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Beyond Apollo Paperback – 1974
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Top Customer Reviews
BEYOND APOLLO tells the story of the doomed first manned exploratory mission to the planet Venus. As usual, Malzberg takes such a commonplace and horribly cliched premise and twists it beyond all possible expectations. The mission's lone, and possibly completely crazed, survivor recounts the details of the disastrous expedition as a novel-in-progress. Written with Malzberg's customary heavy irony and outlandish black humor, APOLLO features some of the writer's sharpest and funniest dialogue ever.
The winner of the John W. Campbell award as best science fiction novel of 1972, APOLLO is part of an angry and obsessive trilogy of thematically related novels Malzberg wrote about NASA, all published within months of each other. Although APOLLO is surely the most critically championed of the three books, I actually prefer both THE FALLING ASTRONAUTS and REVELATIONS.Read more ›
Many types of fiction provide opportunities for writers to experiment with odd types of stories and imaginative ways of telling them. There are certainly many, many examples of traditional, even boring story telling in science fiction, but the very nature of the thing seems to lend itself to experimentation.
You can read this book just as an entertaining story, a kind of mystery about why an exploratory mission to Venus, as the first step toward colonization, failed, with its Captain dead and the surviving crewmember, Evans, seemingly deranged. The story then becomes Evans' repeated attempts to either explain what happened, or avoid explaining what happened.
But, along the way, Malzberg gives us more to think about. Evans, who refers to himself sometimes in the third person and at some remove from himself as narrator, talks of the book he will write about the mission he is on. That sets in place a doubt in the reader's mind about whether or not we are reading a true account or a concoction. And within the story, there are certainly concoctions, as Evans is questioned about what happened on the mission and how the Captain died. It's as if the truth is too hard to describe, or as if a mere factual account would fail to do justice to the question.
I liked the adventure, but it's also this inability to find a firm footing for truth in the story that I found fascinating and that made the book, for me, more than just a fun read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Based on the previous reviews and stars awarded (or not) this book here, great to see that Malzberg's "Beyond Apollo" is still just as divisive as it was when it was first... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Trace Reddell
I did not enjoy reading Beyond Apollo. Each time I returned to it was with the hope that I would gain more clarity on its meaning ... which I must confess, I never fully did. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Vicki D. Rock
Beyond Apollo is a sloppy little story about astronaut protagonist Harry Evans who's either going into great detail about having sex with his wife or having boring conversations... Read morePublished on June 21, 2014 by MK
I mostly bought this because the author is one of the targets of the witchhunts that are taking place in the SFWA. It's a good novella. Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by maniac
I bought this book to protest the SFWA's treatment of the author. Wish I hadn't. I prefer more science, less psycho. Read morePublished on June 26, 2013 by Amazon Customer
The concept of going out to other planets was great, but the writing was just so atrocious i couldnt get past the first 20 pages.Published on June 21, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I read the book back in ca. 1974, as a kid, and liked it. At first the read was very very annoying---How you ask? Read morePublished on April 10, 2011 by parzival
The reason the jacket blurb has nothing to do with the book is because the publisher needed someone to buy this stinker. Subterfuge is the only way. Read morePublished on January 23, 2010 by Ben Fisher