March 4, 2014 § 6 Comments
I must confess, I’ve never read an Octavia Butler novel… I now own one and will read it soon. More Ballard! More Brunner (a review of his 1969 masterpiece The Jagged Orbit is coming soon)! And a complete mystery, I mean, who besides Tarbandu over at The PorPor Books Blog has read Newton and the Quasi-Apple (1975) by Stanley Schmidt?
1. The Voices of Time, J. G. Ballard (1962)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1962 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
February 9, 2014 § 26 Comments
First, a painful example of early 60s marketing for a SF novel written by a women: ”WOMEN ARE WRITING SCIENCE-FICTION! ORIGINAL! BRILLIANT!! DAZZLING!!! Women are closer to the primitive than men. They are conscious of the moon-pulls, the earth-tides. They posses a buried memory of humankind’s obscure and ancient past which can emerge to unique color and flavor a novel.”
I wish I possessed a buried memory of humankind’s obscure and ancient past…
A wonderful batch. My first Avram Davidson collection although the blurb and cover are utterly unappealing. More Ballard, my first Margaret St. Clair novel, more Ellison…
1. Vermillion Sands, J. G. Ballard (1971)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1971 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
January 31, 2014 § 32 Comments
One of the better groups of acquisitions in a while! After Katherine MacLean’s masterpiece Missing Man (1975) I was very excited to come across a collection of her late 40s and 50s short stories. Unfortunately, my edition — from 1973— had such an awful cover that I couldn’t put in on this post. Instead, I put the first edition cover by Paul Lehr which is simply gorgeous….
Ballard collections are always welcome! I have all of his short works in a single volume but the Powers cover is top-notch.
One of Ian Watson’s most famous novels…
And an unknown work by Brian Aldiss, Enemies of the System (1978)… Has anyone read it? I suspect it will be the weakest book of the bunch.
1. The Diploids, Katherine MacLean (1962)
(Uncredited — but looks like Lehr — cover for the 1962 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
January 25, 2014 § 14 Comments
More Dallas, TX Half Price Book finds… and a few gifts from 2theD at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature (found on one of his infrequent trips to the states).
Can’t wait to tackle the Ian Watson collection — Ian Sales has characterized him one of the treasure of the British SF (I’ll post a book of his in the coming weeks). Wilhelm’s extensive reputation seems to be based mostly on her Hugo-winning fix-up novel, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976). It’s unfortunate that few read her other novels and short story collections. The Nebula-nominated Margaret and I (1971) is a welcome edition to my collection.
I’ve not had success with Philip José Farmer in the past—To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971) might be the worst novel to win a Hugo—but the collection of 50s novelettes Strange Relations (1960) was too good to pass up.
And finally, my find of the holiday break, a SIGNED (with personal note) copy of Edward Bryant’s collection Cinnabar (1976)! For a mere two dollars (incorrectly placed in the non-signed SF books)….
1. The Very Slow Time Machine, Ian Watson (1979)
(Paul Alexander’s cover for the 1979 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
January 9, 2014 § 19 Comments
Love Brunner, want his short stories, enough said….
Also, I have a love hate relationship with Blish (love his “hard” SF and dislike his juveniles of which he wrote a many and often in a “hard” SF series)—The Frozen Year (1957) supposedly is his attempt at a “realistic” SF novel. I’ll just have to see… I feel weirdly compelled to read it.
As for the Karen Joy Fowler collection—yes, she wrote in the 80s!—the book sorters at the Half Price Books failed to realized that it was a signed copy! So for a mere dollar I now have only my second signed SF work after D. G. Compton’s Scudder’s Game (1988). As people have probably realized, I completely eschew conventions and have little connection with fandom and thus do not go out of my way to procure signed editions…
1. No Future in It, John Brunner (1962)
(Uncredited cover for the 1965 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
January 4, 2014 § 14 Comments
Some early satire by the late master, Frederik Pohl—Drunkard’s Walk (1960). An early metafictional SF novel in the form of Frederic Brown’s Martians, Go Home (1955). I suspect works such as this one, about a SF writer presented with a real alien invasion, inspired Brian N. Malzberg’s numerous similarly themed experiments. Also, Brown is one of the more famous 50s/60s authors I’ve yet to read.
Added to the mix are two unknown quantities—Arsen Darnay’s post-apocalyptical A Hostage for Hinterland (1976) and Lloyd Biggle, Jr.’s All the Colors of Darkness (1963) with a wonderful (and bizarre to boot!) Hoot von Zitzewitz cover.
Any thoughts? Comments?
1. A Hostage for Hinterland, Arsen Darnay (1976)
(Boris Vallejo’s cover for the 1976 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
Updates: Year in Review (Top Ten SF Novels + Top Ten Short Stories/Novelettes/Novellas + other categories)
January 1, 2014 § 23 Comments
Everyone likes lists! And I do too…. This is an opportunity to collate some of my favorite (and least favorite) novels and shorter SF works I read this year. Last year I discovered Barry N. Malzberg and this year I was seduced by…. Well, read and find out.
Top Ten Novels
1. We Who Are About To…, Joanna Russ (1976): A scathing, and underread, literary SF novel by one of the more important feminist SF writers of the 70s (of The Female Man fame).
2. A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire, Michael Bishop (1975): A well-written anthropological clash of cultures novel. Slow, gorgeous, emotionally engaging….
December 29, 2013 § 15 Comments
A short story collection by an author I have termed Mr. Perpetually Average But Readable, Bob Shaw. I am interested in whether or not his visions are more concise/poignant in short story form. I suspect a book like One Million Tomorrows (1971) would have been amazing in short form, especially the disturbing portions that take place in Africa (the UN forcefully administering immortality treatment on people who do not want them)….
A Nebula award nominated novel by Marta Randall, Islands (1976)—immortality themed, seems (at first glance) to be on the allegorical side = I have high hopes.
More Brunner! (Despite his warning, I was influenced by a review over at Speculiction…. here) But then again, I am a Brunner completest…. And finally, a relatively unknown British SF novel, Implosion (1967) about a decreasing population. Despite words of warning from reviews like Ian Sales’ (here) I couldn’t resist the Vincent Di Fate cover.
1. Tomorrow Lies in Ambush, Bob Shaw (1973)
(Uncredited cover for the 1975 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
December 27, 2013 § 24 Comments
Dallas, TX Half Price Books haul Part II [Part I].
Only 2thD at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature has read more John Brunner novels than me (an overstatement of course). At last count I have read somewhere near eighteen of his novels (as diligent readers of my site know, I consider the 1968 masterpiece Stand on Zanzibar my single favorite SF novel). So, when I encounter any of the legions of his novels/short story collections that I have not yet read I snatch them up without a second thought. The most appealing thing about Double, Double (1969) might be the delightful name Brunner came up with for a band that somehow features in the plot–Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition.
Pamela Sargent’s Cloned Lives (1976) is the “other” SF novel about cloning released that year — the more famous is Kate Wilhelm’s stunning (and moody) Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976). I had high hopes for Sargent’s vision but considering I have already read more than half the novel I think they have been dashed to small bits — alas (review forthcoming).
And there is nothing wrong with more Clifford D. Simak and Harry Harrison.
As always, some intriguing covers….
1. Double, Double, John Brunner (1969) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1969 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »