Book Review: The Unsleeping Eye (variant title: The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe), D. G. Compton (1974)

5/5 (Masterpiece) I’d previously read four of D. G. Compton’s lesser known works before procuring a copy of his acknowledged masterpiece, The Unsleeping Eye (variant title: The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe) (1973).  The Unsleeping Eye far surpasses the remarkable The Steel Crocodile (1970) and Synthajoy (1968).  Many of the themes and techniques Compton uses in the other works of his I’ve … Continue reading Book Review: The Unsleeping Eye (variant title: The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe), D. G. Compton (1974)

Book Review: New Dimensions 3, ed. Robert Silverberg (1973) (Le Guin + Tiptree, Jr. + Lafferty + Malzberg + Effinger + et al.)

(Dennis Anderson’s cover for the 1973 edition) 4/5 (Collated rating: Good) For an anthology, bound to contain a filler story or two, this one is spectacular. Robert Silverberg’s New Dimensions 3 (1973) lives up to his claim to contain “stories that demonstrate vigorous and original ways [often experimental] of approaching the body of ideas, images, and concepts … Continue reading Book Review: New Dimensions 3, ed. Robert Silverberg (1973) (Le Guin + Tiptree, Jr. + Lafferty + Malzberg + Effinger + et al.)

Updates: My Top 10 SF works (pre-1980) for inclusion in the Gollancz Masterwork series

  The Gollancz Masterwork series [list] ranges from famous novels such as Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) to lesser known short story collections such as The Caltraps of Time (1968) by David I. Masson.  The Masterwork series has the power to introduce readers to the canonical “best of SF” and works that should be considered classics. … Continue reading Updates: My Top 10 SF works (pre-1980) for inclusion in the Gollancz Masterwork series

Updates: Year in Review (Top Ten SF Novels + Top Ten Short Stories/Novelettes/Novellas + other categories)

Everyone likes lists!  And I do too….  This is an opportunity to collate some of my favorite (and least favorite) novels and shorter SF works I read this year.  Last year I discovered Barry N. Malzberg and this year I was seduced by…. Well, read and find out.    Top Ten Novels 1. We Who … Continue reading Updates: Year in Review (Top Ten SF Novels + Top Ten Short Stories/Novelettes/Novellas + other categories)

Book Review: The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fiction, Kate Wilhelm (1968)

(Ron Walotsky’s cover for the 1968 edition) 4/5 (collated rating: Good) By the late 60s Kate Wilhelm’s SF moved from generally uninspiring pulp (à la the collection The Mile-Long Spaceship) to psychologically taught and emotive mood pieces exploring the almost existential malaise of daily existence and the disturbing effects of “programmed” lives (especially the housewife).  The … Continue reading Book Review: The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fiction, Kate Wilhelm (1968)

Book Review: Chronocules (variant title: Hot Wireless Sets, Aspirin Tablets, the Sandpaper Sides of Used Matchboxes, and Something that Might have been Castor Oil), D. G. Compton (1970)

(Diane and Leo Dillon’s cover for the 1970 edition) 3/5 (Average) D. G. Compton has long been one of my favorite SF authors.  Regrettably, his readership remains small and he has ceased publishing SF.  Novels like The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (variant title: The Unsleeping Eye) (1973) and Synthajoy (1968) are first rate masterworks with Farewell, … Continue reading Book Review: Chronocules (variant title: Hot Wireless Sets, Aspirin Tablets, the Sandpaper Sides of Used Matchboxes, and Something that Might have been Castor Oil), D. G. Compton (1970)

Book Review: Farewell, Earth’s Bliss, D. G. Compton (1966)

(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1971 edition) 4.5/5 (Very Good) (*some spoilers due to the limited nature of the plot*) Another D. G. Compton novel, another wonderful (and terrifying) experience…  The only one of his novels so far that has failed to hold my interest was The Missionaries (1971), a lackluster satire on religion.  The Continuous … Continue reading Book Review: Farewell, Earth’s Bliss, D. G. Compton (1966)

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Inside the Skull (rats + women + sword fights + robotic circuits + space)

(Ebel’s cover for the 1953 issue of Space Science Fiction) Previous art explorations which looked at disembodied brains and visualizations of the ultra-intelligent set the stage for this post.  Imagine skulls without brains: sometimes metaphorically, but often, literally hollow skull cavities that hold a vast array of mechanical devies and living captives.  Or, the reader is gifted a voyeuristic peek … Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Inside the Skull (rats + women + sword fights + robotic circuits + space)

Book Review: Revelations, Barry N. Malzberg (1972)

(Michael Presley’s cover for the 1977 edition) 5/5 (Masterpiece) Revelations (1972) is the second in a thematically linked group of Malzberg’s novels — published in-between its siblings, The Falling Astronauts (1971) and Beyond Apollo (1972) (from now on BA).  Each deals with insane astronauts, and in Malzberg’s own words, “sexual dysfunction as representing the necessary loss of … Continue reading Book Review: Revelations, Barry N. Malzberg (1972)