Updates: Recent Science Fiction Purchases No. CCLIII (Stanley G. Weinbaum, Monique Wittig, Wayland Drew, Anthology)

As always which books/covers intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?

1. The Memoirs of Alcheringia, Wayland Drew (1984)

Darrell K. Sweet’s cover for the 1984 edition

From the back cover: “What began as just another Alcheringian raiding party—sanctioned by the chief and approved by the Gods—had gradually become a war to the death.

But noting was quite as it seemed to the primitives of Norriya, for forces they could hardly comprehend were influencing events from offstage. More than tribal honor was at stake—the future of Man was being decided and time was running out!”

Initial Thoughts: This is a completely unknown author and book to me. I found it in the dollar bin at a Half Price Books pre-Covid, and I liked the futuristic helicopter on the cover.

Oh, and there’s a fun map!

Shelly Shapiro’s map for the 1984 edition

2. Les Guérillères, Monique Wittig (1969, trans. by David Le Vay 1971)

Uncredited cover for the 1985 edition

From the back cover: “Originally published in France in 1969, Les Guérillères is one of the most widely read and frequently cited feminist novels of our time. Depicting the overthrow of the old order by a tribe of warrior, women, this epic celebration proclaims the destruction of patriarchal institutions and language and the birth of a new feminist order.”

Initial ThoughtsRadical feminist depiction of the overthrow the patriarchy with experimental prose and poems? Not for everyone, but definitely for me….

Check out my review of Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974).

3. The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum, with an introduction by Isaac Asimov (1974)

Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1974 edition

From the back cover: “This event took place in 1934. The story was “A Martian Odyssey,” and, as Asimov explains, it became a model for almost every other writer in the field. and, Asimov continues, “By the time of Weinbaum’s death only one and a half years later, he had published twelve stories; eleven more appeared posthumously. Yet… he remains alive in the memories of fans. Any collection of his stories remains a major event in science fiction.”

Contents: “A Martian Odyssey” (1934), “Valley of Dreams” (1934), “The Adaptive Ultimate” (1935), “Parasite Planet” (1935), “Pygmalion’s Spectacles” (1935), “Shifting Seas” (1937), “The Worlds of If” (1935), “The Mad Moon” (1935), “Redemption Cairn” (1936), “The Ideal” (1935), “The Lotus Eaters” (1935), “Proteus Island” (1936).

Initial ThoughtsI’ve reviewed Weinbaum’s A Martian Odyssey and Other Classics of Science Fiction (1962) in the past. For a 30s pulp writer, Weimbaum is solid and worth reading—especially his 1934 classic “The Martian Odyssey.” I thought I’d explore further.

4. Universe 8, ed. Terry Carr (1978)

Carlos Ochagavia’s cover for the 1979 edition

From the back cover: “8 spellbind and stunning science fiction stories making their unique appearance in this volume.

8 wonder-working writers ranging from established science-fiction stars to dazzling distinctive new voices.

8 ways to stretch your mind and expand your vision of what is, what may be, and what quite possibly will be on earth, on the planets, among the galaxies, and in the even more exciting innner spaces of humans and other beings.

8 reasons why you cannot afford to miss the latest and greatest of the most acclaimed anthology series of our time—UNIVERSE 8.”

Contents: Michael Bishop’s “Old Folks at Home” (1978), Cynthia Felice’s “David and Lindy” (1978), Gordon Eklund’s “Vermeer’s Window” (1978), Greg Bear’s “Scattershot” (!978), Charles Ott’s “The Ecologically Correct House” (1978), Michael Cassutt’s “Hunting” (1978), Gregory Benford’s “Nooncoming” (1978), R. A. Lafferty’s “Selenium Ghost of the Eighteen Seventies.”

Initial Thoughts: This anthology contains a delightful range of authors–from the brilliant (Michael Bishop and R. A. Lafferty) to unknown quantities (Michael Cassutt, Cynthia Felice, and Charles Ott). Bishop’s Urban Nucleus sequence of stories clocks in among my favorite science fictional worlds–a future domed (and doomed?) Atlanta. I’ve only begun to explore the works of Greg Bear, Gordon Eklund, and Gregory Benford.


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For cover art posts consult the INDEX

For TV and film reviews consult the INDEX

16 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Purchases No. CCLIII (Stanley G. Weinbaum, Monique Wittig, Wayland Drew, Anthology)”

  1. I’ve always loved that Weinbaum cover. The covers for that whole series is great. The Universe 8 cover is quite striking too. But I’ve never even seen or heard about that first book.

    1. Dean Ellis’ cover for The Best of C. M. Kornbluth (1976) cover is my favorite.

      It’s also Kornbluth’s birthday so it was on my mind.

      I’m a huge Carlos Ochagavia fan (the artist for the Universe 8 cover) — unfortunately, most of his covers appeared on Popular Library paperbacks, etc. which are often less known.

      He’s who I should focus on in my next cover art post!

      Do you know what Weinbaum story the Ellis cover illustrates?

        1. Thanks! Yeah, I remember when you put that post up.

          It’s nice seeing them all together.

          Maybe individual volumes are a tad expensive for paperbacks, but they don’t seem prohibitive!

            1. When you think of buying any substantial quantity of books…. it’s expensive. $8 per paperback isn’t so bad (I checked four or five on abebooks and that seems to be the average rate — some are pricier though). I bought the one above pre-Covid at a Half Price books for ~2$. It’s $8 with shipping on abebooks.

              Yeah, I’m not a collector. As long as the cover ain’t falling off, I care little about quality. haha

  2. I like the setup of the anthology, sounds quite intriguing.
    „Sex warfare“ – I‘ve got loads of that in Tiptree‘s last story I‘ve read 😆 A satire mashup with Star Trek motives. Funny in it’s own way.

    1. Yeah, I’m a big fan of Carr’s anthologies.

      I’ve reviewed three in this series.

      Universe 1 (1971), ed. Terry Carr
      Universe 2 (1972), ed. Terry Carr
      Universe 10 (1980), ed. Terry Carr

      Tiptree is a Joachim Boaz favorite. I’ve reviewed a few of her stories in various anthologies over the years. Read but never reviewed the stories in Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home.

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