Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend fun: Sunday


I did go to the Lifeline Book Fair, and took my sewing frame and a few unsewn Transmigrations to sew. It was fun sitting there sewing, and the frame attracted a lot of interest, especially from the Book Fair volunteers themselves, who are all, of course, book nuts. Then I went into the final few hours for a greedy graze of the leftovers selling at $10 per stuffed green bag. I got a lot of light reading for my upcoming convalescence, and a lot of interesting yet unwanted bindings to cut up & renovate.

redneck poetry
This is one I didn't buy, but just want to remember fondly. I love the gold sticker that heralds that it's an autographed copy, suggesting that the un-autographed copies might be worth collecting.

I also found a whole heap of sci-fi paperbacks that appealed to me as a collective read/snort/study. They're so appallingly trashy to look at and I shall take the time to list their blurbs, but will save the cover scanning for when I have lots of time and I've read them:

IMPLOSION (D.F. Jones, 1967)
When a foreign power puts a sterility drug in Britain's reservoirs, the result is all too predictable. The birth-rate plummets and the country's future looks bleak. There is only one way to save the nation; all women with a natural immunity to the drug must be placed in special camps where they can be bred from like prize cattle. They must be given special hormone treatment and artificial insemination so that they can produce triplets, quads, quins time after time until they die of exhaustion. they must become National Mums, the sole hope of a desperate people. They must be pampered and disciplined to accept their role. Even if one of them happens to be the wife of the Minister in charge of the whole affair...

Don't you love the fact that the absolutely worst thing pitched to the potential reader is that the MINISTER'S WIFE IS NOT EXEMPT? Ay yay yay.

FALSE FATHERHOOD (A. Bertram Chandler, 1968)
cover: what would a world be like if there were no women, generation after generation?
back cover, top: A world without women but not without love

Sparta [O PLEEZ] was a backwater planet in a forgotten corner of the galaxy. An isolated world where the majority of men had never seen a woman--and did not know what they were. Their history books and their literature made no mention of a second sex, and the custodians of the Birth Machine and of the laboratories where each new generation was created kept the secret with fanatic zeal.
This was the situation when John Grimes, Master of the Interstellar Federation ship
Seeker III, arrived on the planet. But when the Spartans saw the strangey shaped 'men' among the ship's complement of officers, the results were catastrophic for their society.
Without any knowledge of women, these men were still attracted by them.
They did not understand why but they were determined to find out.

GAWD. Looking forward to discovering the secrets of heterosexuality in that one.

Cover: All men are subordinates on the planet of Medusa [GAH] for that is the planet ruled by the Star Maidens [catchy!]

On Medusa, the laws of nature had decreed that the female of the species should reign supreme--leaving the lesser able males to take care of domestic chores, nursery duties and other menial tasks.
For eons, the Medusan women ruled their world. But then Medusa entered the orbit of Earth, and rumour got out that here was a planet controlled almost entirely bymen... a paradise planet to which two of the most rebellious manservants managed to escape, so beginning the feud between Earth and the incredible STAR MAIDENS.

WHO NEEDS MEN? (Edmund Cooper, 1972)

Rura Alexandra, Madam Exterminator, had recently graduated into a 25th century world where men had become biologically less important, where women could reproduce as they wished by cloning and parthonogenesis.
Her task was simple -- in theory, if not in practice: to wipe out the last few thousand men who had taken refuge in the Highlands of Scotland.
But an ambush near Loch Lomond led to rape, and the killing of her fellow-exterminators. And Diarmid MacDiarmid, the last remaining rebel chieftain proved too much of a fascination.

Mills & Boon meets Braveheart in the future! Wacko!

and finally,

SEXMAX (Hughes Cooper, 1969)

cover: The most excitingly different original science fiction novel since Brave New World and 1984. [ahem]


From cradle to grave, life was maximized by a benevolent State. War had been abolished long ago. So had most illnesses. Men who lived to be fifty were rewarded with a period of state-sponsored sexual licence -- Sexmax. Widows could comfort themselves with a service assignee -- a young man computer-matched on the basis of propensity and performance.
It was a fool-proof system as long as one didn't make a fool of oneself and fall in love. Fortyish Emma Beasley did just that -- fell in love with her 19 year old Sexmax partner, James. The computer wasn't prepared for this. Nor was it prepared for young Josie, who decided she wanted james for herself. And to hell with Sexmax!


My golly goodness, I'm looking forward to lying in bed reading these. My only fear is that I'll hurt myself laughing.

Please note that these were all written by men between 1967 and 1972. I found them on the very last day of the fair, with one swoop of the table, not looking too hard. How many others in this vein are out there? This may become a new obsession for me. Is it any wonder feminism gained strength around this time? Look at this manifestation of fear and excitement!

Gosh, time to rip myself away from the computer. Best Beloved has just left for Thursday Island until Thursday (heh) which means...


...I have three whole days to myself! Bliss!

I overheard my mother-in-law on the phone to BB yesterday fretting that I would be spending my birthday on my own. Oh my, she doesn't know me very well. I love being able to work / eat / sleep without constraints of family duty. Doesn't everyone? Maybe you just haven't had the chance. It's wonderful, but even so, I wouldn't get rid of the family...


Zarquon said...

I think a lot of those SF stories were written for Playboy and it shows.

Ampersand Duck said...

Maybe, Z, although none of them mention previous publication in any magazine, which SciFi stories usually do, and they come from both US and UK publishers... I'd say the commissioning editors of most publishing houses at that time read Playboy! Still, perfectly plausible explanation.

chosha said...

Yes, I predict a number of them will start out, 'Dear Penthouse, I never thought this would happen to me, but...' :)

I cannot believe that I forgot about the book fair. So very sad.

fifi said...

Looks like you are in for some quality time with that fine literature....

Love time without the family? Oh my God yes. i crave it. constantly.
I had a wonderful birthday once, just me and 5 kilos of terracotta clay to play with. Everyone thought I was so weird.

HAPpy BIRTHday To yoooooo.

JahTeh said...

A revelation!
I've always felt I was not of this earth and now I know, I'm a STAR MAIDEN born to reign supreme.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

ohhh! that Sci-Fi stash! pick one and serialise it for your dear readers!

I personally want the Star Maidens.

can we make a club? with a secret handshake and badges?