A nice selection of books from my fellow book reviewer at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature and a few from a recent trip to Indianapolis — the fried chicken and waffles at Maxine’s were far superior to their used book stores….
My trilogy of dark/brilliant/disturbed Malzberg novels dealing with the space program, The Falling Astronauts (1971), Revelations (1972), and Beyond Apollo (1972) is now complete! When I get around to reading The Falling Astronauts I will put together a special post with a series of intriguing space program documents given to me by my fiancé — including a hilarious 1965 publication, The Astronauts & Their Families, where real life astronauts pose with their happy families, play with puppies, teach their children to shoot rifles, pose with their cars, pretend to play at the piano, etc — i.e. the oposite of Malzberg’s vision of the “manliest” of American heroes…
The Moorcock novel, The Ice Schooner (1969) was a rather impulsive buy — I’ve yet to read any of his works, but voyagers to cities wreathed in ice is always a fun trope.
Level 7 (1959) is generally considered a Cold War masterpiece…
Clement’s Through the Eye of the Needle (1978) is the sequel to Needle (magazine 1949) — I’ll probably want to find a copy of the first in the series before I give the sequel a shot….
1. The Falling Astronauts, Barry N. Malzberg (1971) (MY REVIEW)
(Davis Meltzer’s cover for the 1971 edition)
From the back cover: “INSIDE THE SPACE PROGRAM. Colonel Richard martin had been to the Moon and back, but he would never be sent on a mission again. Martin had suffered a nervous breakdown while he orbited the Moon, and he couldn’t be trusted to pilot an expensive space capsule anymore. So now Martin handled public relations for the space program, and after one more Moon launch his connection with the program would be completely ended. But no one could foresee the strange disaster that would turn the coming space mission into a nightmare that only martin, if anyone, could end…”
2. Level 7, Mordecai Roshwald (1959) (MY REVIEW)
(Hoot von Zitzewitz’s cover for the 1959 edition?)
From the back cover: “Officer X-127 is 4000 feet underground. He is safe from nuclear war… safe from sunshine, blue skies, and love. His perpetual assignment is the Bomb — to stand guard ready to push the button that will turn the world into a charred ember of smoking death…”
3. Through the Eye of a Needle, Hal Clement (1978)
(H. R. Van Dongen’s cover for the 1978 edition)
From the back cover: “IN SEARCH OF A CURE. Time was running out for Bob Kinnaird. Without much warning, the Hunter — the green protoplasmic alien that lived inside him and cured all his ills — had suddenly become his destroyer. Day by day Bob grew weaker and weaker, but only specialists from the Hunter’s distant world would know what was wrong with him and, more important, how to save him. But the only way searchers from his planet could find him was to locate his missing spaceship… a spaceship that had crashed beneath the ocean years before, its location still very much a mystery. Once again leading an investigation in a race against time — as he had done so many years before — the Hunter knew he had to find comrades and find them fast… before someone murdered his best friend.”
4. The Ice Schooner, Michael Moorcock (1966) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1969 edition)
From the back cover of a different edition: “ICE ODYSSEY. The world lay frozen under a thousand feet of ice — and only in the Eight Cities of the Matto Grosso did men still live, hunting the wary ice whales for meat and oil, following the creed of the ice Mother which foretold the end of all life in ultimate cold. But legend told of a city far to the north — fabled New York — whose towers rose above the ice, whose crypts held the forgotten lore that might bring warmth to Earth once again. And, in the best ice ships in the Eight cities, Kinrad Arflane embarked on the impossible voyage to New York — an odyssey of incredibly peril and adventure… with a shattering discovery at journey’s end.”