1. One of two SF/F gifts (not specifically for Christmas — but let’s pretend!) I’ve included in this post…. Due to my recent series on Maps and Diagrams in Science Fiction, a reader and fan of the site sent me his extra copy of J.B. Post’s An Atlas of Fantasy (1973)–which includes some SF maps as well. Thank you!
2. The second gift—I’ve been spacing a giant pile of vintage SF I received from a family friend out over many months! Sturgeon sometimes intrigues, and sometimes infuriates—hopefully there will be more of the former in this collection. No stories in the vein of “The Hurkle Is a Happy Beast” (1949) please.
3. Dr. Adder, K. W. Jeter’s infamous “couldn’t be published when it was written” novel that might have defined “cyberpunk” long before Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984). I have the Bluejay Books 1st edition with lots of evocative (and disturbing) interior art.
4. And finally, a completely unknown quantity from an author I’d never heard of–Gina Berriault. Promises to be a Cold War satire of impending nuclear destruction. And it has a History professor as a main character! (i.e. maybe a 1960s version of me? we shall see).
And let me know in the comments if you receive any SF/fantasy Christmas gifts.
1. An Atlas of Fantasy, J. B. Post (1973)
(Uncredited cover for the 1979 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCVIII “Christmas Edition” (An Atlas of Fantasy + Sturgeon + Jeter + Berriault)
Monday Maps and Diagrams 12/24/18
Sometimes a map tells a story…. Sometimes a series of maps reveal the evolution of a story. C. J. Cherryh’s sequence of six maps of the same location in Forty Thousand in Gehenna (1983) tracks the evolving relationship between settlers, azi clones, and native caliban lizard creatures.
A careful eye might be able to discern the general trajectory of the novel’s plot — if you haven’t read it yet, than perhaps (if you can tear your eyes off of MAPS) proceed no further….
Continue reading Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) 12/24/18 — C. J. Cherryh’s Forty Thousand in Gehenna (1983)
Monday Maps and Diagrams 12/17/18
A map from one of the better known dystopias by one of my favorite authors… Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker (1980). I have not read it, yet. I know, I know, I should. I have opened its pages and savored a passage or two–“Eusa sed, This is a dream. He opent up his iys but that ben open aul redde (34).”
Citation: Map from the 1998 Indiana University Press Expanded edition of Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker (1980). [click to enlarge] Continue reading Fragment(s): Monday Maps and Diagrams (Science Fiction) 12/17/18 — Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker (1980)
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.
- 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)
(Don Maitz’s cover for the 1982 edition)
2.75/5 (Vaguely Average)
Hilbert Schenck’s A Rose for Armageddon (1982) postulates that in the near future a complex computer program (“Archmorph”) will be able to predict political and social trends as “conflict was [and will be] pattern-determined” (26). Filled with references to the turbulent 1970s (Vietnam protests, campus unrest, the 1979 energy crisis) and the fear the decade generated, Schenck suggests that a cataclysmic possibility looms.
A Rose for Armageddon treads intriguing grounds in part because it centers on two non-standard individuals (it’s rare to have elderly main characters!): Dr. Elsa Adams, the Louis Agassiz Professor of Analytic Zoology and Dr. Jake Stinson Continue reading Book Review: A Rose for Armageddon, Hilbert Schenck (1982)
1. I seldom buy duplicate editions. I originally read Sturgeon’s masterpiece as a teen and I’m unsure where my original 70s edition with a Bob Pepper cover ran off to…. And this perfect condition 1960 edition has glorious Richard Powers art!
2. George Turner—an author I know next to nothing about. I’ve already read 75 pages of his first novel and am absolutely entranced.
3. Hilbert Schenck—another author who is new to me. He published primarily in the early 80s and snagged a few Nebula nominations for his short fiction. His second novel proved to be a dud (I’ll have a review up soon).
4. Why are you buying another Donald A. Wollheim Best Of collection when you’re firmly in the Terry Carr camp of Best Of anthologies? Good question.
That said, I recently reviewed The 1972 Annual World’s Best SF (1972) and it was solid.
Note 1: All images are hi-res scans of my personal copies — click to expand.
Note 2: A diligent Twitter follower indicated that the 1984 edition cover of the Turner novel is Tony Roberts’ work.
Thoughts? Comments? Tangents? All are welcome.
1. More than Human, Theodore Sturgeon (1953)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1960 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXCII (Sturgeon + Turner + Schenck + Best of 1973 Anthology)
(Don Dixon’s cover art for the 1st edition of The Crucible of Time (1983), John Brunner)
This post is about a Don Dixon SF space art cover that gives me nostalgic chills. But first, a rumination….
As with so many new readers, my first science fiction adventures–almost a decade and a half ago–followed the Hugo Awards closely and the back catalogue of the established male “masters” (often those whom my dad remembered reading in his childhood–Heinlein, Clarke, Brunner, Herbert, Pohl, Anderson, etc.). And boy did John Brunner feature heavily! I read everything of his I could get my hands on. From the genius that STILL is Stand on Zanzibar (1968)–my first New Wave SF novel–to the half-hearted pulpy adventures (Born under Mars, Meeting at Infinity) that scream paycheck. These novels were some of my first reviewed works on my site (John Brunner review list below). As my readers know, my tastes have changed radically as my willingness and knowledge of lesser known authors and/or “unpopular” authors expands as I read more along the edges. Brunner’s radical New Wave SF (and at some degree his short fiction) remains a constant.
All of this is to say that it’s unsurprising that Don Dixon’s cover art Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Art: A Nostalgic Piece of Space Art + Rumination