Isaac Asimov & Martin H Greenberg (Eds)' "Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 1 (1939)" (anthology): Annotated table of contents & review
- It includes the first published stories of Heinlein, Von Vogt, & Theodore Sturgeon. Plus one of the early stories of Asimov - a story I'd not seen before.
- I don't recall another anthology where I didn't find a single dud. Stories vary in quality - superb to merely ok, but no real duds here.
Table of contents (20 stories, best first).Where I'm aware of online copies of stories, I provide download links. My rating is in brackets. Where I've a separate post on a the story, link on story title goes there. Link on a noun yields more of related stories.
- [novelette] Robert A Heinlein's "Misfit" (A); Astounding, November 1939: An asteroid is moved to build a giant space station.
- [ss] Joseph E Kelleam's "Rust" (A); Astounding, October 1939: Killing robots meant to destroy the enemy have done a minor change to their mission - "kill everything that lives", including those who built them.
- [ss] Henry Kuttner's "The Misguided Halo" (A); Unknown, August 1939; humor, fantasy: An inexperienced angel has mistakenly bestowed sainthood to the wrong man!
- [ss] H L Gold's "Trouble With Water" (A); Unknown, March 1939; fantasy: Never pick fight with a water gnome!
Author is the founding editor of Galaxy. But this story is from the first issue of Unknown.
- [ss] Eando Binder's "I, Robot" (A); download comic book adaptation; Amazing Stories, January 1939: Story that inspired Asimov's robot stories.
- [ss] Robert A Heinlein's "Life-Line" (A); download; Astounding, August 1939: A man has built a machine to see into the future, & insurance companies aren't happy.
First published story of Heinlein.
- [novelette] L Sprague de Camp's "The Blue Giraffe" (A); Astounding, August 1939; humor, science fiction: Adventures of a British investigator in an animal reserve in South Africa where too many freak births have been happening among the animals.
- [novelette] A E van Vogt's "Black Destroyer" (A); download; Astounding, July 1939: Men exploring a world that once knew civilization but is now sterile of life have terror waiting for them.
First published story of Van Vogt, & the story that is sometimes credited to have began the "Golden Age" of science fiction.
- [novelette] C L Moore's "Greater Than Gods" (A); Astounding, July 1939: A man is approached by his descendants from far off alternate futures. Each is canvassing to make him choose an action that will enable their future to exist!
- [ss] John Taine's "The Ultimate Catalyst" (A); Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939: A man has found a way to turn living animals into plants rooted to the ground!
- [novelette] L Sprague de Camp's "The Gnarly Man" (A); Unknown, June 1939: When a 50,000 years old neanderthal, made immortal by a mysterious lightning strike, turned up in New York city!
- [ss] Lester del Rey's "The Day is Done" (A); Astounding, May 1939: Last neanderthal breaths his last. Sentimental & sad mood.
- [ss] Theodore Sturgeon's "Ether Breather" (A); Astounding, September 1939; humor: A new TV transmission technology has made communications with invisible intelligent beings possible! But they have a weird sense of humor.
This is Sturgeon's first published story.
- [novelette] Jack Williamson's "Star Bright" (A); Argosy, November 1939: A meteor impact has given a strange capability to a man - his can wish arbitrary material things to appear or disappear! Makes a reference to H G Wells' "The Man Who Could Work Miracles".
- [novella] John W Campbell, Jr's "Cloak of Aesir" (B) (as by Don A Stuart); Astounding, March 1939: Earth was colonized by aliens thousands of years ago - an event that turned men into surfs. Now a group of men are beginning a revolution to throw the aliens out.
- [novelette] William F Temple's "The Four-Sided Triangle" (B); Amazing Stories, November 1939: Three friends - two men & a woman. Both men are in love with her, but she's loves only one. They marry. Finally, a solution is found to the rejected one's woes - by duplicating the woman! Only, the duplicate has exact same desires as the original - including the man she loves!
- [novelette] Nelson Bond's "Pilgrimage" (B); Amazing Stories, October 1939: In a matriarchal society where men are second class citizens, a young woman's coming of age ritual makes her undertake pilgrimage to a sacred temple some days journey away. but the journey leads to adventure & enlightenment.
- [ss] Milton A Rothman's "Heavy Planet" (B) (as by Lee Gregory); download; Astounding, August, 1939: Natives of a very high gravity world have got a relic from the skies.
- [ss] Isaac Asimov's "Trends" (B); Astounding, July 1939: Religious cranks won't let the first manned flight to moon happen - terming it sacrilege against gods! Hero will fight the forces of the dark & win (after much trouble).
Asimov's first appearance in Astounding, & his third published story.
- [ss] Robert Bloch's "The Strange Flight of Richard Clayton" (B); Amazing Stories, March 1939: Loneliness can make a man age visibly! Story is of the first manned flight to Mars - a project that failed.
Fact sheet.First published: 1979 (DAW).
Relevant entries have been added to the list of stories from John Campbell's Astounding.