Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXVIII (Malzberg + Robinson + Berk + Ball)

A few more books from Carl V. Anderson‘s gift + two acquisitions of my own.  Including my first Spider Robinson novel, an unknown post-apocalyptical quantity via Howard Beck, and more pulp by Brian N. Ball—not going to lie, Singularity Station (1973) was fun!

I now own a nearly complete Barry N. Malzberg collection of his SF solo works (i.e. no co-written novels with Bill Pronzini).  What I am missing: his first two novels which are more speculative rather than SF, Oracle of a Thousand Hands (1968), Screen (1968), his SF novel Scop (1976), his movie novelization Phase IV (1973) which I have held off buying despite seeing it for cheap in used stores, and his non-SF novel Underlay (1974).  I have all his collections of short fiction pre-1994 other than Final War and Other Fantasies (1969), The Best of Barry N. Malzberg (1976), and Down Here in Dream Quarter (1976).

Thus, I own a grand total of 28 Malzberg novels and collections!


1. Overlay, Barry N. Malzberg (1972)

Screen shot 2015-03-11 at 10.14.49 AM

(Ray Feibush’s cover for the 1975 edition) Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXIV (Wilhelm + Spinrad + Ball + Vance)

Another wonderful batch including two novellas by Kate Wilhelm in the collection Abyss (1971).

A Norman Spinrad novel, The Men in the Jungle (1967), courtesy of the MPorcius, the proprietor of MPorcius Fiction Log.  I sent him a portion of my wall of shame (i.e. worst SF novels) and got a few worthwhile ones in return…

Another Vance novel courtesy of MPorcius as well—one of the Demon Prince novels.  Do I have to read them in order?

And Brian N. Ball’s first novel, Sundog (1965).  I thought Singularity Station (1973) was unadulterated pulp fun.

So the Spinrad novel critiques pulp and Ball revels in pulp…


1. Abyss, Kate Wilhelm (1971)

(Lou Feck’s cover for the 1973 edition) Continue reading

Book Review: Singularity Station, Brian N. Ball (1973)


(Chris Foss’ cover for the 1973 edition)

4/5 (Good)

If one were to distill 70s space opera in a decanter filled with SF pulp the result would be Singularity Station (1973).  Combined with the dynamic Chris Foss cover — I’ve never enjoyed his work but it does embody the vigor and explosiveness of the novel — Brian N. Ball’s vision is an veritable adolescent SF wet dream filled with robots, cutting edge science (in this case, 60s speculation on the nature of black holes), a love interest (not the 30s/40s pulp versions) in distress, a mad scientist, and inventive spaceships and space stations.

70s pulp at its Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXX (Lafferty, Sheckley, Lightner, Ball)

There is no better book store for used SF in the US (that I have been to) than Dawn Treader Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan….  Thankfully, I made the pilgrimage for an altogether different purpose — I delivered a paper at a conference at the University of Michigan — but couldn’t help but spend a while amongst the heavenly stacks (well for a SF fanatic).  This is part 1 of 5 acquisition posts which will showcase the bounty I procured.  And there were probably close to 80 other books I wanted.  Alas.

So, what have we here?  One of Lafferty’s most famous novels — nebula nominated Fourth Mansions (1969).  I’ve only read his shorter work so I’ll be devouring this one soon. More Sheckley for one can never have enough of his biting, wonderful, and hilariously satirical short stories.  A straight-forward space opera by Brian N. Ball (yes, I know, not normally my cup of tea) on recommendation from Mike at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature… And a somewhat more risky purchase, A. M. Lightner’s The Day of the Drones (1969) — this work of social SF is supposedly her most mature work (she tended to write for the young adult audience) but it was still edited for publication to be suitable for younger readers.  Despite the socially relevant theme, I suspect it will come off as rather corny/undeveloped.

1. Fourth Mansions, R. A. Lafferty (1969)

(Diane and Leo Dillon’s cover for the 1969 edition) Continue reading