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
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
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
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
(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
A fascinating collection (one of three acquisition posts incoming) via Dunaway’s Books in St. Louis, MO (on one of my numerous perambulations…). And there were nearly one hundred more novels I would have snatched up if I had unlimited funds and unlimited room.
A hard to find feminist SF novel, and supposedly quite solid, by Zoe Fairbairns.
A Michael Coney novel I’ve been dying to get my hands on—the immortality concept delightfully satirical/hilarious.
A strange 70s fix-up novel of 50s material by an author championed by Barry N. Malzberg (and John Clute)—Kris Neville.
And Vance, one rarely goes wrong with Vance…
1. Friends Come in Boxes, Michael G. Coney (1973)
(John Holmes’ cover for the 1973 edition) Continue reading
Part I of II. Thankful to have a fiancé who takes my massive, alphabetized, master list of used SF to acquire and wades through the dusty shelves of used book stores (while on a trip home to visit her family)… Here are some gems. More Zelazny (short story collection!), another Silverberg collection (he holds the crown for author most reviewed on Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations), an unknown quantity by Cooper, and the final novel I needed to round out the Alastor Cluster “trilogy” by Jack Vance.
Thoughts on the purchases? Have you read any of them?
1. The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth and Other Stories, Roger Zelazny (1971)
(Jeff Jones’ cover for the 1974 edition) Continue reading
Another wonderful batch including two novellas by Kate Wilhelm in the collection Abyss (1971).
A Norman Spinrad novel, The Men in the Jungle (1967), courtesy of the MPorcius, the proprietor of MPorcius Fiction Log. I sent him a portion of my wall of shame (i.e. worst SF novels) and got a few worthwhile ones in return…
Another Vance novel courtesy of MPorcius as well—one of the Demon Prince novels. Do I have to read them in order?
And Brian N. Ball’s first novel, Sundog (1965). I thought Singularity Station (1973) was unadulterated pulp fun.
So the Spinrad novel critiques pulp and Ball revels in pulp…
1. Abyss, Kate Wilhelm (1971)
(Lou Feck’s cover for the 1973 edition) Continue reading
I do not own many SF magazines from the 40s-70s. The reasons are as follows: 1) Novels tended to be serialized which means I have to track down multiple magazines to read an entire novel. 2) The novels were often radically altered for their first book form publication (think, Herbert’s “Dune World” (1963) that later became Dune (1965). Thus, I rather own the later novel form that wasn’t as constrained by the strictures of magazine form. 3) I love short story collections and would rather own the entire collection than read a singleton story.