Picking and choosing from the FFBs past...please see this week's entries on BV Lawson's blog.
The issue including Kit Reed's first published short story...and quite an impressive lot else (please see below):
Essentially four books here, though the last listed is also the first issue of a continuing series of comics devoted to a psychic investigator named in honor of Algernon Blackwood's character John Silence.
The Collected Stories, Volume One...publisher Luis Ortiz keeps having one valuable, if not always cash-cow-like, idea after another, and the brilliant Carol Emshwiller, who has written many very important and many very odd stories in what has been a long career, has also long needed a comprehensive collection of her work...volume two might be a bit shorter, when it appears, as it mostly might be made up of stories still in inventory at magazines and more importantly in the contents of anthologies not yet published. Emshwiller, as the contents list below indicates, after a first sale to a (failing) regional magazine in 1954, started publishing mostly in the magazines edited by Robert Lowndes (the crime-fiction magazines and Future, Science Fiction and SF Quarterly), which were low-budget but open to experimental and off-trail writing (James Blish placed "Common Time" in one; William Tenn "The Liberation of Earth" likewise; Edward Hoch was always happy to note that he was first published by Lowndes). Such early Emshwiller stories as "Hunting Machine" did not often offer many variations on traditional narrative storytelling, but as she noted in her introduction, they came, to one degree or another, from what writer, critic, editor and writing instructor Damon Knight referred to as "deep inside"...they have a powerful resonance that sounds throughout the reader's psyche. This, as even Emshwiller (not the most self-promoting of writers) notes, only strengthened as she continued. Such brilliant, playful and influential work as "Sex and/or Mr. Morrison" and "Strangers" would follow, even as the earlier "Pelt" took another tack on the matter of "Hunting Machine" (both prime candidates for any anthology arguing for animal rights). Not reflected in this collection are her novels, such as the historical westerns Ledoyt and its companion Leaping Man Hill or the animal fantasy Carmen Dog and the challenging novel of alien conquest of Earth, The Mount. What is here is a generous sample of the work that has won her two Nebula awards, the Philip Dick award and the Life Achievement award from the World Fantasy Convention in 1995, as well as devoted readers in several different literary communities. (Please also see Ortiz's Emshwiller: Infinity x 2, a dual biography of Carol and her husband, painter/illustrator/filmmaker Ed Emshwiller, a remarkable book about remarkable subjects.) Here, a few examples of the cover paintings for which Ed Emshwiller used Carol and himself as models (click to enlarge):
Not too different is the CV of Kit Reed, who also writes as Kit Craig (mostly her crime fiction thus); her driver's license presumably tags her Lillian Craig Reed. A decade younger than Emshwiller, she got her professional fiction-writing start half a decade later, in a ridiculously good issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from late in Anthony Boucher's editorship, for April, 1958...so ridiculous that I'll give the ISFDb listing of its contents:
5 • Guardian Spirit • novelette by Chad Oliver
39 • The Watchers • poem by Anthony Brode
40 • Obstinate Uncle Otis • [Murchison Morks] • (1941) • shortstory by Robert Arthur
48 • The Grantha Sighting • shortstory by Avram Davidson
56 • The Wait • shortstory by Kit Reed
70 • No Evidence • shortstory by Victoria Lincoln
78 • The Death of Each Day • shortstory by Margaret St. Clair [as by Idris Seabright ]
88 • The Witch of Ramoth • (1953) • shortstory by Mark Van Doren
93 • Recommended Reading (F&SF, April 1958) • [Recommended Reading] • essay by Anthony Boucher
93 • Review: Spaceways Satellite by Charles Eric Maine • review by Anthony Boucher
93 • Review: Rocket Power and Space Flight by G. Harry Stine • review by Anthony Boucher
94 • Review: Wasp by Eric Frank Russell • review by Anthony Boucher
94 • Review: Year 2018! by James Blish • review by Anthony Boucher
94 • Review: They'd Rather be Right by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley • review by Anthony Boucher
94 • Review: The Mind Cage by A. E. van Vogt • review by Anthony Boucher
95 • Review: The Dreamers by Roger Manvell • review by Anthony Boucher
95 • Review: Earthman's Burden by Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson • review by Anthony Boucher
95 • Review: Robots and Changelings by Lester del Rey • review by Anthony Boucher
95 • Review: Those Idiots from Earth by Richard Wilson • review by Anthony Boucher
95 • Review: Three Times Infinity by Leo Margulies • review by Anthony Boucher
96 • Broken Circuit • shortstory by Arthur Oesterreicher
100 • A Deskful of Girls • [Change War] • novelette by Fritz Leiber
125 • Poor Little Warrior! • shortstory by Brian W. Aldiss
...with that first story, which Reed, as noted below, had entitled "To Be Taken in a Strange Country" and would place it as such as the lead story in her first collection, Mister Da V. and Other Stories. (Among the other things Emshwiller and Reed share is that their first collections came far too late for any sense of justice in publishing...Reed's book was published in England in 1967 and would await its US edition for six years; Emshwiller's first collection, also her first book, Joy in Our Cause, didn't appear till 1974. The Reed collection also notably lacks any introduction, either to the book or the individual stories, a bit of sadness for those of us who love the headnotes and other interstitials provided by the likes of Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison in their books.) "Automatic Tiger" might've been the first Reed story to gain a lot of attention in the fantasy community, a heavily metaphoric tale of a young man who gains enormously in life through the purchase of a remarkably lifelike tiger mechanism, and what fate has in store for them both; it was certainly the first Reed story I read. Reed, too, is expert in resonance and playful wit, as she demonstrates throughout this collection, in her further collections and novels since, and in her short fiction that has appeared in fantastic-fiction, contemporary-mimetic and little, and crime-fiction magazines over the years since; happily, Reed is still writing, as Emshwiller, who has been having some health reverses, might not continue to do, though we can hope the latter is not stymied. One thing that connects such writers as these two, and, say, Kate Wilhelm, who got her start neatly between Emshwiller and Reed and has had a not dissimilarly eclectic career since, is that one senses their exploration of character from the "inside", while such colleagues and similarly complete artists as Theodore Sturgeon, Damon Knight and Fritz Leiber often seem to make their observation of character at a greater auctorial distance, not so much objective as simply more divorced from identification with the characters under discussion and on display.
Including the brilliant Arcana story "Demon and Demoiselle"; the Malzberg story is actually a (very funny) collaboration with Bill Pronzini, "Another Burnt-Out Case":
Also true of the younger, later-starting, and now late (as noted here at the time of her death's announcement) Janet Fox, who published the helpful market-guide and general-interest magazine about writers and the small press, Scavenger's Newsletter, for more than a decade; she was the first to buy my creative work, a poem, to be published in a national forum. More importantly, she began publishing her own fiction, with "Materialist"...another Robert Lowndes "discovery," I belatedly remember, for his Magazine of Horror in 1970, and the first in a series of horror stories in which she takes cliches and makes them happily (if usually disturbingly) literal. Perhaps the best of this series, "Screaming to Get Out" (from Weirdbook, the co-publisher Ganley's long-running little magazine of fantasy and horror) is included in this, 2003's A Witch's Dozen, the only collection of Fox's fiction to be published during her lifetime; the only other books she would publish were a series of novels under the pseudonym Alex McDonough. This continues to gnaw at me, given the excellence of these thirteen stories, which includes three of her fantasy series-characters, Scorpia and Arcana and Morrien, with a new story of the last as the book's one original publication. Well-illustrated by Stephen Fabian, it's a volume worth seeking out, and it needs a companion. Even in what little we have of her, she's one of the best sword and sorcery writers and one of the better horror writers we've seen.
A full-color page from the next Jane Quiet adventure (Quiet's future clients pictured rather than she herself; click to enlarge considerably):
And my friend Kate, K. A. Laity, and her friend Elena Steier decided to collaborate on a comic, as noted above, about a psychic investigator named in honor of John Silence; they decided further the challenge along by making this first adventure, at least, one with no dialog whatsoever, allowing Jane Quiet to live up to her name, at least as far as speaking was concerned. Steier's one proviso, as Laity notes in the introduction on the inside front cover, was that the monster be kick-ass...and so it is, as Lovecraftian (though, unlike HPL's, actually visible and seen in detail) as Mike Mignola (Hellboy) could ask for. Quiet and her confederates investigate the events that have killed one teen girl and hospitalized another, seemingly (to the survivor's terrified parents; we the "readers" are less uncertain) involving their daughter and her friend's dabbling in black magic. (Injokes: Quiet's office and probable residence is in a building that also might just house Algernon Blackwood, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Edith Wharton, or their ghosts; from some angles and in some panels, Steier draws Quiet to resemble Laity.) Things don't all go the way Quiet and company hope, but the ending, in yet another coincidence I've belatedly realized, rather reverses the situation found in Leiber's "A Deskful of Girls" (the cover story in the ridiculously good issue of F&SF detailed above). This issue, too, is great fun, and worth the procurement effort, if your local comics store is so foolish as to not have it at hand. Laity might be the literary child of Angela Carter and Peter Cook and Italo Calvino, and Steier the artistic child of Trina Robbins and Gahan Wilson and Jules Feiffer, and there's not a little dash of Joan Aiken in both, but none of that estranges them at all from the work of the other women too insufficiently celebrated here...
...and did I happen to mention that I recently picked up a 1955 issue of the Cornell-based little magazine Epoch with some of the very young Joanna Russ's poetry in it? Inasmuch as it also has stories by R. V. Cassil and Lysander Kemp, it could've been an issue of F&SF as easily as Epoch, though the Philip Roth story would nudge it more in the Partisan Review direction (a 1962 issue I bought along with the elder features just two long stories by two young men just getting their legs at the time, Ronald Sukenick and Tom Pynchon, as the latter signs himself...this would also be the magazine which, a few years later, published the career-jump-starter for Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"). Eh, later.
The Collected Stories of Carol Emshwiller, Volume 1, edited by Luis Ortiz and Carol Emshwiller (Non-Stop Press 2011, cover painting by Ed Emshwiller)
contents courtesy of Non-Stop Press:
Table of Contents:
Foreword by Carol Emshwiller
Built For Pleasure (Long Island Suburban, November 1954)
The Victim (Smashing Detective,Vol. 4, No. 2, September 1955)
This Thing Called Love (Future Science Fiction, no. 28, December 1955)
Love Me Again (Science Fiction Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 2, February 1956)
The Piece Thing (Science Fiction Quarterly, May 1956)
Bingo And Bongo (Future Science Fiction, #31, Winter 1956-1957)
Nightmare Call (Future Science Fiction, No. 32, Spring 1957)
Murray Is For Murder (Fast Action Detective and Mystery, March 1957)
The Coming (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 1957)
Hunting Machine (Science Fiction Stories, May 1957)
Hands (Double-Action Detective, #7, Summer, 1957)
You’ll Feel Better… (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1957)
Two-Step For Six Legs (Science Fiction Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2, August 1957)
Baby (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1958)
Idol’s Eye (Future Science Fiction, #35, February 1958)
Pelt (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November 1958)
Day At The Beach (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 1959)
Puritan Planet (Science Fiction Stories, January 1960)
But Soft What Light… (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1966)
Chicken Icarus (Cavalier, October 1966)
Eohippus (Transatlantic Review, 1967)
Sex and/or Mr. Morrison (Dangerous Visions, ed. Harlan Ellison, Doubleday, 1967)
Krashaw (A City Sampler, July 1967)
Lib (Triquarterly, 1968; New Worlds, March 1968)
Animal (Orbit 4, ed. Damon Knight, G.P. Putnam, 1968)
Methapyrilene Hydrochloride Sometimes Helps (New Worlds, July 1968)
White Dove (New Worlds, No. 188, March 1969)
I Love You (Epoch, vol. xix, no. 1, 1969)
The Queen of Sleep (New Directions, Vol. 22; New Worlds, 1970)
Peninsula (The Richmond Review, 1970)
Debut (Orbit 6, ed. D. Knight, G.P. Putnam, 1970)
The Institute (Alchemy and Academe, ed. Anne McCaffrey, Doubleday, 1970)
A Possible Episode In The Picaresque Adventures Of Mr. J.H.B. Monstrosee (Quark/2, Paperback Library, February 1971)
Woman Waiting (Orbit 7, ed. D. Knight, G.P. Putnam, 1970)
Yes, Virginia (Transatlantic Review, 1971)
Al (Orbit 10, ed. D. Knight, G.P. Putnam, 1972)
Strangers (Bad Moon Rising, ed. Thomas Disch, Harper & Row, 1973)
The Childhood of the Human Hero (Showcase, Harper & Row, 1973)
Autobiography (Joy In Our Cause, a Carol Emshwiller collection, Harper & Row, 1974)
Maybe Another Long March Across China 80,000 Strong (Joy In Our Cause, Harper & Row, 1974)
Joy in Our Cause (Joy In Our Cause, Harper & Row, 1974)
Biography of an Uncircumcised Man (Including Interview) (Joy In Our Cause, Harper & Row, 1974)
To the Association (Joy In Our Cause, Harper & Row, 1974)
Destinations, Premonitions and the Nature of Anxiety (Joy In Our Cause, Harper & Row, 1974)
Dog Is Dead (Joy In Our Cause, Harper & Row, 1974)
One Part Of The Self Is Always Tall And Dark (Confrontation No. 14, 1977)
Escape Is No Accident (2076: The American Tricentennial, ed. Edward Bryant, Pyramid Books, 1977)
Thanne Longen Folk To Goen On Pilgrimages (The Little Magazine, vol. 11, no. 2, summer 1977)
Expecting Sunshine and Getting It (Croton Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, summer 1978)
Omens (Edges, ed. Ursula Le Guin and Virginia Kidd, Pocket Books, 1980)
Abominable (Orbit 21, ed. D. Knight, Harper & Row, 1980)
The Start Of The End Of It All (Universe 11, ed. Terry Carr, Doubleday, 1981)
Slowly Bumbling in the Void (New Directions 42, 1981)
Queen Kong (13th Moon, 1982)
The Futility of Fixed Positions (Portland Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1982)
Mental Health and Its Alternative (Confrontation, Nos. 25-26, 1983)
Verging on the Pertinent (13th Moon, Vol. vii, Nos. 1-2, 1984)
There Is No God But Bog (Pulpsmith, Summer 1985)
Eclipse (The Little Magazine, vol. 15, no. 2, 1986)
The Circular Library of Stones (Omni, Feb. 1987)
If Not Forever, When? (PsychCritique, vol. 2, no. 2, 1987)
Vilcabamba (Twilight Zone Magazine, August 1987)
Fledged (Omni, December 1988)
The Promise Of Undying Love (Verging on the Pertinent, a Carol Emshwiller collection, Coffee House Press, 1989)
What Every Woman Knows (Verging on the Pertinent, Coffee House Press, 1989)
Not Burning (Verging on the Pertinent, Coffee House Press, 1989)
Being Mysterious Strangers from Distant Shores (The Village Voice Literary Supplement, March 1989)
Clerestory (Croton Review, No. 9)
Living At The Center (Ice River, No. 4, June 1989)
Yukon (Verging on the Pertinent, Coffee House Press, 1989)
As If (Verging on the Pertinent, Coffee House Press, 1989)
Secrets of the Native Tongue (Ascent, vol. 14, no. 3, 1989)
Moon Songs (The Start of the End of it All, a Carol Emshwiller collection, The Women’s Press, 1990)
Acceptance Speech (The Start of the End of It All, The Women’s Press, 1990)
Looking Down (Omni, January 1990)
Peri (Strange Plasma #3 1990)
If The Word Was To The Wise (The Start of the End of It All, Mercury House, 1991)
There Is No Evil Angel But Love (The Start of the End of It All, Mercury House, 1991)
Draculalucard (The Start of the End of It All, Mercury House 1991)
Emissary (The Start of the End of It All, Mercury House 1991)
Mrs. Jones (Omni, August 1993)
Venus Rising (Edgewood Press, 1992, a chapbook)
Modillion (Strange Plasma, no. 8 1994; Green Mountain Review, 1994)
After Shock (Century, no.3, September-October 1995)
The Project (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 2001)
Foster Mother (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 2001)
Creature (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Oct./Nov. 2001)
Grandma (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 2002)
Notes On Stories
About The Author
from the Locus Index:
A Witch’s Dozen by Janet Fox (Wildside Press/W. Paul Ganley 1-59224-048-8, Jul 2003, $30.00, 175pp, hc, cover by Stephen E. Fabian) Collection of 13 fantasy and horror stories, one original. This is a print-on-demand edition, co-published by Wildside Press and W. Paul Ganley. Paperback edition also available.
7 · Witches · ss Tales by Moonlight, ed. Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Robert T. Garcia, 1983
19 · Small Magic · ss Amazing Jan ’82
41 · In the Kingdom of the Thorn [Scorpia] · ss Whispers Oct ’83
52 · A Witch in Time [Arcana] · ss Fantastic Sep ’73
68 · Demon and Demoiselle [Arcana] · nv Fantastic Oct ’78
88 · Morrien’s Bitch [Morrien & Riska] · ss Amazons!, ed. Jessica Amanda Salmonson, DAW, 1979
106 · Screaming to Get Out · ss Weirdbook #12 ’77
113 · Valentine · ss Shadows #2, ed. Charles L. Grant, Doubleday, 1979
123 · Taking Care of Bertie · ss Eldritch Tales #11 ’85
130 · The Skins You Love to Touch · ss Shadows #9, ed. Charles L. Grant, Doubleday, 1986
136 · Garage Sale · ss Twilight Zone Aug ’82
142 · Surrogate · ss Fears, ed. Charles L. Grant, Berkley, 1983
149 · Alliances [Morrien & Riska] · nv *
from the Contento index:
Mister Da V. and Other Stories Kit Reed (London: Faber and Faber, 1967, 21/-, 219pp, hc); Also in pb (Berkley Medallion Jul ’73).
11 · To Be Taken in a Strange Country [“The Wait”] · ss F&SF Apr ’58
31 · Devotion · ss F&SF Jun ’58
42 · The Reign of Tarquin the Tall · ss F&SF Jul ’58
59 · Ordeal [“The Quest”] · nv Fantastic Universe Jan ’60
(70) · Judas Bomb · ss F&SF Apr ’61 (in the pb)
95 · Piggy · ss F&SF Aug ’61
113 · Mister Da V. · ss Seventeen May ’62
128 · The New You · ss F&SF Sep ’62
141 · Automatic Tiger · ss F&SF Mar ’64
(136) · I Am Through with Bus Trips · ss *
172 · Golden Acres · nv *
195 · At Central · ss *
209 · Janell Harmon’s Testament · ss *
Script by K. A. Laity; art by Elena Steier; published in 2008 by Steier and Laity; 40pp.
Aside from the images of the review items (from their publishers' sites), images courtesy of Galactic Central or ISFDb and their Visco files.
There were two booksellers set up at the NoirCon, a biannual convention wherein I managed (between work obligations, social obligations, and simple exhaustion) to catch about a third of the planned events, at least those at the Society Hill Playhouse. Happily, I did get to meet, non-virtually, Patti and Phil Abbott, Scott Cupp, and Cullen Gallagher, as well as a small slew of other writers and fans (Howard Rodman, the younger, was startled to see me, as I apparently strongly resemble a lifelong friend of his; my response to this was to say, in regard to his friend's regard, "Poor bastard!"). I dropped some change with both sets of booksellers, a number of items, including the promise of Damned Near Dead II, from the new-book vendor, Farley's (based in New Hope), and found myself gravitating toward some decent-condition pulps with the used-book dealers, slightly overpaying for a couple of Weird Tales issues and a Fantastic Adventures.
(As I write, a bulletin comes across NPR noting the merger of Newsweek and The Daily Beast..."Newsbeast" will be all over search engines by midnight.)(Tina Brown has become the first female editor of Newsweek...which at this late date seems a bit odd, particularly as it was under the control of Katherine Graham for quite some time. Certainly, all three of the major US fantasy-fiction magazines on the stands in 1950, Weird Tales, Fantastic Adventures, and Famous Fantastic Mysteries and its stablemate Fantastic Novels, were under women's direction at least in part, between McIlwraith at WT, FA and Amazing managing editor and primary editorial writer and letter-column conductor [Ms.] L. E. Shaffer, and editor Mary Gnaedinger at FFM and FN. But, then, of course, literature has always been More Trivial than Rilly Important Badly-Written news analysis, no? And pulp-magazine fantasy literature...I mean, really...how infra-dig.)
And the two I choose to consider here are among the best issues the two magazines published...the 25th Anniversary issue of WT and the FA featuring Robert Bloch's novella "The Dead Don't Die!" and Theodore Sturgeon's "The Travelling Crag," along with decent or better stories by notable writers, including the best (by some distance--with the possible exception of editor Howard Browne himself) of the Ziff-Davis group of space-fillers, Philadelphia's own William P. McGivern.
Perhaps not so oddly, both magazines feature notable contributions by Bloch and Sturgeon, two of the more revolutionary writers in fantasy and horror, among other forms, of the day. The anniverasry issue of Weird Tales did its best to favor shorter work, so as to cram as many of the notable contributors to both the Farnsworth Wright (Dorothy McIlwraith's predecessor, who was mostly responsible in his cantankerous way for highlighting the work of Seabury Quinn, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Edmond Hamilton, Carl Jacobi and Clark Ashton Smith; Wright resigned for health reasons in 1940 after sixteen years) and the current regime (McIlwraith was mostly responsible for the prominence given the mature or post-slavishly-Lovecraftian work of Robert Bloch, and for featuring Manly Wade Wellman, Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, Theodore Sturgeon, and such now-underappreciated contributors as Alison V. Harding and, in the last years leading up the magazine's first folding in 1954, Margaret St. Clair and Joseph Payne Brennan). Algernon Blackwood and H. Russell Wakefield being examples of horror-fiction writers, already well-established outside the magazine, who were drawn to contibute to WT throughout its original run. August Derleth, already well-established as regionalist and historical-fiction writer, became the most thoroughly enmeshed of this group of writers, as the greatest champion (and arguably also greatest corruptor!) of Lovecraft's legacy, but also a great friend of many other WT writers, through his and his partner Donald Wandrei's small press Arkham House.
This issue, once one is past the handsome cover by Lee Brown Coye (and the Listerine as scalp tonic ad on the inside--bacteria as dandruff-instigator...hmmm), one finds the editorial column largely given over to reminisces by Derleth and Quinn (the latter the most popular writer in the magazine in the Wright years, largely unread today except by pulp fans). I've just started Edmond Hamilton's story, but it feels so far like the kind of thoughtful, often even morose "weird-scientific" fiction of which he was the star provider for WT...though certainly both HPL and CA Smith would skirt that area often enough, and not they alone. (Hamilton saved most of his world-wrecking adventure mode for the more purely sf magazines.) Wakefield's "Ghost Hunt" is the first at least midly famous story from this issue, perhaps less for its own sake than as the source of a rather influential episode of the CBS Radio series Suspense, and in turn as perhaps at least partial inspiration for any number of "documentary" explorations of haunted houses, "live" on radio or television or in the surviving found footage from missing student filmmakers. The most widely-read and, in adaptation, -seen stories from the balance of the issue include what's probably still Bradbury's best suspense story, "The October Game," which is followed immediately by a solid Bloch story, "Catnip"--both widely reprinted, and "Catnip" adapted for the good television anthology series Darkroom; the Bradbury was included in the one early volume of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Random House book series not ghost-edited by Robert Arthur so much as by NBC censors, Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do on TV. Lovecraft's contribution is a minor, rather sing-song, but not terrible, poem; Smith's unusually late story involves sinister crabs (an inspiration for Guy Smith?). Sturgeon's "The Professor's Teddy Bear" is another rather widely-reprinted story, and with good reason, as it packs an remarkable amount of unease into its few words; the Blackwood wraps the magazine (one of his BBC reading stories?) and is handsomely illustrated by Boris Dolgov...in fact, Coye, Dolgov and John Giunta are consistently impressive throughout.
Three years later, and for five cents more (over thirty more but less-text-heavy pages), Fantastic Adventures offers a rather less well-composed cover (Robert Gibson Jones could certainly paint a woman figure to the cheesecake standards asked of him, but his women characters tend to seem midly suprised or a bit put out by the supernatural menaces that have snared them). But this issue offers an even better Robert Bloch story, this one a long novelet about latter-day zombies (well before the creatures were beaten back up out of the ground), and the superior illustrator Virgil Finlay has a bit of fun, as well, in portraying the protagonist as Robert Bloch, himself. This story has been collected several times, including fairly recently in Stephen Jones's The Mammoth Book of Zombies, and was adapted for a 1975 television movie, title dropping the exclamation mark (Ziff-Davis magazines in those years loved exclamation points)...post Romero, and post the great success of The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler as tv movies, among a few others. The Sturgeon, a shorter novelet, is not quite up to his best, but is still readable if a little too easily jocular at first (the kind of exercise a writer doest to get himself going at the keyboard, and this story does date from a period in which Sturgeon was fighting out of his first great writer's block. I've not yet had an opportunity to read the Clifford Simak or Walt Sheldon stories, but their presence in this issue, when surrounding issues are full of contributions from the usual Z-D stable under the usual set of pseudonyms, most issues lightly sprinkled with "outsider" contributions but rarely so much as in this issue, makes me wonder if the famously casual editor Howard Browne wanted to make a few genuinely good issues, in part as illustration, for office-planning/argument's sake, of what he would eventually do with the semi-slick, well-budgeted and fitfully impressive new magazine Fantastic Z-D would first offer in 1952. Ziff and Davis had briefly considering upgrading the packages of Fantastic Adventures and sfnal stablemate Amazing in 1950, perhaps in part in response to the greater sales other competing upgraded established sf titles were seeing, and the mild splash made by the new Magazine of Fantasy (which added "and Science Fiction" to its title witht he second issue), particularly the smashing commercial success of the upgraded Startling Stories and the new Galaxy in 1950-51. But also notable in this issue is that the best of the Z-D stable, young McGivern, not yet ready to strike out on his own with such novels as The Big Heat and Odds Against Tomorrow, and the reliable and occasionally impressive Rog Phillips, along with the ubiquitous and tolerable Paul Fairman (who would succeed Browne as an even more casual editor of the Z-D fiction group, and then move on to a stint as managing editor at Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine after B.G. Davis quit Z-D and bought EQMM to start his new Davis Publications with), are the only "regulars" to contribute fiction, as distinct from the usual many notional filler articles...and while Phillips's is a pleasant, unremarkable bit of whimsey (and the Fairman unsuprisingly less than that), the McGivern is an engaging and slightly haunting bit of surrealism that neatly foreshadows the early major story by Thomas Disch, "Descending" (in Cele Lalli's consistently interesting Fantastic in 1964)...only in the latter, the central metaphor is a protagonist coping with a Kafkaesque array of endlessly descending escalators, while in the McGivern, the protagonist is trapped in a building where the elevator will only go, endlessly, upward...a no more cheering prospect, if less freighted with literary reference in this story than is the Disch. The illustrations in the issue are all professional and usually amusing enough, albeit except for the inside-joking Finlay not as distinctive as the WT geniuses...no doubt in response to editorial policy.
(Indices courtesy of ISFDb)
Title: Weird Tales, March 1948
Editor: Dorothy McIlwraith
Publisher: Weird Tales (Short Stories, Inc.)
Cover: Lee Brown Coye
Notes: Vol. 40, No. 3.
Interior art credit for "The House" per Jaffery & Cook The Collector's Index to Weird Tales
2 • Weird Tales (masthead) • (1941) • interior artwork by Hannes Bok
3 • The Eyrie (Weird Tales, March 1948) • [The Eyrie] • essay by Dorothy McIlwraith
3 • 25th Anniversary Issue • essay by August Derleth
3 • Weird Tales, a Retrospect • essay by Seabury Quinn
4 • The Might-Have-Been • novelette by Edmond Hamilton
5 • The Might-Have-Been • interior artwork by Lee Brown Coye
16 • Ghost Hunt • shortstory by H. Russell Wakefield
16 • Ghost Hunt • interior artwork by Lee Brown Coye
19 • Ghost Hunt • interior artwork by E. J. Beaumont
20 • The Leonardo Rondache • [John Thurnstone] • shortstory by Manly Wade Wellman
20 • The Leonardo Rondache • interior artwork by Boris Dolgov
27 • The House • (1920) • poem by H. P. Lovecraft
27 • The House • interior artwork by Boris Dolgov
28 • The Coming of M. Alkerhaus • novelette by Allison V. Harding
29 • The Coming of M. Alkerhaus • interior artwork by John Giunta
38 • The La Prello Paper • (1948) • shortstory by Carl Jacobi
38 • The La Prello Paper • interior artwork by John Giunta
44 • Something in Wood • shortstory by August Derleth
44 • Something in Wood • interior artwork by Boris Dolgov
52 • The October Game • (1948) • shortstory by Ray Bradbury
52 • The October Game • interior artwork by Lee Brown Coye
57 • Catnip • (1948) • shortstory by Robert Bloch
57 • Catnip • interior artwork by Boris Dolgov
64 • The Master of the Crabs • (1934) • shortstory by Clark Ashton Smith
64 • The Master of the Crabs • interior artwork by Lee Brown Coye
72 • The Professor's Teddy Bear • shortstory by Theodore Sturgeon (aka The Professor's Teddy-Bear)
72 • The Professor's Teddy Bear • interior artwork by Lee Brown Coye
78 • The Merrow • (1948) • shortstory by Seabury Quinn
78 • The Merrow • interior artwork by Lee Brown Coye
87 • Roman Remains • shortstory by Algernon Blackwood
87 • Roman Remains • interior artwork by Boris Dolgov
Title: Fantastic Adventures, July 1951
Editor: Howard Browne
Publisher: Ziff-Davis Publishing Company
Cover: Robert Gibson Jones
Notes: Volume 13, Number 7.
Cover suggested by "The Dead Don't Die!".
Managing Editor L. E. Shaffer initials the editorial with the initials 'LES'.
Interior artwork credited for each story on the table of contents.
Contents (view Concise Listing)
fep • Men Behind Fantastic Adventures: Robert Bloch • essay by Robert Bloch
6 • The Editor's Notebook (Fantastic Adventures, July 1951) • [The Editor's Notebook (Fantastic Adventures)] • essay by L. E. Shaffer
7 • The Moon? Maybe . . . • essay by Henry Bott [as by Charles Recour ]
7 • Beyond the Veil . . . • essay by John Weston
8 • The Dead Don't Die! • novella by Robert Bloch
8 • The Dead Don't Die! • interior artwork by Virgil Finlay
23 • The Dead Don't Die!  • interior artwork by Virgil Finlay
54 • The Magic Transformation • essay by E. Bruce Yaches
54 • Too Good to Be Used! • essay by Pearl Miller
55 • The Cancerous Virus! • essay by Carter T. Wainwright
55 • How Deep Is the Ocean . . .? • essay by Merritt Linn
56 • There's No Way Out! • shortstory by William P. McGivern
56 • There's No Way Out! • interior artwork by Frank Navarro
64 • Just Bleed Old Mother Earth • essay by Salem Lane
65 • "You're Crazy, Doc!" • essay by Sandy Miller
65 • The Zeroth Law! • essay by Jon Barry
66 • The President Will See You . . . • shortstory by Rog Phillips
66 • The President Will See You . . . • interior artwork by Murphy Anderson
71 • Law of the Universe • essay by Peter Dakin
71 • Older Even than Methuselah • essay by U. Arteaux
72 • "You'll Never Go Home Again!" • interior artwork by Leo Ramon Summers
72 • "You'll Never Go Home Again!" • shortstory by Clifford D. Simak (aka Beachhead) [as by Clifford Simak ]
87 • The Universe of Hoyle • essay by John Fletcher
88 • Witness for the Defense • shortstory by Paul W. Fairman
88 • Witness for the Defense • interior artwork by Frank Navarro
93 • "Science and Life" • essay by William Karney
93 • Celestial Rock-Crusher • essay by Jonathon Peterson
94 • Mission Deferred • shortstory by Walt Sheldon
94 • Mission Deferred • interior artwork by Robert Gibson Jones
99 • Preview of Creation! • essay by Lee Owens
99 • The Shrinking Planet • essay by Dale Lord
100 • The Traveling Crag • novelette by Theodore Sturgeon
100 • The Traveling Crag • interior artwork by Lawrence
122 • Reader's Page (Fantastic Adventures, July 1951) • [Reader's Page (Fantastic Adventures)] • letter column conducted by L. E. Shaffer; letters from L. Sprague de Camp and several others
126 • Want to Race? • essay by Frederic Booth
126 • Panacea --- or Phoney? • essay by June Lurie
127 • Spoor from Space! • essay by A. T. Kedzie
128 • The Dying Skyscraper . . . • essay by Jack Winter
For more of Friday's "Forgotten" Books, please look to the guest example from Jeff Segal to post above mine later this morning, and, on most weeks, to Patti Abbott's blog .
from the Contento indices:
Fine Frights: Stories that Scared Me ed. Ramsey Campbell (Tor 0-812-51670-2, Aug ’88 [Jul ’88], $3.95, 309pp, pb) Anthology of 12 horror stories.
ix · Introduction · Ramsey Campbell · in
1 · Child’s Play · Villy Sørensen; trans. by Maureen Neiiendam · ss Strange Stories, 1956
15 · More Sinned Against · Karl Edward Wagner · ss In a Lonely Place, Scream/Press, 1984
43 · Lost Memory · Peter Phillips · ss Galaxy May ’52
67 · The Fifth Mask · Shamus Frazer · nv London Mystery Magazine #33 ’57
91 · The Horror at Chilton Castle · Joseph Payne Brennan · nv Scream at Midnight, New Haven, CT: Macabre Press, 1963
119 · The Clerks of Domesday · John Brunner · nv *
157 · Thurnley Abbey · Perceval Landon · ss Raw Edges, Heinemann, 1908
187 · Cutting Down · Bob Shaw · ss Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Dec ’82
219 · The Necromancer [as by Ingulphus] · Arthur Gray · ss The Cambridge Review Oct 17 ’12
235 · The Greater Festival of Masks · Thomas Ligotti · ss Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Silver Scarab Press, 1985
251 · The War Is Over · David Case · ss *
269 · Upon the Dull Earth · Philip K. Dick · nv Beyond Fantasy Fiction #9 ’54
Uncollected Stars ed. Piers Anthony, Martin H. Greenberg, Barry N. Malzberg & Charles G. Waugh (Avon 0-380-89596-X, Feb ’86 [Jan ’86], $3.50, 312pp, pb) Anthology of 16 previously uncollected stories, with a foreword by Anthony and an afterword by Malzberg.
1 · Introduction · Piers Anthony · in
6 · Time Enough · Lewis Padgett · ss Astounding Dec ’46
26 · The Soul-Empty Ones · Walter M. Miller, Jr. · nv Astounding Aug ’51
62 · Defender of the Faith · Alfred Coppel · ss Science Fiction Quarterly Nov ’52
76 · All of You · James V. McConnell · ss Beyond Fantasy Fiction Jul ’53
82 · The Holes · Michael Shaara · ss Fantastic Jun ’54
91 · Beast in the House · Michael Shaara · ss Orbit #4 ’54
102 · Little Boy [as by Harry Neal] · Jerome Bixby · ss If Oct ’54
116 · Unwillingly to School [Lizzie Lee] · Pauline Ashwell · nv Astounding Jan ’58
163 · Brother Robot · Henry Slesar · ss Amazing May ’58
178 · The Risk Profession · Donald E. Westlake · nv Amazing Mar ’61
205 · The Stuff · Henry Slesar · ss Galaxy Aug ’61
211 · Arcturus Times Three [Jerry Norcriss] · Jack Sharkey · nv Galaxy Oct ’61
244 · They Are Not Robbed · Richard M. McKenna · nv F&SF Jan ’68
275 · The Creatures of Man · Verge Foray · ss If May ’68
291 · Only Yesterday · Ted White · ss Amazing Jul ’69
301 · An Agent in Place · Laurence M. Janifer · ss Analog May ’73
311 · Afterword · Barry N. Malzberg · aw
from the Paperback Swap citation (which refers to "Manjunt" magazine)
Uncollected Crimes, edited by Bill Pronzini and Martin Harry Greenberg, fiction contents (w/o accounting the introduction, etc.)
Publisher: Berkley Pub Group
Book Type: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780425116135 - ISBN-10: 0425116131
Publication Date: 6/1/1989
(after the Walker hardcover, 1987)
[original publication sources taken from Contento/Stephensen-Payne indices and The Thrilling Detective citations of the individual stories, for the most part, when I could find such citations.]
Two O'Clock Blonde -- James M. Cain (Manhunt, August 1953)
Riddle of the Marble Blade -- Stuart Palmer ([Hildegarde Withers], nv Mystery Magazine, Nov 1934; reprinted The Saint Detective Magazine [UK] Nov 1962)
The $5,000 Getaway -- Jack Ritchie (ss Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine May '59)
Squealer -- John D. MacDonald (Manhunt, vol. 4 # 5, May 1956)
The Cackle Bladder -- William Campbell Gault (originally as “The Corpse and the Cackle-Bladder”, nv Detective Tales Mar 1950; reprinted Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine [Australian Edition] Jan 1961)
Everybody Needs a Mink -- Dorothy B. Hughes (ss The Saint Mystery Magazine [UK] Jun 1965; The Saint Mystery Magazine [US] Jul 1965)
I Still See Sally -- John Jakes
Homecoming -- Michael Collins
The Deadly Mrs. Haversham -- Helen Nielsen (AHMM, Apr. 1958)
The Problem of the County Fair -- Edward D. Hoch ([Dr. Sam Hawthorne], ss EQMM Feb 1978)
The Tree on Execution Hill -- Loren D. Estleman (ss AHMM Aug 1977)
Bank Job -- Bill Pronzini (August 1978, EQMM)
Discount Fare -- John Lutz (AHMM, April 1979)
Consolation -- Ed McBain (1976, Mystery Monthly)
While Ramsey Campbell was recalling the "lost" stories that had made the greatest impression on him, Martin Greenberg and his collaborators sought out the stories that had never been collected in book form (I could dig out online the magazine appearances for the Unollected Crimes stories faster than I could dig out my copy from storage and copy from the acknowledgements page, I suspect, though maybe not--the only one I'd read in its original magazine appearance was Pronzini's own "Bank Job," in one of the first Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazines I purchased off the newsstand)...so the average quality of the Campbell is greater, but all three books will amply reward the Forgotten Books reader's efforts in finding them...it's almost but not quite an inevitable irony that all of these have fallen out of print, in their efforts to revive interest (Barry Malzberg, never one to let an irony slip away from him, has noted that this was the first book published under Piers Anthony's byline not to earn out its advance--I certainly picked up my copy from a huge remaindered stack in a bookstore, a relative rarity for a mass-market paperback...and, I note, nearly a quarter century later [time does fly] Anthony is now a less potent commercial force than he was in the '80s and has less presence in the marketplace than Greenberg, if still a fair amount in print).
The notion that these might be rare treasures or near-(enough-)treasures, often from writers whose careers (at least in the fields the anthologies collect) were unfairly and/or unfortunately brief, is perhaps just not a sufficient motivation to the casual readership, however much it might draw readers such as you or me. The supporting material is useful and interesting in each volume, if thinner than one would like in a few instances (and most amusingly the editors of Stars are not afraid to disagree with and correct each other in their notes.) All three, in the paperback editions (Crimes had a hardcover edition, too...from Pronzini's publisher Walker & Co. in 1987) were produced using acid-soaked paper, undistinguished at best covers (see above), and rather weak bindings (even for paperbacks of their era), so somewhat battered examples of the books are more likely than near-mint ones. But any books that will give you examples of solid work by good, and sometimes even continuingly famous, artists in the fields, and such bonuses in the Campbell as the best unfamous story by Joseph Payne Brennan I've read (and one of the best by him, better than such well-known items as "Gavagan's Back Yard") and Philip Dick's brilliant "Upon the Dull Earth" (I first read it here), are worth the quick search and reasonable expense online or at your favorite well-stocked second-hand store.
For much more prompt Friday "Forgotten" Books, see George Kelley's blog, where the vacationing Patti Abbott has apparently made her displeasure with Suicide Girl mascots for the FFB known...
Neglected Visions is an interesting anthology in several ways, not least in being a fine collection of short fiction, much of it previously uncollected and all of it out of print at time of publication in 1979; also, it was the first collaborative anthology between prolific anthologists (and frequent collaborators) Barry Malzberg and Martin Harry Greenberg (Barry, whom I've quizzed briefly about this book, remembers Joseph Olander's role as being relatively slight, and that Olander was approaching his retirement from work with Greenberg), as well as being a relatively early book in both their compilation careers. Also unusually, Malzberg and Greenberg/Olander take credit for discrete selections here, with Barry putting in the Mark Clifton, Kris Neville, Peter Phillips, Norman Kagan and F.L. Wallace stories, and his collaborators including the Christopher Anvil, Randall Garrett, Robert Abernathy and Wyman Guin items. Along with getting one more story in, Malzberg also provides a general introduction, and the selectors switch off introducing the stories themselves. Malzberg and Greenberg would do something altogether similar again in Uncollected Stars (Avon, 1986), which I briefly reviewed sometime back, with collaborators Piers Anthony and Charles G. Waugh (in that same review I cited Ramsey Campbell's Fine Frights, which shares the Phillips story with this one...the only story among them I'd read before picking up Neglected Visions).
None of these stories are particularly well-known even among most fantasy and sf "insiders" with the possible exception of Randall Garrett's remarkably thoroughly worked-out "The Hunting Lodge" (a breathless adventure of an assassin's attempt to kill one of the nearly-immortal "senators" who have divvied up North America into personal fiefdoms), a work cited by James Blish as well as the editors here as a jewel, sadly rare in the torrent of facile work he produced to order to fill the pages of Astounding Science Fiction in the latter 1950s and early 1960s, when editor John W. Campbell, Jr. seemed to have grown weary of his task, and was often editing on autopilot (Garrett, by himself and in collaboration particularly with Robert Silverberg or Lawrence Janifer and often under pseudonynms, apparently appeared more times in the magazine than any other contributor of fiction). Garrett would actually try again with his frequently impressive Lord D'Arcy stories in the early '60s and onward (among scattered other examples of solid or better work), but old hacking habits died hard. This cover inspired a lot of machismic discomfort in the sf-fan community at the time, inspiring jokes about, ho ho, the model being John Campbell's "wife"...
Big Digression: It's little wonder that along with the winnowing of the flood of digest-sized sf and fantasy magazines that popped up in the early 1950s to augment the pulp titles, with opportunist publishers aware of the success of the new Galaxy (particularly), Fantastic and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the reinvigorated, more mature and briefly more successful than ever Startling Stories and its stablemates, that Earl Kemp's Who Killed Science Fiction? struck such a chord in 1960, as the book publishers were pulling back from their experiments with sf in the early '50s, the potential for ever more mature, well-written and adventurous sf seemed to be disappearing, and as Astounding and Galaxy languished [along with the latter's newly-purchased stablemate, If, treated as a commercial step-sibling] even as they continued to include good and better fiction with the mediocre and worse, F&SF under Robert Mills was the blandest it would be for decades, if still good [Mills had done better at the shortlived companion Venture Science Fiction previously], and Fantastic and Amazing were only beginning to recover from the utterly disinterested editorship of Paul W. Fairman, under his former assistant, the green but adventurous Cele Goldsmith...and all the other magazines in the field were dead by the end of 1960, H.S. Santesson's Fantastic Universe (the last issue had a garish cover and the beginning of a serialization of The Mind Thing by Fredric Brown and stories by Robert Bloch and Jorge Luis Borges; it was a stablemate of the US edition of The Saint Mystery Magazine, which Santesson also began editing in '59, succeeding Sam Merwin, who had edited Startling and would move on to Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine) and Robert A. W. Lowndes's Science Fiction (the last title of the Columbia pulp and digest chain, publishers of some of the last crime-fiction and western pulps and the last sports-fiction pulp) being the last stragglers to fold. End of digression, pretty much.
The book begins with a story by retired psychologist Mark Clifton, who turned to sf as a medium for social criticism with vigor, but also (as Malzberg notes) with a keen commercial sense of how to appeal to his primary editor, John Campbell, by writing the kind of stories (about psionic abilities and other ESP-related matters) that JWC was particularly fascinated by in the early to mid 1950s; with "Clerical Error," Clifton was able to strenuously criticize specifically his former profession and the adjoining one of psychiatry, the government cult of classified information, and the tension between actual creative thought and survival in bureaucracy, essentially all matters close to Campbell's heart as well; Barry suspects the rather easy ending was created either in anticipation of Campbell's desire for such, or at his editorial command. The story has not aged badly, as, ridiculously, the degree of these problems hasn't lessened in the slightest since 1956, where it hasn't worsened. Barry has been championing Clifton fairly consistently since the latter 1970s, at least, and has been instrumental in bringing at least some of his work back into print, though the collection (co-edited with Greenberg), The Science Fiction of Mark Clifton (Southern Illinois University Press, 1980), as Barry recalls, sold less than 700 copies--not that SIU Press did much to support it. Clifton's novel with Frank Riley, They'd Rather Be Right, won the second Hugo Award given to a novel, in 1955.
"Christopher Anvil" (Harry Crosby)'s "Mind Partner" is also a story about madness, identity and perception, by another "pet" writer of Campbell's, though perhaps it's notable that this story, which Barry suggests is Anvil's best and it's certainly the best I've read by him, was published in Frederik Pohl's Galaxy instead. This one offers a private investigator trying to help bust an apparent drug ring, who move from mostly well-appointed house to house, but leaving a wake of despondent, psychotic addicts whenever authorities close in but fail to apprehend them. It turns out the pushers can alter perception in remarkably labyrinthine ways, including those of anyone who threatens them; our protagonist goes through a not quite recursive set of experiences as dark (in implication often more than in incident) and as well-told as the best of Philip Dick's similar work, and even though this was not one of Barry's choices, it's certainly akin to Malzberg's work in this mode, as well. Like the Clifton, it has a rather too-neat ending, but remains strange and engaging throughout.
Kris Neville's "Ballenger's People" is the story in the book closest to Malzberg's heart, "the best thing [Neville] has ever written and the best American short story published in its crazy year." as he puts it in the story's headnote; yesterday, he noted in email, "[It] had an enormous influence on my work; I read it at exactly the right time (1967 when published in Galaxy)." It tells the story of a man named Ballenger, whom we discover contains multitudes as well as a pure and abiding love for a percussionist named Angelique and, not irrelevantly, a bone to pick with a Columbia Record Club-style company he had bought his previous love-interest's videotapes from. It is a deft study of not quite functional madness and its affects on those around the madness or treating with their own less obvious sort, akin to both Malzberg's work and Robert Coover's, among others'. And thus, it, too, as is the Garrett which follows, to a great extent another story about identity, perception of identity, and distortion.
"Lost Memory" continues to be a very grim joke, both the title pun and the story as a whole, losing little of its power on rereading, about well-meaning robots doing their best to return an apparently fallen alien machine to mechanical health...while the human within the damaged spaceship they've found does his best to find a way to help them understand his plight. Malzberg notes that he almost chose Phillips's "Dreams are Sacred" over this one, but noted that what made the choice easier was how many writers had echoed "Dreams" over the years, including Barry himself, while "Lost Memory" seemed to serve as the last word on its theme. "Junior," by Robert Abernathy, which follows, is a much lighter sort of conceptual breakthrough comedy, involving a rebellious young male among a society of sentient and hidebound as well as shellbound mollusc-like creatures. It's a bit cute for my taste, but is pleasant and clever enough. It was a Greenberg/Olander choice and Barry also looks upon it fondly.
"Laugh Along with Franz" by Norman Kagan was another important story in Barry's career, inasmuch as it challenged him to consider writing sf professionally, as well as providing the example that the kind of thing he wanted to write could be published in sf media. Rather in the mode of the film of The Graduate, only more imaginatively and earlier, and even moreso in the mode of such satirical writers (at least when in that mood) as Herbert Gold and Herbert Gold and Bruce Jay Friedman or Muriel Spark, only as informed as their fellow-travelers Ray Nelson or (Ms.) Jody Scott (and certainly Malzberg as well) by sf tradition and, of course, by such allied work as Kafka's as well as by the Beat-begetting-Hippie counterculture, the story deals with a young software engineer at IBM (redubbed ICM) coming to some realizations about what really matters in life, and what might just be a tissue of lies, convenient for the powerful.
Wyman Guin, perhaps more exclusively famous (to the extent that he is) for What Is Reality fiction than anyone else in sf, thanks to his once widely-reprinted "Beyond Bedlam" (far superior to Evan Hunter's slightly later drugged society story "Malice in Wonderland," if perhaps missing the snappy ad lines of Huxley's most famous fiction), is instead represented here by a mildly misogynist but otherwise deft fantasy, "My Darling Hecate." Guin didn't quite learn the right lessons from Fritz Leiber's Conjure Wife, in this story of an accidental but nonetheless powerful witch, who has remarkable powers she can barely control, when she puts her mind to it. But, again, it plays out rather cleverly, particularly in the manner in which her subconscious plays havoc with the world around her.
I'd just begun the Wallace story, as I write this, the previous night, and while it starts promisingly, with yet another sort of spy or agent making his way through a dangerous city on a world inhabited by amphibian humanoids, I might or might not get to finish it before revising this later today. Barry is almost as enthusiastic about Wallace's work as he is about Clifton's; he sees Wallace's fiction as similar in approach and in reframing the questions we should be asking in science fiction, though Wallace was writing for (the no less demanding, and in both similar and different ways eccentric) H. L. Gold, founding editor of Galaxy, who grew more removed from his editorial work in later '50s less from simply burning out, as Campbell was, than by the weight of failure to achieve his ambitions with his magazine, and the effects of both WW2-induced agoraphobia and pain meds he took, even before an auto-accident during an attempt to go out nearly killed him; this is why Frederik Pohl was apparently editing Galaxy and If in all but title no later than 1960, and gradually doing more and more of the work for some time before that. That Wallace was so strongly associated with Gold's version of the magazine might've been a contributing factor in Wallace leaving sf in the late '50s, not finding Pohl the same sort of editor; as Malzberg notes, Wallace published some mystery novels and then ceased writing fiction.
And I've finally noted, all these stories come from either Campbell's Astounding (before its retitling as Analog in 1960), or from Gold's Galaxy and Beyond, or Pohl's 1960s Galaxy (and Pohl had been pretty deeply involved with Galaxy as a contributor of fiction and literary agent for a lot of the other contributors from nearly its beginning under Gold).
All told, while this book (moreso than the latter Uncollected Stars), has fiction which tends to cluster, as repeatedly noted, around questions of perception and identity, while touching on rather than for the most part dealing directly with other great themes that sf can lend itself to, it's an excellent book to sit and read. And, like the later volume, if not quite to the same extent as the Clifton collection, it was not a commercial success. Like nearly every other book published in the Doubleday Science Fiction imprint, particularly at the production nadir of that line in the late '70s, it's poorly bound (the trade hardcover has a glue binding, not sewn, and in every other way is identical to the probable SF Book Club edition of the time, another arm of Doubleday), given an inept cover (in this case moreso than most even for D-day...just look at it), and, as Barry notes, "Doubleday packaged the book contemptuously and dumped it as they dumped all Doubleday sf. Sales were miserable." The Doubleday Science Fiction imprint depended on library sales for nearly all of its income (and was hardly unique in this in hardcover publishing at the time, or for at least a decade or so beforehand and after), and expected those sales to come to a certain amount whether a given book was good, bad or indifferent; no one in Garden City was going to make much effort to help distinguish any given item published thus. The Asimov books would sell better, and Ellison's Dangerous Visions anthology too, or at least sell consistently for longer, but Asimov didn't write much sf any longer, and his sf books from Doubleday were usually about as clumsily-packaged as everyone else's. Everyone else could cry themselves a river. And even as The Simarillion was setting sales records for hardcover fiction, and the Levin/Tryon/Blatty/King/Rice horror blockbuster trend was starting to become impossible to ignore, no one at D-day was going to try to suggest that a Doubleday Fantasy or Doubleday Horror imprint might be a useful, much less a profitable, idea...nah, those books could continue to be "Doubleday Science Fiction" if they were by some writer a D-day staffer had editorially/promotionally decided wrote sf, five or fifteen years previously...hence, for example, the mislabeling thus of Manly Wade Wellman's John the Balladeer novels in their original editions. (Wellman's historical fantasy novels, too:)
And, frankly, these stories remain (at least) good reading, though they also remain difficult to find without seeking out this long out-of-print volume or their original magazine appearances...but you could do much worse with much more effort. The story headnotes and the pointers to more work by the assembled alone might be worth the few bucks to pick up a library discard like mine, in decent shape (mine from the Public Library of Des Moines).
And many thanks to Barry Malzberg for letting me pepper him with questions.
upgraded slightly from the Contento index:
Neglected Visions ed. Barry N. Malzberg, Martin H. Greenberg & Joseph D. Olander (Doubleday, 1979, hc) 212pp. Each of the stories is followed by a selective bibliography of the author's other short fiction (and the anthologies and collections where they have been reprinted) and novels.
vii · Introduction · Barry N. Malzberg · in
1 · Clerical Error · Mark Clifton · nv Astounding Feb ’56
35 · Mind Partner · Christopher Anvil · nv Galaxy Aug ’60
65 · Ballenger’s People · Kris Neville · ss Galaxy Apr ’67
77 · The Hunting Lodge · Randall Garrett · nv Astounding Jul ’54
109 · Lost Memory · Peter Phillips · ss Galaxy May ’52
122 · Junior · Robert Abernathy · ss Galaxy Jan ’56
130 · Laugh Along with Franz · Norman Kagan · nv Galaxy Dec ’65
153 · My Darling Hecate · Wyman Guin · nv Beyond Fantasy Fiction Nov ’53
171 · Delay in Transit · Floyd L. Wallace · na Galaxy Sep ’52
I remember reading Emshwiller and Reed in the digests back in the old days. Their stories stood out because of how different they were from the others, particularly Emshwiller's in the Lowndes magazines.
And I was thinking in the endless traffic jam I faced early this afternoon that by the early '60s, Avram Davidson's F&SF and Cele Goldsmith's FANTASTIC and AMAZING, and to some extent the GALAXY group and NEW WORLDS and SCIENCE FANTASY were publishing more in this mode, which certainly anticipated what it pleases some to call 'slipstream' these days...and the New Wave in the latter '60s...
Okay, I think we (as in Typepad) are back in business. Here's the direct FFB link:
If you see any errors or omissions, please let me know in the comments or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You present an embarrassment of riches here! Like Bill, I read Emshwiller and Reed in digit-sized science fiction magazines. I consider Ed Emshwiller my favorite SF artist.
Emshwiller and Gaughan might just be my top two among the painters/sketch artists...I like the notion of the digit-sized magazine, perfect for fingering...not quite digital...I first read them in Judith Merril's annual best-ofs, and DANGEROUS VISIONS, that book meant to be edited by Merril...
Hi Todd –
You should update links to Carol Emshwiller's Collected Stories and the Emsh art Book to www.nonstoppress.com – without a hyphen in it, our old url with the hyphen has been taken over by Russian internet pirates and should not be used.
Thanks for the advisory!
Love that cover with Bloch's 'The Dead Don't Die' Todd - and I am completely ignorant of the work of Carol Emshwille, so thanks for this abundance of material - happy Easter chum"!
I was pretty amused that that image was the Only one FaceBook was interested in displaying from all the images in the post...the most lurid. Metaphor there somewhere. Meanwhile, look to your copy of DANGEROUS VISIONS for one of her most famous excellent stories.
I've noted just now that the Ed Emshwiller cover paintings using his wife and himself as models take on new relevance, since in each Carol Emwhiller is obeying the call to Lean Forward...
Post a Comment