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 »
August 14, 2013 § 28 Comments
(Uncredited cover for the 1964 edition)
Before Robert Silverberg wrote his late 60s and early 70s New Wave masterpieces (A Time of Changes, Dying Inside, The World Inside, etc), he produced a vast quantity of pulp science fiction novels and short stories. Godling, Go Home! (1964) is a surprisingly solid collection of 50s shorts that can, at times, be surprisingly meditative (on death, exploration, civilization). That said, expect rather naive messages — à la ”we travel in space because we can!” or “Alien contact requires out-of-the-box thinking” — grafted onto a by the numbers pulp plot.
A fun collection — recommended for fans of slightly more intelligent than normal pulp SF, Silverberg completes, and 50s SF. ”Godling, Go Home!” (1957), “Why?” (1957), and « Read the rest of this entry »
April 8, 2013 § 19 Comments
On the cross, a future prophet (or false one)? A martyr for a lost cause? Or, some future priestly emissary of the Catholic church dispensing law on those gathered…. Perhaps some transformation of man to a godly state all hallowed and arrayed with religious accouterments of faith? I’ve gathered a fun collection of science fiction prophets mostly decked out / depicted in distinctly Christian style.
My favorite is Robert Foster’s cover for the 1970 edition of Behold the Man (1969) by Michael Moorcock…. And Gray Morrow’s cover for the 1970 edition of This Immortal (variant title: And Call Me Conrad) (1965) contains a fascinating color scheme — although there isn’t any mold on the figure’s face as Zelazny « Read the rest of this entry »
March 3, 2013 § 8 Comments
(Uncredited cover for the 1973 edition)
4.5/5 (Very Good)
Robert Silverberg’s late 60s and early 70s science fiction novels were often well-wrought ruminations on acute social alienation. For example, In Dying Inside (1972) a man slowly loses his telepathic abilities and thus, a core component of his identity. In The Man in the Maze (1969), a man rendered incapable of interacting with other humans, goes into self-imposed exile. In Thorns (1967), two manipulated/modified souls (a man surgically altered by aliens and a young girl who’s the virgin mother of hundreds of children), find strange solace in each other’s company. In The World Inside (1971), our heroes feel disconnected from the unusual world they’ve grown up in — and rebel in their own ways.
The Second Trip (1971) subverts this theme. Instead, our hero desperately attempts to re-integrate himself into society (as his persona has been designed to do), to come to grips with his laboratory « Read the rest of this entry »
Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Planetary Rovers + Exploration Craft + Transport Vehicles of the Future
February 6, 2013 § 15 Comments
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the November 1964 issue of Amazing Science Fiction and Fact)
I’ve put together a vast assortment of futuristic planetary transport vehicles — high tech lunar rovers, personal levitating (by mysterious forces) transport craft glorified cargo tractors, self-propelling robotic brains, large exploration vehicles trekking across vast alien landscapes… Due to the subject matter the art tends to be in the more realistic vein — à la the classic art of Chelsey Bonestell, Alex Schomburg, and other greats. The Paul Lehr’s cover for Robert Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky (1950) adds a nice fantastical take on the subject.
I found that Chelsey Bonestell’s cover for the April 1955 issue of « Read the rest of this entry »
December 18, 2012 § 17 Comments
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1966 edition)
*Review for the 1966 edition. The 1979 and 1985 editions were revised.*
collated rating: 3/5 (Average)
Needle in a Timestack (1966) is an uneven collection of ten short stories from the late 50s and early 60s by Robert Silverberg. By the late 60s and early 70s Silverberg was producing his masterpieces. However, earlier in his career he wrote mostly pulp novels and short stories. A few in this collection tackle, in varying degrees of success, social science fiction themes: the media, war propaganda, colonialism, unusual criminal punishment, the suburban lifestyle etc. Many of these « Read the rest of this entry »
October 21, 2012 § 8 Comments
A selection of gems sent to me by one of my friends 2theD at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature… Don’t worry at least eight books are being sent his way…. And a few left over Marx book purchases… I have two of Sheckley’s short story collection — now I have one of his short satirical novels! Sohl’s Costigan’s Needle (1953) has spectacular early Powers cover art AND Sohl isn’t supposed to be half bad either.
1. The Status Civilization, Robert Scheckley (1960) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1960 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »
Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Spacewomen of the Future (fixing spaceships + fighting aliens + charging across barren landscapes)
September 12, 2012 § 29 Comments
(Don Sibley’s cover for the November 1950 issue of Galaxy)
When we conjure the image of a 40s/50s science fiction pulp heroine we often imagine a character who has to be rescued by men from aliens, shrieks and clings to any man nearby, and is always in a state of undress. I’ve included one cover, for the sake of comparison, that I find to be an exemplar of this type of sexist (and racist) depiction below (Alex Schomburg’s cover for the January 1954 issue of Future Science Fiction): white woman wrapped in only a towel stalked by an evil alien obviously painted with African-American facial characteristics (heavy on the sexual predation vibe) — the reader is supposed to buy into the racial stereotypes and thus be titillated by the fear she must feel.
I’ve selected a wide range of mostly pulp magazine covers depicting spacewomen of the future (I’ve loosely decided that this means women in space, in spacesuits) that tend to buck the trend « Read the rest of this entry »
September 3, 2012 § 6 Comments
More Marx Book purchases along with some random 99 cent thrift store finds (Raymond Z. Gallun + M. John Harrison) that seemed intriguing enough. I will eventually get to M. John Harrison’s magnum opus series of novels, Virconium– beginning with The Pastel City (1971) — but, as always, I approach an author’s masterpieces through an often circuitous manner. I suspect my Malzberg find will be of a lesser quality than either Beyond Apollo (1972) or Revelations (1972).
I reviews I’ve found online of Gallun’s The Eden Cycle (1974) proclaim it an underrated masterpiece — with layers of virtual reality, etc. I’ll read it soon…
As always, have you read any of these? If so, what did you think?
1. The Day of the Burning, Barry N. Malzberg (1974)
(Don Ivan Punchatz’s cover « Read the rest of this entry »