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Donald Wandrei

(artwork courtesy Carlo Traversi)

"The Atom Smasher"
© Astounding, Apr 1934
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"The Black Fog"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb 1937
Eye and the Finger, 1944
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award

"Blinding Shadows"
© Astounding, May 1934
Eye and the Finger, 1944
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ awesome scale

"The Challenge From Beyond"
(round-robin story)
© 1934, Fantasy Magazine
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

"The Chuckler"
© Fantasy Magazine, Sep 1934
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

(Colossus series)
© Astounding, Jan 1934
Colossus, 1989
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ awesome scale

"The Crystal Bullet"
© Weird Tales, Mar 1941
Eye and the Finger, 1944
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ awesome scale

"The Destroying Horde"
© Weird Tales, Jun 1935
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award


"Finality Unlimited"
© Astounding, Sep 1936
Eye and the Finger, 1944
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ awesome scale

This story may either blow your mind and send you staggering in the general direction of a "Starbucks" for some hope of espresso and free time to ponder upon its described (and implied) immensities, or it can mightily frustrate you with its "rubber" science (meaning "very flexible, and likely nonsense scientific stuff") and crude literary qualities. Your choice. A vintage "Wonder Pulp" tale, it displays the same unique qualities of cosmic imagination as other Wandrei tales, such as "The Red Brain", "Colossus", "Something From Above", etc. Is it refined gasoline to feed your sophisticated literary SUV, or is it crude, black, raw oil gushing from depths unmentionable and vast, covering you from head to toe, branding you as a "wonder junkie" and providing a gleam in your eyes for days to come? The latter, of course. Some inspired, vaulted halls of imagination span this narrative; go hide and frolic inside them, and do not let anybody tell you differently.
review: 24-Sep-06 (read in 2002)


"The Fire Vampires"
© Weird Tales, Feb 1933
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"Giant Plasm"
© Weird Tales, Feb 1939
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

"The Green Flame"
© Weird Tales, Jul 1930
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"Infinity Zero"
© Astounding, Oct 1936
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story
--/ awesome scale

"Life Current"
© Astounding, Apr 1935
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story

"The Man Who Never Lived"
© Astounding, Mar 1934
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story

"The Monster From Nowhere"
© Argosy, Nov 1935
Eye and the Finger, 1944
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award


Donald Wandrei
"Murray's Light"
© Astounding, Jun 1935
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

This is not the best story of Donald Wandrei, by any means. Yet, its readable, appropriately large-scale scientific disaster yarn, with convoluted, florid style: check it out: "Destiny donned impalpable fingers. Phantasmal ribbons fluttered from oceans of light that raged mysterious. The sky crept down to earth in countless questing festoons." and so it goes - rather a painting than a story.
review: 10-Jul-06 (read in 2006)


© 1935
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story

"The Red Brain"
© Weird Tales, Oct 1927
Eye and the Finger, 1944
(expanded version)
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ awesome scale

"A Scientist Divides"
© Astounding, Sep 1934
Eye and the Finger, 1944
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ awesome scale

"Something From Above"
© Weird Tales, Dec 1930
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award

"Spawn Of The Sea"
© Weird Tales, May 1933
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

"Strange Harvest"
© Weird Tales, May 1953
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award

"Uneasy Lie The Drowned"
© Weird Tales, Dec 1937
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award


"The Whisperers"
© Astounding Stories, May 1935
Avon SF Reader, Feb 1947
Strange Harvest, 1965
--/ cool apocalyptic sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award

Another strange tale. The world is experiencing the worst plague in history (described quite vividly, including some Soviet propaganda press-releases). Something infects people and makes a strange whispering sound in their bodies as it kills them off... It turns out that this sound is the full blast of microscopic civilizations of sentient aliens who also have a much faster time rate, so after entering the human body they evolve, have an epic history and an apocalyptic finish - all in a matter of hours! As though this idea was not wild enough, Wandrei tells us about the remedy - getting drunk and making these industrious "virus" civilizations finish themself sooner; in other words, stressing out these little buggers with a totally mad (drunk) rat race. Do you sense an irony here?
review: 09-Aug-06 (read in 2005)


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"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.

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These awards are given in the following categories:
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Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

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