FORGOTTEN BOOKS #420: THE BEST OF GORDON R. DICKSON Edited by Hank Davis


Decades ago, publishers would bring out “The Best of” collections of Science Fiction and Fantasy writers on a regular basis. That tradition still lives at BAEN BOOKS. BAEN BOOKS is publishing The Best of Ben Bova in three volumes. Now, with the help of canny Hank Davis, we have Volume One of The Best of Gordon R. Dickson. Dickson was one of my favorite writers when I started reading Science Fiction back in the 1960s. This collection presents Dickson’s work from the 1950s and 1960s. Volume 2, scheduled for 2018, will collect stories from the 1970s and 1980s. If you’re a fan of traditional SF storytelling, you’ll enjoy these stories. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Love Song” (previously unpublished)
“Miss Prinks” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June, 1954)
“Our First Death” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August, 1955)
“St. Dragon and the George” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September, 1957)
“Friend for Life” (Venture Science Fiction, March, 1957)
“Danger—Human” (Astounding Science Fiction, December, 1957)
“Fleegl of Fleegl” (Venture Science Fiction, May, 1958)
“The Question” (Astounding Science Fiction, May, 1958)
“The Girl Who Played Wolf” (Fantastic, August, 1958)
“The Dreamsman” (Star Science Fiction #6, 1959)
“One on Trial” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May, 1960)
“An Honorable Death” (Galaxy Magazine, February, 1961)
“Whatever Gods There Be” (Amazing Stories, July, 1961)
“Idiot Solvant” (Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact, January, 1962)
“Dolphin’s Way” (Analog Science Fact-Science Fiction, June, 1964)
OTHER ANTHOLOGIES EDITED BY HANK DAVIS:
The Best of the Bolos: Their Finest Hour (2010)
A Cosmic Christmas (2012)
A Cosmic Christmas 2 (2013)
In Space No One Can Hear You Scream (2013)
The Baen Big Book of Monsters (2014)
As Time Goes By (2015)
Future Wars … and Other Punchlines (2015)
Worst Contact (2016)
Things from Outer Space (2016)
If This Goes Wrong… (2016)

15 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #420: THE BEST OF GORDON R. DICKSON Edited by Hank Davis

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    Good one. I’ve read a couple of Dickson’s collections and have another one on the shelf, but I like when they do a chronological one like this.

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Hank Davis is doing a great job as editor at BAEN Books. My only quibble about this collection is the lack of introductions to the stories. Hank Davis did a great job with introductions in his previous anthologies so I don’t know why there aren’t any introductions here.

      Reply
  2. wolfi

    He was quite prolific and also did many collaborations – I especially liked his Dorsai stories. Here’s my data on him:
    as usual 1 = novels, 3 = short story collections, 9 = books/titles I don’t have and am not sure of
    0DICKSON GORDON R (+2001) (SEE P ANDERSON, K LAUMER, H HARRISON)
    %THE RIGHT TO ARM BEARS (COLLECTION OF DILBIA STORIES)
    %HOUR OF THE GREMLINS = HOUR OF THE HORDE+WOLFLING+GREMLINS GO HOME
    1ALIEN ART = CHARLIES PLANET
    1THE ALIEN WAY = MIT DEN AUGEN DER FREMDEN
    1ARCTURUS LANDING = ALIENS FROM ARCTURUS
    1THE CHANTRY GUILD (SEQUEL TO THE FINAL ENCYCLOPEDIA)
    1DELUSION WORLD = PLANET DER PHANTOME
    1DORSAI ! = THE GENETIC GENERAL = GEWALT ZWISCHEN DEN STERNEN
    1THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE (DRAGON 1) = DIE NACHT DER DRACHEN
    1THE DRAGON AT WAR (DRAGON 3)
    1THE DRAGON KNIGHT (DRAGON 2)
    1THE EARTH LORDS
    1THE FAR CALL = DER FERNE RUF
    1THE FINAL ENCYCLOPEDIA
    1THE FOREVER MAN
    1GREMLINS GO HOME * BEN BOVA
    1GUIDED TOUR
    1HOME FROM THE SHORE
    1THE HOUR OF THE HORDE
    1INVADERS
    1JAMIE THE RED * ROLAND GREEN
    1THE LAST MASTER (EXPANDED FROM THE R-MASTER)
    1LOST DORSAI
    1MASTERS OF EVERON = HERREN VON EVERON
    1MISSION TO UNIVERSE = MISSION IM UNIVERSUM
    1NAKED TO THE STARS
    1NECROMANCER(DORSAI SERIES) = NO ROOM FOR MAN = NICHTS FUER MENSCHEN
    1NONE BUT MAN
    1ON THE RUN = MANKIND ON THE RUN = HETZJAGD IM ALL
    1THE OUTPOSTER = PIONIERE DES KOSMOS
    1THE PRITCHER MASS = DAS MILLIONENBEWUSSTSEIN
    1PRO
    1THE R-MASTER = UTOPIA 2050
    1SECRET UNDER ANTARCTICA (JUVENILE)
    1SECRET UNDER THE CARIBBEAN (JUVENILE)
    1SECRET UNDER THE SEA (JUVENILE)
    1SECRETS OF THE DEEP = SECRETS UNDER …
    1SLEEPWALKER’S WORLD = GESCHOEPFE DER NACHT
    1SOLDIER ,ASK NOT = UNTER DEM BANNER VON DORSAI(DORSAI SERIES)
    1THE SPACE SWIMMERS (SEQUEL TO : HOME FROM THE SHORE)
    1SPACE WINNERS (JUVENILE)
    1SPACEPAW = DER AGENT (JUVENILE)
    1SPACIAL DELIVERY = REGIERUNGSPOST FUER DILBIA
    1TACTICS OF MISTAKE (DORSAI SERIES) = DAS PLANETEN-DUELL
    1TIME STORM = STURM DER ZEIT
    1TIME TO TELEPORT
    1WOLF AND IRON (NEW IN 90)
    1WOLFLING = IM GALAKTISCHEN REICH
    1YOUNG BLEYS (SEQUEL TO THE FINAL ENCYCLOPEDIA)
    1OTHER (SEQUEL TO YOUNG BLEYS)
    1THE HARRIORS 1: OF WAR AND HONOR
    1THE MAGNIFICENT WILF
    1WAY OF THE PILGRIM
    1THE DRAGON IN LYONESSE
    1THE DRAGON AND THE GNARLY KING
    3ANCIENT, MY ENEMY = URALT MEIN FEIND
    3BEYOND THE DARL AL-HARB (NOVEL ???)
    3DICKSON’S BEST
    3THE DORSAI COMPANION
    3ENDS
    3FORWARD (STORIES)
    3IN THE BONE (OLD STORIES)
    3IN IRON YEARS
    3THE LAST DREAM (STORIES)
    3LOVE NOT HUMAN
    3THE MAN FROM EARTH (STORIES)
    3THE MAN THE WORLDS REJECTED (OLD STORIES)
    3MINDSPAN (OLD STORIES)
    3MUTANTS : A SCIENCE FICTION ADVENTURE
    3THE SPIRIT OF DORSAI
    3THE STAR ROAD
    3STEEL BROTHER
    3THE STRANGER
    3SURVIVAL !
    5COMBAT SF
    9BEGINNINGS (STORIES)
    9THE BOOK OF GORDON DICKSON = DANGER HUMAN (STORIES)
    9CALL HIM LORD
    9THE DRAGON AND THE DJINN
    9THE FINAL ENCYCLOPEDIA (VOL 2)

    Reply
  3. Steve Oerkfitz

    One of those writers I read a lot in my teens, along with Keith Laumer and James Schmitz. Haven’t read any Dickson since his Dorsai books 45 years ago.

    Reply
      1. wolfi

        ” 45 years ago.” That’s how old you are???
        I’m about 10 years older (born during WW2, as a kind of souvenir for my mother – because my father as a German soldier didn’t expect to return from the war …) and I also remember reading the Dorsai stories, some in collections/magazines I got at the “America House” …

        Happy memories – and I still have to thank those SF authors that they forced me to learn English, because translations were not available or really bad, often abridged until incomprehenible …

      2. george Post author

        Wolf, I’m 67. I starting reading Science Fiction when I was about 12 years old. That’s the perfect age for a Sense of Wonder!

  4. Rick Robinson

    I started reading Dickson in Astounding Science Fiction and was particularly fond of the Dorsai books. I’ve read most of the stories in this collection, but may buy it anyway, both for the ones I missed and the ones I liked and want to re-read. Nice choice, George.

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      Rick, my only regret is that Hank Davis didn’t provide some interesting introductions to these stories. All in all, THE BEST OF GORDON R. DICKSON, Vol. 1 is a solid collection.

      Reply
  5. Todd Mason

    Given how much Dickson is blithely considered an ANALOG writer, it is amusing to consider how much of his early work was in Boucher’s F&SF, and the Hoka stories, with Poul Anderson, being highlights of OTHER WORLDS and Bea Mahaffey’s UNIVERSE at first…his first story (with Anderson) being in FANTASTIC STORY QUARTERLY, and a fair amount of early stories in ASTOUNDING but also in PLANET STORIES and soon elsewhere…

    Dickson’s YA novel SECRET UNDER THE SEA was one of my childhood favorites, and one of the few YA sf novels by a major sf writer for adults to do the job right, as far as I was concerned, considering how unimpressive I found the Heinlein, Bova, “Del Rey” (actually Paul Fairman) and Pournelle YAs I tried around the same time…while most of those guys wrote engaging adult sf (though Pournelle’s was often goofy and Fairman was at best slickly competent).

    Reply

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