Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, December 27, 2010


It's time for another look at some of Roger Elwood's many anthologies.

THE HUMAN ZERO AND OTHER SCIENCE-FICTION MASTERPIECES, edited by Sam Moskowitz and Roger Elwood, Tower Books, 1967.

  • Isaac Asimov - The Imaginary (from Super Science Stories, November, 1942)
  • Robert Bloch - The Proxy Head (from Science-Fiction Plus, May, 1953)
  • Ray Bradbury - I, Rocket (from Amazing Stories, May, 1944)
  • Arthur C. Clarke - The Man Who Ploughed the Sea (from Tales of the White Hart, Ballantine, 1957)
  • Erle Stanley Gardner - The Human Zero (from Argosy, December 19, 1931)
  • Chad Oliver - Hands Across Space (from Science-Fiction Plus, August, 1953; the story was also published as Scientific Method)
  • Eric Frank Russell - The Cosmic Relic (first appeared under the title Relic in Fantasy No. 2, April, 1947)
  • A. E. van Vogt - Itself (first appeared under the title Itself! in Scientific American, January, 1963)

     Comments:  It's easy see why Sam Moskowitz got top billing on this one; three of the stories (Bradbury, Gardner, and Russell) had been chosen by him to be reprinted in Fantastic and Amazing as "classic" stories; two were from the Hugo Gernsback-edited Science-Fiction Plus, where Moskowitz had a book review column (and probably did some editorial work); and one (Asimov) was originally published in an Alden Norton-edited magazine (Moskowitz collaborated with Norton on a number of anthologies).  This is a solid collection, but only in Moskowitz's mind could the stories by called "masterpieces".

THE TIME CURVE, edited by Sam Moskowitz and Roger Elwood, Towere Books, 1968

  • Robert Bloch - Time Wounds All Heels (a Lefty Feep story from Fantastic Adventures, April, 1942)
  • L. Sprague de Camp - A Gun for Dinosaur (a Reginald Rivers story from Galaxy Science Fiction, March, 1956)
  • Lester del Rey - Unto Him That Hath (originally published as by "Philip St. John" in Space Science Fiction, November 1952)
  • Fritz Leiber - Nice Girl With 5 Husbands (originally published under the title Nice Girl With Five Husbands in Galaxy Science Fiction, April, 1951)
  • Sam Moskowitz - Death of a Dinosaur (from Amazing Stories, August, 1956)
  • Andre Norton - The Gifts of Asti (originally published as by "Andrew North" in Fantasy Book, Vol. 1, No. 1, July, 1948; the story has also been published as Gifts of Asti)
  • Clifford D. Simak - Over the River and Through the Woods (from Amazing, May, 1965; the story was a nominated for a Nebula Award)
  • A. E. van Vogt - The Great Judge (from Fantasy Book, Vol. 1, No. 3, July, 1948; this story formed the core of van Vogt's novel The Mind Cage)
  • Jack Williamson - The Terror Out of Time (from Astounding Stories, December, 1933)
  • John Wyndham - Operation Peep (this story appeared in an earlier form in Suspense Magazine, Summer, 1951, and in this form as Pawley's Peepholes in Science-Fantasy, Vol. 1, #3, Winter, 1951)

     Comments:  Another solid anthology with many "name" writers.  The only weak story is the Moskowitz.

THE LITTLE MONSTERS, edited by Roger Elwood and Vic Ghidalia, Macfadden-Bartell, 1969

  • Cynthia Asquith - The Playfellow (first appeared in Asquith's anthology Shudders, Scribner, 1929)
  • E. F. Benson - How Fear Departed From the Long Gallery ( from The Windsor Magazine, December, 1911)
  • Algernon Blackwood - Old Clothes (from The Lost Valley and Other Stories, Nash, 1910)
  • Ray Bradbury - Let's Play "Poison" (from Weird Tales, November, 1946)
  • August Derleth - The Metronome (from Terror by Night, edited by Christine Campbell Thomson, Selwyn & Blount, 1934)
  • Rudyard Kipling - "They" (from Scribner's Magazine, August, 1904)
  • Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore - Mimsy Were the Borogoves (originally published as by "Lewis Padgett" in Astounding Science Fiction, February, 1943; the story is also known as The Last Mimzy)
  • Greye La Spina - The Antimacassar (from Weird Tales, May, 1949)

     Comments:  This was the first of several anthologies Elwood did with Ghidalia.  Don't judge the Kuttner/Moore story by the recent disasterous movie.  A solid collection, even though many of the stories are now readily available elsewhere.  Recommended.


     More to come.


  1. Well, the pleasantly inadequate movie is THE LAST MIMZY, anyway, and THE BEST OF HENRY KUTTNER was re-issued in a Hail Mary move by Ballantine to tie in with the non-hit. I saw a preview. Yep, the first Ghidalia collab really was a solid little book. THE TIME CURVE doesn't look too shabby, indeed.

  2. I always thought that Elwood was underrated as an anthologist, but his books never got anything but slammed, even when he died, the sf snobs couldn't say anything good about him. Yet, in the end, I was never disappointed by any anthology of his.