Friday, January 13, 2012

Forgotten Books: The Vortex Blasters and other stories from Modern Masterpieces of Science Fiction -- Edited by Sam Moskowitz

You'd have to read the entire title of this one to figure out that it's an abridgment of a much longer book. There's nothing at all on the copyright page to clue you in, other than that the original copyright is 1965, whereas this edition was published in 1968. The ToC or this one shows that you'd be getting a heck of a bargain for your 60 cents. Some very famous stories here, including one of my Leiber favorites and one of Edmond Hamilton's best, too. But you'd be a lot better off with the full book. Fairly cheap copies are available on the 'Net. Here's a link to the NESFA Press edition. There's a lot missing, including that long introduction, which, no matter what you think of Moskowitz, is bound to be valuable. I've put the NESFA description and the original ToC below.

Modern Masterpieces of Science Fiction is an excellent historical introduction to the field, including some of the best stories of the 1940s and 1950s. It includes a long historical and critical essay by Moskowitz. (See also Masterpieces of Science Fiction, a collection of historical, pre 1940, SF.)
  • Introduction by Sam Moskowitz
  • "The Vortex Blasters" by Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.
  • "Night" by John W. Campbell
  • "A Logic Named Joe" by Murray Leinster
  • "Requiem" by Edmond Hamilton
  • "With Folded Hands..." by jack Williamson
  • "Adaptation" by John Wyndham
  • "The Witness" by Eric Frank Russell
  • "The Command" by L. Sprague de Camp
  • "Kindness" by Lester del Rey
  • "...We Also Walk Dogs" by Robert A. Heinlein
  • "The Enchanted Village" by A. E. van Vogt
  • "Liar" by Isaac Asimov
  • "Microcosmic God" by Theodore Sturgeon
  • "Huddling Place" by Clifford D. Simak
  • "Coming Attraction" by Fritz Leiber
  • "Doorway into Time" by C. L. Moore
  • "We Guard the Black Planet!" by henry Kuttner
  • "The Strange Flight of Richard Clayton" by Robert Bloch
  • "Wake for the Living" by Ray Bradbury
  • "Before Eden" by Arthur C. Clarke
  • "Mother" by Philip Jose Farmer


George said...

I ordered the full edition. Long, long ago, I owned that shortened paperback edition.

Anonymous said...

I've read them all but the Kuttner, other places, other times. Interesting collection.

Todd Mason said...

It's a slice through newsstand sf from about 1930-1950 (maybe 1928-53), definitely. Moskowitz always ready to stand up for the pioneer years of sf magazine publishing. And shout. A lot.

SteveHL said...

On Patti Abbott's site, it says the book you are writing about is The Vortex Blister. I was expecting to read about the adventures of an interstellar podiatrist

Unknown said...

Sounds like a classic begging to be written!

Todd Mason said...

Dibs. See Patti's blog.