February 16, 2014 § 5 Comments
I while back I put out a call for SF novels/short works on immortality to add to a preliminary list I put together. Due to my lack of knowledge of newer SF and uncanny ability to forget relevant previously read works I eagerly added your suggestions. And Marta Randall’s Islands (1976) motivated me to finally post it…
Here’s the LIST!
If you can think of any that I might be missing be sure to « Read the rest of this entry »
November 27, 2013 § 10 Comments
This post is a call for readers to submit their favorite immortality themed science fiction NOT included on my list below (and even examples they did not care for so I can make this a more substantial resource). I’ll make a page with all the information I receive for easy consultation soon (INDEX of similar pages/articles).
A while back I started gathering a list of titles — via SF Encyclopedia, other online resources, and my own shelves — on immortality themed SF. I have always been intrigued by the social space (one plagued by violence and despair or buoyed by the hope of a better future) that the possibility of immortality might generate.
I would argue that the single best example of social effects that the possibility of immortality might create is Clifford D. Simak’s Why Call Them Back From Heaven? (1967). In similar fashion, James Gunn’s The Immortals (1962) takes place in a world where immortals do exist, they skirt « Read the rest of this entry »
November 13, 2013 § 33 Comments
MPorcius, a frequent and well-read commentator on my site, has started transferring his numerous amazon reviews and writing new reviews of classic SF (a substantial portion is pre-1980s) to his blog. Please visit him and comment on his posts!
queue rant: I’ve noticed a surprising lack of frequently updated classic SF blogs online. Yes, many bloggers occasionally dabble in the distant era of SF glory or publish yet another review of the obligatory masterpieces because they appear on a some “best of” list (Dune, The Left Hand of Darkness, etc). However, few are devoted to the period and make it a point to write reviews of books that very few people will ever actually read due to their obscurity i.e. blogs that don’t sell out by churning out reviews of new Tor releases (I have declined their offer) or endless 4/5 or 5/5 starred let’s pat each other on the back reviews of self-published (and generally awful) ebooks « Read the rest of this entry »
October 16, 2013 § 37 Comments
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1969 edition of Cosmic Engineers (1939), Clifford D. Simak)
The theme of this post is the future metropolis as canvas where the entire surface of the cover is arrayed and ordered by the forms and forces of the city. The city as a matrix that holds the scene unfolding amongst its spires… Richard Powers’ masterful cover for the 1969 edition of Cosmic Engineers is the perfect example. The mass of the buildings arch, indistinct, upward — causeways and platforms amongst the cityscape hold faceless humanoid forms that “look” « Read the rest of this entry »
October 8, 2013 § 17 Comments
(Uncredited cover for the 1961 edition of Earth Abides (1949), George R. Stewart)
Note: if anyone can identify the artist for the first three downright spectacular covers I’d be very very happy. I’m positive that they match stylistically (the vague human shape, the cityscape, the brush strokes, the textures). Two of the three covers were made for Signet press and all three are from the early 1960s. I suspect if I perused the covers from the Signet catalogue from that era I’d find even more…. Perhaps it’s the work of Sanford Kossin? He was producing covers for Signet around the same time.
And now The Vaguely Defined Looming Man Shape « Read the rest of this entry »
July 23, 2013 § 12 Comments
(Ley Kenyon’s cover for the 1953 edition of Adventures in Tomorrow (1951), ed. Kendell F. Crossen)
Since the release of the TV series Under the Dome (2013-), based on Stephen King’s 2009 novel by the same name, there has been a resurgence of interest in domed cities. And for good reason — the trope is one of the most popular of science fiction artists and authors since the 30s (and probably earlier). Not only do the societal implications and visual allure of the trope of a domed outpost on a harsh planet or a domed city amidst the ruins of Earth arouse the creative authorial juices but also generate some fantastically « Read the rest of this entry »
June 21, 2013 § 37 Comments
(William Timmins’ cover for the January 1947 issue of Astounding Science Fiction)
A hand from a body off canvas enters the fray…. An alien’s hands wrap around the Earth, amused or disturbed by its creations? A hand rises from a variety of desolate landscapes… Is it the remnant of a robotic construct or a relics from some age old creator?
This particular theme — a powerful force depicted via an often disembodied hand — has yielded some fantastic covers. Brian Lewis’ cover for the 1958 issue of Science Fantasy is one of my favorites. I find the scene — a group of people discovering a robotic hand reaching from the f « Read the rest of this entry »
Updates: Recent Acquisitions No. LXV (Spinrad + Coney + Cummings + an anthology containing short stories by Pohl, Knight, Aldiss, et al.)
May 26, 2013 § 8 Comments
My first book from the 80s in many a year! But, I’m on a Norman Spinrad kick so when I saw it for one dollar at the store I had to snatch it up his post-apocalyptical vision Songs from the Stars (180)…. The premise is rather hokey but perhaps a quality writer like Spinrad can imbue it with some vigor.
I’m most excited about The Ninth Galaxy Reader, ed. Frederik Pohl (1966) (twelve short stories from the Galaxy Magazine) due the top-quality author line-up — Brian W. Aldiss, John Brunner, Richard Wilson, Damon Knight, Philip Kose farmer, Harry Harrison, Frederik Pohl, Lester Del Rey, Roger Zelazny, C. C. MacApp, Larry Niven, and R. A. Lafferty….
1. Songs from the Stars, Norman Spinrad (1980)
(Uncredited cover for the 1982 « Read the rest of this entry »
April 23, 2013 § 16 Comments
A strange conglomeration of novels….
If there’s any era I’m lacking knowledge in it’s late 20s-early 40s (well, I’ve read some Van Vogt + Edgar Rice Burroughs) pulp science fiction — so I decided to brush up on some of the greats. With that in mind I acquired five Ray Cummings novels (the rest will be in a later acquisition post) and Van Vogt’s Slan (1940)….. I don’t have high hopes. But now I own my first Alex Schomburg cover!
I generally do not accept review copies due to the fact that most offers are for self-published works rather than republished novels from the period I’m most familiar with (and prefer to read) — 1950-1985. So, when New York Review of Books offered me a copy of Kingsley Amis’ well-known alt-history/sci-fi (depending on whose definition you’re reading) novel The Alteration (1976) I happily agreed….
1. The Exile of Time, Ray Cummings (magazine publication 1931)
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1964 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »