Having worked my way through 80% of David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, I've read a lot of different types of SF; from dystopian futures to time travel and space opera, but until yesterday I had never read anything quite like Barry N. Malzberg's 1975 novel, Galaxies.
The book (sorry for the mild 39-year-old spoiler) is stealth metafiction with a strong satirical bent, but you'd never guess this from the cover. In fact, the cover image, of a spaceship flying into a skull, looks and reads exactly like a standard classic science fiction novel, still smelling faintly of the pulps, and probably published somewhere in the mid to late 1950s.
Once you open the book however, things go sideways very fast. The novel moves between the writer talking about himself and his life to concepts of main story and back again, with quite a few musings on science fiction as a genre, it's readers and it's writers.
I absolutely loved this book - the story was fast paced, intriguing, and hard to forget, which honestly describes a lot of the fiction I love.
Well worth the read.
1 month ago