Audio Sequence, April 2016

Unsubscribed Audio Sequence April 2016

April arrives early at unsubscribedblog! I’ve spent quite some time this past month digging through old photographs, posters, cassettes and other ephemera from my teenage years following a number of conversations on social media. It’s been quite a revelation, especially listening back to the cache of long forgotten music which I’ve now converted into mp3 files for ease of use. It’s this collection of recordings that I’ve decided to draw on for my latest audio sequence in the hopes of either reawakening some memories or introducing new listeners to the sounds which informed a large part of my formative years during the late 1970s and 1980s.

It’s been particularly challenging at times as most of these tracks were unlabelled and unfortunately my advancing age has greatly affected my powers of total recollection. It’s just as well that these tunes don’t really need band names or a release year to shine, they manage to sound as thrilling as they did when I first heard them. I had so much fun compiling this one that I may well turn to another teenage musical passion for future inspiration so if you’re a fan of prog rock and its many facets then stay tuned!

To obtain your own completely gratis copy of this sonic time capsule simply click on the link below to download the file. Feel free to share your thoughts on this months audio sequence in the comments and do let me know what you spent your teens listening to at impossibly high volumes in your bedroom night after night.

April 2016 Mix Download Link

My audio sequence from March is also still available via the link below and comes highly recommended for more experimentally minded thrill seekers. Downloads from South Korea in particular were absolutely through the roof! I’ve received an email from a reader stating that this mix is being used prominently as part of the anti-North DMZ broadcast campaign to unsettle residents at nearby military installations.

February 2016 Mix Download Link

If you enjoyed these sequences, why not add to your collection via the following links;

January 2016 Mix Download Link 

Rural Weird Mix Download Link

 

 

Ace On Sunday #12

Ace Double Header

Last Sunday, I selected a new Ace Double book from the unsubscriber library shelves and spent a very pleasant day in the company of Brian M. Stableford (here). Today I’m turning over the book and reading Seed Of The Dreamers by Emil Petaja. I must confess that my only other experience of Petaja’s work has been through an Ace Double so I’m not particularly familiar with his oeuvre.

The inside cover blurb leads me to think that this novel may well be a somewhat pulpish romp;

Brad Mantee, starcop on the galaxy’s rim, was on a routine mission when everything started to go wrong. His perfect record with Star Control, the vast network of galactic dictatorship, slipped suddenly into oblivion as he found himself in hot pursuit of the madman who had stolen his ship and with it, the secret that could cost him his career – at the very least.

Unfortunately, Brad’s best chance was through the madman’s daughter, a girl from the one organization Star Control most detested. Their search led them ultimately to a primitive and uncharted planet where fiction became fact and dreams became flesh, but where also lurked a threat of universal slavery more total than man had ever known…

The Gray Morrow cover artwork is not as psychedelically inclined as Jack Gaughan’s piece on the flip side of the book but does feature some lovely touches like the geometric curves and speckled background. Of course I have to add extra points for the inclusion of the gun-toting mechanoid.

Ok then Brad, let’s see what you’ve got old chap! I shall be here as usual next Sunday to share my latest Ace Double selection so do please join me then. If you have any thoughts about today’s novel of this series in general, feel free to share them in the comments.

Seed Of The Dreamers by Emil Pataja
(Serial Number 06707)
This version was published in 1970 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Gray Morrow

06707 - Seed Of The Dreamers by Emil Petaja

Six Ballantine Originals With Cover Art By Richard Powers

Ballantine Books is a major US publisher which was founded in 1952 by husband and wife team Ian and Betty Ballantine. The imprint quickly gained recognition soon after it was established for its science fiction originals, early editions of which are now highly sought after by collectors the world over.

I’ve been a huge fan of these wonderful books myself for some time now and have been lucky enough to assemble a fairly sizeable selection over the years. I tend to go for these versions for two reasons; firstly, the lure of tracking down first editions of original SF novels but more importantly the fact that many of these fine paperbacks had cover art by the outrageously talented Mr Richard Powers.

My love for Powers artwork is probably well known to regular visitors of this blog as I have featured quite a number of his covers over the past three years. Indeed, my last Powers-related post was only a few months ago (here).

So, here are a half dozen Ballantine Originals pulled from my library shelves which all have fantastic cover paintings by the great man himself. I’m sure that I shall be posting more like these in the near future as and when I manage to find them. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, I’m sure I’m not the only Powers obsessive out there!

The Climacticon by Harold Livingston
This version was published in 1960 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Climacticon by Harold Livingston

Out Of My Mind by John Brunner
This version was published in 1967 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Out Of My Mind by John Brunner

30-Day Wonder by Richard Wilson
This version was published in 1960 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

30 Day Wonder by Richard Wilson

Needle In A Timestack by Robert Silverberg
This version was published in 1966 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Needle In A Timestack by Robert Silverberg

So Close To Home by James Blish
This version was published in 1962 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

So Close To Home by James Blish

The Girls From Planet 5 by Richard Wilson
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Girls From Planet 5 by Richard Wilson

Ace On Sunday #11

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The author of this Sunday’s Ace Double book is originally from my own home county of Yorkshire in England which is hardly known as being a hotbed for science-fiction. I’ve previously read a couple of novels by Brian M. Stableford which I enjoyed immensely and so I was pleased to find one of his earlier stories amongst a later batch of Doubles I recently acquired which were all published in the seventies. The tagline is most perplexing;

Complete the quadrilateral – and the universe is yours

The inside blurb talks of a king who is “black of body and of blood” who has claimed the earth but struggles with a controlling “powerful aggregate mind” in the form of the blind worm. The novel describes a vicious battle through time and the universe between this “pseudo-man and animal-machine”.

The rather psychedelic cover art by Jack Gaughan is fantastic and is a great example of the reaction against more conservative, genre-specific artwork beginning to take hold during this period.

I suspect that this will be a more thought-provoking read than is usual for my weekend choice but am ready to dive right in. Let me know what you think of this cover illustration in the comments and join me again next Sunday as I turn over the book for more Ace Double mayhem.

The Blind Worm by Brian Stableford
(Serial Number 06707)
This version was published in 1970 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Jack Gaughan

06707 - The Blind Worm by Brian Stableford

Ace On Sunday #10

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This week, I’ll be reading the reverse side of Ace Double serial number D-291 which I began last Sunday with Lest We Forget Thee, Earth by Calvin M. Knox (here). Today it’s the turn of Raymond Z. Gallun to provide the story which is described on the front cover by the Detroit Times as “packed with action”. Here’s the blurb from the inside page;

Scientific experiments on the moon and an accidental lunar explosion that seared the earth triggers another tale from the imaginative pen of Raymond Z. Gallun.

The secret of life and the retiring to the living of victims of the holocaust initiate a conflict for Ed Dukas, Gallun’s scientific pioneer of the future. Restoring persons through scientific methods, personality records and the memories of near kin, leaves one fatal flaw. They lack one indefinable quality – a divine spark, perhaps a soul.

Gallon depicts a struggle between the restored people and the natural living. Life on the asteroids, thought machines, a journey to Mars and a star ship expedition to Sirius are woven into the plot.

People Minus X is packed with action, science-fiction style.

Sounds rather intriguing doesn’t it? The Emsh cover is yet another brilliant example of this great artist’s talent. It depicts a trio of falling people who are clad in what look like bandages and are tethered together as they plummet. The background image is that of a human face rendered in an impressionistic style.

Time to read now and discover the outcome of this struggle between the living and the previously dead. I’ll be back in week’s time with yet more Ace Double action so be sure to join me then. Your thoughts and comments are as always, warmly appreciated.

People Minus X by Raymond Z. Gallun
(Serial Number D-291)
This version was published in 1958 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Ed Emshwiller

D-291 People Minus X by Raymond Z. Gallun

Off The Shelf; Henry Kuttner

The first of Kuttner’s books I bought was ‘The Best Of Henry Kuttner’, a single volume collection of short stories and novelettes by the US author which I thought was a great read. I then discovered the two volume ‘Best Of’ books at a relatively low price on eBay which added a further twelve stories to the ones I already had and promptly grabbed those too. I have since expanded my collection of his works quite considerably and have enjoyed everything I’ve completed so far.

Kuttner also worked under a variety of different pseudonyms which can confuse his bibliography somewhat, especially the novels written with C. L. Moore which were usually credited to Lewis Padgett. I’ve decided to include a couple of Padgett titles at the end of this post as I thought the cover art was great albeit sadly uncredited.

The Best Of Henry Kuttner by Henry Kuttner
This version was published in 1975 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Best Of Henry Kuttner by Henry Kuttner

The Dark World by Henry Kuttner
This version was published in 1966 by Mayflower-Dell Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Dark World by Henry Kuttner

The Best Of Kuttner 1 by Henry Kuttner
This version was published in 1965 by Mayflower-Dell Books
The cover artist is Jacks

The Best Of Kuttner 1 by Henry Kuttner

The Best Of Kuttner 2 by Henry Kuttner
This version was published in 1966 by Mayflower-Dell Books
The cover artist is Jacks

The Best Of Kuttner 2 by Henry Kuttner

Return To Otherness by Henry Kuttner
This version was published in 1965 by Mayflower-Dell Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Return To Otherness by Henry Kuttner

Bypass To Otherness by Henry Kuttner
This version was published in 1963 by Consul Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Bypass To Otherness by Henry Kuttner

Tomorrow And Tomorrow by Lewis Padgett
This version was published in 1963 by Consul Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Tomorrow And Tomorrow by Lewis Padgett

The Far Reality by Lewis Padgett
This version was published in 1963 by Consul Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Far Reality by Lewis Padgett