Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThough best known for his novels, particularly his Cities in Flight tetralogy, Blish (1921-1975) wrote hundreds of stories during his life (as well as numerous Star Trek teleplays). In this follow-up to A Work of Art and Other Stories (1993), Lyall collects eight more of Blish's best tales. Several of them ("Beep"; "The Box"; "To Pay the Piper") pivot on a technological conceit, but even in these the larger part of the story is comprised of the human interactions and reactions set in motion by the technology. "A Dusk of Idols" and "The Writing of the Rat" come closer to what is now considered social-speculation SF, although the adventure elements in "Idols" run on too long. Also present here is "Mistake Inside," which, while offering a conception of Hell easily worth a story three times as long, tiptoes along the border between fantasy and SF and suggests the concerns of some of Blish's later novels, such as Doctor Mirabilis and Black Easter. These eight tales demonstrate that Blish had a broader range of themes and was simply more literate than many of his contemporaries. Their return to print is a notable step forward in preserving his reputation and in bringing his work to the attention of a new generation of SF readers. (Dec.)
Library Journal - Library JournalEight short stories, originally published in periodicals from 1948 to 1961 and in some cases collected in Galactic Cluster (1959), Anywhen (1970), and The Best of James Blish (1979), represent the breadth of short sf work by the late James Blish. Combining philosophy and science with Cold War themes and even outdated technology, these stories will bring a new audience to a craftsman lately known more for his novelizations of Star TrekR stories. Highly recommended for sf collections not owning one of the previous Blish collections.
- Severn House Publishers, Limited
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.67(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.78(d)
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Blish was one of the greatest science fiction writers of the twentieth century.
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