When I was young I used to go to Sunbury library and select books. There was magic there. I read the entire series of Swallows and Amazons, a dozen books in all. I read wonderful adventure stories: one I remember vividly involved tracking down the lost treasure of King John that had been presumed lost on the Wash; another involved travel to a future where the wheel was banned. And I read Science fiction anthologies.
Remembering a story about a place called Kroywen I decided to track it down. I found it in 'Fantasy and Science fiction' so I ordered one of the series.
I suppose I was bound to be disappointed. My tastes have changed. So have literary styles. And science is so different today from 1957. And I remember only the few golden nuggets from the many anthologies I read.
Some of the stories in this collection are extremely brief. Some are just silly. Some are scarcely connected with science fiction. Many of them betray America's fifty's preoccupation with nuclear war and doomsday.
A Viking tells of the American soldier who time travelled to Iceland. Martians explain how to cope with insects. Human colonists arrive at a distant planet to be enslaved by the natives. A census taker tries to count the devil. People travel to heaven by train. A man seeks solitude after a nervous breakdown catalysed by the News; having been brought back to reality he becomes a serial killer. An actress travels through time warps and relentlessly worries about her wickedness.
Perhaps the best story (if rather misogynistic) is by C.S. Lewis who reads or rather enters the mind of a woman who comes to see him.
On the whole somewhat better than the third collection which is reviewed here.
Of its time. July 2012; 250 pages.
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57