THE FIRST WORLD FANTASY AWARDS by Gahan--Ed. Wilson

THE FIRST WORLD FANTASY AWARDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anthologies of award-winners can be dull and disjointed, but this one actually adds up to a pretty interesting picture of the field. The categories, which range from ""Life Achievement"" to ""Special Non-Professional,"" are perhaps not ideal award categories per se, but they are well served in this volume by Wilson's editorship. Some of his more attractive gleanings: two very different but equally characteristic Southern spookeries by Manly Wade Wellman; an extremely peculiar essay on the Ehrfurchtbar (""awesome"") by the accomplished Robert Aickman; a good-natured acceptance speech by Robert Bloch (""Life Achievement"" winner). Horror is the dominant mode; the only sword-and-sorcery offerings are a ridiculously brief snippet from Patricia McKillip's novel The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and a tiny Lankhmar vignette by Leiber. But as horror goes, these selections are remarkably unmonotonous. In the vampire department, for example, Aickman's deft ""Pages from a Young Girl's Journal"" is about as far removed from Bloch's plodding return-of-the-undead exercise as caviar from fish sticks. T. E. D. Klein's ""The Events at Poroth Farm"" is another stylish venture in the journal form, this time involving a quiet Mennonite couple and seven cats. Dennis Etchison, writing a grim finis to the love of a deeply troubled husband and wife, again demonstrates a highly original command of terror. Good varied collection.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday