Very interesting, indeed. I only had the Astounding issues from Jan 1950-Dec 1970 (by then Analog), so the first half of the ones shown were before my time. It's very interesting to me that Malzberg splits his admiration between content and covers. In some cases it's the contents - or one story or novelette - that he admires, but in many other examples it's the cover that makes the issue stand out.I have my own set of favorites, some for the cover, also some for the contents. I don't disagree with any of these picks, I just wish it had been 25 instead of 15. Or 50.I do disagree with the comment he makes that "NEEDLE" was Hal Clement's only good novel. I htink MISSION OF GRAVITY is excellent. I'll have to try and find that Padget novella.
I loved NEEDLE when I was a kid and should read it again. Like you, I also enjoyed MISSION OF GRAVITY.
Agreeing with the Mission of Gravity comments. Malzberg is insane on that point. I love the first issue he showed with Black Destroyer by van Vogt. One of my favorite issues. Did you notice that pretty much every other issue that he commented on the contents featured either Kuttner or Sturgeon? Can't argue with those choices.
I wish Malzberg had gone on for another hour! Here is someone who has thought deeply about the stories he discusses. And, of course, he makes you want to drop everything and read his recommendations!
Help an SF ignoramus, please. Malzberg, speaking about the "Mark Phillips" story, The Sweet Little Old Lady, gives the character's name as John J. Malone. But John J. Malone was Craig Rice's lawyer-detective character in stories pubbed about the same time. Did Malzberg get mixed up, or were there two Malones running around fiction at the time?Art Scott
I wondered the same thing, Art. I haven't read the story, so I don't know. There's bound to be a way to check, but I don't think I have that issue of ASF.
My little research indicates that Malzberg might have had a slip of the tongue and that the series character is Kenneth J. Malone in the Phillips story. Not 100% sure, though.
Yes, it was Kenneth Malone, but the backstory hinted strongly that he was a descendant of Rice's John J. Malone.wv: popsyn -- Surprise! We're here!
That research may have been easy, all you had to do was read my September 15, 2009 post on the books!
Bill, thanks for recommending this excellent film clip. I have all these Astoundings that Malzberg talks about and it has revived my interest in rereading some of the stories and looking over the covers.
Rick, you're giving away my secrets!
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