“I Made You” by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
from The Metal Smile, ed. Damon Knight
Belmont Science Fiction, 1968
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, March 1954
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 Cosmic Eye by Mack Reynolds
Price I paid: 50¢
Morris should have functioned perfectly in the rigid totalitarian society of the future where every thought, every word, every action was controlled by the superstate. A state where everyone was watched night and day by the Great Eye of the internal security forces. It was a strange, in many ways inhuman world, but the rewards were great for those who belonged to the right caste. Morris belonged to the master class which ruled the entire world by brain power or brutality, depending on which was needed. Morris was born right at the top—he had everything the Technate Society could provide—and yet he didn’t belong. Nonconformity could mean liquidation, but he was prepared to take the risk.
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FirstFlight by Chris Claremont
Ace Books, 1987
Price I paid: $2.00
The brass called it a by-the-book mission. Lt. Nicole Shea was too green to know that, in space, there’s no such thing…
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The Unfrozen by Ernst Dreyfuss
Tower Books, 1970
Price I paid: Gift! I love gifts!
They lay together through the mist of countless centuries, while the Earth, the galaxy, the infinities of the universe shifted and resettled and changed again. When they awoke it was to an existence tranquil yet hideous, where human emotions had no place. Their love-making was viewed with suspicion and disgust. Now they were the outsiders, the throwbacks. Yet, with all their human imperfections, they were the only hope for a dying civilization.
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The Cyborg and the Sorcerers by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Del Rey, 1982
Price I paid:
Slant the Cyborg Warrior had been ordered to kill the enemies of Earth and return with their weapons technology. His robot spacecraft was to see that he did―and kill him if he didn’t.
Problem was―Earth had perished three hundred years before, and no one had told the ship.
Slant’s dilemma seemingly had no solution…then they landed on a strange world where the computer detected “gravitational anomalies.”
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Conquest of Earth by Manly Banister
Airmont Books, 1964
Originally published by Bouregy, 1957
Price I paid: 75¢
Earth’s elusive masters tolerated only one planet-wide organization—the Scarlet Order of Men. Only the most favored of the People could enter the Institute, as children, to undergo rigorous training. Those unfit for the Order became Blue Brethren, servants and guides of the People, aiding and instructing them as loyal members of society, under the rule of the benevolent Trisz.
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Killerbowl by Gary K. Wolf
Self-published Kindle edition, 2017
Originally published by Doubleday, 1975
Price I paid: $2.99
Thirty years in the future, the ultraviolent sport of Professional Street Football, a phenomenally popular 24-four-hour-long athletic event, combines pro football with mixed martial arts and armed combat. On New Years day, quarterback T.K. Mann plays the most dangerous game of his life, the game known as Killerbowl!
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
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The Other World by J. Harvey Bond
Priory Books, unknown year
Originally published by Avalon Books, 1963
Price I paid: 75¢
George Braderick, a civilian GS-5 Civil Service employee, was also a Sergeant Major in the National Guard. His principal duty was to guard the local armoury. It was as such that he became the target of the sinister Dr. Ludwig Taun—and the victim. Here is a story of a desperate struggle for power in a world out with the dimensions we know.
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The Revolving Boy by Gertrude Friedberg
Del Rey, 1980
Originally published by Doubleday, 1966
Price I paid: 90¢
From early childhood, Derv Nagy was marked out as being different. His uncanny sense of direction, his compulsion to turn and turn again until he felt somehow right, and the slight but definite slant at which he stood—all set him apart. Only his parents knew why Derv was unique among Earth’s billions—and they were determined that their son would never learn the truth.
Eventually Derv realized that his personal “compass” was oriented toward a world far distant from the one he had grown up on—but he did not know of the mysterious transmissions emanating from that invisible point in the sky…
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The Gods of Xuma by David J. Lake
DAW Books, 1978
Price I paid: 75¢
If the universe is infinite, it follows that there may be somewhere real physical worlds that duplicate those of the imagination. And when Tom Carson caught sight of the third planet of 82 Eridani he recognized at once its resemblance to that imaginary Mars called “Barsoom” of the ancient novelist Burroughs.
Of course there were differences, but even so this planet was ruddy, criss-crossed with canals, and its inhabitants were redskinned, fought with swords, and had many things superficially in common with the fantasy Mars of the John Carter adventures.
But there were indeed vital variations that would eventually trip up the self-deceived science-fiction-reading travellers from 24th Century Earth. Therein hangs a tale that will delight and surprise everyone who enjoys the thrill of exploring a new world, especially one that seems peculiarly familiar.
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