Monday, 6 November 2017

The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction

Robert P. Mills (editor)
The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction eleventh series (1962)
Rightly or wrongly, I've always had the impression of Fantasy & Science Fiction as the American analogy to New Worlds, roughly speaking, at least in relation to Analog, Amazing, Galaxy, and the other magazines. Whilst you could usually expect a short story involving rockets and another involving alien civilisations from most of them, Fantasy & Science Fiction seemed to be the one to publish the weird stuff which didn't really fit anywhere else. That being said, I expected to enjoy this collection more than I did.

In its favour there are characteristically wonderful contributions from Clifford D. Simak and Poul Anderson, while Cordwainer Smith and Avram Davidson have both written impressively peculiar tales of quality sufficient as to suggest that I really need to hunt down a few more by those two. Then there's an underwhelming early work by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., something by Isaac Asimov which is probably about as whelming as I expected it to be, and my first encounter with Gordon R. Dickson which at least suggests that I've been wise to steer clear of anything with his name on the cover. George by John Anthony West is okay, and then there are another five tales listed in the index which I know I read but about which I can't remember a single thing; plus there's a couple of poems which weren't really my sort of thing.

Still, I suppose this kind of deal will always be very much like a box of chocolates in so much as that you never know which one you're gon' git, excepting cases of it being one of those boxes of chocolates wherein the various flavours featured amongst the selection are quite clearly denoted on the inside of the lid. They can't all be amazing, I guess, but it's nice that some of them are. Maybe they were just having an off year.

No comments:

Post a Comment