Books

Books : reviews

Judy-Lynn del Rey, ed.
Stellar 1.
Ballantine. 1974

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 14 March 1998

The Stellar anthology series seems to have been designed to counter-balance some of the weird, pretentious New Wave SF anthologies of the time: this first volume is billed as 'good old-fashioned stories that are fun to read'. And twenty-four years on from publication, they do indeed seem a little old-fashioned. But some of them are still fun to read.

Contents

Larry Niven. Singularities Make Me Nervous. 1974
A time-travelling astronaut devises what he thinks is a foolproof way of making a fortune...
Clifford D. Simak. The Birch Clump Cylinder. 1974
An alien time machine is discovered at Coon Creek. It could hold the key to a practical star drive, but first someone must switch it off.
Alan Dean Foster. A Miracle of Small Fishes. 1974
In a world where fishing has become a well-regulated factory business, a young girl prays for a miracle for her grandfather -- one last sardine catch.
Milton A. Rothman. Fusion. 1974
Advances in science and technology don't happen overnight, but only after years of patient and painstaking work.
Vernor Vinge. The Whirligig of Time. 1974
A relic from the final World War holds hope for freedom.
Robert Silverberg. Schwartz Between the Galaxies. 1974
What is an anthropologist to study on the culture-homogenised Earth of the future?
R. A. Lafferty. Mr. Hamadryad. 1974
Things will change drastically when Easter Island finally drifts under the Thumb of God.
Hal Clement. The Logical Life. 1974
The planet Omituinen condensed out in the Orion nebula, with no star of its own. Life has evolved in the cold ammonia oceans, but what forms the base of the food chain?
Gordon R. Dickson. Twig. 1974
The human girl Twig was raised in the wilds by Plant-Grandfather, whose mere existence threatens the livelihoods of the colonist slash-and-burn farmers.

Judy-Lynn del Rey, ed.
Stellar 2.
Ballantine. 1976

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Isaac Asimov. The Bicentennial Man. 1976
Larry Niven. Mistake. 1976
James White. Custom Fitting. 1976
A traditional tailor gets the commission of his life when the new ambassador arrives
Hal Clement. Stuck With It. 1976
Jack C. Haldeman II. Songs of Dying Swans. 1976
Patrick G. Conner. Tindar-B. 1976
Steven Utley, Howard Waldrop. Sic Transit...? A Shaggy Hairless-Dog Story. 1976
Richard S. Simak, Clifford D. Simak. Unsilent Spring. 1976

Judy-Lynn del Rey, ed.
Stellar 3.
Del Rey. 1977

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 9 July 2005

Another good collection of "good old fashioned SF", that have more-or-less stood the test of time. There is some quaint tech (especially the flawed robot psychologist), but Simak's story about corporations taking over the world could have been written today.

Contents

Clifford D. Simak. Auk House. 1977
David Latimer, artist, finds a beautiful old house that might be ideal as an artistic retreat -- but it's a trap -- yet he wasn't supposed to be caught in it
Jack L. Chalker. No Hiding Place. 1977
A hostile alien time traveller appears as a juju demon in the old house throughout the centuries
Arsen Darnay. Salty's Sweep. 1977
The scientists prepare carefully to transmit knowledge beyond the Apocalypse, but can't control who will discover it
Mildred Downey Broxon. The Book of Padraig. 1977
A long-lived alien monk preserves a precious Gaelic book
Gene DeWesse. When You Wish Upon a Star. 1977
The truth about the FTL mission is about to come back to haunt them -- but why are the crew saying it was a success?
B. Lee Cooper, Larry S. Haverkos. An Error in Punctuation. 1977
A robot psychologist ends up with two clients and some feature interaction
Steven Utley. The Thirteenth Labor. 1977
The augmented human Herakles is angry at his uncaring creator gods
Bill Starr. The People Who Could Not Kill. 1977
Just because they can't kill doesn't mean they don't want to
Henry Melton. We Hold These Rights.... 1977
The asteroid miners are fighting for their rights; Willis is fighting for a different reason
Jeffrey M. Wallmann. Chasing Shadows. 1977
The old alien religion and the Terran religion battle for supremacy, but the people go about their lives
Charles W. Runyon. Metafusion. 1977
Threesomes dying

Judy-Lynn del Rey, ed.
Stellar 4.
Del Rey. 1978

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Alan Dean Foster. Snake Eyes. 1978
Charles Sheffield. The Deimos Plague. 1978
The story of Henry Carver's flight from Earth in the company of the planet saving pigs, Penelope and Pomander.
Ben Bova. The Last Decision. 1978
James Tiptree Jr. We Who Stole the Dream. 1978
Stephen R. Donaldson. Animal Lover. 1978
James P. Hogan. Assassin. 1978
"Paul Langley" is a dedicated revolutionary, come from Mars to assassinate a defector. But when he is captured, he finds out why the man defected, and the effect that will have on his own interrogation.

Judy-Lynn del Rey, ed.
Stellar 5.
Del Rey. 1980

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Charles Sheffield. The Subtle Serpent. 1980
James P. Hogan. The Sword of Damocles. 1980
Philip K. Dick. Chains of Air, Web of Aether. 1980
L. Neil Smith. Grimm's Law. 1980
Marion Zimmer Bradley. Elbow Room. 1980
Robert H. Curtis. The Nobel Laureate. 1980
G. C. Edmondson. All That Glitters. 1980
Lee Killough. Corpus Cryptic. 1980

Judy-Lynn del Rey, ed.
Stellar 6.
Del Rey. 1980

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Clifford D. Simak. Byte Your Tongue!. 1980
Robert Zend. 5980 A.D.. 1980
Martha Dodson, Robert L. Forward. The Cerebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras III. 1980
Anne McCaffrey. Cinderella Switch. 1980
Who is the intriguing guest at the Fomalhaut ball? And what is the secret of her fascinating hi-tech costume?
Mark J. McGarry. The Slow-Death Corridor. 1980
James P. Hogan. Till Death Us Do Part. 1980
Harry Stone needs to dispose of his wife, and his girlfriend Sandra comes up with the perfect method. But there's a catch.
Margaret C. Hewitt. A Gift of Space. 1980
L. Neil Smith. Grandfather Clause. 1980
Jack Williamson. ...All Ye Who Enter Here. 1980

Judy-Lynn del Rey, ed.
Stellar 7.
Del Rey. 1981

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Paul A. Carter. The Mystery of the Duplicate Diamonds. 1981
James Tiptree Jr. Excursion Fare. 1981
Larry Niven. War Movie. 1981
James P. Hogan. Making Light. 1981
An amusing story of trying to Create the Universe in the presence of a bureaucracy.
L. Neil Smith. Folger's Factor. 1981
Terry Carr, Leanne Frahm. Horn O' Plenty. 1981
James P. Hogan. Identity Crisis. 1981
Marty Hayes thinks his wife is cheating on him, and chooses an unusual disguise to follow her.
Ira Herman. The Two Tzaddiks. 1981
Rick Raphael. Pelangus. 1981