Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vintage Paperbacks: New Tales of Space and Time & The Explorers

Long before I began collecting vintage robots and ray guns, I was buying first-edition science-fiction paperbacks from the Forties, Fifties, and Sixties. I was attracted to the classic stories, of course, but also the wonderful cover art and the depictions of rockets, space men, aliens, and other worlds. With hundreds of books filling my shelves, I like to think that I've built the kind of library I'd have had were I born a few decades earlier. 

Now, since I happen to think that books are most fun when you share them with other people, I've decided to add them to the rotation of robots, ray guns, and other weirdness. Enjoy!

New Tales of Space and Time, edited by Raymond J. Healy
Cover art by Charles Frank
Pocket Books No. 908. Printed: 1952, © 1951

"Here are ten amazing stories of space-travel, robots, cybernetics and the haunting possibilities of life in the future. Each is an exciting adventure into the stimulating world of Science Fiction -- where the 'unusual' is commonplace and the 'impossible' is probable. For a quick idea of what each masterful story is about, the reader can turn to the editor's short introduction preceding every tale." 

This excellent anthology originally appeared in hardcover 1951, and features such authors as Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Anthony Boucher, P. Schuyler Miller, A. E. Van Vogt, and many more. The cover art was awarded first prize in a contest held by Pocket Books at the Art Students League in New York City. Painter Charles Frank beat out more than 200 other entries. 

The Explorers, by C. M. Kornbluth
Cover artist unknown
Ballantine Books No. 86. Printed & © 1954

C. M. Kornbluth has produced some of the most satisfying suspense and keenest satire to be found in science fiction. The Space Merchants, the novel of a huckster's utopia on which he collaborated with Frederik Pohl, was hailed by the New York Herald Tribune as "a book so rewarding that it should henceforth show up on all lists of science-fiction classics." 

His solo flights -- from the memorable Take-Off to his most recent novel, The Syndic -- have been no less successful and have firmly established the name of C. M. Kornbluth among the brightest lights in this field.

The present collection -- the first ever published of his shorter fiction -- includes both one of his earliest stories ("Thirteen O'Clock") anda brand-new novelette, "Gomez," which appears here in print for the first time. Told with excitement and power, these stories display the delightfully ironic imagination of a writer who is master of his craft."

Nine short stories, plus an introduction by Frederik Pohl. 

1 comment:

  1. When I read A Canticle to Leibowitz it was an aging brittle paperback that my uncle had found and shared with me (this was back in the early 1970s). I'm not certain when it was first published, but it was a great book. The aged paperback added to the mystique of the novel. Check out my first and recently released novel, Long Journey to Rneadal. This exciting tale is a romantic action adventure in space and is more about the characters than the technology.


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