1. Sterling E. Lanier is best known for Hiero’s Journey (1973), which I procured in 2012 but haven’t yet read. Here’s the second of his singleton novels—Menace Under Marswood (1983). SF Encyclopedia describes it as “tamely repeat[ing]” (SF Encyclopedia) material from his earlier novels.
I’m a fan of the Darrell K. Sweet cover! Especially the mysterious creature decked out in scepter, robe, and hat.
(Darrell K. Sweet’s original canvas for the 1st edition)
2. A discussion on twitter about female authors of cyberpunk yielded a name unfamiliar to me — Candas Jane Dorsey. I procured a collection of her best known short fictions, which “polemically re-use and rework sf and fantasy tropes from a Feminist perspective, engaging most memorably, and fascinatedly [sic], in the title story of the first volume, “(Learning About) Machine Sex”, with the phallocentrism of much Cyberpunk” (SF Encyclopedia). Count me in!
3. My Garry K. Kilworth exploration series continues with Gemini God (1981). I must confess my enthusiasm has waned a bit after I read In Solitary (1977). See my review of The Night of Kadar (1978) for what he’s capable of.
4. This cover…. the gauze… the sheen…. the cheesiness. Explorations of media in SF is always something I gravitate towards—even when “graced” which such dismal artist failures.
Haven’t read anything by Michael Elder. I do not have high hopes!
Let me know what books/covers intrigue you. Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?
1. Menace Under Marswood, Sterling E. Lanier (1983)
(Darrell K. Sweet’s cover for the 1st edition)
From the back cover: “Seven Against the Unknown.
For centuries the human outcasts of Mars lived wild, independent lives in the Martian outback called the Ruck. But then the mysterious men of the “New Clan” came to preach total rebellion against the Mother Planet—and that Earth’s U.N. Command could not allow.
So it sent a team of its best officers to learn the secrets of the “New Clan.” Unfortunately, to do the job right, the Terrans would have to cooperate with their worst enemies—the Ruckers!”
2. Machine Sex and Other Stories, Candas Jane Dorsey (1988)
(Gretta Kool’s cover for the 1990 edition)
From the back cover: “Candas Jane Dorsey’s stories are speculative and subtle. They deal with the advance of technology, cultural changes and human relationships. In ‘[Learning About) Machine Sex’ she offers a brilliant parody of cyberpunk: funny, angry and feminist. In ‘Time is the School in Which We Learn, Time is the Fire in which We Burn’, a woman dying of cancer meditates on her life and choices she has made and teaches herself to come to terms with her past. Other stories are concerned with exile and identity, with the fragile beauty of earth, with loneliness and desire.
Candas Jane Dorsey is a new writer who is contemplative, passionate, and original.”
Contents: All were published in 1988 unless otherwise noted. “Sleeping in a Box, “Johnny Applespeed and the New World” (1985), “Death and Morning,” “The Prairie Warriors,” “War and Rumours of War,” “Black Dog,” “[Learning About’ Machine Sex,” “‘You’ll Remember Mercury,,'” “Time is the School in Which We Learn, Time Is the Fire in Which We Burn,” “Columbus Hits the Shoreline Rag” (1977), “the white city” (1985), “By Their Taste Shall Ye Know Them,” “Willows” (1987).
3. Gemini God, Garry Kilworth (1981)
(Chris Moore’s cover for the 1982 edition)
From the back cover: “YEAR 2096. The human race is in decline. Soon its numbers on earth will drop below survival level.
Then New Carthage, a world inhabited by strange, cheetah-like creatures, is discovered. Could contact with these aliens provide a lifeline for mankind?
Using the twins, On Lo and Ti, experiments are started to create a human empathetic telemetry system between the two worlds. But the encouragement of the closeness factor between the twins provides the catalyst for a far more fantastic event…”
4. Paradise Is Not Enough, Michael Elder (1970)
(Uncredited—for good reason—cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “Eat, drink and be merry…. There’s nothing else to do!
In two hundred years’ time the robots have taken over so completely that man has nothing to do but eat free food, drink free drink and spend most of his waking hours watching Tri-V. One small group of men and women still work—the actors who provide the canned entertainment mankind demands, but even this work is now threatened as the robots strive to remove this last remaining field of human enterprise.
This is the story of one actor, John Kelloway, and his fight for the freedom of the actors and also of humanity itself against the all-pervading monotony of motiveless existence which is engulfing it, with the ever-present threat of “disanimation” hanging over him if he fails.”