I'm at the Bouchercon, named for Anthony Boucher, so this book is particularly appropriate for today. Even though it's not crime-related, it's related to another of Boucher's interests and greatest accomplishments.
Okay, how did I miss this one when it came out in 1982? Well, there's the cover, for one thing. Not exactly the most exciting one I've seen today. And then there's the title. The Eureka Years. What the heck? If I ever saw the book, I just ignored it without a glance at the subtitle: "Boucher and McComas's Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 1949-1954." That would have grabbed me. But I didn't see it.
However, I did read Bud Webster's Anthopology 101, in which there's a chapter devoted to this anthology. Here's what Webster says at one point: ". . . it is unique in that along with reprinting some the best stories to appear in the magazine from 1949 to 1954, when McComas left, it also reprints correspondence between the editors and authors of the stories.
"But that's not all! Included, at no extra cost, are an introduction by Theodore Sturgeon, a preface by Annette McComas, autobiographies by Boucher and Mic McComas, a short history of the magazine by Ms. McComas, poetry by Boucher and Randall Garrett, articles by Boucher and McComas, a recommended reading list, and a handful of other, less definable pieces."
So after I read that, how long was it before I was on Abebooks ordering a copy? If your guess is "under a minute," you win. And now I have it in hand. What a great book. It wasn't expensive, and it's worth more than the cover price for the letters and connecting material in the history of how F&SF was born. If you like SF, the history of the field, short stories, writers, and all that other great stuff, you just can't go wrong with this book.