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Best SF Five by Edmund Crispin

Best SF Five

by Edmund Crispin (Editor)

Other authors: Brian W. Aldiss (Contributor), Poul Anderson (Contributor), Christopher Anvil (Contributor), Anthony Boucher (Contributor), Arthur C. Clarke (Contributor)7 more, Henry I. Hirshfield (Contributor), Raymond F. Jones (Contributor), Fritz Leiber (Contributor), G. M. Mateyko (Contributor), Robert Sheckley (Contributor), Clifford D. Simak (Contributor), John Wyndham (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Best SF (5)

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A varied collection of short stories whose quality is well above the average; it certainly encourages me to seek out other anthologies in this series. Only one of the stories failed to engage me; the rest range from good to very good.

Brief observations on the stories follow.

On Handling the data -Henry I Hirshfield & G M Mateyko

This story just didn't do anything for me. Some scientists falsify data. It's covered up. That's it.

Noise Level - Raymond F Jones

Get people to achieve the impossible (anti-gravity in this case) by convincing them that it's possible. Not an original idea, but this execution of it is well done and has some decent characterisation within the constraints of a short story. Very of-its-time, with a military, cold war setting, and the fear that 'if we don't have it, the enemy soon will.'

Green Thumb - Clifford Simak

Alien contact in rural America - but the aliens are plants. So even vegetarians are murderers in their eyes. A quaint, well-crafted, low-key tale.

The Quest for Saint Aquin - Anthony Boucher

The Catholic Church is a terrorised minority in this future, ruled by a 'Technocracy' involving intelligent machines. ut it seems that even they can have the attributes of sainthood, or so some of them believe. This presents a moral dilemma for our protagonist.

The Monsters - Robert Scheckley

If it was a moral imperative for you to kill your wife every 25 days, you wouldn't be too happy about humans moving in either.

Who Can Replace A Man? - Brian Aldiss

The Prisoner - Christopher Anvil
An excellent epistolary short story. Why are we suffering so many setbacls in our war with the aliens ? The President's adviser has a lot to answer for.

The Star - Arthur C. Clarke

A human expedition discovers the saved culture of an idyllic civilisation around a remote star; one that knew it was about to die. In itself, not an original setting. But for the Jesuit astronomer on this trip, there's something very hard to deal with in this particular discovery. A gem.

Consider Her Ways - John Wyndham

One of Wyndham's most celebrated stories, and deservedly so. A story of a future dystopia, told through multiple layers of narrative but primarily from the point of view of a central character who appears to have woken up in a body, and a society, which she knows is not hers. A good portrayal of how supposed liberators end up re-creating oppression, amongst many other things.

The Martyr - Poul Anderson

Humans capture psi-capable aliens in a last, desperate attempt to discover the secret of their powers, and why the alien's won't share it, despite sharing everything else. They claim they're protecting humans by doing so; they are, and the answer isn't a heartening one.

Later Than You Think - Fritz Leiber

Intelligent octopuses ruminate on the previous intelligent species on Earth. You just know there's a twist coming. ( )
  kevinashley | Sep 22, 2009 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crispin, EdmundEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, PoulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anvil, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boucher, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, Arthur C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirshfield, Henry I.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, Raymond F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leiber, FritzContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mateyko, G. M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sheckley, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simak, Clifford D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wyndham, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Griffiths, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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