25 Points: 3 Novels by Barry N. Malzberg (Beyond Apollo, The Men Inside, & Galaxies)


Beyond Apollo | 1972, Random House | 156 pages

The Men Inside | 1973, Prestige Books | 175 pages

Galaxies | 1975, Pyramid Books | 128 pages

(Note: all three of these books are out of print, but cheap used copies can be found. In Chicago, I bought Beyond Apollo for $2.95 at Myopic Books (in Wicker Park) and The Men Inside for $3 at Bucket O’ Blood Books and Records (Logan Square). Galaxies I purchased used through Amazon for $1.25 + s/h.)

1. On 15 August 2011, my pal Jeremy M. Davies emailed me and said that I should look for a book called Galaxies by Barry N. Malzberg because it was “seriously beyond belief.”

I’m ashamed to say it took me until earlier this year to pick up a copy and read it. However, once I got started, I finished it under 24 hours.

2. Barry N. Malzberg was born in 1939. Since 1968, he’s written at least 66 books, if not more. (He’s worked under ten different names that I know of, which complicates compiling a full list.) Dozens of them are science-fiction novels—at least in theory. He’s also written story collections, essay collections, movie novelizations, crime novels, and pornography.

3. Galaxies (1975) at first glance tells the story of a young astronaut, Lena Thomas, the sole crew member of the spaceship Skipstone. Her cargo is an immense tank of goo filled with 515 human corpses. It’s the year 3902 and a person can pay to have his/her body ferried into space after death in the hopes that cosmic radiation will revive them.

Midway through the voyage, the Skipstone falls into a black hole, and the majority of the novel’s plot deals with Lena’s attempt to escape the ensuing hallucinatory free fall. During that timeless time she repeatedly dies and is reborn, recalls her lover John, consults with cyborg engineers, and communes with the dead, who have psychically reawakened.

But that’s not really what Galaxies is about.

4. Rather, Galaxies is a work of metafiction, concerned with its own creation, and presented as Malzberg’s notes on how he would write the novel Galaxies, if only he could. (He maintains that the novel is impossible to complete with present knowledge.) As such, most scenes are outlined rather than dramatically depicted. For instance, Chapter 29 begins:

And here could run yet another moody flashback concerning Lena’s relationship with John, dropped in to provide color and poignance, augmenting the mood of despair. Long sexual passages here could alternate with painful streams of consciousness in the present. Sex and space, orgasm and isolation could run counterpoint, and the author’s gifts for irony, which are not modest, would be exhibited to their fullest range. Also, in the traditions of modern science fiction, the sex scenes could be quite titillating, render the novel some extraliterary interest. A construct like this could use all the extraliterary interest it could get.

But even that’s not really what Galaxies is about.

6. Rather, Galaxies is about what science-fiction should look like in the year 1975. Malzberg is surveying contemporary literature and asking: How should science-fiction respond to the then-recent literary experiments of John Cheever, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, and others?

7. I’m not making this up. On page 48 Malzberg writes:

For instance, as the ship falls, there could be some elaboration on the suggestion that neutron stars might be pulsars which would be most intriguing, if the reader has not been intrigued sufficiently by the notion that all of “life” as we understand it when we glimpse the heavens may be merely an incidental by-product of the cycle of neutron stars.

So there, Cheever, Barth, Barthelme, Oates. What in the collected works would touch that for angst?

8. Malzberg calls those authors out again on page 85:

“Madness,” Lena says, shaking her head, “that’s utter madness,” but the author, busily pulling the handles of this little dumb show, sweating behind the canvas, casting a nearsighted, astigmatic eye every now and then through the cardboard of the set to see whether the audience is paying attention, how the audience is taking all of this, is thinking take that Barth, Barthelme, Roth, or Oates! Pace Bellow and Malamud, and may your Guggenheims multiply, but what have any of you or those unnamed created to compare with this?

9. If I haven’t convinced you yet to spend $2–3 on a used copy of Galaxies, you might as well quit reading now.

10. Besides Galaxies, I’ve also read Malzberg’s earlier novels Beyond Apollo and The Men Inside, both excellent. Beyond Apollo won the first John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. That seems the highest honor that Malzberg has ever received.

He deserves more.

11. Malzberg is a master stylist. Early on in Galaxies he parodies Cheever’s (brilliant) Bullet Park (1969). Bear with me, but the entire page bears repeating in full. The context is that the author is debating whether or not to try writing Galaxies, knowing that it will be an impossible book to write, and knowing that, even if he writes it, it will not be appreciated as art:

“No,” I could have said like Cheever’s adolescent in Bullet Park, “No, enough of your breathtaking concepts, infinite distances, quasar leaps, binding messages from the Crab Nebula; be away with your light years, asteroids, Van Allen belts, methane systems and heavy planets. No, I am aware that there are those who find an ultimate truth there and would bend their lives toward their perception but this is not for me. Where is the pain, the remorse, the regret and guilt and terror? No, I would rather dedicate the years of my productive life which remain to an understanding of the agonies of this middle-class suburb in northern New Jersey. Until I deal with those how can I comprehend Ridgefield Park, to say nothing of Scarsdale, Shaker Heights of the unknown lands of the west? Give me not the year two million which I will not see; give me now. The year two million can say nothing to me, but I may address it if, of course, the collected works can be carefully preserved. At least one writer will survive from this era and if not the notorious Q or the obscure N or the unfortunate A, why could it not be me?”

Nicely put. Cheever’s adolescent would have approved, if not Cheever. Indeed, I found it convincing, until it occurred to me in one of those quick changes of consciousness which control the lives of all of us yet which may never be acknowledged in fiction that Ridgefield Park would forever be as mysterious to me as the swamp of lights perceived through the refinery smog which are known to my children as “stars” . . . and that one should never deny infinity to pursue a particular which until the day of one’s death—if not for longer than that—would always be a mystery.

So I decided to try Galaxies after all, although with some trepidation. I felt better when I came to understand that it did not have to be a novel but merely a set of notes for one. Knowing this I was not shamed nor did I grieve, for one’s life is merely a set of notes for a life and Ridgefield Park merely a rough working model of Trenton in which nonetheless several thousand people live unable to divine their right hand from their left, and also some cattle. Shalt thou have not pity on the cattle? For they too grew up and perished in a night.

I’ve no idea whether Cheever ever read Malzberg.

12. Beyond Apollo, meanwhile, seems aimed more toward Donald Barthelme. Consider its first two (very brief) chapters, in which I hear echoes of “Me and Miss Mandible” and “Game“:


I loved the Captain in my own way, although I knew he was insane, the poor bastard. This was only partly his fault: one must consider the conditions.  The conditions were intolerable. This will never work out.


In the novel I plan to write of the voyage, the Captain will be a tall, grim man with piercing eyes who has no fear of space. “Onward!” I hear him shout. “Fuck the bastards. Fuck control base; they’re only a bunch of pimps for the politicians anyway. We’ll make the green planet yet or plunge into the sun. Venus forever! To Venus! Shut off all the receivers now. Take no messages. Listen to nothing they have to say; they only want to lie about us to keep the administrators content. Venus or death! Death or Venus! No fear, no fear!”

He has also had, in the book, a vigorous and satisfying sex life, which lends power and credence to his curses and his very tight analysis of the personalities at his control. “We will find our humanity under the gases of Venus,” the Captain will say, and then the sounds of the voyage overwhelm him us and momentarily he says nothing more. I sit with hands clasped, awaiting further word.

The novel, when I write it, should find a large commercial outlet. People still love to read stories of space, and here for the first time they will learn the sensational truth. Even though it is necessary for me to idealize the Captain in order to make the scheme more palatable, the novel will have great technical skill and will make use of my many vivid experiences in and out of the program. The novel will be perhaps sixty-five thousand words long, and I will send it only to the very best publishers.

It’s worth noting, though, that Beyond Apollo preceded The Dead Father by three years.

13. I’m quoting a great deal because I think that’s the best way to convey just how magnificent these books are. None of them contains a single boring sentence. And they are excellent science-fiction novels while at the same time comprising fabulous critiques of the limits of science-fiction—and, by extension, all writing. Indeed, that is the source of Malzberg’s artistry. Write science-fiction he must, but he remains adamant that he will write it on his own terms.

14. Malzberg’s writing is often quite erotic. His first dozen or so books were erotica/pornography, written primarily under the pen name Gerrold Watkins, and published by Olympia Press. Titles include the following: Oracle of the Thousand Hands, Southern Comfort, A Bed of Money, and A Satyr’s Romance.

15. Other early titles by Malzberg, written under the pen name Mel Johnson, include Love Doll, Instant Sex, Nympho Nurse, A Way with All Maidens, Horizontal Woman (aka The Social Worker), and Everything Happened to Susan.

These books sell now for considerably more money than Galaxies et al. (I count myself lucky that I recently found a copy of Screen, his second Olympia press novel, for $10 + s/h.)


16. Malzberg included plenty of sex in his science fiction. In Beyond Apollo the protagonist, astronaut Harry M. Evans, repeatedly makes love with his wife, although those scenes might be hallucinations. (Evans has just returned to Earth from a disastrous voyage to Venus, and has possibly gone insane.) In one particularly memorable scene, he transforms his wife Helen into another character, Leneh Venas (Evans is obsessed with anagrams), then flies with her to Venus without the use of spacesuits or a spaceship:

We are very close to Venus now, some five hundred miles or less above the planet and the thin, high scent of the atmosphere causes our ears to ring, although we seem otherwise to be doing very well without breathing apparatus or shielding of any sort. Perhaps we could have withstood space travel all the time; it was only our inert sense of caution which made things so difficult. “Do you care for me, Leneh Venas?” I ask her, putting an affectionate arm around her shoulders, letting my fingers ease down to her breast as the two of us, five hundred miles high, look at the green and gaseous planet. “Do you?”

“Well,” she says, “you took me on this interesting trip and have shown a lot of concern for me. I think that’s nice.”

“But do you love me? That’s the question which I asked you.”

“Well,” she says with a laugh, her fingers catching mine and drawing them subtly toward an arched nipple. “Love is very hard to decide. This is just our first date, you know. You have to give these things time.”

Evans also repeatedly fantasizes about his captain, whom he possibly murdered during the voyage, then ejected from the spaceship to fall into the sun. Whether this is true the novel never clarifies, as the scene repeats a number of different ways. For instance, sometimes the captain attacks Evans, who wallops him with a wrench in self-defense.

Very late in his narration, Evans claims that, before he disposed of the captain’s body, he committed upon it “a final, unspeakable act (which I will never, never tell).”

17. The Men Inside, meanwhile, begins with its virginal protagonist, Blount, shrunken to microscopic side and injected into the elderly millionaire Yancey, tasked with cleaning out colon cancer (i.e., he finds himself inside another man’s ass):

In medias res, folks, here comes Blount. He is on the run and full of fun, looking for a follicle of cancer. Consider him if you will, if you must: his indignity, his power: he is twenty-two years old at this time, still and always-to-be virginal, sliding through corpuscles and strips of intestine like a beetle, scuttling through all of the fields of darkness. At the ready is his little lance, in his helmet is his tiny light, both ready to aim and cut. Think of Blount if you will: he is a man of some potential, education and background. Does he really deserve to be in a position like this? Mote in the crazed and sleeping Yancey, eighty-three years old and there he lies in the Institute at some enormous expenditure to be cured of his diagnosis. The figure for treatment bedazzles Blount; he continues on his way.

The Men Inside reminds me less of Cheever or Barthelme, and more of Pynchon, Coover, Hawkes.

The difference, though, is that Malzberg wrote each of his books in about a month. The Men Inside ends with the note “11-75.”

18. It also ends with a sex scene. Blount murders Yancey at the urging of that man’s granddaughter, Susan, into whose ready arms he then falls. However, their plot goes awry:

“Beautiful,” she says, standing, embracing him, throwing her arms around his neck and raising herself slightly so that he can seize a breast in his mouth. “Beautiful, beautiful,” and with beauty he parts her, with beauty he surges into her, the ancient strokes of generation overwhelmingly fresh to Blount for he has never done this before and he comes quickly, three or four of these strokes and already he is done but as she gasps and climaxes around him, holding his prick like a flower, he casts one eye back toward the bed then, as he knew he would, sees the dead eye of Yancey peering back at him . . . and with a cry tumbles into that wink, falling densely until finally he has toppled all the way inside Yancey and perched in the gut then like a tiny frog, pulls the blanket of the blood over him . . . and there, shielded from Susan’s unheard cries, he rests forever.

19. Yeah.

20. How has this author gone so unnoticed for so long?

21. Malzberg resists writing many of the sex scenes in Galaxies, choosing to simply nod toward them instead. Had he tired of writing more graphic fiction by that point? “Space is asepsis,” he repeatedly claims by way of justification. But he strikes me more as an artist who’s trying to find his way out of his usual strategies and devices. Which should be the goal of any artist.

22. There is however one exception: in Chapter 22, Malzberg muses over including a scene in which, following a botched training session, John seduces Lena in order to calm her fears about embarking into space in command of so many corpses. Malzberg contemplates how he might best depict the ensuing coitus:

“Oh, my god, you must do it to me,” Lena would shriek, a little floridly, but floridity under stress is one of her more charming habits; she becomes more rather than less dignified when excited and indulges in archaisms of speech. “You must do it to me quickly, you must do it to me now, you must penetrate me swiftly to the core and make me close in upon you in the arc of my need,” her nipples bursting like little flowers, or, more in tune with the material, one might say that they are the dull purple of methane.

I love Galaxies very, very much.

23. That scene sets up a later tour de force that echoes the work of another master stylist, William H. Gass. In chapter 37 Malzberg writes:

This accretion of sympathy can be managed through a bag of fictional techniques, some of them conventional, some more ambitious. Individuation through defining idiosyncrasy, for instance: tricks of speech, habits, mannerisms and so on. The kind of thing which could have been applied to the scene with the cyborgs if the writer had not such an excess of integrity. Stammer or lisp, hitch in pace, a sudden characteristic stumble or aversion to odors as she limps across the cabin to check the portholes. Rhetorical devices peculiar to her, as in the instances of sex with John where here rhetoric becomes florid. Little physical signs, a large bosom or cast in the eye if nothing of greater originality occurs. Keep those devices modest and visible, however; science fiction is bizarre enough without increasing the distance of the characters from the reader.

24. Malzberg spent the late 60s and early 70s writing in dialogue with Cheever, Barth, Barthelme, Oates, Roth, Malamud, and others—but did any of those writers ever read Malzberg?

Sadly, the answer appears to be no. Unless I’m missing something, Malzberg only ever reached science-fiction fans, and then only for a little while. (Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg were notable fans.) Following the 1970s, his reputation fell, like the beautiful and spirited Lena Thomas, into decline.

25. Whatever. Fire the tachyonic drive. Tear free of the inescapable neutron star’s black hole. The dead will return to life as the future retakes the past.

Start reading Barry N. Malzberg now.

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  1. Bill Hsu

      I am much less generous and more easily bored than Adam. I thought there were many boring sentences in Galaxies.

      I really enjoyed the metafictional sections. Malzberg rants on about the obsessive manipulation of pseudo-scientific concepts in bad science fiction. Then we’re subjected to pages and pages of it.

      I liked The Men Inside a lot more. Especially how poor Blount’s aspirations dissolve predictably and tragically into shit at the end.

      Will look for a cheap copy of Beyond Apollo. Have you read Nate Dorr’s goodreads review of Tactics of Conquest? Should show up in my mailbox in a few days.

  2. Nick Mamatas

      I’m a huge Malzberg fan. His novels are endlessly inventive and even those that don’t explicitly tweak the sensibilities of the literary world are always grinding an aesthetic axe. I suppose that in some ways he was too eager to use fiction as a critique of fiction—after you denounce everyone and show that you can do all the tricks too, what else is there to say?

  3. Daniel Pecznik

      I’ll put Malzberg on the list then. :)

      I must say, while I like your theoretical essays, I enjoy your reviews the most. There’s just not enough cogent criticism of obscure novels on the web.

  4. bartleby_taco

      damn, you convinced me! thanks. i should start with galaxies, yes?

  5. A D Jameson

      Galaxies is my favorite so far, but I see there are dissenters. The first one I read was The Men Inside. So far the guy hasn’t disappointed.

  6. A D Jameson

      Bill, I command you to make a list of all the boring sentences in Galaxies! But it’s good to confer with a fellow Malzberg fan, even if we disagree on the particulars:)

      I’ve not read Dorr’s review. Will look for it, thanks! Adam

  7. A D Jameson

      Thanks! I’ll probably keep struggling through the theory, alas, but will also keep writing reviews.

  8. A D Jameson

      I know that his 70s output is finite, but for the moment I’m pretending otherwise. Although I’m also curious to see what he went on to do after that…

  9. Nick Mamatas

      He’s still fairly active as a writer of short stories, some of which are good and some of which are not so good. Speaking of Oates, he had a crime story in NEW JERSEY NOIR, which Oates edited, last year. It was about Hoffa’s body and where it might be. In 2007, he updated his old non-fiction volume, renamed it BREAKFAST IN THE RUINS, and it made waves in the SF field all over again.

  10. A D Jameson

      Thanks for the news, Nick. I’ve seen he’s still working, but haven’t read any of the later stuff. Yet.

  11. Tom Beshear

      In 2000, Malzberg published a collection called In the Stone House, which is worth finding — it’s a collection of his alternative histories; such stories were a fad in the sf magazines and anthologies in the 1990s, and he wrote a lot in that subgenre. I also recommend, if you can find it, The Best of Barry N. Malzberg, a huge (400 pages) collection of his short stories published in 1976. Each story has an introduction written by Malzberg, which contains much info on his influences and tidbits about commercial milieu in which he wrote. And as Nick Mamatas suggests, check out Breakfast in the Ruins.

  12. gene

      Herovit’s World and Guernica Night are both great short novels; but Herovit’s World is possibly his great singular work. Also recommend The Falling Astronauts, The Remaking of Sigmund Freud, and In the Enclosure…

  13. BillyNerdass

      Picked up Beyond Apollo after your Malzberg recommendation a few weeks ago and I really loved it. Definitely one of those “I need to get my hands on as much of this guy’s stuff as soon as possible” reads. Which I did.

  14. A D Jameson

      I have Best of, and have read the initial introduction, but nothing more. Will also pursue the other titles recommended here—many thanks!

  15. cwinnette

      I’m all about _Beyond Apollo_, it’s similar to _Galaxies_ in many ways, but I found it much more engaging on a sentence to sentence level…

  16. cwinnette

      Would like to see AD interview Barry…would really like it.

  17. A D Jameson

      Thanks, Colin! I proposed just that to Our Mutual Friend…

  18. Bill Hsu

      I start nodding off at passages like this:

      The work of Einstein has been buried with that of all his contemporaries, but his work was painfully reconstructed by physicists of the 3500s who worked independently, as if Einstein never existed. Like him, they postulated at first that faster-than-light travel was impossible under all terms of conceptually grasped Euclidean physics. As speed approached that of light, these neo-Einsteinian theories of relativity held… etc etc

      I’ve had my share of college physics courses, and read my share of science fiction. But this is an example of why it’s very hard for me to enjoy science fiction anymore.

      Just started Tactics of Conquest. Unfortunately, Malzberg immediately gets the chess (a central part of the novel) so wrong, I’m already having a hard time with it. It’s very quotable though; I steal a quote that Nate typed in for his review:

      …our two bodies locked together like Pawns meeting in the center of the board in a zig-zag confrontation and I felt her Queen’s Pawn beneath me beginning to flower with its own purpose, my King’s Rook writhing and moving into her inexorably.

  19. A D Jameson

      I certainly liked Beyond Apollo, but Galaxies appealed to me more. BA reminded me immensely of Barthelme, in particular The Dead Father (as I noted above). Malzberg explored different variations on the same basic story, none of which seems to be the “true” version. Galaxies takes a different approach to the arbitrary nature of storytelling, providing a more explicit (meta-)commentary on how scenes might be written, were one to bother writing them. Ultimately though they’re two fascinating approaches to demonstrating how fiction is at once entirely limited and infinitely rich.

  20. A D Jameson

      I was originally a science major in college, and read a lot of popular/lay science texts. So those sections didn’t bother me.

      There’s lots of Bridge in Beyond Apollo. Some chess, too, if I recall. But mostly Bridge.




  22. Bill Hsu

      Does Malzberg get the Bridge right though? His chess in Tactics of Conquest is just horribly off from the first page. That’s not a “Ruy Lopez”. If Malzberg couldn’t be bothered to do his homework, he could have invented a game. (I note that Tactics was published in ’73, right after chess hit the mainstream media with Spassky-Fischer.)

      If anyone wants a free copy of Galaxies, email me your address. US-only, please!

  23. Bill Hsu

      By the way, I have the ’89 reprint, not the original ’70s edition with the cool retro cover.

  24. A D Jameson

      I don’t know how to play Bridge. Also, he seems to have written these books rather quickly… :)

  25. Don

      ZZZIPP, you are the best thing on this website.




  27. Don

      Nope, I am not trolling. I honestly just love your comments!

  28. mimi

      aww, zippy, don’s just being nice

      if anyone’s a troll around here, it’s mimi, even tho she’s really nice too, and she doesn’t really mean to be troll-ish


      and anyways, everyone could use a little ZIPP in their life

      your ‘friend’ and appreciator of photons,






  31. mimi
  32. Experimental fiction as genre and as principle | HTMLGIANT

      […] used it to write Naked Lunch (published in 1959 by the Olympia Press—the first press to publish Barry N. Malzberg!). The novel proved immediately controversial, mainly due to its “obscene” content (sex […]

  33. Jeffrey Canino

      I was wondering why the used prices on some of Malzberg’s books had jumped way up when I happened to look last week: nice work getting the word out! Malzberg is an absolute treasure (I wrote my English Master’s thesis about him), but his fate is not at all surprising considering the general critical and historical regard for radical 60s-70s SF that doesn’t bear the name Dick, Ballard, or Delany. He is an author primed for rediscovery by the audience for experimental fiction, and I hope (constantly) that there will be enough interest to see his major works return to print in his lifetime.

      And, for the record, Joyce Carol Oates did read Malzberg: in 1975 she reviewed his excellent SF novel Guernica Night for The New York Times. She was rather complimentary, noting that its concerns were “poetic and philosophical” while bemoaning the default categorization that SF like this suffers, regardless of merit, from general fiction-reading audiences. This review was, I believe the only major piece of critical attention Malzberg received outside of the field.

  34. Experimental fiction as genre and as principle | GIANT READER

      […] it to write Naked Lunch (published in 1959 by the Olympia Press—the first press to publish Barry N. Malzberg!). The novel proved immediately controversial, mainly due to its “obscene” content (sex & […]

  35. Derik Badman

      fwiw, a ton of these books are available as ebooks (Kindle, etc.)

      (And thanks for the recommendation.)

  36. The Next Big Thing | A D Jameson's Blahg

      […] Barry N. Malzberg, J. R. R. Tolkien, zombie flicks, nightmares. […]

  37. A D Jameson

      Thanks! Yes, it seems like someone is starting to put them back out. I’ve seen Audible editions, too. Cheers, Adam

  38. A D Jameson

      Wow, thanks for all of this info! Is it possible to read your thesis? And if you don’t mind, I’d like to put some of this info in a post to draw more attention to it. Thanks again! Adam

  39. A D Jameson

      Oh, and I don’t know if I can take credit for that price increase, though I noted it, too. The word is indeed getting out!

  40. 7 more points on Barry N. Malzberg | HTMLGIANT

      […] on April 1st, I reviewed three of Barry N. Malzberg’s brilliant 1970s novels: Beyond Apollo (1972), The Men Inside (1972), and Galaxies (1975). The post provoked some […]

  41. Jeffrey Canino

      Not a problem at all! I would like to echo earlier commenters in recommending that you check out his non-fiction work, The Engines of the Night/Breakfast in the Ruins, as I believe it helps to open up some very fruitful pathways into an understanding of his fiction (particularly Galaxies and Herovit’s World) and the state of SF as a publishing/artistic endeavor at that time. Additionally, it’s as fun to read as any of his fiction: it’s basically a bizarro post-modern essay/short story/how-to/memoir collection. The short story at its conclusion, “Corridors,” is among the most devastating and heartfelt pieces of fiction I’ve read.

      Also worth tracking down is the collection The Passage of the Light, published by NESFA Press in the early ’90s, as it collects the majority of his recursive SF, including three novels and the original novella that Galaxies was expanded from.

      My thesis is on the enduring presence of metafiction in SF over the decades and its correlation to the increasingly tough time SF writers had establishing themselves as legitimate arists. For obvious reasons, the essay places a very large emphasis on the work of Mr. Malzberg. You can read/download it here, if you’d like:

  42. A D Jameson

      Thanks again! I will check out all of those works, plus your thesis. Really appreciate it. Adam

  43. 7 more points on Barry N. Malzberg | GIANT READER

      […] on April 1st, I reviewed three of Barry N. Malzberg’s brilliant 1970s novels: Beyond Apollo(1972), The Men Inside (1972), and Galaxies (1975). The post provoked some […]

  44. Karl Krogmann

      Man, I love Barry Malzberg. Been reading him since high-school. I’m fifty-one now. He started out wanting to be the next Norman Mailer, I think; then the next Phillip Roth. He turned out to be a GREAT Barry N. Malzberg.

  45. rockhyrax

      Ha! And here I was thinking that I was pretty much the only one reading this guy, at least through the lens of 60s/70s experimentalism. Tactics of Conquest is a genuinely awful book (I later learned that he expanded it from a short story in just three days to fulfill a contract — for me it was a totally blind buy from a street bookseller), but it was entirely weird enough to alert me that I should look into his other work from around that time. And as such, Beyond Apollo has recently delivered on many of those hopes (and lead me here). Glad to see so much analysis of his ouvre here, and I’ll definitely be snapping up the copy of Galaxies that’s lurking in the sci-fi bookstore lurking beneath my current employer. (–Nate Dorr)

  46. A D Jameson

      Good to meet you! Gradually, we Malzberg fans are finding one another. We should form a club.

  47. rockhyrax

      I’ll probably use this thread as a club for a bit. It seems like the best source of conversation, at least. By the way, apparently there’s a Beyond Apollo film in development:

  48. A D Jameson

      By all means, let this be our clubhouse! BTW, I’m working on an interview with Barry and will hasten to finish / post it.

      I was aware of the film, but haven’t been keeping up with its progress…

  49. Bill Hsu

      Hi Nate! I was pretty burned out on Malzberg after Tactics of Conquest, but I’ll put Beyond Apollo on my list. I liked The Men Inside much better than Galaxies, but you know that from my earlier response already.

  50. rockhyrax

      I need to get around to that one as well. For the moment, I just read the crytpic but possibly somewhat undirected Guernica Night (which is in part an epitaph for very forgotten non-genre 60s poet and experimental novelist Gil Orlovitz who has only recently entered my radar as well) and am now reading Revelations, which is a good (totally crazy so far) companion piece to Beyond Apollo. Oddly, though, someone beat me to that copy of Galaxies I’d spotted, and the remaining Malzbergs in that shop jumped in price. Are people catching on to him suddenly?

  51. Bill Hsu

      Where are you based, Nate? I highly doubt there’ll be a run on Malzberg. I’ll keep an eye out for Guernica Nights. My local library has some Malzberg, but not that one.

      By the way, my offer of a free copy of Galaxies is still good, if you’re in the US.

  52. rockhyrax

      Thanks! But I actually ordered a copy immediately after writing that so I’m set. I’m in Brooklyn, which if there’s any place likely to have a run on Malzbergs, it’s here. Though there’re also a dozen book stores with constant turnover of quality books to balance that out. Keep an eye out for Revelations, actually — seems much more focused and in control than the shambling oddity of Guernica.

  53. A D Jameson

      There seems to have been an uptick in interest in his writing in the past few years?