1. One of two SF/F gifts (not specifically for Christmas — but let’s pretend!) I’ve included in this post…. Due to my recent series on Maps and Diagrams in Science Fiction, a reader and fan of the site sent me his extra copy of J.B. Post’s An Atlas of Fantasy (1973)–which includes some SF maps as well. Thank you!
2. The second gift—I’ve been spacing a giant pile of vintage SF I received from a family friend out over many months! Sturgeon sometimes intrigues, and sometimes infuriates—hopefully there will be more of the former in this collection. No stories in the vein of “The Hurkle Is a Happy Beast” (1949) please.
3. Dr. Adder, K. W. Jeter’s infamous “couldn’t be published when it was written” novel that might have defined “cyberpunk” long before Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984). I have the Bluejay Books 1st edition with lots of evocative (and disturbing) interior art.
4. And finally, a completely unknown quantity from an author I’d never heard of–Gina Berriault. Promises to be a Cold War satire of impending nuclear destruction. And it has a History professor as a main character! (i.e. maybe a 1960s version of me? we shall see).
And let me know in the comments if you receive any SF/fantasy Christmas gifts.
1. An Atlas of Fantasy, J. B. Post (1973)
(Uncredited cover for the 1979 edition)
From the back cover: “OZ… MONGO…THE MOON… ATLANTIS… DUNE… TOAD HALL… TREASURE ISLAND… FAIRYLAND… BASKERVILLE HALL… LILLIPUT… SLOBBOVIA… POOH’S TURF… HYPERBOREA… EARTHSEA… YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTRY… AND BEYOND.
Over 100 marvelous maps to the Never-Never Lands of fiction and folklore! From the Garden of Eden to Middle-earth, this entrancing collection includes class and “cult” charts, whimsical amateur sketches, and author-drawn blueprints of their own fabulous dominions.
An Atlas of Fantasy leads you on a journey to phantasmagoria–where the most enchanting non-people and non-places are waiting to be discovered…”
2. The Worlds of Theodore Sturgeon, Theodore Sturgeon (1972)
(Davis Meltzer’s cover for the 1972 1st edition)
From the back cover: “Theodore Sturgeon, winner of the International Fantasy Award, favorite of anthologists, bestselling author of fabulous science fiction novels and much sought-after collections, is here presented in a new collection of stories.
Representative of all the periods of his career, ranging from great science fiction to the weird and startling, here are thrilling tales, most of which have never been reprinted in any book.
Here are rare novelettes like THE SKILLS OF XANDU, THERE IS NO DEFENSE, THE OTHER MAN, and THE PERFECT HOST. Here, too, are some of Sturgeon classics like MATURITY and SHOTTLE BOB, and some that are of classic-status like THE SKY WAS FULL OF SHIPS. In short, here are…
THE WORLDS OF THEODORE STURGEON.”
3. Dr. Adder, K.W. Jeter (1984)
(Barclay Shaw’s cover for the 1984 1st edition)
From the back cover: “COME TO RATTOWN, BOYS AND GIRLS. WALK THE INTERFACE. DR. ADDER WILL MAKE YOUR MOST CHERISHED DREAM COME TRUE–EVEN IF IT KILLS YOU.
IT’S THE LOS ANGELES YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SINCE “BLADERUNNER.”
A Los Angeles populated by freaks and goons and down-and-outers–and by John Mox’s Moral Forcers. While Mox broadcasts sermons to tranquilize the mind, Dr. Adder rules the city–with his bod-sculpting scalpels and soul-searing hallucinogens. Drugs. Power. Money. Sex. Whatever your habit, Dr. Adder is your friend. And that’s why Mox wants him dead.”
4. The Descent, Gina Berriault (1960)
(Cover designed by David Bullen for the 1986 edition)
From the back cover: “Gina Berriault’s THE DESCENT, first published in 1960, is a prophetic tale of an escalating nuclear arms race and of the hypocrisy, duplicity, and ignorance that feed it. A satire both timely and timeless, it tells the story of Arnold Elkins, an Associate Professor of History, who is singled out for the high-sounding cabinet post of Secretary of Humanity, but who soon fins himself the target of powerful forces intent on his destruction.”
For book reviews consult the INDEX
For cover art posts consult the INDEX