Saturday, 10 May 2014

80s Saturday Sci-Fi Scans

Everything lost is found again, and whether it's a centuries old manuscript or a pile of old paperbacks behind a VHS collection, there's always a gem like...


Hand-picked by Ursula K. Let Guinea, multiple award winning master of science fiction and fantasy, and Virginia Kidd, one of the field's most knowledgeable agents and discriminating anthologists, this is a wildly eclectic bouquet of the best that speculative fiction has to offer. Hugo and Nebula winners Ed Bryant, Vonda McIntyre, and James Tiptree, Jr. have a free hand within these pages, as do the young writers who will be turning up on next year's award ballots. Every story is appearing here for the first time, and every one is as unique an achievement as you would expect to find in the first anthology ever edited by Ursula Le Guin. This is a collection to be savored, a meeting of minds between fine authors and rare editorial excellence and imagination.


I am smitten with this cover! Some of our paperbacks are too damaged to present (price tags and paperbacks are never a good combination) or just not as exciting as I hoped. But this cover, by Alex Abel, is so exciting! I love how the faces in the crystals fly upwards, freed from a huge chunk of crystal. Thought gains lightness! Each facet is beautifully airbrushed and the whole thing seems inspired by prog rock record covers. It's mysterious and fascinating and should be enlarged to poster size.

It is also beautifully in sync with the book - in the introduction, Le Guin and Kidd explain how they did not want to restrict the authors to a theme. Short stories are my favourite - longer works seem needlessly padded - but like the editors, I marvel at how lopsided anthologies can be. They wanted every story to be first rate and the collection carefully curated. It even includes some poetry! And so I add it to the reading pile, which never seems to get any shorter :)