Reading Around in Groff Conklin's Anthologies

Connavar

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Fifth, a 5/5 story -- "Vintage Season," credited to Lawrence O'Donnell in Treasury of Science Fiction (1948), its first hardcover appearance.

My understanding is that it is mostly by C. L. Moore, although sometimes husband Henry Kuttner is mentioned as co-author.

The frequently-mentioned euphoric drink relates to a theme concerned with sensation-seeking and so is more than just an incidental element of the plot.

One could discuss the topic of antiquarianism or even the much larger topic of the uses of history as suggested by "Vintage Season."

And one could discuss the craft of science fiction writing -- how an author deals with the peculiar challenges thereof -- with reference to this story, e.g. management of point of view and irony, use of authenticating descriptive detail, etc.
This Classic story is always credited to both Kuttner and Moore. The pename was used for that. Wild speculation it is otherwise. I'm fan of both solo books and not read their co-written stories yet.

Other wise this thread is great and I wish had one of these anthologies. I would like to find less know pulp Era SF authors of real quality.
 

dask

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I read somewhere they had their hands in each other's work to some extent whether solo or not. Unfortunately I can't recall where I read it. I've just gotten into the habit of figuring I was reading both no matter whose name was on the cover.
 

Extollager

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This Classic story ["Vintage Season"] is always credited to both Kuttner and Moore. The pename was used for that. Wild speculation it is otherwise. I'm fan of both solo books and not read their co-written stories yet.

Other wise this thread is great and I wish had one of these anthologies. I would like to find less know pulp Era SF authors of real quality.
Actually, it looks like "Vintage Season" is credited just to Moore in The Best of C. L. Moore:

http://www.philsp.com/homeville/isfac/t71.htm#A1552
 

Extollager

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My 6th story is "Final Gentleman" by Clifford D. Simak, in the "novels" collection I mentioned in message #20. I would have to read this again to put everything together in this story of discovery of one's true identity and of a mysterious "secret history" of current events. Benefit of doubt: 4/5

"Final Gentleman" appeared in a 1960 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Pictured below is a different issue from the same year. I thought this was a niftier cover than the one on the issue in which that story appeared.

 

Extollager

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The ideal length for a good science fiction story must be within a range of a few thousand words at the low end, but not more than about 250 paperback pages at the upper end, at least till the mid-Seventies. That's enough space to get some atmosphere going and to work out the dramatic or comic implications of an idea, and to develop character and plot enough, most of the time.

Many of the stories in Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales (1963) don't seem to be all that good, to judge from the ones I have read, such as Albert Hernhuter's "Texas Week." (A pseudonym, right?) It's not much more than a joke about a transdimensional interface, I think. 2/5
 

j d worthington

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On "Vintage Season" -- one of my very favorite Moore/Kuttner stories* -- I've seen all sorts of statements as to who did what with that one, but it may be that Moore did the bulk of the writing, hence the inclusion in The Best of...; however, the statement that the two were collaborators to one degree or another throughout their years together (and even a bit before, if memory serves) is generally correct. At any rate, it is usually considered a joint effort.

Sorry I didn't get back sooner with that list of Long's stories, but I've been going through another time when, well, time was extremely pressing. Anyhoo, this is going on, in most cases, memories of some time ago, so you might want to keep that in mind. Stories I'd suggest would be:

"A Visitor from Egypt"
"Death Waters"
"Grab Bags are Dangerous"
"Second Night Out"
"The Dark Beasts"
"It Will Come to You"
"The Black Druid"
"The Man with a Thousand Legs"
"Cottage Tenant"
"The Last Men"
"The Hounds of Tindalos"
The Horror from the Hills

The last two are examples, to me, of how Long hit on some magnificent concepts and had some superb writing, but lost control of the tale before it was over... though in "Hounds" this is to a much smaller degree than in Horror from the Hills. Also, if you can find a copy of In Mayan Splendor, you ought to take a look at his early verse. While some of it is negligible, other things in there are truly fine poems, and range from the humorous to the horrific to the pensive and wistful.


*The others being (as some may remotely recall from previous posts) "Mimsey Were the Borogoves" and "The Children's Hour"... which was, I believe, the first of their stories I read, back when I was quite young, in Boucher's Treasury of Great Science Fiction. (It, along with Sturgeon's "The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff" and Wyndham's The Chrysalids, a.k.a. Re-birth, being among the ones which effected me most out of a host of damn' good stories.)
 

Connavar

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Most of their co-written stories are in Best of for Kuttner and in Best of for Moore. Publishers dont care who wrote what but their stories, their famous names.

https://www.worldswithoutend.com/novel.asp?ID=2107

Best of Henry Kuttner:

This collection includes: "Mimsy Were the Borogroves"; "The Twonky"; "What You Need"; "Two-Handed Engine"; "The Proud Robot"; "The Misguided Halo"; "The Voice of the Lobster"; "Exit the Professor"; "A Gnome There Was"; "The Big Night"; "Nothing but Gingerbread Left"; "The Iron Standard"; "Cold War"; "Or Else"; "Endowment Policy"; "Housing Problem"; and "Absalom."

Most of those stories are from rated co-written collections by Moore and Kuttner. Mimsey being of one of their most known stories cant have been only Henry Kuttner as that best of says.

Anyway just saying its complex and not to take credit from any of the two writers. Dont want to derail this interesting thread anymore.
 
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Extollager

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Sorry I didn't get back sooner with that list of Long's stories, but I've been going through another time when, well, time was extremely pressing.
Since you took the trouble to list those stories, I'll try some of them. I doubt I have read more than a very few of them, so when I get to some of these, my impression of Long as a writer may improve.

I'm still wondering if someone can tell me whether the K in Belknap is pronounced or not. I've always "heard" it in my mind's ear till recently; now I don't seem to!
 

j d worthington

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I can't say for certain (not having known him, or anyone who did, though you might ask Peter Cannon, who knew him well in his final years), but I would think it was actually as said: "Bell nap". I infer this from the Lovecraft/Barlow collaborative spoof, "The Battle That Ended the Century", where his stand-in was named "Frank Chimesleep Short"....
 

Extollager

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From this issue

of Galaxy, Conklin reprinted "Zeritsky's Law" by Ann Griffith, about people who want to avoid immediate unpleasantnesses getting themselves frozen for a while, for a fee. This 8th item from my tour of the Conklin anthologies is the kind of story I think we've all run across, and that perhaps none of us here likes much, but which may have been common in sf magazines for a while after the early pulp era. It was as if editors needed to prove that sf could be good-natured ironic entertainment, didn't always have to be straining after the sense of wonder, etc.; something to read over a cocktail while dinner was finishing up in the oven.* I don't have access to the letters columns and the contemporary fanzines to see if maybe a significant number of readers did like this sort of thing. This one is probably better than some specimens, but it brought me no joy and I'm marking it down as 1/5.

Source: Omnibus of Science Fiction (1952).


*You know the kind of thing, don't you? It's like if you're watching the old Twilight Zone: there's one or other of those great opening sequences for the series, creating anticipation ... but the story begins and you get one of those silly stories instead of something compelling: you hoped for something of the quality of "Midnight Sun," "Little Girl Lost," "The Hitch-Hiker," "Mirror Image," "The Invaders," etc. but you got "The Bard" or "Cavender Is Coming"!
 
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J Riff

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I just picked up a Poe anthology on the way home, it was laying on the street...10 great mysteries by EAP- edited with an introduction by Groff Conklin.
Looks like he edited this for Scholastic Books Inc.
I had endless Conklin PBs...all gorn now, sadly...but Arena stands out. Before Trek, with no pictures to look at, and being young enough to be scared of the hideous Roller image in my mind - I was quite pleased when the God-like alien exterminated the lot of them at the end.
 

Extollager

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J Riff, I understand that the Dover Books edition of H. G. Wells's science fiction short stories was likewise edited by Groff Conklin.

Dover gets a vote of thanks also for their collection of Wells novels --
 

Extollager

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My 9th story is "Environment," by Chester Geier, reprinted in Omnibus of Science Fiction from the May 1944 Astounding.

According to Contento, Conklin also reprinted it here --


And these two appearances of "Environment" are the only appearances of work by Geier in books recorded by Contento. However, under other names this author saw a number of stories into print in magazines:

http://www.scifi.darkroastedblend.com/2005/10/chester-r-geier.html

(see entry for "Environment." Is Lost Moons a book?)

Anyway -- this story reminded me of the 2001 movie in that contact with silent artifacts on a remote world brings about a transformation of two human explorers (not one, is in the movie) who become peers of a "godlike" alien race. Crystalline entities in the story were reminding me, as I read, of pulsing crystals in the movie.

However, I wouldn't say that the handling of the idea is exceptional. 3/5
 

dask

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Hey! How'd you get that?:) It's in a lot better shape than mine.



Good issue, by the way, as good as any similarly sized anthology.
 

Extollager

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Hey! How'd you get that?:) It's in a lot better shape than mine. Good issue, by the way, as good as any similarly sized anthology.
That image was one I found on the web. I have two old issues of Astounding, but not that one.
 

Extollager

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In this 1959 paperback (I have a 1962 reprint)...

...Theodore Sturgeon's "The Claustrophile," comfort food for the fans-are-slans mentality. 3/5
 
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