Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Hamlyn paperback, 1983. Cover artist uncredited.

"Jimson Alleca has twenty years to live - or just one. Twenty years if he stays on his home world, where his disease can be treated. One year if he follows his desire to travel the galaxy. 
When he meets Leiko his mind is made up, and he follows her out into space. There they enlist as crew members on a dangerous and illegal voyage - to steal one of the fabulous crystal masks of distant Demea. 
But it will prove a journey of immense problems and perils - and one that becomes a race against time for Jimson..."


Berkley Medallion paperback, May 1971. Cover artwork by
Richard M. Powers.

"There had been an invasion, and the town of Beatrice, Nebraska, was occupied. The question was, by whom? 
To Jeff Mallory, awakened one morning to find that he had lost three months out of his life; that his teenage daughter was missing (and his wife denied that she had ever existed); that he was a slave to incomprehensible tasks in the mile-high star tower that had not been there when he went to sleep - the invaders were ALIENS... 
To the bizarre Russo-American army poised on the edge of town and determined to destroy it utterly, the invaders were CHINESE... 
To the strange old man who lived in the old house, and who carried in his mind the key to the whole mystery, the invaders were the MONE..."

Loved this one; very cinematic - that is, I imagine it translating very well to film - it's a great adventure story. The House In November follows familiar Laumer motifs: the pariah, superhuman transformation, transcendence. I found it notable too for the original aliens, in a refreshing change from the usual green-skinned, multi-limbed or bipedal creatures, the Mone are parasitic organisms. (4/5)


Mayflower paperback, 1970. Cover painting by Bob Haberfield.

"As Erekosë, the Eternal Champion, he slew the human race that had betrayed his ideals. And loved Ermizhad, the Eldren princess. 
Then the voices called him and he was powerless to resist. As Fate's soldier, the eternal one, his lot was to vanquish tyranny. Sent tumbling through the corridors of eternity. Transformed. Now Urlik Skarsol - Prince of the Southern Ice. But called by whom? 
By Bishop Belpheg, Lord Spiritual of Rowenarc, obscene ruler of a damned race born at the end of Time? By Bladrak of the Scarlet Fjord? By the Lady of the Screaming Chalice? By the Silver Warriors, incandescent men of Moon? 
Urlik Skarsol would need take up the Black Sword, the monstrous weapon that demanded blood, be it friend's or be it foe's, before his tortured soul could rest. Before the powers of Evil could be conquered. Before he could rediscover Ermizhad. Before he could know peace again..."

Sunday, 6 April 2008


NEL paperback, September 1973. Cover artist uncredited.

FUGUE - a glimpse into the future of Britain. At a time when the country is caught by civil conflict between a right-wing government and the liberal element, a third group arrives - refugee Africans from a continent devastated by nuclear attack. The country is ripe for a three-way civil war. Total breakdown in communications quickly follows, and a nightmare situation grips the community. 
Alan Whitman, the central character of this frightening story, represents the view of the man on the street. How will he cope with this situation when he has opted out all his life, from political, personal and moral decisions? 
Christopher Priest's second novel consolidates his place among the most brilliant and imaginative of the younger writers of today, already established by his earlier work 'Indoctrinaire'."