I really liked this one, and read it more than once. The setting is the far future where humans have evolved into creatures called Jaks that can traveI really liked this one, and read it more than once. The setting is the far future where humans have evolved into creatures called Jaks that can travel between the stars on "mounts", which are intelligent animals. There is a legend of a place called Doubleluck that many are searching for, and a lot of other stuff is going on too. I haven't read this for over thirty years, but I probably should find my copy and read it again. No doubt I'd understand parts of the story that were mysterious when I first read it.
I have tried reading many other Doris Piserchia novels, but this is the only one I like even a little bit. ...more
Back in the 1970's you would often see stories by Howard L. Myers in the magazines. They were always good stories, too. For some reason he would sometBack in the 1970's you would often see stories by Howard L. Myers in the magazines. They were always good stories, too. For some reason he would sometimes use the pen name "Verge Foray". His best stories were in my opinion the "econo-war" stories. In these stories humanity had conquered space (to the extent that a human being could fly to another planet without using a space ship), had something called psych-release which made everyone sane, and could provide for everyone's material needs. After doing this they discovered that unless there was some meaningful competition their civilization would collapse. They created the econo-war, a deliberately endless war like the one in 1984 with the crucial difference that everyone involved knew it needed to be endless and why. The challenge in the stories is to keep the war going when one side threatens to win it.
Since Myers wrote some of the econo-war stories under his own name and some as Verge Foray and they were published in both Analog and Galaxy it was frustrating to read them because they referred to events in other stories that would be impossible to track down. This book collects all those stories and many more.
Myers died before he became a well known author. I do not doubt that if he had lived he would be as well known today as Asimov and Heinlein....more
The Trace series of books were the basis for the enjoyable TV show Murphy's Law which made a lot of changes and lost its way. George Segal was the staThe Trace series of books were the basis for the enjoyable TV show Murphy's Law which made a lot of changes and lost its way. George Segal was the star. If it accomplished nothing else it got me to read the books.
Very entertaining, memorable characters, good mysteries. As pointed out by others, his girlfriend Chico solves most, maybe all, of the mysteries....more
Ron Goulart did a lot of novelizations and cash and carry prose, but if you want to read the kind of science fiction he did on his own this one is a gRon Goulart did a lot of novelizations and cash and carry prose, but if you want to read the kind of science fiction he did on his own this one is a good one to try. Goulart was a satirist more than anything else. He took the conventions of science fiction and respected them while exploring their potential for humor. He cranked out a lot of books but they were always entertaining.
This is sort of a futuristic spy adventure, in which a young man who has fallen on hard times is asked to impersonate a long lost member of a wealthy family. Some members of the family are up to no good, and he has to find out what they're up to.
In this world everything is synthetic or imitation and is advertised as such. That's a running gag in this book and several others by Goulart. ...more
I first read this book after leaving the Hare Krishna movement and since the plot involved brainwashing and the like I could relate to the story. ThisI first read this book after leaving the Hare Krishna movement and since the plot involved brainwashing and the like I could relate to the story. This is one of the few non-science fiction stories by this author, maybe the only one. The ending seemed improbable, but the story carries you along well enough until then. ...more
The one book to read by Van Vogt if you're only going to read one. It contains the original version of The World Of Null-A which I prefer to the revisThe one book to read by Van Vogt if you're only going to read one. It contains the original version of The World Of Null-A which I prefer to the revision he did many years later. In the original book Venus is a world with giant trees where humans can live comfortably. In the revision he feels the need to explain how it got that way through terraforming. It doesn't help the story at all.
I like World Of Null-A even though I never really figured out what it and General Semantics are all about. As the story opens there is a sort of test going on to determine who on Earth is mentally fit enough to live on Venus. If you aren't you still have a chance at a high position in Earth government, which requires less sanity. Gilbert Gosseyn enters this contest and has to take a lie detector test. The lie detector determines that the person Gilbert Gosseyn is not, but the machine is willing to accept the answer for the moment because that is who he believes himself to be. After that it just gets weird.
The middle novel, The Voyage Of The Space Beagle is forgettable.
Slan is the most coherent thing Van Vogt ever wrote. In it there is a future version of humanity called the Slans, who have evolved super intelligence, telepathy, etc. They are at war with regular humans, who don't want to compete with them for survival. The hero is Jommy Cross, a Slan. The villains are the humans....more
had many Van Vogt short stories in it, and Van Vogt can be excellent in short stories. He is much less satisfactory as a novelist, in my opinion. His formula for novels is to introduce a new idea every so many pages, and while this is a great way to begin a novel sooner or later you have to do something with an idea besides introduce the next one.
The idea is Libertarian wish fulfillment. The weapons ("The Finest Energy weapons In The Known Universe") have magical properties that, if such weapons existed, would make the idea of lone gun owners fighting a tyrannical government make sense. Even the weapons shops themselves just spring up out of nowhere.
It works quite well as a short story, and I recommend that you seek out the anthology and read it at that length....more