FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #567: THE GREAT SF STORIES #16 (1954) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

The Great SF Stories #16 (1954) includes two of the truly classic Science Fiction stories: Tom Godwin’s chilling “The Cold Equations” and Alfred Bester’s iconic “Fondly Fahrenheit.” In addition to the growing quality of stories published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION and GALAXY, a new trend began: original story anthologies. STAR SCIENCE FICTION and NINE TALES OF SPACE & TIME opened new markets for SF stories in the mid-1950s in addition to the traditional Science Fiction magazines. The genre was changing and The Great SF Stories #16 (1954) charts the new trends. GRADE: A
INTRODUCTION by Martin H. Greenberg 9
“The Test” by Richard Matheson (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, January 1954) 13
“Anachron” by Damon Knight (WORLDS OF IF, January 1954) 34
“Black Charlie” by Gordon R. Dickson (GALAXY, April 1954) 54
“Down Among the Dead Men” by William Tenn (GALAXY, June 1954) 72
“The Hunting Lodge” by Randall Garrett (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, July 1954) 100
“The Lysenko Maze” by “David Grinnell” (aka, Donald A. Wollheim) (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, July 1954) 138
“Fondly Fahrenheit” by Alfred Bester (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, August 1954) 151
“The Cold Equations” by Tom Godwin (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, August 1954) 174
“Letters from Laura” by Mildred Clingerman (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, October 1954) 203
“Transformer” by Chad Oliver (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, November 1954) 211
“The Music Master of Babylon” by Edgar Pangborn (GALAXY, November 1954) 227
“The End of Summer” by Algis Budrys (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, November 1954) 258
“The Father-thing” by Philip K. Dick (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, December 1954) 289
“The Deep Range” by Arthur C. Clarke (STAR SCIENCE FICTION 4) 304
“Balaam” by Anthony Boucher (NINE TALES OF SPACE & TIME) 315
“Man of Parts” by H. L. Gold (NINE TALES OF SPACE & TIME) 332
“Answer” by Fredric Brown (ANGELS AND SPACESHIPS) 349

20 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #567: THE GREAT SF STORIES #16 (1954) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    I know all the writers but there are a few stories I may not have read such as the Garrett and the Grinnell. Some really well known stories here such as The Cold Equations, The Father Thing and Fondly Fahrenheit. The later being one of my all time favorites. Wish these volumes were easily available.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I’ve seen the prices of these volumes increase since I’ve started rereading this series 16 months ago. Jim Wallace thinks my blogging about THE GREAT SF STORIES is sending their prices skyward!

  2. wolf

    Just looking at the names gives me fond memories!
    In the early 60s some of these stories were already translated into German, wunderbar!

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    I picked up a number of these a few years ago before they mostly disappeared. I like this group of authors, though I can’t say how many of the stories I’ve read.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I bought the volumes of THE GREAT SF STORIES as they were published and read them right away. Rereading this series, one volume per month, delights me!

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        And I agree – thanks, Jerry. I bookmarked that site, which has tons of great stuff. As Deb said when I sent her the link, “if there’s one thing I don’t have enough of, it’s books to read!”

  4. Rick Robinson

    “The Father Thing” scared the hell out of me when I read it. I still think it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever read. The Garrett, Bester and Brown are also good. I think Galaxy was pretty good at this time, but got weaker later in the early Sixties under Davidson.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, you can see the slippage of ASTOUNDING in 1954. Other SF magazines were on the rise. And “The Father Thing” scared the crap out of me as a kid, too!

  5. Todd Mason

    Knight’s “Anachron” a brilliant story. As was Avram Davidson’s F&SF.

    I’ve never found “The Cold Equations” all that impressive. But it has made an impression on a generation or two of 15yos. See “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane and some EC sf comics (!) that Godwin rather…shall we say…recapitulated rather closely.

  6. Todd Mason

    This volume has one of the best covers in the series.

    “The Father Thing” is one of Dick’s best horror stories, though “Upon the Dull Earth” (in BEYOND FANTASY FICTION in 1955 IIRC) remains my favorite of his short fictions in this mode…similarly, I’ve always ranked “5,271,009” ahead of “Fondly” as my favorite shorter work by Bester.


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