Which books/covers/authors intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed?
1. Father to the Stars, Philip José Farmer (1981)
From the back cover: “John Carmody has no ethics, no morals and no conscience. Until he takes the Chance on Dante’s Joy, living through seven nights of wildest fantasies come true, he can’t even imagine why anyone would want a conscience. But Dante’s Joy is a truly strange place–and the phone calls from his murdered wife are only the beginning of his strange experiences.
1. I recently read and reviewed enthusiastically New Dimensions 3, ed. Robert Silverberg (1973). Inspired, I procured quite a few more in the series… Here is number 1. Looks like an absolutely spectacular lineup — Le Guin, Ellison, Malzberg, Lafferty, etc.
2. One always needs more Clifford D. Simak, right?
Little pleases me more than reading the fascinating cross-section of the genre presented by anthologies from my favorite era of SF (1960s/70s). After the success that was World’s Best Science Fiction: 1967 (variant title: World’s Best Science Fiction: Third Series) (1967), ed. Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, I decided to browse my “to post” pile of recent acquisitions and share a handful with you all. As is often the case, the collections are peppered with stories I’ve already read—I’ve linked the relevant reviews.
Filled with authors I haven’t read yet—Stephen Tall, Robin Scott, Roderick Thorp, Jean Cox, Christopher Finch, etc.
…and of course, many of my favorites including Gene Wolfe, Ursula Le Guin, Barry N. Malzberg, and Kate Wilhelm (among many many others).
Scans are from my collection.
1. The 1972 Annual World’s Best SF, ed. Donald A. Wollheim (1972)
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 →
Galassia was one of the primary Italian SF publications for most of the 1960s (consult Michael Ashley’s Transformations: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1950-1970, 311) and introduced translations of English-language Continue reading →
(Cover for the 1973 edition of The City in the Sea (1951), Wilson Tucker)
Mariella Anderlini, under the pseudonym Allison, produced a vast number of surreal and masterful SF covers (between 1969-1988) primarily for the Italian SF publisher Libra Editrice. Apparently, she went under the pseudonym to avoid damaging her professional painting career. She was the wife of Ugo Malaguti, editor and author, who founded Libra Editrice and edited Galassia.
As I celebrate the birthdays of a range of SF authors/illustrators/editors from multiple language traditions on twitter (@SFRuminations), I came across Allison’s work while researching her husband’s untranslated SF output. However, only through the diligent research of a twitter follower, whose Italian is far better than mine, were we able to come across her real name.
Over the last few months I’ve been reading more of Philip José Farmer’s 50s/60s SF — including the novelization of Night of Light (1966) [unreviewed], his deservedly famous 1968 Hugo-winning novella “Riders of the Purple Wage” (1967) [unreviewed], and the short story collection The Alley God (1962). I still hold that Strange Relations (1960) contains his most sustained and well-formed short fiction. For extensive discussion of his work, see the reviews (and their comments) I linked and for my views on his later SF more broadly — i.e. such as the 1973 novel Traitor to the Living. I rather not recap here. But, I have another one of his novels, I appear to be returning to his 70s work…
A novel with Chicago as a character over the millennia? Might as well give it a go, right?
I might snark occasionally at Bob Shaw, but, yet another one of his early novels enters my collection. Maybe the Diane and Leo Dillon cover sealed the deal rather than the probably dull contents.
And, I return to Sydney J. Van Scyoc… Her novel Assignment Nor’Dyren (1973) was one of my earliest reviews—written before the site even started—and I have no idea what I would say about it now.
1. The Stone God Awakens, Philip José Farmer (1970)
The 1950s stories in Philip José Farmer’s collection Strange Relations(1960) rekindled my interest in in his earlier work. Yes, I want odd stories about hard-shelled, hilltop living, female-only womb aliens who fertilize themselves via roving mobile “male” objects whom they capture and thrust into their womb-spaces. But, there is not an author whom I have more polarizing relationship with…. Outside of the 50s stories I’ve had no success with his work—readers of the site will know my views on Traitor to the Living (1972), To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971), and the latter novel’s endlessly bland and bloated sequels. I recently read the novel version of Nightof Light (1966), based on the 1957 story by the same name, Continue reading →