" In this universe the night was falling; the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered; and along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again"

Arthur C. Clarke Against the Fall of Night

Friday, March 3, 2017

New Arrivals, Moskowitz, Kornbluth, Wonder

  Some new arrivals via ABE. 

A rubbed and tattered but reasonably priced copy of 
Seekers of Tomorrow, World Publishing Company 
1961 (1966) cover (?)

I had always associated Moskowitz with early fandom and thought his book would be fannish boosetrism. I purchased it because my research indicated that he provided information on the writers first exposure to SF which I was interested in. However after reading his entry on Bradbury I found it fairly balanced so that was a bonus.

I also found that Moskowitz's definition of SF which first appeared in his history of early SF Explorers of the Infinite, quite useful and it is one I will probably use from now on, unless a better one presents itself.

"Science fiction is a branch of fantasy identifiable by the fact that it eases the "willing suspension of disbelief" on the part of the readers by utilizing an atmosphere of scientific credibility for its imaginative speculations in physical science, space time, social science. and philosophy."

My addition to anthologies continues. After the death of SF author Cyril Kornbluth (March 1958) this anthology was created as a memorial. Fredrick Pohl's discussion of it's genesis is available on The Way The Future Blogs.

From Kirkus Review

An anthology has been assembled as a memorial to the late C.M. Kornbluth, by his friends and highly capable colleagues in the medium. Most of them are also familiar to this audience- Avram Davidson, Ray Bradbury, James Blish, Murray Leinster and Jack Williamson. Many of the stories are themed by travel to and survival in other worlds; there's the past too- Poul Anderson's The Long Remembering sends a man back to the Old Stone Age; for a touch of the grotesque, Frederik Pohl's cure of a compulsive consumer- The Man Who Ate the World; and a very nice twist to Theodore Sturgeon's That Low, as a failure specialist attempts to end his life.... Varied and versatile.

Doubleday, 1959, cover by Powers

From the introduction to Godlike Machines, by Jonathan Strahan, "There is something intensely science fictional about the very notion of a big dumb object, embodying as it does both the enigmatic sense of wonder of the best SF and the urge to understand, to examine and clarify."

I am always willing to go looking for that oft lost sense of wonder, and after reading Seam William's  short story "Inevitable" in The New Space Opera 2 I was interested in his story "A glimpse of the marvellous structure (and the threat it entails) in this anthology, although the first story I read was "Hot rock" by Greg Egan (good). 

Science Fiction Book Club, 2010, cover art Andrew Jones design Mathew Kalamidas. 

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