“EPICAC” by Kurt Vonnegut from Science Fact/Fiction, eds. Farrell, Gage, Pfordresher, Rodrigues Scott, Foresman and Company, 1974 Originally published in Colliers, November 25, 1950 Price I paid: $6.56
Cyborg by Martin Caidin Arbor House, 1972 Price I paid: none
He was a wonder of scientific perfection– but it was lonely as hell at the top. All the resources of NASA, the Pentagon, and Government Money put the pieces of Lt. Col. Steve Austin’s shattered body back together again. He came out of it more perfect than human. Better than new. A deadly, unstoppable weapon. Now all he needed was to find some human emotion in the tangle of plastic, wire and atomic metal that was fused to the remains of his flesh.
The Long Loud Silence by WIlson Tucker Dell Books, 1952 Price I paid: 50¢
Corporal Russell Gary—operator—angle man—black-marketeer, junior grade—liberator of anything loose—veteran of Salerno and Normandy—a man who knew how to live by his wits and a gun.
Celebrating ten years in khaki, Gary went on a monumental binge…
While he slept it off, the United States east of the Mississippi was laid waste by atomic bombs and plague germs. The few who survived were immune to the plague but carriers of the toxin. No one from the contaminated area crossed the Mississippi and lived more than a few seconds. The army guarded every bridge, every inch of shore line. If you happened to be east of the river when the bombs fell, you stayed there until you died. There was no other choice, no other future.
When Corporal Gary woke up he was on the wrong side of the river, the bombed and contaminated side…
“All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace” by Richard Brautigan from Science Fact/Fiction, eds. Farrell, Gage, Pfordresher, Rodrigues Scott, Foresman and Company, 1974 Originally published in the book All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace Communications Company, 1967 Price I paid: $6.56
“Crabs Take Over the Island” by Anatoly Dnieprov translated by George Yankovsky from Science Fact/Fiction, eds. Farrell, Gage, Pfordresher, Rodrigues Scott, Foresman and Company, 1974 Translation originally published in Russian Science Fiction, NYU Press, 1969 Originally published in Russian in Дорога в сто парсеков, 1959 Price I paid: $6.56
Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede by Bradley Denton William Morrow and Company, 1991 Price I paid: Libraries are fun and educational
Several years ago Bradley Denton’s first novel appeared as a paperback original entitled Wrack & Roll. Locus called it “an eccentric triumph, recommended reading for members of that paradox-ridden generation where rock ‘n’ roll will never die, but kids have turned into grownups all the same.” “Moves at breakneck pace, filled with comic invention and brutal satire,” said Booklist. “Impressive work, highly original…Highly recommended,” said Science Fiction Chronicle.
Now he breaks into hardcover with Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede, an extraordinary novel of realism and wild fantasy in the postmodern vein. This book brews a heady concoction out of such diverse elements as space aliens living in disguise next door in suburban Kansas; a resurrected Buddy Holly appearing on TV worldwide with the planet Jupiter in the background, on all channels, twenty-four hours a day, a desperately depressed computer-store clerk, Oliver Vale, whose nutty mother worships rock ‘n’ roll. What results is a car-and-motorcycle chase across the southern Midwest ending in a huge revival rally at the drive-in movie theater. Attending are a motorcycle gang, a murderous renegade secret agent, a sympathetic psychiatrist, a robot Doberman who likes beer, various alien beings in human disguise, and thousands of worried people whose TVs won’t work right.
Along with the strange and wonderful aspects of the story comes a strong sense of what life and the world have gone though over the last thirty years, a gently jaundiced view of the world at present, and a deep and abiding love of rock ‘n’ roll and its saving powers.
Bradley Denton is a strong and original voice in American fiction, dealing with pop culture elements and finely tuned characters in a hyperbolic plot reminiscent of early Vonnegut novels or the work of James Morrow, with a dash of Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker’s Guide mode. Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede has wit, color, intensity, narrative drive, and an involving story. Hold onto your seats, Bradley Denton is here.
“The Gun Without a Bang” by Robert Sheckley from Science Fact/Fiction, eds. Farrell, Gage, Pfordresher, Rodrigues Scott, Foresman and Company, 1974 Originally published in the pages of Galaxy Science Fiction, June 1958 Price I paid: $6.56
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 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.
“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.