THE BEST FROM FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION: 24th Series by Edward L.--Ed. Ferman
Kirkus Star

THE BEST FROM FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION: 24th Series

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Drawn from three years' worth (1979-81) of The Magazine off & SF: an agreeably eclectic assemblage. The non-fiction is particularly satisfying: Algis Budrys' surprising and revealing discussion of how the phenomenon of sf random influences the sf publishing world; Baird Searles' rundown on quality sf films unjustly languishing in obscurity. The competitions are amusingly daft, e.g. possible typos in sf titles (""Oi, Robot""). And in the fiction, the accent is on craftsmanship rather than originality, new wrinkles rather than novel themes. Thomas M. Disch offers a heartwarming fairy tale about some worn-out household appliances going off in search of their vanished master; there's a subtle piece from John Varley, ostensibly about a dirty old man inveigling young girls at a playground; the late Philip K. Dick writes a wry short-short wherein a callous starship pilot gets his just deserts. Plus: Parke Godwin's fine ghost story, with theater backgrounds; spunky feminism from Lisa Turtle; an alternate Earth inhabited by carnivorous humanoids; a galactic Glass Bead Game; an African witch-doctor-cum-aspiring sf writer; and some strange goings-on at an alien fairground. (The one dunker is Michael Shea's gruesomely overblown yarn about alien parasites.) Welcome, intelligent, if somewhat unspectacular, work: apt selections from a deservedly durable magazine.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1982
Publisher: Scribners