My parents bought this 1980 collection for me as a present, probably for birthday or Christmas. It is amazingly comprehensive, and I recall reading it many times. The list of authors ould be familiar to any fan of science fiction: Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, James Blish, Philip Jose Farmer, John Varley, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. , Larry Niven, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov , and many more. Most were originally published in pulp magazines or other cheap editions in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. With 754 pages of tiny type, it supplied hours of entertainment. I recall reading it in the cool of the basement on hot summers (we had no air conditioning), in an old raised ranch in a subdivision on the edge of a field in a town that was on the verge of economic collapse. A lawn mower buzzed somewhere. A cat was probably curled at my feet. That house is sold. My parents are long gone. I had not opened this book in decades, until I decided to write this post, but some memory of those days has kept me repacking it into boxes, smoothing his tattered dust cover, from upstate New York to college in Ithaca, to Baltimore, to Pennsylvania to various New York apartments. And here it is, like a time capsule I stashed away for myself in the last days of adolescence.

    This Old Book is a series of posts about books that have survived many purges from my shelves over decades.

AuthorPatrick LaForge
CategoriesThis Old Book