THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GOLDEN AGE SCIENCE FICTION by Isaac Asimov

THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GOLDEN AGE SCIENCE FICTION

Short Novels of the 1940s

KIRKUS REVIEW

Another "Mammoth Book of. . ." (last time out, Short Novels of the 1930s, 1988). We are now entering the era of John W. Campbell, the dynamic and uniquely influential editor/writer, who--in emphasizing science and craftsmanship--left an indelible stamp on the field. The 1930's, fans will recall, produced many ideas but few claims to literary respectability. Under Campbell, the ideas of the 1940's grew more refined; his writers were obliged to become more competent and capable. (Not all the writers here, however, were "Campbell writers.") Several of these selections are recognized classics: Jack Williamson's "With Folded Hands" describes how the human race is destroyed by the perfect robot-servants it has created; T.L. Sherred ("E for Effort") postulates a time-scanner used in a noble but doomed attempt to expose lies and hypocrisy; C.L. Moore's "No Woman Born" remains the benchmark for human-brain-in-robot-body stories; Theodore Sturgeon's "Killdozer!" is the scariest and most convincing machine-runs-amok tale you'll ever come across; Isaac Asimov's "The Big and the Little" became part of his remarkable Foundation trilogy; A.E. van Vogt's tale of super-pseudoscience, "The Weapons Shop," still thrills as it strains credulity. And other, less fully realized variations (time travel, medical disaster, hypnotic illusions) have nostalgia value at least. Generously proportioned, agreeably priced, and most certainly worthwhile.
Pub Date: July 1st, 1989
ISBN: 0881844802
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1989




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