Monday, June 8, 2009

"New" Classic SF books

One branch of the Harris County library has a small used book room. After checking out some books, I stuck my head in there. Glad I did. Someone dropped a lot of classic SF/F. Since I'm wanting to read some classic SF as well as modern SF, I picked up a few, at a quarter a book. And two of the books were doubles, so that 12.5 cents/book. How can you not?

Note: the covers in these links are the covers of the copies I just bought except the Delany books.

The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 (1972) by Jake Saunders and Howard Waldrop - How can I, a Texan, not get this book. Besides, I remember seeing it back in the day. Anyone remember The Ayes of Texas?

The Ballad of Beta-2 (1965)/Empire Star (1966) by Samual R. Delany - One of The Names in SF. Have to start somewhere.

The Mightiest Machine
(1935, 1947) by John W. Campbell - Another giant in early SF

Enigma from Tantalus
(1965)/Repairman of Cyclops (1965) by John Brunner - This is my first real Ace double. Again, for a quarter, it's worth it for the collector value alone.

I'll be reading and blogging them starting this summer.

Anyone out there know these titles?


  1. Ha! The Texas-Israeli War. I've seen that book several times and come close to picking it up for the same reason you cite above. But I figure, I lived through the war back in '99, so why should I read about it.

    Looking forward to your review.

  2. I've read several of Daniel da Cruz's novels, including THE AYES OF TEXAS.

  3. Terrence - I'll pass it along to you when I'm done. There's a map in the front with the battles and the dates. Again, there was no way I wasn't buying it even though I'm pretty certain Texas loses.

    Bill - Are they any good? Can't help but wonder if Cruz's novels are just a Texan's fantasy trip.

  4. I've read all of those except the Brunner novels, and I may have read those, I'm not sure. And I remember them all favorably, so I'd say you done good.

  5. You did good. The Texas-Israeli War was excellent and anything by Delaney is worth reading(though Dhalgren can be tough sledding). The Brunners I've probably read, but it's been so long I don;t remember. He's usually good though.

  6. I'm with the others of having read most Brunner, but those don't stick in the mind. The one I have a real love / hate relationship with is Delany. I enjoyed his early books, including those two, for the vivid style and speed, but as said the moment he started on Dhalgren he suddenly decided to be too literate for my taste and the books got very worthy and turgid. Sadly even Dhalgren provides easy reading compared to the stuff that came afterwards.

  7. James - Thanks for the info. Makes me kinda want to go back to the library and pick up some more.

    Randy - Really? Hmmm, might have to read that one first.

    I.J. - Interesting about Delany. I'll keep your thoughts in mind as I read these books.

  8. I've read most of them. If you're reading Zelanzy, I reccomend "Lord of Light." It's one of my favorites, and the first I remember that was written as "ScFi is Fanatasy" style. To be more precise---SciFi as Hindu Mythology.

    It has a feel similar to the "John Carter" stories you like.

    It's also why my Kali is named after the Hindu Goddess of Destruction.

    Possile spoiler:

  9. Grif (from Apollocon) - Thanks for stopping by. You know, when I read the name of "Kali," I got the Indian vibe, too. Glad to know that it was intentional on your part. Still haven't read the Delany book yet (haven't read any of'em yet). But I'll put Lord of Light on The List.