Books Read in 1978

Following on from last month’s Books Read in 1977.

Total for books read during the year is 178, 23 up on the tally for 1977. And again, Science Fiction was the mainstay of my reading.

Nothing much stands out in the way of new discoveries, other than Thomas M. Disch and the marvellous Thomas Pynchon, albeit with a book that probably wouldn’t have compelled me to read any more of his work if I hadn’t already purchased them. And book of the year has to be Genet’s magnificent Our Lady of the Flowers, the first paragraph of which I can still recite from memory even now.

On the occasion of my 24th birthday, I was reading John Boyd’s The Rakehells of Heaven. Curiously enough, the only thing I can remember now from Boyd’s trilogy is a somewhat naff comparison he made between Gothic arches and a woman’s legs, both of which are supposed to point the way to Heaven.

Here’s the list:-

The Lurker at the Threshold – H. P. Lovecraft

Great Balls of Fire – Harry Harrison

Skull-Face and others – Robert E. Howard

The Valley of the Worm and others – Robert E. Howard

The Shadow Kingdom and others – Robert E. Howard

Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer Kane” – William Peter Blatty

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

Confessions of a Mask – Yukio Mishima

The Book of Frank Herbert – Frank Herbert

Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut, Jnr

The Mind Cage – A. E. Van Vogt

Switch Bitch – Roald Dahl

Time’s Last Gift – Philip Jose Farmer

The Rebel – Albert Camus

Hiero’s Journey – Sterling E. Lanier

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

The Dancer from Atlantis – Poul Anderson

Exile and the Kingdom – Albert Camus

Cryptozoic – Brian W. Aldiss

Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons – Kurt Vonnegut, Jnr

The Einstein Intersection – Samuel R. Delany

Beautiful Losers – Leonard Cohen

A Martian Odyssey – Stanley G. Weinbaum

The Immoralist – Andre Gide

To Open the Sky – Robert Silverberg

Equus – Peter Schaeffer

The Variable Man – Philip K. Dick

Leopards and Lilies – Alfred Duggan

The Winged Man – A. E. Van Vogt & E. Mayne Hull

V – Thomas Pynchon

Kinflicks – Lisa Alther

A New Model of the Universe – P. D. Ouspensky

The Mote in God’s Eye – Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

The Pirate – Harold Robbins

I Will Fear No Evil – Robert A. Heinlein

The Naked and The Dead – Norman Mailer

Approaching Oblivion – Harlan Ellison

Picnic on Paradise – Joanna Russ

The Primitive – E. C. Tubb

Virgin Planet – Poul Anderson

Sojan – Michael Moorcock

Interface – Mark Adlard

Volteface – Mark Adlard

Multiface – Mark Adlard

Babel-17 – Samuel R. Delany

The Haunter of the Dark and other tales – H. P. Lovecraft

Ice and Iron – Wilson Tucker

Traitor to the Living – Philip Jose Farmer

Night Walk – Bob Shaw

A Choice of Gods – Clifford D. Simak

Off Centre – Damon Knight

Rings of Ice – Piers Anthony

Inferno – Brian W. Aldiss

Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers – Harry Harrison

The Puppies of Terra – Thomas M. Disch

The Abominations of Yondo – Clark Ashton Smith

Big Sur – Henry Miller

The Eighty-minute Hour – Brian W. Aldiss

The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick

Labyrinths – Jorge Luis Borges

Triton – Samuel R. Delany

The Storm Lord – Tanith Lee

Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut, Jnr

The End of All Songs – Michael Moorcock

To Live Again – Robert Silverberg

A Happy Death – Albert Camus

The Forever War – Joe Haldeman

No Direction Home – Norman Spinrad

We – Yevgeny Zamyatin

Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller

The Truth that leads to Eternal Life – Watchtower

Existentialism & Humanism – Jean Paul Sartre

Sci-Fi Now – Alan Franks

100 Years of Science Fiction Illustration – Anthony Frewin

The World’s Last Mysteries – Readers Digest

The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas & Dreams – David Kyle

The Brothers Karamazov: 1 – Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov: 2 – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Brontomek – Michael Coney

Lone Sloane/Delirius – Philippe Druillet

The Books In My Life – Henry Miller

The Preserving Machine and other stories – Philip K. Dick

Our Lady of the Flowers – Jean Genet

Tyranopolis – A. E. Van Vogt

The Lost Traveller – Steve Wilson

The Shuttered Room – H. P. Lovecraft & August Derleth

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

Inverted World – Christopher Priest

On a Planet Alien – Barry Malzberg

Death in Venice/Tristan/Tonio Kroger – Thomas Mann

The Condition of Muzak – Michael Moorcock

Guardians of Time – Poul Anderson

Imperial Earth – Arthur C. Clarke

Over to You – Roald Dahl

The Door Into Summer – Robert A. Heinlein

The Custodians – Richard Cowper

The Portable Walt Whitman – Walt Whitman

Hello Summer, Goodbye – Michael Coney

A Wreath of Stars – Bob Shaw

The Demon – Hubert Selby, Jnr

The Exile Waiting – Vonda N. McIntyre

Deathbird Stories – Harlan Ellison

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea – Yukio Mishima

Bob Dylan, Writings & Drawings – Bob Dylan

The Malacia Tapestry – Brian W. Aldiss

The Bicentennial Man – Isaac Asimov

The Crystal World – J. G. Ballard

The Deerpark – Norman Mailer

Ubik – Philip K. Dick

Camp Concentration – Thomas M. Disch

The Wind’s Twelve Quarters Volume 1 – Ursula K. LeGuin

The Wind’s Twelve Quarters Volume 2 – Ursula K. LeGuin

A Thirsty Evil – Gore Vidal

Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny

Pavane – Keith Roberts

Man Plus – Frederik Pohl

God Bless You, Mr Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut, Jnr

A Time of Changes – Robert Silverberg

Keep the Giraffe Burning – John Sladek

Dimension of Miracles – Robert Sheckley

Planet of No Return – Poul Anderson

Planet of Exile – Ursula K. LeGuin

The Castle Keeps – Andrew J. Offutt

The Futurological Congress- Stanislaw Lem

Time Out of Mind – Richard Cowper

The Art of Science Fiction – Frank Kelly Freas

Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 A.D. – Stewart Cowley

Beauty and the Beast – Chris Achilleos

Visions Volume I – Work by various artists, introduction by Walter Hopps

Mana & Manna – Bob Venosa

Rollerball Murder – William Harrison

Erica Jong: Selected Poems – Erica Jong

City of the Chasch – Jack Vance

Servants of the Wankh – Jack Vance

The Dirdir – Jack Vance

The Pnume – Jack Vance

Doctor Rat – William Kotzwinkle

Lost Worlds Volume 1 – Clark Ashton Smith

Lost Worlds Volume 2 – Clark Ashton Smith

The Seed of Earth – Robert Silverberg

Mechanismo – Harry Harrison

The Book of Conquests – Jim Fitzpatrick

The Florians – Brian Stableford

Timestop – Philip Jose Farmer

Hell’s Cartographers – Edited by Brian W. Aldiss & Harry Harrison

Masters of Comic Book Art – P. R. Garriock

Whatever Happened to Sex? – Mary Whitehouse

Maupassant: Selected Short Stories – Guy de Maupassant

Star maker – Olaf Stapledon

The Wanderer – Fritz Leiber

Memoirs of a Revolutionist – Peter Kropotkin

The Last Starship from Earth – John Boyd

The Pollinators of Eden – John Boyd

The Rakehells of Heaven – John Boyd

Slapstick or Lonesome No More! – Kurt Vonnegut, Jnr

Destination: Void – Frank Herbert

The Four-Dimensional Nightmare – J. G. Ballard

Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut, Jnr

The Demolished Man – Alfred Bester

Gunpowder God – H. Beam Piper

To Live Forever – Jack Vance

Prime Number – Harry Harrison

The Fan Man – William Kotzwinkle

Behind the Walls of Terra – Philip Jose Farmer

Conan of Aquilonia – L. Sprague de Camp & Lin Carter

Welcome to Mars – James Blish

Lady – Thomas Tryon

Beneath the Shattered Moons – Michael Bishop

Deus Irae – Roger Zelazny & Philip K. Dick

Mirkheim – Poul Anderson

Kiss Kiss – Roald Dahl

The World of Null-A – A. E. Van Vogt

The Pawns of Null-A – A. E. Van Vogt

Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson

The Man Who Was Thursday – G. K. Chesterton

Starshine – Theodore Sturgeon

The Pastel City – M. John Harrison

Journey of Joenes – Robert Sheckley

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5 Responses to Books Read in 1978

  1. Lots of great books! Given how much I like those on the list I’ve read, I should really be looking out for the others. Except maybe the Mary Whitehouse.

  2. petertennant says:

    Well, I didn’t like everything on the list. Some were very ho hum, such as “Lost Traveller” and “Gunpowder God”, books about which at this remove I can recall nothing much other than that I once read them.

    Mary Whitehouse was a challenge, to get inside the head of somebody I disagreed with. Her logic struck me as rather cock eyed. For example, in the chapter on modern music she would blather on about how controversial and insidious much of it was, and though not agreeing I could see why somebody like her might feel that way. Then she’d get down to concrete examples, and instead of something like Alice Cooper’s “I Love the Dead” (about necrophilia) she’d take Rod Stewart to task for “Tonight’s the Night”, which she found offensive because it encouraged young women to lose their virginity outside of wedlock. Duh!

    The Watchtower book was a similar ‘challenge’. I got into a heated debate with some Jehovah’s Witnesses on the doorstep and they left me the book to read with a ‘promise’ that they’d come back to discuss it. They never did. I’m older and wiser now, and just shut the door on ‘cold callers’ in the belief that they’re no more interested in my opinion than I am in theirs.

  3. I enjoy these lists of yours, Pete because they bring back a lot of memories of my own readings. When I was 17 and commuting by train each day into Manhattan from Connecticut to my job, the long rides on the rails each way were a great opportunity to sit back and discover new authors. That’s how I discovered Gide– I think I found one of his books in one of the great NYC used book stores, then quickly started going through everything of his I could find. I remember If It Die, Strait is the Gate, and a few others. That was always exciting to me, discovering a new author, then realizing I didn’t have to wait another year or two until their next book came out– he or she already had quite a few books in print. That’s how I discovered August Strindberg as well. Those train rides were great. I remember reading Pale Fire in paperback, and it wouldn’t be at all unusual for other, older men on the train to spot the cover, and start talking about their experience reading the book. Back then, everyone had a paperback jammed in their back pocket.

    • petertennant says:

      Yeah, those were the days Rob. Most of these books I read while sitting on the bus, a three hour round trip to work each day.

      I wasn’t quite so welcoming when people tried to talk to me, about the books or anything else. Too busy reading for such distractions.

  4. Pingback: Books Read in 1979 | Trumpetville

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