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Raymond Z. Gallun

Dow Elstar; E.V. Raymond; Arthur Allport; William Callahan


"Asteroid of Fear"
© Planet Stories, Mar 1951
Space Pioneers, 1954 -a
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"Blue Haze on Pluto"
© Astounding, Jun 1935
--/ third place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ emotion award
--/ rare find

Very simple and very effective adventure tale; the definitive "planetary crash" experience with noble characters doing noble deeds without being too sugary or heroic about it. Great descriptive passages of starscapes, landscapes, blue sentient mistballs and aggressive sentient ice crystals. Spectacular, pure, gorgeous story, proving that a classic simple plot sometimes is the most effective. (it also helps to be the first on the scene, as this story was written in 1935, before such heroic storylines were shamelessly over-used.)
review: 25-Dec-07 (read in 2007)


"Coffins to Mars"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Jun 1950
--/ cool sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

Competent Mars-colonisation story, with a great title for a pulp suspense story. However, it could've been more intense. My attention flagged in some places. Great heroism and survival in Mars conditions.
review: 04-Jul-06 (read in 2002)


"Comet's Burial"
© Science Fiction Stories, Jan 1953
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award: riding the comet
--/ awesome scale
--/ style award
--/ rare find

"The Crystal Ray"
© Air Wonder Stories, Nov 1929
--/ rare find

"Davey Jones' Ambassador"
© Astounding Stories, Dec 1935
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

© Astounding Stories, Oct 1935
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find

"The Eternal Wall"
© Amazing, Nov 1942
Amazing Stories, Apr 1956
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"Forbidden Moon"
(also as "Invaders of the Forbidden Moon")
© Planet Stories, Autumn 1941
A First Glimpse & Other Stories, 2001
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

Starts with a bang, ends with a whimper... This novelette could have been a truly great space adventure, if it did not descend into comic-like one-dimensional world-domination plot in the end. It starts so promising, however, that I am tempeted to include it in my list of best space pulp adventures. The Forbidden Moon of the title beckons with super-science mysteries of the lost alien race - plus the love interest and intrigue between main heroes is set up quite nicely (including visions of the underground lab of veritable steampunk quality). But once the action gets to the mysterious satellite, it all gets very predictable and incredibly similar to P. F. Costello's "People of the Pyramid" (I am sure, it's the other way around). Still, a good read from the Golden Age of "Planet Stories" pulp.


"Guardian Angel"
© 1940, Super Science Stories
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"Legacy From Mars"
© Science Fiction Adventures, May 1953
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"The Lotus-Engine"
© Super Science Stories, Mar 1940
--/ third place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award
--/ rare find


© Astounding Stories, May 1935
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

This is a quite uninvolving planetary tale of a strange civilization, and a quest of a particular being toward... greater heights of... I did not really care much for this character, but the story environment is professionally told and weird, as usual. Hey, check out the illustration (click to enlarge)..


"Old Faithful"
© Astounding Stories, Dec 1934
--short fiction : 1971 Astounding/Analog All-Time Poll /25 (tie)
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"Operation Pumice"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Apr 1949
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

"Passport to Jupiter" (nv)
© Startling Stories, January 1951
--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

"Return of a Legend"
© Planet Stories, Mar 1952
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

"Saturn' Ringmaster"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1936
--/ third place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ adventure award
--/ awesome scale
--/ rare find

"Secret of the Comet"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Jan 1941
--/ cool space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find

"Seeds of the Dusk"
© Astounding Stories, Jun 1938
--short fiction : 1971 Astounding/Analog All-Time Poll /25 (tie)
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find

"Space Oasis"
© Planet Stories, Fall 1942
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find

"Stamped Caution!"
© Galaxy, Aug 1953
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"Stepson of Space"
© Astonishing Stories, Oct 1940
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find

"Telepathic Piracy"
© Astounding Stories, Mar 1935
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"Terror Out Of The Past"
© Amazing Stories, Mar 1943
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award
--/ rare find

"Trail Blazer"
© Fantastic Story Magazine, Fll 1951
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find

"The World Wrecker"
© Astounding Stories, Jun 1934
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


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Anonymous Dr. Caligari said...

Gallun is *way* underrated.

3:30 PM  

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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
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10 Possible Sources of "Avatar" in Classic Science Fiction

Going beyond the obvious "Dances with Smurfs"...
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"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:
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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: 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

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

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"
" 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

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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.

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

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--/ first place :
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These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
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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:

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

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

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