(Leo and Diane Dillon’s cover for the 1969 edition)
4.25/5 (Very Good)
“He was out now looking for signs. He knew how to stay alive. He was a strangely violent man, to him the fall of the city was some sort of unholy celebration (89).”
The decaying/empty city as allegory: its few post-evacuation occupants (a tramp and his cat, the cathedral’s dean, a young suburban woman, a troubled architect’s son — all well-drawn characters) wander the deserted streets of Gloucester consumed with their own obsessions. The cement consuming fungus — a vague agent of destruction that severs us from our loci of civilization, our functionalist cityscapes, Continue reading Book Review: The Silent Multitude, D. G. Compton (1966)
A nice (varied) selection of finds….
I’ve continued to be on the lookout for Malzberg’s novels and, due to the proliferation of comments by my readers about what is his best, I’ve acquiesced and picked up a copy of his acknowledged masterpiece, Beyond Apollo (1972). I suspect it will be as good as In The Enclosure (1973).
If there is any area (besides sci-fi from the 21st century) that I haven’t read a good portion of the classics, it’s works from around the turn of the century. I have read a large swathe of Verne’s works and from beginning of the 20th century all of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter series — but, only a few of H. G. Wells’ oeuvre (The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine). So, when I came across a 60s edition of The First Men in the Moon (1901) with a nostalgic looking cover I snatched it up!
The two short story collections are unknown commodities: Frederick Pohl’s In The Problem Pit (1976) and James Gunn’s Station in Space (1958). I’ve never heard of Gunn and sort of dislike what I’ve read of Pohl so far. Regardless, both works have intriguing covers!
1. Beyond Apollo, Barry Malzberg (1972)
(Don Maitz’ cover for Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XXVI (Malzberg + Wells + Gunn +Pohl)
Hello all, Ian Sales’ wonderful SF Mistressworks (link), a review collating blog, has recently been nominated for the BSFA award (British Science Fiction Association) in the non-fiction category (link for the list). I’ve submitted nine of my reviews of sci-fi works written by women over the last few months. It was created in direct response to the absence of sci-fi masterpieces by women on a list by The Guardian, a lack of general knowledge in the sci-fi community about early female pioneers in the genre, and general lack of readership for their many award-winning works.
If you’ve written reviews of science fiction works by women (the novels/short story collections need to be written before 2000) please submit them as well (500 words or so is preferred)! So, gather up any Russ, Norton, Cherryh, C. L. Moore, Merril, Brackett, Piserchia, Le Guin, MacLean, Butler, etc etc etc reviews you might have on your blog or anywhere else. It’s a great resource for finding seldom read works/authors which deserve a greater readership. Continue reading Updates: Visit + Submit to the BSFA Award Nominated Review Site SF Mistressworks
Here are my favorite films and science fiction novels I’ve reviewed this year (and some other interesting categories) with links to my reviews….
Watch them! Read them! Gaze at them! (the array below….)
Best Science Fiction Novel (tie: The World Inside, The Unsleeping Eye, Hawksbill Station)
The World Inside (1971), Robert Silverberg (REVIEW) 5/5 (Masterpiece)
Silverberg’s The World Inside is a fascinating take on the theme of overpopulation — what if society was organized towards a single goal, propagation? What would society look like? What position in society would women occupy? Men? What would cities look like? Hallways? Rooms? Institutions? What happens to those who don’t fit in? Or, can’t have children?
The Unsleeping Eye (variant title: Continue reading Update: 2011 in review, best books, movies, etc
(Uncredited cover for the 1965 edition of Beyond the Sealed World (1965), Rena M. Vale)
While browsing through my collection of cover images I’ve collated over the last few months for science fiction art post ideas, I came across the uncredited cover for Rena Vale’s Beyond the Sealed World (1965) and was transfixed! The angle of the text, the mountain, the dark expanse of space, the little spaceship, the figures silhouetted against the night, and the surreal shape of the domed city connected to other distant domed cities… If anyone knows the artist (or has a good educated guess) please let me know! The second edition cover (below) still has beautiful domed cities but the caveman, helmeted soldier, and white-clad (not for long, the dress is slipping) woman tableau ruins the feel.
Particularly noteworthy is Jack Gaughan’s elevated domed city cover Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Domed Cities of the Future Part I
Michael (2theD), one of my friends whose reviews on Amazon I’ve been compulsively reading, has just started a review blog (on blogspot) called the Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature.
(the titles above are a small sample of the works Continue reading Update: Another Wonderful Sci-fi Review Blog
(Cover for the 1972 edition of Plunder (1972), Ron Goulart)
The covers of Vincent Di Fate (1945-) often evoke a Terry Gilliam-esque romp — for example, Ron Goulart’s Plunder — a lone facade and a house dot a purple and green plain, mountains emerge in the distance, planets pepper the sky, a head floats ominously, a bizarre reptilian creature in a boatie rides an antique bicycle. I desperately want to know if it’s a scene from the book. If so, I’m tracking down a copy!
Vincent Di Fate’s work graced a few of the great works of the genre Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Selection of Vincent Di Fate’s early 70s Covers
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.
4.5/5 (Very Good)
Nominated for the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel
“The ground was covered with old names…” (76)
Joanna Russ, famous for her feminist sci-fi novel The Female Man (1975), weaves together a bizarre (and difficult) novel filled with strange images, peculiar characters, and a fragmented/layered/bewildering narrative structure. And Chaos Died (1970) is a startlingly original take on the staple sci-fi Continue reading Book Review: And Chaos Died, Joanna Russ (1970)