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Reviews in Project: Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials (7)

In The Dark of Night

The Hercules Text

By Jack McDevitt  

13 Sep, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials


Jack McDevitt’s 1986 debut novel The Hercules Text is a (then) near-future First Contact story. The Hercules Text was the seventh novel in the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series, edited by Terry Carr.

Personnel functionary Harry Carmichael has neither the love of his soon to be ex-wife, nor the respect of the scientists he provides with invaluable administrative services. He can at least look forward to distraction from his personal problems. Humanity is about to be contacted by extra-terrestrial intelligence. 

Humanity may be about to go extinct.

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Your Heart Will Glow

In the Drift

By Michael Swanwick  

9 Aug, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials


Michael Swanwick’s 1985 In the Drift is a stand-alone near-future alternate-history novel. In the Drift was the sixth1 novel in the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series, edited by Terry Carr.

1979: in a spectacular exhibition of American nuclear industry know-how, Three Mile Island suffered a catastrophic melt-down. A vast swath of land downwind of the reactor was contaminated with radioactive debris. This is the so-called Drift. Millions fled, only to be violently murdered by their fearful fellow Americans. The USA splintered.

Almost a century later, the east coast is still a shambles but only some of it glows in the dark.

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Time in a Bottle


By Carter Scholz & Glenn Harcourt  

12 Jul, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

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Carter Scholz and Glenn Harcourt’s 1984 Palimpsests is a stand-alone science fiction novel. It was the fourth novel in the Third Ace Specials series, which was edited by Terry Carr. 

Professor Frederick Warner’s dig in the Neander Valley should have turned up a few ancient hominin bones (if they were lucky), bones filling in a few of the empty spaces in humanity’s pre-history. Indeed, particularly fine bones were discovered. However, sharp-eyed anthropologist Hans Camus spotted something else in the dirt, something that would up-end his career.

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Real Tough Cookie

Neuromancer  (Sprawl, volume 1)

By William Gibson  

14 Jun, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials


1984’s Neuromanceris the first volume in William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy. It was the third book published in the Terry Carr-edited series, the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials. Neuromancer was Gibson’s novel-length debut, debut novels being the unifying theme of the series.

Master-hacker Case made the mistake so many criminals have made before him. He stole from his bosses. Rather than settle for killing Case, his former employers crippled him with neurotoxins, cutting him off from his beloved matrix (cyberspace). Unable to work, and his stolen wealth rapidly evaporating, Case faces certain poverty and probable murder as soon as he sufficiently inconveniences some fellow Chiba City inhabitant. 

The mysterious Armitage offers salvation… at a price.

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Sparks Fly

Green Eyes

By Lucius Shepard  

10 May, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials


Lucius Shepard’s 1984 Green Eyes is a stand-alone science fiction novel. It was the second book to be released in Terry Carr’s Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series.

Thanks to the scientific miracle of a bacterium retrieved from Louisiana gravesites, the dead can be restored to life. New processes always have a catch. In this case, there are two problems: revivification is temporary and the minds that manifest in the former corpses are not the minds those bodies once hosted. In many cases, the new inhabitants are far more brilliant than their predecessors, which makes them a valuable resource. 

Jocundra Verret is a therapist whose task it is to guide the zombies to productive use of their brief lives. Unfortunately for her employers, she will go very seriously off-mission.

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Plant a Little Garden

The Wild Shore  (California triptych, volume 1)

By Kim Stanley Robinson  

12 Apr, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials


1984’s The Wild Shore is the first volume in Kim Stanley Robinson’s California triptych. The Wild Shore was also the first volume published in the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series. 

In the America of tomorrow, traffic jams, the military-industrial complex, and taxes are all things of the past. Lifelong friends Steve, Gabby, Kristen and Mando, Del and protagonist Henry need not concern themselves with such matters. This is because about fifty years earlier, someone unknown detonated neutron bombs in the centers of the United States’ two to three thousand largest cities. Fifty years after America’s annihilation, the quintet’s home town (San) Onofre is doing well to have assembled a functional village and regional market.

Nevertheless, there are common elements that run through American societies of all varieties. In particular, young people are quite creative about finding stupid ways to waste time and risk their lives.

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