News & What's New - December 2014
Strange kind of magic in Elderton
31 Dec 2014
Just on the threshold of the year 2014 to 2015 I received today the new edition of Tracy Knight's first novel The Astonished Eye. I loved reading it very much, when it first came out in 2001.

Andy Fairclough wrote in his review: «It's an uncanny blend of mystery, science fiction, fantasy and horror. There are strong elements of Bradbury, Carroll, and King in Tracy Knight's writing but his voice is definitely his own. The novel demonstrates both the author's fantastical imagination and his ability to write a delightful and moving narrative.»
To which I have nothing further to add!

Philip Jose Farmer wrote an introduction to this book with the 2001 publication. His introduction is also included in this new edition from Stark House Press, which you can buy for $15.95.
Recommended, and not for Farmer's introduction only!

Alan M. Clark
The Space Wanderer
17 Dec 2014
This is one of the most funniest science fiction stories I have ever read, the two-part serial "Venus on the Half-Shell". I enjoyed this story very much.
Simon Wagstaff traveling through the universe on a quest to find the "Definitive Answer to the Ultimate Question". This story was written years before Douglas Adams wrote his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, that has the same theme.

art: Ron Walotsky

Farmer used the pseudonym Kilgore Trout with the publications of his story. A character from several novels by Kurt Vonnegut.
After publication of the novel Venus on the Half-Shell Vonnegut withdrew his permission for further novels written by Farmer under this pseudonym. Farmer wrote about this: «...for a brief though glorious period, I was Kilgore Trout."»

Mazey & Schell
Le Monde du Fleuve
14 Dec 2014
Two weeks ago I added a new printing of the French edition L'univers à l'envers, a translation of Indside Outside. By the way, this one has seen more French editions than US ones.
I also discovered some other new printings of Farmer's books in France.

Three of his Riverworld novels have been reprinted again.
First novel is Le Monde du Fleuve (To Your Scattered Bodies Go) in June 2014.
Next Le Labyrinthe magique (The Magic Labyrinth), which was published in November 2012. This printing has a new cover illustration.

And finally Les Dieux du fleuve (Gods of Riverworld), in March 2014.
The three new printings are added to their book pages.

Trip to Uranus
12 Dec 2014
It took editor Byron Preiss three years to finish the special anthology The Planets. Many scientists were asked to write an essay about one of the nine planets in our Solar system, about the Moon and the Asteroids and Comets.

Each planetary essay is followed by one or two stories from science fiction authors. Philip José Farmer takes us with him to the seventh planet, Uranus, with his story "Uranus or UFO Versus IRS".

art: Richard Courtney

The spacecraft Herschel discovers some strange, artificial looking artifacts in one of the rings of Uranus and tries to take one of them in. The object explodes. Two Uranian creatures are living on Earth. They see what is happening. And think about how to act and react.

Then the story goes far over the top for me with the enormous wealth of the two Uranians, accumulated over a long period of years with their many companies on Earth. The IRS starts to battle them...

Uproar in Acheron, a western
8 Dec 2014
Farmer started his writing career not with science fiction stories. But he had no success in selling the mainstream stories he wrote. Only one was sold and got published in 1946, "O'Brien and Obrenov".

Farmer switched to writing science fiction stories, but his ideas were never limited to that genre alone. He had, during the 1940s, written two or three Western short stories, which were rejected, and one-fourth of a Western novel, according to Farmer in his introduction to the following story.
He came back to this Western genre with the story "Uproar in Acheron", that was published in 1961 in the UK version of The Saint Mystery Magazine. Seven months later it appeared in the US version of this magazine.

The story is about three con men trying to fool and rip-off the town's people of Acheron, by bringing back the dead.

An imaginary quest?
7 Dec 2014
Another story page restyled, the one of "Up the Bright River". Only seven more stories to go...

Philip José Farmer had started a 'sidestream' novel in the Riverworld series, also not part of the main story in the novels.
A brief outline and some notes of this sidestream novel, Riverworld Dawn, were found in Phil's archives. The outline was published in the last issue of the fanzine Farmerphile.

The novel was never written, but some of his ideas for this novel were used for the stories "Crossing the Dark River" (1992) and its sequel, "Up the Bright River" (1993). Nearly all of the characters in these stories are Phil's own ancestors.

Don Ivan Punchatz
Little French encyclopedia
2 Dec 2014
In June 1987 appeared in France the mass market pocket encyclopedia La science-fiction.
In nearly 300 pages every major science fiction author from the US and France, and many science fiction themes, were treated. A short biography of the author's life and writing career. The entries are accompanied with a bibliography of the publications in France.

Philip José Farmer is included with a biography, where he is called one of all time's greatest SF authors. Despite the fact that his work was not always understood and fully appreciated in France.

Thanks Fred Fischer (US) for this find.


Added Books
Three new additions on the book pages this month.

Gods of Riverworld
The French reprint (Les Dieux du fleuve) from Le Livre de Poche, 2014.

The Magic Labyrinth
The French reprint (Le Labyrinthe magique) from Le Livre de Poche, 2012.

To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Publisher Le Livre de Poche (France), came with a new reprint (Le Monde du Fleuve) in 2014.
These are the numbers for the book pages this month.

1820 publications
1190 different covers

© Zacharias L.A. Nuninga -- Page last updated: 22 Jun 2015