Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCV (Farmer + Simak + Effinger + New Dimensions Anthology)

1. I recently read and reviewed enthusiastically New Dimensions 3, ed. Robert Silverberg (1973). Inspired, I procured quite a few more in the series… Here is number 1. Looks like an absolutely spectacular lineup — Le Guin, Ellison, Malzberg, Lafferty, etc.

2. One always needs more Clifford D. Simak, right?

3. Huge fan of George Alec Effinger’s novels and short stories. Here’s what I’ve reviewed so far…. Heroics (1979), Irrational Numbers (1976), and What Entropy Means to Me (1972).

4.  Philip José Farmer, despite multiple masterpieces, churned out a lot of crud… I expect this will fall in that category.

Note: The hi-res scans are of my personal copies — click to enlarge.

Let me know what you think in the comments!



1. New Dimensions 1, ed. Robert Silverberg (1971)

(Uncredited cover for the 1973 edition)

From the back cover: “NEW DIMENSIONS 1. EXPLORING BEYOND… Beyond the everyday, beyond the commonplace, beyond even the traditional subject matter of science fiction. Written especially for this volume, these stories explore new themes and notions in ways that are daringly different. Price-winning science fiction author Robert Silverberg has assembled a unique collection: provoking, surprising, and totally original”

Contents: Gardner Dozois’ “A Special Kind of Morning,” Alex and Phyllis Eisenstein’s “The Trouble with the Past,” Josephine Saxton’s “The Power of Time,” “Doris Pitkin Buck’s “The Giberel,” Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Vaster Than Empires and More Slow,” “Robert C. Malstrom’s “The Great A,” Harlan Ellison’s “At the Mouse Circus,” Leonard Tushnet’s “A Plague of Cars,” R. A. Lafferty’s “Sky,” Edward Bryant’s “Love Song of Herself,” Harry Harrison’s “The Wicked Flee,” Philip Jose farmer’s “The Sliced-Crosswise Only-On-Tuesday World,” Barry N. Malzberg’s “Conquest,” Thomas M. Disch’s “Emancipation: A Romance of the Times to Come.”

2. Enchanted Pilgrimage, Clifford D. Simak (1975)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1975 edition)

From the back cover: “Journey Back to the Present.

Mark Cornwall is a young man who asks questions–in a society where all answers come from above. His questing, questioning spirit leads him into deadly exile and a terrifying chase across nightmarish terrain.

Goblins, gnomes, enchanted hellhounds, witches, and elves are Cornwall’s companions and pursuers as he seeks the carefully guarded secret of his civilization. His search for The Caretaker, a legendary figure who may or may not exist, makes as stirring and unforgettable an adventures as Clifford Simak ever wrote!”

3. Dirty Tricks, George Alec Effinger (1978)

(Craig Carl’s cover for the 1978 edition)

From the inside flap: “Eleven of George Alec Effinger’s remarkable stories, which have appeared within the lat five years in such magazines as fantasy and Science Fiction and Fantastic, an in anthologies edited by such renowned masters as Damon Knight, Robert Silverberg, and Terry Carr. The stories include “New New York, New Orleans” (New York undergoes a strange transformation and the citizens are treated to the best–and works–of two worlds); “The Mothers’ Mark on Ecstasy” (a demented doctor dissects people searching for happiness); “Timmy Was Eight” (a story that will make the dark a lot scarier than it was before); and “chase Our Blues Away” (the memories in childhood by his favorite animated cartoon character). A marvelous collection that demonstrates the broad range of Effinger’s interests and styles. With an original story written especially for this volume.”

Other stories include: “Contentment, Satisfaction, Cheer, Well-Being, Gladness, Joy, Comfort, and Not Having to Get Up Early Any More” (1976), “Strange Ragged Saintliness” (1978), “The Awesome Menace of the Polarizer” (1971), “Heartstop” (1974), “Live, from Berchtesgaden” (1972), “B.K.A. The Master” (1976), “Sand and Stones” (1972).

4. The Gate of Time, Philip José Farmer (1966)

(Jerome Podwil’s cover for the 1966 edition)

From the back cover: “ROGER TWO HAWKS an American Iriquois [sic] Indian, was shot down over Ploesti, Roumania near the end of World War II; only the Navigator, O’Brien, survived with him.

Then, strangely, they were in a foreign land, where no known 20th century language was spoken, where the people seemed to be living in another time, where men carried bows and arrows.

then the realization struck: somehow they had entered a parallel universe, through a temporarily opened gate in the atmosphere.

Somehow, they must get out; and the nO’Brien was dead…

Now, would the nightmare begin… or what?”

10 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCV (Farmer + Simak + Effinger + New Dimensions Anthology)

    • I’m not sure these particular authors fall into the “hard SF” subgenre — or mention much “science.” New Dimensions, for example, is deliberately interested in “literary” SF etc.

  1. I quite enjoyed the Simak back when it came out! Not sure if I’d like it much now. Seem to recall that Trent, or the Council of Trent, had something to do with the protagonist’s journey. Maybe not ‘our’ Council of Trent though. Or maybe Trent was a wizard. Hmmm.

    I actually considered reading the Farmer title quite recently but was quickly put off within a page or two… The Effinger cover looks very familiar, so there’s a good chance I read some of it at least, but I couldn’t say which stories now.

    • Simak is one of the authors I frequently read as a kid — my views are more tempered now (I think this goes with a lot of things).

      However, my appreciation for Effinger is growing and growing! This collection is on my shortlist to read this break (2 weeks!)

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