Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XLV (Heinlein + Farmer + Shaw + Lanier)
November 24, 2012 § 8 Comments
My San Antonio, TX haul….
I’ve read multiple of Shaw’s books in the past — they are often intriguing on the conceptual level but fall apart during delivery (Ground Zero Man, One Million Tomorrows)…. But, the back cover of Shadow of Heaven (1969) was intriguing enough to grab a copy.
The multiple Farmer novels I’ve read (most of the Riverworld series and Traitor to the Living) were trash. But, I’m willing to give him another go — against my better judgement.
Heinlein is overrated but readable and Stephen Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey (1973) is supposed to be an intriguing post-apocalyptical tale….
1. Shadow of the Heaven, Bob Shaw (1969)
(George Underwood’s cover for the 1970 edition)
From the back cover of the first edition: “THE HOSTS OF HEAVEN. The official designation of the giant antigravity disk floating 3 miles high was International Land Extension U.S. 23; but in the fam-apts and dormitories in its shadow it was known as “Heaven.” The name was let over from the early days of the Compression when its open green spaces and thin clean air were tantalizing reminders of the earth’s past. People never went there; it was operated by robots. But Johnny Considine went there. And found a community of fugitives who had reverted to savagery — a potential army needing only to become a terrible menace to earth…”
2. Behind the Walls of Terra, Philip José Farmer (1970)
(Bart Forbes’ cover for the 1976 edition)
From the back cover: “BEHIND THE WALLS OF TERRA. Paul Janus Finnigan was called Kickaha on the artificial universes created by that always feuding super-race known as the Lords. Though he was a mortal Earthman, he had managed to survive every intrigue, war, test and opponent they could devise. But it was when he found his way back to his own world that Kickaha faced the greatest dangers of his adventure-filled career. For he knew the secrets of the powers that moved the cosmos, and this made him a threat — a target of the terrible hidden forces contending for this very universe.”
3. Hiero’s Journey, Sterling E. Lanier (1973)
(Uncredited cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “Per Hiero Desteen. Priest. Telepath. Trained Killer. He rode out on a perilous quest into a world at the end of time — in habited by shadowy forces, sudden terrors, violent death… by weird mutated beasts man had no name for… by the Leemutes — animals with human intelligence manipulated by the antilife Dark Brotherhood. His mission: to discover the lost secret of the ancients in time to save humanity from destruction. His one weapon: the human mind!”
4. Waldo & Magic, Inc., Robert Heinlein (first published together in 1950, novellas from ’40 an ’42)
(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1963 edition)
From the back cover: “Waldo: An arrogant scientific genius, orbiting Earth in his private space station, solving the world’s problems for a VERY good fee.. Then the whole factual basis for the science he lived by DISAPPEARED… Magic, Inc.: The magicians had a monopoly — and they were using every trick of dirty politics and death-dealing spells to keep it… until two businessmen, a witch, and a “ghost sniffer” got on their trail… and followed it to Hell itself.”