It’s no secret I’m a fan of Gollancz’s SF Masterworks series of reprints. Not only do they have great titles, but the cover art is excellent as well. Although I prefer the artwork of the print runs from several years ago, the new art style is still pretty darned cool.
Here’s a look at the upcoming SF Masterworks books from Gollancz for the rest of the year according to Amazon:
The First Men in the Moon (S.F. Masterworks) by H. G. Wells (Gollancz)
Published over 100 years ago, this is one of Wells’s greatest novels, and the only one of his scientific romances to embrace space travel. Thanks to the discovery of an anti-gravity metal, Cavorite, two Victorian Englishmen travel to the Moon, where they encounter the extraordinary underground world of the Selenites, insect-like aliens living in a rigidly organised hive society.
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
Adam Roberts contributes a new introduction to this enduring classic novel
“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s.” So begins H. G. Wells’ classic novel in which Martian lifeforms take over planet Earth. As the Martians emerge, they construct giant killing machines—armed with heat-rays—that are impervious to attack. Advancing upon London they destroy everything in their path. Everything, except the few humans they collect in metal traps. Victorian England is a place in which the steam engine is state-of-the-art technology and powered flight is just a dream. Mankind is helpless against the killing machines from Mars, and soon the survivors are left living in a new stone age.
Synners by Pat Cadigan
First published in 1991, this cyberpunk classic won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was shortlisted for the Nebula Award
Synners are synthesizers—not machines, but people. They take images from the brains of performers, and turn them into a form which can be packaged, sold, and consumed. This book is set in a world where new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets. The line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with reality is incidental. This classic novel from one of the founders and mainstays of the cyberpunk movement.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley’s classic tale of the devastating consequences of playing God, widely regarded as the first genuine science fiction novel
Brilliant, driven Victor Frankenstein has at last realized his greatest ambition. The scientist has succeeded in creating intelligent life. But when his creature first stirs, Frankenstein realizes he has made a monster. And, abandoned by its maker and shunned by everyone who sees it, the Doctor’s creation sets out to destroy him and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley’s classic novel remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written, a book that chillingly captures the unforeseen terror of playing God and the heartstopping fear of being pursued by a powerful, relentless killer.
One of the most influential anthologies of all time returns to print, as relevant now as when it was first published
Anthologies seldom make history, but Harlan Ellison’s 1967 collection of science fiction stories is a grand exception. Along with Moorcock’s New Worlds, it defined the New Wave movement. Dangerous Visions set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards—not surprsing with a contributors list that reads like a who’s who of 20th-century SF.
Take Back Plenty by Colin Greenland
The only book ever to win both the British Science Fiction Association Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award—now back in print
A fast-moving space adventure featuring mysterious aliens, a journey to a depopulated planet, a mad run from space cops, a ship captain in trouble, and her AI (Artificially Intelligent) companion/ship’s computer. It is carnival time on Mars, but Tabitha Jute isn’t partying. She is in hiding from the law, penniless, and about to lose her livelihood and her best friend, the space barge “Alice Liddell.” Then the intriguing Marco Metz offers her some money to take him to Plenty, and the adventure begins.
The Sea and Summer by George Turner
The Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel of climate change in the not-too-distant future
Francis Conway is Swill—one of the 90% in the year 2041 who must subsist on the inadequate charities of the state. A young boy growing Life, already difficult, is rapidly becoming impossible for Francis and others like him, as government corruption, official blindness, and nature have conspired to turn Swill homes into watery tombs. And now the young boy must find a way to escape the approaching tide of disaster. Comparable to J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World, George Turner’s masterful exploration of the effects of climate change was also shortlisted for the Nebula Award.
The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
The classic science fiction novel with an exciting new cover design and a new introduction
H. G.Wells’ great novel of the dangers of science describes a man cast out from society by his own terrifying discovery. It tells the story of Griffin, a brilliant and obsessed scientist dedicated to achieving invisibility. Taking whatever action is necessary to keep his incredible discovery safe, he terrorizes the local village where he has sought refuge. Wells skilfully weaves the themes of science, terror, and pride as the invisible Griffin gradually loses his sanity and, ultimately, his humanity.
The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe by D.G. Compton
A forgotten SF classic that exposed the pitfalls of voyeuristic entertainment decades before the reality show craze
A few years in the future, medical science has advanced to the point where it is practically unheard of for people to die of any cause except old age. The few exceptions provide the fodder for a new kind of television show for avid audiences who lap up the experience of watching someone else’s dying weeks. So when Katherine Mortenhoe is told that she has about four weeks to live, she knows it’s not just her life she’s about to lose, but her privacy as well. D. G. Compton foresaw “reality television” long before anyone had heard of Big Brother.