All posts by Joachim Boaz

In a doomed city under the sea....

Book Review: Emphyrio, Jack Vance (1969)


(Gino D’Achille’s cover for the 1979 edition)

3.5/5 (Good)

Jack Vance’s Emphyrio (1969) is a story about how a story can create change and heighten our own yearning for escape. Although a pulp coming-of-age adventure at heart, Vance reigns in his baroque descriptive tendencies to spin a narrative that tries (successfully) to say something meaningful about the impact of storytelling.
Continue reading Book Review: Emphyrio, Jack Vance (1969)

Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) 12/10/18 — Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974)

Monday Maps and Diagrams 12/10/18

A map from one of my absolute favorite SF novels… Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974).

The Map:

Citation: Map from the Ballantine Books 1st edition of Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974)
Continue reading Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) 12/10/18 — Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974)

Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) 12/3/18 — Mark S. Geston’s Lords of the Starship (1967)

Monday Maps and Diagrams 12/3/18

As I paged through the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books in my science fiction question in a search for maps, my interior dialogue went something like this….

“Map? No. Map? No. Map? No. Map? No. Map? YES! FINALLY! Is the book a far future post-apocalyptical pseudo-medieval type story? Yes. Sounds about right. Do any other science fiction stories have maps?” Repeat.

Here’s one from a Mark S. Geston far future post-apocalyptical pseudo-medieval type story….

The Map:

Citation: Jack Gaughan’s map from the Ace Books 1st edition of Mark S. Geston’s Lords of the Starship (1967) [click to enlarge] [review]

Series blurb: In my informal Continue reading Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) 12/3/18 — Mark S. Geston’s Lords of the Starship (1967)

Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) — Jack Vance’s Trullion: Alastor 2262 (1973)

Monday Maps and Diagrams 11/26/18

In my informal Monday Maps and Diagrams series I will showcase scans of SF maps and diagrams from my personal collection. As a kid I was primarily a fantasy reader and I judged books on the quality of their maps. When my reading interests shifted to science fiction, for years I still excitedly peeked at the first few pages… there could be a map!

Let’s start off with a simple yet effective map via Jack Vance. Islands, and rivers, and swamps….

The Map:

Citation: Map from the 1973 Ballantine edition of Jack Vance‘s Trullion: Alastor 2262 (1973) [click to enlarge]. Continue reading Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) — Jack Vance’s Trullion: Alastor 2262 (1973)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCVII (Farmer + Leinster + Williams + Anthology)

I’ve returned! New books!

If you missed it, I also posted a new review of a fantastic novel that melds New Wave sensibilities with an engaging narrative. Check it out.

1. A gift from a family friend…. But what a John Schoenherr cover!

2. Another gift…. a fun space medic premise but I do not trust anything produced by Leinster to have depth yet alone be “thought-provoking” as the blurb proclaims.

3. A Toronto, CA find — unfortunately a tag mutilated the cover…

4. Another Toronto, CA find — while browsing through the shelves I was reminded of one of Tarbandu’s infrequent 5/5 reviews…. We don’t always agree but he introduced me to John Crowley!

As always, comments are welcome.

Enjoy!

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  1. Alien Worlds, ed. Roger Elwood (1964)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1964 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCVII (Farmer + Leinster + Williams + Anthology)

Book Review: Killerbowl, Gary K. Wolf (1975)


(Steve Marcesi’s cover for the 1975 edition)

4.75/5 (Very Good)

“The Minutemen’s hidden safety, crouching on the fifteenth floor of the Fontana West apartments, puts cross hairs on Gradington’s Adam’s apple, now even so slightly exposed just below the bottom of his bulletproof helmet and mask, just above the top of his body armor, and squeezes the trigger (5).”

In some ways SF comparisons between modern sports and Roman arenas, where blood and guts are spilled in obligatory fashion, might come off as a soft target. Imagine if the football players had knives! Pass. Imagine if one of the players had a gun! Double pass. Yes, we know sports can be violent and taxing on the mind and body. A quick browse through the current NFL injury list and articles such as The Boston Globe‘s six-part series on Aaron Hernandez makes grim Continue reading Book Review: Killerbowl, Gary K. Wolf (1975)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCVI (Ballard + Lessing + Wilson + Nebula Awards Anthology)

1. A Ballard novel that had previously escaped my grasp… Too bad I don’t own the visually fun 1981 1st edition (Bill Botton’s cover screams Damnation Alley).

2. Unfortunately my 1st edition copy of Angus Wilson’s satirical 1961 SF novel The Old Men at the Zoo did not come with a dustjacket (damn sellers who incorrectly list books online!). The novel itself appears interesting! Has anyone read it?

3. A spectacular Paul Lehr cityscape cover + Nebula award winners = what is not to love?

4. And finally, my sole Brooklyn, NY book purchase from my summer trip — the fifth in Doris Lessing’s Canopus in Argos: Archives sequence of SF novels.

As always, comments (and even tangents) are welcome.

Note: His-res images of all but Angus Wilson’s novel are my personal copies.

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1. Hello America, J. G. Ballard (1981)

(James Marsh’s cover for the 1985 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCVI (Ballard + Lessing + Wilson + Nebula Awards Anthology)