Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Science Fiction: The Great Years, eds. Carol and Frederik Pohl

Second paragraph of third story ("Old Faithful", by Raymond Z. Gallun):
The two messengers who had come to his workshop that afternoon had not seen into his heart, and he received their message with the absolute outward calm that was characteristic of his kind - at the end of forty days Number 774 must die. He had lived the allotted span fixed by the Rulers.
I got this in 2014 because the last story, "A Matter of Form" by H.L. Gold, was up for the Retro Hugo for Best Novella that year (beaten by the classic "Who Goes There?", which got my vote). It's a collection of seven stories from the Golden Age, published between 1934 and 1953, all by men. The weakest is an early story of Pohl's own, "Wings of the Lightning Land"; several of the others have aged poorly, including Eric Frank Russell's "...And Then There Were None". I don't especially like Kornbluth's "The Little Black Bag" but I think it's a well-executed story. You can get it here.

This was the sf book that had lingered longest unread on my shelves. Next is another anthology from another era, Kaleidoscope: diverse YA science fiction and fantasy stories, eds Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios.
Tags: bookblog 2021, writer: frederik pohl
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