Sunday, June 14, 2009

Isaac Asimov & Martin H Greenberg (Eds)' "Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 6 (1944)" (anthology): Annotated table of contents & review

Cover image of the anthology titled Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 6 1944 edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H GreenbergThis is #6 of a series of 25 anthologies by these editors. This book collects stories first published during the year 1944.

Many famous stories here, but few superlative ones. All but one are from Astounding.

Not many stories seem to be online. Where I'm aware of online copies, 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 (13 stories, best first, unread last).

  1. [novelette] C L Moore's "No Woman Born" (A); Astounding, December 1944: A fire victim gets a new metallic body but with her own brain, & is determined to get accepted in this form by society.

    Among the defining cyborg stories.
  2. [ss] John R Pierce's "Invariant" (A); Astounding, April 1944: Serious consequences of rejuvenation treatment.
  3. [ss] Lester del Rey's "Kindness" (A); Astounding, October 1944: A mutation has diverged humanity into supers & normal - normals dying out over time. This is the story of the last normal - his extreme discomfort in a society where he's too dumb compared to everyone else.
  4. [novelette] Henry Kuttner & C L Moore's "When the Bough Breaks" (as by Lewis Padgett) (B); Astounding, November 1944; generation gap: A variation on "Mimsy Were the Borogoves", with some darker shades of "Absalom" mixed in. A baby is a superman - the first of the new race "homo superior", causing much anguish & heartburn in his parents.
  5. [ss] Clifford D Simak's "Desertion" (B); Astounding, November 1944: Earth-natives transformed into a Jovian body (by a magical machine) to help colonize the "surface" of Jupiter end up prefering their Jovian body to the original!
  6. [ss] Fritz Leiber's "Sanity" (B); Astounding, April 1944: The idea of human sanity depends on what the society considers "normal".
  7. [novelette] Fredric Brown's "Arena" (B); download text or comic book adaptation; Astounding, June 1944: In a war between humans & aliens, god-like aliens intervene to ensure a decisive conclusion.
  8. [novella] Theodore Sturgeon's "Killdozer!" (B); Astounding, November 1944: An evil spirit buried by an ancient lost civilization is awakened in a Pacific island at the site of an airport construction project, & has possessed a bulldozer - a bulldozer with only one purpose: kill all humans at the site!
  9. [ss] Clifford D Simak's "Huddling Place" (B); Astounding, July 1944: In a society where people live in countryside rather than cities, a man has developed an extreme phobia of open spaces.
  10. [ss] A E van Vogt's "Far Centaurus"; Astounding, January 1944: Not read.
  11. [novelette] Cleve Cartmill's "Deadline"; Astounding, March 1944: Not read.
  12. [novelette] Leigh Brackett's "The Veil of Astellar"; Thrilling Wonder Stories, Spring 1944: Not read.
  13. [novelette] Clifford D Simak's "City"; Astounding, May 1944: Not read.

Fact sheet.

First published: August 1981 (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.
Legend: ss = short story.