cover image The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Vol. 2

The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Vol. 2

Edited by Gordon Van Gelder. Tachyon (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-61696-163-3

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction—aka F&SF—has been one of the flagships of speculative fiction since its founding in 1949. While similarly lauded magazines, like Galaxy, Galileo, and If, have fallen by the wayside, F&SF steadfastly soldiers on. Van Gelder, the magazine’s current editor in chief, offers 27 stories arranged in chronological order, providing a demonstration of the magazine’s evolution over six decades. Longtime readers will recognize justly famous stories such as Zenna Henderson’s touching “The Anything Box,” Kit Reed’s amusing “The Attack of the Giant Baby,” and Maureen F. McHugh’s stark “The Lincoln Train.” Less deserving is Robert Silverberg’s “Sundance,” in which stylistic daring fails to distract from an unfortunate portrayal of Native Americans. Van Gelder provides a short foreword and includes a charmingly irascible introduction by acclaimed critic Michael Dirda. (Aug.)