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Beyond Apollo

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Beyond Apollo, winner of the John Campbell Award, finds Harry Evans as the lone survivor of the first Venus expedition, a space journey that went disastrously wrong. But no one knows the reason behind the tragedy.
Mass Market Paperback, 153 pages
Published December 14th 1989 by Carroll & Graf (first published 1972)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  316 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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mark monday
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to mark by: Nate D

 photo i want your secrets_zpsrr6wbe3z.jpg

 photo S_zpsgavj7ior.png a mystery in space of How Did the Captain of the Venusian Expedition Die? is not the mystery in space  photo P_zpsx3hayfpt.png the mystery in space is the mystery of the inner space  photo O_zps2luclhrz.png the mystery of the confined madman and hopeful author and failed husband and tragic victim and master of projection and master of binary thinking and yet still somehow the master of accepting all probabilities all potentialities all things and possible murderer and time traveler and a lover both impotent and hyper
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This here is a very unusual novel.

Most of the time I read it, I was equally disgusted and remorseful for the kinds of pathetic sexualizations that came out of the early 70's. Being a New Wave SF novel, thoroughly in league with the heyday's literary works of "genius" in that the complicated concerns of mainstream knocked heads with a heavily SFnal landscape, I shouldn't have guessed otherwise. Sexuality was always made so large that they became frankly absurd. And the best novels turned this on
5.0 stars. Arguably Barry Malzberg's finest novel and certainly the one he is most remembered for. A one of a kind novel that is "unlike" any other novel I have ever read. Certainly not "light" reading but one that has stayed with me even though it has been years since I first read it.

Winner: John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel (1973)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1973).

P.S. I just re-read the novel on January 21, 2010, and the novel has not lost any of its powe
Nate D
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: plummeting into the sun
Recommended to Nate D by: the 5th Venus disturbance
Continuing project: pinpointing the more outre instances of new wave science fictional experimentation. While on the one hand there's a certain sense here that the hyper-prolific, wildly uneven Malzberg may simply be re-routing various post-modern narrative discoveries of his time, on the other, the post-modern discoveries of his time are actually very well suited to conveying his story: of psychological deterioration and narrative fragmentation under the extreme stress and confinement of space ...more
David Agranoff
The first read of my 2019 retro-sci-fi reads is a re-read of the Barry Malzberg classic Beyond Apollo. I first read this ten years ago, but I thought I would have more of context for it now. I did some research recently on BNM's career and history.

This short novel is the essence of out of date science fiction. It is about the first expedition to Venus a planet that we now know is too hot to visit. We have lots of great pictures in orbit but the idea of going to land on Venus is pretty silly. I l
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: speculative, reviewed

It is no surprise that a book that is essentially anti-explanation, anti-narrative and anti-idealism still manages to irritate certain readers in the 21st century.

Not everybody has the stamina of the active nihilist, and authors that pop our fluffy dreams are much easier to accuse of being crazy, nonsensical druggies than to take serious, and believe.

Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig
Jared Colley
May 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of intelligent Sci-fi
Shelves: fiction
This is a hilarious (and at times offensive) sci-fi novel. Malzberg is one of the great new wave sci-fi writers that has now fallen through the cracks. Probably can't find this one in print, but libraries should have it.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
At certain times I felt like giving this book a 3 star rating. It was just so darn confusing. However, I suppose that was just part of the story telling. On the topic of story-telling, this is the most bizarre piece I've ever encountered from any form of media. Names change, stories change, sexuality changes, dreams might be dreams or lies or maybe even government induced hallucinations.

Read it.
Kim Lockhart
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you like your Sci-Fi with a heaping dose of delusional misogyny, then this book is for you. I gave it two stars instead of one, because at least it was mercifully short.
Mar 02, 2019 marked it as abandoned
Recommended to Thom by: Bart
Shelves: fiction
Unreliable narrator tells story that may be about his trip to Venus, or his experiences of sex, or both, or neither. A quote from the book is “Loksvy termarind,” Forrest says, “glou incrabular mock” - google responded "About 1 results" and then delivered two result URLs. Most importantly, this isn't the book I want to read right now. Abandoned at 35% after reading for less than an hour.

Recommended by Bart, who gave it 5 stars and reviewed it here: https://schicksalgemeinschaft.wordpre...
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel promised in the earlier chapters,it seemed,to be an interesting and unusual chronicle of uncertainty and madness,that could have been an exciting excursion of surreal ambiguity and strange invention,but instead disintegrates into a cluttered mass of rambling and vague vistas of boring,repressed sexual fantasies and the vague notions of an insane survivor of a doomed expedition to Venus,whose memory of the terrible events is apparently impaired.He emerges as nothing more than mad,there ...more
What the hell did I just read? An LSD trip scribbled onto the page, the deconstruction of the sci-fi genre? Who knows.

Beyond Apollo is imaginative and bizarre, often straddling the line between nonsense and cleverness, sometimes leaving that line far behind.

What I truly enjoyed about the book is that unlike pretty much every book I've ever read, Beyond Apollo gives you nothing to latch onto. You cannot be sure of anything, cannot grasp on to any genuine shred of personality from the main charact
James Kemp
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult read. At first it seemed incoherent trash, and I put it down frequently. Having finished it I believe it is a work of genius.

Only the relative shortness made me keep picking it back up.

I picked it to read as it seemed like it would be a hard SF space flight story. To some extent it is, however what it really covers is the ascent from insanity of the lone survivor of the failed two man mission to Venus. The seemingly incoherent start is merely a reflection of the main charac
Feb 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
A lot has been said about this book, so I won't go into details.

All I'll say is that I found it painful and boring. Intellectually, I understood it was narrated by a crazy person, but that could not stop me from cringing at all the mechanical sex and misogyny and closet homo-sexuality. Signs of the times I guess.

Halfway through and I'm done with this. Like a previous reviewer said: "I wasn't reading it because I enjoyed it, but because I wanted it to end."
Vicki Dee Rock
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I saw a preponderance of positive 5 star reviews on this book ... Unfortunately, I didn't experience it that way. Its interesting ... different ... but ultimately unsatisfying. I felt compelled to finish it, in hopes that I would understand it more clearly if I reached the end ... but, alas, not really. And I did not look forward to reading it. I looked forward to finishing it.
Scott Nieradka
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Scott by: Alex Parise
Shelves: crap-sci-fi
My friend gave me this book to make me suffer, but it really is almost a good book. some parts are typical malzberg offensive, or really too much information, but the book is saved by a playful gritty feel, and a general uncertainty about what is real or not that persists to the end. A surprisingly good book.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
What did I just read?
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent SF spin on the unreliable narrator trope, with a strong narrative voice and interesting structure.
Erik Graff
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Malzberg fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Frankly, I found this acclaimed innovative dytopian science fiction novel irritating. The bibliographical card written at the time says simply "poor scifi."
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
So good and so frustrating. I picked this up for a dollar and chose a cover that wasn't as good as the one pictured, but I honestly didn't want the Titty Cover. Anyway, this is a really fantastic book and achievement of craft, but it has the most boring 60s/70s science fiction sexual politics imaginable, to a degree that almost embarrassing. I couldn't put it down, but I still feel unsatisfied with it. No puns intended.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orgasmic
This was totally original and so compelling. Madness, impotency, mysticism...and tons of inner-space/outer-space confusion. Loved it!
Doctor Moss
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This book is a great example of why I read science fiction.

Many types of fiction provide opportunities for writers to experiment with odd types of stories and imaginative ways of telling them. There are certainly many, many examples of traditional, even boring story telling in science fiction, but the very nature of the thing seems to lend itself to experimentation.

You can read this book just as an entertaining story, a kind of mystery about why an exploratory mission to Venus, as the first step
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn’t like this book really, but it was interesting. As with some other New Wave sf I’ve read recently, this one was clearly LSD-influenced. Some redeeming humor in the form of political commentary vis-à-vis advances in metaphysics.

Sexually explicit in an almost Nabokovian way, it forced me to think a lot about sex in sf. About taking the most base of human activities and intermixing them with the most technologically exulted.

Finally, I think it’s funny to read sf set in a future that is no
Ben Arzate
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own, ebooks

This novel is a definite recommendation. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly entertaining, often very funny and very thought-provoking. Much of Malzberg’s work is out of print but hopefully more will be coming back in the near future. He deserves to be named among the other greats of New Wave science fiction like J.G. Ballard and Harlan Ellison.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, fragmentary, experimental sci-fi. Would highly recommend.
Jason Ashlock
Mar 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Gift from Jamie Rubin Christmas '05
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Was a good, quick read - would have liked more clarity.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Working my way through the John W Campbell Memorial Award winners. I thought Robert Silverbery's Dying Inside was much better and I haven't read the other two nominees.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
So not my type of book. I love SciFi but after a dozen chapters I walked away.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
A bizarre, but entertaining story. Truly the poster book for the theme of "unreliable narrator".
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Barry Malzberg lives with his wife and daughter in Manhattan and is worried about having recently reached the ominous age of seventy….

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