Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCXI (Delany + Griffin + Gordon + Parallel Worlds Anthology)

The book-buying bug has hit particularly hard as of late. I suspect the promise of the end of the semester is part of my mental metric.

In this haul….

An early graphic novel written by Samuel R. Delany and illustrated by Howard V. Chaykin!

A collection of parallel worlds short stories by a whole range of authors I’ve never encountered (Lucy Cores, Robert Coulson, Rob Chilson, Dimitri V. Gat, H. R. Percy, Michael Orgill, Olga Ley, etc.) and a few I want to return to (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Gordon Eklund, George Zebrowski, etc.).

And two lesser known novels by lesser known authors…. Robert G. Griffin and Stuart Gordon.

As always, I love hearing your thoughts on the volumes and authors and covers.

I look forward to your comments!


1. Empire, Samuel R. Delany and Howard V. Chaykin (1978)

(Howard V. Chaykin’s cover for the 1st edition)

From the back cover: EMPIRE: In his first new novel since Triton,  Hugo and Nebula award winning author Samuel R. Delany weaves an epic tale of adventure in the 61st century. It’s a fabulous, fast-paced quest for freedom in a galaxy of fantastic worlds.

EMPIRE: In his first major work since the record-breaking graphic story version of Star Wars, Howard Chaykin paints a sweeping portrait of starships, unlikely heroes and one legendary woman whose destiny is tied to the fall of Empire.

EMPIRE: A thriller, a classic work of heroic science fiction that stretches over one hundred pages of incredible full color art. More than a novel, more than an illustrated story, Empire is a dazzling display of new ideas.”

(Howard V. Chaykin’s back cover for the 1st edition)

2. Beyond Time, ed. Sandra Ley (1976)

(Harry Bennett’s cover for the 1st edition)

From the back cover: “A glittering new galaxy of s-f stories never before published in book form!

Among the stars are Tom Disch, Alan Dean Foster, R. A. Lafferty, and Avram Davidson, and there are stories by sixteen other luminaries. All speculate on the fascinating question, “What if?” And they ponder how the world might be staggeringly different if only one event or person had been changed.”

Contents: All published in 1975 and 1976. R. A. Lafferty’s “Assault on Fat Mountain”, Avram Davidson’s “O Brave Old World!”, Lucy Cores’ “Hail to the Chief,” Robert Coulson’s “Soy La Libertad,” Robert Chilson’s “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sky,” Ward Moore’s “A Class with Dr. Chang,” Juanita Coulson’s “Unscheduled Flight,” Tom Disch’s “Alternate Universe, I, II, III,” Alan Dean Foster’s “Polonaise,” Dimitri V. Gat’s “U-Genie SX-1–Human Entrepreneur: Naturally Rapacious Yankee,” H. R. Percy’s “Letter from America,” Olga Ley’s “Checkmate in Six Moves,” Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s “The Fellini Beggar,” Laurence M. Janifer’s “All Possible Worlds,” Michael Orgill’s “Many Rubicons,” Felix C. Gotschalk’s “The Napoleonic Wars,” Don Thompson’s “Worlds ENough,” Gordon Eklund’s “The Rising Sun,” Goerge Zebrowski’s “The Cliometricon.”

3. The Makeshift God, Russell Griffin (1979)

(Tim White’s cover for the 1982 edition)


Arthur Caine journeyed to the distant planet Albar to escape the pressures of twenty-second century life and to explore Albar’s incredible storehouse of knowledge about Earth’s history–a living treasury of information that only he could interpret.

But the natives of Albar had their own intrigues involving the bizarre creature Caine sought-most of them seeming to call for killing or enslaving Caine and his companions. To reach the goal that obsessed him, Caine would have to alter the future of the whole planet–if he could stay alive along enough.”

4. Smile On the Void:  The Mythhistory of Ralph M’Botu Kitaj, Stuart Gordon (1981)

(Mick Van Houten’s cover for the 1982 edition)

from the back cover: “BELIEVE NOT WHAT HERE YOU READ. Conjurer, arms dealer, visionary, drug peddler, millionaire, pornographer, con-man and messiah, Ralk M’Botu Kitaj was above all else… the Cosmic Liar.

Born in the Warsaw Ghetto, raised in the mystic reaches of Africa, bursting into prominence in the monoxide winds of California, he was sent to save us by leading us beyond reality.

This is his story. Some say it is the world’s final novel, for though it is entirely true, it is fashioned entirely of lies. Ad, in it, it is said, can be found everything that never happened.

It begins, of course, at the end of time, in 1992 when Ralph is about to turn human history inside out and vanish before a crowd of 100,00…”

For book reviews consult the INDEX

23 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCXI (Delany + Griffin + Gordon + Parallel Worlds Anthology)

  1. Delany and Chaykin collaborated on a graphic novel and I’ve never heard of it? WTF?

    And I remember Smile On The Void. I really liked it when I read it, I’m not sure how it’d hold up if I read it now.

    • Ah, you’re right — I looked at the editor’s note (tangent: who is Sandra Ley? this appears to be her only edited anthology) and she clarifies the theme — parallel worlds due to divergent moments in the past…

      I’ve not read any of the stories in the collection. Was Cooper’s solid? Please link your review! (if you wrote one)

  2. I love the covers on these recent acquisitions of yours! Tomorrow I’ll be standing in line to get into the American Association of University Women’s massive yearly Book Sale. I’ll be looking for some of the books you recommend.

  3. The Makeshift God’s cover has a fairly humorous tone to it. The novel sounds like a satire. I have the Beyond Time anthology although I haven’t read it. You know have the oppertunity to compare the stories of husband and wife Robert and Juanita Coulson and see how they stack up against each other. I think that you might like Felix C. Gotschalk’s story as he came out of the high literary end of sf at the time. A nice mix of new and established talent in the contents. Not impressed with the cover art though–is that woman kneeling on water? And why does the man look like Ming the Merciless and why is he showing us his junk?

    • SF Encyclopedia describes the novel as overwritten but intriguing…. I thought I’d give it a go!

      That anthology has so many authors I haven’t read yet — and I’m more partial to parallel worlds than time travel so I look forward to it.

      As for Gotshalk, I tried to read his only novel Growing Up in Tier 3000 (1975) and found it tiring…. Hopefully his short fiction is more appealing.

  4. Hi

    I like the Chaykin cover, I do get a bit of a Star Wars vibe, but my favourite has to be The Makeshift God. That is some cover.


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