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Yearly Archives: 2017
Strata by Terry Pratchett
Corgi Books, 1989 (Reprint)
Originally published by Colin Smythe Ltd., 1981
Price I paid: none
The excavation showed that the fossilized plesiosaur had been holding a placard which read, ‘End Nuclear Testing Now.’
That was nothing unusual.
But then came a discovery of something which did intrigue Kin Arad.
A flat earth was something new…
CAN FREDDIE FONG FINE SAVE THE WORLD? IF SO, SHOULD HE?
These are the questions that may or may not be the core of this extremely odd novel of the world of 1985. What the Israeli hyponuclear submarine Traif, Mavis Montreal the groupie, the giant cavern under the earth, Upchuck the Barbarian, and the Sacred Locomotive have to do with it all is hard to figure out. But entertaining―so who needs to figure?
Primortals: Target Earth by Steve Perry
Aspect/Warner Books, 1997
Price I paid: none
Sixty-five million years ago, aliens rescued a handful of promising species from doomed Jurassic Earth. They let them survive on new worlds and evolve into beings and civilizations far older, far wiser―and sometimes far deadlier―than anything we can imagine. Today, one of Earth’s lost descendants is coming home…
Grad student Stewart Davies, working at a minor SETI listening post on Long Island, is the first to intercept the signal. It is not a hoax or an accidental burst of radiation. It reads: “I am Zeerus of Achernar Three…We have much to discuss.” Those words will transform the lives of Stewart Davies and his girlfriend, Jess Rossini; of Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Larry Hightower and White House Chief of Staff Laurie Sherman; of NSA specialist Maj. Steve Hayes; and of Jake Holcroft, an eleven-year-old genius on the run from his fanatic father’s underground militia.
For the signal hasn’t come across billions of light years. A starship, carrying one alien, has entered the solar system, approaching Earth. And every old movie and TV show has suddenly become terribly real.
Is Zeerus ambassador or invader? Explorer or fugitive? Can we even understand his motives? What questions should we ask? What answers can we believe? If we don’t want Zeerus on our world, how can we stop him from coming? And if we are wrong about this being’s purpose for visiting, what are the consequences for humankind?
He was just plain Bill, enrolled in a correspondence course for a career as Technical Fertilizer Operator down on the farm, until a recruiting robot turned his head with visions of bright nebula lights, snappy red uniforms―and a cup of deep-space knockout drops…and Bill suddenly found himself aboard the Empire Space Ship Christine Keeler, fighting the Empire’s war against the lizard-like Chingers.
But an act of accidental heroism won him the Purple Dart (and an all-expenses-paid trip to fabulous Helior, the aluminum-plated Sin City of the Empire_―and that’s when Bill’s adventure’s really began…
Get Off My World by Eando Binder
Wildside Press, 2014
Originally published by Curtis Books, 1971
Price I paid: $4.99
The men and women of an underground world hold the key to Earth’s survival. The beastly Martians have decided to wage an “old-fashioned” ground war with only one objective in mind―to wipe humanity from the planet. But then Evan Paige receives an unbelievable radio message from the renowned scientist Dr. Aronson―a message from the center of the Earth, telling of a super-scientific race of Albinos who hold the key to save all mankind!
Triplanetary by E.E. “Doc” Smith
Pyramid Books, 1970
Also Halcyon Classics, 2010
Originally published in Amazing Stories, 1934
Price I paid: none and unknown
Eddore and Arisia fought desperately to control the Universe. The ultimate battleground was a tiny, backward planet in a remote galaxy―Earth.
And only a few Earthmen knew of the titanic struggle―and of the strange, decisive role they were to play in the war of the super-races.
Here is the beginning of “Doc” Smith’s famous Lensman series―the first of the celebrated novels that set a pattern for science fiction.
NEW YORK CITY
Miles beneath the layer of ice that covered Earth in the New Ice Age of 2300 A.D., men survive in the subterranean cities they built to save themselves as the ice crept with killing cold over all living things. For three hundred years no one has seen the surface or communicated with any other city. Until now. Now the few scientific instruments that remain seem to indicate that the Ice Age may be ending; outside temperatures are reaching a level that may make life possible―though not easy―on the outside.
But life in the underground cities is comfortable, and those few who are brave enough to be curious about the unknown frozen world above are suspect; troublemakers. A small party of these “troublemakers,” led by Dr. Raymond Barnes, with a few scientists and others who think they might prefer freedom to safety, has been allowed to take the long-unused elevator up through the ice to the outside. But they go more as exiles than as a scientific expedition; they are not expected―and may not be allowed―to return.
The Long Winter by John Christopher
Fawcett Gold Medal, 1962
Price I paid: 50¢
THE LONG WINTER is the terrorizing story of what happens when a new Ice Age devastates the Northern Hemisphere, when civilization disappears into a voiceless polar night, when men and women turn into human wolf packs in their agonized struggle for survival…and when the only place left to run is filled with another kind of death.