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Full title The Abominable Earthman [permalink]
Language English
Author Frederik Pohl (author)
Publisher Ballantine Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1963
Pages 159
Synopsis

The Abominable Earthman contains five short stories, and one long-ish one (taking up the bulk of the book).

The Abominable Earthman, the titular story, is about what happens when green-skinned aliens conquer Earth in a short span of time, and the adventures of a small group of people who are trying to overthrow them.

We Never Mention Aunt Nora is about a most curious pregnancy and an aunt who we don't talk about...

A Life and a Half is about a very bleak future which runs very efficiently, alright, but about which something else is off.

Punch is a strange little story about benevolent aliens.

The Martian Star-Gazers reads like an anthropology report on the previous inhabitants of Mars.

Whatever Counts, the longest of the stories, is about a group of colonists and the crew who are hauling them to Aleph Four, a satellite of a Jupiter-like planet a long way off (the journey takes eighteen years). There's also a rhinoceroid alien race of graceful and fast creatures who lack any kind of subconscious who feature prominently (to say more would spoil).

Three Portraits and a Prayer is a very short story about a dying scientist, his doctor, and an evil millionaire.

Review

Unfortunately, almost all the short stories fell rather flat for me. It's all very well written, but some of the stories left me wondering what the point was. The Martian Star-Gazers stood out for me. There's not a whole lot of action in it, but the way it's written made it very interesting to read. It's written almost as thought it were a piece of anthropology, describing Martian mythology and the stars in their skies and what it meant to them. Whatever Counts, the longest story in the collection, also stood out. There aren't too many main characters and Pohl develops them in style: In the end, one really does care about them and their motives, and the aliens, the Gormen, are enigmatic and fit the story very well.

I can't recommend this one unless you really want those two stories. However, you're probably better off buying another Pohl collection with those two in them.

Images Back of The Abominable Earthman.Spine of The Abominable Earthman.Front of The Abominable Earthman.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • The Abominable Earthman
  • We Never Mention Aunt Nora
  • A Life and a Half
  • Punch
  • The Martian Star-Gazers
  • Whatever Counts
  • Three Portraits and a Prayer
Full title Dangerous Visions [permalink]
Language English
Authors Harlan Ellison (editor), Diane Dillon (illustrator), Leo Dillon (illustrator), Isaac Asimov (foreword), Brian W. Aldiss, Carol Emshwiller, Damon Knight, David R. Bunch, Frederik Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Henry Slesar, Howard Rodman, J. G. Ballard, James Cross, Joe L. Hensley, John Brunner, John Sladek, Jonathan Brand, Keith Laumer, Kris Neville, Larry Eisenberg, Larry Niven, Lester del Rey, Miriam Allen deFord, Norman Spinrad, Philip José Farmer, Philip K. Dick, Poul Anderson, R. A. Lafferty, Robert Bloch, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Samuel R. Delany, Sonya Dorman and Theodore Sturgeon
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1975
Pages 544
Synopsis

An anthology with short stories which each presents a "dangerous vision" (although I would call them "visions for thought").

Review

These thirty-two stories are all excellent in their own ways, but some stand out as superbly excellent. They are Shall the Dust Praise Thee?, Evensong, The Malley System, Carcinoma Angels, and A Toy For Juliette. Go buy this book.

Images Back of Dangerous Visions.Spine of Dangerous Visions.Front of Dangerous Visions.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword 1: The Second Revolution
    Isaac Asimov
  • Foreword 2: Harlan and I
    Isaac Asimov
  • Introduction: Thirty-Two Soothsayers
    Harlan Ellison
  • EVENSONG Lester del Rey
  • FLIES Robert Silverberg
  • THE DAY AFTER THE DAY THE MARTIANS CAME Frederik Pohl
  • RIDERS OF THE PURPLE WAGE Philip José Farmer
  • THE MALLEY SYSTEM Miriam Allen deFord
  • A TOY FOR JULIETTE Robert Bloch
  • THE PROWLER IN THE CITY AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD Harlan Ellison
  • THE NIGHT THAT ALL TIME BROKE OUT Brian W. Aldiss
  • THE MAN WHO WENT TO THE MOON—TWICE Howard Rodman
  • FAITH OF OUR FATHERS Philip K. Dick
  • THE JIGSAW MAN Larry Niven
  • GONNA ROLL THE BONES Fritz Leiber
  • LORD RANDY, MY SON Joe L. Hensley
  • EUTOPIA Poul Anderson
  • "A Pair of Bunch"
  • INCIDENT IN MODERAN David R. Bunch
  • THE ESCAPING David R. Bunch
  • THE DOLL-HOUSE Jame Cross
  • SEX AND/OR MR. MORRISON Carol Emschwiller
  • SHALL THE DUST PRAISE THEE? Damon Knight
  • IF ALL MEN WERE BROTHERS, WOULD YOU LET ONE MARRY YOUR SISTER? Theodore Sturgeon
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO AUGUSTE CLAROT? Larry Eisenberg
  • ERSATZ Henry Slesar
  • GO, GO, Go, SAID THE BIRD Sonya Dorman
  • THE HAPPY BREED John T. Sladek
  • ENCOUNTER WITH A HICK Jonathan Brand
  • FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE Kris Neville
  • LAND OF THE GREAT HORSES R. A. Lafferty
  • THE RECOGNITION J. G. Ballard
  • JUDAS John Brunner
  • TEST TO DESTRUCTION Keith Laumer
  • CARCINOMA ANGELS Norman Spinrad
  • AUTO-DA-FÉ Roger Zelazny
  • AYE, AND GOMORRAH... Samyel R. Delany

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