Tag Archives: Arthur C. Clarke

Book Review: The 1972 Annual World’s Best SF, ed. Donald A. Wollheim (1972)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1972 edition)

3.5/5 (collated rating: Good)

The 1972 Annual World’s Best SF, ed. Donald A. Wollheim (1972) doesn’t feel like a “best of” collection. The majority of the contents are unspectacular space operas and hard SF in the Analog vein. Amongst the chaff, a few more inventive visions shined through—in particular, Joanna Russ’ mysteriously gauzy and stylized experiment replete with twins and dream machines; Michael G. Coney’s evocative overpopulation story about tourist robots; Christopher Priest’s “factual” recounting of human experimental subjects that isn’t factual at all; and Barry Malzberg’s brief almost flash piece about differing perspectives all tied together by the New York metro.

On the whole, I give it a solid recommendation although the best can be found in single-author collections.

Brief Analysis/Summary

“The Fourth Profession” (1971), novelette by Larry Niven, 3/5 (Average): Nominated for the 1972 Continue reading Book Review: The 1972 Annual World’s Best SF, ed. Donald A. Wollheim (1972)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLXXXII (The Anthology Edition) (Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5, Orbit 6, Alpha 3, Best SF 1972)

Little pleases me more than reading the fascinating cross-section of the genre presented by anthologies from my favorite era of SF (1960s/70s). After the success that was World’s Best Science Fiction: 1967 (variant title: World’s Best Science Fiction: Third Series) (1967), ed. Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, I decided to browse my “to post” pile of recent acquisitions and share a handful with you all. As is often the case, the collections are peppered with stories I’ve already read—I’ve linked the relevant reviews.

Filled with authors I haven’t read yet—Stephen Tall, Robin Scott, Roderick Thorp, Jean Cox, Christopher Finch, etc.

…and of course, many of my favorites including Gene Wolfe, Ursula Le Guin, Barry N. Malzberg, and Kate Wilhelm (among many many others).

Scans are from my collection.

1. The 1972 Annual World’s Best SF, ed. Donald A. Wollheim (1972)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1972 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLXXXII (The Anthology Edition) (Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5, Orbit 6, Alpha 3, Best SF 1972)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXV (Pangborn + Janifer + Anthology + Biggle, Jr.)

A very odd selection today…  Some Christmas gift card holdovers and one volume I purchased online.  Including Edgar Pangborn’s most famous novel, a bizarre anthology of future artistic visions (with stories by Ellison, Clarke, Effinger, Zelazny, Dickson, Kornbluth, et al.), a collection of Lloyd Biggle, Jr.’s SF stories on music, and a most likely horrible pulp slave planet rebellion type novel by Laurence M. Janifer.

Thoughts?

1. Davy, Edgar Pangborn (1964)

(Robert Foster’s cover for the 1965 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXV (Pangborn + Janifer + Anthology + Biggle, Jr.)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CIII (Wilhelm + Clarke + Tucker + Malzberg)

Another Wilhelm to add to my growing stack of her novels and collections—I’ve read and reviewed quite a few recently: Margaret and I (1971), The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fiction (1968), and Juniper Time (1979)

More Malzberg (Ace Double story collection + discursive SF novel about fandom)—early stuff from his K. M. O’Donnell pseudonym days.

Clarke’s first novel—although my edition does not have the amazing cover I placed in the post (sorry!).

And, the perhaps OK novel, Ice & Iron (1974) by Wilson Tucker.  I really should read his more famous time travel novels first, I have at least two on the shelf….

Enjoy!

1. The Infinity Box, Kate Wilhelm (1975)

(Ed Soyka’s cover for the 1977 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CIII (Wilhelm + Clarke + Tucker + Malzberg)

Updates: Recent Acquisitions No. CI (Clarke + Bishop + Varley + Maclennan)

A nice range of SF authors/works!  A Michael Bishop collection containing many of his most famous 70s short stories for my upcoming guest post series….  And a SF juvenile written by Phyllis Maclennan with an intriguing premise (although, as always, I’m very dubious about juveniles in general).  John Varley’s famous novel Titan (1979) seems like a fascinating take on the Big Dumb Object trope. And finally a 50s adventure by the indomitable Arthur C. Clarke.

I am most intrigued by the Varley’s Titan and Bishop’s Blooded on Arachne.

Some of the covers are cringe inducing.

Thoughts?

1. Titan, John Varley (1979)

TTNRPPCRKF1979

(Ron Waltosky’s cover for the 1979 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Acquisitions No. CI (Clarke + Bishop + Varley + Maclennan)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXXVII (Cowper + Asimov + Clarke + Dickson)

Bargain bins yield some Clarke and Asimov classics I read when I was a teen but never owned….   I remember thinking at the time that Imperial Earth (1975) was one of Clarke’s best novels.  Dickson’s Dorsai! (1960) — I’ve never been a fan of military SF — is a classic I need to get around to reading.  And, my final find was Richard Cowper’s Time Out of Mind (1973).  I was surprisingly impressed with his lighthearted romp of a novel, Profundis (1979).

Thoughts on the books?

1. Time Out of Mind, Richard Cowper (1973)

(Don Maitz’s cover for the 1981 edition)

From the back cover: “As a young boy, Laurie Linton encountered a strange apparition: a ghostly man who urgently mouthed a message: KILL MAGOBION!  Years later, as members of the UN Narcotics Security Agency, Linton and the beautiful Carol Kennedy were assigned a special duty: investigation of a mysterious drug which endowed its addicts with superhuman powers. Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXXVII (Cowper + Asimov + Clarke + Dickson)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXVIII (Varley + Cherryh + Cummings + et. al)

Some fun finds!  Perhaps surprisingly, I still haven’t read Clarke’s “The Sentinel” (1951) so I was happy to find it in a collection collated by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest — Spectrum 3 (1963).  Even more appealing are the famous Poul Anderson, J. G. Ballard, and Murray Leinster tales in the same volume…  The entire Spectrum collection (I-V) brings together some fantastic works.

John Varley is one of the important 70s writers that I still haven’t read. Thus, despite the egregious cover, I snatched his collection of 70s stories, The Persistence of Vision (1978)…  I look forward to diving into this one.

Also, C. J. Cherryh was one of my favorite authors as a teen so it’s always nice to come across one of her works I hadn’t devoured yet — in this case, her second novel Brothers of Earth (1976).

1. The Persistence of Vision, John Varley (1978)

(Jim Burns’ cover for Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXVIII (Varley + Cherryh + Cummings + et. al)