(Uncredited cover for the 1968 edition)
3.5/5 (Collated rating: Good)
New Worlds was one of the premier British SF magazines under the editorship of Michael Moorcock. It features some of the most experimental works of the era and was important in the growth of the New Wave movement. Many of the frequent contributors went on to make a name as premier SF authors (Ballard, Aldiss, etc).
This best of collection (1964-1967) is on the whole uneven. Its big name authors—such as Keith Roberts and Moorcock himself under a pseudonym—disappoint. The most evocative stories are by rather lesser known voices, Langdon Jones, Charles Platt, and Pamela Zoline. Zoline’s brilliant entropic vision, “The Heat Death of the Universe” is not to be missed. The second best work in the collection is (surprisingly) an early story by Barrington J. Bayley (as P. F. Woods) whose novels I have reviewed Continue reading Book Review: Best SF Stories from New Worlds 3, ed. Michael Moorcock (1968)
MPorcius, a frequent and well-read commentator on my site, has started transferring his numerous amazon reviews and writing new reviews of classic SF (a substantial portion is pre-1980s) to his blog. Please visit him and comment on his posts!
queue rant: I’ve noticed a surprising lack of frequently updated classic SF blogs online. Yes, many bloggers occasionally dabble in the distant era of SF glory or publish yet another review of the obligatory masterpieces because they appear on a some “best of” list (Dune, The Left Hand of Darkness, etc). However, few are devoted to the period and make it a point to write reviews of books that very few people will ever actually read due to their obscurity i.e. blogs that don’t sell out by churning out reviews of new Tor releases (I have declined their offer) or endless 4/5 or 5/5 starred let’s pat each other on the back reviews of self-published (and generally awful) ebooks Continue reading Updates: A New Classic SF Review Blog to add to your list
I love the idea of a community of science fiction reviewers — so I’ve put together a list of a handful of book review blogs focused on classic/slightly more esoteric science fiction. Obviously there are plenty of great blogs I’ve omitted that have reviews of new releases or only occasional vintage science fiction…. Or, blogs that refrain from reviews of vintage science fiction unless participating in certain reading challenges….
Please visit them, comment on their reviews, and browse through their back catalogues.
1] Speculiction….: An under visited /commented on blog with quality book reviews of classic science fiction — however, the reviewer, Jesse, is limited by the lack of older science fiction available to him in Poland. I especially enjoyed his reviews of Ballard’s “beautifully strange enigma” that is The Crystal World (1966) and of course, my favorite science fiction novel of all time, John Brunner’s magisterial Stand on Zanzibar (1968). An index of his reviews can be found here. He also has a good mix of newer science fiction reviews as well.
2] The PorPor Books Blog: SF and Fantasy Books 1968-1988: I find this blog Continue reading Updates: An Incomplete List of Worthwhile Classic Science Fiction Blogs/Resources
Here are my favorite films and books I reviewed this year. They are all highly recommended…
Best Science Fiction Novel
Brian Aldiss, Non-stop (variant title, Starship), (1958)
MY REVIEW HERE
Starship is a top-notch 1950s work: fast, action-packed, thoughtful, Continue reading Update: 2010 in Review, best books, movies, etc
Barrington J. Bayley’s Collision Course (Collision with Chronos) (1973) is based on a fascinating hard sci-fi premise, the intersection of two time waves, one from the future heading into the past, and the “present”, heading Continue reading Book Review: Collision Course (variant title: Collision with Chronos), Barrington J. Bayley, (1973)
4.25/5 (Very Good)
The Fall of Chronopolis (The Last and Final Days of the Chronotic Empire) by the relatively unknown British sci-fi author, Barrington J. Bayley, is one the best time travel books I’ve ever read. Other reviewers have suggested that this is Bayley’s best as well — I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve read The Garment Continue reading Book Review: The Fall of Chronopolis, Barrington J. Bayley (1974)
Killibol is a bleak, dark, gray rock planet in another galaxy populated with isolated termite-mound-like cities of its human colonists. Because of the inability to grow food in Killibol’s soil, society is structured around protein producing tanks. As a result of the rigid system of food production (i.e. power), life on Continue reading Book Review: Empire of Two Worlds, Barrington J. Bayley (1972)