FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #602: THE GREAT SF STORIES #24 (1962) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

Here we are at the penultimate volume of The Great SF Stories series. Volume 24 features the best of 1962, a time where I was reading Science Fiction novels and short stories almost every day. I remember being wowed by Cordwainer Smith’s “The Ballad of Lost C’Mell.” Poul Anderson’s powerful “Kings Who Die” impressed my 14-year-old mind. R. A. Lafferty’s “Seven-Day Terror” remains one of my favorite Lafferty stories of all time. Harry Harrison caused waves with “The Streets of Ashkelon” with its religious aspects.

Do you remember these stories? Any favorites here? GRADE: A-


Introduction by Martin H. Greenberg – 9

  1. “The Insane Ones” by J. G. Ballard (AMAZING, January 1962) – 15
  2. “Christmas Treason” by James White (MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, January 1962) – 29
  3. “Seven-Day Terror” by R. A. Lafferty (IF, March 1962) – 59
  4. “Kings Who Die” by Poul Anderson (IF, March 1962) – 69
  5. “The Man Who Made Friends with Electricity” by Fritz Leiber (MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, March 1962) – 109
  6. “Hang Head, Vandal!” by Mark Clifton (AMAZING, April 1962) – 121
  7. “The Weather Man” by Theodore L. Thomas (ANALOG, June 1962) – 139
  8. “Earthlings Go Home!” by Mack Reynolds (ROGUE, August 1962) – 185
  9. The Streets of Ashkelon” by Harry Harrison (NEW WORLDS, September 1962) – 195
  10. “When You Care, When You Love” by Theodore Sturgeon (MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, September 1962) – 215
  11. The Ballad of Lost C’Mell” by Cordwainer Smith (GALAXY, October 1962) – 267
  12. “Gadget vs. Trend” by Christopher Anvil (ANALOG, October 1962) – 295
  13. “Roofs of Silver” by Gordon R. Dickson (MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, December 1962) – 315

14 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #602: THE GREAT SF STORIES #24 (1962) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Good collection. I was blown away as a teenager (easier done then) By Harrison’s Streets of Ashkelon. Also liked the Cordwainer Smith, Lafferty and Poul Anderson. A lot I don’t remember but I probably read them as I read all the magazines back then.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, THE GREAT SF STORIES #24 is a solid collection. Sadly, Martin H. Greenberg wrote all the introductions to the stories. At this time, Isaac Asimov was having medical issues.

  2. Michael Padgett

    I was off to college in the fall of ’62, and my years of reading tons of SF was coming to an end. Although I’m not absolutely sure I read them, the titles by Leiber, Sturgeon, and Smith sound awfully familiar, so I probably did. When you get to the 1963 collection I probably won’t remember any of them.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, I was a teenage bookworm during the 1960s. I read at least a book a day (sometimes 2 or 3). And I discovered SF magazines and loved reading them, too. Almost all these stories were familiar to me as I was rereading them.

  3. Rick Robinson

    I was mainly reading ANALOG then, but several of these stories have been anthologized over the years and I’ve read them that way. Better than fair anthology.

  4. wolf

    Though I don’t remember the stories from the titles, I know of course all these authors.
    When I had enough money to spend I would buy ANALOG on my way to university and hen of course tghere was the library of the America House …
    Those were the days!
    PS and OT:
    I’m back in Hungary, a bit tired after driving 850 km (530 miles), I was lucky that there were no border checks – in the other direction there was a long line of cars trying to get into Austria.
    Are there any border checks between different states in the USA?

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, no border checks in the U.S. (except for Florida who briefly tried to discourage New York tourists). But, the Canadian/U.S. International bridges are still closed to most traffic until August 29. The rate of coronavirus in Canada is low…and they want to keep it that way.

  5. James W. Harris

    “The Ballad of Lost C’Mell” is the only story that I know for sure. “The Weather Man” triggers a memory of the title, but that’s all. Are you not going to read the 26 volume, the one edited by Silverberg after Asimov died?

    I just finished The Great SF Stories 15 (1953). You are way ahead of me.


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