A few fellow History grad students and I (and two or three from various departments — Gender Studies, English) have cobbled together a science fiction reading group list for this fall and spring: mainly social sci-fi by female authors along with a few random gems by Ballard (The Drowned World), Silverberg (The World Inside), and Delany (Nova). I wasn’t going to buy any sci-fi books this semester. I promise. That is before we formed our reading group! So, I had to pick up the few works on our list that I didn’t already own.
What a haul!
1. The Drowned World (1962), J. G. Ballard
Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XIII
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1965 edition of The Well of the Worlds (1953), Henry Kuttner)
Alex Schomburg (1905-1998) produced only a handful of novel covers in the 60s (his classic 50s covers can be found here). But what a beautiful handful! It’s a shame because they evoke genuine excitement and wonder — especially Kuttner’s The Well of the Worlds (above) and one of my favorites, Moore and Kuttner’s Earth’s Last Citadel (below). They are dynamic, vivid, and occasionally Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Best of Alex Schomburg’s 60s Novel Covers
1. The Trial of Terra (1962), Jack Williamson (MY REVIEW)
I’ve only read one of Jack Williamson’s novels co-authored with Frederik Pohl The Reefs of Space (1964) so I thought I’d pick up a solo effort. I don’t have high hopes but the general plot from the back cover sounds a lot like Star Trek’s Prime directive: “The Men of Earth were on the verge of breaking into space. The first of their manned moon rockets was on its way to Luna. Now, after ten thousand years, the celestial Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XII
I’ve never been a fan of A. E. van Vogt. A while back, having just finished his “masterpiece” The World of Null-A (1948), I headed to the used book store and saw Jerome Podwil’s cover for Vogt’s sequel, The Players of Null-A (1966) and had to pick it up. Simply put, it is a spectacular piece of art. Discovering Podwil’s Calder-esque machine extending its limbs across the plain made me pay more attention to the covers as art and the artists who made them. Hence this series of posts! (Adventures in Science Fiction Art Index)
(Are any of the books worth reading? What’s your favorite of his work (perhaps one I haven’t listed)?)
(Cover for the 1966 edition of The Players of Null-A (1966), A. E. van Vogt)
Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Rampant Machines, The 60s Covers of Jerome Podwil
Gifts! Gifts! A varied haul — Spinrad, Herbert, Dickson, Niven, Norton…
1. The Solarians (1966), Norman Spinrad
Before Norman Spinrad’s metafictional if Hitler wrote a pulp extravaganza The Iron Dream (1972) and Bug Jack Barron (1969) there was The Solarians… Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. X
4.25/5 (Very Good)
Doris Piserchia’s A Billion Days of Earth (1976) is a whimsical, disturbing, and stunningly inventive science fiction novel. This is the second and by far the best of her novels I’ve read (A Billion Days of Earth surpasses Doomtime (1981) in virtually every regard). Not only are the characters better drawn but the plot isn’t as easily derailed by repetitious actions. That said, she isn’t always the best at plotting but her imaginative worldscapes and bizarre creatures more than compensate. Continue reading Book Review: A Billion Days of Earth, Doris Piserchia (1976)
I do not write reviews for the majority of films I watch. My reasons are somewhat nebulous considering it’s the summer and I certainly have time. I see my blog more as a way to re-examine and bring to the forefront sci-fi books and films generally more esoteric and infrequently reviewed. But certain winds shift direction for brief windows of time. So here we go, a rundown of the more popular films I’ve seen in theater or re-watched recently.
The Tree of Life (2011), dir. Terrence Malick, rating 7.75/10 (Good)
Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011) juxtaposes extensive sequences Continue reading (mini) Film Ruminations: The Tree of Life (2011), Super 8 (2011), A Serious Man (2010), etc.