Some book-related updates

Today at work I was cataloging a new edition (Apogee Pub.) of Edison’s conquest of Mars — an unofficial sequel to H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds.  Skimming through it it looks like a space opera, but as it was published in 1898 it may be the first of that genre.  The introduction points out that the story (which had been serialized in The New York Sun) is supposedly the first to feature space suits, disintegration rays, oxygen pills, alien abductions and ancient astronauts, and so on.  It also looks like the Martians have several races, each specially bred to certain tasks and their brain structure is so specialized that there is no need for schools (!).  Thomas A. Edison is the hero.

By synchronicity, this week’s issue of American Libraries Direct linked to a list of “forgotten” science fiction classics.  Edison’s conquest of Mars  was not on the list but some interesting stuff is.  Also linked by ALDirect was this year’s winners of the “World Fantasy Awards” (an award I’ve never heard of).  I have heard of a few of the authors on both lists but it’s nice to be reminded every once in a while that there is more to read than I’ll ever have time for and not to feel bad about leaving crappy books unfinished (I always hate to give up on a book — I could probably count the ones I’ve abandoned on one hand).

And this evening my local library had another book sale (Friends of the Library members get in early; the riff raff will be shopping tomorrow and the next day).  I scored two Fritz Lieber story collections, the Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, another volume in the World of Tiers (I’ll start reading it when I find volume 1!), a couple more Poul Andersons, and a pile of things that just grabbed my fancy:

  • Demons!, a collection of stories by various writers, some of them pulp like Welman
  • The compleat traveller in black and Foreign constellations by Jack Brunner (I’ve never read anything by him)
  • The doomfarers of Coramonde by Brian Daley (a Vietnam War platoon transported to a fantasy kingdom?!)
  • Roland Barthes’ Mythologies
  • Killing monsters by Gerard Jones (a pop social science book about why fantasy and make-believe violence are OK for kids — no chapter on D&D though)
  • The grail war by Richard Monaco (never heard of him, but a great name!)
Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 11:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dang, you’re making me feel old, Mike. I read most of those book sale books when they were new. Monaco is literary and almost impossible to read. My favorite was Doomfarers of Coramonde by Brian Daley. He was almost the first author to match modern weapons versus fantasy horrors–tank vs. dragon, quite a battle. Brunner’s Traveler in Black is, imho, brilliant. Riddlemaster of Hed is a blast. McKillips was a very fine writer–right up there with Tanith Lee as a stylist.

  2. Not a tank. An APC. They get very upset when you call it a tank, and then they blow up Hell. Yeah, that book was fun. The sequel was less so, but still had some good stuff in it.

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