1. I have yet to read anything by Barry B. Longyear, best known Enemy Mine (with David Gerrold) (1985) and Sea of Glass (1986). Circus World (1981) seems like a fun series of linked short stories published in 1978 and 1979 about the descendants of a crashed circus ship.
2. My Poul Anderson collections grows and grows. Sometimes I’m not sure why I bother procuring them… I mean, it was only $1. See the index for my extensive (and apparently contentious) reviews of his work i.e. Tau Zero (1971). And eww, a gauzy cover by Gene Szafran….
3. A complete unknown—and Kathleen M. Sidney’s only SF novel (she wrote three additional short stories according to isfdb.org).
4. Vintage French SF in translation! With a fantastic cover by Max Ernst. In addition to writing SF, Philippe Curval produced fascinating photo collage SF cover art. I’ve featured his art previously on the site: Part I and Part II.
Let me know what you think of the books and covers in the comments!
1. Circus World, Barry B. Longyear (1981)
(John Rush’s cover for the 1981 edition)
From the back cover: “A PLANET OF DREAMERS AND CLOWNS VERSUS THE BEST MILITARY ACT IN THE GALAXY!
When the circus ship City of Baraboo crashed on Momus, the troupers of O’Hara’s Greater Shows turned a rockpile world into a showcase of razzle-dazzle. Generations of mimes and acrobats, barkers and freaks, fortune-tellers and magicians built a new civilization based on showmanship.
Then the Vorilian Council of Warlords decided that the circus world was a prime spot for a garrison, and brought in an armada to “liberate” Momus…”
“The Tryouts” (1978), “The Magician’s Apprentice,” (1978), “The Second Law” (1978), “Proud Rider” (1978), “Dueling Clowns” (1979), “The Quest” (1979), “Priest of the Baraboo” (1979).
2. The Corridors of Time, Poul Anderson (1965)
(Gene Szafran’s cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “STORM was the name of the woman who came from out of time. She was as tall as a tall man, as beautiful as a classic statue…. and as tough as the bitter hatred of undying war. for war raged across the far centuries, unseen by those locked to the constant present, a far more important war than ever known by petty squabblers over the partition of some piece of territory. This war would determine the course of eternity… and whether or not there would be any men of Earth left to follow that course. But war could not be fought without weapons… and the most important weapon of all was a single man of the 20th century: Malcolm Lockridge—a convicted murderer. Lockridge was the key to the war between the Wardens and the Rangers… and Storm Darroway would force him into making bitter decisions no other man ad ever faced!”
3. Michael and the Magic Man, Kathleen M. Sidney (1980)
(Carlos Ochagavia’s cover for the 1st edition)
From the back cover: “WHEN EARTH WAS INVADED NOBODY KNEW IT.
Nobody but the Magic Man. And Michael. And a few other footloose psychics in a supersleek van, driving through a fantastic American dreamscape in a nonstop, cross-country war with a mind-bending Power from beyond the stars…”
4. Brave OId World, Philippe Curval (1976, trans. 1981)
(Max Ernst’s cover for the 1981 edition)
From the inside flap: “It is the late twenty-first century and Marcom (a larger, far more technologically advanced Common Market) has been sealed behind impenetrable barriers for more than twenty years. Here scientists have learnt how to slow down time so that everyone can live seven times as long—a days lasts as long as a week in a slow time cabin.
But all is not well in this totalitarian utopia, where society is fragmented, dissidents and drop-outs live outside the cities in vast tracts of coutnryside abandeoned to nature, or are sent to “rehab centres” where no law except the law of survival prevails, where intruders are driven many by frontier “nerve disruptors” and where the dominant emotion is nostalgia, because the increasingly ambitious space-time experiments of Marcom threaten not just its own stability but the stability of the whole world.
A message for help from Leo Deryme, a man of extraordinary psychological powers, known as the “dream priests,” reaches the outside world and an agent from the ‘Devna League is sent over the border. This man, Belgacen Attia, has a double mission— to destroy the slow time technology and, for himself, to find the son he was forced to abandon when he was expelled from the Marcom twenty years before when the barriers were first brought down. Only a handful of people who ever escape from Marcom, but whether Belgacen Attia will be among them is far from certain.”
For book reviews consult the INDEX
For cover art posts consult the INDEX