FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #571: THE GREAT SF STORIES #17 (1955) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

The Great SF stories #17 (1955) features two genuine classic stories: Cordwainer Smith’s “The Game of Rat and Dragon” and Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s “The Darfsteller.” “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke borders on classic status. I was impressed by James H. Schmitz’s “Grandpa,” a ecological puzzle story. Philip K. Dick’s “Captive Market” and Erie Frank Russell’s “Allamagoosa” delighted me upon rereading. Once again, Theodore Sturgeon shows why he’s one of the great SF short story writers with “Who?” This is another excellent volume in an important series. Are any of these stories favorites of yours? GRADE: A
INTRODUCTION By Martin H. Greenberg 9
“The Tunnel Under the World” by Frederik Pohl (GALAXY, January 1955) 13
“The Darfsteller” by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, January 1955) 56
“The Cave of Night” by James E. Gunn (GALAXY, February 1955) 112
“Grandpa” by James H. Schmitz (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, February 1955) 130
“Who?” by Theodore Sturgeon (GALAXY, March 1955) 153
“The Short Ones” by Raymond E. Banks (THE MAGAZINES OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, March 1955) 187
“Captive Market” by Philip K. Dick (IF, April 1955) 209
“Allamagoosa” by Eric Frank Russell (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, May 1955) 228
“The Vanishing American” by Charles Beaumont (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, August 1955) 243
“The Game of Rat and Dragon” by Cordwainer Smith (GALAXY, October 1955) 253
“The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke (INFINITY SCIENCE FICTION, November 1955) 270
“Nobody Bothers Gus” by Algis Budrys (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, November 1955) 277
“Delenda Est” by Poul Anderson (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, December 1955) 292
“Dreaming Is a Private Thing” by Isaac Asimov (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, December 1955) 333

18 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #571: THE GREAT SF STORIES #17 (1955) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    The only stories I don’t remember ever reading are the Gunn, Banks and Anderson. The Darfstellar is probably my favorite here. I am also quite fond of the Clarke and the Schmitz. This may be one of Schmitz’s best stories. I remember liking the Budrys a lot but don’t recall what it’s about. Budrys is a much underrated writer. Too bad he gave up writing to spend get involved with L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future series. I like the Cordwainer Smith but feel his 60’s output much better. Overrall a pretty solid collection.

  2. wolf

    I don’t remember many of these stories from their titles – probably just read too much of them.
    But I find the list of authors almost like a “who’s who” – fantastic authors!
    And I’d have great difficulties to decide which of them I like better.
    My problem is:
    There’s just too much to read – so I don’t have the time to reread, not even for my old favourites. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚
    A bit OT:
    But I’ll always remember how my life became enhanced when I discovered SF as a teenager and after starting university found a second hand bookshop, a store that sold US SF magazines (though a bit expensive …) and the America House which had a fantastic library.

  3. Jerry House

    This volume is just chock-full of my favorite authors when I was a teen. The least-known was Banks, who had a few stories that I had read and enjoyed but did not elevate him to the status of the others. A quick look at fictionmagsindex shows that he had published 35 stories in the SF magazines, and here I thought he had written only a half dozen or so.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    Another good list of authors, though I probably have only read a few of the stories. I agree with Wolf – too many books to ever catch up.

  5. Michael Padgett

    I’m sure I’ve read a goodly number of these stories, but Clarke’s “The Star” is the only one I’m positive about. And I’m seriously beginning to wonder how many of these collections there are.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, THE GREAT SF STORIES series is 25 volumes. James W. Harris claims that my reviews are driving up the price of these volumes online! Maybe…

    1. george Post author

      Jim, I’m just rereading one volume of THE GREAT SF STORIES each month. Plus, I already read them when they were first published decades ago.

  6. Steve Lewis

    It may that Iā€™m getting grumpier as I get older, but these stories were written back when science fiction was a lot more fun. Some authors are beginning to write more of what I want to read but it takes some time and effort to find them. Iā€™m enjoying the hunt!

    1. george Post author

      Steve, you’re right. Much of the “new” SF doesn’t appeal to me. I tend to enjoy space opera of Alistair Reynolds and the wackiness of Charles Stross. But, reading SF from the 1950s is just as good!


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