Book Review: Project Barrier, Daniel F. Galouye (1968)

3/5 (collated rating: Average)

In the early days of my site, I reviewed Daniel F. Galouye’s best-known novel Dark Universe (1961) and A Scourge of Screamers (1966). Since then I’ve attempted to read Simulacron-3 (1964), adapted into a fantastic German mini-series World on a Wire (1973) and The Thirteenth Floor (1999), three times without success. What can I say, I’m a reader of whim and in each instance I wasn’t in the mood. Maybe it was Bill Botton’s compelling/bizarre psychedelic cover for Project Barrier (1968) or perhaps Rich Horton’s comments on twitter about the title story but I decided to give Galouye’s short fiction a go.

Project Barrier (1968) contains four uneven tales with one notable standout–“Rub-a-Dub” (variant title: “Descent Into the Maestrom”) (1961)–which I highly recommend if disturbing psychological SF is up your alley. The others in the collection exude a more run-of-the-mill feel. I found it refreshing that Galouye, a veteran greatly impacted by war injuries, tends to eschew violent conflict for peaceful resolution.

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Recent Science Fiction and Fantasy Purchases No. CCLXVII (Daniel F. Galouye, Gordon Eklund, Lisa Tuttle, George R. R. Martin, and Andrew Sinclair)

As always, which books/covers/authors intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?

1. Windhaven, George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle (1981)

Vincent Di Fate’s cover for the 1st edition

From the inside flap: “The planet Windhaven was settled by humans after the crash of a colony starship. Survivors discovered that people could actually fly on this world, aided by the light gravity and dense atmosphere, and using wings made from a virtually indestructible metal fabric that had once been part of the starship. On this planet of small islands, monster-infected seas Continue reading

Book Review: A Scourge of Screamers (variant title: The Lost Perception), Daniel F. Galouye (1966)


(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition)

2.75/5 (Vaguely Average)

Recently I procured a handful of Daniel F. Galouye’s novels (here) for a few dollars on ebay because I enjoyed his first novel Dark Universe (1961), which is an underread/underrated classic of the early 60s.  In an effort to rekindle public interest in Galouye’s small ouvre (he died at 54 due to war injuries and was unable to write much in the last ten years of his life), he received the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award in 2007.  Unfortunately, Galouye’s fast-paced sci-fi thriller A Scourge of Screamers (variant title: The Lost Perception) does not measure up to the claustrophobic and well-plotted social rumination (with a good dose of action) that is Dark Universe.

The most redeeming feature is Paul Lehr’s harrowing depiction of mental anguish Continue reading

Updates: Recent Acquisitions No. LX (Galouye 4x + Bunch)

What a group of novels!  Four novels by the highly underrated and underread 1960s/early 70s author Daniel F. Galouye — the only novel of his I’m missing is The Infinite Man (1973)…  I’ve previously read his most famous work Dark Universe (1961) — here’s my review (be warned, one of my first reviews on the site, I’d like to think that I’ve improved) — but copies tend to go for around $10+ online so I didn’t own a copy until I stumbled on a great lot of his novels on ebay for a few bucks…

Just read the back covers quotes (below).  They all sound disturbing and absolutely fantastic.  Rainer Werner Fassbinder — yes, you read that correctly — even made a German language miniseries adaptation, Welt Am Draht (1973) (World on a Wire), of Simulacron-3 (1964). Criterion just released a DVD….  And of course, Josef Rusnak’s more famous film The Thirteenth Floor (1999) was a lose adaptation of the same novel.

Also, I spent the most I’ve ever spend on a paperback for David R. Bunch’s near masterpiece, Moderan (1971).  I finished the novel last week (interlibrary loan) and had to find a copy…  They are usually $18 + online but again, found a copy on ebay and made an offer.  I’ll have a review of Moderan up in a few days, I promise!

1. Lords of the Psychon, Daniel F. Galouye (1963)


(Uncredited cover Continue reading