A nice grab bag of used book store finds… I’m nearing completion of my collection of Zelazny’s pre-1980 novels (I do not own nor really want to read any of his purely fantasy works). Also, I couldn’t help but pick up David Gerrold’s 1974 Hugo and Nebula Award nominated novel The Man Who Folded Himself (1973) although I have been utterly underwhelmed with his work in the past—for example, Space Skimmer (1972) and Yesterday’s Children (1972).
I also found the first volume of a trilogy by Leonard Daventry—owned only the third one for some reason. And, who can resist another James White novel. I desperately want to recreate the joy that was White’s The Watch Below (1966).
1. Damnation Alley, Roger Zelazny (1969)
(Alan Gutierrez’s cover for the 1984 edition)
From the back cover: “HELL AND DAMNATION. Tanner pushed ahead, cutting a diagonal by the green sunset. Dust continued to fall about him, great clouds of it, and the sky was violet, then purple once more. Then the sun went down and the night came on, an the stars were very faint points of light somewhere above it all. After a time the moon rose, and the half-face that it showed that night was the color of a glass of Chianti wine held before a candle. He list another cigarette and began to curse, slowly, softly, without emotion. Hell Tanner on Damnation Alley.”
2. A Man of Double Deed, Leonard Daventry (1965)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1967 edition)
From the back cover: “DANGEROUS MISSION. The world of the twenty-first century is living in fear of the numerous bands of youths roaming the cities and terrorizing them without purpose. There is no end to the malicious homicide, the savage violence, and senseless suicide that is being committed.
Only the Keymen—a group of Telepaths, the custodians of humanity—are fully aware of the implications of the worsening situation.
Claus Coman, a top Keyman, is sent on a dangerous mission, which if successful will mean the deportation of these destructive youngsters to another planet. But there are many who want to maintain the status quo—and who are unscrupulous enough to let nothing stand in the way of their goals—not even the murder of a Keyman…”
3. The Man Who Folded Himself, David Gerrold (1973)
(Uncredited cover for the 1974 edition)
From the back cover of a later edition: “A PIONEER IN TIME. Dan Eakin’s uncle just died—but not before he left Dan a mysterious package. Inside is a black leather belt with a luminous digital panel; the trademark reads TIMEBELT. Dan has just viewed the instructions and strapped the belt around his waist—and now his finger is poised over the “Activate” button. In a moment, his world will begin to expand with exhilarating potential as the barriers of time fade into insignificance.”
4. Tomorrow is Too Far, James White (1971)
(Matt Davis’ cover for the 1981 edition)
From the back cover: “SECURITY RISK. Jim Carson was Security Chief at the Hart-Ewing plant—and he was very good at his job. That is, he accomplished what he had to unobtrusively. The nature of the job made Carson cautious and meticulously thorough. What he brought to his profession was a most thoughtful sensitivity. So when Carson became uneasy, he knew something was really wrong. And methodically, as usual, he started going over the multitude of details and impressions he had been picking up day-to-day for weeks. He came up with a most astonishing result!”