BILL CRIDER'S POP CULTURE MAGAZINE
I read 16 of the ones listed
The only one I've not read is The Revolving Boy. At least I don't recall reading it. I used to buy the Ace specials as they came out.The quality was quite high.
I've read only nine. A piker.
It's a real mix of the good, the great, and the ambitious but disappointing (to say the least). Only a few, notably RITE OF PASSAGE, were ridiculously overrated (and now largely forgotten, along with most of the good and better books). I've read or attempted (RITE) at least a dozen. Even the Davidson isn't quite what it could be, but the likes MECHASM and PICNIC ON PARADISE, much less NINE HUNDRED GRANDMOTHERS, make up for a lot.
Well, for someone who considers himself an SF fan, I've only read 5 of them. Oh the shame. Bill, I bet you've read the Steel Crocodile, right? I've never even heard of it. I recall enjoying the two James H. Schmitz books, and I guess LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS is still considered a classic.
Believe it or not, I haven't read that one, Rick. I have it, though. Nice cover. One I've read is the much-reviled Rite of Passage, which I remember liking. Another is Past Master, which I'm pretty sure I didn't understand.
Well, I've been meaning to get back to PAST MASTER, which is Lafferty playing elaborate literary/historical games (not him!), I understand. It was at about the second iteration of Panshin's teenage girl protagonist monologizing along the lines of "I am but a girl..." that I basically said to hell with this; it's an award-winner and Budrys dug it, and he particularly didn't give the Specials a free pass. You should give the Compton a try, Bill, though I haven't read CROC either...but he's good.
It seems like only yesterday... I;m amazed at how much I took these (mostly) very good / great writers for granted back then. I love Lafferty's tone and style even when I don't understand him, which is a lot of the time.