The Falling Astronauts
The space program has finally lost its novelty and a jaded public hardly notices another moon launch. Skillful PR admen preserve the illusion that the missions have become routine, but Colonel Richard Martin has a different story . . . of panic in deep space, of crewmen pushed beyond their breaking points, of official indifference towards his own shattered life. Martin had been to the moon and back, but he would never be sent there again, suffering a nervous breakdown in orbit. He is put under wraps until the pilot of a capsule loaded with nuclear weaponry goes berserk and unleashes a nightmare that threatens to consume the world. Only Martin can end it . . .
The Falling Astronauts is a paradigmatic example of New Wave science fiction that goes where no man has gone before, but also goes insane. Together with Galaxies and Beyond Apollo, it forms an anti-oedipal trilogy unlike anything else in twentieth century SF.
BARRY N. MALZBERG is an American writer, editor and agent. His prolific career has spanned numerous genres, most notably crime and science fiction. Malzberg was particularly active in the SF scene of the early seventies, although he became disillusioned with the market forces defining the field and has rarely published SF works since. His most recent activity in the field has been in the form of advice columns for writers in the quarterly magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Malzberg won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for his novel Beyond Apollo in 1973. Over the years, his writing has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, among others.
"There are possibly a dozen genius writers in the genre of the imaginative, and Barry Malzberg is at least eight of them. Malzberg makes what the rest of us do look like felonies!" —HARLAN ELLISON
"Malzberg makes persuasively clear that the best of science fiction should be valued as literature and nothing else." —THE WASHINGTON POST
"One of the finest practitioners of science fiction." —HARRY HARRISON
"Barry N. Malzberg's writing is unparalleled in its intensity and in its apocalyptic sensibility. His detractors consider him bleakly monotonous and despairing, but he is a master of black humor, and is one of the few writers to have used science fiction's vocabulary of ideas extensively as apparatus in psychological landscapes, dramatizing relationships between the human mind and its social environment in an SF theater of the absurd." —THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION
"The writer who attempts to use the SF mythos as Malzberg has is bedeviled by the inappropriateness of the 'rules' pertaining to the production and consumption of mass-produced fiction." —BRIAN STABLEFORD
"Malzberg is a true hero." —THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
"There is no one, with the possible exception of Philip K. Dick, whose works, each one of them, are so unpredictable or so outrageous and outraged." —THEODORE STURGEON
"Barry Malzberg is one of science fiction's most literate and erudite writers." —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW