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SF and Fantasy Book Series
--- Introduction
--- Gollancz Classic SF
--- Sphere SF Classics
--- Tandem Sci-Fi & Fantasy
--- Venture Science Fiction
--- VGSF Classics
--- Darkover - Arrow SF
--- Perry Rhodan - Futura / Orbit
--- Raven: Swordmistress of Chaos
--- The Chronicles of Counter-Earth
--- Thongor of Lemuria

 

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"Do you remember when humans were heroes, androids didn't have social hang-ups and the only good alien was a dead one?
Rog Peyton and Rod Milner do... and they've done something about it."
from an advert for Venture SF in Space Voyager

In April 1985 Arrow Books launched a new series of books under their Hamlyn Paperbacks imprint.

Venture Science Fiction, or as it was better known, Venture SF was hailed by Arrow Books as "a new publishing imprint to bring you the very best in adventure SF.  Time travel, galactic empires, alien invasions - all the traditional elements that have made science fiction the most exciting form of literature of the 20th century.  In Venture SF, we'll be bringing you novels of action adventure - no short stories, no fantasy, no boredom.  If action adventure SF is your type of reading, then Venture SF is for you - every book published by us will be the first appearance in paperback in the UK.  We'll be publishing one new book every month - Start collecting them now!"

Back in the mid-1980s this was right up my street and the distinctive cover design caught my eye.  I started collecting with gusto.  Many of the authors were not particularly well known to me, but their books were easy reading, enjoyable, and well worth a look.  After the launch in April 1985, the books were published until September 1989, with a few breaks and changes to the imprint.

Twenty-five volumes were issued in total over a four and a half year period. None of them had been published before in paperback format in the UK, and for many it was their first British appearance.  The series was edited by Rog Peyton and Rod Milner of Andromeda Books (the late, but great, bookshop in Birmingham) and the cover illustrations were all painted by artist Eddie Jones.  Some of the 25 cover illustrations were originals painted for friends and conventions, while others had been used previously for other books and magazines (see Interzone No.150, p.5).

Venture SF went through a quiet phase during 1986, but Gollancz came to the rescue with Gollancz Classic SF.  Here I found authors already encountered through the local library, such as Robert Silverberg and Arthur C. Clarke, but also others like Robert Heinlein and Kurt Vonnegut were waiting for me.

Unfortunately the series was short lived, only making it to volume 20 due to changes at Gollancz and the creation of VGSF - their new science fiction imprint.  Gollancz Classic SF was replaced by VGSF Classics in January 1988; the volume numbering continued but the books were issued in a smaller format with new logo and less uniform appearance.

Nearly twenty-five years later, while looking for something to read, I re-discovered a selection of books from both series and began to read them all over again.  I have been scouring the web and secondhand bookshops looking to fill in the holes in my collection, and after a lot of searching I believe I have completed both series.  As I had already collated the details it was a fairly simple task to drop them into a database and add images of each volume.

Postscript
Every now and then I see a set of books with a cover design that just leaps off the shelf at me. Tandem Sci-Fi & Science Fantasy is one of those series - the big 'S' on the cover and the variety of artwork used gives them both uniformity and individuality at the same time.  In this case the series connects back by a convoluted path to university days when a housemate was a big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the interest rubbed off a little.  In turn that led to the Conan films, and then to the Robert E. Howard stories which were edited (and continued) by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter - and this is where we meet Tandem SF&F:  Lin Carter wrote a series of swords and sorcery novels centred around Thongor the Barbarian and it was these that I stumbled upon one day in a second-hand bookshop.  Not long after I also found The Man in the Maze and Hawksbill Station by Robert Silverberg and after a lot of searching I think I have found all of the books issued in the series before the format changed to be much less distinctive.

Book lists for each series appear below:

Illustrated bibliographies can be found here:

 

Venture SF logo

Click on a title to see details of each volume as well as the publisher's blurb

Venture Science Fiction
Vol. Title Author Date Issued Imprint ISBN
1 We All Died At Breakaway Station Richard C. Meredith April 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099388804
2 Come, Hunt An Earthman Philip E. High April 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099388901
3 Hammer's Slammers David Drake May 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099398702
4 Interstellar Empire John Brunner June 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099388707
5 Starwolf Edmond Hamilton July 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099400308
6 Starhunt David Gerrold August 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099409003
7 Sold - For A Spaceship Philip E. High September 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 009942780X
8 Run, Come See Jerusalem! Richard C. Meredith October 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099428202
9 Cross the Stars David Drake November 1985 Hamlyn Paperbacks ISBN 0099435500
10 Chronicles of the Star Kings Edmond Hamilton April 1986 Arrow Books ISBN 0099478609
11 The Blackcollar Timothy Zahn June 1986 Arrow Books ISBN 0099485001
12 Space Skimmer David Gerrold April 1987 Arrow Books ISBN 0099506602
13 Speaking of Dinosaurs Philip E. High June 1987 Arrow Books ISBN 0099504502
14 The Timeliner Trilogy Richard C. Meredith August 1987 Arrow Books ISBN 009951690X
15 Cobra Timothy Zahn October 1987 Arrow Books ISBN 0099514109
16 Assault on the Gods Stephen Goldin December 1987 Legend ISBN 0099527707
17 Cobra Strike Timothy Zahn February 1988 Legend ISBN 0099514206
18 Hammers Slammers - At Any Price David Drake August 1988 Arrow Books ISBN 0099576902
19 The Backlash Mission Timothy Zahn October 1988 Arrow Books ISBN 0099576805
20 The Sky is Filled with Ships Richard C. Meredith November 1988 Arrow Books ISBN 0099618605
21 The Torch of Honor Roger MacBride Allen January 1989 Arrow Books ISBN 0099621800
22 Victims of the Nova John Brunner March 1989 Arrow Books ISBN 0099624400
23 Cobra Bargain Timothy Zahn May 1989 Arrow Books ISBN 0099640503
24 Hammer's Slammers - Counting the Cost David Drake July 1989 Arrow Books ISBN 0099662809
25 Rogue Powers Roger MacBride Allen September 1989 Arrow Books ISBN 0099621908

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Click on a title to see details of each volume as well as the publisher's blurb

Gollancz Classic Science Fiction
Vol. Title Author Date Issued Imprint ISBN
1 The Sirens of Titan Kurt Vonnegut March 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038195
2 More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon March 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038217
3 A Time of Changes Robert Silverberg March 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038209
4 Nova Samuel R. Delany March 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038187
5 The City and the Stars Arthur C. Clarke September 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038497
6 The Door Into Summer Robert A. Heinlein September 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038500
7 Wolfbane Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth September 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038527
8 The Reproductive System John Sladek September 1986 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575038519
9 A Fall of Moondust Arthur C. Clarke February 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575039787
10 A Wreath of Stars Bob Shaw February 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575039809
11 Rogue Moon Algis Budrys April 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575039795
12 Man Plus Frederik Pohl April 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575039817
13 Inverted World Christopher Priest June 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575039930
14 Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes June 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575040610
15 Journey Beyond Tomorrow Robert Sheckley August 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575041226
16 Dangerous Visions Edited by Harlan Ellison August 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575041447
17 Babel-17 Samuel R. Delany October 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575041234
18 Gladiator-at-Law Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth October 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575041277
19 Bring the Jubilee Ward Moore December 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 0575041218
20 Beasts John Crowley December 1987 Gollancz Classic SF ISBN 057504134X

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Click on a title to see details of each volume as well as the publisher's blurb

VGSF Classics
Vol. Title Author Date Issued Imprint Publisher Code
21 Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke February 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575041951
22 The Space Machine Christopher Priest April 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575039949
23 The Deep Range Arthur C. Clarke May 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575042672
24 Norstrilia Cordwainer Smith May 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575041668
25 The Rediscovery of Man Cordwainer Smith June 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 057504165X
26 Floating Worlds Cecelia Holland July 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 057504280X
27 Imperial Earth Arthur C. Clarke September 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575043164
28 The Instrumentality of Mankind Cordwainer Smith November 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575041676
29 The Affirmation Christopher Priest December 1988 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575042834
30 Cryptozoic! Brian Aldiss February 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 057504179X
31 Dying Inside Robert Silverberg March 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575044373
32 The Committed Men M. John Harrison April 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575042206
33 Dreamsnake Vonda N. McIntyre June 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575044977
34 The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke August 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575045906
35 Of Men and Monsters William Tenn September 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575045949
36 Galaxies Like Grains of Sand Brian Aldiss September 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575041803
37 The Wind's Twelve Quarters Ursula Le Guin November 1989 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575046074
38 Tau Zero Poul Anderson January 1990? VGSF Classics ISBN 0575046171
39 Miracle Visitors Ian Watson January 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575046457
40 Downward to the Earth Robert Silverberg January 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575047348
41 Hothouse Brian Aldiss February 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575047356
42 Martian Time-Slip Philip K. Dick May 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575047100
43 The Bicentennial Man Isaac Asimov May 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575047127
44 The Embedding Ian Watson July 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575047844
45 Starswarm Brian Aldiss August 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 057504182X
46 Barefoot in the Head Brian Aldiss December 1990 VGSF Classics ISBN 0575041811

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Click on a title to see details of each volume as well as the publisher's blurb

Sphere Science Fiction Classics
Vol. Title Author Date Issued Imprint Publisher Code
1 Hothouse Brian Aldiss July 1971 Sphere Books 10944
2 The World of Null-A A.E. Van Vogt 1971 Sphere Books 87653
3 City Clifford Simak 1971 Sphere Books 78573
4 The Syndic C. M. Kornbluth Novembr 1971 Sphere Books 53236
5 The Pawns of Null-A A.E. Van Vogt February 1972 Sphere Books 87661
6 The Sands of Mars Arthur C. Clarke June 1972 Sphere Books 24171
7 Macroscope Piers Anthony September 1972 Sphere Books 11762
8 Neutron Star Larry Niven 1972 Sphere Books 63924
9 The Ice Schooner Michael Moorcock September 1972 Sphere Books 62197
10 The Einstein Intersection Samuel R. Delany April 1973 Sphere Books 29017
11 Rite of Passage Alexei Panshin 1973 Sphere Books 66850
12 The Broken Sword Poul Anderson December 1973 Sphere Books ISBN 0722111576
13 Next of Kin Eric Frank Russell 1973 Sphere Books ISBN 0722175426
14 The New Adam Stanley G. Weinbaum 1974 Sphere Books ISBN 0722189621

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Click on a title to see details of each volume as well as the publisher's blurb

Tandem Sci-Fi & Science Fantasy
Vol. Title Author Date Issued Imprint SBN
1 The Wizard of Lemuria Lin Carter January 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426043782
2 Thongor of Lemuria Lin Carter January 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426043863
3 Thongor Against the Gods Lin Carter January 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426043197
4 Thongor in the City of Magicians Lin Carter January 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426042378
5 The Time-Hoppers Robert Silverberg May 1970 Tandem Sci-Fi SBN 426041240
6 Hawksbill Station Robert Silverberg May 1970 Tandem Sci-Fi SBN 42604116X
7 Tarnsman of Gor John Norman June 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426045467
8 Thongor at the End of Time Lin Carter July 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426046854
9 Brak the Barbarian John Jakes July 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426046773
10 Brak the Barbarian - The Sorceress John Jakes July 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426047222
11 Brak the Barbarian - The Mark of the Demons John Jakes July 1970 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426047141
12 The Man in the Maze Robert Silverberg January 1971 Tandem Sci-Fi SBN 426051009
13 Planet of No Return Poul Anderson January 1971 Tandem Sci-Fi SBN 426052234
14 Outlaw of Gor John Norman May 1971? Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426053702
15 Thongor Fights the Pirates of Tarakus Lin Carter August 1971 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 426057090
16 Priest-Kings of Gor John Norman March 1972 Tandem Science Fantasy SBN 42606285X

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