When I got home, I looked at the ToC, and then I couldn't resist rereading some of the stories, most of which I hadn't looked at in more than 50 years. (The stories in this collection were published in 1957). I was surprised at how well I remembered some of them. I was a big fan of Mad Magazine back in those days, so maybe that's why I remembered Poul Anderson's Conan parody "The Barbarian" so well. It's still funny, though maybe not as funny as it was in '57. Boucher's introduction is classic. Theordore Sturgeon's "And Now the News . . . " is still killer stuff with a knockout last line, and it's as relevant today as ever. Considering cable news and talk radio, maybe it's even more relevant. Great story. Ray Bradbury's "Icarus Montgolfier Wright" isn't even a story. It's a prose poem, but I loved it when I was a kid, as I did nearly everything I read by Bradbury. And speaking of poems, there are several included. The one I remember is Bird Ferguson's "The Interview." I tried writing a few poems like that, myself, at the time. And Randall Garrett's four-liner is still funny. Anderson has two stories in the volume. "The Man Who Came Early" is the cover story, and I liked it as much as ever.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Forgotten Books: THE BEST FROM FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION SIXTH SERIES -- Edited by Anthony Boucher
I've admitted several times that when I was a kid in the '50s, I really loved the low-end SF digests (Imagination, Imaginative Tales, Amazing Stories, Fantastic, etc.). But my real favorite, the place where I read the stories that really touched me most, was The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I liked everything about that digest, the stories, the book reviews, even the poetry. I bought five or six volumes of "Best Of" collections from the SF Book Club, and I still have them. That group includes this one, but when I ran across the paperback the other day, I couldn't resist picking it up. The cover, after all, was worth the price.