Which books/covers/authors intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?
1. The Darfsteller and Other Stories, Walter M. Miller, Jr. (1982)
From the back cover: “Walter M. Miller, Jr., wrote A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, and changed the nature of science fiction, forever. Now, collected together for the first time are some of his most gripping masterpieces, including the Hugo Award-winning ‘The Darfsteller’ and ‘Crucifixius Etiam.'”
Contents: “The Darfsteller” (1955), “The Will” (1954), “Vengeance for Nikolai” (variant title: “The Song of marya”) (1957), “Crucifixus Etiam” (1953), “I, Dreamer” (1953), “The Lineman” (1957), “Big Joe and the Nth generation” (variant title: “It Takes a Thief”) (1952), “You Triflin’ Skunk” (1955).
Initial Thoughts: I’ve already read and reviewed (see links above) the majority of the stories in this collection. However, as I’ve bit on a bit of a Miller, Jr. binge as of late, I decided to acquire this collection due to “The Darfsteller” (1955) which I haven’t read yet.
2. Wild Seed, Octavia E. Butler (1980)
From the back cover: “HE COULD NOT DIE:
Doro was a mind force who changed bodies like clothes, killing his hosts by reflex–or design. He roamed Earth, gathering the genetic Wild Seed: the tormented, mad thought-reader, seers, and witches. Some he helped. Some he destroyed. But Doro bred, rules, owned them all. He feared no one–until he met Anyanwu.
SHE COULD NOT BE KILLED:
Anyanwu was an old woman, a young woman, a man, a leopard, an eagle, a dolphin–a shaeshifter. She could absorb bullets and make medicine with a kiss. She gave birth to tribes, she nurtured and healed–but Anyanwu would savage any who threatened those she loved. She feared no one–until she met Doro.
TOGETHER THEY WERE LOCKED IN A WAR OF WILLS.
From the African jungles to the colonies of America, Doro and Anyanwu were the father, mother, and gods of an awesome, unborn race. And their love and hate wove a Pattern of destiny that not even immortals could imagine…”
Initial Thoughts: Last year I read and enjoyed (mostly), Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn (1987). Due to the extreme price of many of her novels–even newer editions–I’ve slowly started to acquire a few of her earlier Patternist novels. This is the 4th in the sequence.
3. Shadrach in the Furnace, Robert Silverberg (1976)
From the back cover: “A Novel of the 21st Century That Becomes an Inferno of Tomorrow’s Nightmares.
The stunning novel of a man surrounded by machines that flash instantaneous pictures of everything happening… a man surfeited with drugs that allow him to be eyewitness to the living past and pleasured by sensual women who vie for his favors… a man named Shadrach who finds little rest in this miracle-infested world.
SHADRACH IN THE FURNACE.
A supershocker about what happens when telemetric sensors no longer suffice, when the great Khan, ruler of the earth, needs more… when he needs to survive through the body of a virile, healthy, very special man.. through Shadrach Mordecai.”
Initial Thoughts: In the history of this site, I’ve reviewed twelve Silverberg novels–and read but never reviewed A Time of Changes (1971 and Tower of Glass (1970)–and thirty short stories. I’m always open to reading more of his work! (especially if it isn’t 50s Silverberg).
4. Starmasters’ Gambit, Gérard Klein (1958, trans. 1973)
From the back cover: “As colonists penetrated the galaxy, a series of strange legends accumulated about the worlds just beyond the rim of our exploration. These legends told of vast black citadels built by pre-human intelligences that dominated certain deserted planets. And the legends agreed that these colossal structures were not only impenetrable to explorers–but were still in some mysterious way activated.
This is the story of Jerg Algan, into whose restless hands fell the key to the citadels. This is the story of Jerg Algan whose fate it was to be a “knight” on a cosmic chessboard, leaving from planet to planet as a gambit–a chess sacrifice move–to check the dark monarch who ruled the farther half of the Milky Way. This is the novel that established Gerard Klein as the leading modern science fiction novelist of Jules Verne’s homeland.”
Initial Thoughts: Gérard Klein… one of a handful of non-English language SF authors frequently published by DAW Books in the 1970s. Due to my average experience with French-language SF so far (albeit I’ve only read a handful), I’m not sure what to expect from this one.
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