Sunday, December 12, 2021

FFB: THE 1965 ANNUALS of fiction and drama, further augmented...some more...

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.
The Great SF Stories: 1964 edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin H. Greenberg (2001)
The Best American Plays, Sixth Series: 1963-1967 edited by John Gassner and Clive Barnes (1971)
Coast to Coast: Australian Short Stories of Today 1963-1964 edited by Leonie Kramer (1965)

In 1965, the five best of the year fiction annuals (imagine a time where only five such series existed, one new that year, albeit a sixth was issued biennially in Australia, even then) 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 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 were fifty years old the year I first attempted this survey (and there was "Century of BASS" volume in 2015 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 include  a few stragglers, as well, with various excuses employed.) The Foley and the Merril saw both hardcover and paperback editions; the other four prose compilations 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 possibly did get book-club hardcovers, but no paperbacks; the publishers  of Coast to Coast had a London office and presses to to with theirs in Sydney and Melbourne; my copy of the UK edition set one back 26 shillings in '65).  I'd just become fully aware of the Aussie series, which began in the 1940s and ran at least into the '70s; as far  as I know (in December, 2021), there were no British nor other Anglophone annuals nor biannuals being published in 1965 (nor later, drawing explicitly on 1964 publications from multiple sources) but Oz's books should've come to my full attention earlier!  It's notable how the intentionally eclectic fiction anthologies will restrict themselves to writers from the US (O. Henry), North America (BASS), Australia (Coast to Coast); the other fiction anthologies attempt to be international, if not too surprisingly and rather slightly so, in most cases. 

John Brunner is represented in three volumes, with the same short story. A number of the playwrights are represented by the same play between the two drama volumes. Dennis Lynds has a story in each of the Best Detective and the BASS volumes, John D. MacDonald one each in the Merril S-F (a hot-rod youth v. cops/elders horror story from Cosmopolitan) and the Best DetectiveJoseph Nesvaba has different stories from his Vampires, Ltd. in both the Merril and the Wollheim/Carr SF volumes; Fritz Leiber and Thomas Disch have two stories each in the speculative fiction annuals. Joyce Carol Oates has stories, different ones in both O. Henry and BASS; Isaac Bashevis Singer has different stories, one each, in the Foley and the Merril. Peter Beagle is in the O. Henry with what I believe to be his third published short story (two of them followed his first novel, A Fine and Private Place), the impressive and straightforward fantasy "Come Lady Death", from an issue of The Atlantic.

More important measures, than the blown opportunity to write these up in detail on their golden anniversary (things were in some ways Even More trying, at least for me, in 2015, than they have been for the human species as a default of late), come to mind...these were, as all art and commerce is, products of their time, and their time was one of a number of  emerging forces in the arts and culture...newly energized liberation movements hadn't quite come to full strength, so that the remarkable lack of women contributors in comparison to the men, even in the annuals edited by women, would be a lot less likely to happen today (and certainly more would be made of it); ethnic and other diversity also only starting to be felt...the contemporary-mimetic short fiction anthologies are less imbalanced than the others, where two feature no contributions by women at all, but none are indicative of an equal access to the fields being surveyed. And the barriers between "high" and "low" and Dwight Macdonald's "midcult" culture, never terribly robust, were crumbling in every way, as is positively indicated by the contents here, albeit it did mean that slight work is as likely to be showcased along with the more lasting--as in previous volumes in these series or the later volumes...just perhaps in later volumes with a slightly less gleeful sense of artificial restrictions being breached in both the magazines and other sources (very much including theaters, obviously) consulted and the range of sources being consulted by each of the sets of editors. Abrahams, particularly, in his introduction to the O. Henry volume, can almost be heard to be shaking his head in wonder at how fiction writers do not attempt to change their tone nor approach when writing for Partisan Review or The Ladies Home Journal...perhaps, unfortunately, part of what led the publishers to eventually see fiction as dispensable in the large-circulation magazines. 

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 of and excerpts from 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. 

Then I finally stumbled across the not-quite-annual volume, edited by John Gassner in its early issues, which with its delayed 1963-67 volume did collect the notable plays of 1964 and thereabouts in their entirety...a book delayed by Gassner's death, as he was preparing the final selections, and finally published in 1971, with new editor Clive Barnes's headnotes, introductions, and tweaking of the content for purposes of both representation and lack of reprint rights availability (and Barnes's not always flattering descriptions of the items included and those which got away are refreshingly earnest, if not always supportive of the notion of a Best-Of so much as Representation-Of anthology). Barnes would continue with even more widely-spaced volumes into the next decades.

Fuller reviews of these books will be forthcoming soon, 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 had hoped, when first posting this in 2015, to present an interview with Kit Reed (who died in 2017), 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 was 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, Eire 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
and WorldCat with a few corrections and added bells and whistles (and ghosts of layout imports into ever-clunky Blogspot).

And, in 2001, a latecomer chose to join this company, in the form of Robert Silverberg and Martin H. Greenberg's one-volume continuation of the Great SF Stories series Greenberg had been editing with Isaac Asimov...the last Asimov volume, finished up as Asimov lay dying, also treated with stories from the year 1963, meant to be the last in that series from DAW Books since DAW's own first annual, the World's Best SF cited above, began in '65 choosing among 1964 publication. But Silverberg, Greenberg and NESFA Press were all game, and gave a revival a shot...apparently to little response, critically or commercially, in the wake of the 11 September attacks and whatever else drew attention away.  Eppur si muove. 

    • 1 · Center of Gravity · L. J. Amster · nv The Saturday Evening Post Mar 14 1964
    • 45 · The Returning · Daniel De Paola · ss Prairie Schooner Spr 1964
    • 57 · The Transient · Stanley Elkin · nv The Saturday Evening Post Apr 25 1964
    • 93 · Opening Day · Jack Gilchrist · ss Georgia Review Spr 1964, as by John Shafter
    • 99 · The Gesture · James W. Groshong · ss The Antioch Review Sum 1964
    • 113 · Sarah · Martin J. Hamer · ss Atlantic Monthly Jan 1964
    • 125 · Sherry · Maureen Howard · nv The Hudson Review Aut 1964
    • 167 · A Family Man · Donald Hutter · ss The Saturday Evening Post Feb 22 1964
    • 187 · The Month of His Birthday · Henia Karmel-Wolfe · ss Mademoiselle Dec 1964
    • 199 · Heart of Gold · Mary Lavin · nv The New Yorker Jun 27 1964
    • 223 · A Blue Blonde in the Sky Over Pennsylvania · Dennis Lynds · ss The Hudson Review Spr 1964
    • 241 · The Guest · Frederic Morton · ss The Hudson Review Win 1964
    • 251 · The Application · Jay Neugeboren · ss Transatlantic Review Oct 1964
    • 259 · First Views of the Enemy · Joyce Carol Oates · ss Prairie Schooner Spr 1964
    • 271 · The Practice of an Art · Leonard Wallace Robinson · ss The Saturday Evening Post Sep 5 1964
    • 283 · A Sacrifice · Isaac Bashevis Singer · ss Harper’s Feb 1964
    • 291 · Eskimo Pies · Robert Somerlott · ss Atlantic Monthly Jan 1964
    • 299 · The Visit · Elizabeth Spencer · ss Prairie Schooner Sum 1964
    • 313 · The Tea Time of Stouthearted Ladies · Jean Stafford · ss The Kenyon Review Win 1964
    • 325 · For I Have Wept · Gerald Stein · ss The Saturday Evening Post Jan 4-11 1964
    • 345 · There · Peter Taylor · nv The Kenyon Review Win 1964
    • 371 · The Last Right · Lee Yu-Hwa · ss The Literary Review Sum 1964
    • 385 · Biographical Notes · [Misc.] · bg
    • 393 · The Yearbook of the American Short Story, January 1 to December 31, 1964 · [Misc.] · bi

Best Detective Stories of the Year: 20th Annual Collection

Editor:Anthony Boucher
Publisher:New York : E.P. Dutton & Co., 1965.
9 Introduction/Anthony Boucher
13 H as in Homicide / Lawrence Treat 
(ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Mar 1964

31 Routine Investigation / Robert Twohy (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Apr 1964
39 No Way Out / Dennis Lynds (ss) Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Feb 1964 
55 Payoff / Ellery Queen (ss) Cavalier Aug 1964, as “Crime Syndicate Payoff”
61 Temple by the River / Leon Comber (ss) The Strange Cases of Magistrate Pao, Charles E. Tuttle 1964; Short Story International Aug 1978
75 Return of Schlock Homes / Robert L Fish (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Jun 1964
89 Short and Simple Annals / Dan J. Marlowe (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Aug 1964
103 The Ingenious Mind of Mr. Rigby Lacksome / Ernest Bramah (ss) Max Carrados Mysteries (Hodder and Stoughton, London 1927)
135 Credit to Shakespeare / Julian Symons (ss) Murder! Murder!, Fontana 1961, as “Credit to William Shakespeare”Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Nov 1964
145 A Soliloquy in Tongues / William Wiser (ss) Cosmopolitan May 1964
159 Papa Tral's Harvest / Barry Perowne (nv) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Mar 1964
183 Blurred View / John D. MacDonald (ss) This Week Feb 23 1964
189 Reunion / Edward D. Hoch (ss) The Saint Mystery Magazine December 1964
219 Violet / Hal Ellson (ss) Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine May 1964
233 A Case for the UN / Miriam Allen deFord (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Jul 1964
245 Legacy of Office / Rog Phillips (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Jun 1964
259 The Yearbook of the Detective Story / Anthony Boucher:
259 Bibliography
262 Awards
264 Necrology
267 Honor Roll
Description:271 pages ; 21 cm

Prize Stories 1965 : The O. Henry Awards

Editors:Richard PoirierWilliam Miller Abrahams
Publisher:Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday & Co., 1965.

ix Introduction / by William Abrahams --
1  Revelation / Flannery O'Connor (ss), The Sewanee Review, Spring 1964
21  Ocean / Sanford Friedman (nv) Partisan Review, Winter 1964
53  The Ballad of Jesse Neighbours / William Humphrey (ss) Esquire September 1963
73  Homecoming / Tom Mayer (ss) Harper’s Magazine August 1963
81  Mama and the Spy / Eva Manoff (ss) Mademoiselle August 1963
93  Sunday's Children / Nancy A.J. Potter (ss) Four Quarters, November 1963
103  Margins / Donald Barthelme (ss) The New Yorker, February 22 1963
109  If Lost Return to the Swiss Arms / Leon Rooke The Carolina Quarterly Winter 1963
115   There / Peter Taylor nv The Kenyon Review Winter 1964
149  Come Lady Death / Peter S. Beagle (ss) The Atlantic Monthly September 1963
165  First Views of the Enemy / Joyce Carol Oates (ss) Prairie Schooner Spring 1964
177  Fifty-Fifty / Leonard Wolf  (ss)  The Kenyon Review Autumn 1963
189  Sucker / Carson McCullers  (ss)  The Saturday Evening Post September 28 1963
199  Love in the Winter / Daniel Curley (ss)  The Colorado Quarterly Winter 1964
213  A Woman of Her Age / Jack Ludwig  (ss)  The Quarterly Review of Literature Vol. 12
233  What I Wish (Oh, I Wish) I Had Said / Arthur Cavanaugh (ss) McCall’s August 1963
249  The Hounds of Summer / Mary McCarthy (ss) The New Yorker 14 September 1963
287  Chaos, Disorder and the Late Show / Warren Miller (ss) The Saturday Evening Post October 5 1963
Description:xii, 295 pages ; 22 cm.
The World’s Best Science Fiction: 1965 ed. 

Donald A. Wollheim & Terry Carr, editors (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 No.1 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 Great SF Stories: 1964 
ed. Robert Silverberg & Martin H. Greenberg (NESFA Press 1-886778-21-3, Jan 2002, $25.00, 395pp, hc, cover by Eddie Jones). 
Anthology of 15 stories first published in 1964, a continuation of the series originally edited by Isaac Asimov and Greenberg. Authors include Norman Spinrad, Poul Anderson, and John Brunner. Foreword and introduction by Silverberg, who discusses why he decided to do the anthology, and the state of the US and science fiction in 1964. Order from NESFA Press, PO Box 809, Framingham MA 01701; [].

The Best plays of 1964-65

Editor:Otis L Guernsey
Publisher:New York : Dodd Mead, ©1965.

434 pages : illustrations by Al Hirschfeld ; 24 cm.


photo essay: The Odd Couple by Neil Simon
Frank D. Gilroy, The Subject was Roses--
Joseph Stein, Fiddler on the Roof--
Friedrich Duerrenmatt, The Physicists--
Murray Schisgal, Luv--
Jean Anouilh, Poor Bitos--
William Hanley, Slow Dance on the Killing Ground--
Arthur Miller, Incident at Vichy--
LeRoi Jones, The Toilet--
Edward Albee, Tiny Alice.

Best American Plays: Sixth Series, 1963-1967 Plays: Sixth Series, 1963-1967

John Gassner
Clive Barnes, editors

New York : Crown Publishers, 1971

Description:xii, 594 pages ; 24 cm

Tiny Alice / Edward Albee --
Blues for Mister Charlie / James Baldwin --
The Last Analysis / Saul Bellow --
Hogan's Goat / William Alfred --
The Fantasticks / Tom Jones --
The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window / Lorraine Hansberry --
The Lion in Winter / James Goldman --
Hughie / Eugene O'Neill --
The Toilet / LeRoi Jones --
You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running / Robert Anderson --
Benito Cereno / Robert Lowell --
Fiddler on the Roof / Joseph Stein --
Slow Dance on the Killing Ground / William Hanley --
In White America / Martin B. Duberman --
The Owl and the Pussycat / Bill Manhoff --
The Odd Couple / Neil Simon --
The Subject was Roses / Frank D. Gilroy.
edited by John Gassner and Clive Barnes;
with an introduction and prefaces to the plays by Clive Barnes.

Coast to Coast: Australian Stories of Today 1963-1964 

edited by Leonie Kramer (Angus & Robertson 1965)

1 * Boy in a Ford * Hugh Atkinson (ss) ** (apparently original to this volume)
7 * Journey to Olympus * Thea Astley (ss) **
15 * The Tractor * Peter Cowan (ss) Meanjin Quarterly January 1964
Short Story International #7, April 1978
28 * Impasse * Bary Dowling  (ss)  **
45 * The Widow * Thelma Forshaw (ss) The Literary Review Winter 1963-64: Australia number
Boy at Play * G. M. Glaskin 
(ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine January 1964
65 * The Silent Woman * Esme A. Gollschewsky (ss) Meanjin Quarterly March 1963
74 * Remora * T.A.G. Hungerford 
(ss) The Literary Review Winter 1963-64: Australia number
82 * Mr. Morris * Gwen Kelly (ss) Southerly December 1963
87 * In the Manner of a Champion * Brian McPhee (ss) ** (reprinted in The Bulletin, 23-30 December 1966)
95 * Every Man Has His Price * David Martin (ss) 20th Century: An Australian Quarterly Review [seeking issue date, apparently 1964]
103 * Bushfire * John Morrison (ss) Overland [issue date tbd]
114 * The Madame * Bobby Nelson (ss) **
120 * The Odds * Heinz Nonweiller (ss) **
134 * Doctor Deju * Desmond O'Grady (ss) ** (possibly first published 1961?)
147 * Uncle Fred's Christmas * John O'Grady (ss) The Bulletin 17 September 1958; 
Argosy (UK) January 1967
153 * Gretel * Hal Porter (ss) The Literary Review Winter 1963-64: Australia number
166 * A Really Splendid Evening * Lesley Rowlands (ss) **
174 * The Miracle * A.E. Sturges (ss) Quadrant Autumn 1963
Short Story International #20, June 1980
181 * The Game * R. Thomson (ss) **
184 * Pill, Etc. * Margaret Trist (ss) **
191 * The Eye Stopper * M.G. Vincent 
(ss) The Literary Review Winter 1963-64: Australia number
203 * Mr. Forster's Christmas party * Peter Ward 
(ss) The Literary Review Winter 1963-64: Australia number
215 * Sunday-School Picnic * H.H. Wilson 
(ss) The Literary Review Winter 1963-64: Australia number

Originally posted in revised form   --Many added bits and pieces since then!


George said...

I've read (and own) the ACE YEAR'S BEST SF 1965 anthology and the NESFA anthology edited by Silverberg and Greenberg. I used to read the BEST SHORT STORIES collections in the Library. My wife used to read those YEAR'S BEST PLAYS volumes.

Todd Mason said...

Already not much of a fan of the Merril annual by 1965? Or the Boucher annual?

George Kelley said...

I read all the Merril SF annuals. She made some "interesting" choices. Over the years, I've collected the Boucher BEST OF books (but I haven't read more than a couple of them). The ACE YEAR'S BEST SF series represented the authors I was reading back then so of course I loved them.

Later, I preferred Terry Carr's YEAR'S BEST SF series over all the others.