(Nik Puspurica’s cover for the 1960 edition)
Frederik Pohl’s best early SF was produced with his frequent collaborator C. M. Kornbluth—the most notable of which include the masterpiece The Space Merchants (1953) and Gladiator-In-Law (1954). The solo work I have read so far from the same period does not reach the heights of his Kornbluth collaborations but rather fluctuates between downright dull satires with intelligent dogs in the vein of Slave Ship (1956) to solid but unspectacular satire about higher education, Drunkard’s Walk (1960). As of this moment in my SF reading career I place Pohl’s editorial work above his 50s/early 60s solo SF. That said, I have not read any of his short fiction.
Recommended for fans of 50s/60s Continue reading Book Review: Drunkard’s Walk, Frederik Pohl (1960)
A nice batch—some more from the $1 hardback sale at my local bookstore, one procured via abebooks, and one from a friend. I grabbed Cowper’s The Road to Corlay (1978) after seeing two solid reviews from my friends at Speculiction… [review here] and Porpourri of Science Fiction Literature [review here]. I enjoyed Cowper’s later novel Profundis (1979).
I had no idea the Pulitzer-winning writer and journalist John Hersey from dystopic SF allegories…
And, a collection of early work from the fruitful partnership of Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth… With a gorgeous Richard Powers cover!
I’ve always enjoyed really short SF stories so I look forward to devouring Asimov and Conklin collection (perhaps in stages due to its length).
Enjoy the covers!
1. The Wonder Effect, C. M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl (1962)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1962 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CX (Kornbluth + Pohl + Cowper + Hersey + Asimov anthology of short SF)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1955 edition)
In honor of Frederik Pohl, who recently passed away, I decided to pick up one of his works from the dark maw that is my extensive and overwhelming to read pile. The last Pohl novel I attempted was a complete disappointment — Slave Ship (1956) — but his collaborations with one of my favorite 50s short story authors, C. M. Kornbluth (who died in 1958 at 34), are often highly readable. Perhaps the most famous writing duo in SF history, Kornbluth and Pohl produced five novels together including the SF classic The Space Merchants (1953) and multiple short story collections. The dystopian satire Gladiator-At-Law (1954), although far from the heights of The Space Merchants, is a fine example of their fruitful collaboration.
The world they create is downright fantastic: A future where youth gangs rule the tough streets of Belle Rave (known as Belly Rave), fantastically brutal arena spectacles where old people clubbing each other draw large crowds, lavish bubble houses that supply virtually all needs and are given only Continue reading Book Review: Gladiator-At-Law, Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth (magazine publication 1954)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition of Conquerors from the Darkness (1965), Robert Silverberg)
A cornucopia of underwater sci-fi cover art images! As always, Paul Lehr’s covers are among my favorite for he masterfully renders the green-blue depths and textures of water inundated worlds (especially above, Conquerers from the Darkness). Watery worlds evoke unusual underwater life, a place fraught with danger where humans and aliens meet, unusual cityscapes (domes, water impervious shields, a plethora of transport craft) and of course, the vehicles for transportation (for example below, the futuristic submarine in Treasure of the Black Flacon and 21st Century Submarine, etc) evoke the same giddy sense of adventure as when first reading Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) or watching Richard Fleischer’s surprisingly good 1954 film adaptation of the novel.
There are countless films, sci-fi TV shows, novels, short stories Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Underwater Expeditions (futuristic submarines, unusual sea life, underwater cities) Part I