1955 science fiction novel: Space Prison (free ebook)

200709101133Manybooks.net is offering Tom Godwin's Space Prison (Original title: The Survivors) as a free ebook.

I haven't read it, but the reviews are positive and the cover art and design is perfect.

I'm almost glad contemporary book design is generally awful, otherwise I'd blow even more money on books than I already do. Link


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  2. I have this book! I think I paid a $.5 for it back when I spent much more time in used book stores. As I recall there was a different novel by the same guy in the store and I got that one too. In a case of judging a book by its cover, the story is exactly what you’d expect from that picture and title.

  3. “One of the truly unusual novels of science-fiction – a vivid portrayal of the deadliest planet ever discovered.”

    This sounds like a winner to me. Gotta love that art and title type font.

  4. FYI, the book is also available free over on Baen’s website; they post the first few chapters of each book as samples, and this comprises the first part of their Tom Godwin collection.

  5. Readers who enjoy this may also like: “Lint”, Steve Aylett’s spoof biography of Jeff Lint, “author of some of the strangest and most inventive satirical SF of the twentieth century. He transcended genre in classics such as Jelly Result and The Stupid Conversation, becoming a cult figure and pariah.”

    There are a dozen or so colour plates too, with wonderful reproductions of various imaginary pulp paperback and zine covers.



  6. Magazines and books used to share a lot of design elements then.

    I guess we’re only a short hop away from celebrity book covers…

  7. The author sounded familiar because I had recently read a awful paperback Limbo search, by Godwin. However that author was “Parke” not “Tom”. [How bad you ask? The author’s space future was based on renamed VietName era technology – space ships had afterburners and people tuned their radio receivers with dials]

  8. We’re lightyears away from celebrity book covers, unless they’re done as one-off publicity stunts. You may not like modern cover art and design, but believe me, they’re not arbitrary.

  9. OMG. I read this book about a hundred times when I was a kid. There are scenes in it that I remember as if it had been made into a movie. There is also one of the funniest scenes in SF (I won’t spoil it, but just thinking about it cracks me up). It’s a very fifties book, but it’s a fun read. Seeing the cover was a very evocative experience, thanks BB!

  10. I’m wondering how these books get to be free books. Are they in the public domain? How does the average book scanner/poster determine the copyright status of older books?

  11. Damn good book, actually. I’ve probably read it three or four times over the years. I’d class it as a “ripping yarn”, set over a number of generations of humans abandoned on a hostile, heavy-gravity planet, and their efforts to persevere, preserve their culture, and escape.

    Tom Godwin, at his peak, could push buttons, hard, as “The Cold Equations” still shows. SPACE PRISON is similarly effective, and affecting.

    He wrote a sequel, THE SPACE BARBARIANS, but… oh God, it was definitely not Godwin at his peak. In fact, it was… bad. Very, very bad. Where SPACE PRISON galloped along like a champ, SPACE BARBARIANS just went clunk. Clunk, clunk, clunkety, CLUNK.

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