Tag Archives: pulp

Book Review: The Sea is Boiling Hot, George Bamber (1971)

(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1971 edition)

2/5 (Bad)

The Sea is Boiling Hot (1971), George Bamber’s sole novel length contribution to the genre (thankfully), is the unabashedly pornographic version of the ecological disaster, humanity cooped-up in massive domed cities, let’s all get lobotomies to escape the horrors of the world science fiction.  As in, large portions of the narrative are endless sex scenes all gussied up with the accouterments of ecological “message” science fiction.

Unfortunately the sex scenes are there, in all their endless variation, simply to titillate to the reader rather than a necessary part of world building/character analysis — I’m thinking of Silverberg’s Continue reading Book Review: The Sea is Boiling Hot, George Bamber (1971)

Book Review: A Martian Odyssey and Other Classics of Science Fiction, Stanley G. Weinbaum (1962)

(Robert E. Schulz’s cover for the 1966 edition)

3/5 (collated rating: Average)

After reading Joanna Russ’ nihilistic downer (but brilliant nevertheless) We Who Are About To… (1976) I needed to decompress with some 30s pulp.  I’m generally not a fan of pulp unless it attempts to integrate social science fiction elements or creates a vibrant/otherworldly sense of wonder.  Thankfully, this collection of Stanley G. Wienbaum’s stories contains one of the most influential pulp science fiction shorts due to its descriptions of aliens — ‘A Martian Odyssey’ (1934).

For anyone interested in the history of the genre and 30s pulp, Continue reading Book Review: A Martian Odyssey and Other Classics of Science Fiction, Stanley G. Weinbaum (1962)

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Planetary Rovers + Exploration Craft + Transport Vehicles of the Future

AMAZNOV1964

(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the November 1964 issue of Amazing Science Fiction and Fact)

I’ve put together a vast assortment of futuristic planetary transport vehicles — high tech lunar rovers, personal levitating (by mysterious forces) transport craft  glorified cargo tractors, self-propelling robotic brains, large exploration vehicles trekking across vast alien landscapes… Due to the subject matter the art tends to be in the more realistic vein — à la the classic art of Chelsey Bonestell, Alex Schomburg, and other greats.  The Paul Lehr’s cover for Robert Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky (1950) adds a nice fantastical take on the subject.

I found that Chelsey Bonestell’s cover for the April 1955 issue of  Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Planetary Rovers + Exploration Craft + Transport Vehicles of the Future

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LVII (del Rey + Knight + Pohl + Kornbluth + Weinbaum)

A nice collection of old, venerable, classic authors….  I’ve yet to read any of Weinbaum’s pulp — a short story collection is probably a good place to start…. I was somewhat impressed with Lester del Rey’s The Eleventh Commandment (1962) so I look forward to his short stories — and, the fantastic Richard Powers collage cover will be a welcome addition to my collection.

1. A Martian Odyssey (variant title: A Martian Odyssey and Other Classics of Science Fiction), Stanley G. Weinbaum (1962) (MY REVIEW)

(Robert E. Shultz’s cover for the 1966 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LVII (del Rey + Knight + Pohl + Kornbluth + Weinbaum)

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Composite Cover (illustrating a multiplicity of scenes, stories, thematic elements)

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(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1954 edition of Murder in Space (1944), David V. Reed)

Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1954 edition of Murder in Space (1944) perfectly embodies the composite cover comprised of sequences from the narrative.  Our hero (or villain) plots the murder in the foreground (guns, books, furrowed brow), commits the murder in the background, his love interest looks over his left shoulder (she’s constantly on his mind), and some random astroids/planets (let’s call them space rocks), a spaceship, and a strange piece of technology alert us to the science fiction aspect of the narrative…  The uncredited cover for the 1955 edition of The Altered Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Composite Cover (illustrating a multiplicity of scenes, stories, thematic elements)

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: An Assortment of Mysterious Spheres, Part II

(David Bergen’s cover for the 1978 edition of Sea-Horse in the Sky (1969), Edmund Cooper)

Here’s Part II of my cover art series on the delightfully nebulous theme of mysterious spheres (Part I).  I’ve selected a variety of spheres: including spheres elevated in the air (balloon representations of the sun? planets? large scale planetary orbit models?), spherical eggs hatching men?, alien warships, alien (and human) transportation devices, strange atomic technology, obvious Death Star ripoffs, fields littered with the perplexing shapes….

… and even the simple unadorned sphere held aloft to indicate the pure delight of Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: An Assortment of Mysterious Spheres, Part II

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions, Magazine Edition No. I (Galaxy 2x, Worlds of If 3x, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1x)

My first science fiction magazines!

Although I’m not sure that I want to collect the entire catalogues of either Worlds of If or The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, I wouldn’t mind starting a collection of Galaxy (one of the more famous magazines).  I’ve been tentative in the past about purchasing magazines for one simple reason: a large percentage of their contents, especially if by well-known authors, are rewritten/expanded/re-conceptualized for later short story collections or novel publication form.  Thus, what version you read in the magazine is rarely the more polished version found in later editions.  For example, in the August 1965 issue of Galaxy Frank Herbert’s Do I Wake or Dream? was expanded for the 1966 novel publication under the title Destination: Void (which was revised again for the much later 1978 edition).  Novels like Dune (1965) are themselves fix-up novels from shorter novels previously serialized in magazines — Dune World (1963) and The Prophet of Dune (1965).  However, six magazines for one dollar each was too good of a deal to pass up….

The only magazine I desperately want to collect is New Worlds due to the quantity of experimental New Wave material which was published during Moorcock’s editorship.

(Gray Morrow’s cover for the August 1965 issue) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions, Magazine Edition No. I (Galaxy 2x, Worlds of If 3x, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1x)