|The first issue, a cover much referred to in|
James Gunn's introduction and that of
the source of Asimov's story in the book...and
not included in the selected cover images...
Cele Goldsmith, who would dig through the "slushpile" of submitted manuscripts and would occasionally find very interesting work indeed, including what would be the first published story by Kate Wilhelm. When Fairman left, in 1958 (primarily to be a full-time freelance writer, but briefly taking on managing editorship of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, by then published by Ziff-Davis co-founder B. G. Davis, who'd quit ZD in 1958, as well), Goldsmith was elevated to editorship (at 25 years of age), and with far less cynicism if also less of a sense of the history of fantastic fiction, she would go on at the magazines to put together issues that would mix brilliantly innovative, interesting if more traditional, and sometimes merely notional work, till the magazines were sold by Ziff-Davis in 1965. Under Goldsmith (who took through marriage the name Cele Lalli during her tenure), the fiction magazines had lost their champion at ZD with Davis's departure, as William Ziff, Jr. began his successful focus of ZD on hobbyist and highly specialized magazines, which meant that for most of her career with them, Fantastic and Amazing were secondary projects, with art direction and packaging that was somewhat less consistently good than her editorial product deserved. A fellow named Norman Lobsenz was given the task of overseeing her work, though apparently he mostly wrote the consistently trivial editorials and responses to reader letters in the columns in the magazines. Among the writers she "discovered" through first professional publication, as editor, were Ursula K. Le Guin, Thomas M. Disch, Sonya Dorman (her prose, at least, aside from a student story in Mademoiselle--as with Disch only even moreso, Dorman's career as a poet was at least as prominent as that as a fiction-writer), Roger Zelazny, Ben Bova, Ted White, Keith Laumer, and Piers Anthony (when still a promising young writer, well before he made jejune fantasy novel-series his primary occupation). Her magazines were one of the primary markets for the mostly young writers who were shaking up fantasy and particularly sf in the early 1960s, along with Avram Davidson's editorship of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and, increasingly, Frederik Pohl's work at Galaxy magazine and its siblings. Among those she worked with closely was
|One of the better covers from the Goldsmith/|
Lalli years...Jakes, who wrote many sorts of
fiction, made his biggest splash in historical
fiction in the mid-1970s.
|A fairly typically handsome (and comics-|
influenced) cover from Ted White's
tenure as editor (and art director)
The earmarks of nonchalance all over this anthology are a pity, because the selection of stories is pretty good, though not reasonably representative of the best of the magazine's career. It's also notable which of the contributors whose work is collected here have gone onto ever greater fame in the years since this 1987 book was published, much less their stories' original publication (pretty obvious examples: J. G. Ballard and particularly George R. R. Martin), those whose fame has been sustained (Le Guin and Philip K. Dick), those whose star has dimmed (almost inarguably unfairly, given their best work: Roger Zelazny, John Brunner and to a much lesser extent Isaac Asimov) and those who remain stubbornly underappreciated (Ron Goulart, David Bunch, and to too great an extent Robert Bloch...Judith Merril is perhaps as well-remembered today as a mover and shaker in the Toronto countercultural scene in the 1970s and '80s as she is for her extensive work in sf and related literatures).
Courtesy the Locus Index:
Fantastic Stories: Tales of the Weird and Wondrous ed. Martin H. Greenberg & Patrick L. Price (TSR 0-88038-521-9, May ’87, $7.95, 253pp, tp) Anthology of 16 stories from the magazine, with an introduction by James E. Gunn plus a selection of color cover reproductions.
- 7 · Introduction · James E. Gunn · in
- 11 · Double Whammy · Robert Bloch · ss Fantastic Feb ’70
- 21 · A Drink of Darkness · Robert F. Young · ss Fantastic Jul ’62
- 33 · A Question of Re-Entry · J. G. Ballard · nv Fantastic Mar ’63
- 59 · The Exit to San Breta · George R. R. Martin · ss Fantastic Feb ’72
- 70 · The Shrine of Temptation · Judith Merril · ss Fantastic Apr ’62
- 85 · Dr. Birdmouse · Reginald Bretnor · ss Fantastic Apr ’62
- 97 · Eve Times Four · Poul Anderson · nv Fantastic Apr ’60
- 126 · The Rule of Names [Earthsea] · Ursula K. Le Guin · ss Fantastic Apr ’64
- ins. · Artists’ Visions of the Weird & Wondrous · Various Hands · il
- 135 · The Still Waters [“In the Still Waters”] · Lester del Rey · ss Fantastic Universe Jun ’55
- 144 · A Small Miracle of Fishhooks and Straight Pins · David R. Bunch · vi Fantastic Jun ’61
- 148 · Novelty Act · Philip K. Dick · nv Fantastic Feb ’64
- 174 · What If... · Isaac Asimov · ss Fantastic Sum ’52
- 186 · Elixir for the Emperor · John Brunner · ss Fantastic Nov ’64
- 202 · King Solomon’s Ring · Roger Zelazny · nv Fantastic Oct ’63
- 220 · Junior Partner · Ron Goulart · ss Fantastic Sep ’62
- 229 · Donor · James E. Gunn · nv Fantastic Nov ’60
Two weeks ago, I gave a quick gloss of a review of Ted White's The Best from Fantastic, and the other anthology drawn largely from Fantastic, even earlier than White's and including stories from Fantastic Adventures and one from Amazing, is Ivan Howard's Time Untamed, mentioned here briefly some time back (with its original ugly cover, as cheerfully reproduced by an Award Books reprint); the slightly less ugly second edition and UK covers are below. This volume is an example of the "hidden" anthology drawn from a given magazine, or in this case a magazine group (as is the Weird Tales magazine anthology The Unexpected, mentioned in that same post), as are Ivan Howard's several other anthologies for the publisher Belmont/Belmont Tower, which drew from Science Fiction, Future Fiction, Dynamic Science Fiction and the other sf magazines Robert Lowndes edited for Columbia Publications, owned by Louis Silberkleit, who also owned the later, and similarly low-budget Belmont books concern (Silberkleit was also a partner of Archie Comics guy Martin Goodman in several projects over the decades) ...no mention, or essentially so, in the book's packaging that all the collected stories are from the one source, or related group of sources. Fantastic Universe, mentioned above as the source of the Del Rey story that has no reason to be in a Fantastic anthology, had one obvious anthology drawn from its pages, The Fantastic Universe Omnibus, but FU (and The Saint Mystery Magazine) editor Hans Stefan Santesson later published several anthologies that draw all but exclusively from FU's pages, while not advertising that fact, beginning with Rulers of Men. I recently suggested to the editors of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction that not only Samuel Mines's The Best from Startling Stories should be noted in the entry for Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling's older sibling which the anthology also draws from, but that Damon Knight's anthology The Shape of Things should also be cited in both magazines' entries, as it's also an anthology drawn intentionally and exclusively from both magazines (and quite a good one)...another "hidden" example (as the Mines Startling volume almost is for TWS...). Joseph Ferman's No Limits (quite possibly co- or ghost-edited by his son, Edward Ferman) is an anthology drawn from the 1950s version of Venture Science Fiction magazine; Once and Future Tales, an all-but "hidden" anthology from Venture's sibling The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (and commissioned by a short-lived publishing project, and outside the then-regular set of Doubleday's Best from F&SF volumes). I hope to add other examples to an ongoing list here...I've also briefly reviewed a vintage pirated volume taken from Christine Campbell Thomson's legitimate UK anthology series Not at Night that drew regularly on the early Weird Tales for its contents...the pirated volume published here as one of the early products of The Vanguard Press, co-founded by Rex Stout, no less.
For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.
For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.