Friday, November 23, 2012

Forgotten Books: Tales from Super-Science Fiction -- Edited by Robert Silverberg

9781893887480Yes, I'm cheating again.  This isn't a forgotten book.  It's brand new.  Almost.  But the stories inside are from a nearly forgotten digest of the '50s, and a favorite of mine, not so much for the stories but for the covers by Emsh and Freas.  They were wonderful, as the one reproduced on the cover of the book shows you.  As a bonus, the covers of all 18 issues of the magazine are included on the front and back endpapers (and a couple on the back cover).   The interior illos are included with the stories, too.

In his introduction to the volume, Robert Silverberg talks about what fun it was to write for Super-Science Fiction.  He must have enjoyed it, since he provide numerous stories for it, sometimes two, three, and four an issue.  It was also a financial pleasure, since the pay was two cents a word.  In the '50s.  People are still writing for that, or less, now.  

Super-Science Fiction wasn't the class of the SF field.  It published mostly straightforward adventure stories of the kind that a lot of readers now wouldn't consider worthy of notice.  Near the end of its run it even started running "Special Monster Issues" that featured, you guessed it, monsters.  Every story with its own monster.  These stories didn't save the magazine, but they were still fun.

Besides his intro to the collection, Silverberg also has brief intros to each story.  You can always learn something from reading Silverberg's intros.  

This isn't a book for everyone, but some of you will enjoy it as much as I do.  You know who you are.  You get the cover reproductions, Silverberg's intros, and the stories themselves, all in one great volume.  Highly recommended.

Introduction by Robert Silverberg
"Catch 'Em All Alive" by Robert Silverberg
"Who Am I?" by Henry Slesar
"Every Day is Christmas" by James E. Gunn
"I'll Take Over" by A.Bertram Chandler
"Song of the Axe" by Don Berry
"Broomstick Ride" by Robert Bloch
"Worlds of Origin" by Jack Vance
"The Tool of Creation" by J.F. Bone
"I Want to Go Home" by Robert Moore Williams
"Hostile Life-Form" by Daniel L. Galouye
"The Gift of Numbers" by Alan E. Nourse
"First Man in a Satellite" by Charles W. Runyon
"A Place Beyond the Stars" by Tom Godwin
"The Loathsome Beasts" by Dan Malcolm (aka Silverberg)


Todd Mason said...

Even GALAXY was down to paying a penny a word not long after the death of SUPER-SCIENCE, and F&SF was paying, I think, 2c/word in those years...$200 for a 10K-word novelet, when that would cover most rents, usually by some distance, wasn't Too shabby.

And, certainly, the contributors gathered here might not be doing their best work, but didn't leave their talent behind when plunging into their Special Monster stories...

FCTC said...

I really liked this sf book