“The New Father Christmas”

The Metal Smile“The New Father Christmas” by Brian W. Aldiss
from The Metal Smile, ed. Damon Knight
Belmont Science Fiction, 1968
Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 1958
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…

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The Big Time

the-big-timeThe Big Time by Fritz Leiber
Ace Books, 1961
Price I paid: none

“A superior adventure-mystery about the strangely assorted crew of men and women, snatched out of their lives by emissaries from the far future, who fight and scheme to change the structure of time and history. Two unseen forces are at war in the Big Time, the enemy Snakes and the Spiders. The plot has suspense, but it is the personalities of the participants in the Change War, and the concept of the War itself that is fascinating.”

―P. Schuyler Miller, Analog

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World Without Men

World Without Men by Charles Eric MaineWorld Without Men
Ace Books, 1958
Price I paid: none

THE SEARCH FOR
THE 47th CHROMOSOME

The world of five thousand years from now was a world of only one sex—women. Love was an unnatural affair, fostered by the inhuman hand of the unseen government. Babies were created by laboratory techniques based on mass-deception.

There was one all-important project that supplied humanity’s only motive for continued existence—the struggle to re-create the male sex. Yet the very act of realizing this dream was to set up a crisis the world of women had never anticipated—and could not control!

Here is a truly unique novel which dares to discuss a scientific subject hitherto untouched by science-fiction. Slanted for the intelligent adult reader, it will be ranked with 1984 and Brave New World.

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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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Starmasters’ Gambit

Starmasters’ Gambit by Gerard KleinStarmaster's Gambit front
DAW Books, 1973 (Original French edition published 1958)
Price I paid: 90¢

As colonists penetrated the galaxy, a series of strange legends accumulated about the worlds just beyond the rim of our exploration.

These legends told of vast black citadels built by pre-human intelligences that dominated certain deserted planets. And the legends agreed that these colossal structures were not only impenetrable to explorers—but were still in some mysterious way activated.

This is the story of Jerg Algan, into whose restless hands fell the key to the citadels.

This is the story of Jerg Algan whose fate it was to be a “knight” on a cosmic chessboard, leaping to planet to planet as a gambit—a chess sacrifice move—to check the dark monarch who ruled the farther half of the Milky Way.

This is the novel that established Gerard Klein as the leading modern science fiction novelist of Jules Verne’s homeland.

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