, so much at the mercy of anyone who wanted to smash it.

IMAGINE such a world, immeasurably larger, large enough to have its own interior fixed sun, but a world still finite, whirling freely in space, populated by a fully complement of creatures of all kings. They would be liberally inside outside. But they would not know it. Not at first. They would try desperately to find an answer to who they were, what was their universe, what was the purpose of their lives–much as people do on Earth. And when disaster struck–when the hand shook the snowball–the would try desperately hard to survive. And some would find the answer.”

4. The Breaking of Northwall, Paul O. Williams (1980)

(Darrell K. Sweet’s cover for the 1980 edition)

From the back cover: “THE IDEAL EXILE. To the Pelbar, the sentence seemed a living death–exile to distant Northwall for a year, isolated from the security and order of Pelbarigan society, facing the barbarian tribes of the Shumai and Sentani.

But the rebellious Jestak embraced his punishment–for only with the lore of Northwall and the battlecraft and bravery of the wild tribes could he accomplish what he sought. The woman he loved was a captive of Emerta, fabled city of the slaveholding Emeri. Jestak meant to free her–and, if he had to, destroy utterly the power of the Emeri.

This sweeping tale of the far future is a rich depiction of a colorful world–and an engrossing account of one man’s role in changing the destiny of that world.”

20 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCVII (Farmer + Leinster + Williams + Anthology)

  1. I think the Inside Outside cover is by Bob Abbett. He was active with Ballantine Books around this time with Burrough’s Mars series as well as Farmer’s Dare.

  2. You almost make the Farmer sound appealing! But I’m fairly confident I’d be disappointed!

    The Breaking of Northwall (Pelbar cycle # 1 of 6) sold very well when they were published and I actually looked them up only a month or two ago, thinking I might read at least the first one. They are all in print, but the prices were a bit off-putting and I moved on to something else instead… The Amtrak Wars series by Patrick Tilley were also very big sellers at roughly the same time, and had a similar sort of setting.

  3. I’m intimate with all four books. I like all four books, although all four seem more representative instead of illustrative. While, I usually like Elwood’s anthologies, even I have to admit that he usually picked the second-rate stories by first rate authors. “Alien Worlds” is a good example, I’m willing to bet that nothing here is among any of the author’s best works. There’s also a reason why the Farmer book isn’t amongst his better known works. I like Farmer, and I couldn’t finish it. But, that was when I was in high school, so maybe a re-read would be in order. Leinster is a very uneven writer and much of his stuff has not aged well. Williams died at the peak of his popularity, sadly. I’ve always thought that Jack Gaughan was a massively under-appreciated artist. You can always tell a Gaughan when you see one with its surrealism and unique characters, and John Schoenherr’s artwork is a treat as he is especially well known for his wildlife art. All-in-all, a good batch of covers. If you could get a hold of the original art, which one would you pick to hang on one of your walls?

  4. The one he did about Emsch is good too, and he did a 3rd about Lee Brown Coye, a more gothic, often b&w artist I know much less about.

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