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retrospective look at sf&f year-by-year
The Ultimate Guide to New SF&F Writers (from 1990 till now)

Philip Jose Farmer

(artwork copyright Vladimir Kush)

"After King Kong Fell"
© Omega, ed. R. Elwood, 1973
The Classic Philip Jose Farmer, 1964-1973, 1984
--short story : 1975 Nebula
--/ cool sf story

"The Alley God" (coll)
© Ballantine Books, 1962
--/ cool sf collection

"The Alley Man"
© F&SF, Jun 1959
The Alley God, 1962
--/ cool sf story
--/ humour award

(also as "Sketches Among the Ruins of My Mind")
© 1975, Quartet Books
Nova # 3, 1974
-- novella: Locus Award 1974
--/ cool sf story
--/ style award
--/ shock value

"The Captain's Daughter"
(also as "Strange Compulsion")
© Science Fiction Plus, Oct 1953
The Alley God, 1962
--/ cool space sf story
--/ wonder award: alien parasites
--/ shock value
--/ style award

"Dark Is the Sun" (nv)
© 1979, Ballantine Del Rey
--/ second place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award
--/ style award
--/ awesome scale

"The Day Of The Great Shout"
© Worlds Of Tomorrow, Jan 1965

"The Fabulous Riverboat" (nv)
© IF, May 1971
book: Berkley Medallion, 1972
--novel : 1972 Locus /8
--/ cool sf novel
--/ idea award

"A Feast Unknown" (nv)
(Doc Caliban 1)
© 1980, Playboy Press
Berkley Books, 1981
--/ cool f novel
--/ shock value

"The Felled Star"
© IF, Aug 1967
--/ cool sf story


"The Gate Of Time" (nv)
(also as "Two Hawks From Earth")
© 1966, Belmont Books
Two Hawks From Earth, 1979

An alternative timeline novel. A pilot shot over Romania, discovers that the world in which he landed.. does not have America. The ancestors of the various Native American tribes did not cross the non-existent Bering Strait but wandered westward into Europe, taking place of Slavs. Hmm... makes for interesting history. The novel is very fast-paced in action but did not leave a lasting impression.
review: 10-Jul-06 (read in 2004)


"The God Business"
© Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Mar 1954
The Alley God, 1962
--/ cool sf novella


"The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod"
© 1968, 1970, New Worlds
Riverworld and Other Stories, 1979

Tarzan on crack, with wild politics and some hardcore stuff mixed with incomprehensible "new wave" William Burroughs-style word tsunami. Some will like it, some will simply skip it. But it is a side of Philip Jose Farmer which is playful, whimsical, mischievous and so forth. It exists, so deal with it.


"The King of the Beasts"
© Galaxy, Jun 1964
--/ cool sf story short

"The Lovers"
© Startling Stories, Aug 1952
novel: Ballantine Books, 1961
--/ third place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ romance award
--/ idea award
--/ style award

© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Apr 1953
Strange Relations, 1960
--/ third place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award

"The Night of Light"
(Father John Carmody)
© F&SF, Jun 1957
novel : Berkley Medallion, 1969
--/ third place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ style award


"Osiris on Crutches"
© New Dimensions # 6, 1976
Stations of the Nightmare, 1982
--/ cool f story
--/ shock value

This is a "tongue-in-cheek" story with some unspeakable subject matter and taboo elements. But in some ways it is no more explicit than some Greek / Egyptian mythology, in fact based upon one such myth, and ridiculing the bizarre excesses of ancient world's collective imagination. In breaking many conventions, this original gem embodies the value of whole "New Dimensions" anthology series: wilder, weirder, edgier - building upon "Dangerous Visions" tradition. Respect.
review: 18-Jul-06 (read in 1987)


"Riders of the Purple Wage"
© Dangerous Visions, 1967
The Purple Book, 1982
--novella : 1968 Hugo W (tie)
--novella : 1968 Nebula

--/ third place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ style award

"Riverworld" (nv)
© Worlds of Tomorrow, Jan 1966
Down in the Black Gang and Other Stories, 1971
Riverworld and Other Stories, 1979
--/ cool sf novel
--/ idea award

"Sail On! Sail On!"
© Startling Stories, Dec 1952
The Classic Philip Jose Farmer, 1952-1964, 1984
--/ cool sf story

"Sketches Among the Ruins of My Mind"
(also as "Blown")
© 1975, Quartet Books
Nova # 3, 1974
-- novella: Locus Award 1974
--/ cool sf story
--/ style award

"The Sliced-Crosswise
Only-On-Tuesdays World"
© New Dimensions # 1, 1971
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award
--/ emotion award
--/ rare find

"Some Fabulous Yonder"
© Fantastic, Apr 1963
Strange Fantasy, Aug 1969
--/ cool sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ idea: ghost/energy universes
--/ rare find

"Stations of the Nightmare"
© Continuum # 1-4, Roger Elwood, 1974
Stations of the Nightmare, 1982
--/ cool sf story
--/ style award

"Strange Compulsion"
(also as "The Captain's Daughter")
© Science Fiction Plus, Oct 1953
The Alley God, 1962
--/ cool space sf story
--/ wonder award: alien parasites
--/ shock value
--/ style award

"To Your Scattered Bodies Go"
© Berkley Medallion, 1969
--novel : 1972 Hugo W
--novel : 1972 Locus /2
--international sf : 1972 Ditmar
--all time novel : 1975 Locus All-Time Poll /17 (tie)
--all time sf novel : 1987 Locus All-Time Poll /27

--/ cool sf novel
--/ idea award

"Tongues of the Moon" (nv)
© 1964, Pyramid Books
--/ third place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award

"Two Hawks From Earth" (nv)
(also as "The Gate Of Time")
© 1966, Belmont Books
Two Hawks From Earth, 1979


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Collecting Pulp Magazines

Ephemera Interview with Avi Abrams

Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Exceptional British Scifi Artwork from the 1950s

Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and other British artists

Pulp Pleasures: Eando Binder

Great space adventure fiction from the 1930s
"Where Eternity Ends" and other rare gems

Epic Fantasy: the Start of the Journey

Part 2 of our "Best Classic Fantasy" series
incl. works by Henry Kuttner, Tolkien, etc.

Strange Shadows: Best Classic Fantasy

Fantasy "glitches in the matrix",
...lovely baroque magical lands, and more

Classic Cyberpunk SF Novels: Reviews

Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, K. W. Jeter, et al
(awesome must-reads)

10 Possible Sources of "Avatar" in Classic Science Fiction

Going beyond the obvious "Dances with Smurfs"...
(many stories worth reading)

"Steampunk" Anthology: Full Review

some truly crazed stories in there...
(plus artwork by John Coulthart)

"Dune", Plus Often-Neglected
Other Novels by Frank Herbert

"Dune", plus some overlooked gems:
"The Santaroga Barrier" and "The Green Brain"

Universe at Play:
Two Must-Read Novels of the Fantastic

"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon...
and David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas"

Two of the Most Entertaining SF Novels from the 1980s

"Vacuum Flowers" by Michael Swanwick...
and Tim Power's "The Anubis Gates", of course!

"The Body Snatchers" and Other Alien Pods

Fiction by Jack Finney, Vance, Simak and Bloch
mind impostors and emotion imitators

Exploring the Noir and the Grotesque

Jack O'Connell "The Resurrectionist"
and other newest examples of the bizarre

Overpopulation, Sex and Sensibility

Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside"
and other classic sf blasts

H. P. Lovecraft "At the Mountains of Madness"

and other masterpieces of terror
including original illustrations

"Constellations", edited by Peter Crowther

original anthology, 2005
full review: mind-bending stories

The Ultimate Guide to New Writers of SF&F

more than 2,000 writers, 1990-2009
Ratings, awards, web links

The Surreal Office

"The Situation", "The Cookie Monster"
Weird fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Vernor Vinge

Mind-shattering Novels of Philip K. Dick

"UBIK", "Now Wait for Last Year", etc.

Theodore Sturgeon's "More Than Human"

There’s a problem with this new gestalt being: needs a conscience.

Jack Williamson's "Legion of Space" Series

Classic Space Opera
The ultimate weapon, controlled by a gorgeous woman

Astounding Stories, August 1934

Jack Williamson, Nat Schachner, "Doc" Smith
Epic space opera gems and horror surprises

Rare Pulp SF&F, Issue 3

Leigh Brackett, Fritz Leiber, Vic Phillips
Rediscovered gems of wonder & adventure

William Gibson's Novels

"Pattern Recognition", "Neuromancer"
A Fractured Delight...

Alfred Bester "The Computer Connection"

"Bester was the mountain, all the rest of us..."
Pyrokinetic writing in one neat package

Two Novels by Samuel R. Delany

"Nova" and "Babel-17"
New Wave Milestones, and then some.

Theodore Sturgeon's "The Cosmic Rape"

(and more reviews of his fiction)
Classic SF at its best and most humane

Travel Distant Worlds!

Vintage Space Travel Posters, and more.
Part 3 of Pulp Sf art series...

Alastair Reynolds' Epic Novels

"Chasm City" and "Revelation Space"
And it's only the beginning...

Rare Fantasy Gems by C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

Hidden Gems of Pulp Fiction
When two star writers become husband and wife

Grand Old Times... in the Future

Overview of Pulp Art
A Loudly Lurid Universe of Sci-Fi Illustration

Exclusive: Interview with Nancy Kress

From High Fantasy to Hard Science Fiction
A Spectrum of Wonder

Jack Vance

"To Live Forever"
and other Vance extravaganzas

Alastair Reynolds

"Pushing Ice"
Cosmological "noir" chase across space

Charles Stross

"Missile Gap"
Mind-bending Cold War world-building

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 2

Rare stories from the "Age of Wonder"
incl. David Keller, Horace Gold etc.

Ultra-Rare Serials from "Fantasy Magazine"

"Cosmos" + "Challenge From Beyond"
incredible line-up of writers

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 1

Neat & Rare Stories
incl. the mad rally story "The Racer"

Astounding Stories, June 1935

Full Issue Review
incl. Gallun, Schachner, Campbell

Astounding Stories, May 1941

Full Issue Review
incl. Heinlein, Asimov, Eric Frank Russell

Horace Gold; P. Schuyler Miller

"Apocalyptic Blockbusters"
"Inflexure" and "Spawn": guilty pleasure

Interview with John C. Wright

Plus his advice to new writers
Adventures in Space & Magic

Frank Belknap Long

"The Horror from the Hills"
Great Lovecraftian Weird Novella

Interview with Jeff VanderMeer

Plus his Recommended Reading List
A Triumph of the Bizarre

Alastair Reynolds, Part 2

More "Galactic North" Stories
A Mixture of Hard Sf, James Bond & Jaws...

Alastair Reynolds Review

"Galactic North"
staring down infinity...

Most Shocking Article

"Holey Fools" by M. Christian
Warning: Gross Subject Matter

Alfred Bester Review

"The Stars My Destination"
"...nail it to the Retro Hugo voting board..."

Larry Niven Review

"Neutron Star"
"better get GP alien ship hull"

Poul Anderson Review

"Ensign Flandry"
"or how to start a sub-genre..."

Thomas M. Disch Review

"The Squirrel Cage"
"...seriously mind-bending stuff..."

Henry Kuttner Review

"Mimsy Were the Borogoves" (The Last Mimzy)
"...great storyline for a pretty average movie..."

Robert A. Heinlein Review

"The Moon is the Harsh Mistress"
" caused a tooth ache, and put my brain on freeze..."

Frank Herbert Review

"Destination: Void"
"...a layered cake of ideas and a scientific extrapolation on a genius level..."

Harlan Ellison Review

"The Abnormals"
"...editors slapped the most outrageous titles on his stories..."

James White Review

"All Judgement Fled"
"...the tension is palpable, soon to grow almost unbearable..."

Grand Adventure Strikes Again

Space Opera Article, by Avi Abrams
Based on Arthur Clarke's "Against the Fall of Night"

William Gibson Review

"Burning Chrome"
"...sheer pyrotechnics and exuberance of style..."

Ace Double: Murray Leinster

"The Pirates of Ersatz /The Mutant Weapon"
"...the characters might as well be cats or hamsters..."

Astounding Stories, May 1935

Pulp SF Magazine Review
with many original illustrations

Also read recent posts:
Author's Pen Names - Most Complete List Ever
The Wonder Timeline: SF&F Restrospective
Space Adventure Article



"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.

All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

--/ shock value
altogether wild

--/ awesome scale
mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

--/ rare find
very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.

Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.