FORGOTTEN BOOKS #394: THE 13 CRIMES OF SCIENCE FICTION edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, Charles G. Waugh

This anthology from 1970 features a Baker’s Dozen of science fiction stories with crimes and investigations. My favorite story in this book is Jack Vance’s “Coup de Grace” where Vance’s famous sleuth, Magnus Ridolph, investigates a mysterious murder at an isolated resort. Ridolph uses a clever sociological analysis to identify the killer. Isaac Asimov provides his usual informative “Introduction” and each story has introductory material that illuminates the short story and the writer. If you’re in the mood for SF with a criminal theme, The 13 Crimes of Science Fiction is well worth reading!
Introduction: The Universes of Science Fiction by Isaac Asimov
The Detwiler Boy by Tom Reamy
The Ipswich Phial by Randall Garrett
Second Game by Charles V. De Vet and Katherine MacLean
The Ceaseless Stone by Avram Davidson
Coup de Grace by Jack Vance
The Green Car by William F. Temple
War Game by Philip K. Dick
The Singing Bell by Isaac Asimov
ARM by Larry Niven
Mouthpiece by Edward Wellen
Time Exposures by Wilson Tucker
How-2 by Clifford D. Simak
Time in Advance by William Tenn

16 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #394: THE 13 CRIMES OF SCIENCE FICTION edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, Charles G. Waugh

  1. Jerry House

    Great choice, George! I read this one this week and was thinking of using it for my own FFB. Great minds, etc., etc.

    It’s hard for me to pick a favorite from this collection. The Vance, of course is a contender, but so are at least half a dozen others. I loved everything Tom Reamy wrote in his brief career before his premature death. Lord Darcy has always been my favorite of Randall Garrett’s characters with Kevin Malone a close second. Davidson’s Eszterhazy delights, Philip K. Dick amazes, and William Tenn stuns. Edward Wellen has been one of my favorite underrated writers; his deciphering of the four and a half pages of gibberish that started “Mouthpiece” was astounding. And don’t get me started on how much I like William F. Temple’s tale. In fact, I could use praise-worthy adjectives on each of the stories here — there’s not a clunker in the bunch.

  2. Bill Crider

    As Jerry, said, great minds . . . . I’ve been reading a story from this one occasionally for a couple of weeks now.

    1. george Post author

      Bill, I’ve had THE 13 CRIMES OF SCIENCE FICTION on my shelf for decades. It sure is serendipity that you and I and Jerry are reading the same unlikely book!

      1. Wolf Böhrendt

        Yes, George, that’s a nice coincidence!

        I have to confess again that I bought this type of book only a long time ago and only when I found them cheap in London …

        Because the repetition factor is so high when you start to collect one author’s work and find his/her stories again and again in anthologies – and realise that you’ve already read them when they originally appeared in one of the SF magazines!

        A bit OT:

        As a mathematician and scientist I especially enjoyed Asimov’s Black Widowers series with their “scientific twists”.

      2. george Post author

        Wolf, I’m fond of Asimov’s BLACK WIDOWERS stories, too! Anthologies like THE 13 CRIMES OF SCIENCE FICTION were very common decades ago. Now, they are practically extinct.

  3. SteveHL

    There was a similar collection of science fiction crime stories, SPACE, TIME AND CRIME, edited by Miriam Allen deFord, published in 1964. It also has 13 stories:

    Anderson, Poul and Karen
    The Innocent Arrival
    Asimov, Isaac
    The Talking Stone [That’s what the site I
    copied this from has listed, but I suspect this
    may really be The Singing Stone]
    Boucher, Anthony
    Public Eye
    Bretnor, Reginald
    The Past and Its Dead People
    Brown, Frederic
    Crisis, 1999
    Davidson, Avram
    Or the Grasses Grow
    deFord, Miriam Allen
    Rope’s End
    Derleth, August and Reynolds, Mack
    The Adventure of the Snitch in Time
    Goulart, Ron
    The Recurrent Suitor
    Leiber, Fritz
    Try and Change the Past
    McComas, J. Francis
    Criminal Negligence
    McKimmey, James, Jr.
    The Eyes Have It
    Pohl, Frederick
    Third Offense

    It”s been a long time since I read this, but I believe 13 CRIMES is a better selection.

    1. Wolf Böhrendt

      But at least some of the authors remind me of the good old times:
      Pohl,Leiber, Goulart, Davidson, Brown, Anderson etc – oh, the joy to discover these authors fifty (or more …) years ago!


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