The Mercy Men

The Mercy Men by Alan E. Nourse
Ace Books, 1984
Originally published in 1968
Price I paid: *A picture of Ronald Reagan saying “I don’t recall, mommy”*

It’s the 22nd century and mass mental illness is reaching epidemic proportions. At the Hoffman Medical Center, illegal brain research is performed on living subjects. The victims come as volunteers, already mad enough to risk their remaining sanity for the high prices Hoffman offers. These new-age mercenaries go by the ironic title of—

THE MERCY MEN

Continue reading “The Mercy Men”

The Vampyre

Title page of the original 1819 edition/Wikipedia

The Vampyre: A Tale by John William Polidori
Gateway/Orion, 2015
Originally published by Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1819
Price I paid: 99¢

The Vampyre: A Tale is based on a fragment written by Lord Byron in 1816 during a gathering of author friends who, trapped inside due to bad weather, decided to write ghost stories. It was the first vampire story in English prose, and as such had a wide-ranging influence, almost single-handedly creating the now-popular image of the vampire as an aristocratic seducer.

Amazon.com, from the publisher
Continue reading “The Vampyre”

Time Cat

The cover of the novel TIME CAT by Lloyd Alexander. A black cat with the title of the book has a very long tail that spans the rest of the cover, on which various scenes from history can be seen. The background is a whirlpool of dark and light green colors.
Cover image from isfdb.org

Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander
Square Fish, 2012
Originally published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1963
Price I paid: Having fun’s not hard/when you’ve got a library card

He doesn’t have nine lives, it’s true, but Gareth the cat is far from ordinary. For one thing, he can talk. What’s more, he has magical powers that even Jason hasn’t dreamed of.

“Anywhere, any time, any country, any century.” Gareth tells Jason he can take them traveling through time. And in a single wink of the eye, he does. From ancient Egypt to Japan, from the land of young leonardo da Vinci to the town of a woman accused of witchcraft, Jason and Gareth are whisked from place to place and friend to foe.

Full of excitement, discovery, and a world of intriguing history, Time Cat takes the imagination on an unforgettable ride—into nine amazing adventures in life.

Continue reading “Time Cat”

After the Rain

The cover of the book "After the Rain" features the Statue of Liberty submerged in water up to her face. All that is visible is the torch and the top half of her head. The sky is dark and cloudy. The title and author of the book are in the top right corner.

After the Rain by John Bowen
Ballantine Books, 1965 (Second edition)
First edition published in 1959
Price I paid: 75¢

The British are a hardy island people. At least two aspects of this country are world-renowned—the astonishing number of high calibre writers they produce, and their climate.

AFTER THE RAIN is an impressive combination of both. In fact, Angus Wilson says:

“If you like cataclysmic novels John Bowen’s AFTER THE RAIN is as exciting as any deluge you can hope to find: but if you think deluges are twoo trivial, John Bowen has a surprise for you: his novel turns out to be a satire of the first order.”

Continue reading “After the Rain”

Bear with me please

UPDATE 9/18/19: I think I’ve found a good setup so things may stabilize. Is this more readable? It seems like every damn option WordPress has on offer is grey on gray unless I want to do some kind of negative mode with blue and yellow or some crap. Or picture backgrounds. It’s like nobody is expected to use this website for longform writing?

It’s been brought to my attention that my blog is not very accessibility friendly! I feel very bad about that, and I’m exploring options to correct the issue.

The most likely result is that I’m going to change the theme again. I know, that sucks and I just changed it and it probably was confusing enough the first time. I’m sorry. I’ll try to make this one stick for a little while, hopefully by means of not choosing one that sucks for people to read.

In the meantime you might notice the theme change and then change back, and things might move around a bit while I figure out what features are on offer and how best to use them.

If you have to blame anyone, blame me first and foremost, but also maybe blame WordPress for wanting to charge me forty dollars to add a little CSS. It’s like a 98/2 split.

Thanks for being patient with me, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this blog easier for you to read, or navigate, or anything else. My dinky little project might be niche, but it’s still for everyone.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Gene Roddenberry
Simon and Schuster, 1979
Price I paid: $2

Space—the final frontier…

But for James T. Kirk, late of the starship Enterprise, it looks as though the days of exploration are over. After the completion of his five-year mission, he has been promoted to Admiral—and assigned to a permanent ground job. The Enterprise has been completely refitted, and placed under new command.

But when a destructive alien force threatens Earth itself, only Kirk possesses the courage, the ingenuity, and the loyalty of the finest crew in Starfleet to venture into deep space to meet the challenge.

One by one they return: Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Chapel, and at last, Mr. Spock, his mind called back from Vulcan mysteries to join his old companions. Added to the old crew are the Deltan navigator, Ilia, an alien woman as compelling as she is beautiful; and the young captain, Willard Decker, whose life is mysteriously entwined with hers. As the Enterprise embarks for deepest space, the crew have very little time to discover the nature of their unknown adversary, for a huge, luminescent, and deadly cloud is coming nearer and nearer to Earth…

Written with the insight and authenticity that could come only from Star Trek‘s creator, here is the inner story of the Enterprise’s most dangerous and spectacular mission.

from the inside front flap
Continue reading “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”

The Time-Swept City

Image from isfdb.org

The Time-Swept City by Thomas F. Monteleone
Popular Library, 1977
Price I paid: $1

ETERNAL CHICAGO

built to serve man and now seeking mastery of man

ETERNAL CHICAGO

evolving like a live organism over the milleniums toward the zenith of monstrous perfection

ETERNAL CHICAGO

flourishing behind its force fields as disaster ravishes the globe—and voyagers from space vanish among the stars

ETERNAL CHICAGO

the ultimate battleground between human and extrahuman power—where the future of earth and the universe will be decided

Continue reading “The Time-Swept City”

The Day the Gods Died

The Day the Gods Died by Walter Ernsting
Bantam Books, 1976
Originally published as Der Tag, An Dem Die Goetter Starben
Translated by Wendayne Ackerman
Price I paid: 75¢

ERICH VON DÄNIKEN CONTACTED WALTER ERNSTING BY TELEPATHIC TELEGRAPH…Then entrusted him with the most important object on Earth—a small stone sphinx. The tiny statue was the secret key to the Gods from outer space. It unlocked a hidden stronghold in Peru, revealing their ultrahuman civilization. Walter Ernsting entered a sense-shattering world unbounded by time or space—where he saw the fantastic technology that enabled the Gods to bridge 20,000 years in an instant. Where he discovered the true purpose of the Gods’ interplanetary mission. And where he learned the awesome prophecy that foretells the fate of humanity. THE DAY THE GODS DIED.

Continue reading “The Day the Gods Died”

“Someday”

“Someday” by Isaac Asimov
from The Metal Smile, ed. Damon Knight
Belmont Science Fiction, 1968
Originally published in Infinity Science Fiction, August 1956
Price I paid: none

“DO NOT FOLD, BEND, OR MUTILATE”

marked the beginning of our cybernetic society. How will it end?

The varied answers to that question have proved to be fertile ground for some of the greatest science fiction imaginations. But perhaps we shouldn’t look too closely into the future of cybernetics. It may be that the survival capacity of the thinking machine is greater than that of its maker…

Continue reading ““Someday””

The Moon is Hell

Hannes Bok cover to the 1951 Fantasy Press edition/isfdb.org

The Moon is Hell by John W. Campbell
Gateway/Orion, 2011
Originally published by Fantasy Press, 1951
Price I paid: $2.99

John W. Campbell was the man who made modern science fiction what it is today. As editor of Astounding Stories (later Analog), Campbell brought into the field such all-time greats as Asimov, Heinlein, Sturgeon and many others, while his own writing blazed new trails in science fiction reading pleasure. The Moon is Hell is this great writer-editor’s vision of the first men on the moon – written 18 years before Neil Armstrong made history. This is the story of the American space programme – not as it happened, but as it might have been.

From Goodreads
Continue reading “The Moon is Hell”