County High Point Mentions in Hugo Finalists (Part One)

I knew of Ursula’s longstanding love of Steens Mountain in the remote high desert of the farthest corner of southeastern Oregon, a landscape that had informed the world of her novel The Tombs of Atuan, as well as her poetry-photography collaborative collection Out Here.

—David Naimon, Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing (Portland, Ore.: Tin House Books, 2018), p. 53

Steens Mountain’s summit, at 9,733 feet, is the highest point of Harney County. It’s been on my to-visit list for a while but hasn’t really bubbled up to the top due to, as mentioned, its sheer remoteness; the nearest town with a gas station is Burns, about ninety miles away. The Tombs of Atuan mention makes it an even more intriguing visit though, as does the mention of incredible local stargazing. (I really need to remember to bring my binoculars on my car-camping trips; the last truly dark skies I saw were at Hinkey Summit, in remote northwestern Nevada, and they were spectacular.)

I use “Steens Mountain’s summit” advisedly, as the mountain itself is a huge fifty-mile fault block that rises directly from the nearby Alvord Desert, five thousand feet below. Beyond the Alvord Desert is the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which you may remember from the 2016 occupation of its headquarters by armed seditionists. Or “Right-Wing Loonybirds”, as Le Guin called them.

Books Acquired, 8-14 April 2019

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Friends of the Palo Alto Library book sale weekend:

Asimov, Isaac. The Foundation Trilogy. Doubleday, 1963. SFBC hardcover. Omnibus containing FoundationFoundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. 1966 Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series. I usually try not to buy book club editions, but this is one of the exceptions; it’s a big omnibus of books that are well out of my price range in first edition. Plus the ebook version is a questionably edited 1990s edition.

Bolander, Brooke. The Only Harmless Great Thing. Tor.com, 2018. First edition trade paperback. Hugo and Nebula finalist for Best Novelette. Supplements an ebook. I had some comments on this in my Nebula novelette roundup.

Boucher, Anthony (editor). A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, Volume 2. Doubleday, 1962. SFBC hardcover. The Discount Room had a massive selection of Science Fiction Book Club releases. As mentioned above, I usually try not to spend money on these, but I have a weak spot for really good collections. James Davis Nicoll mentioned Boucher’s Treasury in a recent Tor.com post. It contains some great classic science fiction. Sadly the Volume 1 present was missing its cover and I do have to have some standards to stop my apartment from overflowing with more books than it already is.

Brown, Fredric. The Best of Fredric Brown. Nelson Doubleday, 1977. First edition SFBC hardcover. My other exception for Science Fiction Book Club purchases is for true first editions—in this case, the book club release predated the trade release by four months. The Ballantine / Del Rey Classic Science Fiction line of the 1970s is one of those lines that I pick up whenever I see reasonable copies at a book sale.

Campbell, John W. The Best of John W. Campbell. Nelson Doubleday, 1976. First edition SFBC hardcover. Similar to the Fredric Brown collection, except the book club release only predated the paperback by one month.

Gerrold, David. When Harlie Was One. Nelson Doubleday, 1972. First edition SFBC hardcover. Hugo and Nebula finalist for Best Novel. Predates the trade edition (a paperback original) by three months.

Le Guin, Ursula K. Lavinia. Harcourt, 2008. First edition hardcover. Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. This was shelved as historical fiction by the book sale.

Knight, Damon (editor). A Science Fiction Argosy. Simon and Schuster, 1972. SFBC hardcover. Another of those great big anthologies that collect a lot of good classic science fiction.

Russell, Eric Frank. The Best of Eric Frank Russell. Ballantine, 1978. First edition mass-market paperback. See above for comments on this publication line; this is an example of the trade editions. (I don’t think this one got a book club release).

Shakespeare, William. King Henry V. Edited by J. H. Walter. Methuen, 1954. Second Arden edition hardcover. Another thing I like picking up at book sales: critical Shakespeare editions.

Silverberg, Robert. The Second Trip. Nelson Doubleday, 1972. First edition SFBC hardcover. Originally serialized in Amazing, July–September 1971. Predates the trade edition (a paperback original) by five months.

Silverberg, Robert. A Time of Changes. Nelson Doubleday, 1971. First edition SFBC hardcover. Nebula Award and Hugo finalist for Best Novel. Originally serialized in Galaxy, March–May 1971. Predates the trade edition (a paperback original) by two months. Because I am a dumbass, I managed to load this on my car atop some sticky clothing label tape that was impossible to remove without damaging the back of the dust jacket. Less disfiguring than it could be given that it’s white, but I’m still annoyed at myself about this.

Stross, Charles. The Apocalypse Codex. Ace, 2012. First edition hardcover. Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Fourth in the Hugo-nominated Laundry Files series, which is currently projected to run eleven or twelve volumes. Bob Howard visits America. The publication history of The Laundry Files is a bit weird so I’ve attempted to summarize it below.

Wells, Martha. All Systems Red. Tor.com, 2017. First edition trade paperback. Hugo, Locus, and Nebula Awards for Best Novella. First in the Murderbot Diaries, which currently consists of three subsequent novellas and an upcoming novel. Supplements an ebook. I mainly didn’t pick this up in print before due to laziness. The story of a secretly free security construct who’s too busy watching TV to go on a murder spree and realizes they might actually care about people. Highly recommended.

 

A Brief Note on First Editions of The Laundry Files

This is just the novels. For a complete list of fiction and reading order for The Laundry Files, see Stross’s website.

Book U.S. edition U.K. edition
The Atrocity Archives Golden Gryphon (HC)
1 May 2004
Orbit (PB)
June 2007
The Jennifer Morgue Golden Gryphon (HC)
November 2006
Orbit (PB)
6 September 2007
The Fuller Memorandum Ace (HC)
6 July 2010
Orbit (PB)
1 July 2010
The Apocalypse Codex Ace (HC)
3 July 2012
Orbit (PB)
19 July 2012
The Rhesus Chart Ace (HC)
1 July 2014
Orbit (HC)
3 July 2014
The Annihilation Score Ace (HC)
7 July 2015
Orbit (HC)
2 July 2015
The Nightmare Stacks Ace (HC)
28 June 2016
Orbit (HC)
23 June 2016
The Delirium Brief Tor (HC)
11 July 2017
Orbit (HC)
13 July 2017
The Labyrinth Index Tor.com (HC)
30 October 2018
Orbit (HC)
30 October 2018
Lost Boys Forthcoming late 2020

Notes:

  1. The Atrocity Archive was originally serialized in Spectrum SF #7-9 (November 2001–November 2002).
  2. The Atrocity Archives contains both The Atrocity Archive and “The Concrete Jungle”, an original novella.
  3. The Jennifer Morgue also contains the novelette “Pimpf”.
  4. UK copies of The Annihilation Score were available on 1 July 2015 at an author signing in Edinburgh.
  5. UK copies of The Delirium Brief were available on 12 July 2017 at an author signing in Edinburgh.
  6. North American copies of The Labyrinth Index were available on 20 October 2018 at an author signing in Toronto.