Tag Archives: Frank Herbert

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Humanoid Plants and Dendroid Humans

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(Bruce Pennington’s cover for the 1968 edition of A Scent of New-Mown Hay (1958), John Blackburn)

2016 saw a resurgence in my cover art adventure posts. However, unlike the curated themed collections that prevailed a few years ago I focussed predominately on individual artists from a variety of countries (Portugal, Italy, Germany): my favorites include Max Ernst and His Landscapes of Decay on SF/F Covers, Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes of Mariella Anderlini, and The Futuristic Cities of Lima De Freitas.   The last themed collection was way back in March 2015 — Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages.

I’ve decided to return to my roots (no pun intended)! Although partially inspired by my 2014 post Human Transformations/Transfigurations (one duplicate cover), I’d been thinking about providing a gallery on the theme after reading “Ganthi” (1958), a disturbing Miriam Allen deFord short story about sentient tree-aliens and their mysterious caretaker Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Humanoid Plants and Dendroid Humans

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLV (Herbert + Tucker + Saberhagen + England Swings SF anthology)

A person with the initials K.W.G ditched their entire SF collection at my local Half Price Books.  So many books that the store made a new SF anthology section that did not exist a few months ago and the “vintage” SF books made up more than half the non-vintage SF section.  I spent too much money.  One of many future SF Acquisitions posts featuring books from the mysterious K. W. G….

A famous anthology important for showcasing UK authors in America!  I’ve included the lengthy description of the collection by Ace and their position vis-à-vis New Wave SF.  I find it humorous that the publisher has to defend their position!

An often praised 1950s post-apocalyptical novel by Wilson Tucker….  My 1969 edition was “rewritten” by the author–unfortunately, I have already started reading it (not sure how much it will tell me about  its position in 1950s SF if it were rewritten in the 60s).  Perhaps someone knows how much was changed?  Admiral Ironbombs wrote a worthwhile review here.

Fred Saberhagen’s best known work.

And one of the few Frank Herbert novels I have not read…

Thoughts and comments are always welcome.

1. England Swings SF: Stories of Speculative Fiction, ed. Judith Merril (1968)

NGLNDSWNGS1970

(Ron Walotsky’s cover for the 1970 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLV (Herbert + Tucker + Saberhagen + England Swings SF anthology)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXIX (Sladek + St. Clair + Herbert + Mason)

New books!  At one point in time I had a copy of Frank Herbert’s great Destination: Void (1966).  However, it wasn’t the original 1966 version but a rewrite from the late 70s.  Generally I prefer reading the first published versions (unless they were serialized in magazines) so I was desperate to get my hands on a copy.

More Sladek!   The Müller-Fokker Effect (1970) is his best known novel.  SF aficionados of the 60s/70s often describe Saldek as one of the unsung comedic/satirical greats.  I’ve read his first novel a while back, The Reproductive System (variant title: Mechasm) (1968) and had a lukewarm reaction.   I will definitely pick up The Müller-Fokker Effect before the year is out.

Margaret St. Clair’s Sign of the Labrys (1963) has proved to be one of the worst books I’ve read this year.  But, I will give her short stories, the the collection Change the Sky and Other Stories (1974). another chance.

2theD at PotPourri of Science Fiction Literature send me Douglas R. Mason’s The Resurrection of Roger Diment (1972) a while back.  Mason’s The Eight Against Utopia (1966) was downright dismal so I’m not sure when I’ll get to this one.

Thoughts?

1. Destination: Void, Frank Herbert (1966)

(Uncredited—looks somewhat like Di Fate?—cover for the 1970 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXIX (Sladek + St. Clair + Herbert + Mason)

Book Review: The Worlds of Frank Herbert, Frank Herbert (1970)

(Paul Alexander’s cover for the 1977 edition)

3.25/5 (Collated rating: Vaguely Good)

I have long been a fan of Frank Herbert.   In my youth I scarfed down Dune (1965) and all its sequels and cried (metaphorically) when his son Brian Herbert made  a mockery of his vision.  I even read the more dubious novels in Herbert’s canon: from The Green Brain (1966) to the co-written (with Bill-Ransom)  novels of the Pandora sequence i.e. The Jesus Incident (1979), The Lazarus Effect (1983), and The Ascension Factor (1988).  I have found many of his non-Dune novels worth reading (Destination: Void (1966) and The Dosadi Experiment (1977), etc).

More recently I have started to read/review the handful of his novels I missed as a child—so far the solid and unexpectedly complex The Eyes of Heisenberg (1966) and the lesser Continue reading Book Review: The Worlds of Frank Herbert, Frank Herbert (1970)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXIV (Herbert + Tenn + Geston + Cummings)

More from my local dirt cheap book store…

By far most interested in William Tenn’s lone novel (he was predominately a short story writer) Of Men and Monsters (1968) — humans living in the walls, like mice, in the homes of the alien invaders of Earth.  Geston’s novelette The Day Star (1972) should be a fast and fun read — hopefully despite the comment by previous owner of the book who inscribed “TEDIOUS” on the back cover with a ballpoint pen…

Some fun covers.

1. Hellstrom’s Hive, Frank Herbert (1972)

HLLSTRMSHV1974

(R. Shore’s cover for the 1975 edition)

Excerpt from the inside flap of the first edition hardback: “In the summer of 1971, Doctor Nils Hellstrom appeared in his own film production, The Hellstrom Chronicle.  The motion picture Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXIV (Herbert + Tenn + Geston + Cummings)

Book Review: The God Makers (variant title: The Godmakers), Frank Herbert (1972)

the god makers

(Vincent Di Fate’s cover for the 1972 edition)

3.25/5 (Average)

As of late I’ve been returning to the extensive catalogue of Frank Herbert’s non-Dune novels on my shelf — The Eyes of Heisenberg (1966) was an engaging read with adept world building which created an intriguing/harrowing dystopic future.  The God Makers (1972) lacks not only Herbert’s trademark dense prose (for example, constantly shifting perspective over the course of a conversation) but also features one of his more poorly conceived future worlds.  This might be due to the fact that the novel was cobbled together from four short stories Continue reading Book Review: The God Makers (variant title: The Godmakers), Frank Herbert (1972)

Book Review: The Eyes of Heisenberg, Frank Herbert (1966)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1970 edition)

4/5 (Good)

Frank Herbert, known to most science fiction fans for his classic six book Dune sequence, published an extensive catalogue of other novels and short story collections.  A trademark of so many works of Herbert’s corpus is his near immaculate world-building skills.  As in Dune, the true extent of the world and all its hidden powerplays are slowly uncovered over the course of the narrative.  Although the basic premise is standard for the genre, Herbert’s multi-faceted world combined with his ability to develop characters and the pure hysteria/sheer hopelessness that permeates every page makes Continue reading Book Review: The Eyes of Heisenberg, Frank Herbert (1966)