"fredric brown"

Great deal on Blake Crouch's Dark Matter

I loved Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines trilogy. I'm about 200 pages into his later novel, Dark Matter, and I'm liking it just as much. It reminds me a bit of Wayward Pines in that the main character gets thrown into a bizarre world that is keeping me guessing. It also reminds me of one of my favorite science fiction novels of the past, What Mad Universe, by Fredric Brown.

Right now, Amazon has the Kindle version of Dark Matter at a steep discount. The Wayward Pines series is on sale, too. Read the rest

Lucian's Gift

[I met John Serge at a reading over the weekend. He read his short story called "Lucian's Gift," and it reminded me of short stories I've read and loved by Richard Matheson, Fredric Brown, and Roald Dahl. I asked John if I could run his story on Boing Boing and he kindly consented. Enjoy! -- Mark]

Lucian was born blind. In his six short years, he's seen neither the splendor nor the squalor of the world around him. Rather than lament her son's inherent darkness, his mother, Anca, a stout hearted Romanian woman, decided early on to treat little Lucian like a gifted child. His gift, as she puts it, is that his view of the world is free from the limitations of literal sight; he connects with and experiences things, people, places, events, in a more holistic, even spiritual manner. His perceptions have a clarity that just isn't possible when looking only through the eyes. As for Lucian, he's still too young to fully embrace his mother's point of view. All he knows is what he feels, not the least of which is her love.

Anca and Lucian live alone in a tiny two-bedroom walk-up, the boy's father having graced Anca's life only long enough to help conceive their sightless son. Afraid to release him into the cruel, dispassionate realm of other children, Anca opted instead to keep him at home, adopting all at once the roles of mother, father, teacher, and friend.

So when the austere gentleman from Social Services paid them a visit, Anca was understandably on edge. Read the rest

2017 Hugo nominees announced

The 2017 Hugo nominees were announced yesterday; attendees at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California will choose from among them to pick this year's Hugo Award winners. Read the rest

Great Richard Corben cover for a great Fredric Brown SF anthology

In the 1970s I was a member of the Science Fiction Book Club. Whoever the art director was at the time, they were producing some excellent covers. I still have the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels with Frank Frazetta covers and illustrations, but I somehow lost The Best of Fredric Brown (1976) with this Richard Corben illustration of a Yeti embracing an explorer. I probably let a friend borrow it, and it never made its way back to me. I could buy a used copy on Amazon for a few bucks, but I already have Kindles of his short stories.

One of my favorite Brown stories didn't appear in this anthology. It's called "The House." It's just 3 page long. Here's a PDF scan from the August 1960 issue of Fantastic Science Fiction Stories. It reminds me of descriptions in an Infocom text adventure. Here's an essay about the story.

[via]

Previously:

Great 1950s horror sci-fi novel, The Mind Thing, now on Kindle

Fredric Brown's "The Fabulous Clipjoint" is an e-book

I was pleased to find Read the rest

60 Fredric Brown science fiction stories for $2

A couple of days ago I wrote about one of my favorite SF and mystery writers, the late Fredric Brown. I just found out that you can get a a kindle edition called The Fredric Brown Megapack (2 Book Series) for $2, which includes 60 of his stories, many of which have great surprise endings. I bought it and I see many of my favorites here, including "Arena."

From Wikipedia:

"Arena" is a science fiction short story by Fredric Brown that was first published in the June 1944 issue of Astounding magazine. Members of the Science Fiction Writers of America selected it as one of the best science fiction stories published before the advent of the Nebula Awards, and as such it was included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.

The Star Trek episode "Arena" had some similarity to this story, so to avoid legal problems, it was agreed that Brown would receive payment and a story credit. An Outer Limits episode, "Fun and Games", also has a similar plot, as does an episode of Blake's 7, titled "Duel".

If you are not yet familiar with Fredric Brown, I'm envious of the treat that's in store for you. Read the rest

Great 1950s horror sci-fi novel, The Mind Thing, now on Kindle

When I was in junior high school, I joined the Science Fiction Book Club. One of the books I got from the club was an anthology that included several stories by Fredric Brown (who was primarily a mystery writer but occasionally delved into science fiction). Some of Brown's stories in the anthology were a mere page or two, and I loved their humor and surprise endings. As soon as I could, I went to the Boulder Public Library to load up on as much Brown as I could find. It turned out the library had just two of his science fiction novels: Martians, Go Home (1955), and What Mad Universe (1949). They were both terrific.

In Martians, Go Home a race of cartoonish little green men invade Earth for the sole purpose of being hideously bothersome pests, behaving very much like Internet trolls and Second Life griefers. (Artist Kelly Freas perfectly captured the personality of the martians in his cover painting for Astounding Science Fiction.) In What Mad Universe a man gets thrown into a parallel universe and has to figure out how to get back home. Both books are semi-parodies of science fiction novels (the protagonists in each novel are science fiction writers), with plenty of Brown's signature wry humor. If you've not read these novels, I highly recommend them both.

It wasn't until I was in high school that I scored a copy of The Mind Thing (1961), which is probably my favorite Brown novel, even though it is not as well-known as the other two novels, and could be arguably be classified a horror novel. Read the rest

This Day in Blogging History: Fredric Brown's Mind Thing; Pratchett quilt; Ashcroft v Gilmore begins

One year ago today

The Mind Thing, by Fredric Brown: excellent pulp-era science fiction: The Mind Thing is an alien being (which looks like a turtle shell) that has been banished to Earth for committing crimes on its home planet.

Five years ago today

Terry Pratchett fan-afghan -- the Pratchgan: It's a pretty special project and Mr Pratchett seemed to like the blanket.

Nine years ago today John Gilmore vs. Ashcroft begins today: At stake is nothing less than the right of Americans to travel freely in their own country -- and the exposure of 'secret law' for what it is: an abomination. Read the rest

The Mind Thing, by Fredric Brown: excellent pulp-era science fiction

When I was in junior high school, I joined the Science Fiction Book Club. One of the books I got from the club was an anthology that included several stories by Fredric Brown (who was primarily a mystery writer but occasionally delved into science fiction). Some of Brown's stories in the anthology were a mere page or two, and I loved their humor and surprise endings. As soon as I could, I went to the Boulder Public Library to load up on as much Brown as I could find. It turned out the library had just two of his science fiction novels: Martians, Go Home (1955), and What Mad Universe (1949). They were both terrific.

In Martians, Go Home a race of cartoonish little green men invade Earth for the sole purpose of being hideously bothersome pests, behaving very much like Internet trolls and Second Life griefers. (Artist Kelly Freas perfectly captured the personality of the martians in his cover painting for Astounding Science Fiction.) In What Mad Universe a man gets thrown into a parallel universe and has to figure out how to get back home. Both books are semi-parodies of science fiction novels (the protagonists in each novel are science fiction writers), with plenty of Brown's signature wry humor. If you've not read these novels, I highly recommend them both.

It wasn't until I was in high school that I scored a copy of The Mind Thing (1961), which is probably my favorite Brown novel, even though it is not as well-known as the other two novels, and could be arguably be classified a horror novel. Read the rest

Free 1956 Charles Willeford novella: Wild Wives

(Image from Hang Fire Books Flickr stream)

Manybooks.net has pulp author Charles Willeford's noir novella Wild Wives available for free in a variety of ebook formats.

Willeford, along with Fredric Brown, is one of my favorite pulp crime fiction writers because his work transcends the genre. From Willeford's Wikipedia entry: "Steve Erickson suggests that Willeford's crime novels are the 'genre's equivalent of Philip K. Dick's best science fiction novels. They don't really fit into the genre.'"

Wild Wives by Charles Willeford

Buy on Amazon. Read the rest

Vintage paperbacks featuring good girl art

I enjoyed the "carnie girls" collection of vintage paperback covers from the Good Girl Art website. Shown here are covers to two (sadly out-of-print) carnival-themed books I highly recommend: Madball, by Fredric Brown, and Nightmare Alley, by William Lindsay Gresham. (Update: Nightmare Alley is available in the anthology Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 40s.)

Good Girl Art, usually shortened to GGA, is the term that describes certain types of Vintage Art, and specifically Paperback Cover Art. Richard Lupoff in his The Great American Paperback defines it as "A cover illustration depicting an attractive young woman, usually in skimpy or form-fitting clothing, and designed for (mild erotic interest). The term does not apply to the morality of the 'good girl', who is often a gun moll, tough cookie, or wicked temptress." The GGA designation seems to have originated with comic books and is usually applied to attractive sexy young women who are either in peril or are perpetrating the peril like my favorite gun moll on the right. So it is often politically incorrect but can also be empowering when at the right end of a gun.

Good Girl Art Paperbacks (Via Shane Glines) Read the rest

I was pleased to find

I was pleased to find this hardbound edition of The Lights in the Skies are Stars sitting in the "free" bin at the Studio City Public Library. Fredric Brown is one of my favorite authors, and this is a good novel, though not as good as The Mind Thing, Martians Go Home, or What Mad Universe. Still, it was free – yipee! Link Discuss Read the rest

:)