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1960 - Year in SF&F: February



THE WONDER TIMELINE: SF&F RETROSPECTIVE
Read other issues here

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Clifford Simak
"Crying Jag"
© Galaxy, Feb 1960
All The Traps Of Earth, 1962
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award
--/ style award


I am tempted to call it "the best story of Clifford Simak", but there are many other stories which are just as good, so it may cause an outrage and fighting among the fans :). However, the impact of this melancholy- slash- optimistic ("bittersweet") tale had on me long time ago was nothing short of profound, and I still vividly remember this piece. Yes, it is a fun commentary on one of the things friends are supposed to be good for, but it is also genuine "warm-hearted" tale, of which there is a definite shortage in an overly jaded field of the fantastic.
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1983)

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Frederick Pohl
"The Day the Icicle Works Closed"
© Galaxy, Feb 1960
The Man Who Ate the World, 1960
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ style award
--/ wonder award


Very capable writing, great quality novella. Earth colony planet suffers economic meltdown, so it tries to help things by selling live human hosts (bodies) to the tourist agencies: rich people occupy the minds of the unfortunate colonists, as the host's minds (occupying the robot bodies) slave in the underwater mines. Very callous and cynical idea, indeed. Pohl is good at that kind of dystopian inventions. The story also depicts interesting planetary ecology, with air-fish and rainbow glaciers.
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1986)

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Zenna Henderson
"Something Bright"
© Galaxy, Feb 1960
The Anything Box, 1965

Pleasant Depression-era fantasy. Something stays bright, no mater what... what is it? However, Henderson's style could be just too soft for my liking. Good "chick-fiction heart-strings-pullers". She has the taste, though.
review: 06-Jul-06 (read in 1986)

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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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