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Entry to Elsewhen (Daw UY1154) Mass Market Paperback – January 21, 1975


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; 3rd edition (January 21, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879971541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879971540
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,558,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Brooks VINE VOICE on October 9, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Entry to Elsewhen - John Brunner

This slim volume - 172 pages - republished three of author Brunner's early science fiction stories. All three first appeared in British science fiction magazines.

"Host Age" concerns a plague in near future London. Medical science is baffled as to its origins or cure. Promising attempts to find a remedy are mysteriously throttled. The issue is eventually resolved when a man from the future appears and explains it all to the dumfounded readers.

"Lungfish" is the most interesting of the three stories. After 40 years the second generation of colonist, all born on a starship, decide that colonizing an unknown world is too risky and refuse to leave the ship. The first generation, that must return to Earth with the ship, are confounded by this turn of events. I found the ending very contrived.

"No Other Gods but Me" the longest story at 80 pages was a chore to read. The story concerns an attempted invasion by a barbarian-like dictator with "super-powers" from a parallel universe under the guise of a religious cult rally, in of all places, Washington Square, New York City.

This collection by John Brunner (1934-95) is quite frankly not a very good showcase for his considerable talents as a science-fiction writer. Not surprising this book has only been published twice 1972 and 1975. The only saving grace of my 1975 edition is an amazing cover by Josh Kirby.

As a long time admirer of his fiction I was interested in reading some of his early shorter stories. I would only recommend this volume to hard core Brunner fans.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a big fan of Brunner's, it would be convenient for me to say that picking up a random Brunner novel should always be an exciting adventure... which would be true 66% of the time, but no sir, never 100% of the time. The same is true for this novelette/novella collection: 66% of it is quite good while the other 33% falls flat... and by flat I mean like paper-thin flat, elephant dung paper that's been compressed by a steam roller then sent to the surface of a neutron star. If you're NOT a hard core Brunner fan then I highly suggest you simply rip out the last 82 pages and leave yourself with a two novelette book worth reading.

Host Age - 4/5 - The rapidly mutating Plague is devastating England, where one victim in ten dies from complications which no two individuals exhibit the same symptoms. When leading research from the Plague's cure becomes destroyed and the investigation can find no sign of entry from the perpetrators, suspicion arise which implicate the recovering astronaut and the current theoretical research into matter transmission. 45 pages --- Only lacking spaceships, Host Age is a Golden Age-style story which combines all other science fiction cliques into one story. The result, contrary to prevalent cliques, proves to be one of excitement, intrigue, and mystery. It's not exactly character-based, but the plot's momentum is quite enough to convey Brunner's craftiness.

Lung Fish - 4/5 - On the way to Tau Ceti II aboard a generation ship, two generations of crew are is silent conflict: the logical Earthborn are taken aback by the unemotional Tripborn. With two weeks left before the arrival, the caretaker-minded Earthborn begin a secret plan to influence the Tripborn to become claustrophobic and eager to colonize the planet.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This collection contains three 1950s short stories/novelettes expanded and modified from their original magazine form for this volume. Although two of the three are average/bad, `Lungfish' (1957) remains one of my favorite short stories of all time and proved very influential for later science fiction stories concerning the effects on children growing up in the restricted stimulus deficient environment of a generation ship...

(2/5) `Host Age', first published in New Worlds SF, 1955. There's not much remotely interesting/above average about this 50 page tale. A plague strikes a near future earth. An unusual burglary with no point of entry occurs destroying a medical research facility. It's up to the doctor in charge of finding the cure to the Plague to piece together the puzzle -- which is somewhat obvious to the reader. There's a semi-twist at the end -- but, it falls short of anything revelatory or impressive. In short, simplistic, straightforward, and poorly written run-of-the-mill 1950s sci-fi...

(5/5) `Lungfish', first published in Science Fantasy, 1957. This has always been one of my favorite short stories and worth the acquisition of this volume. In part, because of the subject matter: generation ships. In part, because of Brunner's delivery. And, in part, because of it's influence on the genre: evidenced by Ursula Le Guin's short story `Paradises Lost' -- in the recent collection, The Birthday of the World -- which expands on Brunner's premise with a few more generations and a more modern delivery. What happens when the offspring of the original generation ship colonists don't want to settle their new world? I won't spoil this one! He should have expanded these concepts into a full length book.
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