FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #551: THE GREAT SF STORIES #14 (1952) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

In the Introduction to The Great SF Stories #13 (1951) , Martin H. Greenberg mentions that two novellas–“The Fireman” by Ray Bradbury and “Beyond Bedlam” by Wyman Guin–would have been included but their length made that impossible. In The Great SF Stories #14 (1952), Greenberg cites “Surface Tension” by James Blish, “Bring the Jubilee” by Ward Moore, and “Baby is Three” by Theodore Sturgeon as novellas worthy of inclusion, but barred because of their length. ThE stories that did make this volume are mostly first-rate. Ray Bradbury’s classic “The Pedestrian” sets the tone. My favorite story in this anthology is F. L. Wallace’s wonderful “Delay in Transit.” GALAXY dominates the selected stories the way ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION dominated The Great SF Stories volumes from the 1940s. Asimov and Greenberg’s choices for this book include veteran writers like Edmond Hamilton and new writers like Philip Jose Farmer. That’s one of the strengths of this series. GRADE: A

INTRODUCTION By Martin H. Greenberg 9
“The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury (THE REPORTER, August 1951). 13
“The Moon Is Green” by Fritz Leiber (GALAXY, April 1952) 19
“Lost Memory” by Peter Phillips (GALAXY, May 1952) 35
“What Have I Done?” by Mark Clifton (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, May 1952) 48
“Fast Falls the Eventide” by Eric Frank Russell (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, May 1952) 67
“The Business, as Usual” by Mack Reynolds (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, June 1952) 85
“A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury (COLLIER’S, June 1952) 90
“Hobson’s Choice” by Alfred Bester (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, August 1952) 103
“Yesterday House” by Fritz Leiber (GALAXY, August 1952) 119
“The Snowball Effect” by Katherine MacLean (GALAXY, September 1952) 146
“Delay in Transit” by F. L. Wallace (GALAXY, September 1952) 160
“Game for Blondes” by John D. MacDonald (GALAXY, October 1952) 206
“The Altar at Midnight” by Cyril Kornbluth (GALAXY, November 1952) 217
“Command Performance” by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (GALAXY, November 1952) 225
“The Martian Way” by Isaac Asimov (GALAXY, November 1952) 243
“The Impacted Man” by Robert Sheckley (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, December 1952) 289
“What’s It Like Out There?” by Edmond Hamilton (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, December 1952) 308
“Sail On! Sail On!” by Philip José Farmer (STARTLING STORIES, December 1952) 331
“Cost of Living” by Robert Sheckley (GALAXY, December 1952) 342

12 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #551: THE GREAT SF STORIES #14 (1952) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    The collections keep getting better. A lot of double inclusions. I know I have read most of these stories if not all but I can’t remember much about a lot of them. I do remember Command Performance by Miller, The Pedestrian and A Sound of Thunder by Bradbury, and Sail On ! Sail On! by Farmer. The Farmer may be the best story he ever wrote.

    1. wolf

      Same here!
      Even the often shortened translations of these stories into German were wonderful and when I later got the originals I was flabbergasted again. I’ve surely already declared that I was so proud to get all the books in this series over the years in London – mainly from the now closed “Fantasy Centre” bookstore.
      Those were the days!

      1. george Post author

        Wolf, I started reading Science Fiction in the 1950s so many of these stories were read in my youth. It was great to reread them!

    1. george Post author

      Jerry, you’re right about the joyful stroll down Memory Lane! I loved these stories when I first read them and now I get to enjoy that Sense of Wonder once again!

  2. wolf

    What I just realised:
    Galaxy has more stories in here – and the better/better known authors compared to Astounding (and F&SF).


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