Search this site:

type "exact title in quotes",
or author's name




More than 10,000 books and stories rated and reviewed! - About this site

Home A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z Pen names
reviews of books and stories by author's name
SF&F Timeline 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000-Now Best!
retrospective look at sf&f year-by-year
The Ultimate Guide to New SF&F Writers (from 1990 till now)

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"
(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)

----------------------------------------------

"Nightmare"
© 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)



----------------------------------------------

Click to go to "Dark Roasted Blend" site



COMMENTS:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

LATEST POSTS:

Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Exceptional British Scifi Artwork from the 1950s

Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and other British artists

Pulp Pleasures: Eando Binder

Great space adventure fiction from the 1930s
"Where Eternity Ends" and other rare gems

Epic Fantasy: the Start of the Journey

Part 2 of our "Best Classic Fantasy" series
incl. works by Henry Kuttner, Tolkien, etc.

Strange Shadows: Best Classic Fantasy

Fantasy "glitches in the matrix",
...lovely baroque magical lands, and more

Classic Cyberpunk SF Novels: Reviews

Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, K. W. Jeter, et al
(awesome must-reads)

10 Possible Sources of "Avatar" in Classic Science Fiction

Going beyond the obvious "Dances with Smurfs"...
(many stories worth reading)

"Steampunk" Anthology: Full Review

some truly crazed stories in there...
(plus artwork by John Coulthart)

"Dune", Plus Often-Neglected
Other Novels by Frank Herbert


"Dune", plus some overlooked gems:
"The Santaroga Barrier" and "The Green Brain"

Universe at Play:
Two Must-Read Novels of the Fantastic


"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon...
and David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas"

Two of the Most Entertaining SF Novels from the 1980s

"Vacuum Flowers" by Michael Swanwick...
and Tim Power's "The Anubis Gates", of course!

"The Body Snatchers" and Other Alien Pods

Fiction by Jack Finney, Vance, Simak and Bloch
mind impostors and emotion imitators

Exploring the Noir and the Grotesque

Jack O'Connell "The Resurrectionist"
and other newest examples of the bizarre

Overpopulation, Sex and Sensibility

Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside"
and other classic sf blasts

H. P. Lovecraft "At the Mountains of Madness"

and other masterpieces of terror
including original illustrations

"Constellations", edited by Peter Crowther

original anthology, 2005
full review: mind-bending stories

The Ultimate Guide to New Writers of SF&F

more than 2,000 writers, 1990-2009
Ratings, awards, web links

The Surreal Office

"The Situation", "The Cookie Monster"
Weird fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Vernor Vinge

Mind-shattering Novels of Philip K. Dick

"UBIK", "Now Wait for Last Year", etc.

Theodore Sturgeon's "More Than Human"

There’s a problem with this new gestalt being:
...it needs a conscience.

Jack Williamson's "Legion of Space" Series

Classic Space Opera
The ultimate weapon, controlled by a gorgeous woman

Astounding Stories, August 1934

Jack Williamson, Nat Schachner, "Doc" Smith
Epic space opera gems and horror surprises

Rare Pulp SF&F, Issue 3

Leigh Brackett, Fritz Leiber, Vic Phillips
Rediscovered gems of wonder & adventure

William Gibson's Novels

"Pattern Recognition", "Neuromancer"
A Fractured Delight...

Alfred Bester "The Computer Connection"

"Bester was the mountain, all the rest of us..."
Pyrokinetic writing in one neat package

Two Novels by Samuel R. Delany

"Nova" and "Babel-17"
New Wave Milestones, and then some.

Theodore Sturgeon's "The Cosmic Rape"

(and more reviews of his fiction)
Classic SF at its best and most humane

Travel Distant Worlds!

Vintage Space Travel Posters, and more.
Part 3 of Pulp Sf art series...

Alastair Reynolds' Epic Novels

"Chasm City" and "Revelation Space"
And it's only the beginning...

Rare Fantasy Gems by C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

Hidden Gems of Pulp Fiction
When two star writers become husband and wife

Grand Old Times... in the Future

Overview of Pulp Art
A Loudly Lurid Universe of Sci-Fi Illustration

Exclusive: Interview with Nancy Kress

From High Fantasy to Hard Science Fiction
A Spectrum of Wonder

Jack Vance

"To Live Forever"
and other Vance extravaganzas

Alastair Reynolds

"Pushing Ice"
Cosmological "noir" chase across space

Charles Stross

"Missile Gap"
Mind-bending Cold War world-building

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 2

Rare stories from the "Age of Wonder"
incl. David Keller, Horace Gold etc.

Ultra-Rare Serials from "Fantasy Magazine"

"Cosmos" + "Challenge From Beyond"
incredible line-up of writers

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 1

Neat & Rare Stories
incl. the mad rally story "The Racer"

Astounding Stories, June 1935

Full Issue Review
incl. Gallun, Schachner, Campbell

Astounding Stories, May 1941

Full Issue Review
incl. Heinlein, Asimov, Eric Frank Russell

Horace Gold; P. Schuyler Miller

"Apocalyptic Blockbusters"
"Inflexure" and "Spawn": guilty pleasure

Exclusive:
Interview with John C. Wright


Plus his advice to new writers
Adventures in Space & Magic

Frank Belknap Long

"The Horror from the Hills"
Great Lovecraftian Weird Novella

Exclusive:
Interview with Jeff VanderMeer


Plus his Recommended Reading List
A Triumph of the Bizarre

Alastair Reynolds, Part 2

More "Galactic North" Stories
A Mixture of Hard Sf, James Bond & Jaws...

Alastair Reynolds Review

"Galactic North"
staring down infinity...

Most Shocking Article

"Holey Fools" by M. Christian
Warning: Gross Subject Matter

Alfred Bester Review

"The Stars My Destination"
"...nail it to the Retro Hugo voting board..."

Larry Niven Review

"Neutron Star"
"better get GP alien ship hull"

Poul Anderson Review

"Ensign Flandry"
"or how to start a sub-genre..."

Thomas M. Disch Review

"The Squirrel Cage"
"...seriously mind-bending stuff..."

Henry Kuttner Review

"Mimsy Were the Borogoves" (The Last Mimzy)
"...great storyline for a pretty average movie..."

Robert A. Heinlein Review

"The Moon is the Harsh Mistress"
"...it caused a tooth ache, and put my brain on freeze..."

Frank Herbert Review

"Destination: Void"
"...a layered cake of ideas and a scientific extrapolation on a genius level..."

Harlan Ellison Review

"The Abnormals"
"...editors slapped the most outrageous titles on his stories..."

James White Review

"All Judgement Fled"
"...the tension is palpable, soon to grow almost unbearable..."

Grand Adventure Strikes Again

Space Opera Article, by Avi Abrams
Based on Arthur Clarke's "Against the Fall of Night"

William Gibson Review

"Burning Chrome"
"...sheer pyrotechnics and exuberance of style..."

Ace Double: Murray Leinster

"The Pirates of Ersatz /The Mutant Weapon"
"...the characters might as well be cats or hamsters..."

Astounding Stories, May 1935

Pulp SF Magazine Review
with many original illustrations

Also read recent posts:
Author's Pen Names - Most Complete List Ever
The Wonder Timeline: SF&F Restrospective
Space Adventure Article


SEE OUR MAIN PAGE FOR MORE!


EXPLANATION OF THE RATING SYSTEM:

"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.


All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)
ALL "BEST OF" LISTS ARE LOCATED HERE

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

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

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

--/ shock value
altogether wild

--/ awesome scale
mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

--/ rare find
very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.

Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.