UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION #3

“A Night at the Space Opera”
By Roy Thomas

Editorial from Roy to clarify what space opera not being in the series. It doesn’t mean not having space travel but no Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers type stories.

“The Star-Magi”
Writer: Tony Isabella
Artists: Gene Colan and Frank Charamonte

Sandson Tyme gets a visitor to his shop late at night. An alien comes for his slow glass. He is from a world that was destroyed and only him and his mate survived. He wants slow glass to give his homesick mate visions of their home. But slow glass doesn’t work that way but the mate comes and says she found a new home. She traded her memories of her old homeworld because only the future matters.

“Occupation Force”
Writer: Gerry Conway adapted from Frank Herbert story.
Artists: George Perez and Klaus Janeson

A large spaceship is approaching the Earth. Most think its an invasion and when a scout ship kidnaps a guy off the streets of Boston this increases the panic. A message comes that they are going to land in Washington. When the ship arrives it isn’t aliens but men in top hats and bow ties that greet them. They point out that they already occupied this planet 7000 years ago.

“Not Long Before the End”
Writer: Doug Moench adapted from story by Larry Niven
Artist: Vicente4 Alcazar

A warlock who moves about from town to town because his powers tend to disappear after ten years is confronted by a barbarian. The barbarian stole an enchanted sword and wants the warlock’s wife. The warlock has found out that magic is slowly being used up. He uses an enchanted ring to drain the magic and make the sword useless so he can easily defeat the barbarian.

“Sandworms and Saviors: A Conversation with Frank Herbert Author of Dune”
Interviewer Ed Leimbacher.

An interview with Frank Herbert. About his ecological activism and how he comes up with his ideas.

“Gestation”
Writer and Artist: Bruce Jones

In 2036 an expedition lands on a jungle planet. They find it has abundant food and start eating the salad and vegetables. Soon they are addicted to it. The last man the writer of the journal succumbs to some dementia or maybe he does really see his fellow crew turn into winged beings.

“SWFA: The Thing That Spawned Nebulas”
By Don Thompson

An article on the Science Fiction Writers of American and how they started. Also about the Nebula awards they award and all past winners.

“Repent Harlequin said the Ticktockman”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by Harlan Ellison
Artist: Alex Nino

In the far future of 2389 a very regimented society has developed. So rigid that if you are not on time to work you can be killed. A rebel called the Harlequin goes around dumping jellybeans which cause a whole seven minutes of delays in schedules. The Master Timekeeper a masked man known as the Ticktockman enforces these rules. He captures the Harlequin who is anything but repentant. Then like Winston Smith in 1984 he is reconditioned to accept the current system.

Well this issue had a lot of quality stories. Three were adaptations by well known writers. Harlan Ellison had a story in here who just passed away recently. He was a brilliant writer and is missed.

The Slow Glass feature is used as a prologue and epilogue to these issues and expertly used to explain why we are seeing these stories. I have grown fond of these stories.

Gestation started out good but lost me with its ending.

The interviews were informative and the only thing I didn’t care for was the Nebula article. It just listed all the past winners.

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