Monday, March 16, 2009

Isaac Asimov & Martin H Greenberg (Eds)' "Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 18 (1956)" (anthology): Annotated table of contents & review

This is #18 of a series of 25 anthologies by these editors. This book collects stories first published during the year 1956.

I haven't read many stories yet; will update as I move through the book. 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.

Table of contents (15 stories, best first, unread last).

  1. [ss] Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question" (A); download; Science Fiction Quarterly, November 1956: An AI is given a rather fundamental problem - figure out a way to reverse entropy without expanding energy!
  2. [novelette] Mark Clifton's "Clerical Error" (A); download; Astounding, February 1956: In a society that doesn't value innovation, a man inflicted with demons formed by an understanding of the nature of his society & his upbringing is cured by a kind psychiatrist.
  3. [novelette] Murray Leinster's "Exploration Team" aka "Combat Team" (A); download; Astounding, March 1956; adventure: A rebel helps tame a dangerous world. Winner of Hugo Award 1957 in novelette category.
  4. [ss] Algis Budrys' "Silent Brother" (A); Astounding, February 1956; symbiosis: First human expedition to Alpha Centauri has returned with an unusual gift...
  5. [novelette] Alan E Nourse's "Brightside Crossing" (A); Galaxy, January 1956; adventure: An unsuccessful trek over the "sun-facing" side of Mercury at the time that planet is closest to Sun.
    PS: It's now known that Mercury is not tidally locked to Sun. But it's a good adventure anyway.
  6. [ss] Damon Knight's "The Country of the Kind" (C); F&SF, February 1956; fantasy: A peaceful society boycotts a man prone to violence.
  7. [novelette] Henry Kuttner & C L Moore's "Rite of Passage"; F&SF, May 1956: Not read.
  8. [novelette] Poul Anderson's "The Man Who Came Early"; F&SF, June 1956: Not read.
  9. [novelette] James Blish's "A Work of Art"; Science Fiction Stories, July 1956: Not read.
  10. [ss] Margaret St Clair's "Horrer Howce"; Galaxy, July 1956: Not read.
  11. [ss] Mack Reynolds' "Compounded Interest"; F&SF, August 1956: Not read.
  12. [ss] Reginald Bretnor's "The Doorstop"; Astounding, November 1956: Not read.
  13. [novelette] Damon Knight's "Stranger Station"; F&SF, December 1956: Not read.
  14. [ss] Michael Shaara's "2066: Election Day"; Astounding, December 1956: Not read.
  15. [novelette] Theodore Sturgeon's "And Now the News..."; F&SF, December 1956: Not read.
    PS: I recall having seen it online, & probably have it saved on hard disk. But don't have URL off hand. Try a Google search.

Fact sheet.

First published: August 1988 (DAW).
Relevant entries have been added to the list of stories from John Campbell's Astounding.
Some of the bibliographical information here comes from ISFDB.