Saturday, 10 July 2010

BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORIES OF CLIFFORD D. SIMAK

Paperback Library paperback, first printing, 1972. Cover artist
uncredited, possibly Bob Pepper? (thanks: Egrove).

"A man's discovery of the truth about his travelling companions. A shipboard romance involving a fickle female and three unresponsive crewmen. A young man's dissatisfaction with his new job. A drunken evening that turns into one continuous lost weekend. These are some of the ordinary events that take on quite extraordinary dimensions in these seven unusual takes by a master of science fiction. Highly original and perceptive, each of the stories examines the glamor and mystery of existence and the very real possibilities that lie within the realm of future experience. Together they show Clifford Simak at his entertaining and thought-provoking best."

Contents:

Founding Father
Immigrant
New Folks' Home
Crying Jag
All The Traps Of Earth
Lulu
Neighbor

TUNNEL THROUGH THE DEEPS

Berkley Medallion paperback, May 1974. Cover painting by
Richard M. Powers.

"A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! 
The time is the 1970's - sort of. The place is Earth - in a way. The project: build a tunnel from England to her colonies in America, under the Atlantic Ocean! Captain Gus Washington, engineer extraordinary, wrestles with awesome problems to complete the tunnel and redeem his family's name. For Gus is a direct descendant of the famous traitor of long ago, George Washington, who led a failed rebellion in the 1700's. Harry Harrison, that incomparable creator of alternate worlds, has  created a brilliant double exposure of history and a typically superb reading experience."

THE RAMSGATE PARADOX

Berkley Medallion paperback, 1976. Cover artwork by Paul Lehr.

"Roscoe Kissinger, Lindy, Pegleg and the crew of the Stardust, engaged in voyages of interstellar exploration, land on an alien planet inhabited by humanoids who are startlingly similar to earthmen. 
The aliens are a primitive people who farm vast fields, but there is also a strange, uninhabited city and evidence of another culture. Then Lindy disappears and Roscoe and his friends must go to the strange city, where they discover the secret of the other civilization."

FIRST CYCLE

Ace paperback, first printing, January 1982. Cover artist uncredited,
possibly Wayne D. Barlowe?

"In a galaxy very far away, two planets were born in a fiery collision and began to circle a yellow sun. One was watery while the other was hot and arid, but life is tenacious, and managed to develop slowly on both worlds. On the water planet, fish crawled from the sea and became amphibians, then grew greenish fur to protect them from the cold, and finally walked upright and bore patches of green hair only on their heads. On the arid planet, creatures like large slugs developed bones from their cartilage, crept through the desert as lizards, and finally evolved into red-furred creatures with cat-like faces and monkey's limbs. On both planets the natives grew more intelligent, learned about trade and war, and sang songs celebrating their exploits. The centuries went by, and eventually it was inevitable that two civilizations living so close to each other would find a way to meet. The history of all civilizations could have predicted that their meeting would not be peaceable..."

THE COSMIC COMPUTER

Ace paperback, 1983. Cover art by Michael Whelan.

"Merlin - the magical name that conjured up visions of unlimited knowledge and power. Merlin - the god-like, infallible computer that could mean the salvation of a war-torn human race. But did such a fantastic cybernetic marvel really exist? 
Was Merlin just another legend of the spaceways, as most people believed? Or was it really hidden somewhere on the colony planet, Poictesme? 
And if it was to be found, would it save mankind...Or be its destruction?

TOMORROW IS TOO FAR

Corgi paperback, 1973. Cover art credited to Solution.

"The project was so secret that it had no name and no records, yet - without even knowing it - the entire personnel of Hart-Ewing were busy building something weird and incomprehensible...something involving a new method of conquering space...something so brilliant that it reduced the astronauts to a condition of imbecility. And Carson, the hated and seemingly inefficient security officer of the aerospace workshop, was the man who stumbled on the secret - the man who had to buy his survival at a steep price..."

BEYOND THE GALACTIC RIM

Sphere SF paperback, 1982. Cover painting by Peter Elson.

"A MAN WHO COMES OUT TO THE RIM TO MAKE HIS LIVING WOULD GO TO HELL FOR A PASTIME 
A journey to the Rim Worlds takes you straight to the unknown or right to the gaping void of the abyss. Out there you're beyond the borders, hovering between the warped contours of troubled space and time... 
Captain Clavering bought his ship on a lottery win. Now he's holed up on the dismal planet of Lorn filling in time on a chemical-blasted airstrip waiting for a contract. Somewhere there must be a newly colonized planet needing charters of some threatened world that needs evacuating. He'd risk anything for money in the bank - even a dodgy landing on the gas-blasted plains of Eblis, if the rim runners fancy paying hard cash for an expedition to hell... 
This is just the first of four amazing journeys into the shifting uncharted worlds that spin BEYOND THE GALACTIC RIM."

THE HEAVEN MAKERS

NEL paperback, 1975 reissue. Cover artist uncredited. Possibly
Bruce Pennington or Ray Feibush.

"The Chems were the prisoners of eternity, gripped by the despair that immortality brought. They were strange dwellers in a timeless world, inflicting terror and suffering on the creatures they manipulated. 
Enter their world of infinite possibility and discover the fascinating secrets of a master race whose plaything is time. 
These are the super-beings who control men's destinies and who derive their pleasure from the pain and torture they impose on their human underlings."

WOMEN OF WONDER

Penguin SF paperback, 1978. Cover illustration by Candy Amsden.

"'Women are writing many of the things male sf writers thought could never be written; they are making us examine tenets and shibboleths we thought were immutable. The mightily thewed warrior trip is one of these. People like Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Kate Wilhelm...are making that seem hideously ridiculous' 
-Harlan Ellison. 
In Women of Wonder, Pamela Sargent has assembled a collection of amazing stories which show that some of the most exciting and innovating writing in science fiction is being produced by women."

Contents:


The Child Dreams by Sonya Dorman
That Only Mother by Judith Merril
Contaigon by Katherine Maclean
The Wind People by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Ship Who Sang by Anne Mccaffrey
When I Was Miss Dow by Sonya Dorman
The Farm Food by Kit Reed
Baby, You Were Great by Kate Wilhelm
Sex And/Or Mr Morrison by Carol Emshwiller
Vaster Than Empires And More Slow by Ursula K. Le Guin
False Dawn by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Nobody's Home by Joanna Russ
Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand by Vonda N. Mcintyre

Friday, 9 July 2010

THERE WILL BE TIME

Sphere SF paperback, 1984 reprint. Cover by Melvyn Grant.

"Jack Havig seemed like an ordinary man. But since he was a small child he had kept a frightening and exhilarating secret. He was a born time-traveller - a man who could cross the centuries just by willing himself to. Over the years, he had investigated the past - from Christ's Jerusalem to the America of the Indian tribes, from Athens to mediaeval Constantinople. And, seeing the future, he found meaning in life and a reason for his gift. He sensed that there were others like him. Men and women who must fight for man's future. Because that future threatened the extinction of the whole of human civilization..."

THE BEST OF PHILIP K. DICK

Ballantine paperback, first edition, March 1977. Cover artwork
by Vincent Di Fate.

"HERE - IN THE DEFINITIVE PHILIP K. DICK COLLECTION - ARE 19 OF HIS MOST FAMOUS STORIES...STORIES THAT LOOK BEHIND WHAT IS APPARENTLY REAL TO WHAT IS REALLY REAL! 
IF THERE WERE NO BENNY CEMOLI 
Then it would have been necessary to invent him, because somebody had to be blamed for the state of the world! 
AUTOFAC 
Automation can be a wonderful thing - as long as somebody is always in control! 
HUMAN IS 
There is more to being a human being than looking like one - and when she discovered that, she knew all would be well! 
BREAKFAST AT TWILIGHT 
They knew the end of the world was in sight - but nobody wanted to listen, alas! 
- AND LOTS MORE."

Contents:

Beyond Lies The Wub
Roog
Second Variety
Paycheck
Impostor
Colony
Expendable
The Days Of Perky Pat
Breakfast At Twilight
Foster, You're Dead
The Father-Thing
Service Call
Autofac
Human Is
If There Were No Benny Cemoli
Oh, To Be A Blobel!
Faith Of Our Fathers
The Electric Ant
A Little Something For Us Tempunauts

WORLDS OF TOMORROW JANUARY 1966

Cover by Paul McLane, illustrating Sunk Without Trace by Fritz Leiber.

AMAZING STORIES JUNE 1963

Cover painting by Ed Emshwiller, for Jack Sharkey's The Programmed People.

Interior illustration by Virgil Finlay for J. G. Ballard's
The Encounter.
 "He drew eight concentric circles in the sand, one for each of the planets. Around Uranus he drew five lesser orbits and marked one of these."
Interior illustration by Virgil Finlay for J. G. Ballard's
The Encounter.
"Did Andrew Ward see the flying saucer, or did he see a man who needed to have his vision corroborated?"

FANTASTIC STORIES OF IMAGINATION JUNE 1961

Cover painting by Alex Schomburg.

AMAZING SCIENCE FICTION STORIES MAY 1958

Cover painting by Ed Valigursky.

EXTRO

Eyre-Methuen hardback, 1975. Cover artwork by Peter Tybus.

"Alfred Bester's first science fiction novel in nineteen years is a major event. Like both his earlier novels, Extro is a breathtakingly fast-moving adventure peopled with brilliant, talented, witty eccentrics. Scattered about the overcrowded, frenzied solar system there is a small group of immortals. They range in age from Hic-Haec-Hoc, a neanderthal who hasn't become any smarter in many thousands of years of life, to Daniel Curzon, the baby of the group at two hundred and fifty. Curzon's nickname, Guig, short for Grand Guignol, was given him for his charming habit of killing horribly people he admires. For that's how people become immortal - by dying particularly horribly. Now Guig has a new target: Dr. Sequoya Guess, a brilliant young Cherokee physicist. Dr. Guess is killed when his space programme ends in catastrophe before Guig can get to him - and is transformed into a new immortal anyway, to Guig's delight. Dr. Guess begins to take over Extro, the supercomputer complex that controls all mechanical activity on earth. The immortals join him, adding their own considerable resources to the effort. Their  aim is to free earth of political repression, to rebuild guess's  space-probe programme, and also to have a good time. But Extro takes over Guess instead, and turns evil for no discernible reason. The task of one merry band suddenly becomes a fight in deadly earnest for their own lives and Earth's existence. Sequoya Guess, whom they love, must be killed - but how do you kill an immortal?"