5-6 short stories - any ideas??

Xunzi

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Hello,

I'm new here and hope that maybe somebody here would know the book/s I remember from when I was a young teen. It's been bugging me for years!

This is what I remember - it was a book with a collection of (I believe) 5-6 standalone novels. I believe the cover was yellow. The first story is about a man on a spaceship going to some moon for (I believe) mining. The only picture in the entire book of novels is a cross-section picture of his ship. There's a company called Amalgamated something. Based on my own research this could be the novelization of "Outland" but I'm not sure. Then there's a story about a foreign planet divided into two continents - one continent is inhabited by a rich "race" and the other by poor "barbarians" - to my recollection the protagonist gets invited to the rich continent and there's some (silly behaving) businessman there who sells (I believe) a drink (similar to coca-cola) - the whole novel seems to be an allegory for the West vs the Soviet Union... then there's a story I can't remember much of but it's a bunch of youngsters in a dystopian "cyberpunk" like future and their lives center around getting a drug I cant remember the name of - not sure, but I think the protagonist is one of the youngsters trying to look for a way out of this life. Then there's one or two stories about some kind of mutant creature, called wombat och zomba or something similar, which I believe is living in the air vents of some spaceship or futuristic building - I can't remember but I believe this creature harbors resentment against humans for being treated badly but becomes some kind of hero in the end?

I realize this is not much to go by but any ideas or pointers where to look would be greatly appreciated! It's been bugging me forever...
 

Xunzi

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Regarding the story about the two continents - I believe initially one is to think that the brutes on the underdeveloped continent are the "bad guys" but the story about the rich continent becomes an increasingly satirical story about consumerism / capitalism with silly shallowness on display... I also have a vague recollection that there is a steampunk aspect to the technological development... the rich ones drive around in what seems quite primitive cars I think...

As for the wombat/zomba story, I also believe the story is told from the perspective of this mutant...
 

Xunzi

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Also, I'd date this book to the 80s or early 90s at the very latest. So I assume most of the stories would be from the 70s and 80s...
 

Rodders

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Can you give a date of when you were a teenager?

The yellow dust jacket might mean it's a Gollancz book, so it may be worth checking them out.
 
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Xunzi

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To be honest, I'm not 100% sure how old I was when I read this. But my best guess is that I read this book sometime between 1991-1995. However, I don't think the book was new - I got it from a school library and often they had a few years on the neck. Given the disjoint nature of the novels, I assume it was some kind of compilation release with Science Fiction in the title (I believe I just searched for Science Fiction and found this book)...

Thanks for the tip about Gollancz, I'll look them up!

I'm fairly certain the first story was indeed Outland - story about a pilot on a spaceship and a moon and company called Amalgamated something (<-very certain about this as I was fascinated by this word for some reason), can't be too many novels that fit those specifics? And there shouldn't be too many compilation books with Outland as the first novel? My understanding is that Outland was published as a novel 1981 so that would put this book no older than that... Although, I fully admit my ignorance here - I have poor knowledge of the sci-fi literature - just going by whatever I can...
 
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Xunzi

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Lastly, wild shot in the dark - perhaps the drug novel is A Scanner Darkly and I misremember it being youngsters - this was the book I liked the least, it was quite dark/depressing from what I can remember.
 

Xunzi

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I'm not 100% certain of the number of stories - those are the stories I remember, but my hunch is that if there were more then 5-6, there weren't more than ten, but could be wrong... What I am 100% sure of however, is the presence of a company called Amalgamated something in the story that contained a cross-section picture of the spaceship showing things like the engine, the cockpit, storage, etc..

While I live in the UK now I grew up in Sweden but I don't know if I read a translated version (I was old enough to have a fairly good grasp of English)...

The cover wasn't solid yellow - there was a picture on the front (can't remember what it was) but to my memory the overall tone was yellow (maybe with an element of light blue?) - and the colors were pale, a bit similar in style to these (from Gollancz):

1672842727280.png
 
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Xunzi

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Xunzi

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The main reason I cant get this out of my mind is the story of that wombat/zomba creature... (there was a w, x, y, z in the name 100%), it was a very weird and somewhat unsettling story... I just need to revisit it to close a mental loose end...
 

Danny McG

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The main reason I cant get this out of my mind is the story of that wombat/zomba creature... (there was a w, x, y, z in the name 100%), it was a very weird and somewhat unsettling story... I just need to revisit it to close a mental loose end...
Faint thoughts of a William Tenn short story (but too faint to drag up any details!)
 

Toby Frost

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Several of the ideas you've mentioned sound vaguely like Philip K Dick stories, but none of them sounds exactly right for him. He had a stowaway creature called the Wub, and big corporations were quite common in his writing, as well as drug and cold war metaphors. My cousin used to have a set of short story compilations of his. At least one of those was yellow. The timing would seem to be right for PKD, too.
 

Xunzi

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Ill look into the Wub story - sounds like a candidate!

Edit: I had a look, it's not it. If nothing else, it's too short. Maybe I should have called them novels rather than short stories, I think they we're proper novels...
 
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Xunzi

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I remember this creature (mutant or alien or "freak") to be somewhat remniscent of gollum, an outcast in hiding, small in size, secretly observing and listening in on conversations, and was nicknamed wombat/zomba/wobbit or similar, and the novel is mostly from this creatures perspective... im not sure but I think the creature over time starts to feel sorry for the humans, and does something to help them...
 

Xunzi

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I had to buy the Outland novel but as some of you suspected it’s not the novel (it doesn’t have a outline picture of the ship but photos from the movie). The hunt continues.
 

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