The Best American Short Stories 1965 edited by Martha Foley and David Burnett
The 10th Annual of the Year’s Best S-F edited by Judith Merril
Best Detective Stories of the Year, 20th Annual Collection edited by Anthony Boucher
World's Best Science Fiction: 1965 edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr
Prize Stories 1965: The O. Henry Awards edited by Richard Poirier and William Abrahams
The Best Plays of 1964-1965 edited by Otis L. Guernsey, Jr.
In 1965, the five best of the year fiction annuals (imagine a time where only five such series existed, one new that year) were facing some number magic: the 50th annual Best American Short Stories (there was also a 50th anniversary best of the series); the 20th annual of Year's Best Detective Stories; the 10th volume of Judith Merril's annual (the only series still being edited by its founder, aside from the new one), the first as noted from Donald Wollheim and Terry Carr; and the 45th volume of The O. Henry Awards (which lost a few volumes after the then-current editor in 1951 died unexpectedly, and Doubleday was clearly considering discontinuing the series, before eventually continuing several years later). There's number magic in regards to these volumes now, as well: they are fifty years old this year (and there's a "Century of BASS" volume this year along with the annual series entry); and for me there's a personal number magic, inasmuch as the stories collected in these volumes were mostly first published in the year I first emerged into the world, too: 1964. (The O. Henry book, as they did in those years, collects stories first published from June 1963 to June '64; the other volumes might have a few stragglers, too.) The Foley and the Merril saw both hardcover and paperback editions; the other three saw only one edition each (the first Ace annual didn't get a book club edition, as later volumes would; the Boucher and Poirier/Abrahams probably did get the cheaper hardcovers, but no paperbacks).
Meanwhile, the fiction annuals, which had had as accompaniment a humor annual for three volumes at the turn of the 1950s, and would soon after 1965 see the advent of Best Magazine Article and Best Political Cartoon annuals in the US, did have a yearbook cousin in The Best Plays annual, which underwent its own major change in 1965, when founding editor Burns Mantle was succeeded by Owen Guernsey, who would edit or co-edit the series for some decades. My memory of looking at some of the 1970s volumes was hazier than I thought, as I'd remembered the volumes reprinting the entirety of the selected plays, when actually they instead featured synopses and excerpts of the scripts, with the first-time exception in the 1965 volume (the 48th), perhaps because of a book contract elsewhere for Neil Simon, of an extensive photo sequence instead, representing The Odd Couple...with Art Carney playing Felix along with Walter Matthau as Oscar.
Fuller reviews of these books will be forthcoming over the next week, as I get further along in each (I'm reading or rereading each more or less together, and these are not slender volumes!), and I hope to present an interview with Kit Reed, among much else the author of the lead-off story in the Merril volume, "Automatic Tiger"...perhaps the story which got her the most early attention in fantasy and sf circles (and her career has been one rather gracefully devoted to fantastic fiction, crime fiction and contemporary-mimetic fiction in nearly equal measure). Meanwhile, along with introducing/presenting the only image online I'm aware of the Best Plays volume's cover (with a gracious assist from Alice Chang)(my copy deaccessioned from the Belfast public library, of all places), I will at least provide some preliminary indices...and perhaps even a few more comments over the course of the day. (I will note that Flannery O'Connor's lead-off story in the O. Henry volume, "Revelation," was offered the "first prize" in this volume, I suspect, more as memorial for her than as measured judgement of this story, not, I'd suggest, one of the best she'd published, though solid work.)
Indices below; for more of today's books, almost all more thoroughly considered, please see Patti Abbott's blog.
Indices courtesy William Contento/Galactic Central
Best detective stories of the year : 20th annual collection
Prize stories 1965 : the O. Henry Awards
- The World’s Best Science Fiction: 1965 ed. Donald A. Wollheim & Terry Carr (Ace G-551, 1965, 50¢, 288pp, pb)
- 7 · Introduction · Donald A. Wollheim & Terry Carr · in
- 12 · Greenplace · Tom Purdom · ss F&SF Nov 1964
- 26 · Men of Good Will · Ben Bova & Myron R. Lewis · ss Galaxy Jun 1964
- 32 · Bill for Delivery [Al & Sam] · Christopher Anvil · ss Analog Nov 1964
- 53 · Four Brands of Impossible · Norman Kagan · nv F&SF Sep 1964
- 86 · A Niche in Time · William F. Temple · ss Analog May 1964
- 103 · Sea Wrack · Edward Jesby · nv F&SF May 1964
- 123 · For Every Action · C. C. MacApp · ss Amazing May 1964
- 131 · Vampires Ltd. · Josef Nesvadba; trans. by Iris Urwin · ss Vampires Ltd., New York: A. Vanous 1964
- 142 · The Last Lonely Man · John Brunner · ss New Worlds May/Jun 1964
- 160 · The Star Party · Robert Lory · ss F&SF Sep 1964
- 169 · The Weather in the Underworld · Colin Free · ss Squire Jun 1965
- 178 · Oh, to Be a Blobel! · Philip K. Dick · ss Galaxy Feb 1964
- 199 · The Unremembered · Edward Mackin · ss New Worlds Mar 1964
- 211 · What Happened to Sergeant Masuro? · Harry Mulisch; trans. by Roy Edwards · nv The Busy Bee Review: New Writing from the Netherlands 1964
- 235 · Now Is Forever · Thomas M. Disch · ss Amazing Mar 1964
- 252 · The Competitors · Jack B. Lawson · nv If Jan 1964
- 279 · When the Change-Winds Blow [Change War] · Fritz Leiber · ss F&SF Aug 1964
The Best plays of 1964-65
|Author:||Otis L Guernsey|
|Publisher:||New York : Dodd Mead, ©1965.|
434 pages : illustrations by Al Hirschfeld ; 24 cm.