John Hertz Reviews
A Treasury of Great Science Fiction PDF Print E-mail

Groff Conklin ed., A Treasury of Great Science Fiction (1948)
Reviewed by John Hertz
April 2007

Retrieved from the Internet Archive (originally at Collecting Science Fiction Books; copyright remains with the author). Used by permission.

Groff Conklin (1904-1968) was one of our best anthologists, and Treasury, his second, was one of his best anthologies.  I’m here to talk about the original hardback Crown edition, 517 pages, thirty stories; under the same title Berkley reprinted eight in a 1957 paperback.  Crown sold Treasury at $3.50 when gasoline was 26¢ a gallon.  That’s history for you.

Great and famous stories are in this Treasury.  Three are from the spectacular partnership of Henry Kuttner & Catherine Moore, “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” under their pen name Lewis Padgett, “No Woman Born” as by Moore, “Vintage Season” as by Lawrence O’Donnell.  “Woman” Conklin called “scintillating ... the C.L. Moore masterpiece” in his introduction.  “Season”, the only story included of its length, was voted Best Novella of All Time in the 1999 Locus magazine poll.  “Borogoves” has just (March 2007) inspired a Tim Hutton movie.

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 April 2016 )
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Past Master PDF Print E-mail

R.A. Lafferty, Past Master (1968)

Reviewed by John Hertz
December 2009

Retrieved from the Internet Archive (originally at Collecting Science Fiction Books; copyright remains with the author). Used by permission.

      The expression is “passed master” — one who has presented his masterpiece, has been examined, and has been accepted.  But here is a master from the past.

      In the year 2535, on the planet Astrobe, Thomas More is brought from the year 1535 on Earth.  Humankind has lived on Golden Astrobe five hundred years.  Life is perfect: only it isn’t.  Maybe More will help.

      Or maybe he won’t; maybe he will do something else; and what does who mean by help?  That is the plot of this book, that is the satire.  The book, standing on those feet, rises higher.

      Past Master was Lafferty’s first novel, after three dozen short stories in Galaxy and If and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction; he published about thirty, about two hundred short stories.

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 April 2016 )
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The Best of "Xero" PDF Print E-mail

Patricia & Richard Lupoff, The Best of "Xero" (2004), Tachyon Publications

Reviewed by John Hertz
October 2004

Retrieved from the Internet Archive (originally at Emerald City; copyright remains with the author). Used by permission.

Patricia & Richard Lupoff’s Xero won the 1963 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. Now Tachyon Publications of San Francisco has brought out The Best of "Xero" in hard covers, illustrated, a labor of love. I ran the Fanzine Lounge at the 2004 Worldcon, and made sure to put a copy on display. It’s a fine piece of work, which I commend to you.

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 April 2016 )
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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurís Court PDF Print E-mail

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)

Reviewed by John Hertz
June 2009

Retrieved from the Internet Archives (originally published June 2009 at Collecting Science Fiction Books; copyright remains with the author). Used by permission.

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 April 2016 )
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