Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

Book Review: The Eclipse of Dawn, Gordon Eklund (1971)

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(Diane and Leo Dillon’s cover for the 1971 edition)

3.25/5 (Vaguely Good)

“I hadn’t even voted in the last election.  I knew nothing about it, except Robert Colonby, how he wanted to make America strong again, how he said we ought to exert ourselves” (15).

Gordon Eklund’s first novel Eclipse of Dawn (1971) tells of a future dystopic America (the year 1988) chaffing under foreign quarantine and suffering from a major race war which results in African-Americans creating an autonomous political entity in the American South.  The effects of limited nuclear war spawns a poisonous urban environment and microclimates across the state of California. A return to “Victorian morality” presents but a facade of “purity laid across a morass of fear and guilt” (94).

Robert F. Colonby sets out from his residence amidst the bombed-out remains of Disneyland, where he dines on exotic cuts of meat and “wines dated back to the glory days” Continue reading Book Review: The Eclipse of Dawn, Gordon Eklund (1971)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLIII (Wolfe + Lichtenberg + Brown + Davidson)

One of the least known works on David Pringle’s The 100 Best Novels between 1949-1984 list and soon to be published as a Gollancz Masterwork…  For reference here’s a link to the list. Hopefully the Gollancz publication will bring the price down! (paperbacks go for ~30$ online).

A collection from a prolific 50s/60s primarily short-fiction SF author who died too young (at 41 due to lymphoma)….

Another Avram Davidson novel…

And a suspicious work by Jacqueline Lichtenberg described as for “admirers of the Early Heinlein”—of which I am obviously not.  But, then again, the way presses marketed new women authors took on strange guises in the period.  It might not feel like Heinlein in the slightest!

Two gorgeous covers by Richard Powers!

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.

1. A Handful of Time, Rosel George Brown (1963)

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(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1963 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLIII (Wolfe + Lichtenberg + Brown + Davidson)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLII (Silverberg + Reed + Robinson + Reamy)

More Kit Reed! I enjoyed both her first short story collection Mister Da Vi (1967) and first SF novel Armed Camps (1969).  I was impressed enough to track down another—and as she has informed me via twitter “rare”—collection.  Rare enough that she does not even own a copy!

Fresh off Tom Reamy’s dark and wonderful Blind Voices (1978), I thought it would be best to explore some of his early short fiction.

There’s nothing wrong with another Robert Silverberg collection from his heyday (late 60s-70s), although, I have read at least two of the thirteen stories in the collection already.

Frank M. Robinson in the early 90s jumped back on the SF scene with the well-received generation ship novel The Dark Beyond the Stars (1991).  More involved with editing over the decades, he published in the 70s a series of famous thrillers with Thomas N. Scortia.  I found a copy of his first novel, The Power (1956), although, the presence of telepathy (my least favorite SF theme?) makes me less than enthused.

Three of the four following books came via Mike at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature and Tongues of Speculation—he visited Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis and sent me 10 (!!) books I had on my “to acquire” list.

Thoughts and comments are welcome (as always!).

1. Unfamiliar Territory, Robert Silverberg (1973)

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(Paul Alexander’s cover for the 1978 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLII (Silverberg + Reed + Robinson + Reamy)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CL (Ballard + Lafferty + Aldiss + Budrys)

My first David Pelham cover graces a peerless Ballard collection.  I’ve reviewed the following Ballard collections: Billenium (1962) and The Voices of Time and Other Stories (1962).

And Aldiss’ most radical work (Barefoot in the Head (1969) might be the other choice for this distinction)?

In the past Budrys has not intrigued in the slightest—The Falling Torch (1959) was a bland alien invasion novel with a contemporary political message and Michaelmas (1976) turned a promising premise into a naive vision of absolute power wielded for absolute good.  But, short stories often give another avenue into an author’s oeuvre…

And more Lafferty—never pass them up in used bookstores, even if you do not appreciate his odd brand of SF, they are certainly worth a pretty penny…

Thoughts on this selection?

1. The Terminal Beach, J. G. Ballard (1964)

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(David Pelham’s cover for the 1974 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CL (Ballard + Lafferty + Aldiss + Budrys)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLIX (Leiber + Paul + Reamy + Anthology)

Powell’s Books in Portland, OR dethrones Dawn Treader Book Shop in Ann Arbor, MI as the best SF collection I have ever encountered  in a used bookstore (and remember, fewer and fewer books interest me as I collect more and more—if you did not already have a collection you’d be out hundreds of dollars!).

I need to read more of Leiber’s work as I adored The Big Time (1958) and his short story collection A Pail of Air (1964).

Tom Reamy died too young—right after publishing his masterpiece Blind Voices (received Hugo and Nebula nods in 1979 and second place in Locus voting).

New author: Barbara Paul.  Read anything by her?

And, well, you all know my love affair with New Worlds Best SF anthologies… Links to my reviews: The Best SF Stories from New Worlds (1967) and Best SF Stories from New Worlds 3 (1968).

Thoughts/comments?

1. Gather, Darkness!, Fritz Leiber (1950)

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(Uncredited cover for the 1969 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLIX (Leiber + Paul + Reamy + Anthology)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLVIII (Lafferty + Shaw + Wilhelm + Thomas + Anthology)

A nice range of 60s/70s SF….

A wonderful Richard Powers cover and another by Don Punchatz which grows on me ever day (hauntingly surreal in its illustration of the book’s plot)….

Bob Shaw is Mr. Perpetually Average–see my reviews of Ground Zero Man (1971) and One Million Tomorrow (1971)—but MPorcius claims Night Walk (1968) is worth the read [here]—I took a peek at the first few pages and it shows promise.  But SF Potpourri’s lengthy rundown of his other work casts a shadow [here]!

Who can pass up Lafferty?  I have to admit, the premise of this particular novel does not appeal to me in the slightest.  But, I purchased the book for less than $2 and it’s a $25+ (with shipping) paperback online!

Another Ted Thomas and Kate Wilhelm collaboration—one of my Kate Wilhelm’s SF guest posts [here], by Mike White, argues convincingly that it is not one of her better novels…. alas.

And an anthology edited by Robert Hoskins.

Thoughts/comments?

Some great covers!

1. The Reefs of Earth, R. A. Lafferty (1968)

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(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1968 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLVIII (Lafferty + Shaw + Wilhelm + Thomas + Anthology)

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLVII (Women of Wonder Anthology + Eklund + Watson + Franke)

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(Inside illustration by Vincent Di Fate for the 1973 edition of The Orchid Cage (1961), Herbert W. Franke)

Part II of my SF acquisitions from Dawn Treader Books in Ann Arbor, MI– Part I.  In my attempt to acquire more foreign SF (still haven’t managed to read that much of it—but the mood will strike eventually), I found a nice copy with a wonderful interior illustration and cover by Vincent Di Fate of one of Herbert W. Franke’s novels.

Also, another Ian Watson novel—I’ve read the Jonah Kit (1975) but never got around to reviewing it as well as his collection (must read for fans of 70s SF) The Very Slow Time Machine (1979).  Jesse over at Speculiction raves about his other Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLVII (Women of Wonder Anthology + Eklund + Watson + Franke)