Short Story Reviews: Four Stories from New Worlds Science Fiction (April 1964), ed. John Carnell

For fans of science fiction. I think it is interesting to read older science fiction
and see how it compares to today’s science.
I think Arthur C. Clark is the winner of predicting the direction
science would take.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

To mix things up a bit I decided to review four stories in John Carnell’s last issue of New Worlds ScienceFiction (April 1964) before he handed over the reins of the dying publication to Michael Moorcock, who would elevate it to New Wave greatness. Other than the James White serial Open Prison, which I plan on reading in book form when I procure a copy, three of the four authors reviewed below owed much of their careers to John Carnell, and would see few stories in print after his departure (see the individual story reviews for details). Only Barrington J. Bayley, writing as P. F. Woods, would see continued publication (and growing popularity) in New Worlds under Moorcock.

Of the stories I recommend reading William Spencer’s rumination on overpopulation and urban life,  “Megapolitan Underground.” The others are worthwhile only for die-hard fans of Carnell’s New Worlds and other editorial…

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March 23, 2019 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCV (Farmer + Simak + Effinger + New Dimensions Anthology)

Enjoy the old science fiction writers.
It is interesting to read their current and the
knoweledge of the science of their day.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

1. I recently read and reviewed enthusiastically New Dimensions 3, ed. Robert Silverberg (1973). Inspired, I procured quite a few more in the series… Here is number 1. Looks like an absolutely spectacular lineup — Le Guin, Ellison, Malzberg, Lafferty, etc.

2. One always needs more Clifford D. Simak, right?

3. Huge fan of George Alec Effinger’s novels and short stories. Here’s what I’ve reviewed so far…. Heroics (1979), Irrational Numbers (1976), and What Entropy Means to Me (1972).

4.  Philip José Farmer, despite multiple masterpieces, churned out a lot of crud… I expect this will fall in that category.

Note: The hi-res scans are of my personal copies — click to enlarge.

Let me know what you think in the comments!



1. New Dimensions 1, ed. Robert Silverberg (1971)

(Uncredited cover for the 1973 edition)

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March 16, 2019 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

[Short] Diaristic Fragments on Czech Experimental Film: The Ear (1970), dir. Karel Kachyna

What a great article.
The author of the blog offers glimpsed of the past
you will not find elsewhere.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

8/10 (Very Good)

On the night of 20-21st of August 1968, the Warsaw Pact countries (led by the USSR) invaded Czechoslovakia ending the period of liberalization known as Prague Spring. And with it, the Czech New Wave film movement “ended.” Regardless, Karel Kachyna filmed The Ear (1970), a paranoid psychological thriller redolent with New Wave stylings, that brandishes a proverbial middle finger in the direction of the Communist Party. Unsurprisingly, the film was promptly banned until 1989, and Kachyna

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March 10, 2019 at 11:46 pm Leave a comment

The Magic of Snow

A taste of the glory of childhood.

Sherrie's Scriptorium

As I wait for the third snow storm in three days I was feeling a bit done with it all. For some reason I began to reminisce about how I felt about snow as a kid. I wrote down a bunch of memories and by the end of it I realized that snow really is amazing and how sad it is that as adults all we worry about is the shoveling, trying to drive and lost work time. It’s been a very gloomy, long winter around here and since I felt cheered up by the end of reliving my childhood memories of snow, I thought I would share some of them here and maybe you too can remember the magic of snow. (There’s no promise that I will enjoy shoveling later!)

In trying to remember my earliest memories of snow the first thing that comes to mind is looking out…

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March 3, 2019 at 11:09 pm Leave a comment

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCIV (Ely + Abe + Coulson + Malec)

Something new for science fans. But not so new.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

1. Overpopulation + an author I’ve not encountered before? Can there be a better combo? I’ve long been a fan of the subgenre–and I’ve gathered a substantial number of both read and unread overpopulation-themed SF into a list. And yes, I know Laser Books has a reputation for publishing low-quality crud…. I am not expecting a masterpiece!

2. I’ve been on a Kobo Abe kick as of late! Secret Rendezvous (1977, trans. 1979) is, as of now, my favorite read of the year–I hope to have a review up soon. Back cover blurb here.

I went ahead and purchased another “SFish” Abe novel… I’ve seen Abe’s 1966 film adaption of his own work (directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara) and it’s a brilliant cinematic experience. I’m hoping the novel has some of the same magic!

3. Another source material novel for one of my favorite SF films–Frankenheimer’s Seconds (1966)… I’m 50…

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March 2, 2019 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

for you to find…

A great piece.

Read Between the Minds

she had learned
her lesson
bread crumbs
for her
she marked her path
white stones
she found
along the way
she walked
one cannot say
life’s journey
can become
a daze
she gave up
her quest
that she
had ended
where she began
she decided
to wander
no more
when she
reached the crest
a hill
looking down
she found
her stones
were in the pattern
a heart
in the center
she had sought

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March 1, 2019 at 12:02 am Leave a comment

wanna play….

A great poem of our times.

Read Between the Minds

the brown bag prophet
several of his cronies
were in the city park
the prophet
clue #1
deliberately and repeatedly
abuses the rights of citizens
there was
a deafening silence
followed the first clue
is understandable
the conditions in many countries
these days
systematically represses
 criminalizes opposition parties
all the while
encouraging the use
against demonstrators
the press
once again
there was nothing but silence
not too surprising
conditions in the arab world
beyond into africa
clue #3
aspires illegitimately
to usurp
the constitutional role
democratically elected officials
rewrite the constitution
impose an authoritarian regime on the people
another useless clue
this pandemic characteristic
these days
clue # 4
has mismanaged the economy
engaged in systemic corruption
as well as
refused to provide
humanitarian aid
finally it hit me

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February 27, 2019 at 9:05 pm Leave a comment

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