Friday, 14 December 2012

E. E. 'DOC' SMITH: STRANGLERS' MOON

Panther SF paperback, 1977. Cover illustration by Peter Jones. A
slightly modified version of this painting can be found in his book
"Solar Wind" (Paper Tiger, 1980)

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Vesa was the Empire of Earth's moon of vice. Every year millions of space-voyagers from all corners of the universe travelled there to make or break their fortunes in the exotic gaming palaces. But something much more sinister was going on in the Playground of the Galaxy. 
Already a quarter of a million people had vanished from Vesa. 
The situation shrieked for action. The security of the Empire was at risk. So the Head summoned SOTE's Number One super-agents. For only Jules and Yvette d'Alembert would risk life and limb to smash this interplanetary conspiracy of catastrophic dimensions..."

POUL ANDERSON: AFTER DOOMSDAY

Panther SF paperback, 1975. Cover illustration by Tom McArthur.

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Earth is dead - murdered from the depths of space. But how? And by whom? Poul Anderson, as versatile as ever, admirably confirms with this tale of interplanetary terror that he possesses one of the most awe - inspiring talents in the whole field of science fiction..."

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

FUTURE MAN: BRAVE NEW WORLD OR GENETIC NIGHTMARE?

Granada hardback, 1984. Cover painting by Peter Gudynas.

In the final phase man will become master of his own evolution as well as that of all other living things. 
Thanks to Jerry Boucher who made me aware of this book and the similarity of a certain Peter Gudynas painting similar to the cover of Frederik Pohl's Man Plus, which I posted a few weeks ago.
This book (with obligatory Asimov foreword) is sort of disappointingly not concerned with science fiction per se, rather the application of speculative fiction, theories as well as modern science and medicine in real life (circa 1984). Topics include evolution, the biological revolution, mastering the environment, diseases, ageing, engineering people, mind control and scenarios for the future of mankind. The majority of illustrations are photographs of a medical or scientific nature, but there's a few paintings by Gudynas, Peter Goodfellow, Terry Oakes and others have artwork credits in the acknowledgements section but I do not recognize which images are theirs.

Life underwater.

Man modified for life underwater.

Man modified to live in space by Peter Gudynas.

Man modified for war.

Friday, 7 December 2012

JERRY POURNELLE: THE MERCENARY

Orbit paperback, 1977. Cover artwork by Tony Roberts, thanks to all
who left comments identifying the artist!

Back cover fluff: 
"The Co-Dominium Navy . . . shipping prisoner colonists by the hundreds of thousands to strange worlds for a corrupt alliance of Earth nations. 
The Co-Dominium Marines . . . keeping uneasy peace on dozens of planets as their resources are robbed for the benefits of Earth. 
The Mercenaries . . . using their own methods to end the fighting as raging riots of independence explode into open warfare. 
And Falkenberg . . . a legend in his own time, a man who gave up a brilliant military career to fight on his own, a mastermind to his soldiers, an enigma to the politicians who buy his services - and the cause of turmoil on a dozen planets."

MACK REYNOLDS: THE FRACAS FACTOR

Stoneshire paperback, 1983. Cover artwork by Greg Theakston.

Rear cover fluff:
"Unless you were a member of the Category Military, no one on Earth could own a gun. So who was shooting at Joe Mauser? And why? 
He'd been a mercenary, but he'd been thrown out when he saved Field Marshal Cogswell's life. Whose enemies were after him now - his own, or Cogswell's? 
In a world where the computers kept track of you, Mauser had to disappear - and stay alive long enough to reach the field Marshal!"

MASTERS' CHOICE 2

Tandem paperback, 1969. Cover artist uncredited.

Rear cover fluff: 
The best science fiction stories of all time - chosen by the masters of science fiction. Here are the masters who chose the stories: Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke, Lester del Rey, Horace L. Gold, Damon Knight, Fritz Leiber, Murray Leinster, Judith Merril, Clifford D. Simak, E. E. Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, William Tenn, Jack Williamson, John Wyndham. 
The stories they chose: Seven-Day Terror by R. A Lafferty, Coming Attraction by Fritz Leiber, Politics by Murray Leinster, Memento Homo by Walter M. Miller, Jr., The Bright Illusion by C. L. Moore, And Now The News by Theodore Sturgeon, The Custodian by William Tenn and The New Accelerator by H. G. Wells.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

QUESTION AND ANSWER

Ace paperback, 1978. Cover illustration by Michael Whelan.

Rear cover synopsis:
"For many years the starships of earth searched the heavens for places where men could live. Many planets were found, but always something was wrong: too hot; too cold; atmospheric contaminants; poisonous biochemistry; intelligent natives - something. At last a deep-space survey vessel has reported a planet that seems perfect, an uninhabited paradise where people can roam free. But the first Troas Expedition never returns. And now the crew of the De Gama must find out why, or mankind will lose the stars forever..."

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

THE COMPASS ROSE

Panther/Granada paperback, 1984. Cover illustration by Peter Goodfellow.

Back cover fluff: 
"From dream worlds to nightmare planets, from the boundaries of madness to the six points of Ursula Le Guin's three dimensional compass, these stories are a mind-shaking reminder of the uniqueness of Le Guin's unsettling visions." 
This is a short story collection, and contains the following stories: The Author of the Acacia Seeds, The New Atlantis, Schrodinger's Cat, Two Delays on the Northern Line, SQ, Small Change, The First Report of the Shipwrecked Foreigner to the Kadanh of Derb, The Diary of the Rose, The White Donkey, The Phoenix, Intracom, The Eye Altering, Mazes, The Pathways of Desire, Gwilan's Harp, Malheur County, The Water Is Wide, The Wife's Story, Some Approaches to the Problem of the Shortage of Time and Sur.

TRIPLE DÉTENTE

Sphere SF paperback, 1975. Cover painting by Jim Burns (I think).

Rear cover synopsis: 
"Victory! 
Our invincible space fleet has occupied the monsters' worlds. 
Victory! 
Our mighty space force has seized the aliens' home planet. 
Victory! 
Our triumphant space warriors have captured the enemy system. 
But then why are we suffering so beneath the tread of those heartless conquerors from the stars?"

HOUR OF THE HORDE

Berkley Medallion paperback, 1971. Cover artwork by Richard M. Powers.

Rear cover synopsis:
"As a horde of monstrous travelers advances through space annihilating everything before it, a super-defense force, consisting of one especially talented man from each as yet untouched planet, converges in an attempt to turn back the horde. 
Miles Vander, Earth's representative, finds himself with a small group regarded as the less civilized of the defending force. But in the final showdown, it is these creatures capable of independent action and raw courage who give a surprising twist to this galactic cliffhanger..."

THE HALF-ANGELS

Sphere SF paperback, 1975. Cover painting by Patrick Woodroffe.

Back cover fluff. 
"The book was like no other he had ever seen. The language was alien to the Earth, and the shifting, changing patterns of the illustrations seemed to spell a deadly, dreadful story. The book was a gateway: a transtemporal link point between two worlds. And soon he found himself in that strange other world. It was a weird, alien place of soul-destroying danger, a place in which he had a quest. To survive, he must hunt down the lost daughter of the witch-king, a girl who might be an angel. Or a demon."