1. More post-apocalyptic fictions…. I dunno about exclamation points in titles! More seriously, I’ve yet to read any of Philip Wylie’s novels—this one is at the top of the list.
2. Before I explore an author’s best known fictions, I enjoy nosing about the periphery first. Here’s Mary Gentle’s first collection of short fiction (I’m most interested in the SF stories).
3. I might have read Bruce Sterling’s Islands in the Net (1988) in my late teens. I know I had a copy that I gave away. I can’t remember anything about it other than the cover–if there’s a cover that screams 80s cyberpunk it’s that one!
I’ve previously reviewed Sterling’s Involution Ocean (1977).
A little research reveals the female figure was repurposed (sans the original spaceship background) from an earlier Luis Royo cover—Mike Resnick’s The Dark Lady: A Romance of the Far Future (1988) (cover link).
4. I adored Robert Silverberg’s original anthology New Dimensions 2 (1973) — I’m a bit closer to owning the entire series.
Let me know what books/covers intrigue you. Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?
1. Tomorrow!, Philip Wylie (1954)
(Uncredited cover for the 1954 edition)
From the back cover: “TOMORROW! is a powerful novel of average Americans at work, at play and in love in two neighboring cities.
It is–until the savage strike of catastrophe—the story of the girl next door and her boy friend: of a man who saw what was coming and a woman who didn’t; of reckless youngsters and tough hoods.
Then, suddenly, atomic destruction hurtled down out of the sky and America was threatened with annihilation…
If you’re interested in the TOMORROW of America—in learning about our dangerous vulnerability to attack, to panic and chaos–don’t miss this book. IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!”
2. Scholars and Soldiers, Mary Gentle (1989)
(Ian Miller’s cover for the 1990 edition)
From the back cover: “SCHOLARS AND SOLDIERS is Mary Gentle’s first story collection including two original novellas set in the same universe as her new novel, Rats and Gargoyles. She burst onto the science fiction scene with two bestselling novels, Golden Witchbreed and Ancient Light, and shows here that her talents are equally suited to the shorter form as to the novel.
From a story set on Orthe, the world of her earlier novels, to the unclassifiable TAROT DICE, these stories all prove one thing—that Mary Gentle can never be relied upon to take the easy expected way out. This collection is a major achievement in the career of one of the world’s leading fantasists.”
Contents: “Beggars in Satin” (1989), “The Harvest of Wolves” (1983), “The Crystal Sunlight, the Bright Air” (1983), “The Tarot Dice” (1989), “Anukazi’s Daughter” (1984), “A Sun in the Attic” (1985), “A Shadow Under the Sea” (1983), “The Pits Beneath the World” (1983), “The Knot Garden” (1989).
3. Islands in the Net, Bruce Sterling (1988)
(Luis Royo’s cover for the 1989 edition)
From the back cover: “Laura Webster’s on the fast track to success. A bright young star in a multinational conglomerate, she’s living in a post-millennial age of peace, prosperity, and profit.
In an age of advanced technology, information is the world’s most precious commodity. Information is power. Data is locked in computers and carefully rationed through a global communications network. Full access is a privilege held by a few.
Now, Laura Webster is about to be plunged into a netherworld of black-market data pirates, new-age mercenaries, high-tech voodoo… and murder.”
4. New Dimensions Science Fiction Number Seven, ed. Robert Silverberg (1977)
(One Plus One Studio’s cover for the 1st edition)
From the inside flap: “This seventh volume in Robert Silverberg’s annual collection New Dimensions is dedicated to presenting the most original and significant science fiction being written today. All twelve stories are published here for the first time and the contributors are a mixture of very well-known writers such as Gordon Eklund, Barry N. Malzberg, Fritzleiber and the newcomers to science fiction.
In contrast to earlier volumes, this collection has shifted its tone and emphasis. The captivating stories “Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole” and “The Blood’s Horizon” are departures from the traditions in New Dimensions both in their length and in their mystifying and experimental qualities. Gordon Eklund tackles the time-reversal theme in his disturbing tale “The Retro Man,” and Fritz Leiber makes his “debut” in New Dimensions with his black fable “The princess in the Tower 250,000 Miles High.” With his experience as one of science fiction’s best known and respected authors, Robert Silverberg provides in this collection the most imaginative and provocative writing in science fiction.:
Contents (all published in 1977): Gordon Eklund’s “The Retro Man,” Marta Randall’s “The State of the Art on Alyssum,” Steven Utley and Howard Waldrop’s “Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole,” Phyllis and Alex Einstein’s “You Are Here,” J. A. Lawrence’s “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat,” John Shirley’s “The Almost Empty Rooms,” Barry N. Malzberg’s “In the Stocks,” Felix C. Gotschalk’s “Home Sweet Geriatric Dome,” Gregory Benford’s “Knowing Her,” A. A. Attanasio’s “The Blood’s Horizon,” Henry-Luc Planchat’s “Several Ways, and the Sun,” Fritz Leiber’s “The Princess in the Tower 250,000 Miles High.”
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