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Misc. update - July 8


Theodore Sturgeon
(also as "Who?")
© Galaxy, Mar 1955]
A Way Home, 1955
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ style award

This one belongs right there in a category "Stories that made you cry". It has a great twist in the end, but that would be a spoiler to tell. It is lyrical, but at the same time, very tough space tale. Is there such a thing as "psychological therapy space fiction" sub-genre? I can count a few superior examples dealing with men's adaptation to the weirdness of space. Some guy in a spaceship is on a very long voyage. His only companion is some strange character, who he can talk to but must not meet until they arrive at their destination.  When they do meet, it is not what anybody would expect...
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1986)


Frederick Pohl
"The Day the Icicle Works Closed"
© Galaxy, Feb 1960
The Man Who Ate the World, 1960
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ style award
--/ wonder award

Very capable writing, great quality novella. Earth colony planet suffers economic meltdown, so it tries to help things by selling live human hosts (bodies) to the tourist agencies: rich people occupy the minds of the unfortunate colonists, as the host's minds (occupying the robot bodies) slave in the underwater mines. Very callous and cynical idea, indeed. Pohl is good at that kind of dystopian inventions. The story also depicts interesting planetary ecology, with air-fish and rainbow glaciers.
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1986)


Zenna Henderson
"Something Bright"
© Galaxy, Feb 1960
The Anything Box, 1965

Pleasant Depression-era fantasy. Something stays bright, no mater what... what is it? However, Henderson's style could be just too soft for my liking. Good "chick-fiction heart-strings-pullers". She has the taste, though.
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1986)


Cordwainer Smith
"The Lady Who Sailed the Soul"
(Instrumentality series)
© Galaxy, Apr 1960
You Will Never Be the Same, 1963
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award

Vintage, picture-perfect Cordwainer Smith here. The title alone is worth "the price of admission". Truly romantic fiction of the spaceways. If Brothers Grimm lived in 23rd Century, this would be the kind of fables they'd write, or better. Well, your mind' eye will treated to such luxurious, baroque visions, as "the image of the great sails, tissue-metal wings with which the bodies of people finally fluttered out among the stars." Of course, it is also a part of Instrumentality series, so it falls into the rest of great "Faberge-like" puzzle with every sparkling and intricate detail.
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1993)


Robert Silverberg
"Time Killer" (nv)
(also as "Immortality, Inc")
©1958, Galaxy, Oct
1959, Bantam Books
(abridged version as
"Immortality Delivered")
© 1958, Bourgy Books
Filmed as Freejack (1992)
--novel : 1959 Hugo
--/ cool sf novel

I thought this is a mediocre novel, but others might find it amusing. Here is a synopsis I found on the web: Man killed in the past in a car accident finds himself revived in the future. In this future, they've proven the existence of a soul, but most people don't have the mental discipline for their soul to survive after death. There are mechanical methods of strengthening the soul, but they're *expensive*. One way to get immortality cheaply is to participate in deadly "reality" games (manhunts to the death, etc. It's legal, if the particpants are made immortal, first.) This is recurring theme of Sheckley's ("The Prize of Peril", et al)
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1986)


Jack Vance
"Ullward's Retreat"

© Galaxy, Dec 1958
Future Tense, 1964
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ emotion: stuck-up aristocracy

Can you imagine "real estate spiel", or multi-colored brochure - how only Vance could write it? Of course the piece of real estate is gorgeous, on the other planet (plus Vance throws in descriptions of planet ecology, landscapes, etc) But this story is mostly about the aristocracy, upper-class "stuck-up" attitude and sophisticated bored indifference. I would recommend this story to anyone considering moving up in the world. Overall, quite enjoyable novelette.
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 2006)


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Jack O'Connell "The Resurrectionist"
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Overpopulation, Sex and Sensibility

Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside"
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H. P. Lovecraft "At the Mountains of Madness"

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more than 2,000 writers, 1990-2009
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"The Situation", "The Cookie Monster"
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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
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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"

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Astounding Stories, June 1935

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Full Issue Review
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Horace Gold; P. Schuyler Miller

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More "Galactic North" Stories
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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"
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Larry Niven Review

"Neutron Star"
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Poul Anderson Review

"Ensign Flandry"
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Thomas M. Disch Review

"The Squirrel Cage"
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Henry Kuttner Review

"Mimsy Were the Borogoves" (The Last Mimzy)
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Robert A. Heinlein Review

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Frank Herbert Review

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Harlan Ellison Review

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James White Review

"All Judgement Fled"
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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"
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Ace Double: Murray Leinster

"The Pirates of Ersatz /The Mutant Weapon"
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Astounding Stories, May 1935

Pulp SF Magazine Review
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