Saturday, February 05, 2005

What we used to think teens wanted: Tales of Time and Space edited by Ross R. Olney (Racine, WI: Western Publishing Co., 1969),

In Tales of Time and Space , we find the following stories, selected for teenaged readers:

Arthur C. Clarke, "All the Time in the World" in which a crook helps people fro the future to steal Earth's Treasures, and discovers that they can't change history, because the bomb has already dropped.

Fredric Brown: "Puppet Show"--in which a revolting alien tests us for xenophobia. We pass, the alien turns out to be a puppet and we express relief that the puppet handler really is like us, and humanoids are the master race. Then the burro speaks up...

Robert Silverberg, "Birds of a Feather"--a carnie man who runs a zoo which shows off willing aliens on Earth (it's the only way they can get past immigration) finds himself outwitted by a better con-man.

Larry Sternig, "Clutch of Morpheus"--a comet brings sleep to everyone except a young man who has never slept, and must save the world.

Keith Laumer, "The Last Command"--wakes a war machine from its slumbers.

William Campbell Gault's "Fog", an incredibly sad story in which a lonely and isolated young man seems to be selling Earth out to Venusian invaders, only to die a martyr's death.

Poul Anderson, "The Martian Jewels" introduces a Martian Sherlock Holmes and a locked spaceship mystery.

and last,

Jack Finney, "Of Missing Persons" in which a man misses his chance to emigrate to another world.

In eight short stories I have found more variety than I have found so far in the thirty books I have read so far. I hadn't planned to do this, but one thing I'm going to have to do now, is to start keeping lists of plots. None of the stories in this volume uses complex language or science, but all of them with the exception of "The Clutch of Morpheus" requires the reader to consider consequence.


Blogger Blue Tyson said...

Nice work with the synopses. I actually had this book as a young kid, and I think it had a pretty fair influence on me.

Stories by actual top-line sf writers, not crap for kids, I suppose is why.

4:49 AM  

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