FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #535: THE GREAT SF STORIES #10 (1948): Edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg

The classic Science Fiction story, “In Hiding” by Wilmar H. Shiras, highlights the The Great SF Stories #10. One of Murray Leinster’s best stories, “The Strange Case of John Kingman,” still packs a punch. John D. MacDonald, who would go on to fame and fortune writing the Travis McGee mystery series, shows in “Ring Around the Redhead” and “A Child is Crying” that he had the versatility to write well in any genre. Ray Bradbury’s iconic “Mars is Heaven!” and Judith Merril’s “That Only a Mother” round out the truly classic stories in this anthology.

As a quick glance at the “Table of Contents” shows, the grip of Astounding Science Fiction on SF appears to be slipping in 1948. Other publications like Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, and Planet Stories attract quality writers, too. The dominance of Astounding Science Fiction is eroding and change is in the air. GRADE: A
INTRODUCTION by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg 9
“Don’t Look Now” by Henry Kuttner (STARTLING STORIES, March 1948) 13
“He Walked Around the Horses” by H. Beam Piper (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, April 1948) 27
“The Strange Case of John Kingman” by Murray Leinster (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, May 1948) 49
“That Only a Mother” by Judith Merril (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, June 1948) 66
“The Monster” by A. E. van Vogt (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, August 1948) 77
“Dreams Are Sacred” by Peter Phillips (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, September 1948) 94
“Mars is Heaven!” by Ray Bradbury (PLANET STORIES, Fall 1948) 117
“Thang” by Martin Gardner (COMMENT, Fall 1948) 135
“Brooklyn Project” by William Tenn (PLANET STORIES, Fall 1948) 138
“Ring Around the Redhead” by John D. MacDonald (STARTLING STORIES, November 1948) 149
“Period Piece” by J. J. Coupling (aka, John R. Pierce) (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, November 1948) 169
“Dormant” by A. E. van Vogt (STARTLING STORIES, November 1948) 178
“In Hiding” by Wilmar H. Shiras (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, November 1948) 195
“Knock” by Fredric Brown (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, December 1948) 229
“A Child is Crying” by John D. MacDonald (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, December 1948) 240
“Late Night Final” by Eric Frank Russell (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, December 1948) 253

19 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #535: THE GREAT SF STORIES #10 (1948): Edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    I’ve read a couple of JDM’s science fiction collections, and they were certainly readable, if not as memorable as his mysteries.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, several writers like Fredric Brown and Robert Bloch could write well in both the SF and mystery genres. John D. MacDonald could do it, too, but finally chose to focus on mysteries.

      1. wolf

        Probably similar to today’s situation with SF vs Fantasy:
        Mysteries and Fantasy sell better so you make more money …

      2. george Post author

        Wolf, some writers stick to one genre while others are more versatile. I’m a big fan of W. C. Tuttle, the Western writer. Every story of his that I’ve read has a mystery at the heart of it.

    1. george Post author

      Jerry, I never knew that fact about Shira. All I know is that “In Hiding” is a classic SF story and one of my favorites!

    2. wolf

      You never stop learning …
      I Had until today not realised that Wilmar Shiras was a woman!
      Probably because in German Wilmar like Ottmar, Dietmat etc would be a man’s name – a woman might be called Wilma … :
      So she was one of the first great females in SF!
      Wiki even writes that “In Hiding” might have been the inspiration for the X-men!

      1. Todd Mason

        No, not one of the first great women writers in SF, by any means…there were at least a dozen or so active in the magazine before Shiras, and that doesn’t count those who didn’t, or couldn’t because too early, to contribute to the SF magazines…

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I think the “good” stories of 1948 are better than many of the “good stories” of previous THE GREAT SF STORIES. And there’s more diverse sources for the stories, not just ASTOUNDING.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I’ve had arthroscopic knee surgery on both knees. Make sure Barbara rides a bike (I preferred a stationary bike) for blood flow. Best of luck!

      1. Rick Robinson

        She doesn’t ride bicycles, George. Her parents didn’t let her when she was a kid and she never learned. She won’t even get on the ones at the Club. The doctor told us this morning that after 2 days of rest, elevate, ice she should walk and do limited stairs.

    1. george Post author

      Jim, I’m looking forward to the 1950s volumes of THE GREAT SF STORIES. That was the decade with the most SF magazines.

  2. wolf

    Just looked in my list and found:
    Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories – all 25 volumes are in my library in Germany – but I’m in Hungary right now!
    Well, that’s life. 🙂

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, many libraries offer “Inter-Library Loan” services. You might be able to borrow those 25 volumes of THE GREAT SF STORIES merely by asking a librarian to get them for you!

      1. wolf

        Sorry for the misunderstanding, George!
        I wanted to describe my collection, I own all these books – but they’re in our house in Germany.
        And I can’t take all the books with me to read – especially since I don’t know in advance which ones your posts will make interesting for me to reread … 🙂

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