Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Collection of Judith Merril Novels

Spaced Out: Three Novels of Tomorrow, by Judith Merril (2008), was published earlier this summer by NESFA Press, the “publishing pseudopod” of the New England Science Fiction Association. A hardcover collection including two works about Mars co-written by C. M. Kornbluth, here are the contents:

Shadow on the Hearth (1950), by Merril. The story of nuclear war on Earth from the perspective of Gladys Mitchell, a housewife who must cope with threats to her family.

Outpost Mars (1952), by Merril and Kornbluth, writing as Cyril Judd. The story of Dr. Tony Hellman and fellow humans of Sun Lake Colony on Mars, who are accused of stealing a supply of marcaine, a Martian drug, from the planet’s most powerful magnate. (Note that Outpost Mars is part of the Planetary Society’s Visions of Mars library aboard NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander.)

Gunner Cade (1952), by Merril and Kornbluth, writing as Cyril Judd. The story of Gunner Cade, a professional soldier of the Realm of Man, who is captured by rebel forces on Mars but escapes, only to find that he is being hunted by fellow gunners.

The cover art for this collection is by William K. Hartmann, painter, scientist, and author of Mars Underground: a Novel (1997)

Surprisingly, Spaced Out: Three Novels of Tomorrow does not include Merril’s The Tomorrow People (1960), a novel about Johnny Wendt, sole survivor of a failed expedition to Mars.

Also, it's worth noting that The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy at the Toronto Public Library is named after Judith Merril. Donated in 1970, the collection was originally known as The Spaced Out Library and consisted of items from her personal collection.

Lastly, Suford Lewis, editor at NESFA Press, just won the 2008 Forrest J Ackerman Big Heart Award, the highest service award in the science fiction community, at Denvention 3. Congratulations!

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