Second Contact

Second Contact by J.D. AustinSecond Contact
Ace Science Fiction, 2001
Price I paid: 75¢

Dangling on the edge of the galaxy is Kivlan, a planet reputed to be a gracious and accommodating paradise. Even its name means tranquility—but apparently in some dead language, because when an earthship sends out a friendly hello, Kivlan immediately responds with missile fire.

Leave it to Earth to give peace one more chance—by dispatching one more ship to Kivlan. And Matt Wiener, its optimistic captain, isn’t traveling way the hell out there just to make enemies. A real straight-arrow, he’s prepared to do what it takes to keep the universe in harmony. Even if it kills them all…

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The Island Snatchers

The Island Snatchers by George H. SmithThe Island Snatchers Front
DAW Books, 1978
Price I paid: 90¢

HIBERNIA HIJACKED!

Flying machines had not yet been invented on Earth’s dimensional twin, Annwn. So Dylan MacBride thought it would be a good idea, even if a bit on the crackpot side from the viewpoint of that world’s somewhat backward Victorian viewpoint.

But when Dylan and his witch wife Clarinda tried out the machine by flying to Hibernia to attend a wild Irish wedding, they came a-cropper. For the Emerald Isle was not where it ought to be. Instead it was drifting rapidly westward under some strange power.

Now who would hijack a whole land of legends and fair lassies? And how was it done—and why?

THE ISLAND SNATCHERS is a wonderful, whacky, and adventurous tale, replete with Little People, lost races, and super-scientific perils.

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Come Die With Me

Come Die With Me by James DarkCome Die With Me
Signet Books, 1965
Price I paid: 50¢

FORTRESS OF DEATH

It rises high and remote in the Brazilian mountains—a hermitage walled by sheer cliffs of dazzling white, lethally wired concrete. In this secret lair, a madman’s plot is being spawned, a scheme that will bring the world to heel.

Intertrust agent Mark Hood is the only one who can combat the evil plan. And he has been forced to join in its operation. Intertrust agent Mark Hood is sitting on top of an exploding time bomb as the seconds tick away…as the unsuspecting world hurtles toward tyranny…and death.

COME DIE WITH ME is a grand-slam of the sinister and sensational, delivered by JAMES DARK, new champion of the spy-cological thriller.

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The Suiciders

The Suiciders by J.T. McIntoshThe Suiciders front
Avon Books, 1973
Price I paid: 90¢

KILL AND DIE

That was the battle tactic of the Tinkers, rough, vicious interplanetary invaders who would rather die than be captured alive. Controlling them in some way were The Six—an occult group that had learned how to duplicate human beings and use them as pawns in a grandiose plan to control interstellar space.

Defending civilization against this onslaught were Rey Cottrell, a war consultant without even a fortress from which to fight his battle, and captain Brixby, a lone idealist faced with mutiny when he tried to take his ship into the combat zone. Their chances seemed hopeless—especially since Cottrell suspected that there were supernatural forces involved that could take over the whole galaxy!

J.T. McIntosh, famous for many years for his action-packed science fiction adventures, has excelled himself with this new blend of drama and totally original, mind-expanding ideas. 

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Earth Has Been Found

Earth Has Been Found by D.F. JonesEarth Has Been Found front
Dell Books, 1979
Price I paid: 90¢

THE XENOS ARE HERE

At first, the bizarre series of “cosmic skyjackings” could be hushed up by a baffled and frightened military. But aircraft continued to disappear, plucked out of the sky without warning, only to reappear months later, thousands of miles off course.

AND THEY THIRST FOR BLOOD

All too soon the reason would become horribly apparent. Earth has been found by a horde of creatures from a world that not even the wildest imagination could invent, parasitic creatures that took to their human hosts with deadly speed and bloodthirsty precision.

They were named Xenos. The word meant “strangers.” It would come to mean something much more frightening and final now that…

EARTH

HAS

BEEN

FOUND

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The Road to Corlay

The Road to Corlay by Richard CowperThe Road to Corlay front
Pocket Books, 1978
Price I paid: 90¢

On the Eve of the Fourth Millenium

a slowly-building civilization, struggling out of the rubble of the Drowning, was crushed beneath the scepter of a powerful and repressive Church.

But on the Eve of the Fourth Millenium

the sound of a magical pipe was heard, and the air was filled with songs of freedom and enlightenment.

And on the Eve of the Fourth Millenium

the Boy appeared, bringing the gift of sacrilege, a harbinger of the future, heralding the arrival of the White Bird of Dawning.

It is the coming of a New Age….

A glorious future bearing the presents of the past!

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Update: I Have a Patreon!

Heya folks, this is just to let you know that I’ve signed up for Patreon, the site that’ll let people support my blog by throwing a couple dollars my way every time I post. I think this is awesome.

This is, of course, not to say that I’m in dire financial straits or that the blog is in any kind of danger of not happening. I intend to keep doing reviews for as long as I can stomach it. But getting a little cashflow from the blog would be pretty cool for a couple of reasons.

  1. I can add some server space. The space that WordPress allocates is a pretty good amount, but since I use high resolution scans of the covers of the books I read, the space will, in the distant future, start to get a little tight. Also, I’d like to be able to do some wackier stuff like video posts or start a podcast variant of the blog. That would be fun!
  2. I can hire somebody to do some art. I’m an awful graphic designer and an even worse artist. Still, I feel like the blog looks a little barebones and I’d like to have some prettiness added. Especially a header image.
  3. I can kill the ads. WordPress is pretty good about ads, to be fair, but in my opinion, no ads is better than occasional ones.
  4. Extra posts. This is the big one. If I can ask for a day or two off (from the job I absolutely adore, so this is like…TWO sacrifices) every month, I’ll be able to do an extra book or two every month. This is great because I can provide more content, but also because it’ll help me work through the massive stack I’ve got built up. Not that that’s a bad thing.
  5. Promote the blog. I guess I could buy ads somewhere, even though that goes against #3. I’m sure there are better ideas than that. I’ll get back to you there.
  6. More special request reviews. This is my favorite. Remember when I did The Feminists and I paid $15 for it? Totally worth it. Not only because I’m glad that I read that piece of garbage, but also because that single review got me more page views and exposure than, um, probably everything else combined. With a little help, I’ll be able to dig deeper into the rarer out-of-prints via Amazon or AbeBooks just to see what trash and treasure lurks beyond my local used-book store.

So that’s what I get. What do you get?

Well, I plan on using the Patreon site to give a little more glimpses into the backstage area of the blog. New book arrivals will be posted so that people can help me pick and choose what comes next. Maybe if I’m torn between a pair of books I can reach out and y’all can help me decide. Things like that, with more ideas forthcoming. Plus there’s a list of individual rewards you can peruse at the Patreon itself.

Questions, comments, concerns?

Aaaand here’s the link: http://www.patreon.com/schlockvalue.

Scavengers in Space

Scavengers in Space by Alan E. NourseScavengers in Space front
Ace Books, 1958
Price I paid: 50¢

“This fast-moving tale of the far future deals with the quest of the Hunter brothers for a mysterious bonanza located somewhere in the asteroid belt. The dangers and details of asteroid mining are carefully outlined, and the bonanza itself proves to be an open gate to wider future in the stars.

“Realistic background, good plotting, and vivid writing add up to a good adventure.”

—Cleveland Press

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The Penetrator #49: Satan’s Swarm

The Penetrator #49: Satan’s Swarm by Lionel DerrickThe Penetrator 49 front
Pinnacle Books, 1982
Price I paid: 60¢

When a group of international terrorists releases Dr. Raymond Barr from a hospital for the criminally insane, the Penetrator springs into action. Dr. Barr, aside from being insane, is a brilliant scientist—a very dangerous combination. With the mad doctor on the loose, no one is safe.

Taken by his rescuers to a secret laboratory in Nicaragua, the doctor’s twisted talents are employed by Colonel Po Hahn Chau, who is breeding new strains of abnormally large, highly-aggressive insects. The colonel’s plan is to develop an insect army, a living weapon which could bring the world to its knees.

The Penetrator has to smash this plot before the colonel’s plague is loosed on the world—and before he becomes the swarm’s first victim.

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The Mad Throne

The Mad Throne by Brad MunsonThe Mad Throne front
Popular Library, 1979
Price I paid: 75¢

Lawrence Connor. Brilliant actor. Riding the crest of a sensational star role.

What had happened to him?

He had waked from a terrifying trance to find himself trapped in another man’s body—in a nightmarish realm of giants and killer warriors, arrogant overlords and oppressed slaves, seductive temptresses and endangered beauties.

How had he gotten there? How could he return to earth?

These were questions that he did not have time to answer. He was too busy fighting for his own survival….

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