Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XLVII (Merril + Sheckley + Stableford + Anderson)

Three short story collections and one novel from my Texan hunting grounds.  I enjoyed Merril’s short story collection Daughters of Earth (1968) so I quickly snatched up another…  I’ve been disappointed with Brian M. Stableford before but multiple fellow readers have claimed that The Halcyon Drift (1972) is worth reading.  We shall see…  And one can never have too many Sheckley and Anderson short stories…

1. Out of Bounds, Judith Merril (1960)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1963 edition)

From the back cover: “These… Tommy, he wasn’t going to take “No” for an answer — not when he could read minds where the answer was always “Yes.”…  Anita, aloe on a spaceship with five me — and she knew what she was there for… Joe, he met the aliens head-on, and discovered what they were really like — too late… Edna, her husband was dead — but livelier than he’d ever been!  Margaret, she lived in heartbreak — but never knew it… and many others.”

2. Homeward and Beyond, Poul Anderson (1975)

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1976 edition)

No blurb on back cover or inside flap.

3. Notions: Unlimited, Robert Sheckley (1960)

(Uncredited cover for the 1960 edition)

From the back cover of a later edition: “Notions: unlimited, human beings wired for spontaneous love… Machines intercepting murderers before they kill… An organization that makes hangover nightmares come true..  A killer organism that feeds on atom bombs and thrives on being blown up from time to time!”

4. The Halcyon Drift, Brian M. Stableford (1972)

(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1972 edition)

From the back cover: “S. O. S. From the Dark Nebula.  Grainger had acquired a second mind — he didn’t want it and it had never asked him for permission.  But the disembodied mentalism had invaded his brain during the crack space pilot’s castaway months on the edge of the Halcyon Drift.  The Halcyon Drift was a dark nebula within whose electronic chaos the laws of physics were distorted that space ships could not explore within its vast borders without near-certain catastrophe.  But somewhere within the cosmic darkness was the steady distress signal of a vessel lost many years before — a vessel laden with a treasure cargo that could make its finders powerful and wealthy.  And it could be that Grainger’s mental parasite might be the means by which he alone could penetrate the impenetrable.”

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2 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XLVII (Merril + Sheckley + Stableford + Anderson)”

  1. I just read a review that was so-so on Halcyon Drift but the reviewer did like the later books better. I was interested enough that I’ve added this one to my list of books to track down.

    Its been several years since I’ve read Sheckley. Need to get back to him.

    All impressive books, I’d be happy to have them all.

    By the way, meant to mention earlier how sorry I was to hear of the death of the guy you bought so many books from. Very sorry for his family to lose him, even more so during this time of year. That is so hard. I hope the family will keep the bookstore alive.

    1. I disliked passionately (haha) both Stableford novel’s I’ve read. Journey to the Center (1982) — fascinating premise pathetic delivery, utter lack of wonder despite the nature of the premise….

      http://sciencefictionruminations.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/book-review-journey-to-the-center-brian-m-stableford-1982/

      And The Florians (1976) — the first in his Daedelus sequence — an dull, characterless, meandering novel. People swear that the second one, Critical Threshold, is far superior. I might give it a shot someday.

      http://sciencefictionruminations.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/book-review-the-florians-brian-m-stableford-1976/

      I’m not exactly sure what will happen to the bookstore. Tempted to place an order and see what happens…. But yes, very sad.

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