Friday, June 17, 2011

Forgotten Books: Galaxy Volume 2 -- Edited by Frederik Pohl, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander

For some reason I don't have Volume 1 of this anthology, and that's something I need to remedy because this one's terrific. It's sadly lacking an introduction (maybe that's on Volume 1), but it does have a complete index of Galaxy magazine from the first issue of October 1950 to May 1979.

The stories, as you could probably guess from looking at the contributors' names on the cover, are great. What's even better is the "memoirs" provided by most of the authors. (The explanation for why John Varley refused to provide one for "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" is as interesting as the memoirs.) Reading Philip K. Dick's memoir that introduces "Oh, to Be a Blobel!" is chilling. I sure wish he were around to comment on the current wars we're waging. Alfred Bester, whose name is on the cover, doesn't have a story in the book, but he does have a brief memoir about Horace Gold and Galaxy. There's no story by Algis Budrys, either, but there's one of his book review columns in which he doesn't actually review any books.

If you like good science-fiction short stories, or just plain good fiction, you should take a look at this one, and don't miss those memoirs. As for me, I'm going over to Abebooks and get Volume 1.


Todd Mason said...

Yes, the mass-market paperback versions were slightly oddly-arrayed by Playboy Press, but even with those covers had better ones than the one-volume QP did.

Actually, the Budrys column as reprinted here slices out the review section, which reviewed Harry Warner, Jr.'s ALL OUR YESTERDAYS...the full text is in BENCHMARKS, of course, but that reprint doesn't mention, as does this one, that the politician in the Pickle photo was Gerald Ford, and Budrys's quizzing him about whom he backed for the '68 GOP presidential nom.

"Wall of Crystal, Eye of Night" by Budrys appears in the mm Volume 1. The (obviously late, but still) Lafferty memoir is pretty amusing, even in its brevity, and too bad Stine's editorship couldn't live up to Lafferty's expectations for it.

I STILL need to get the IF volume they eventually did. Pity, probably, that there were no (perhaps combined) WORLDS OF TOMORROW/INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE-FICTION or BEYOND/WORLDS OF FANTASY volumes.

George said...

I have the hardcover version of this GALAXY volume (and I have the hardcover volume of IF, too). I don't recall seeing the PLAYBOY PRESS paperbacks, but they look great!

Anonymous said...

NO, no, I can't look, must keep my hand away from the mouse, don't click on any links, don't go to ABE, no don't enter the informaiton in that "title" field, no, must stop.....


Todd Mason said...

George, your hardcover was also a Playboy Ent. publication, under a different name (unless you have a SFBC edition). I dunno...I don't like those cover illos.

Resistance is Utterly futile, Rick.

Todd Mason said...

But, yes, the contents are great. Not quite as milestone-studded as the F&SF 30th anniversary issue/antho that came out just before...since it focused on more overlooked classics.