Updates: Recent Science Fiction Purchases No. CCXCV (Andre Norton, Alfred Bester, Kendell Foster Crossen, Mark Clifton, Frank Riley)

Which books/covers/authors intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?

1. They’d Rather Be Right, Mark Clifton and Frank Riley (1954)

Inside page blurb: “They’d rather be right!

They tried to smash ‘Bossy’ the super-computer. Joe Carter and his strange friends saved the machine–but that really wasn’t necessary. You can’t smash an idea–and the idea was bound to grow again anyway. But people can hate an idea….

They’d rather be right!

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Book Review: The Dark Side of the Earth, Alfred Bester (1964)

(Uncredited cover for the 1964 edition)

3/5 (Average)

Despite enjoying Alfred Bester’s famous novels The Demolished Man (1952) and The Stars My Destination (1956), I found his short stories in The Dark Side of the Earth (1964) on the whole nowhere near as masterful.  Yes, they are witty, comedic, playful, silly, pseudo-intellectual (references to film directors such as De Sica, etc), and on occasion refreshingly experimental in structure (‘The Pi Man’).  Of those adjectives, ‘silly’ is the most constant.

Bester is at his best when he blends his satirical/comedic side with a fascinating concept — for example, an inventive theory of time travel in ‘The Man Who Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XXV (Silverberg + Dickson + Bester + et al.)

I have a substantial backlog of purchases from my “productive” book hunting Spring Break in Texas….

I’ve read Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man (1952), which I loved, and The Stars My Destination (1956), which I mostly enjoyed, however I’ve rarely seen his short story collections in used book stores.  I snatched up the gorgeous covered The Dark Side of the Earth (1956).  I suspect Bester is even better at short stories than his novel length works….

The Time of the Great Freeze (1964) is considered one of Robert Silverberg’s best pulp works.  On indirect advise of my friend Michael Dalke at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature, I’ve procured more of Gordon R. Dickson’s short works…  Thankfully, he hasn’t reviewed the collection The Star Road (1973) yet (I think) — we have a “rivalry.”  Haha.

I’ve already reviewed the short story collection edited by Donald Wollheim, The End of the World (1956) (MY REVIEW), and highly recommend it. A few of the stories are duds but two are in my top 5 short work list.  Philip K. Dick’s ‘Impostor’ (1953) alone is reason enough to track down the volume.

1. The Dark Side of the Earth (1964), Alfred Bester (MY REVIEW)

(Uncredited cover for the 1964 edition) Continue reading