Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCIX (de Camp + Farren + Effinger + Silverberg Anthology)

1. Mick Farren, of the “protopunk” and rock band The Deviants fame, wrote SF: drug-addled SF about the cult of musicians in a post-apocalyptical England. At least it’ll be a crazy romp! And probably not very good….

2. I’ve been slowly posting all the New Dimensions anthologies edited by Robert Silverberg that I purchased a few months ago. Inspired by my enjoyment of New Dimensions 3 (1973).

3. A gift from a family friend… Definitely not a book I’d look for but, who knows, sometimes I get a hankering for pre-WW II science fiction of the pulp sort.

It comes with a solid Paul Lehr cover.

4. Huge fan of Geo. Alec Effinger (that should go without saying if you following this site). I want ALL his short story collections.

I’ve reviewed the following Effinger novels/collections:

As always, I look forward to your comments/tangents!

Note: Scans are of my personal copies. Click to enlarge.


1. The Texts of Festival, Mick Farren (1973)

(Peter Jones’ cover for the 1975 edition)

From the back cover: “THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION. In the wilderness of Britain little of civilization remains. Decadence and division have overtaken the huddled people of Festival. And faith in the wold gods–Dhillon, Djeggar and Mirrizen–is fading fast.

Beyond the city walls the tribes are massing, united in evil intent. Hill savages fired by ritual superstition to pillage and slaughter. satanic horse riders inspired by drugs to rape and defile. And crystal-crazed Iggy at the head of them all–a despot in search of a territory. A territory like Festival.”

2. New Dimensions 2, ed. Robert Silverberg (1972)

(Ron Walotsky’s cover for the 1974 edition)

From the back cover: “STEPPING OUTSIDE. Outside of the world we know… outside of our space, time, and reality… outside even the traditional subject matter of science fiction. Written especially for this volume, these stories share a freshness and originality that come from stepping outside of the conventional, into unknown territory. Price-winning science fiction author Robert Silverberg has assembled a noteworthy, stimulating collection, continuing the bold tradition of NEW DIMENSIONS 1.”

Contents: Joanna Russ’ “Nobody’s Home,” “James Tiptree, Jr.’s “Filomena & Greg & Rikki-Tikki & Barlow & The Alien” (variant title: All the Kinds of Yes), Barry N. Malzberg’s “Out from Ganymede,” Edward Bryant’s “No. 2 Plain Tank Auxiliary Fill Structural Limit 17,605 lbs. Fuel-PWA Spec. 522 Revised,” R. A. Lafferty’s “Eurema’s Dam,” (1972), Garnder Dozois’ “King Harest,” Isaac Asimov’s “Take a Match,” George Alec Effinger’s “f(x)=(11/15/67) x=her, f(x)!=0,” Gordon Eklund’s “White Summer in Memphis,” Miriam Allen deFord’s “Lazarus II,” Barry N. Malzberg’s “The Men Inside.”

3. The Wheels of If and Other Science-Fiction, L. Sprauge de Camp (1949)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1970 edition)

From the back cover: “THE WHEELS OF IF turned–and Allister Park spun from our own New York through a dizzying succession of alternate worlds to New Belfast… biggest city in the Nretwaldate of Vinland, the country that might habe been if some historical crises had turned out the other way…

Park’s frantic efforts to get back to his own if-world turn Vinland upside down–and create a marvelously inventive and entertaining classic of SF.

In addition to this famous novel, this collection includes “The Gnarly Man,” “Hyperpelosity,” and four other stories in the inimitable De Camp manner.”

Contents: “The Wheels of If” (1940), “The Best-Laid Scheme” (1941), “The Warrior Race” (1940), “Hyperpelosity” (1938), “The Merman” (1938), “The Contraband Cow” (1942), “The Gnarly Man” (1939).

4. Mixed Feelings, George Elec Effinger (1974)

(Plus One Studio’s cover for the 1st edition)

From the inside flap: “George Alec Effinger is a young writer of extraordinary talents with a firmly established reputation in the science-fiction field as one of the finest new writers on the horizon. Both of his previously published novels, What Entropy Means to Me and Relatives, and many of his stories have been award nominees.

Effinger does not write traditional science fiction, and eleven stories in this collection reveal wonderfully the many facets of his ability. The stories show a deep concern with the present quality of life and the prospects–physical, political, social, and economic–for man’s future. All of the them, though written with great subtlety, finesse, and wit, hit hard at the problems and sadnesses that people face. They are exciting reading.”

Contents: “The Writings ‘Game” (1974), “Steve Weinraub and the Secret Empire” (1974), “Two Sadnesses” (1973), “Naked to the Invisible Eye” (1973), “f(x)=(11/15/67) x=her, f(x)!=0” (1972), “The Ghost Writer” (1973), “All the Last Wars at Once” (1972), “Things Go Better” (1972), “Wednesday, November 15, 1967” (1971), “World War II” (1973), “Lights Out” (1973).

For books reviews consult the INDEX

9 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCIX (de Camp + Farren + Effinger + Silverberg Anthology)

    • I really need to get around to reading Effinger’s Relatives (1973)… one of his lesser known 70s novels (along with Heroics — linked in the post — which I quite enjoyed).

      • I re-read Relatives a few years ago, after having first read it back in 1975. I was a little disappointed in it as I had liked it a lot the 1st (and, iirc, 2nd) time around. Not sure I kept my copy.
        My notes on it are linked below, although there are big spoilers in what I say. (I know you don’t mind spoilers, I’m mentioning this for anybody else)

        • You didn’t include the link in your post.

          Are you a fan of Effinger’s work in general? I adore most of the short fiction and novels of his I’ve read — that said, I know produced a few weak novels (at least according to online reviews) in the 70s (Nightmare Blue, Those Gentle Voices: A Promethean Romance of the Spaceways, Death in Florence).

          • Oops! I copied it to the clipboard then forgot about it…
            Relatives - George Alec Effinger

            I ws a bit of a fan and read several of his novels but very few of his short stories – just what was in anthologies I read. The 1st book of his I read was What Entropy Means to Me. I had seen it on the upcoming lists and was eager to find out what a book with such an odd title to me at the time was all about! I remember reading it on holiday in the Lake District when I was 15, taking it with me on hill climbs and reading snatches of it during breaks on damp hillsides!
            After that I read 5 or 6 up until The Wolves of Memory and then only The Zork Chronicles after that I think…
            Entropy and Relatives are the only ones I reread as far as I remember.

            • I love the basic premise to the novel you lay out — the three alternate timelines… I turn and look at my shelf and see the book waiting to be read

  1. I read several of Farren’s DNA Cowboy books back in the day (well, late 1970s, so not so long after they came out). They were a hoot and I loved them at the time (and still have them – got them from the legendary Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed shop in London) I suspect I would find them dated now as they were very much of their time and drew heavily on Farren’s time as a music journalist – a main character, The Minstrel Boy, was of course Dylan. Never read Texts of the Festival but from what you say about it we may well be in similar territory!! 🤣

    • If you enjoyed those you should track down this one — it’s his first SF novel. But yeah, I expect they draw heavily on his own experiences as a musician and journalist considering the cover blurb to The Texts of Festival (the festival being Woodstock)… I weirdly look forward to reading it.

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