As always which books/covers/authors intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?
1. Clans of the Alphane Moon, Philip K. Dick (1964)
From the back cover: “Holding a precarious liberty as the result of an interstellar stalemate, the human survivors of Alpha Centauri’s hospital moon readied themselves for their war of independence.
Naturally, the Pares, always suspicious and sunning, assumed the leadership, leaving it to the Manses to provide the super weapons out of their sheer love of violence. Propaganda and other details would have been left to the Skitzes, the Heebs, and Polys, and the Ob-Coms.
But when the Earth expedition arrived, everything turned out to be different… because they too were divided among themselves, and some of them weren’t really human at all!
It’s a Philip K. Dick tour-de-force of the far future.
Initial Thoughts: I read this one years ago during a pre-site PKD binge. I have vague memories of Lord Running Clam… and yet another PKD main character beset with marital problems. And the strange Alpha Centauri moon colony derived from a psychiatric hospital survivors. I found this Ace 1st edition for cheap.
2. Fort Privilege, Kit Reed (1984)
From the inside cover: “It may turn out to be the party to end all parties. A great celebration has been planned to mark the centennial of the venerable Parkhurst on Manhattan’s Central Park West, and the elite are turning out in full force. But there’s a dark side to the festivities, for the Parkhurst is no longer just a fine old apartment building; it has become the last line of defense in a city under siege.
Over the years, the middle-class exodus from Manhattan has been accelerating as riots, fires, murders, and assorted disasters have grown so commonplace that reporters and TV newscasters no longer bother to cover the events. The refugees have been replaced—with alarming speed—by scavengers and opportunists, the lawless, the violent, and the pathological. Now, as the last of New York’s rich and famous gather for the hundredth anniversary gala of the presumably impregnable granite-walled Parkhurst, a seething mob is massing in Central Park, preparing to make a final, savage assault on wealth and privilege.
Inside the “fortress” is an unlikely crew of defenders: Abel Parkhurst, the aging patriarch; his wild daughter, Sarah: Bart Cavanaugh, a young man who’s lost his memory; sturdy Marine Colonel Al Brody; and the fanatical Ted Becket, who may be more dangerous to the defenders than to their enemies.”
Initial Thoughts: Kit Reed is a Joachim Boaz favorite — especially her anti-war allegory Armed Camps (1969). While I’ve read but never got around to reviewing more of her novel-length SF in 2017, I need to return to her work.
3. Not in Solitude, Kenneth F. Gantz (1959, rev. 1961)
From the back cover: “Hostile Intelligence. It was a race against the clock and Dane had to make a fast decision. Colonel Cragg, the C. O. of the USAF spacecraft Far Venture, was ready to write off the party of scientists who had strayed from the ship and seemingly disappeared. The crew of civilian and military specialists were poised for the nuclear blastoff that should take this first Martian mission back to Earth.
But Dane had seen the curious spark fires that flashed across the sands from the mysterious lichen beds. Dane believed they were the signals of some alien form of life and that the scientists were still alive…
He had to prove his theory, even if it meant clashing with the military brass and placing his own life in danger. For unless hey understood the nature of what he believed to be a hostile, threatening force and took steps against it—none of them might ever see the planet Earth again…”
Initial Thoughts: This is a new author and novel to me. SF Encyclopedia adds little to whether or not it’s worth the read…. Thoughts? Have you read it?
4. The Alien Condition, ed. Stephen Goldin (1973)
From the back cover: “A dozen life-forms never before imagined… creative projections in the possible that only the best sceince-fiction has to offer… escapes into a dozen new kinds of minds, some hostile, some loving… even to death.”
Contents: Kathleen Sky’s “Lament of the Keeku Bird,” Vonda N. McIntyre’s “Wings,” Alan Dean Foster’s “The Empire of T’ang Lang,” Miriam Allen deFord’s “A Way Out,” Arthur Byron Cover’s “Gee, Isn’t He the Cutest Little Thing,” Rachel Cosgrove Payes’ “Deaf Listener,” C. F. Hensel and Stephen Goldin’s “Nor Iron Bars a Cage,” Thomas Pickens’ “Routine Patrol Activity,” William Carlson and Alice Laurance’s “Call from Kerlyana,” S. Kye Boult’s “The Safety Engineer,” James Tiptree, Jr.’s “Love Is the Plan the PlanIs Death,” Edward Wellen’s “The Latest from Sigma Corvi.”
Initial Thoughts: This looks like a great line-up of authors — with a heavy focus on women writers. Vonda N. McIntyre and James Tiptree, Jr. regularly impress me. This one might be read soon!
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