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Barrington J. Bayley

(art copyright R. Herczog)

Pen-names: Alan Aumbry, P. F. Woods, Peter Woods, John Diamond, Michael Barrington

"The Big Sound"
© Science Fantasy, 1962
--/ third place sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award
--/ awesome scale
--/ rare find


"The Cabinet of Oliver Naylor"
© New Worlds # 10, 1976
The Knights of the Limits, 1979
--/ third place space sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ awesome scale

This story is a sudden revelation among the average contents of the "New Worlds" collection (this was already a book, not a magazine). Barrington Bayley is not only better, he is lethally good. After reading his stories, the joy of reading any other writer's honest effort pales in comparison and does not hook you any more. He will spoil you and show you what really inventive and cool writing is. In this off-beat (and seriously GRAND) tale we have Victorian design and culture, spaceships travelling with untinkable speeds and the metaphysical ramifications worthy of the late PKD theories. Witness these words from the "Cheap Truth": "His best work has an eerie sense of dark complexity. To read a work like "The Cabinet of Oliver Naylor" is to be simultaneously enlightened and bewildered, to receive a Zen knock on the head; it is the literary equivalent of psilocybin. It is, in fact, why science fiction was invented."
review: 25-Oct-06 (read in 2001)


"Collision Course" (nv)
(also as "Collision With Chronos")
© DAW Books, 1973
Allison & Busby, 1973
--/ third place time sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award: separate time streams
--/ style award
--/ awesome scale
--/ adventure award

Very intricate and in many ways ground-breaking novel. It starts with "Philip K. Dick kind" idea of the alien ruins becoming younger and moving backward in time on a collision course with reality. It gets even better, as another "space colony" culture is introduced, and witnesses time/spatial cataclysms when this stray stupendous time entity (for that is what it is, it even could be a sentient time being !) broadsides it a little, and meshes up time and minds of everybody involved. (the scene of time-stream collision/intrusion on a space station holds the honor to be one of the most wild in SF). The novel lags in places, and might need an infusion of extra-emotion, but generally speaking it has loads of invention and that "wide-eyed sense-of-wonder"
review: 10-Jul-06 (read in 2006)

(image credit: AlphaKX, DeviantArt)


"The Countenance"
(as by P. F. Woods)
© New Worlds, Jan 1964
The Seed of Evil, 1979
--/ cool sf story

"Double Time"
© New Worlds, Jul 1962
--/ cool sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"Empire of Two Worlds" (nv)
© Ace Books, 1972

--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ idea: mega-cities
--/ awesome scale
--/ style award: gangster culture

In a huge self-contained city on a dark planet lives the gangster with the dream to become an Emperor. He gets together a bunch of hoodlums, revolts against the society's stagnation and sets out in a cool-looking tank across the blasted landscape... toward the other city on the horizon (nobody ventures outside of cities, you know) He finds the gateway between the worlds (left over from Medieval times on Earth) and unloads his (and his buddies) unsavory presence upon the unsuspecting idyllic Earth populace. This is a study in power dreams, plus has an interesting idea of alchemy surviving as a precise science in the future. The first part of the novel captivated me, the second part lagged behind, mired in simplistic alien combat sequences.
review: 10-Jul-06 (read in 2006)


(with Michael Moorcock)
© New Worlds, Jul 1963
Moorcock 's Book of Martyrs, 1976
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ style award
--/ awesome scale

© New Worlds # 7, 1974
New Worlds # 6 (U.S.) 1975
--/ cool sf story
--/ idea award

"Me And My Antronoscope"
© New Worlds Quarterly # 5, 1973
The Knights of the Limits, 1979
--/ third place sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award

"The Radius Riders"
(as P. F. Woods)
© Science Fiction Adventures (UK), 1962
The Seed Of Evil, 1979
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award

"The Ship of Disaster"
© New Worlds, Jun 1965
--/ third place sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ rare find

"The Ship That Sailed the Ocean of Space"
© Best SF From New Worlds # 8,
ed. M. Moorcock, 1974

The Seed Of Evil, 1979
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ idea award
--/ wonder award


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Anonymous Miles said...

Thank you so much for this list of Barrington J. Bayley publications --- It's very useful.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Yes, Miles - his stuff is brilliant indeed

5:34 AM  

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"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.

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- story :
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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

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