Kate Wilhelm is most widely known for her Hugo- and Locus-winning, Nebula-nominated, fix-up novel masterpiece Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang (1976). However, this linked series of novellas (her favorite form) was already the product of a long and fruitful career starting with somewhat standard pulp in the late 1950s. By the late 1960s and early 1970s her SF took on psychologically heavy and often devastatingly effective themes with great success: for example, in 1972 she was nominated for an astounding four Nebulas (winning none of them).
Most of her critical success focused on shorter forms which might be the reason why other than Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976) little of her work has not remained firmly entrenched in the SF canon. Which is a crying shame as she is easily one of the most regularly brilliant writers I have encountered.
Thus I have rounded up my normal suspects from across the vintage SF blog sphere for my second guest post series! The first covered the work of Michael Bishop. As always, I have no idea whether they like her work or not but the purpose is to expose my readers to the range of her amazing visions. I will place links to their twitter accounts (if they have them) and Continue reading Update: Kate Wilhelm Guest Post Series Announcement
(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1964 edition of Alien Worlds (1964), ed. Roger Elwood)
Michael Whelan’s cover for the 1979 Dutch edition of Greybeard (1964) by Brian W. Aldiss appeared in a collection of SF art Space Wars, Worlds & Weapons (1977). I remember encountering the collection at a used bookstore, perhaps in Philadelphia when I went to visit my grandparents… It terrified me for years. The bizarre metal construct looming over the destroyed world—and most of all, the strange tentacled hands…
…hence, today’s themed art post!
Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages.
I have a confession: I am warming to the art of Charles Moll—1974 edition of New Dimensions 3 ed. Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages
(John Richards’ cover for the 1961 edition)
3/5 (collated rating: Average)
I have a confession to make. I have never read Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (1954). I do not like vampires. I do not like any movies or TV shows with vampires. Thus, as is my wont when trying a new author, I procured a short story collection to experience a range Continue reading Book Review: Third From the Sun, Richard Matheson (1955)
Roger Zelazny’s most radical (according to some critics) novel…
A fun Ace Double with a rather disturbing face imprisoned in a skull cover by Kelly Freas….
More Malzberg (one can never have enough)…
And another anthology from the single best year of SF — 1972! (my opinion of course).
1. Tonight We Steal The Stars / The Wagered World, John Jakes / Laurence M. Janifer and S. J. Treibich (1969) (Ace Double)
(Kelly Freas’ cover for the 1969 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXIV (Jakes + Anthology + Malzberg + Zelazny)
(John Holmes’ cover for the 1973 edition)
“KEEP A CLEAN SHEET OR YOU’LL END UP AS MEAT” (72)
Michael G. Coney’s focus on everyday struggles—the normal minutiae of life—reached wonderful heights in the lyrical paean to youth and youthful travails Hello Summer, Goodbye (variant title: Rax) (1975). While the true import of Hello Summer, Goodbye‘s narrative only slowly unfurls as the young man comes of age and perceives more about his world, the world of Friends Come in Boxes (1973) relentlessly writhes and boils as each main character is compelled to commit a crime Continue reading Book Review: Friends Come in Boxes, Michael G. Coney (1973)
A few more books from Carl V. Anderson‘s gift + two acquisitions of my own. Including my first Spider Robinson novel, an unknown post-apocalyptical quantity via Howard Beck, and more pulp by Brian N. Ball—not going to lie, Singularity Station (1973) was fun!
I now own a nearly complete Barry N. Malzberg collection of his SF solo works (i.e. no co-written novels with Bill Pronzini). What I am missing: his first two novels which are more speculative rather than SF, Oracle of a Thousand Hands (1968), Screen (1968), his SF novel Scop (1976), his movie novelization Phase IV (1973) which I have held off buying despite seeing it for cheap in used stores, and his non-SF novel Underlay (1974). I have all his collections of short fiction pre-1994 other than Final War and Other Fantasies (1969), The Best of Barry N. Malzberg (1976), and Down Here in Dream Quarter (1976).
Thus, I own a grand total of 28 Malzberg novels and collections!
1. Overlay, Barry N. Malzberg (1972)
(Ray Feibush’s cover for the 1975 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXVIII (Malzberg + Robinson + Berk + Ball)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1971 edition)
3.25/5 (collated rating: Good)
The avant-garde leaning Orbit anthology series, edited by Damon Knight, had an illustrious run from 1966-1976. Recently I have become more and more intrigued by the anthology as a way to access a wider range of authors and radical visions. Despite my rather lowish collated rating of Best SF Stories from New Worlds 2, ed. Michael Moorcock, it was a satisfying collection which exposed me to the SF of Langdon Jones and Pamela Zoline. Likewise, it somewhat rehabilitated my view of Charles Platt whose Planet of the Voles (1971) has long been one of my least favorite SF novels.
Anthologies are fascinating cross sections of the genre reflecting what was perceived as worthwhile SF by editors. They will almost always be more uneven than single author collections. But the exposure to forgotten authors and authors who never received a single author collection makes them almost always worthwhile.
Orbit 8 (1970) is no exception. The anthology swings wildly from Gardner Dozois’ masterpiece “Horse of Air” (1970) Continue reading Book Review: Orbit 8, ed. Damon Knight (1970)