Friday, February 07, 2014

FFB: The Best Science Fiction Stories and Novels 1956 -- T. E. Dikty, Editor

I saw this one on the shelves the other day and had a brief but enjoyable frenzy of nostalgia.  It's one of the books that I got from the Science Fiction Book club, and it some how survived my mother's purge when I went away to college.  I've reproduced the contents page and the acknowledgements so you can see where the stories came from.  

Some of the stories are still remembered and talked about, while others have disappeared.  There are a couple of them that I don't remember at all, though I probably read everything in the book at least twice all those years ago.  My two favorites than and now are "The Game of Rat and Dragon" and "A Canticle for Leibowitz."  

I was a great buyer of anthologies from the SF Book Club.  I have four or five other volumes that are "best ofs" from a couple of magazines, and I also have a couple of the massive Grof Conklin anthologies.  Plus the big Astounding collection.  I was a great reader of short stories in those days, and I have collections by Simak and Asimov, as well.  How those all survived the Great Purge, I have no idea, but I'm glad they did.

(Sorry, no Shirley Jackson story in this one.)


George said...

This is a great collection and 1956 was a great year for Science Fiction!

Todd Mason said...

"I Do Not Love Thee, Doctor Fell" by Robert Bloch is sf by S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g only, but it's another fine story, and one of those along with "Lucy Comes to Stay" that led more or less directly to PSYCHO.

Earl Kemp was essentially editing the series by then.

Unknown said...

Earl did the SF book index, which I should've mentioned. It includes a James Bond novel.

Todd Mason said...

Earl claims, and I don't doubt him, that he was taking care of just about everything about the series by the end. Pretty much the way Frederik Pohl was editing GALAXY by about 1958, even though he wasn't credited as editor till the early '60s (and some claim Pohl wasn't doing as much by the end of the '60s as Judy-Lynn Benjamin was)...or the "editorship" of F&SF by Joseph Ferman, except his son Edward was editing it.

Rick Robinson said...

I think possibly my favorite is the Mark Clifton story, "Clerical Error".

Unknown said...

Another good one. Let's face it, as George says, 1956 was a great year for SF.