Birthday Reviews: Complete Linked Index to Authors and Stories

Since I finally completed something on this site, I felt like celebrating and thought it might be useful to gather up all the information about the project in this post. I started the Birthday Reviews on January 24, 2020 and, after a break from October 13, 2020 to October 20, 2022, I picked it up again, finally finishing on January 17, 2023. The 52 posts ended up covering 157 authors and 172 of their stories (I generally reviewed one story each, but did a double shot of Cadigan and del Rey plus a batch of Brown short-shorts). While the Site Map lists all these weekly posts with authors’ last names, the following lists the full name of each author individually (which links to their posts), vital dates, the story reviewed, and its place and date of publication.

(There’s also a plain text file to play with in a spreadsheet or with text processing tools if anyone is so inclined, though I strongly doubt anyone is. This is stored at what used to be my old site since WordPress doesn’t seem to want to let me store anything here besides images. Any spreadsheet just needs to be told it’s pipe-delimited with unquoted text (the story titles are incidentally quoted but not in spreadsheet terms).)


  • Poul Anderson (1926-11-25/2001-07-31) “Time Lag” F&SF, January 1961
  • Neal Asher (1961-02-04) “Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck” Asimov’s, August 2005
  • Isaac Asimov (1920-01-02/1992-04-06) “The Feeling of Power” If, February 1958
  • J. G. Ballard (1930-11-15/2009-04-19) “Prima Belladonna” Science Fantasy, December 1956
  • John Barnes (1957-02-28) “My Advice to the Civilized” IAsfm, April 1990
  • Neal Barrett, Jr. (1929-11-03/2014-01-12) “Perpetuity Blues” IAsfm, May 1987
  • Harry Bates (1900-10-09/1981-09-??) “Farewell to the Master” Astounding, October 1940
  • Stephen Baxter (1957-11-13) “Something for Nothing” Interzone #23, Spring 1988
  • Greg Bear (1951-08-20/2022-11-19) “Hardfought” IAsfm, February 1983
  • Gregory Benford (1941-01-30) “And the Sea Like Mirrors” Again, Dangerous Visions, 1972
  • Alfred Bester (1913-12-18/1987-09-30) “Of Time and Third Avenue” F&SF, October 1951
  • Eando Binder (1911-08-26/1974-10-14) “I, Robot” Amazing, January 1939
  • James Blish (1921-05-23/1975-07-30) “How Beautiful with Banners” Orbit 1, 1966
  • Ben Bova (1932-11-08/2020-11-29) “To Touch a Star” The Universe, 1987
  • Leigh Brackett (1915-12-07/1978-03-18) “The Last Days of Shandakor” Startling Stories, April 1952
  • Ray Bradbury (1920-08-22/2012-06-05) “The Anthem Sprinters” Playboy, June 1963
  • Reginald Bretnor (1911-07-30/1992-07-22) “The Gnurrs Come from the Voodvork Out” F&SF, Winter-Spring 1950
  • Miles J. Breuer (1889-01-03/1945-10-14) “The Gostak and the Doshes” Amazing, March 1930
  • Fredric Brown (1906-10-29/1972-03-11) “Not Yet the End” Captain Future, Winter 1941
  • ——— “Answer” Angels and Spaceships, 1954
  • ——— “Pattern” Angels and Spaceships, 1954
  • ——— “Reconciliation” Angels and Spaceships, 1954
  • ——— “Experiment” Galaxy, February 1954
  • ——— “Imagine” F&SF, May 1955
  • ——— “Abominable” Dude, March 1960
  • ——— “Recessional” Dude, March 1960
  • ——— “Earthmen Bearing Gifts” Galaxy, June 1960
  • ——— “The End” Nightmares and Geezenstacks, 1961
  • ——— “Jaycee” Nightmares and Geezenstacks, 1961
  • ——— “Rebound” Nightmares and Geezenstacks, 1961
  • ——— “Nightmare in Yellow” Dude, May 1961
  • ——— “The Short Happy Lives of Eustace Weaver, I, II, and III” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, June 1961
  • Algis Budrys (1931-01-09/2008-06-09) “The Man Who Always Knew” Astounding, April 1956
  • Octavia E. Butler (1947-06-22/2006-02-24) “Speech Sounds” IAsfm, Mid-December 1983
  • Pat Cadigan (1953-09-10) “Pretty Boy Crossover” IAsfm, January 1986
  • ——— “Angel” IAsfm, May 1987
  • Jack Cady (1932-03-20/2004-01-14) “The Night We Buried Road Dog” F&SF, January 1993
  • John W. Campbell (1910-06-08/1971-07-11) “Forgetfulness” Astounding, June 1937
  • Cleve Cartmill (1908-06-21/1964-02-11) “Deadline” Astounding, March 1944
  • A. Bertram Chandler (1912-03-28/1984-06-06) “Giant Killer” Astounding, October 1945
  • C. J. Cherryh (1942-09-01) “Cassandra” F&SF, October 1978
  • Arthur C. Clarke (1917-12-16/2008-03-19) “The Star” Infinity Science Fiction, November 1955
  • Hal Clement (1922-05-30/2003-10-29) “The Mechanic” Analog, September 1966
  • Mildred Clingerman (1918-03-14/1997-02-26) “Letters from Laura” F&SF, October 1954
  • John Collier (1901-05-03/1980-04-06) “The Chaser” The New Yorker, December 28, 1940
  • John Crowley (1942-12-01) “Snow” Omni, November 1985
  • Chan Davis (1926-08-12) “Adrift on the Policy Level” Star Science Fiction Stories No. 5, 1959
  • L. Sprague de Camp (1907-11-27/2000-11-06) “The Gnarly Man” Unknown, June 1939
  • Lester del Rey (1915-06-02/1993-05-10) “For I Am a Jealous People” Star Short Novels, 1954
  • ——— “The Seat of Judgment” Venture, July 1957
  • Joseph H. Delaney (1932-02-05/1999-12-21) & Marc Stiegler “Valentina” Analog, May 1984
  • Samuel R. Delany (1942-04-01) “Driftglass” If, June 1967
  • A. J. Deutsch (1918-01-25/1969-11-11) “A Subway Named Mobius” Astounding, December 1950
  • Philip K. Dick (1928-12-16/1982-03-02) “The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford” F&SF, January 1954
  • Gordon R. Dickson (1923-11-01/2001-01-31) “Dolphin’s Way” Analog, June 1964
  • Gardner Dozois (1947-07-23/2018-05-27) “Morning Child” Omni, January 1984
  • George Alec Effinger (1947-01-10/2002-04-27) “The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, EverythingF&SF, October 1984
  • Greg Egan (1961-08-20) “Learning to Be Me” Interzone #37, July 1990
  • Harlan Ellison (1934-05-27/2018-06-28) “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” If, March 1967
  • Carol Emshwiller (1921-04-12/2019-02-02) “Moon Songs” The Start of the End of It All, 1990
  • Hanns Heinz Ewers (1871-11-03/1943-06-12) “The Spider” Die Besessenen, 1908
  • Philip Jose Farmer (1918-01-26/2009-02-25) “Sail On! Sail On!” Startling Stories, December 1952
  • Robert L. Forward (1932-08-15/2002-09-21) “Self-Limiting” Analog, May 1992
  • Alan Dean Foster (1946-11-18) “Ye Who Would Sing” Galileo, December 1976
  • Raymond Z. Gallun (1911-03-22/1994-04-02) “Derelict” Astounding, October 1935
  • William Gibson (1948-03-17) “Johnny Mnemonic” Omni, May 1981
  • Joseph Green (1931-01-14) “The Crier of Crystal” Analog, October 1971
  • James Gunn (1923-07-12) “The Misogynist” Galaxy, November 1952
  • J. B. S. Haldane (1892-11-05/1964-12-01) “The Gold-Makers” The Inequality of Man, 1932
  • Joe Haldeman (1943-06-09) “Anniversary Project” Analog, October 1975
  • Edmond Hamilton (1904-10-21/1977-02-01) “Exile” Super Science Stories, May 1943
  • Peter F. Hamilton (1960-03-02) “The Forever Kitten” Nature, July 28, 2005
  • Charles L. Harness (1915-12-29/2005-09-20) “The Chessplayers” F&SF, October 1953
  • Harry Harrison (1925-03-12/2012-08-15) “Not Me, Not Amos Cabot!” Science Fantasy, December 1964-January 1965
  • Alix E. Harrow (1989-11-09) “A Whisper in the Weld” Shimmer #22, November 2014
  • Robert A. Heinlein (1907-07-07/1988-05-08) “Columbus Was a Dope” Startling Stories, May 1947
  • Robert E. Howard (1906-01-22/1936-06-11) “Pigeons from Hell” Weird Tales, May 1938
  • Shirley Jackson (1916-12-14/1965-08-08) “The Lottery” The New Yorker, June 26, 1948
  • Neil R. Jones (1909-05-29/1988-02-15) “The Jameson Satellite” Amazing, July 1931
  • Raymond F. Jones (1915-11-17/1994-01-24) “A Stone and a Spear” Galaxy, December 1950
  • David H. Keller (1880-12-23/1966-07-13) “The Thing in the Cellar” Weird Tales, March 1932
  • James Patrick Kelly (1951-04-11) “Think Like a Dinosaur” Asimov’s, June 1995
  • Daniel Keyes (1927-08-09/2014-06-15) “Flowers for Algernon” F&SF, April 1959
  • C. M. Kornbluth (1923-07-23/1958-03-21) “That Share of Glory” Astounding, January 1952
  • Henry Kuttner (1915-04-07/1958-02-04) “The Proud Robot” Astounding, October 1943
  • Geoffrey A. Landis (1955-05-28) “Approaching Perimelasma” Asimov’s, January 1998
  • Keith Laumer (1925-06-09/1993-01-23) “The Last Command” Analog, January 1967
  • Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-10-21/2018-01-22) “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” New Dimensions 3, 1973
  • Tanith Lee (1947-09-19/2015-05-24) “Into Gold” IAsfm, March 1986
  • Fritz Leiber (1910-12-24/1992-09-05) “The Oldest Soldier” F&SF, May 1960
  • Murray Leinster (1896-06-16/1975-06-08) “The Power” Astounding, September 1945
  • Jack London (1876-01-12/1916-11-22) “A Thousand Deaths” The Black Cat, May 1899
  • H. P. Lovecraft (1890-08-20/1937-03-15) “The Strange High House in the Mist” Weird Tales, October 1931
  • Katherine MacLean (1925-01-22/2019-09-01) “Unhuman Sacrifice” Astounding, November 1958
  • Ian R. MacLeod (1956-08-06) “The Chop Girl” Asimov’s, December 1999
  • George R. R. Martin (1948-09-20) “A Song for Lya” Analog, June 1974
  • Julian May (1931-07-10/2017-10-17) “Dune Roller” Astounding, December 1951
  • James McConnell (1925-10-26/1990-04-09) “Learning Theory” If, December 1957
  • Jack McDevitt (1935-04-14) “Act of God” Microcosms, 2004
  • A. Merritt (1884-01-20/1943-08-21) “Through the Dragon Glass” All-Story Weekly, November 24, 1917
  • C. L. Moore (1911-01-24/1987-04-04) “Shambleau” Weird Tales, November 1933
  • William Morrison (1906-10-13/1980-06-02) “The Model of a Judge” Galaxy, October 1953
  • Pat Murphy (1955-03-09) & Paul Doherty “Cold Comfort” Bridging Infinity, 2016
  • Linda Nagata (1960-11-07) “Codename: Delphi” Lightspeed #47, April 2014
  • Larry Niven (1938-04-30) “The Hole Man” Analog, January 1974
  • Andre Norton (1912-02-17/2005-03-17) “All Cats Are Gray” Fantastic Universe, August/September 1953
  • Edgar Pangborn (1909-02-25/1976-02-01) “The Red Hills of Summer” F&SF, September 1959
  • Rog Phillips (1909-02-20/1966-03-02) “The Yellow Pill” Astounding, October 1958
  • H. Beam Piper (1904-03-23/1964-11-06) “Time and Time Again” Astounding, April 1947
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809-01-19/1849-10-07) “The Cask of Amontillado” Godey’s Lady’s Book, November 1846
  • Frederik Pohl (1919-11-26/2013-09-02) “Day Million” Rogue, February/March 1966
  • Steven Popkes (1952-10-09) “Sudden, Broken, and Unexpected” Asimov’s, December 2012
  • Tom Purdom (1936-04-19) “A Response from EST17” Asimov’s, April/May 2011
  • Robert Reed (1956-10-09) “Katabasis” F&SF, November/December 2012
  • Mike Resnick (1942-03-05/2020-01-09) “Death Is an Acquired Trait” Argos, Winter 1988
  • Alastair Reynolds (1966-03-13) “Merlin’s Gun” Asimov’s, May 2000
  • R. S. Richardson (1902-04-22/1981-11-12) “N Day” Astounding, January 1946 (as by Philip Latham)
  • Ross Rocklynne (1913-02-21/1988-10-29) “Into the Darkness” Astonishing, June 1939
  • Milton A. Rothman (1919-11-30/2001-10-06) “Heavy Planet” Astounding, August 1939
  • Rudy Rucker (1946-03-22) “Pac-Man” IAsfm, June 1982
  • Eric Frank Russell (1905-01-06/1978-02-28) “Jay Score” Astounding, May 1941
  • Fred Saberhagen (1930-05-18/2007-06-29) “Starsong” If, January 1968
  • Hilbert Schenck (1926-02-12/2013-12-02) “The Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck” F&SF, September 1978
  • James H. Schmitz (1911-10-15/1981-04-18) “An Incident on Route 12” If, January 1962
  • Karl Schroeder (1962-09-04) “The Pools of Air” Tesseracts 3, 1991
  • Bob Shaw (1931-12-31/1996-02-11) “Light of Other Days” Analog, August 1966
  • Robert Sheckley (1928-07-16/2005-12-09) “The Perfect Woman” Amazing, December 1953-January 1954
  • Charles Sheffield (1935-06-25/2002-11-02) “A Braver Thing” IAsfm, February 1990
  • Wilmar H. Shiras (1908-09-23/1990-12-23) “In Hiding” Astounding, November 1948
  • John Shirley (1953-02-10) “The Incorporated” IAsfm, July 1985
  • Robert Silverberg (1935-01-15) “To Be Continued” Astounding, May 1956
  • Clifford D. Simak (1904-08-03/1988-04-25) “The Creator” Marvel Tales, March-April 1935
  • Joan Slonczewski (1956-08-14) “Tuberculosis Bacteria Join UN” Nature, June 29, 2000
  • Clark Ashton Smith (1893-01-13/1961-08-14) “The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan” Weird Tales, June 1932
  • Cordwainer Smith (1913-07-11/1966-08-06) “The Game of Rat and Dragon” Galaxy, October 1955
  • E. E. “Doc” Smith (1890-05-02/1965-08-31) “The Vortex Blaster” Comet, July 1941
  • George O. Smith (1911-04-09/1981-05-27) “QRM / Interplanetary” Astounding, October 1942
  • Norman Spinrad (1940-09-15) “A Thing of Beauty” Analog, January 1973
  • Brian Stableford (1948-07-25) “The Magic Bullet” Interzone #29, May-June 1989
  • Allen Steele (1958-01-19) “The War Memorial” Asimov’s, September 1995
  • Bruce Sterling (1954-04-14) & Lewis Shiner “Mozart in Mirrorshades” Omni, September 1985
  • Theodore Sturgeon (1918-02-26/1985-05-08) “The Hurkle Is a Happy Beast” F&SF, October 1949
  • Michael Swanwick (1950-11-18) “Radio Waves” Omni, Winter 1995
  • Leo Szilard (1898-02-11/1964-05-30) “The Mark Gable Foundation” The Voice of the Dolphins and Other Stories, 1961
  • Stephen Tall (1908-06-14/1981-01-15) “The Invaders” If, August 1973
  • Drew Hayden Taylor (1962-07-01) “Take Us To Your Chief” Take Us to Your Chief and Other Stories, 2016
  • Lucy Taylor (1951-11-30) “The Family Underwater” Close to the Bone, 1993
  • William Tenn (1920-05-09/2010-02-07) “Betelgeuse Bridge” Galaxy, April 1951
  • James Tiptree, Jr. (1915-08-24/1987-05-19) “Milk of Paradise” Again, Dangerous Visions, 1972
  • A. E. van Vogt (1912-04-26/2000-01-26) “Concealment” Astounding, September 1943
  • Jack Vance (1916-08-28/2013-05-26) “Sulwen’s Planet” The Farthest Reaches, 1968
  • John Varley (1947-08-09) “Retrograde Summer” F&SF, February 1975
  • Joan D. Vinge (1948-04-02) “Fireship” Analog, December 1978
  • Vernor Vinge (1944-10-02) “Long Shot” Analog, August 1972
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-11-11/2007-04-11) “Harrison Bergeron” F&SF, October 1961
  • Howard Waldrop (1946-09-15) “Ugly Chickens” Universe 10, 1980
  • Bryce Walton (1918-05-31/1988-02-05) “Too Late for Eternity” Startling Stories, Spring 1955
  • Lawrence Watt-Evans (1954-07-26) “Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers” IAsfm, July 1987
  • Sharon Webb (1936-02-29/2010-04-29) “Variation on a Theme from Beethoven” IAsfm, February 1980
  • Stanley G. Weinbaum (1902-04-04/1935-12-14) “Parasite Planet” Astounding, February 1935
  • Manly Wade Wellman (1903-05-21/1986-04-05) “O Ugly Bird!” F&SF, December 1951
  • H. G. Wells (1866-09-21/1946-08-13) “The Star” The Graphic, Christmas Number 1897
  • Don Wilcox (1905-08-29/2000-03-09) “The Voyage That Lasted Six Hundred Years” Amazing, October 1940
  • Oscar Wilde (1854-10-16/1900-11-30) “The Nightingale and the Rose” The Happy Prince and Other Tales, 1888
  • Kate Wilhelm (1928-06-08/2018-03-08) “The Mile-Long Spaceship” Astounding, April 1957
  • Robert Moore Williams (1907-06-19/1977-05-12) “Flight of the Dawn Star” Astounding, March 1938
  • Jack Williamson (1908-04-29/2006-11-10) “Nonstop to Mars” Argosy, February 14, 1939
  • Connie Willis (1945-12-31) “At the Rialto” Omni, October 1989
  • P. G. Wodehouse (1881-10-15/1975-02-14) “Sir Agravaine” Collier’s, June 29, 1912
  • John Wyndham (1903-07-10/1969-03-11) “The Asteroids, 2194” New Worlds #100, November 1960
  • Timothy Zahn (1951-09-01) “The Cassandra” Analog, November 1983
  • Roger Zelazny (1937-05-13/1995-06-14) “The Man Who Loved the Faioli” Galaxy, June 1967

Birthday Reviews: Crowley, Rothman, Taylor

This week: a speculative sandwich with one story partly about how hard it is to hold on and one partly about how hard it is to let go, with a superscience adventure between!


John Crowley (1942-12-01)

“Snow” (Omni, November 1985)

This opens with Charlie telling us how his deceased wife’s ex-husband bought her a “Wasp” and the contract that goes with it. The Wasp is a recording device designed to follow her around and store eight thousand hours of her life at a repository where she is to be buried and where visitors may come to commune with these recordings. It seems Georgie is older than Charlie but still young when she does die and the body of the story consists of his coming to visit her resting place and his experiences with this technology, as well as his interactions with the director of the place when he encounters problems with the technology. There are a lot of ways such a story could go but the way this one chooses is to be a stylish, dark, philosophical meditation on memory, death, and entropy using literal and technological snow as a symbol and which seems to show the ultimate emptiness of life, the universe, and everything, but which seems to vector toward a zen-like peace which keeps on keeping on. Not my kind of story, but weighty and skillfully done.

Milton A. Rothman (1919-11-30/2001-10-06)

“Heavy Planet” (Astounding, August 1939)

[Adapted from my 2019-10-21 review of The Expert Dreamers.]

Pseudonymous Lee Gregor’s “Heavy Planet” reads a bit like “Hal Clement meets Thunderball.” People are living on a planet with incredible gravity such that steel is almost like kleenex to them. However, they have enemies and need atomic weapons to deal with them so, when an atomic-powered spaceship goes down in the ocean, the protagonist and some of those enemies converge on the wreckage and tense combat ensues. This thrilling tale is simultaneously action- and idea-packed and I enjoyed it a lot.

Lucy Taylor (1951-11-30)

“The Family Underwater” (Close to the Bone, 1993)

This story bristles with sharply horrific phrases jabbing like fire urchin spines and comical ones glinting like bioluminescence in the dark deep. It’s set in a house filled with water in which family members may metamorphose into sea creatures but, for all that, it’s an all-too realistic story of abusive, dysfunctional families, habituation, and, worst of all, how difficult it can be to escape from them even if you’ve left.

Birthday Reviews: Barrett, Dickson, Ewers, Haldane

This week’s birthday gang brings us a bittersweet comedy, a bitterersweet drama, a Halloween horror, and a mob-ridden monetary melodrama.


Neal Barrett, Jr. (1929-11-03/2014-01-12)

“Perpetuity Blues” (IAsfm, May 1987)

This is the tale of “Maggie McKenna from Marble Creek” and a hilarious tale it is, but also an affecting one that can be read as very sad and, yet, ultimately perhaps upbeat even so. Maggie’s a small-town Texas girl whose father has disappeared and whose mother has died when she ends up with her lecherous uncle and an aunt who’s primary advice is to for God’s sake never sit on anyone’s lap. Maggie deals with many people, some good and some bad, both early in her life and on her big move to New York to become a playwright. The most important early encounter is with Oral Blue, a albino-looking man who claims to be an alien and who dresses and lives in blue. How he and her stories entangle is profound and also very funny, as he talks about being attacked by “Mormon terrorists” on one occasion and then by Vikings on another, whom he describes as “worse than Mormons.” Later, her most important influences are the truckers who get her to New York (one of whom has a library where all the books are written by various people named “John”) and, when she arrives, she declares, “Lordy, it looks near as real as a movie.”

This sort of makes me think of Tom Robbins turned up to 11. One of the most effective elements is how it takes a narrative tone that has room for ironic/comic distance on the one hand and for Maggie’s subjectivity at the same time, as when we get a flash as through a microscope when we learn that Maggie “liked to wander over limestone hills where every rock you picked up was the shell of something tiny that had lived.” It’s a very engaging, funny, and layered story with a superb “voice.”

Gordon R. Dickson (1923-11-01/2001-01-31)

“Dolphin’s Way” (Analog, June 1964)

A scientist is trying to communicate with dolphins while fearing the budgetary ax will fall when a strangely attractive reporter arrives and begins asking him questions. Over the course of the story, we get his theories about tests aliens might have for humanity and how we might communicate with dolphins and then witness his pyrhhic victory. This is an excellent tale about linguistics, the Fermi Question, the nature of “humanity” and the cosmos. There is a problem with some gaps in the reporter’s knowledge, it seems to me, but this is about the only blemish on a story that does a great job of packing a lot of ideas into a very short and intelligent space and is also strangely vivid and concrete, perhaps due to its focus on clarity and essentials, allowing the details of place and sensation to achieve more than those in most stories do. This is also a good story to enrich the perspectives of those who see Campbell and/or Dickson stories in simple, monolithic terms.

Hanns Heinz Ewers (1871-11-03/1943-06-12)

“The Spider” (Die Besessenen, 1908)

Happy Halloween! (And with minutes to spare.) This tale of a medical student renting a room in which three people have hanged themselves on consecutive Fridays is steeped in sex and death (or eros and thanatos, if you want to get fancy and Freudian) and combines a third-person omniscient presentation of the student’s diary, giving the best of both narrative worlds while the student suffers the worst of both psychosexual worlds. While I question its “psychological” underpinnings, it’s a creative and skilled dramatization of them and, while I can’t get into it without spoilers, it makes an odd antithesis to the preceding story. (Also, the little dash of number-play that I think I see is a twistedly amusing element.)

J. B. S. Haldane (1892-11-05/1964-12-01)

“The Gold-Makers” (The Inequality of Man, 1932)

The following is adapted from my review of Great Science Fiction by Scientists.

Several scientists have written SF stories. Many are surprisingly melodramatic and, in some cases, even more surprisingly effective. J.B.S. Haldane’s “The Gold-Makers” is a strong example, dealing with a complicated noir mob-like plot turning on the financial implications of being able to create gold, with some parties trying to achieve this and others trying to suppress it. This is wrapped in an “I’m publishing this true story as fiction” wrapper, which is entertaining.

Bibliography: Groff Conklin

I wasn’t intending to do this, especially so close to the last one, but here’s another bibliography/checklist, this time of an editor of anthologies rather than an author of novels and collections. (While he wrote some and edited a few non-speculative anthologies prior to turning to science fiction, this includes only the speculative anthologies beginning with 1946.)

The format is ‘Title (Publication year-month Publisher Format (hc=hardcover/tp=trade paperback/pb=mass-market paperback) Co-editor, story-count/page-count); any significant variants…’ Not all elements will be present for all editions. Note that books with identical contents but differing page counts (presumably due to being reset) are ignored but, if they have some other reason to be listed, are listed with the page counts separated with a bar: ‘page-count|other page count’. Variant listings include only the elements which are different from the first edition. For instance, the 1963 edition of The Best of Science Fiction is still a Crown hardcover and the 1980 Bonanza/Crown edition is still a hardcover with the original story and page counts. Variants are ‘cut’ (missing stories), ‘split’ (one large book published in smaller books, ‘vt’ (variant title), ‘va’ (variant attribution), or some combination.

Sources: ISFDB, Anthopology 101 by Bud Webster, my books. ISFDB, Webster, and other sources have complete story listings but this is intended to be a book checklist which can provide a concise but somewhat detailed overview of his work, help people avoid cuts or duplicates under other names, point people to the big and the little, particular publishers, etc.

Phase I

In this period, Conklin did mostly large anthologies in hardcover, mostly for Crown, Vanguard, and Permabooks.

  • The Best of Science Fiction (1946-02 Crown hc, 40/785); cut 1963 23/440 (also cuts Campbell’s intro, though it preserves Conklin’s); vt The Golden Age of Science Fiction (1980 Bonanza/Crown).
  • A Treasury of Science Fiction (1948-03 Crown hc, 30/517); cut 1957-07 Berkley pb, 8/186|192.
  • The Science Fiction Galaxy (1950-02 Permabooks hc, 12/242).
  • Big Book of Science Fiction (1950-08 Crown hc, 32/545); cut 1957-04 Berkley pb, 10/187|176; vt The Classic Book of Science Fiction (1978 Bonanza/Crown).
  • Possible Worlds of Science Fiction (1951-04 Vanguard hc, 22/372); cut 1952-06 Grayson & Grayson (UK), 13/254; cut 1955-07 Berkley pb, 10/189.
  • In the Grip of Terror (1951 Permabooks pb, 22/364).
  • Invaders of Earth (1952-03 Vanguard hc, 22/333); cut 1953 Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK) 14/256; cut 1955-07 Pocket pb, 15/257; cut split vt Invaders of Earth (1962 Digit (UK) pb, 8/160)/Enemies in Space (1962 Digit (UK) pb, 6/159). The Digits contain all the Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
  • Omnibus of Science Fiction (1952-11 Crown hc, 43/562); cut split vt Strange Travels in Science Fiction (1954-01 Grayson & Grayson (UK); 13/256)/Strange Adventures in Science Fiction (1954-06 Grayson & Grayson (UK), 9/238); cut vt Science Fiction Omnibus (1956-08 Berkley pb 11/187|190).
  • Science Fiction Adventures in Dimension (1953-03 Vanguard hc, 23/354); cut vt Adventures in Dimension (1955 Grayson & Grayson (UK), 13/240); cut 1965-03 Berkley pb, 12/174.
  • The Supernatural Reader (1953-04 Lippincott hc, 27/349) with Lucy Conklin; cut 1958 World (UK) pb, 19/252; va 1962 Collier pb, /352 credited to Groff Conklin only.
  • Crossroads in Time (1953-11 Permabooks pb, 18/312).
  • 6 Great Short Novels of Science Fiction (1954-01 Dell pb, 6/384).
  • Science-Fiction Thinking Machines (1954-05 Vanguard hc, 22/367); cut vt Selections from Science-Fiction Thinking Machines (1955-08 Bantam pb, 12/183|201).
  • Science Fiction Terror Tales (1955-01 Gnome hc, 15/262).
  • Science Fiction Adventures in Mutation (1955 Vanguard hc, 20/316); cut vt Selected Stories from Science-Fiction Adventures in Mutation (1965-06 Berkley pb, 14/174).
  • Operation Future (1955-07 Permabooks pb, 19/356).

Phase II

The two years between the last book of Phase I and the first of Phase II marks the longest gap between books of his entire career. From here on, he did mostly relatively smaller paperbacks, mostly for Pyramid, Fawcett, and Collier (and no more with Crown, Vanguard, or Permabooks).

  • The Graveyard Reader (1958 Ballantine pb, 12/156)
  • Br-r-r-! (1959 Avon pb, 10/192)
  • 4 for the Future (1959-08 Pyramid pb, 4/160)
  • 13 Great Stories of Science Fiction (1960-05 Fawcett pb, 13/192)
  • Six Great Short Science Fiction Novels (1960-11 Dell pb, 6/350)
  • Twisted (1962-05 Belmont pb, 15/189); cut 1963 Horwitz (UK) pb, 10/130.
  • Worlds of When (1962-05 Pyramid pb, 5/159)
  • Great Science Fiction by Scientists (1962-06 Collier pb, 16/313)
  • Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales (1963-02 Collier pb, 50/287) with Isaac Asimov. Also includes a poem by Poul Anderson and six haiku by Karen Anderson.
  • Great Science Fiction About Doctors (1963-04 Collier pb, 18/412) with Noah D. Fabricant, M.D.
  • Great Stories of Space Travel (1963-07 Tempo pb, 11/256)
  • 17 X Infinity (1963-08 Dell pb, 17/272). Also includes a poem by Rudyard Kipling.
  • 12 Great Classics of Science Fiction (1963-12 Fawcett pb, 12/192)
  • Dimension 4 (1964-02 Pyramid pb, 4/159)
  • Five-Odd (1964-08 Pyramid pb, 5/188); vt Possible Tomorrows (1972-06 Sidgwick & Jackson (UK) hc).
  • Great Detective Stories About Doctors (1965-01 Collier pb, 17/288) with Noah D. Fabricant, M.D.
  • 5 Unearthly Visions (1965 Fawcett pb, 5/175)
  • Giants Unleashed (1965 Grosset & Dunlap hc, 12/248); vt Minds Unleashed (1970-10 Tempo pb). Conklin’s introduction is dropped from the variant title.
  • 13 Above the Night (1965-10 Dell pb, 13/286)
  • Another Part of the Galaxy (1966 Fawcett pb, 6/224)
  • Seven Come Infinity (1966 Fawcett pb, 7/288)
  • Science Fiction Oddities (1966-11 Berkley pb, 19/256); split vt Science Fiction Oddities (1969-06 Rapp & Whiting (UK) hc, 9/156)/Science Fiction Oddities: Second Series (1969-06 Rapp & Whiting (UK) hc, 10/160)
  • Elsewhere and Elsewhen (1968-05 Berkley pb, 9/253); split vt Science Fiction Elsewhen (1970-07 Rapp & Whiting (UK) hc, 5/152)/Science Fiction Elsewhere (1970-07 Rapp & Whiting (UK) hc, 4/166)
  • Seven Trips Through Time and Space (1968 Fawcett pb, 7/256)

Note: ISFDB quotes Tuck as saying Conklin “sub-edited” Human and Other Beings (1963 Collier pb, 16/319) which is a title in the Collier Science Fiction series of which Conklin is credited as the general editor. Webster also lists it among Conklin’s works. But if this were true, it would make this book the only example of such a thing in all of Conklin’s SF anthologies and crediting only Allen DeGraeff (a pseudonym of Albert Paul Blaustein according to OCLC (via ISFDB) and Webster) would have hurt the sales of the book, so Conklin’s anonymity in this makes little sense to me without definite proof. For what it’s worth (because I don’t know what the usual batting average is), of the 15 authors in this anthology, Banks, Brackett (!), Elliott, and Wilson (with two stories) appear in none of the books I list above.

Review: Dominion, edited by Knight and Ekpeki


Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, edited by Zelda Knight & Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald
Hardcover: Aurelia Leo, 978-1-946024-89-3, $28.99, 300?pp, August 2020 [1]


  • “Trickin” by Nicole Givens Kurtz
  • “Red_Bati” by Dilman Dila
  • “A Maji Maji Chronicle” by Eugen Bacon (reprint)
  • “The Unclean” by Nuzo Onoh (reprint)
  • “A Mastery of German” by Marian Denise Moore
  • “Convergence in Chorus Architecture” by Dare Segun Falowo
  • “Emily” by Marian Denise Moore
  • “To Say Nothing of Lost Figurines” by Rafeeat Aliyu
  • “Sleep Papa, Sleep” by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (reprint)
  • “The Satellite Charmer” by Mame Bougouma Diene
  • “Clanfall: Death of Kings” by Odida Nyabundi
  • “Thresher of Men” by Michael Boatman
  • “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon” by Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald

Syncretism and intensity–often apocalyptic and horrific intensity–are two words which convey the most striking aspects of this anthology of thirteen stories (ten original) by twelve African or African-American authors. I use syncretism not only in the usual sense of many of the stories containing a blend of religious beliefs, but also in the sense that they contain a blend of science fictional and fantastic elements and worldviews. While the stories might be loosely placed into balanced groupings of four horror, four fantasy, and five science fictional pieces, the fantasy sometimes has a strange tinge of rationalism and quotidian reality akin to Campbell’s Unknown while the science fiction almost always has a massive dose of fantasy and either may also be tinged with horror. Only those pieces which are primarily horror are also nearly exclusively horror.

The most striking of those is the superb and harrowing “The Unclean,” which is told by a woman who waits for judgment before the Tree of Truth next to the corpse of her husband with the present moment (1960 Nigeria) broken up by reflections on the past that brought her here. The powerlessness of this woman in her “matrimonial hell” as she is essentially sold by her parents to another family where she endures ostracism as Other and abuse at the hands of her husband is made vividly real. The husband has basically no redeeming features but is depicted in enough detail to have substance and rise above the level of a cartoon and there is complexity as the woman, who hated the system while miserable in it, primarily due to being unable to conceive a child with her husband, comes to a brief complicit acceptance of it when she does finally conceive and is treated better. But then the situation grows much worse–horribly, nightmarishly worse. It is extremely powerful. Conversely, “Thresher of Men” is a simplistic and tasteless revenge fantasy but “Trickin’” is a more adequate story of a young man being possessed by a vampiric spirit on a post-apocalyptic Halloween and “Sleep Papa, Sleep” moves from an underworld cyberpunk mood (complete with skies of TV static) to horror when the Yoruba man making an illicit deal with a Hausa from the north turns out to be a graverobber who has robbed the wrong grave. The concrete evocation of place, the complex depiction of family, and the (compared to most other stories in this book only) understated depiction of the horror (where the living are arguably even more frightening than the dead) put this on a high level, though how a years-dead corpse could have fresh body parts bothered me throughout the story. [2]

All is not unrelieved darkness however, as the more fantastic stories sometimes depart far enough from horror to reach outright humor. “To Say Nothing of Lost Figurines” and “A Maji Maji Chronicle” are both very enjoyable lighter tales though both have serious subtexts. The former involves a sort of magician attempting to recover one of his stolen magical talismans. During this, he runs into interdimensional bureaucracy and some beings who have turned xenophobic toward humans. His absent-minded overconfidence is rudely checked but he has had the good fortune to meet a hybrid human-alien who has suffered prejudice from the people she lives among but has talents they lack. The latter even more serious tale has a father and son amusingly bicker as they travel back in time to German East Africa (now basically Tanzania) in 1905 where the father attempts to meddle in history to improve a terrible situation yet manages to make it even worse. It’s all a lesson to the son and a wise one about how all of humanity is capable of good or ill in various circumstances. “Emily” is a completely serious sort of prose poem of 200 words with a temporal aspect. Even harder to pigeonhole is “Convergence in Chorus Architecture.” It would seem to be a pure fantasy involving two youngsters struck by lightning and the three babalawos (sorts of mystics) who travel to the spirit world to try to bring them back. However both horror and science fiction break through as a ship of bones is first a premonition and then a reality which carries the people off in a cataclysm that then becomes cosmic and affects other worlds (which can all be taken both literally and symbolically). Initially, the use of terms like “electric” and “steam” in an almost technical sense seemed anachronistic but turned out to fit in with the overall ambiguity. It is too richly written for my taste (though it has wonderful phrases like a “distillate of dream”) but others may especially enjoy that. It is wildly imaginative and does make ethereal magic seem concrete akin to the way James H. Schmitz managed to make psi combat seem tangible.

Oddly, the two stories that seem most related to the Congo are both science fictional and both are very distantly related to it. “Clanfall” is set in a fantastic far future with artificial descendants of humanity fighting for dominance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a satisfying structure or conclusion and reads more like a teaser for something else. “Red_Bati” is actually set on a starship and involves a robotic dog fighting to survive after losing a limb and being consigned to the scrap heap. Even more effective, “A Mastery of German” explores the relationship of an American woman with her father and the company she works for. The father’s interest in both personal and social history and the company’s interest in memory transfer techniques dovetail. I feel like the science fictional aspects are pushed beyond credibility for thematic purposes but it’s interesting and otherwise successful and at least feels like the hardest SF in the anthology. “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon” (not to be confused with a similarly titled earlier tale) falls a hair on the SF side just as “Convergence” fell a hair on the fantasy side and, like “The Unclean,” deals with women and society. In this, after an incomplete apocalypse which has left an enclave of mutated people struggling to survive, one woman is expected to bear children but wants something else for herself. When the leader inadvertently calls an invasion down on his people’s heads and exiles himself to the forest of fears, horror again shows its bloody fangs and the necessity for her to reproduce becomes even more vital, yet still she resists. While one might sympathize with her but still start to see her as being selfish by that extreme point, the resolution is both fantastic and realistic in ways (and theologically bold). Even better, and rising to, and possibly beyond, the level of “The Unclean” is “The Satellite Charmer.” This moves through three basic stages in which the young orphan protagonist experiences both good and bad in the context of a childhood given consolation and insulation by his beloved grandmother and girlfriend. It is quite realistic except for the science fictional element of the Chinese mining beam and the fantasy element of an earlier childhood experience which turn out to be related. In the second movement, the way in which joy and pain persist for a time but in a context in which this insulation has been stripped away (before even that sort of joy is also stripped away) is movingly done and the story becomes even more realistic in a sense. Then the third movement suddenly shifts into cosmic gear with horror aspects. There is no simplistic good or evil for this protagonist who moves into an agonizingly complex place of awesome and awful deeds beyond the human level. This has a little bit of everything, from the wonderful but painful relationship of “Ife-Iyoku” to the vast scope of “Convergence” to the horror of several stories. I have no idea how the mining beam is actually supposed to work literally, as opposed to symbolically, and I often complain about stories becoming unhinged and lacking objective correlatives and perhaps that’s true here, too, but I think the correlative is the universe, itself, and it works for me.

Regarding the stories generally, they are clearly of “Africa and the African Diaspora” and some do focus on colonialism (even specific colonial events as in “Maji Maji”) and some address current Chinese neo-colonialism [3] while others deal with the African environment or cultural identity or other issues and, I suspect, people well-versed in African history and events would get much more out of this than otherwise but the stories are in no way exclusively focused on such issues and essentially all work on the general levels of “speculative fiction” so that even someone completely ignorant of all things African should be able to enjoy them (and not be so ignorant afterwards). “The Unclean” and “The Satellite Charmer” are almost worth the price of admission all by themselves but I also enjoyed at least eight of the other eleven on some level or other which is an extraordinary batting average. If you’re squeamish when it comes to horror or are looking only for pure-quill SF, I couldn’t recommend this but if you’re looking for a powerful reading experience of any other sort, I can and do.

[1] This is a review of an advance copy. The final pagination is not certain but the book should be about 110,000 words. It should also include a foreword by Tananarive Due.

[2] It’s worth noting that this story is also written in present tense, which usually bothers me and didn’t help here but that (aside from subsets for specific purposes in a couple of others) this is the only such story in the entire anthology.

[3] It’s good to see this awareness of, and antipathy towards, history repeating and it’s an issue some in the SF community could think about as some try to cash in on the Chinese market and others believe that promoting a totalitarian state is promoting diversity.

Belated Book Haul

I’ve made a little more progress in Project Asimov and will post about that soon but, in the meantime, here’s some book porn. In 2017 and 2018, I posted pics of my purchases at the annual library book sales but neglected to do that for 2019. I didn’t neglect to take the pics, though, so here are the ones of the SF books that I got on the first couple of days . (Some are replacement copies, some are new, and the SF Encyclopedia is the first edition to go with my second and the internet’s third.)

(If you want, you can click on the thumbnails to see the full-size pics.)

Spine shot of single-author mass-market paperbacks.

Same, but with full-frontal bookity.

Spine shot of anthologies, tradepapers, and hardcovers.

And a front-cover shot of the same.

Edit (2019-01-04): Made thumbnails bigger.

Review: Weird Tales, edited by Leo Margulies

Weird Tales, edited by Leo Margulies (Pyramid, 1964, pb, 155pp.) R-1029

“The Man Who Returned” by Edmond Hamilton
“Spider Mansion” by Fritz Leiber, Jr.
“A Question of Etiquette” by Robert Bloch
“The Sea Witch” by Nictzin Dyalhis
“The Strange High House in the Mist” by H. P. Lovecraft
“The Drifting Snow” by August W. Derleth
“The Body-Masters” by Frank Belknap Long, Jr.
“Pigeons from Hell” by Robert E. Howard

‘Tis the season to be crawly, so I thought I’d review something in keeping with those spirits the day before Halloween. Weird Tales is a selection of stories published between 1931 and 1942 in the magazine of that name. The selection is credited to Leo Margulies, a publisher and editor involved with several SF magazines, but was (appropriately enough) ghost-edited by Sam Moskowitz. Presumably, Moskowitz also wrote the uncredited three-page introduction, which describes some of the history and character of the magazine, as well as the short introductions to the author of each story.

Being Weird Tales, the magazine included SF and fantasy as well as horror and two of the less successful tales in an otherwise very successful anthology represent those categories. Long’s 1935 story, “The Body-Masters,” is set in Cosmopolis in the year 5678 with a protagonist named V67 who is a Gland Surgeon. Seems almost everyone in this (dys|u)topia is a doctor, some of whom essentially vivisect maladjusted people with the aid of a strange pseudo-anaesthetic. This milieu and its robot mistresses are used to explore the atavistic emotion of jealousy and the notion of ideals. In one sense, this is a bad story but it is strangely imaginative and tackles a theme in a way that brought to mind Robert Silverberg’s “The Throwbacks” which, oddly, I just posted here though I reviewed it long ago. Almost half of Dyalhis’ long fantasy, “The Sea Witch,” is given over to repetitive descriptions of the nude woman an old man finds coming out of the sea on a dark and stormy night. Much is made of her archaic knowledge and speech but the narrative style is at least as archaic. Finally, the tale of magic revenge in a literally Byzantine plot unfolds in the second half after mixing New England, Norse myths, and reincarnation. I can see how some might enjoy this tale, but I didn’t.

While you could stretch “The Sea Witch” to fit some notion of horror, it’s essentially a fantasy as told. H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Strange High House in the Mist” also requires some stretching, though less so. Even leaving aside the magazine it was published in, it’s a very weird tale in which nothing much happens and it’s all told in a very mannered way but that achieves a sort of mesmeric effect conveying an awe-fulness symbolized by the unforgettable “strange high house in the mist” which the protagonist strives to reach. Moving more definitely into horror, Bloch’s “A Question of Etiquette” also deploys its style to good effect. Through the eyes of a census taker who has been drugged by the witch he had the misfortune to interview, we witness the wild night of her Sabbat and his strange fate. The narrator’s tone, which moves effectively from black comedy to phantasmagorical fear without varying the same basic pitch, is remarkable.

Several stories, such as “Sea Witch” and “High House” are New England tales and/or snowy. Derleth’s “The Drifting Snow” is another of them. In it, through an aunt who doesn’t like the curtains on one side of the house to be opened and a niece-in-law who feels a compulsion to open them, we learn a family secret from the past which led to a very strange sort of revenant who entices more to join her number. Aside from that, this is an oddly pleasant tale of a family get-together. Strange, but fairly effective. Another snowy story is Hamilton’s piece about “The Man Who Returned.” John Woodford wakes to find he’s been buried alive. The opening horror gives way to a strange inversion of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the irony keeps on ironing. It’s odd that a man so sick he’s been taken for dead is so vigorous in this tale which is also overly reliant on coincidence but it’s otherwise pretty effective and, despite being reminiscent of Poe, is also unusual. Leiber’s “Spider Mansion” is another tale that has some echoes of Poe (and is the sort of thing which, dammit, Janet, had its influence on The Rocky Horror Picture Show). With its “Negro” servants and psychologically twisted midgets, its obviously not a contemporary story but when a couple arrives at the creepy house of a person they think they know one dark and stormy night, the host, a midget-turned-giant via the superscience of his brother, hosts a morbid dinner and regales them with his own diabolical “genius.” Meanwhile, another horror lurks about the house and grounds and things must culminate in damsels in distress, swordplay, and fire. While an element of the ending can be made plausible, it takes some work and the title gives away what is held as a reveal in the story but this is otherwise fine, freaky stuff.

While the anthology is good as a whole, Howard’s tremendous “Pigeons from Hell” wrecks the grade curve. The second-longest tale of the book opens with two New Englanders on a jaunt to the South ending up spending the night at a deserted mansion. One wakes up from what he tries to convince himself was a nightmare only for things to go from bad to worse, resulting in a mad dash from the house. I don’t want to spoil even the opening section but perhaps some flavor of what happened can be given by quoting a piece from when the surviving traveler, Griswell, returns to the house with Buckner, the local sheriff.

He swung the beam around, and Griswell had never dreamed that the sight of the gory body of a murdered man could bring such relief.

“He’s still there,” grunted Buckner.

In the second section, the two men meet with a voodoo man and fill in some details of what Buckner knew of the sordid family history of the mansion’s last inhabitants before moving to the final section and the nightmarish showdown with a “zuvembie” monster. My only complaint with this story is that the first section is so powerful that the remainder, while also powerful and maintaining suspense and interest, can’t quite match that opening. The Leiber, for instance, is very good, but is quite fantastic from the start, which may not allow some readers to get into it and the superscience may be effective for some and a distraction for others. This tale’s prosaic opening and initially very basic horror works much more certainly. Lovecraft’s style, for instance, works very well for his tale but Dyalhis’ (at least for me) was fatally damaging. This story skips any possible problem with that and just tells its tale. Again, with the Dyalhis, the disparate mythological pieces don’t mesh that well for me whereas this tale’s antebellum relics and imported voodoo fit superbly. Highly recommended.

Book Haul!

Awhile ago, I went to the library book sale. This year’s selection of speculative fiction was not as good as last year’s and, again, I ended up getting proportionally more fantasy and horror than I’d ideally aim for (though it is hard to find science fiction I do want and don’t have—in several cases, in both SF/F/H and other categories, I got replacement copies rather than outright new books). The lack of SF did allow me to devote a little more time to looking through some other subjects. On a general note, there was a good crowd which put a few drops into the county’s bucket.

As I did last year, I’m posting some pics. Click to embiggen (and if your browser auto-resizes and you want to see it full-size you may need to click again or do something else). Continue reading


As they say. I think. I hope…

My public library had its somewhat annual booksale recently. Since it puts all its literature (including poetry!) in General Fiction, its philosophy in General Non-Fiction, and considers books about raising dogs, cats, birds, etc., to be “Science,” I came away a bit deficient in those categories – even more so than usual, for some reason. But I did manage some science. The “Biography & History” is no more granular than its description implies but I did manage some of that and some Reference, too. And there is, at least, an SF/F/H section which is actually SF/F/H. Almost everything I got came from there and, perhaps due to the selection, much more of that was fantasy and horror than usual. I also got some replacements for books I had in poor condition or even gave some books I used to have a second chance, so it wasn’t as cost-effective as it might have been if they’d all been new to me but it was still pretty good.

It was also nice, on a library/social level, to see that the sale was quite busy and that the SF section was among the busiest, even if, on a personal level, it might have resulted in stuff I’d have liked to get disappearing faster.

So: pics, or it didn’t happen! Here are a couple of spine pics followed by five of full frontal bookity. Continue reading