Saturday, 15 March 2014

70s Saturday Sci-Fi Scans

As we've seen before, science fiction isn't just all about hardcore technology, new worlds or current events carefully couched as the future. I can only imagine that there was so much change going on in the 1960s that Edmund Cooper may have wistfully sighed and wished for escape to a place where he could see...

A Far Sunset

The year: 2032 A.D. The Gloria Mundi, a starship built and manned by the new United States of Europe, touches down on the planet, Alatair Five. Disaster strikes, leaving only one apparent survivor - Paul Marlow, whose adventures in the lair of a strange primeval race known as the Bayani leads him first to their God, the omnipotent and omniscient Oruri, and eventually to an unlimited power that is so great that is must include a built-in death sentence. The forces that have remained static for centuries overcome both the forces of the future and the quest for unlimited knowledge.

If you don't want to hop on over to Google, Gloria Mundi comes from the saying "Sic transit gloria mundi", which translates to "Thus passes the glory of the world". My literary insides tell me that the 1977 cover of this book by David Bergen (original printing 1967), has little to do with the story inside. Paul Marlow, who is rechristened Poul Mer Lo, is a psychiatrist who finds himself accepted by the "primitive" society as a sort of god. The chapters are short and after six of them I get the impression that it's a pulpy men's adventure book - naturally Paul ends up with an exotic alien female who seems more concerned for him than herself. My gut is also telling me that Paul saves the Bayani, marries Mylai Tui and lives happily ever after. I'll keep reading and update this post later!

If A Far Sunset piques your interest, Edmund Cooper's books are now available as eBooks. He's one of the seemingly rare older authors whose works have made the digital leap, and thank goodness, because some of these old paperbacks get pretty fragile.