1) William F. Nolan, best known for Logan’s Run (1967) (film adaptation 1976), was also a prolific short story author. As with my acquisition of Thomas N. Scortia’s collection The Best of Thomas N. Scortia (1981) a while back, I am hoping that a range of short stories might be the best way to approach an author new to me.
*wince*–> My edition has a miserable Chris Foss clone (Tony Roberts) cover!
2) As many R. A. Lafferty novels cost a pretty penny, I now buy them on sight if they are within my price range. I posted recently on Mati Klarwein’s fantastic covers–> here. My high resolution scan should convey the complexity and skill of the art!
3) Silverberg collections fall under the purchase compulsively category. I’ve read two or three from this particular volume already including the wonderful “How It Was When the Past Went Away” (1969).
4) A while back a reader recommended Bruce Sterling’s The Artificial Kid (1980). My wife saw a well-worn copy at a local Half Price Books and procured it for me. I read numerous Sterling works from the late 80s and 90s back when I consumed “newer” SF. I reviewed his first novel a few months ago—Involution Ocean (1977).
The cover is awful. The 1980s aesthetic pains me…
All images are scans from my own collection (click image to zoom).
As always, thoughts/comments are welcome.
1. Wonderworlds, William F. Nolan (1977 )
(Tony Roberts’ cover for the 1979 edition)
From the back cover: “ROLL UP! ROLL UP!
READ ABOUT the incredible firm of Pairups, Inc., the ideal way to find your ideal mate… unless the programming goes ever so slightly wrong.
WONDER AT the amazing tale of an astronaut who, doomed to die before his ship reaches earth, still manages to keep his promise of returning safe and sound to his aged parents.
SHUDDER AT the story of Fred Baxter, whose pathological hatred of cats leads him to a very sticky end.
ALL THIS AND MORE in one of the most entertaining collections of science fiction stories ever. WILLIAM F. NOLAN’S WONDER WORLDS.”
2. Arrive at Easterwine: The Autobiography of a Ktistec Machine, R. A. Lafferty (1971)
(Mati Klarwein’s cover for the 1973 edition)
From the back cover: “‘This, I believe, is the first autobiography of a machine,’ writes Epikt, a Ktistec machine. In the resulting mindbending [sic], at times hilarious, work of imagination, the careful and attentive reader (it takes application to extract the story’s rich and subtle juices) realizes that Epikt is not only presiding at his own birth at the Institute for Impure Science, but it is also adfressing itself to the interpretation of mankind’s most profoundly puzzling problems.’–PW
R. A. Lafferty, the only writer we know who can write rings around himself, is thoroughly at home as an interpreter of the four or five dimensional character that emerges from the birth of Epikt.”
3. Earth’s Other Shadow, Robert Silverberg (1973)
(Uncredited cover (Dean Ellis?) for the 1973 edition)
From the back cover: “GET YOUR SPACEMAN’S GUILD GAZETE! READ ALL ABOUT THE TERRORS OF THE SPACEWAYS! Mass amnesia strikes San francisco! Police suspect city’s water supply was tampered with. Porpoise saves Seawater Recovery Station! Says he did it for love. Nightmare creature invades Earth, causes widespread panic! Claims it was just looking for a ride home. Tree attacks man! Receives the death sentence. get the world on all these stories and more as intergalactic reporter, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Robert Silverberg, takes you on a fantastic tour through time, space and the human mind as you venture into EARTH’S OTHER SHADOW.”
4. The Artificial Kid, Bruce Sterling (1980)
(Bohdi Wind’s miserable cover for the 1987 edition)
From the back cover: “Put on your combat gear–and meet the Kid… On the planet of Reverie, violence is theater, and the Artificial Kid stands center stage: his bristled black hair laminated in plastic, armored in leather and metallic scale trousers, his floating cameras immortalizing the action… The Kid is unbeatable. Until he makes some deadly enemies.”