Book Review: Orbit 4, ed. Damon Knight (1968) (Wilhelm + Silverberg + Vinge + Ellison + Lafferty, et al.)


(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1969 edition)

4.25/5 (collated rating: Very Good)

A quest for SF magazines! Alien possession and its psychological damage! The Supreme Court tackles future crime! And many more unusual visions….

Orbit 4 (1968) dethrones Orbit 3 (1968) for the overall collated rating crown (as of now) in the anthology sequence. All of the anthology so far contain worthwhile stories and should be tracked down by fans of SF from this era—see my reviews of Orbit 1 (1966) and Orbit 8 (1970).

Highly recommended for the Wilhelm, Emshwiller, Lafferty, Sallis, and Silverberg stories. A must buy Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLXII (Vance + Rucker + Kaye + Godwin + Orbit Anthology)

More SF joins the ranks that cover my shelves, from a Jack Vance Demon Princes sequence novel to a promising Orbit anthology with early Vernor Vinge, Carol Emshwiller, Harlan Ellison, etc.

And the covers!  Powers and Lehr at their best…

And what happened to SF art the 80s? (the Rudy Rucker novel cover terrifies — in a bad way).

As always, thoughts/comments are appreciated!

1.The Palace of Love, Jack Vance (serialized 1966)


(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1967 edition) Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXX (Harness + Dickson + Haldeman + Brunner)

An intriguing range of SF novels…  A few thrift store pickups and a few sent by my father.  Excited about the John Haldeman fix-up novel All My Sins Remembered (1977).  Won’t read the Brunner for a long long time—but I’m a Brunner completists so I buy his books on sight if I don’t have a copy.

Still haven’t read anything by Charles L. Harness….  Not sure about this 80s rewrite of his late 40s serialized novel.  We shall see.


1. All My Sins Remembered, John Haldeman (1977)

(Paul Stinson’s cover for the 1977 edition) Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XCIV (Simak + Farmer + Harness + Van Scyoc)

More Simak! More Philip José Farmer Farmer! And two unknown qualities, Harness’ collection The Rose (1955) and Sydney van Scyoc’s Saltflower (1971)…

And three of the the covers for this collection are top-notch—two Powers’ gems and a wonderful Lehr “cityscape.”


1. Saltflower, Sydney Van Scyoc (1971)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1971 edition) Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXXII (Sturgeon, Harness, Sheckley, Duke)

Part 3 of 5 acquisition posts covering my haul from Dawn Treader books in Ann Arbor, Michigan…. The only Sturgeon novel I’ve read was the masterpiece (and rightly so) More Than Human (1953) so I was thrilled when I found not one but three copies of Venus Plus X (1960).  Unfortunately, I was not able to scour the shelves closely enough to find a first edition and thus am stuck with Gray Marrow’s cover for the 1968 Pyramid Science Fiction edition.  But, I went ahead and posted the first edition art instead because it’s without doubt Victor Kalin’s best cover…..

Sheckley is brilliant so I snatched up another collection of his short stories without hesitation.

The two other authors are ones I have heard about but never read — Charles L. Harness and Madelaine Duke.  Duke’s novel was a complete risk due to the ridiculous sounding premise but I love reading works by unknown authors.  Harness is claimed by some to be one of the great authors whose neglect, in the words of John Clute in the SF encyclopedia entry on Harness, “is difficult to understand.”  His work sounds like my cup of tea….

Thoughts?  Has anyone read Charles L. Harness?

1. Venus Plus X, Theodore Sturgeon (1960) (MY REVIEW)

(Victor Kalin’s cover for the 1960 edition) Continue reading