Search Results for: John brunner

Martian Pirates, Brain Creatures, and Hive Minds: Rich Horton on Ray Cummings and John Brunner

Rich Horton’s personal blog, Strange at Ecbatan, is a great place to hang out if (like us) you love vintage paperbacks and magazines. In addition to his reviews here at Black Gate (not to mention his editing duties for The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, the 2015 Volume of which just arrived last month), Rich also reviews forgotten bestsellers, neglected classics, and obscure books by writers who later became highly regarded. This week he takes a look at an…

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Vintage Treasures: Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick/ The Skynappers by John Brunner

One of the things I love about the early Ace Doubles is that they frequently paired young writers who later became superstars. It’s like finding a movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Elijah Wood when they were both 10 years old (that move exists, by the way. It’s called North. Don’t see it.) The 1960 Ace Double Vulcan’s Hammer/The Skynappers is a fine example. It paired the 32-year old Philip K. Dick — well established by that point, with seven novels…

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Robert Silverberg on the Tragic Death of John Brunner

Six months ago, I wrote about an unusual find I made online: The Great Steamboat Race, an enormous and ambitious historical novel written by none other than John Brunner. Brunner, of course, was a highly regarded SF and fantasy writer, beloved even today for Stand on Zanzibar, The Complete Traveller in Black, and many other novels. He died in 1995, at the World Science Fiction convention. The Great Steamboat Race was an enigma. I’d never seen a copy before, never…

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Vintage Treasures: The Great Steamboat Race by John Brunner

John Brunner is one of my favorite writers. He wrote one of the finest SF novels I’ve ever read, the Hugo Award-winning Stand on Zannibar, and over a career that spanned 40+ years he produced nearly 60 SF novels  and 15 short story collections. I have virtually all of his SF output, but a few months ago I stumbled on a Brunner novel unknown to me: The Great Steamboat Race, published in a premium trade paperback edition by Ballantine in 1983….

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A Tale of Two Covers: The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, and The Corroding Empire by Johan Kalsi

io9 is reporting that Amazon temporarily blocked sales of The Corroding Empire, the short story collection from pseudonymous “Johan Kalsi” that Castalia House created to troll John Scalzi’s new Tor release The Collapsing Empire. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi was released from Tor Books Tuesday, almost a year after it was first announced. Earlier this month, Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day) revealed on his blog that The Corroding Empire from Johan Kalsi was available for pre-order… and would be…

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An Interlude with Messrs Brunner & Van Vogt

Ace Double D-391. Covers by Ed Valigursky Ace Doubles are a popular topic at Black Gate. I suspect there may even be a bit of friendly competition to see who can unearth items not already reviewed. While John O’Neill and Rich Horton most certainly have a lead on the rest of us, it is a pleasant experience to find a book that has not yet been dealt with and add one’s own commentary. That was the case with D-391, originally…

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Star Pirates and Cyborg Games: Rich Horton on The Star Virus by Barrington J. Bayley and Mask of Chaos by John Jakes

The famous Ace Double series is highly collectible in its early D-series, which included classic work by Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton, Philip K. Dick, H. Beam Piper, Eric Frank Russell, A.E. van Vogt, Poul Anderson, Robert E. Howard, Leigh Brackett, Clifford D. Simak, and many others. Later series, however, published fewer big names (and had a reduced art budget), and aren’t nearly as in demand. But there are still a few curiosities in the bunch — and more than a few good…

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Invaders of Pluto, and Brain Stealers of Mars: Rich Horton on The Ultimate Weapon and The Planeteers by John W. Campbell

When I was twelve years old I read a book that changed my life. It was Before the Golden Age, a collection of Isaac Asimov’s favorite pulp tales from his own early teen years, and it inspired in me a love of the pulps that endures to this day. One of the most captivating stories was John W. Campbell’s “The Brain Stealers of Mars,” from the December 1936 Thrilling Wonder Stories. The intrepid explorers Penton and Blake use an atomic-powered craft…

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Vintage Treasures: Hiero’s Journey by Sterling E. Lanier

Hiero’s Journey and sequel The Unforsaken Hiero (Del Rey, 1983 and 1984). Covers by Darrell K. Sweet Sterling Lanier occupies a unique and honored place in science fiction history. While he’s fondly remembered for his fiction, his greatest contribution came as a result of his keen eye, and his editorial daring. In 1961 Lanier was hired as an editor at Chilton, a Boston publisher specializing in business magazines and automobile repair books. In 1965 he convinced Chilton to publish their…

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Tales of Adventure and Exploration from the Pre-Spaceflight Era: Mike Ashley’s British Library Science Fiction Classics

All ten anthologies in the British Library Science Fiction Classics edited by Mike Ashley, plus his non-fiction survey Yesterday’s Tomorrows, and interior art from Moonrise (bottom right). Covers by Chesley Bonestell, David A. Hardy, Warwick Goble, Frederick Siebel, et al Mike Ashley is a fascinating guy. He interviewed me years ago about founding the SF Site (sfsite.com), one of the first science fiction websites, back in 1995, for his book The Rise of the Cyberzines, the fifth volume of his…

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