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)
(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1972 edition) Read More
1) Futuristic city? Yes! Is more needed? Okay, okay, I concede, more is needed. I hope Gotschalk’s novel with its fantastic Dean Ellis cover delivers. Among the least known of the Ace Science Fiction Special series…
Check out my older reviews of J. G. Ballard’s “Billennium” (1961), Future City, ed. Roger Elwood (1973), and The World Inside, Robert Silverberg (1971) for more SF on this theme of futuristic cities. If you delve through the archives you’ll find many more examples.
2) Ballard blurbs Martin Bax’s novel as “…the most exciting, stimulating and brilliantly conceived book I have read since Burroughs’ novels.” Hyperbole aside, the two reviews (here and here) I’ve read of Bax’s sole novel puts this at the top of my “to read” pile.
I have cheated a bit by including the cover for the first New Directions edition rather than the later Picador edition I own due to the cover quality.
3) Three acquisitions posts ago (here) I mentioned that the premise of Marge Piercy’s Dance the Eagle to Sleep (1970) did not inspire me to read it anytime soon. Thankfully I found a copy of what many consider her masterpiece Woman at the Edge of Time (1976) cheap at the local used book store.
4) I am not sure why I picked this collection up—I’ve heard good things about Joe Haldeman’s introduction which draws on his experience in the Vietnam War. As Isaac Asimov, Mack Reynolds, etc are not normally authors who intrigue me, I might do something I rarely do and read and review Effinger’s story only (and maybe Poul Anderson’s as he’s better in short form)…
As always thoughts and comments are welcome.
1. Growing up in Tier 3000, Felix C. Gotschalk (1976)
(Dean Ellis’ gorgeous cover for the 1976 edition) Read More
(Cover for the 1975 edition of The Hellhound (1975), Ron Goulart)
Over the past year or so I’ve explored the artists behind Doubleday Science Fiction—from the early art of The Brothers Quay, who later became well-known directors of experimental short film, to an interview with artist Emanuel Schongut. I’ve included the links to other posts in the loose series below.
Anita Siegel (1939-2011) was a Brooklyn based artist best known for her “sardonic collages seamlessly combining pictures into biting satires” (from her obituary). Her work also featured in the New York Times Op-Ed page (especially during Read More
(Anita Siegel’s cover for the 1970 edition)
Nominated for the 1971 Hugo Award for Best Novel
Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero (1970) exemplifies the type of SF I no longer enjoy. A younger me would have gobbled up the magical phrases: A Bussard Interstellar Ramjet! Disaster in space! Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity!
At one point Anderson’s adventure-heavy SF formed my bread and butter. Over the years I’ve reviewed thirteen of his novels and short story collections, most recently in 2013 — There Will Be Time (1972), Brain Wave (1953), and Time and Stars (1964). I have sat on this review for months in a state of indecision debating whether or not to insert my sharpened awl into the novel’s brittle hide so repeatedly tattooed with the Read More
(Cover for the 1965 edition of All Flesh is Grass (1965), Clifford D. Simak)
On twitter I like to highlight the birthdays of often lesser known SF artists and authors—and today is Emanuel Schongut’s birthday! The 1960s SF covers of Emanuel Schongut (b. 1936) demonstrate an eye for the simple form, the surrealist twist, the optical trick…. In 2012 I compiled a list of my favorite fifteen (as of then) SF covers [here]—although I suspect some of the list would change, his cover for the 1966 edition of Watchers of the Dark (1966) [below] by Lloyd Biggle, Jr. would retain its privileged place.
Although few of the other covers rise to the heights of Watchers of the Dark, some of his others from the 1960s still transfix and leave haunting impressions! For example, Read More
I have been on a short story kick as of late! Three of the following volumes are short story collections (two anthologies). I want to complete the Orbit series, ed. Damon Knight….
And, well, I have a soft spot for Philip José Farmer’s 50s/60s SF after Strange Relations (1960).
- Orbit 12, ed. Damon Knight (1973)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1973 edition) Read More
Carl V. Anderson over at Stainless Steel Droppings often picks up books for me when he peruses the used book stores in his region (I pay for them of course! haha). Thanks again! Over the next few months or so I’ll be posting a range of the ones he acquired for me—three of the four here.
I always want more Kate Wilhelm….
Poul Anderson’s invented world “shared” by other SF authors…
A collection (masquerading as a fix-up novel?) by Barry B. Longyear—whose work I have never read…
And Rick Raphael’s most well known work—another “new” author…
1. The Clone, Theodore L. Thomas and Kate Wilhelm (1965)
(Hoot von Zitzewitz’s cover for the 1965 edition) Read More
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1966 edition)
3.25/5 (collated rating: Good)
Damon Knight’s Orbit anthology series ran from 1966-1976. A while back I reviewed Orbit 8 (1970)–which contained the brilliant Gardner Dozois “Horse of Air” (1970 and a selection of intriguing Wolfe and Lafferty short stories—and was impressed enough to snatch up a copy of Orbit 1 (1966). And it is graced with a Richard Powers cover I had not seen…
Orbit 1 contains nine short works (with four by women authors) and maintains solid quality throughout. None of the stories—other than Sonya Dorman’s dark and terrifying “Slice of Life”—are masterpieces but Keith Roberts, Kate Wilhelm, Richard McKenna, James Blish, and Thomas M. Disch Read More
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1976 edition)
2.5/5 (Collated rating: Bad)
Homeward and Beyond (1975) is comprised of four novelettes, four short stories, and one novella. According to an article I read recently on the Wall Street Journal, Poul Anderson was one of only five authors in the 50s that made enough writing SF without needing a day job—and he was the only one who made a “good living” (he made more money than Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, etc). This incredible production did not always yield quality. Homeward and Beyond is by far one of the poorer Anderson collections I’ve encountered—on the level of The Horn of Time (1968) and nowhere close to Time and Stars (1964)—despite the presence of his Hugo/Nebula-winning novelette “Goat Song” (1972).
Brief Plot Summary/Analysis (*some spoilers*)
“Wings of Victory” [Technic History] (1972) 2/5 (Bad) serves as the first contact story between human Read More