Arthur Byron Cover’s 1976 Nebula nominee Autumn Angels has been republished by Digital Parchment Services.
Read the first chapter free on Cover’s website.
Harlan Ellison drops a few clues about what readers can expect from the book —
It takes the materials of everyday entertainments—pulp heroes, movies, comics, detective stories—and transforms them … into a gestalt that is fresh … the lawyer is modeled after Doc Savage’s sidekick, ‘Ham,’ Brig. Gen. Theodore Marley Brooks; the fat man is Sidney Greenstreet; the gunsel is Elisha Cook, Jr. in The Maltese Falcon; the Big Red Cheese is Captain Marvel; the Insidious Oriental Doctor is Fu Manchu; the Queen of England who calls herself a virgin is Elizabeth I; the ace reporter is Lois Lane; the zany imp from the Fifth Dimension is Mr. Mxyzptlk, and both the imp and Lois are, of course, from the Superman comics; the godlike man with no name is Clint Eastwood in the Sergio Leone-directed spaghetti westerns; the galactic hero with two right arms is Harry Harrison’s Bill, the Galactic Hero; the fuzzy (but boring) little green balls of Sharkosh are Star Trek scenarist David Gerrold’s tribbles; and you can figure out for yourself the true identities or esoteric references for The Ebony Kings, the poet, the shrink, the bems, the other fat man and his witty leg man, and on and on.
The inimitable Ron Cobb created the cover art.
I read it when it first appeared in 1976. Just stumbled across it by accident while searching my local newstand in Abingdon, VA for the next great book to read. I remember thinking as I stood there in the shop, reading the first few pages, that I’d found exactly that. Cover is a writer with an extraordinary voice. He’s never gotten the attention he deserves and he’s never written nearly enough to satisfy me.