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What Mad Universe Hardcover – May 12, 1976

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Amereon Ltd (May 12, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884118924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884118923
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a Wizard of Oz type parallel universe yarn for adolescents and adults. Unfairly neglected, it would make a stunning Disney animated film or Broadway musical. It's a delightful grab bag of satire on McCarthyism, science fiction fandom, the publishing world, and adolescent boys with out of control imaginations/hormones. Brown takes the blind tapper from Treasure Island and turns him into something utterly horrifying. He transforms Baum's Tik-tok Man into Mekl, the genius robot. The commies are transmuted into a race of interstellar invaders so horrific that humans can't bear to look at them and must shoot them on sight. The hapless hero just wants to get home (like Dorothy Gale in the first Oz book) but he ends up (like Dorothy in the later Oz books) with something better than home. The parallel world Brown creates is wacky but, like Oz (or Ratty and Mole's riverbank), totally believable if you enter into the spirit of it. I rate this book as one of the top classics of sf's Golden Age; indeed, it's on my personal list of the all-time top ten sf novels, along with Dick's Man in a High Castle, Lieber's The Big Time, Vance's Demon Princes quintet, Heinlein's Friday, etc.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the finest novel that ever slummed on the pulpy pages of the old Startling Stories magazine. It was written by a consummate professional, a master wordsmith whose avowed artistic goal was making a more-or-less honest living

It's the story of a very strange couple of days in the life of Keith Winton, an underpaid editor of a hack science fiction magazine rather remarkably like Startling Stories. As the book begins, Winton is engaged in the drudgiest of drudge work, editing the letters to the editor column, all of which come from youthful, pimply, passionate fans such as Joe Doppelburg, whose latest letter he is trying to fit into the monthly paste-up.

It's about 1950, a time when both a pulp science fiction magazine and a good cheeseburger cost about $0.25. In Winton's retro-precocious world, the first unmanned lunar probe has recently been launched. Laying aside Joe's letter aside for the moment, he goes outside to see if he can spot the anticipated landing. It will be marked by a humongous flash, you see, from a new kind of on-board generator that is supposed to be visible to the naked earthside eye. The flash, it turns out is not all the difficult to see, for the probe has been a colossal failure and is falling back to earth even as Winton peers upwards. It so happens that the impact point is the top of his head....

After which, he finds himself in a strangely altered New York, a New York in which pulp SF magazines cost 2.5cr and in which the nighttime streets are actually a little bit more dangerous than ours today. Women go into space in revealingly transparent spacesuits. Moonies trace their origins to the moon, not to Korea. Interstellar ships are powered by wholly unexpected developments in sewing machine technology.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this a Looooong time ago and always hoped I could find it and read it again. It is about more than just parallel universes and chilling "monsters", it is about courage and hope and never giving up. Brown adroitly pulls you into a compellingly crafted story (using some admittedly lagging-edge technology), but you soon forget about that as the hero plunges into a world sort of like ours, but sort of not. Along the way he spins out a theoretical construct about nested, parallel realities, each complete in itself, and varying from its "neighbor" reality by only one tiny detail..... Read it. You'll love it!
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Format: Hardcover
Keith Winton, a Pulp SF magazine editor, was minding his own business, answering a fan's letter, when the first moon rocket exploded right on top of him.

Next thing you know he is on a strange Earth, where having coins minted after 1935 will get you shot as a spy, aliens from the Moon work and play along side Earthlings and mankind is fighting for its very survival against battle fleets from Arcturus.

This is a classic sci-fi story. First printed around 1949 this story has held up very well and is a delightful read on a lazy day afternoon or a few slow hours on a train.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book for the first time when I was 15 and I didn't think I was going to like it, because it is not one of my favorite genres. I consider this book, "my surprise book" for I was amazed by the idea. Unlike any other science fiction stories, I believe that this one has a completely different perspective of fantasy. The imagination of the author is outstanding. I'm 25 and I still love to sit down and read this book all over again, and feel like it is the first time.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the best SF books I ever read. I know Brown from "Martians Go Home" and some of his crime books - but this one is the best. I mixes humor with the idea of a parallel universe, is a bit sexy and you can really BE Keith Winton, the protagonist of the story. Read it! It's worth the money!!!
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Format: Hardcover
One of the first sci-fi books I read as a kid was a paperback copy of "What Mad Universe" from the 1950's, and I have never forgotten it. It is an imaginative, humorous story about parallel universes where bug-eyed monsters are real.
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