Friday, October 16, 2009

More Fantastic 1954

Here's the back cover. Again, I like the ad, and two of the books pictured are two of the ones I bought when I joined the SF Book Club about this time: Omibus of Science Fiction and The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology. I still have them, and they're full of touchstone stories for me. No wonder. I was at the golden age for science fiction. None of the stories in this issue of Fantastic measure up to the ones in those two anthologies.

"The Murder-Con" by Jerome Bixby is the longest story in the issue. It's set at the 13th WorldCon. It name-checks a few SF writers and has a nice comment or two on cons, like this one: "'This science-fiction crowd can raise more hell, kill more bottles and drop more panties than bank night in le shack Sade.'"
(I knew I should have started going to cons when I was a kid!) Not a great story, but smoothly told with alternating first-person viewpoints. It's about an awakening telepath and what must be done about him because he's Not A Nice Person. The illustration on the second page of the story depicts the ending, which I thought was too bad.

"The Outlaws" is an over-population story by Lee Priestley, whoever that is. Slick, condescending toward women (I wouldn't have noticed in 1954), and most notable for its casual mentions of wind farms, few of which must have been around in those days.

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

No expert on the pseuds, I, but I've seen Priestley's name around. Meanwhile, Bixby isn't sufficiently remembered, despite "It's a _Good_ Life" and a couple of books-worth of stories nearly as good, the FANTASTIC VOYAGE treatment, and, perhaps most forgotten, his editorial work on PLANET STORIES in its best years. His was probably one of those leftover fripperies I mentioned on the last comment on the first post on this issue.