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
A nice batch of used book store finds. Including the best of surprises i.e. when a clearance $1 SF novel by a rather famous author turns out to be signed! I only realized it when I sat down to type up this post.
I have officially delved into the 80s—2theD at SF Potpourri included this novel in his “should be picked up by Gollancz Masterworks” list so I grabbed a hardback copy.
And some early Gene Wolfe….
And a what if women disappeared from the world novel by the author of When Worlds Collide (1933)…
Thoughts on any of the novels?
1. The Fifth Head of Cerebrus, Gene Wolfe (1972)
(Martin Rigo’s cover for the 1981 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXIV (Wolfe + Clement + Mann + Wylie)
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) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXI (Zelazny + White + Daventry + Gerrold)
An intriguing range of SF novels… A few thrift store pickups and a few sent by my father. Excited about the John Haldeman fix-up novel All My Sins Remembered (1977). Won’t read the Brunner for a long long time—but I’m a Brunner completists so I buy his books on sight if I don’t have a copy.
Still haven’t read anything by Charles L. Harness…. Not sure about this 80s rewrite of his late 40s serialized novel. We shall see.
1. All My Sins Remembered, John Haldeman (1977)
(Paul Stinson’s cover for the 1977 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXX (Harness + Dickson + Haldeman + Brunner)
In my youth I read Ursula Le Guin like a madman—somewhere in the intervening years I misplaced my copies of her short story collections. So, while voyaging to a nearby city (with Half Price Books) I decided to snag one—The Compass Rose (1982) contains mostly 70s short stories. Excited.
I have been presently impressed with *some* of Philip José Farmer’s work—namely, Strange Relations (1960)—-so I could not resist a “best of” collection.
I am perhaps most excited about David Gerrold’s edited collection Generation: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction (1972). Contains a wide range (and almost equal ratio of male/female authors) of fascinating stories.
I bought C. M. MacApp’s Secret of the Sunless World (1969) due to the title and the amazing Berkey cover. Now that I sat down and transcribed the back cover I rather dissuaded from picking it up anytime soon…
1. The Book of Philip José Farmer, Philip José Farmer (revised 1982, 1973)
(James Warhola’s cover for the 1982 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXVI (Le Guin + MacApp + Farmer + Anthology)
A varied lot for sure…
One of the more intriguing is an anthology of nuclear themed SF containing stories by Sturgeon, Merril, Ward Moore, Ellison, Wilhelm, Spinrad, etc.
A Michael Moorcock novel An Alien Heat (1972)—I’ve had little luck with his SF in the past so hopefully this bucks the trend.
A fun 50s vision by Frederic Brown…
And an unknown quantity in Rosel George Brown’s Galactic Sibyl Sue Blue (1968). I’ve wanted to read her short stories for quite a long time but wasn’t going to pass up her most well known work.
1. Countdown to Midnight: Twelve Great Stories About Nuclear War, ed. H. Bruce Franklin (1984)
(Vincent Di Fate’s cover for the 1984 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXV (Moorcock + Brown + Rosel George Brown + Frederic Brown + Anthology)
(Vincent Di Fate’s cover for Alien Horizons (1974), William F. Nolan)
I have been gathering this series of SF covers for a while—the human shape contorting, manipulated, transforming into in-human forms (trees, keys, insects, etc). Some are more metaphoric, for example Josh Kirby’s cover for the 1970 edition of A Century of Great Short Science Fiction Novels (1964). While a few are clearly aliens which look “human”—Charles Shield’s incredibly uncanny cover for the 1979 edition of Fireflood and Other Stories (1979) by Vonda N. McIntyre….
All hint at bigger mysteries, and seduce with their uncertain Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Human Transformations + Transfigurations