1. Leo P. Kelley is an author whose work I’ve encountered in various used book stores but never acquired…. until now. Here’s the SF Encyclopedia entry on his work. Let me know if you’ve read any of them!
Note: The Kelley edition and cover are different than the one I own. I accidentally mutilated the cover by removing (by incorrect means) a large sticker. I own the 1971 Berkley Medallion first edition.
2. I adored David Ely’s Seconds (1962). I hope to have a review up soon! I went ahead and acquired his only other SF novel.
3. Although I’ve read and complained vehemently about Pamela Sargent’s Cloned Lives (1976), I’m not a reader who gives up on an author after a single novel. Like Cloned Lives, The White Death (variant title: The Sudden Star) (1979), creates a tapestry of characters presented with a crisis. I’ll read this one sooner than later.
4. An original anthology on the year 2000. I couldn’t pass it up especially as it contains a SF short story by Naomi Mitchison. I remember Memoirs of a Spacewoman (1962) fondly….
As always, let me know your thoughts on the books/covers/or tangents.
1. The Coins of Murph, Leo P. Kelley (1971)
(Colin Hay’s cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover of the 1971 Berkley edition: “TOSS THE COIN, BROTHER!
Beforeit became Afterit, and Afterit shall never be the same as Beforeit. For once Manking made Decisions. Now Murph has ordered a change in the ways of Man.
TOSS THE COIN, BROTHER!
The wheels of Murph grind slowly, but exceedingly small, and Randland waits for Losers, so
TOSS THE COIN, BROTHER!”
2. A Journal of the Flood Year, David Ely (1992)
(Candy Jernigan’s cover for the 1992 edition)
From the inside flap: “David Ely’s first novel since 1974, A Journal of the Flood Year, is as imaginative, as original and haunting as his famed novel, Seconds. Transporting his readers into the near future, Ely introduces an East Coast that has been unnaturally extended into the Atlantic Ocean to increase America’s wealth by creating new mining opportunities and tapping into a new energy source–“wave power.” The “Wall” is a remarkable technical achievement, except that–as engineer William G. Fowke tries to point out–it is leaking. But the authorities have already tagged him as a troublemaker. Hunted by a vindictive bureaucracy backed by robotic trackers and an agent of the Department of Interior Personnel Security, Fowke’s odyssey takes him–and the woman who is either his pursuer or his lover–on a tour of domestic gulags that comprise a vision at once shocking and blackly comic.”
3. The White Death (variant title: The Sudden Star), Pamela Sargent (1979)
(Uncredited cover for the 1980 edition)
From the back cover: “The appearance of the white star bathing the land in a deadly glare turned America into a nightmare of fear and violence.
THE WHITE DEATH
In this land of gun-law only the toughest can survive. Simon Negron was one of the few who tried to take a stand against the madness and terror of the streets. The price of his rebellion was high but the power of desperation was higher.
THE WHITE DEATH
A brilliant adventure novel of the time when a natural disaster brought violent chaos to the world.”
4. The Year 2000, ed. Harry Harrison (1970)
(Pat Steir’s cover for the 1970 edition)
From the back cover: “‘If science fiction has an impact to make upon our society, I think it does, it is in its attitude towards science, not in any one-to-one description of things to come.’–Harry Harrison
In compiling this unique anthology, Mr. Harrison asked some of science fiction’s most noted writers to contribute an original story, the only stipulation being that the story be set in the year 2000. The result is thirteen stories highly imaginative in content and characterization, yet all oddly similar. They concern themselves with existing crises which confront man today–overpopulation, racial difficulties, space exploration, starvation, and man’s most devastating game, War–and many of them picture the twenty-first Century as a time to fear if our present course of events and actions are not drastically altered.
If we continue our existing policies and attitudes then Africa may become much as Chad Oliver views it in “Far From This Earth.” And if our pressing overpopulation problem is not remedies then we might find ourselves being torn apart over the value of human life as experienced in Keith Laumer’s “The Lawgiver.” And unless true action is taken in the United States over racial problems we might find New York much as Robert Silverberg sees it in “Black is Beautiful” and Mr. Harrison pictures the country in “American Dead.” On the other end of the scale a perfect Utopia is undesirable as Mack Reynold’s “Utopian” clearly illustrates.”
Contents: Fritz Leiber’s “America the Beautiful,” Daniel F. Galouye’s “Prometheus Rebound,” Chad Oliver’s “Far from This Earth,” Naomi Mitchison’s “After the Accident,” Brian W. Aldiss’ “Orgy of the Living and the Dying,” Betram Chandler’s “Sea Change,” Robert Silverberg’s “Black is Beautiful,” David I. Masson’s “Take It or Leave It,” Keith Laumer’s “The Lawgiver,” J. J. Coupling’s “To Be a Man,” Thomas N. Scortia’s “Judas Fish,” Harry Harrison’s “American Dead.”