1) What a bonkers cover from Carol Inouye (her only credited piece according to The Internet Speculative Fiction Database)! I do not have high hopes for the novel. T. L. Sherred published little SF in his career–he was a technical writer for the Detroit auto industry. Clute over at SF Encyclopedia describes Alien Island (1970) as “comic but fundamentally melancholy.”
2) Another SF novel from Aldous Huxley. I’ve wanted a copy of Ape and Essence (1948) for a long time. I’ve always preferred Brave New World (1931) to both Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and Yvengy Zamyatin’s We (1921). Excited! Thoughts?
3) A wide-ranging SF anthology from Judith Merril. I am especially interested in reading her intro… and Ward Moore’s “The Fellow Who Married the Maxill Girl” (1960) as Admiral.Ironbombs has been reviewing and enjoying a lot of his work as of late: Bring the Jubilee (1953), “Lot” (1953), and “Lot’s Daughter” (1954).
4) A Jack Vance fix-up novel/short story collection containing seven additional stories in the Dying Earth sequence. Confession time: I read half of the stories in The Dying Earth (1950) recently and could not finish it. There was a certain half-hearted attempt to create a future mythology that slips all too easily into bland fantasy mode. Conflicted.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.
Note: I’ve finally settled on a new look for my site. There are a few minor issues (not showing comment numbers at the top of the post etc.) but I think the look is more professional and focuses on showcasing content.
1. Alien Island, T. L. Sherred (1970)
(Carol Inouye’s cover for the 1970 edition of Alien Island (1970), T. L. Sherred) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLXXXIII (Huxley + Vance + Sherred + Merril edited Anthology)
(Bruce Pennington’s cover for the 1968 edition of A Scent of New-Mown Hay (1958), John Blackburn)
2016 saw a resurgence in my cover art adventure posts. However, unlike the curated themed collections that prevailed a few years ago I focussed predominately on individual artists from a variety of countries (Portugal, Italy, Germany): my favorites include Max Ernst and His Landscapes of Decay on SF/F Covers, Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes of Mariella Anderlini, and The Futuristic Cities of Lima De Freitas. The last themed collection was way back in March 2015 — Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages.
I’ve decided to return to my roots (no pun intended)! Although partially inspired by my 2014 post Human Transformations/Transfigurations (one duplicate cover), I’d been thinking about providing a gallery on the theme after reading “Ganthi” (1958), a disturbing Miriam Allen deFord short story about sentient tree-aliens and their mysterious caretaker Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Humanoid Plants and Dendroid Humans
There is no better way to celebrate the New Year than with a pile of vintage SF acquisitions!
You might notice the predominance over the coming weeks of UK publishers (Pan, Granada, Panther)—the images correspond to my editions. I acquired nine via a “secret” UK pipeline for a mere $3.50 each (with shipping) as a gift from my wife. Cue bad Chris Foss copycat (Tony Roberts and his ilk) covers. The disconnect between Thomas M. Disch’s 334 (1972) and the Tony Roberts spaceship pains me.
The books: A lesser known Ian Watson novel. Anyone know the cover artist? His short fiction inspires: A Very Slow Time Machine (1979). I found Jonah Kit (1975) worthwhile although I never reviewed it.
A Jack Vance novel that explores the nature of language…
A collection of early PKD stories. I’ve read the majority of his short fiction in my omnibus collections of his work but it might be worth the reread.
And finally, what I am most excited about, Disch’s best known collection of thematically linked short fiction….
Enjoy! As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.
1. Alien Embassy, Ian Watson (1977)
(Uncredited cover for the 1979 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLXVIII (Disch + Vance + Dick + Watson)
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. CLXII (Vance + Rucker + Kaye + Godwin + Orbit Anthology)
A more disparate series of SF novels would be hard to come by…. John Crowley has long impressed—The Deep (1975) and Beasts (1976) are highly recommended works of literary SF. And finally, I have the last one of his 70s novels!
A new author in Somtow Sucharitkul (sometimes known by S. P. Somtow)…
Vance’s most famous work and one of only a handful of supposedly top-tier “classics” I have yet to read…
Pournelle anyone? First work by him as well… Baen book picked up a number of his novels so I don’t have high hopes.
1. Engine Summer, John Crowley (1979)
(Gary Friedman’s cover for the 1979 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXL (Vance + Pournelle + Sucharitkul + Crowley)
Two more novels via Carl V. Anderson over at Stainless Steel Droppings—thanks again! … and two I’ve had laying around for a while. My Malzberg solo SF novel (non-movie novelization) collection is complete!
Eventually I might read a select few works from the 80s, if I do Gene Wolfe will be at the top of the list. His short fiction from the 70s has wowed me so far (here and here).
1. Emphyrio, Jack Vance (1969)
(Gino D’Achille’s cover for the 1979 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXXIII (Vance + Wolfe + Yarbro + Malzberg)
(Justin Todd’s cover for the 1979 edition)
3.75/5 (collated rating: Good)
Triax (1977) contains three original novellas written specifically for the volume. I concur with Robert Silverberg’s defense of the novella form in the introduction, “it allows the leisurely development of an idea, the careful and elaborate exploration of the consequences of the fictional situation, while at the same time not requiring the intricate plot-and-counterplot scaffolding of a true novel” (vii). Keith Roberts’ “Molly Zero” and James Gunn’s “If I Forget Thee” have not appeared in subsequent English-language collections. Unsurprisingly, the Jack Vance novella, “Freitzke’s Turn,” appeared in Galactic Effectuator (1980) Continue reading Book Review: Triax, ed. Robert Silverberg (1977)