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 for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “It was a sultry summer day in 1981, and the 3 billion or so inhabitants of the world went about their daily routine unaware that, possibly, the fate of the human race lay in the shaking hands of one George Mercer, an insignificant and slightly neurotic employee of the New YYork City Department of Welfare. For George has been informed, by an accredited emissary of the Galatic Overlords, that he had 12 hours in which to prove the people of Earth worthy of admission into the Galactic Federation. george, and George alone, would represent all of mankind. If he failed the entire planet would be destroyed. Was all this a nightmare of delusion dredged up by his tortured subconscious Or a very real nightmare that would end in the Day of the Burning…”
2. The Eden Cycle, Raymond Z. Gallun (1974) (MY REVIEW)
(Kelly Freas’ cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover: “A gift from the stars. As you choose in all matters, you have ultimate free choice, as long as you do not seriously interfere with the choices of other roving personalities… A superior alien intelligence rules over earth with absolute benevolence and total control. It offers man a future with no seeming limit to time or space — or reality. A man can have anything he is capable of wanting, forever. Does man really want absolute free will — and what will he do with it? Has this noble plan gone sour? What is the future of mankind — if indeed it has a future?
3. The Centauri Device, M. John Harrison (1974)
(Peter Jones’ cover for the 1975 edition)
From the back cover of a later edition: “Bastard son of a port whore, John truck has been on the wrong side of luck all his life. From his mother he inherited a legacy of lonely desperation… and an awesome power of which he is perilously unaware. But General Alice Gaw, one-eyed harridan of the ISraeli World Government, knows about it. So goes Gadaffi ben Barka of the Union of Arab Socialist Republics, and Dr. Grishkin, mad priest of the Openers sect. Their intelligence: truck is the only man alive with the power to activate the Centauri Device, the most terrible weapon the galaxy has ever known. from the dark labyrinth of bunkers under Centauri to the vast radioactive wastelands of Earth, Truck eludes his pursuers in a deadly game of hide and seek, When h finally turns of them, he gives the only answer possible for a true Centauran.”
4. Dimension Thirteen, Robert Silverberg (1969)
(Ron Walotsky’s cover for the 1969 edition)
From the inside cover: “Variations on a theme: Telepathy — awareness, and even stranger blindness — deep under the sea. — or a man who is, willy-nilly, everybody’s psychiatrist. Sex — what do with one girl and twenty-three men. — or, conversely, one man and eighteen alien sisters… Suicide — it takes a really brave man. — or, if such a thing is possible, a demented androids. — or even happy custom. Murder — in which religions of future play their traditional role. — and in which man proces himself a better God than most.”