Friday, 14 December 2012


Panther SF paperback, 1977. Cover illustration by Peter Jones. A
slightly modified version of this painting can be found in his book
"Solar Wind" (Paper Tiger, 1980)

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Vesa was the Empire of Earth's moon of vice. Every year millions of space-voyagers from all corners of the universe travelled there to make or break their fortunes in the exotic gaming palaces. But something much more sinister was going on in the Playground of the Galaxy. 
Already a quarter of a million people had vanished from Vesa. 
The situation shrieked for action. The security of the Empire was at risk. So the Head summoned SOTE's Number One super-agents. For only Jules and Yvette d'Alembert would risk life and limb to smash this interplanetary conspiracy of catastrophic dimensions..."


Panther SF paperback, 1975. Cover illustration by Tom McArthur.

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Earth is dead - murdered from the depths of space. But how? And by whom? Poul Anderson, as versatile as ever, admirably confirms with this tale of interplanetary terror that he possesses one of the most awe - inspiring talents in the whole field of science fiction..."

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Granada hardback, 1984. Cover painting by Peter Gudynas.

In the final phase man will become master of his own evolution as well as that of all other living things. 
Thanks to Jerry Boucher who made me aware of this book and the similarity of a certain Peter Gudynas painting similar to the cover of Frederik Pohl's Man Plus, which I posted a few weeks ago.
This book (with obligatory Asimov foreword) is sort of disappointingly not concerned with science fiction per se, rather the application of speculative fiction, theories as well as modern science and medicine in real life (circa 1984). Topics include evolution, the biological revolution, mastering the environment, diseases, ageing, engineering people, mind control and scenarios for the future of mankind. The majority of illustrations are photographs of a medical or scientific nature, but there's a few paintings by Gudynas, Peter Goodfellow, Terry Oakes and others have artwork credits in the acknowledgements section but I do not recognize which images are theirs.

Life underwater.

Man modified for life underwater.

Man modified to live in space by Peter Gudynas.

Man modified for war.

Friday, 7 December 2012


Orbit paperback, 1977. Cover artwork by Tony Roberts, thanks to all
who left comments identifying the artist!

Back cover fluff: 
"The Co-Dominium Navy . . . shipping prisoner colonists by the hundreds of thousands to strange worlds for a corrupt alliance of Earth nations. 
The Co-Dominium Marines . . . keeping uneasy peace on dozens of planets as their resources are robbed for the benefits of Earth. 
The Mercenaries . . . using their own methods to end the fighting as raging riots of independence explode into open warfare. 
And Falkenberg . . . a legend in his own time, a man who gave up a brilliant military career to fight on his own, a mastermind to his soldiers, an enigma to the politicians who buy his services - and the cause of turmoil on a dozen planets."


Stoneshire paperback, 1983. Cover artwork by Greg Theakston.

Rear cover fluff:
"Unless you were a member of the Category Military, no one on Earth could own a gun. So who was shooting at Joe Mauser? And why? 
He'd been a mercenary, but he'd been thrown out when he saved Field Marshal Cogswell's life. Whose enemies were after him now - his own, or Cogswell's? 
In a world where the computers kept track of you, Mauser had to disappear - and stay alive long enough to reach the field Marshal!"


Tandem paperback, 1969. Cover artist uncredited.

Rear cover fluff: 
The best science fiction stories of all time - chosen by the masters of science fiction. Here are the masters who chose the stories: Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke, Lester del Rey, Horace L. Gold, Damon Knight, Fritz Leiber, Murray Leinster, Judith Merril, Clifford D. Simak, E. E. Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, William Tenn, Jack Williamson, John Wyndham. 
The stories they chose: Seven-Day Terror by R. A Lafferty, Coming Attraction by Fritz Leiber, Politics by Murray Leinster, Memento Homo by Walter M. Miller, Jr., The Bright Illusion by C. L. Moore, And Now The News by Theodore Sturgeon, The Custodian by William Tenn and The New Accelerator by H. G. Wells.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Ace paperback, 1978. Cover illustration by Michael Whelan.

Rear cover synopsis:
"For many years the starships of earth searched the heavens for places where men could live. Many planets were found, but always something was wrong: too hot; too cold; atmospheric contaminants; poisonous biochemistry; intelligent natives - something. At last a deep-space survey vessel has reported a planet that seems perfect, an uninhabited paradise where people can roam free. But the first Troas Expedition never returns. And now the crew of the De Gama must find out why, or mankind will lose the stars forever..."

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Panther/Granada paperback, 1984. Cover illustration by Peter Goodfellow.

Back cover fluff: 
"From dream worlds to nightmare planets, from the boundaries of madness to the six points of Ursula Le Guin's three dimensional compass, these stories are a mind-shaking reminder of the uniqueness of Le Guin's unsettling visions." 
This is a short story collection, and contains the following stories: The Author of the Acacia Seeds, The New Atlantis, Schrodinger's Cat, Two Delays on the Northern Line, SQ, Small Change, The First Report of the Shipwrecked Foreigner to the Kadanh of Derb, The Diary of the Rose, The White Donkey, The Phoenix, Intracom, The Eye Altering, Mazes, The Pathways of Desire, Gwilan's Harp, Malheur County, The Water Is Wide, The Wife's Story, Some Approaches to the Problem of the Shortage of Time and Sur.


Sphere SF paperback, 1975. Cover painting by Jim Burns (I think).

Rear cover synopsis: 
Our invincible space fleet has occupied the monsters' worlds. 
Our mighty space force has seized the aliens' home planet. 
Our triumphant space warriors have captured the enemy system. 
But then why are we suffering so beneath the tread of those heartless conquerors from the stars?"


Berkley Medallion paperback, 1971. Cover artwork by Richard M. Powers.

Rear cover synopsis:
"As a horde of monstrous travelers advances through space annihilating everything before it, a super-defense force, consisting of one especially talented man from each as yet untouched planet, converges in an attempt to turn back the horde. 
Miles Vander, Earth's representative, finds himself with a small group regarded as the less civilized of the defending force. But in the final showdown, it is these creatures capable of independent action and raw courage who give a surprising twist to this galactic cliffhanger..."


Sphere SF paperback, 1975. Cover painting by Patrick Woodroffe.

Back cover fluff. 
"The book was like no other he had ever seen. The language was alien to the Earth, and the shifting, changing patterns of the illustrations seemed to spell a deadly, dreadful story. The book was a gateway: a transtemporal link point between two worlds. And soon he found himself in that strange other world. It was a weird, alien place of soul-destroying danger, a place in which he had a quest. To survive, he must hunt down the lost daughter of the witch-king, a girl who might be an angel. Or a demon."

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Panther SF paperback, 1978. Front cover illustration by
Peter Gudynas.

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Man Plus is a haunting vision of to-morrow's man - less mortal than monster, more machine than flesh and blood... 
Man Plus is a desperate top-level plan to save mankind and satisfy the sinister predictions of a government computer... 
Man Plus is Frederik Pohl's stunning new novel of an all-too-plausible future where man must be biologically modified for survival on an alien planet before he exterminates himself on Earth."


Mayflower SF paperback, 1981. Cover by Bob Haberfield (thanks: Jerry).

Back cover fluff: 
"From the mercurial mind of Michael Moorcock... 
Tales of other worlds, other dimensions - strangely beautiful with rich surrealistic landscapes. Tales of doom, despair, horror, of dazzling invention and inspired genius. Including: 
Escape from Evening: one man finds there is only one ironical escape in a sad, dying world. 
The Mountains: the two last men on earth search for the last woman. 
The Golden Barge: what did a single murder matter when the golden barge sailed slowly onwards? 
Consuming Passion: a tale of a pyromaniac with a chilling difference. 
The Pleasure Garden of Felipe Sagittarius: what was a Roman doing in Berlin; found strangle in a garden of strange, living plants?"

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Signet paperback, 1969. Cover by Michael K. Frith

They asked each other countless riddles, such as who played the Cisco Kid and what was Krypton. In the end Dildo won the game. Stumped at last for a riddle to ask, he cried out, as his hand fell on his snub-nosed .38, "what have I got in my pocket?" This Goddam failed to answer, and growing impatient, he paddled up to Frito, whining, "Let me see, let me see." Frito obliged by pulling out the pistol and emptying it in Goddam's direction. The dark spoiled his aim, and he managed only to deflate the rubber float, leaving Goddam to flounder...


Beaver paperback (Hamlyn imprint), 1977. Cover illustration
by John Raynes.

Rear cover synopsis:
"The mysterious powers of the zero stone on his rung bring danger to young Murdo Jern. Together with his strange feline companion Eet, he is hounded through space by the murderous Thieves' Guild, helped only by Eet's super-human intelligence and the unpredictable stone itself."

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Orbit paperback, 1982 .Cover painting by Peter Jones.

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Larry Greenberg's telepathic tendencies had been trained and developed to a critical level. The trouble was that if these psychic interchanges were strong enough, a man could end up not knowing who he really was. And when Larry's mind is taken over by a sinister alien force, he has to fight to retain his sanity - and divert a disaster that threatens all mankind."

Friday, 21 September 2012


Sphere paperback, 1984.

Its surface is barren.
Its true strength hidden.
Its foreboding desert conceals the power to fold space, to slow time, to send the mind where the body cannot go.
It is the source of the ultimate power.
It is the deadly battleground where a young leader will emerge to command an army of six million warriors against the tyrannical force that threatens to enslave the universe.
It is the clash for the greatest prize of all...
The planet called Dune.

The third-stage Guild Navigator.

Who had this book as a child? I did. I don't recall ever reading it but essentially the text is adapted from David Lynch's screenplay - it's nothing special, really, and is obviously targeted at children (which I always found odd as here in the UK the film had a 15 certificate) but it does have some nice production photographs and stills to illustrate the story. Strangely, Joan D. Vinge is credited as writing it, so I can only surmise that she was strapped for cash in the 1980s.

The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

The Beast Rabban.

Alia Atreides.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Mayflower SF paperback, 1976. Cover illustration by Peter Jones.

Rear cover fluff: 
From out of the little township of Pleasant Gap stride Billy and Reave, the DNA Cowboys. Reproduction pistols in their hands, portable generators at their belts, they hit the long trail riding through the molecular dissolution of the Nothings, teetering on the edge of non-existence, to Graveyard, the wheelfreaks' paradise, Dogbreath, home of the blue-scaled whores, Port Judas, Puritan outpost, through Dropville and the hippy immortals to the terror city of Akio-Tech. 
Scraps of contemporary myth, fragments of futuristic horror, strange imaginings and bright strands of story-telling ebb, flow, float, jostle and synthesize into this, the first volume of a dazzling new science fantasy trilogy."

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Pan books paperback, 1990. Cover illustration by Josh Kirby.

Rear cover synopsis: 
Jason Cosmo was a humble woodcutter in the village of lower Hicksnittle on the northern fringes of Darnk, where a conversation about mottled pig pox in the Festering Wart Tavern was a major community event. 
But the arrival of a foppish stranger who promptly tried to kill him, made Jason realize that there was more afoot in the magical Elven Kingdoms of Arden than he'd previously suspected. 
In neighbouring Whiteswap, sipping carrot juice under the watchful eye of the Sanitary Police, Jason met the wizard Mercury Boltblaster - and learned some bad news. 
The evil Dark Magic Society had placed a ten million gold crown bounty on Jason's head - and bounty hunters BlackMoon and Red Huntsman were on his trail. Was it a case of mistaken identity? Was there another Jason Cosmo? Or did he have something strangely wrong with his aura?

Monday, 10 September 2012


The cover for Roger Dean's 1975 book Views, published by Big O Publishing Ltd. I think my copy
is the third edition (September 1976, 60,000 copies).

Cover artwork for Keith Tippet's album Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening.


Cover for Magna Carta's album The Lord Of The Ages.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


New English Library paperback, 1978. Cover by Joe Petagno.

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Three astronauts had returned safely from the Mars landing. Two were dead and Steve West was on the run. On the run from the quarantine hospital which had been treating him ... from the authorities who had to conceal his escape at all costs ... from his friend Ted Nelson ... and from the dreadful organism which had taken possession of his flesh, turning him into a fiendish nightmare but leaving his mind intact to cringe from the murderous horror he had become."

I feel the need to point out that the only reason I bought this (tie-in) book was because I remember seeing the film in all its awfulness on Mystery Science Theater 3000. As a bonus, the eye-catching cover painting is by Joe Petagno.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Orbit paperback, 1986. Cover painting by Peter Elson.

"The United States of Earth will become The United States of the Universe...
They can survive Baalphor of the Shikazu, where the warriors who can never be conquered stalk the conquerors who can never win... 
They can absorb Draco, a planet of pale reptilians, which most humans can't stand - and some can't leave... 
They can defeat Rhana, last of the rebel worlds, where the final battle is to protect man from his worst enemy - himself..."

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Belmont Tower paperback, 1972. Cover artist uncredited.

"He awoke as from some misty, prolonged, vaguely disturbing dream, yet somehow he knew that what had happened and what was happening had a strange reality. It was not the kind of reality his disciplined mind would have accepted in the past, though his consciousness rejected the concept of present and past. This reality seemed to exist outside thought and apart from emotion. There was the lingering physical sensation of having travelled infinite distances through unimaginable dimensions. There was, too, the sense of unthreatening mystery, of soft, overpowering greyness. This total greyness meant limitless peace, he seemed to know. He knew his name. He spoke it aloud. The beautiful girl bending over him repeated it. her skin was grey..."

Saturday, 7 July 2012


Ace Double paperback, 1964. Cover by Jack Gaughan.

"Dr. Henshaw had created what he thought was a time travel machine and he had sent guinea pigs through it. But now he needed a human guinea pig to test it with. 
Christopher Wilkinson thought the whole idea was absurd, until a book that had been sent through the machine came back with a thumb print on it, the finger print of Vanessa, his long lost sweetheart! 
So Wilkinson agreed to the experiment. He stood in the white circle facing the machine as it began to gleam and spin, pulling him down through the tortuous coils of time...."

Ace Double paperback, 1964. Cover by Ed Valigursky.

"Others called their expedition a "wild ghost chase." But for Space Commodore John Grimes and the beautiful Sonya Verrill who had initiated the project, it was strictly scientific research. Their trip along the rim of the galaxy in search of two men - two dead men - was also an investigation of the long-puzzling phenomenon of the Rim Ghosts. They would do this by penetrating into alternate universes. 
There was only one real problem involved in this study - how to report its results. For once the break-through to an alternate world was achieved, there was no known way of getting out...."

Friday, 6 July 2012


Ace Double paperback, 1965. Cover by Jack Gaughan.

"The room was quiet; the man in front of the mirror was the only living thing there, and he was too horrified to utter a sound. 
In the mirror, five faces stared back at him: one young and ruddy, which was his own, and four that did not belong in that place at all, for they were wrinkled, malevolent, small as crabapples and blue as smoke. 
So begins Damon Knight's "Be My Guest," a story of the human race possessed by things that were - well, not exactly demons ... but not exactly not demons, either. It's just one of the unpredictable imaginitive tales in this fascinating collection by a modern master of science fiction." 
What Rough Beast
The Second-Class Citizen
Be My Guest
God's Nose
Catch That Martian

Ace Double paperback, 1965. Painting by Jack Gaughan.

"The fate of the Earth Empire hung in the balance - and Security Commissioner Spangler knew it was up to him to find the monster, the Rithian Terror, ans some called it. Seven Rithians had landed on Earth. Six had been disposed of. One was loose. 
Surely, Spangler reasoned, the stereoptic fluroscope would flush it out. "That's one test the Rithian can't meet, no matter how good his human disguise may be." Spangler explained to Pembun, the strange, little Colonial who had been sent to help find the monster. 
But Penbun didn't agree. "The trouble," he said, "is that the Rithi have no bones. Which would be indication enough under a fluroscope, if it weren't for the fact that it can easily swallow a skeleton." 
Spangler Shuddered."


Ace paperback, 1965. Cover painting by Gray Morrow.

"Fans of Andre Norton are familiar with the planet Warlock and its shimmering, powerful witches, the matriarchal Wyverns, who rule by dreams. ORDEAL IN OTHERWHERE goes back to this familiar science-fiction setting, this time with young Charis Nordholm, who has been sold as a slave to a trader wishing to buy cloth from these strange creatures. Charis soon finds herself not only mixed up in a mysterious internecine warfare she does not understand..."

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Ace Books paperback, 1967. Cover by Gray Morrow.

"The Zoromes had found a way to immortality and thereby were able to set out on centuries-long explorations of the entire galaxy. One among the Zoromes was a human, Professor Jameson, last man of Earth, and his adventures make a saga second to none. 
The Zoromes had made on mistake in their scientific history - they had helped another race of beings change over into machine bodies - the Mumes of the world Mumed. But unlike Jameson, the Mumes did not join in fellowship with Zor. Rather instead they turned on their benefactors, schemed for greater power, and finally the two super-races of machine-men became the bitterest of enemies. 
In SPACE WAR, Professor Jameson finds himself in the thick of a war of the worlds...."

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Paperback Library paperback, 1970. Cover artist uncredited, but
I'm dead sure it's by Robert R. Foster.

"IT IS THE YEAR 2270 A.D. 
A long time ago on Earth, our ancestors did not believe in the industrial-warfare society. They dropped out to live in freedom and do their thing, hated by all the uptight squares.... 
Thus begins a folk legend on Taurus Four, where, during the Saurian Wars, a group of hippies had been transplanted forcibly. Right now the only uptight squares on the planet is a stranded Space Sociologist, Dorian Frank - who has reason to be uptight. The group is about to sacrifice a beautiful virgin to the god in charge of their hemp garden. And the planet is about to be colonized by a nonhuman race even more ruthless than mankind. But all Dorian can do is invent new footnotes to the Space manual, like, 
"For his own piece of mind, the Space Sociologist should sometimes kick the dirty savage on his bare butt."

Saturday, 16 June 2012


Consul books paperback, 1963. Cover artist uncredited.

"The companion novel to Tomorrow and Tomorrow, this book, under the deft touch of Lewis Padgett, makes fascinating and exciting reading. It concerns Robert Cameron, trained in applied psychology, who finds himself being driven insane by a strange, unfathomable force. As an experienced psychometrician he fights the terrifying hallucinations (a doorknob opens a blue eye and looks at him). He knows his job is vital. America, dug into great, shielded cavern-cities, has been at war for decades with the European Falangists. Now a new Falangist weapon has appeared to break the stalemate. And it is up to Cameron to find the man to provide the solution - before his own mind collapses under the weird and terrible stresses!"

Saturday, 26 May 2012


Sidgewick & Jackson hardback, 1974.
Cover artist uncredited, very likely Tony Roberts (thanks: Ed, Jeff).

"FRITZ LEIBER began writing science fiction in the 1940s and, to the delight of his fans, is still going strong. Leiber succeeds in blending fantasy and science fiction in superbly readable fashion. This collection demonstrates the development of his fascinating talent. 
The collection includes Gonna Roll The Bones - Joe Slattermill knew he could roll dice better than any man in Night Town. But then he played against the Big Gambler. 
The Big Trek - He didn't know where he was or how he got there. But he did know he shouldn't be able to understand the creatures he met. 
This anthology includes a complete bibliography and an introduction by Fritz Leiber."  
Wanted - An Enemy
The Man Who Never Grew Young
The Ship Sails at Midnight
The Enchanted Forest
Coming Attraction
Poor Superman
A Pail of Air
The Foxholes of Mars
The Big Holiday
The Night He Cried
The Big Trek
Space-Time for Springers
Try and Change the Past
A Deskful of Girls
Little Old Miss Macbeth
The Man Who Made Friends With Electricity
The Good New Days
Gonna Roll the Bones
America the Beautiful

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Methuen paperback, 1988. Cover illustration: Gino D'Arcille.

shows C. J. Cherryh at her awesome best. A trilogy of epic scale, published for the first time in one volume, The Faded Sun plots the fates of three individuals against a vast background of war, alliance and treachery across the stars. 
Two are members of a far-flung people, the mri-mercenary explorers and warriors, and currently deadly enemies of humanity. But with Melein, their last priestess-queen, and Niun, last of the true-bred warriors, is a human: Sten Duncan, who has renounced his own loyalty to serve them. They set off on a quest for the half-legendary mri-planet Kutath. 
Around this trio, mighty actions swing, and great destinies hang in the balance. C. J. Cherryh proves herself yet again to be an imaginative writer of exceptional power and invention."

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Berkley Medallion paperback, October 1977 - sixth printing. Cover
painting by Vincent Di Fate.

Every seven years, the placid planet of Dante's Joy becomes a waking nightmare of death, deformity and madness. To escape, the populace has the choice of Sleeping - lying drugged in their tomblike houses - or taking the Chance - staying awake and going abroad while their world goes berserk. They become what their innermost longings dictate, whether it be a beast locked in the vilest bowels of depravity, or a supreme being raised to the flowering serenity of truth and light. Thousands are mutilated, killed, transformed into monstrous things. John Carmody, a conscienceless exile from Earth, arrogantly chooses to take the Chance. 
Reeling, shrieking his fear and despair, Carmody confronts the Night of Light, the unknown and unknowable..."


Manor books paperback, 1977. Cover artist uncredited.

"A man and woman locked in a space capsule test the limits of their passion in weightlessness. On earth scientists, generals and politicians test the limits of their ambition to conquer a country, a planet, a universe. 
It was the unthinkable, unreportable project, that would create an aberration in space, a holocaust on earth."

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Granada / Panther SF paperback, 1982. Cover illustration by
Melvyn Grant.

"On the ancient world of TAROT dreams come true - and fanged nightmares stalk the land. Sent to pierce the dread curtain of the Animation that turns fantasy into hideous reality, the wanderer-monk Paul finds himself on a trip to the ultimate, most terrifying fantasy of all. Hell."


Granada / Panther SF paperback, 1982. Cover illustration by
Melvyn Grant.

"On the planet TAROT nothing is real. Or everything. For the shimmering Animation curtain is moving across the worldscape like a storm of monsters, changing fantasy into hideous reality, trapping the wanderer-monk Paul in a nightmare of dragons, demons and spectacular lusts!"


Granada / Panther SF paperback, 1982. Cover illustration by
Melvyn Grant.

"Moments from now and light years away, on the ancient planet of Tarot, the new religions still flourish. But all who dwell in that occult world still worship the timeless Tree of Life as the one supreme god. 
Now this primitive culture is being haunted by apparitions from the mystery-ridden deck of Tarot - by Animations who destroy minds and take human life. can this horror be their god's ultimate challenge to his people? 
A young Earthling adventurer is sent to find the answer. Alone he dares to conjure a Tarot Animation, penetrate its awesome domain - and risk being trapped forever within the mystic borders of the ancient cards."

Friday, 6 April 2012


Penguin SF paperback, 1982. Cover illustration by Chris Moore.

"YEAR 2096 
The human race is in decline. Soon its numbers on earth will drop below survival level. 
Then New Carthage, a world inhabited by strange, cheetah-like creatures, is discovered. Could contact with these aliens provide a lifeline for mankind? 
Using the twins On Lo and Ti, experiments are started to create a human empathic telemetry system between the two worlds. But the encouragement of the closeness factor between the twins provides the catalyst for a far more fantastic event..."