April 12, 2014 § 9 Comments
A nice range of SF authors/works! A Michael Bishop collection containing many of his most famous 70s short stories for my upcoming guest post series…. And a SF juvenile written by Phyllis Maclennan with an intriguing premise (although, as always, I’m very dubious about juveniles in general). John Varley’s famous novel Titan (1979) seems like a fascinating take on the Big Dumb Object trope. And finally a 50s adventure by the indomitable Arthur C. Clarke.
I am most intrigued by the Varley’s Titan and Bishop’s Blooded on Arachne.
Some of the covers are cringe inducing.
1. Titan, John Varley (1979)
(Ron Waltosky’s cover for the 1979 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
March 19, 2014 § 7 Comments
Some goodies (finally reaching the bottom of my large pile of unreported SF—holiday leftovers, one or two Half Price/Thrift store visits, birthday gifts).
My second collection (need more!) of Malzberg short stories eagerly wants to be read!
An Asimov collection, Buy Jupiter and Other Short Stories (1975), that was inexpensive and also low on my list of books to read. As readers know, one of my first SF novels I ever read was The Currents of Space (1952)… That said, Asimov has nostalgic allure but none of the many subsequent novels of his I have read have proved, in my opinion, his supposed “genius talent” and cult of “hero worship.”
Both the Malzberg and Asimov collections have brief intro essays to each story and random autobiographical fragments—smacks of filler. But, perhaps there will be some intriguing observations (although, I rather not know that Malzberg wrote a particular short story in only an hour, or that Asimov took a bet from a pretty female editor, blah, blah, blah).
Marta Randall’s Islands (1976) was a solid read so it was only a matter of time before I acquired her superior (according to Ian Sales) A City in the North (1976). You have to feel for her, her books received some of the most horrid Vincent Di Fate covers possible….
I suspect that The Sins of the Fathers (1973) by Stanley Schmidt is a forgettable 70s space opera but I am willing to give it a try.
1. The Man Who Loved the Midnight Lady, Barry N. Malzberg (1980)
(Michael Flanagan’s cover for the 1980 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Visualizing Time, Part II (time travel + sundials + the decay of eternity + time portals)
March 1, 2014 § 12 Comments
(Walter Popp’s cover for the 1953 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine, ed. Samuel Mines)
It has been along time since I cobbled together a cover art post…
…but it’s a good one!
This is Part II of my Visualizing Time sequence—if you haven’t seen it already check out Part I. And in Part II we have a standoff across time with your primitive ancestors, decay and the hourglass, rewriting America’s racist past, the sundial as an arena for an epic showdown with an alien, jumping through cave paintings (a metaphor « Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
January 15, 2014 § 12 Comments
(Uncredited cover for the 1963 edition of The Changeling Worlds (1959), Kenneth Bulmer)
Vincent Di Fate is the master of space station art. They are hyper realistic and detailed. Although I definitely prefer his earlier surrealist work (for example, here) there is a certain appeal to more technical depictions of future space technology. However, my favorite of the handful Di Fate pieces I cobbled together is his for the 1975 edition of The Other Side of Tomorrow (1973)—the screens are windows into the future, and a space station is featured prominently. I sort of enjoy Bob Eggleton’s cover for the 1993 Italian edition of To Open the Sky (1967) as well—although I suspect the cover was published on an English language book earlier, « 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 »
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 »
Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Diagrammatic Wonders (alien sand art + planning invasions + and other more mysterious formulations), Part I
November 21, 2013 § 18 Comments
(Virgil Finlay’s cover for the April 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe, ed. Hans Stefan Santesson)
At first glance this is a miscellaneous collection of covers on diagrammatic wonders — the aliens (or “advanced” humans) on Virgil Finlay’s cover for the April 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe conjure an image of earth with colored sand, generals plot invasions via maps and other diagrams depicting troop movements….
While some of the covers are themselves diagrams (Christopher Zacharow’s cover for the 1985 edition of Ancient of Days (1985), Michael Bishop) others place their characters in opposition to each other as pieces « 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 »