Saturday, 21 September 2013

70s Saturday Sci-Fi Scans

It's a fact that people love what they know, which explains why most new movies are sequels or remakes and books must have a minimum of three volumes. Nothing is a bigger bummer than missing out on the first book in a series, but maybe when I was in luck when I found...

The Coming of Steeleye

Steeleye - a new Man Challenging an Old Empire

By the 99th Century the Sylvan Empire had achieved several centuries of peaceful repression, known to history as 'The Lull'. But now the end was in sight. The Eumigs, a gentle race of huge Androids from the planet Zrost, were plotting to join the Sylvan Federation. To achieve membership they must first prove that natural life existed on their planet. To produce a child they must have a mother. Thus, after long study, the Eumigs built the beautiful Chaos, to the same specifications as the now-extinct race of Man.

And then there was her mate, Steeleye the magnificent. Steeleye, whose creation was the accidental result of a jealous rivalry. Steeleye, who was nearly nine feet tall, a Man with perfect features, a superb and invincible body and a high-voltage brain. But he was also a superman with a steel eye which could devastate his enemies with its inbuilt atomic heat blaster. All in all, Steeleye was a very dangerous Man...

Wow! The back cover copy goes on and on and I can't pretend to understand any of it. The cover is strangely unappealing - this Steeleye fellow doesn't look very heroic or nice. Steeleye sounds like the creation of an eight year old and the author merely typed away as his kid went on and on: "He's nine feet tall because he's better than everyone, and then he's got this eye, this eye can kill people and go pew pew!" Far be it for me to discourage the imaginations of wee ones, the first of a three book saga, Steeleye actually is more like it was written by an eight year old's oldest brother. It has the feel of fan fiction - check out part of the sample passage inside:

Reaching the space where the guard still stood, watching for his quarry, Steeleye drew up to his full height, and without warning sent a single streak of fire from his head and levelled the Sylvan guard to the ground. In a three step movement he turned and knocked out two other groups of guards, turning again he lifted another in his huge hand, dashing his helpless body against the wall.

Fan fiction authors are aware of a character named Mary Sue who saves the day: the male version is Marty Stu. Steeleye is a whole lot of wish fulfillment in a nine foot tall package. Sadly, I couldn't find much information on Saul Dunn, other than this entry on SF Encyclopedia. He also wrote write another three part saga called Cabal. I assumed that perhaps Dunn had found another calling by the time the 1980s rolled around, it seems he just ran into financial problems instead. The mystery of Saul Dunn is forever ruined for me!