Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Books read in 2019: No. 8 -- The Fiend

from Playboy

Started: Feb. 3
Finished: Feb. 5

Notes: Many today don't seem to realize that once upon a time, of all publishers, Playboy was a major player in short fiction. At one time the magazine even paid as much as $5,000 for short fiction, and $5,000 was worth a lot more than (several decades back) than it is today. Also, back in the 1970s, Playboy published a number of science fiction books, mostly anthology collections, some of which are still sought today by collectors who are willing to pay decent money. This is one such collection, though I'm not sure this particular one has much monetary value today. There are 15 science fiction short stories here and the names of the authors should be familiar to many, names such as Frederik Pohl, Arthur C. Clarke, Rober Bloch, just to name a few. Sadly, the unusual cover art was illustrated by the late Roger Hane, famed for the covers of the Collier-Macmillan editions of The Chronicles of Narnia paperbacks (you'd know them if you saw them), and who was murdered far too young at the age of 36 by a bunch of youths stealing a bicycle he was riding.

Mini review: As might be expected from Playboy, this collection focuses almost entirely upon stories related to sexual matters, though they are still all science fiction. There are some quite good stories here. In my opinion, I'd say roughly 75 percent of these tales are awesome, and the rest are written well but weren't really my thing. All in all, a good read with some solid writing.

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