"The Country of the Kind" (ss) The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Feb 1956 edited by "Anthony Boucher"
"The Indigestible Invaders" (ss) Infinity Science Fiction Oct 1956 edited by Larry Shaw can be read here (never reprinted, as far as I know)
"Stranger Station" (nv) The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Dec 1956 edited by "Anthony Boucher"
1956 might not have been the single most impressive in Damon Knight's literary career, but the work he saw published includes a number of key stories for his career (and to some extent for the sf field) and also the first collection of critiques of fantastic fiction taken from the pages of fantastic fiction magazines and fanzines to be published in book form, In Search of Wonder, which also won him the first Hugo Award given for nonfictional writing, in 1957, and which reinforced his reputation for an incisive, witty and unsparing critical approach. As the first product of Advent: Publishers, it boded well for both author and his press. Knight would continue to write voluminous criticism for several more years, coming to a sudden stop in 1960 when Robert Mills refused to publish one of Knight's columns for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction which mocked a novel by Judith Merril, a regular contributor to F&SF much as Knight was (in the early-mid-'60s, Merril would succeed Knight, Alfred Bester and Avram Davidson as the primary book reviewer for the magazine). Knight let his analytical statements mostly be heard from then on out in the Milford Writers' Conferences he and Merril and James Blish had begun organizing together in the latter '50s, shared in his instructional work at the Clarion Writers' Workshops he helped launch and in texts in print, and read in the introductions to his anthologies, of which there were no few, including such volumes as A Century of Science Fiction (1962) and A Science Fiction Argosy, along with Knight's launch of what would be one of the longest-running original anthology series in fantastic-fiction's history, with Orbit 1 in 1966 (a late volume would feature his only review column there). He had also cofounded the SFWA, the Science Fiction Writers of America (as it was originally known), with Knight as its first president.
A few years later, when the SFWA membership was polled about the best sf short stories as yet written, Knight's brilliant "The Country of the Kind" made the list and was thus included in--and for me, highlighted--the organization's tribute anthology, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One (1970). Even as a 9 or 10-year-old reader, Knight's dispassionate look at what amounted to a utopian society, doing as best it could to cope with a psychopath among its citizens, chooses to ameliorate his potential for mayhem not by literally imprisoning him nor applying mind-altering techniques, so much as to permanently alter him in such a way that he will black out whenever he's moved to violence toward his fellow citizens, and he's been given a certain unmistakeable and permanent unpleasant scent, to mark him to at very least nearly all those he might come in contact with, so that they might escape him or leave him alone for everyone's protection. The protagonist's ability to act out maliciously is thus limited only by the unconsciousness he falls into before he can actually harm someone else...he runs rampant, and the rest of society does what it can to accommodate him while not encouraging him nor engaging with him, as he ruins houses and indulges in similar soon-corrected vandalism. Knight ups the ante by having the vicious misfit consider himself an artist, who seeks not only companionship (albeit in frustration usually acts out in spiteful, sometimes brutal manner) but also hopes to inspire others to create odd little tokens of (grotesque) visual art and to act out against society much as he does. It certainly made an enormous impression on young me, for what it said about the limits of human and societal perfectibility and how the alienation that artists can (must? only frequently do?) feel in relation to society can express itself--and how even the viciously maladapted and thus alienated can have some small case for their resentment if not for their behavior--heady stuff for a young, bookish, socially awkward kid at the earliest stirrings of young adulthood....
Nearly all the other stories he published in 1956 were nearly as polished and lapidary as "The Country of he Kind" (its title a sly pun on H. G. Wells's story "The Country of the Blind", for its part spurred by realization the one-eyed man might well not be king there). The only story offered in that year that hasn't been reprinted, as far as I can tell, is "The Indigestible Enemy" (another title I suspect to be Larry Shaw's). And I can see why, while not quite agreeing with the decision, given its fine portrait of power structures and the blithe acceptance of the insanely intolerable aspects of society, by so many in all societies, is well grounded in the events of the story...but the overriding cannibalism metaphor is not as elegantly applied as Knight usually manages, and it feels a bit too goofily grim, a bit too much a part of the "comic inferno" approach that was common particularly in the 1950s in sf. Still, like all good Knight stories, it's a model of how to balance sensibility with resonance, verisimilitude with desired seriocomic effect...just not as good a model as "Extempore" or the others. I'm glad I've finally read it.
The book-review column from Future Science Fiction, one of the Columbia Publications sf magazines which all shared the somewhat overstated column-title for their reviews, whether written by Knight or others (one wonders for several reasons if Murray King, making his sole appearance as a columnist in the second half, was actually editor Robert Lowndes under a pen-name; he deals with the short-lived Avalon Books adult sf line). This is one of Knight's most thoroughly worked-out assessments, even before slight editing to include it in the book, of why The Power by Frank M. Robinson and Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man quickly fail to be rational novels, and retain what power they have through their flawed explorations of the ur-monster, or the ur-fate full of monsters, just outside the campfire-light, lurking under the bed, faceless and as yet unknown. Included as a sample of what more one can find in Wonder...which has seen several editions at this point, each expanding the previous one.
The rest of the stories published in 1956 were all gathered into one or another of Knight's first four collections, Far Out, In Deep, Off Center, and Turning On, which in turn were reissued as an omnibus by UK publisher Gollancz, the recommended way to find the volumes these days.