Book Review: Croyd, Ian Wallace (1967)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition)

2.5/5 (Bad)

The esteemed science fiction critic John Clute claimed quite adamantly that Ian Wallace’s Croyd (1967) and its sequel Dr. Orpheus (1968) “are among the most exhilarating space-opera exercises of the post-World War Two genre” (SF Encyclopedia entry for Ian Wallace).  With this endorsement in mind I picked up a copy with high expectations.  But Clute’s assessment leaves me utterly flummoxed.

Wallace attempts to channel A. E. Van Vogt’s 1940s at a time (the 60s) when a large percentage of the writers were eschewing this form for social science fiction and the literary aspirations Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XXXIX (Priest + Brunner + Crowley + Wallace + Duncan)

Ah, what a delightful group! A few from my father, a few from Marx books which I hadn’t posted yet….  Priest and Crowley’s novels involve fascinating worldscapes — a world winched across the horizon, a world at the top of a pillar…  Both are considered among the better stylists in science fiction and fantasy.

And, my 22nd (?) Brunner novel!  The Stone That Never Came Down (1973) — from his glory period of the late 60s-early 70s (this period produced Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look Up, Shockwave Rider, The Jagged Orbit).

And two more impulsive finds — Ian Wallace’s Croyd (1967) — a reader claimed it was one of the best sci-fi novels of the 60s, and thus due to my intense curiosity, I had to find a copy.  And Dark Dominion (1954), I know little about David Duncan — he wrote only three sci-fi novels in the 50s.  His work is described by SF encyclopedia as “quietly eloquent, inherently memorable, worth remarking upon.”

And the covers!

1. The Inverted World, Christopher Priest (1974)

(Jack Fargasso’s cover for the 1975 edition) Continue reading