Procuring SF paperbacks never gets old! I have started scanning in the covers (two of the four below) in order to provide higher quality images (click to zoom)— especially if they are hard to find images online and/or I find them aesthetically pleasing (Powers + Lehr in this post).
Let me know if the change is worth it!
Josephine Saxton: Despite reading The Hieros Gamos of Sam and An Smith (1969) years ago, my mind still traces the imprint of its strange ritualistic beauty . Her short fiction was published in a range of SF magazines and collections from 1965 to 1992. I have tracked down a copy of her first collection. Despite its 1985 publication date, eight of the fourteen stories were published in the 60s/70s.
Harry Harrison: A “classic” author whose work I need to explore more: I’ve read Deathworld (1960), attempted to read Make Room! Make Room! (1966) and A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah (1972) at least three times, and Lifeship (1976), which he co-wrote with Gordon R. Dickson. I’ve encountered his short fiction here and there and found “By The Falls” (1970) a satisfying New Wave endeavor. Time for more short fiction!
New Worlds Anthology: I want all of them, end of story.
And finally, the selection bound to surprise and confuse my regular readers…. Aliya Whiteley: Despite my various protestations, I have not stopped reading new SF entirely. And I couldn’t resist finding a copy of Whiteley’s well-received fungal nightmare…. If you’re curious see Jesse’s review over at Speculiction.
1. Prime Number, Harry Harrison (1970)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1970 edition) Continue reading →
(Irving Freeman and Mark Rubin’s cover for the 1st ed. of The Sheep Look Up (1972), John Brunner)
John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up (1972) would easily make my top fifteen SF novels of the 1970s—it’s far better than anything else he produced in the decade, although some might argue that The Shockwave Rider (1975) comes close. Other than the novel’s unforgettable power, the first edition cover by Irving Freeman and Mark Rubio for Harper & Row remains seared in my memory. The 1973 Ballantine first edition paperback also used the same art.
The harrowing nature of the story, decaying bodies/pollution, matches perfectly the ram-horned figures on human torsos, gas masks upturned… The distance to the horizon line, rendered via black horizontal lines, results in Continue reading →
New books join the ranks of their happy brethren on my shelves…
Let’s start with Arno Schmidt’s 1957 SF parable (English translation 1979)–The Egghead Republic : A Short Novel from the Horse Latitudes… First, before you are tempted to buy the novel check out this fascinating series of images via Biblioklept from Schmidt’s later behemoth 1970 novel + rumination on James Joyce, Bottom’s Dream. You must be able to tolerate this level of experimentation. Although The Egghead Republic is far less intense and much shorter, it is not for the fainthearted (and probably not for fans of “SF only” or those who are frustrated with “artifice” or “literary” or “the author in the story”). There is a reason he wasn’t translated into English for a long long time! Here’s an image (with some of my notes) for demonstration purposes [click to enlarge]
And more experimentation in the SF fold via Moorcock and his then wife Hilary Bailey. Graced with a gorgeous Leo and Diane Dillon cover, as always.
Added to the mix is one of George Alec Effinger’s lesser known novels–I do not have high hopes despite how much I loved Heroics (1979) and his masterpiece What Entropy Means to Me (1972).
An early Kate Wilhelm novel, although I’ll be sticking to her late 60s/early 70s short stories for a while–they are that good! See my review of Abyss (1971) and The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fictions (1968).
As always comments/thoughts are welcome.
Has anyone read Schmidt? I read a review where this particular novel was compared to Lem.
Enjoy the covers!
1. The Black Corridor, Michael Moorcock and Hilary Bailey (1969)
(Diane and Leo Dillon’s cover for the 1969 edition) Continue reading →
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1969 edition)
3.75/5 (Collated rating: Good)
As New Worlds issues tend to be expensive and hard to find (especially in the US), Michael Moorcock’s anthology series provides satiating morsels from the magazine’s best period. New Worlds was instrumental in the so-called New Wave movement. I am at home in eclectic and genre-challenging/subversive madness.
New Worlds combined SF stories/poems with experimental art and layout that is, unfortunately, lost in the anthologies. One of my favorite examples is Vivienne Young’s collage (below) illustrating James Sallis’ “Kazoo” (1967) Continue reading →
A person with the initials K.W.G ditched their entire SF collection at my local Half Price Books. So many books that the store made a new SF anthology section that did not exist a few months ago and the “vintage” SF books made up more than half the non-vintage SF section. I spent too much money. One of many future SF Acquisitions posts featuring books from the mysterious K. W. G….
A famous anthology important for showcasing UK authors in America! I’ve included the lengthy description of the collection by Ace and their position vis-à-vis New Wave SF. I find it humorous that the publisher has to defend their position!
An often praised 1950s post-apocalyptical novel by Wilson Tucker…. My 1969 edition was “rewritten” by the author–unfortunately, I have already started reading it (not sure how much it will tell me about its position in 1950s SF if it were rewritten in the 60s). Perhaps someone knows how much was changed? Admiral Ironbombs wrote a worthwhile review here.
Fred Saberhagen’s best known work.
And one of the few Frank Herbert novels I have not read…
Thoughts and comments are always welcome.
1. England Swings SF: Stories of Speculative Fiction, ed. Judith Merril (1968)
(Ron Walotsky’s cover for the 1970 edition) Continue reading →
(Cover for the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 6 (variant title: New Writings in S-F 6) (1965), ed. John Carnell)
The American artist David McCall Johnston (b. 1940) produced a mere handful of SF covers. They are striking and somewhat minimalist in comparison to his famous fantasy covers (Orlando Furiosos, Moorcock’s The Chronicles of Corum sequence, etc). I have included all of his SF covers (that I know of) with a selection of fantasy covers (that do not intrigue me as much as the SF ones). My favorites: the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 6, 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 7, and the 1971 Continue reading →
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition)
4/5 (collated rating: Good)
Fresh off of Langdon Jones’ wonderful New Wave collection The Eye of the Lens (1972) I decided to see if any of my unread anthologies contained his work—queue The Best SF Stories From New Worlds (1967). Unfortunately, Jones’ contribution is far from the best in this absolutely stellar collection.
This 1967 volume was the first in a series of eight Best Of New Worlds anthologies edited by Michael Moorcock between 1967-1974. I reviewed The Best SF Stories From New Worlds 3 (1968)—i.e. the one with Pamela Zoline’s must-read “The Heat Death of the Universe” (1967)—a while back.
The takeaway: The majority of stories in are required reading for fans of New Wave SF and New Worlds magazine. Find a copy of the anthology with its fantastic Paul Lehr cover or track down Continue reading →
An eclectic range of books from my annual pilgrimage to Ann Arbor, MI. Unfortunately, the anthology series I was most excited about—Best of New Worlds and Orbit—were lacking from the shelves of Dawn Treader Books….
World’s Best Science Fiction: 1967 (1967) contains stories famous stories by Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny (2xs), R.A. Lafferty, Michael Moorcock, Frederick Pohl, Brian W. Aldiss, and lesser known stories by Dannie Plachta, Paul Ash, Bob Shaw, A. A. Walde….
Also, I also procured a 1967 Nebula-nominated novel by Hayden Howard, more Richard Holdstock, and a collection containing the famous short story “Beyond Bedlam” (1951). Over the next few weeks I’ll post the rest of my acquisitions.
1. The Eskimo Invasion, Hayden Howard (1967)
(Stephen Miller’s (?) cover for the 1967 edition) Continue reading →
I bought and am in the process of reading a novel from the 90s… Look below to find out which one! (SHOCKING).
Also, more in line with my common (recent) reading patterns, a lesser known but supposedly brilliant 70s novel, Interface (1971) by Mark Adelard. According to SF Encyclopedia: “The series is set in a city of the Near Future.[…] With a rich but sometimes sour irony, and a real if distanced sympathy for the problems and frustrations of both management and workers, Adlard plays a set of variations, often comic, on Automation, hierarchical systems, the Media Landscape, revolution, the difficulties of coping with Leisure, class distinction according to Intelligence, fantasies of Sex and the stultifying pressures of conformity.” The banal back cover description indicates a rather lesser novel than Clute’s praise…
More Philip José Farmer—early work, early work only!
And, well, I’ve never Moorcock’s SF/F but, perhaps my first collection of his short fiction will indicate what people claim he is capable of.
All but the last novel came via Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings on his book store trip…. Thanks again!
1. Interface, Mark Adlard (1971) (MY REVIEW)
(Paul Alexander’s cover for the 1977 edition) Continue reading →