Category Archives: Updates + Articles

Updates: New Book Review Index by Rating

I’ve added a new index ordered by rating for easy navigation to my book reviews (here).  This is in addition to by index by author (here).  This makes my best  (here) and worst science fiction book index (here) redundant and I might get rid of it at a later date.  I’ll also add more themed indexes in addition to my Sci-Fi Novels about Overpopulation Index, Sci-Fi Works by Female Authors over the course of the next few weeks.

All the indexes can be found on the bar on the righthand side.

Thanks for all the fascinating comments/observations and words of encouragement.  I’ve greatly enjoyed reading/reviewing and conversing!

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXIII (Farmer, Malzberg + et al.)

A while back I slogged through Philip José Farmer’s dismal To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971) (the worst novel ever to win the Hugo Award?) and all the increasingly terrible sequels and made a solemn vow to wait a few years before I returned to his extensive oeuvre — so, against my better judgement I picked up a copy of  Traitor to the Living (1973).  I don’t have high hopes (but I love the cover!).  I hope my two dollars were well spent.

Malzberg is shaping into my “under read/unjustly forgotten author of the year” whom I’ll showcase.  Last year’s winner was the brilliant D. G. Compton (see INDEX for reviews).  Fresh off Conversations (1975) and In The Enclosure (1973) I picked up a copy of Guernica Night (1975).  I can’t wait!

Harold Mead’s The Bright Phoenix (1955) is yet another against the oppressive state à la Orwell’s 1984… But, I’ve found that the premise generally holds up despite frequent re-interpretations…

Greenfield’s Waters of Death (1967) should be avoided — at all cost.  I’ve already written a scathing review (rant).

1. Traitor to the Living (1973), Philip José Farmer (MY REVIEW)

(Hans Ulrich Osterwalder and Ute Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXIII (Farmer, Malzberg + et al.)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXII (Cooper + Wilhelm + Kornbluth + Merril)

I was so impressed with C. M. Kornbluth’s masterful collection The Explorers (1954) that I picked up a copy his 1958 collection A Mile Beyond the Moon (I own the hardback first edition but I prefer Powers’ cover below).  Also, recently inspired (again) to read more 1960s works by female authors I bought a collection of three novellas by Merril and a 1963 collection of shorts by Kate Wilhelm.  Wilhem and Merril aren’t always top-notch but worth a read (and in Wilhelm’s case, a second chance — I enjoyed Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1977) but I’m still not convinced it was Hugo/Nebula quality work).

Cooper’s Seed of Light (1958) is considered one of his more mature works — to the chagrin of some of his fans who prefer his more “pulpish” works — but my obsession with generation ships was my real motivation to add it to my collection.

One short story, a novel, and one of the novellas take place on generation ships!

A nice haul — a mixture of lesser known works by some famous figures.

Enjoy (the covers)!

1. Daughters of Earth (1968), Judith Merril (MY REVIEW)

(Robert Foster’s cover for Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXII (Cooper + Wilhelm + Kornbluth + Merril)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXI (Silverberg + Compton + Malzberg + Anderson)

A few more Christmas gift card purchases…

Dying Inside (1972) is often considered one of Silverberg’s best works and I can’t wait to read it (I will after my soon to be hellish weekend grading ~60 undergrad history papers).  Despite a painfully negative review on Amazon slamming Compton’s The Silent Multitude (1967) as a dull imitation of J. G. Ballard, it is high on my to read list — almost any experimental (allegorical) work exploring a crumbling city intrigues me.  Malzberg’s Conversations (1975) was a shot in the dark — it might be the least read of any of his novels — hence, my interest.

Pohl Anderson is almost always worth reading — even his middling short stories are fun.

Enjoy!

1. Dying Inside, Robert Silverberg (1972)

(Jerry Thorp’s cover for Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXI (Silverberg + Compton + Malzberg + Anderson)

Updates: Visit + Submit to the BSFA Award Nominated Review Site SF Mistressworks

   

Hello all,  Ian Sales’ wonderful SF Mistressworks (link), a review collating blog, has recently been nominated for the BSFA award (British Science Fiction Association) in the non-fiction category (link for the list).  I’ve submitted nine of my reviews of sci-fi works written by women over the last few months.  It was created in direct response to the absence of sci-fi masterpieces by women on a list by The Guardian, a lack of general knowledge in the sci-fi community about early female pioneers in the genre, and general lack of readership for their many award-winning works.

If you’ve written reviews of science fiction works by women (the novels/short story collections need to be written before 2000) please submit them as well (500 words or so is preferred)!  So, gather up any Russ, Norton, Cherryh, C. L. Moore, Merril, Brackett, Piserchia, Le Guin, MacLean, Butler, etc etc etc reviews you might have on your blog or anywhere else.  It’s a great resource for finding seldom read works/authors which deserve a greater readership. Continue reading Updates: Visit + Submit to the BSFA Award Nominated Review Site SF Mistressworks

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XX (Clifton + Aldiss + et al.)

Christmas giftcard expenditures continue…

An interesting collection of acquisitions — Clifton’s Eight Keys to Eden (1960) is considered, at least by the reviews I’ve found online, to be a little read classic — i.e. my kind of sci-fi novel.  Aldiss always has wonderful ideas and The Long Afternoon of Earth (variant title: Hothouse) is generally proclaimed one of his best — I’m still waiting for work which garners the same magic as his masterpiece Non-stop (variant title: Starship) (1958).

After reading Kornbluth’s masterful short story collection The Explorers (1953) I felt obligated to pick up a copy of one of the more famous Pohl + Kornbluth collaborations, Gladiator-In-Law (1954).

A few intriguing Malzberg stories in Future City (1973) compelled me to snatch one of his lesser known novels off of the shelf — In The Enclosure (1973) tells the story of an alien tortured by his human captives.  I find Malzberg’s relentlessly dark visions very appealing…  He has a HUGE catalog I’ve yet to read.

1. The Long Afternoon of Earth (variant title: Hothouse), Brian Aldiss (1962)

(Uncredited cover for the 1962 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XX (Clifton + Aldiss + et al.)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XIX (Herbert + Aldiss + et al.)

Christmas = gift cards = more science fiction books, and a few my dad had procured for himself appeared miraculously in my pile — I’ve decided to break down the clump into manageable four book posts.

And of course, I wish you all a good sci-fi book hunting/reading year!

Enjoy!

1. The Santaroga Barrier, Frank Herbert (1968)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition)

I’ve read a substantial number of Frank Herbert’s non-Dune Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XIX (Herbert + Aldiss + et al.)