Sorry

Hey, you know what I just realized? Well, see, I took last week off from work and as a result I completely forgot about pretty much every other routine thing I do, including blogging. I got some good reading done, just not anything relevant to here! Oops!

Anyway, here’s some relevant John Prine to enjoy. I’ll be back on my regular routine with the next review. I think it’ll be a good one!

The Humanoids

The Humanoids by [Jack Williamson]
image from Amazon.com

The Humanoids by Jack Williamson
Spectrum Literary Agency, 2011
Originally published by Simon and Schuster, 1949
Originally serialized in Astounding, March-May 1948
Price I paid: $5.99 (eBook)

Clay Forester is a scientist working in a weapons laboratory on a distant planet, when a vast army of robotic “humanoids” land and, as they have done on countless other worlds, take control of every aspect of human society. The official line is to “guard men from harm”, but in fact the humanoids deny any meaningful freedom to their human victims. Forester tries to fight back, with the help of a vagabond band of “psychophysical” adepts with amazing transphysical powers. Forester’s long fight against the strictures and despotic “protections” offered by the humanoids makes a fascinating tale, which Damon Knight called “without a doubt, one of the most important science-fantasy books of its decade.”

Author’s self-revealing Afterword, “Me And My Humanoids”, also included.

Continue reading “The Humanoids”

With Folded Hands

“With Folded Hands” by Jack Williamson
from The Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction ed. Asimov, Waugh, Greenberg
Carroll & Graf, 1989
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, June 1947
Price I paid: $3

During the 1940s, the great names emerged in an eruption of talent. They formed the mould for the next three decades of science fiction and their writing is as fresh today as it was then.

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The Hanging Stones

Cover image from isfdb.org

The Hanging Stones by Manly Wade Wellman
Doubleday, 1982
Price I paid: nary a thing

Silver John, the wandering balladeer, is well respected among the back-country folk for his knowledge of woodcraft, the manly simplicity of his singing, and especially for his dealings with the dark mysteries that flourish amid a land untamed by modern civilization. So he is welcomed by the men and women working high in the Southern Mountains. The new Stonehenge they are helping reconstruct has been plagued by unaccountable happenings—nothing violent yet, but there lurks in the woods many a blinking eye. Their imaginations, agitated by the area’s history as a gathering place for devil worshipers, create a succession of wood-haunting ghouls, each more terrible than the last. Their employer Noel Kottler, millionaire industrialist, is unschooled in mountain lore and scoffs at what he considers childish fancy. Silver John doesn’t. Neither does Esdras Hogue, seventh son of a seventh son, whose communication with primordial cavemen proves a stronger defense against the evil forces unleashed upon them than all the latest ammunition Kottler can muster.

from the inside flap
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E for Effort

“E for Effort” by T.L. Sherred
from The Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction ed. Asimov, Waugh, Greenberg
Carroll & Graf, 1989
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1947
Price I paid: $3

During the 1940s, the great names emerged in an eruption of talent. They formed the mould for the next three decades of science fiction and their writing is as fresh today as it was then.

Continue reading “E for Effort”

Pirates of Venus

Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bison Books, 2001
First serialized in Argosy, 1932
First published in book form by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., 1934
Price I paid: Hooray for public libraries

The shimmering, cloud-covered planet of Venus conceals a wondrous secret: the strikingly beautiful yet deadly world of Amtor. In Amtor, cities of immortal beings flourish in giant trees reaching thousands of feet into the sky; ferocious beasts stalk the wilderness below; rare flashes of sunlight precipitate devastating storms; and the inhabitants believe their world is saucer-shaped with a fiery center and an icy rim. Stranded on Amtor after his spaceship crashes, astronaut Carson Napier is swept into a world where revolution is ripe, the love of a princess carries a dear price, and death can come as easily from the blade of a sword as from the ray of a futuristic gun.

Pirates of Venus is the exciting inaugural volume in the last series imagined and penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This commemorative edition features new illustrations by Thomas Floyd, the original frontispiece by J. Allen St. John, an afterword by Phillip Burger, a glossary of Amtor terms by Scott Tracy Griffin, a map of Amtor drawn by Edgar Rice Burroughs that appeared in the first edition, and an introduction by acclaimed science fiction and horror novelist F. Paul Wilson.

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Space Cops: High Moon

Space Cops: High Moon by Diane Duane and Peter Morwood
Avon Books, 1992
Price I paid: $1.50

RED DAWN RISING

THEY DREAM OF WORLD CONQUEST: The Red Dawn—a radical band of space outlaws dedicated to destruction.

THEY HOLD THE TOOL OF CHAOS: A decoder prototype stolen from the Solar Patrol—rendering the security apparatus of the elite, interplanetary peacekeeping force ineffective. Now, unless Rangers Joss O’Bannion and Evan Glyndower can recover the device, their home world, Mars, is doomed.

THEY WAIT IN TOMBSTONE: A violent and lawless “Wild West” ghost town reborn on the dark side of the red planet—drawing O’Bannion and Glyndower, outmanned and outgunned, into a high-powered shootout that threatens to put Star Wars to shame.

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Giant Killer

“Giant Killer” by A. Bertram Chandler
from The Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction ed. Asimov, Waugh, Greenberg
Carroll & Graf, 1989
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, October 1945
Price I paid: $3

During the 1940s, the great names emerged in an eruption of talent. They formed the mould for the next three decades of science fiction and their writing is as fresh today as it was then.

Continue reading “Giant Killer”

Battle for the Stars

Battle for the Stars by Edmond Hamilton
Paperback Library, 1967
Originally published by Dodd, Mead / Torquil, 1961
Price I paid: 90¢

CLUSTER WORLD N-356-44

“It was no place for a man to be.

Men were tissue, blood, bone, nerve. This place was not made for them. It was made for force and radiation. Go home, men.

But I can’t, thought Jay Birrel. Not yet…I have to go on into this place where a human being looks as pathetic as an insect in a furnace.”

And so begins Edmond Hamilton’s most fascinating inter-planetary adventure—BATTLE FOR THE STARS.

Continue reading “Battle for the Stars”