Tales from Super-Science Fiction

Edited by Robert Silverberg. Haffner (www.haffnerpress.com), $32 (400p) ISBN 978-1-893887-88-6
Fans of old-fashioned science fiction will delight in this collection of stories from a relatively unknown 1950s pulp magazine. Super-Science Fiction only ran for 18 issues, but for young authors like Silverberg (now a SFWA Grand Master), the magazine’s princely two-cents-a word rate was a gold mine. Silverberg stories bookend the collection: “Catch’em All Alive,” the first story from the first issue, highlights editor W.W. Scott’s enthusiasm for “exploration-team” adventure stories, while “The Loathsome Beasts” follows the magazine’s switch to monster stories, piggybacking on 1950s America’s love for monster movies. Robert Bloch’s “Broomstick Ride” reveals a blasted heath complete with witches on an alien world. “Worlds of Origin” by Jack Vance is a dramatic tale of murder and mystery. James E. Gunn’s “Every Day Is Christmas” sharply satirizes the consumerist impulse. These stories, illustrated with artwork by pulp luminaries like Frank Kelly Freas and Ed Emshwiller, reveal the promise of many now-famous authors at the start of their careers. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/11/2012
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