Science Fiction Terror Tales

Marty Greenberg was entirely a product of Campbell’s Golden Age of 1940s f&sf. Most of the material printed in the early years of Gnome came directly from Astounding and Unknown, with many of the books collections of stories from those magazines and most of the stories in his anthologies first being printed there. Astounding was less of a force in 1950s, with Galaxy and F&SF opening doors to a wider range of storytelling. Whether Greenberg couldn’t adapt or just saw that others understood the new field better, he never did a fiction anthology after All About the Future.

Groff Conklin by then was known as the premier anthologist in the field. Science Fiction Terror Tales was his fifteenth in a decade. Though he stuck to some Campbellian classics, half the book was from the 1950s and contained the first stories from F&SF to appear from Gnome. They were a signal that the field was changing, and perhaps maturing.

Contents and original publication:

• “Introduction,” by Groff Conklin (original to this volume)
• “Punishment Without Crime,” by Ray Bradbury (Other Worlds,  March 1950)
• “Arena,” by Fredric Brown (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1944)
• “The Leech,” by Robert Sheckley (Galaxy, December 1952 as by Phillips Barbee)
• “Through Channels,” by Richard Matheson (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1951)
• “Lost Memory,” (Galaxy, May 1952), by Peter Phillips
• “Memorial,” by Theodore Sturgeon (Astounding Science Fiction, April 1946)
• “Prott,” by Margaret St. Clair (Galaxy, January 1953)
• “Flies,” by Isaac Asimov (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 1953)
• “The Microscopic Giants,” by Paul Ernst (Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1936)
• “The Other Inauguration,” by Anthony Boucher (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 1953)
• “Nightmare Brother,” by Alan E. Nourse (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1953)
• “Pipeline to Pluto,” by Murray Leinster (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1945)
• “Imposter,” by Philip K. Dick (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1953)
• “They,” by Robert A. Heinlein (Unknown, April 1941)
• “Let Me Live in a House,” by Chad Oliver (Universe, March 1954)

Notes: KEMP gives the “The Marionettes” as an alternate title for “Punishment Wiothout Crime.” That is a separate story in the same series. He also lists Peter Phillips as a pseudonym for Howard Browne. Although Browne did use that name at times, this Phillips is a British writer using his own name.

Villiers Gerson reviews the anthology for the April 24, 1955 New York Times Book Review:

Not only the most indefatigable of science fiction anthologists, Groff Conklin is one of the best. His newest collection would seem, by its nature, to impose a limitation upon his stories, as a matter of fact, the result is the opposite. Mr. Conklin professed aim is to raise goose pimples on the reader. Through deft and unerring selection he has succeeded.

 

Science Fiction Terror Tales, Edited by Groff Conklin, 1955, title #53, 262 pages, $3.50. 5000 copies printed.

Hardback. Red cloth with black lettering. Jacket Design by Ed Emsh. “First Edition” on copyright page. Printing & Blinding by H. Wolff. Introduction by Martin Greenberg. Back cover: 39 titles. Gnome Press address is given as 80 East 11th St., New York 3.

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