Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLXIII (Simak + Moore + Universe Anthology + Lewin)

I had a choice, one of the worst SF covers I have ever seen vs. a standard Richard Powers cover. Despite my undying Powers love, I chose the worst (weird white face bathed in purple/pink strangeness)…. you know…. a conversation starter? As I have read little of Simak’s non-novel SF, I was quite happy to I come across one of his collections at the local bookstore.

Ward Moore’s 1953 alt-history classic fetches quite the price online. Perhaps due to a renewed interest as it was recently published in the Gollancz Masterwork series. Regardless, I found a 70s edition (alas, a bland cover) for a few dollars. I’ve been listening to his humorous satire of salesmen Greener Than You Think (1947) as an ebook while at the gym and thought I’d give his most famous novel a go…

My Universe anthology series grows and grows–and, this one contains authors new to me, including Howard Waldrop, F. M. Busby, and Lee Killough.

Thoughts/comments welcome!  I doubt many will support my choice of picking the hideous cover over Powers, but, I can submit a picture of it to our esteemed purveyor of trash covers, Good Show, Sir!

1. Bring the Jubilee, Ward Moore (1953)

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(Jeff Jones’ cover for the 1972 edition)

From the back cover: “‘Although I am writing this in the year 1877, I was not born until 1921…. Let me explain.’

So begins the fantastic account of Hodgins McCormick Backmater, the strangest voyager you’ve ever met.  Journeying through the maze of time and history, he is our guide to a world that never was, to events that never happened — yet somehow through his eyes take on a super-reality we cannot deny!”

2. Triage, Leonard C. Lewin (1972)

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(Don Punchatz’s cover for the 1973 edition)

From the back cover:”WHEN THE GOVERNMENT ELIMINATES THE SOCIALLY UNFIT-WILL YOU BE THERE?

A plan for government-approved murder for social benefit had already been scheduled by the President.  It called for the latest technique in liquidation: controlled wars, psychological self-destruction, and selective termination of the aged, the infirm, the unstable and the unfit. The first phase began with a unique method of extermination for hard-core drug addicts.  And only God knew where the second phase would end…

TRIAGE. THE MOST SHOCKING AND PROPHETIC FICTION EXPERIENCE SINCE 1984.”

3. All the Traps of Earth and Other Stories, Clifford D. Simak (1960)

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(Uncredited cover for the 1974 edition)

From the back cover: “In the world of the future

…there will be robots that think–time machines–space travel–inter-planetary trade wars, and strange creatures from other worlds.

But human passions remain the same.

In this collection of brilliant stories, a noted science fiction writer shows a universe which everything is unfamiliar but man’s unchanging emotions–self-preservation, greed, honor, cowardice, love and passion.”

4. Universe 10, ed. Terry Carr (1980)

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(Uncredited cover for the 1982 edition)

From the inside flap: “Enter through the stellar portal of UNIVERSE 10, where an astronaut must confront humanity’s ultimate fear of the unknown.  Wander into a colony filled with artistic bizarreness and taste the deliciously evil nature of Bête et Noir. Take Edgar Rice Burroughs one step further to a place where extinct creatures from Earth’s past reemerge.

There are but a few of the intriguing tales that await you in UNIVERSE 10, from the award-winning series of original stories specially gathered by the well-known and respected editor-writer Terry Carr.  This compendium contains new stories by some of the best writers in the science fiction cosmos, including James Tiptree, Jr.; Michael Bishop; R. A. Lafferty, and F. M. Busby, along with two special non-fact articles. UNIVERSE 10 is sure to leave you thinking about the “shape of things to come.”

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18 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLXIII (Simak + Moore + Universe Anthology + Lewin)”

  1. I think it’s amazing there’s a more than ten years time gap between the two Simak covers.Powers was so far ahead of his time.The other one seems to fulfill science fiction expectations with it’s graphic spookiness,but Powers was reinventing science fiction imagery with his more existential approach.I like his lettering too.What you might call state-of the-art.

    1. There was quite a lot of font experimentation for SF presses even back in the 50s… Stuff like Ben Shahn’s cover for Benjamin Appel’s The Funhouse (1959) comes to mind. There are probably quite a few earlier ones as well from a range of artists… It seemed to be a very Ballantine Books thing to do.

      1. I suppose needless to say,it was keeping pace with the increasing changes with the written genre during the late 1950s.It’s not suprising therefore that artists such as Powers and several others,began to flourish in the next decade.Of course,there was still traditional science fiction during the 1970s,so the later cover is no more than reflecting this I suppose.

        Still,as you say,it made a change to so many Powers covers.It does have a sinister and mysterious atmosphere,that might excite you about the contents.

  2. Hi

    You are a brave man with the Simak cover. The Moore has been in my TBR pile for quite a while. I have been picking the Universe whenever I see them. The Triage is just plain scary, this was a good haul.

    Happy Reading
    Guy

    1. The Triage author Leonard C. Lewin wrote Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace (1967) — which people thought was a REAL government document! The press of course played with the hysteria it caused, and it was momentarily banned! Pretty amazing. Triage is comprised of additional fake government memos along with a more standard narrative. I am pretty excited to read it…

      I briefly talked about Report from Iron Mountain in this previous acquisition post: https://sciencefictionruminations.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/updates-recent-science-fiction-acquisitions-no-gerrold-reed-lewin-anthology-of-european-non-english-language-sf/

    1. I probably won’t actually review it as I do not own a paper copy and don’t feel like looking through the online Project Gutenberg version. I am listening to the first hardback edition, which was almost 100 pages longer than the abridged Ballantine paperback edition.

  3. The Avon “Bring the Jubilee” cover is almost certainly by Jeff Jones. Compare the flesh and interstellar gas with the flesh and smoke on this Jones cover:

      1. I guess I’m a bit slow. I always understood the man on the cover to be imprisoned in a capsule or satellite of some sort. Now I see he’s trapped within a bubble-encased clock pendulum, swinging through space – his body embedded in the pendulum’s disc. More symbolic and less literal than I thought.

      2. As I was not that interested in the cover, I never really thought about it either. But yes, you’re right — pendulum, time, alt-history, it all makes sense now.

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