Fiction Reviews

The Ring Around the Sun

(1968) Clifford D. Simak, Carrol & Graff Publications, 3.99, pbk, 205pp. ISBN 0 88184 852 2

Clifford D Simak was, if you will, America's rural gentleman SF writer. It is therefore a positive delight to see that someone is reprinting his works. Ring around the Sun concerns a protagonist who lives in the US countryside (of course) who runs up against those making extremely cheap everlasting light bulbs, everlasting cars and houses etc. A charming tale typical of the author, though not quite representative of the very best of his work.

New York based Carrol & Graf Publications have to be congratulated in reprinting many SF favourites of yester year in a 'Masters of science fiction' collection. I suspect that they are trying to do this cost-effectively (i.e. are buying up copyrights cheaply or authors or their estates are willing to accept low advances). At least I hope that this is the case otherwise their commissioning editor is not quite up to par. Simak's best work remains works like the Hugo Award winning Way Station, or The Werewolf Principle.

All bookshops who sell good SF are advised to check out Carroll & Graf (address via the Booksellers Association) and so provide their customers with a service transcending time.

Jonathan Cowie

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