More Adventures On Other Planets edited by Donald A. Wollheim, Ace Books Inc. 1963 mass market paperback, science fiction anthology, six stories, 190 pages.
“Here, in this new anthology, you will find a preview of the thrills in store for men on scorching Mercury, shrouded Venus, ancient Mars and the other worlds of outer space.” — from back cover
I was about to graduate high school when this follow-up anthology was published, so it’s possible I saw it in a bookstore, the cover has a familiar look. The authors are well known for the time, and the stories are a lot of fun.
It may come as no surprise that my favorite here is the novella by Poul Anderson, “Tiger By the Tail”. Anderson has long been a personal favorite, and I’d read this before, but thoroughly enjoyed it this time around. I also liked the Brunner and Silverberg. I’d consider the others good but not tops. This is a anthology that’s worth your time if you have it or come across a copy. I surely did enjoy it.
- Child of the Sun by Leigh Brackett
- Sunrise on Mercury by Robert Silverberg
- By the Name of Man by John Brunner
- The Red Death of Mars by Robert Moore Williams
- The Planet of Doubt by Stanley G. Weinbaum
- Tiger By the Tail by Poul Anderson
By the way, I’m not only reading science fiction, I’m also working through a mystery anthology and have a mystery novel in progress.
I remember MORE ADVENTURES ON OTHER PLANETS very well. Like you, I enjoyed the stories in this collection. And, like you I was a big Poul Anderson fan (I still am!) in High School. I remember reading Poul Anderson ACE Doubles in Study Halls back then. Those were the days!
I guess you were lucky to have Study Hall in high school. I always had the full schedule followed by P.E. at 3:00, in my case I was on the water polo and swim teams, so we worked out until 5:00 or 5:30 every day except when we had meets. I had to do my studying at home at night. Most of the reading I got done was weekends after chores and during the Summer.
But yes, I was a fan of Anderson since I first read his stuff in Astounding and later in paperback.
I have a question. Obviously science has moved forward since these stories were published. We know more about any number of scientific issues. Does that make these stories seem dated or are they not dependent on any particular scientific facts? Can we accept, for instance, the way they saw men traveling in space with wings or jet packs and planets suddenly climate friendly to earth people?
Patti, they are definitely dated but that does not limit my enjoyment of them. My willing suspension of disbelief serves me well with both science fiction and mystery stories, as I presume it does for others, such as romance readers. The two most powerful words in the universe — what if? — are not necessarily bound by current restrictions.
Patti, I’ve been reading science fiction for so long I’m used to it, these stories were the kind of thing I read when I was a kid. The stories that are science-based (as it was at the time) are no problem, I accept them for what they are, of their time. In many ways, that’s the fun of it.
Think of an older mystery. Is it a problem that Our Hero has to drive around looking for a phone booth instead of just taking out his cell phone? Is it a problem that the cops can’t get DNA tests? No, because they didn’t have them at that time. So, no, not a problem.
I have good memories of this one. Wollheim managed to assemble some pretty good anthologies for Ace, chock full of the type of story we all loved in high school, Rick. Like you, my favorites are the Anderson and the Silverberg. Of the six authors, five were ‘regulars” at Ace Books, the sixth — Weinbaum — may well have been had he not died so young. Brackett, Silverberg, Brunner, and Anderson were all top tier writers; Williams, although firmly in the middle tier, produced a lot of entertaining tles; and Weinbaum was legendary on the basis of a few ground-breaking stories, although some of his other work was pedestrian.
For Weinbaum, it was Martian Odyssey that made his reputation. Otherwise, as you say, his work was pretty pedestrian. The Brackett is the clunkiest of the stories here.
Of course, I did not read SF at all back in my high school days, like you and George did, but I’ve read more since, starting with Clarke and Heinlein in college. Of course, reading this stuff as a teenager would probably have provoked a different reaction than reading it now. I have read a ton of Silverberg’s stories and really enjoyed most of them. I doubt I’ve read the other stories. Glad you are keeping up with the old stuff.
My experience was just about opposite, Jeff. I only read sf and fantasy until I was about thirty, then was given a couple of Christe paperbacks (Poirot) and liked them, then tried Chandler and Hammett, and off I went. I was inspired by John O’Neil at Black Gate after seeing his scores of old anthologies on eBay, and tried it, picking up 8 or 10 of them. Next week will be another.
Always love seeing Richard Powers covers. It is possible I’ve read the Anderson story, but do not remember. I do know I’ve not read the others. I’ll certainly pick this one up if I ever stumble across it in a used bookstore as I tend to always buy Powers and Paul Lehr covers when I find them.
Got off my lazy butt and posted my Book Traveling post today on the dead blog.
Though there is no attribution on this paperback, like you I’m sure it’s a Powers cover. The Anderson story is one of his Flandry ones. I’ll add that above. I’ll be visiting your blog in a few minutes!
Other than Call me Joe, I’m not sure I’ve read any Anderson BUT his Flandry stories, and I’ve not read many of them, but I do like what I’ve read, so much so that I’ve been collecting them as I come across them.
I think Baen has several collections of them.
They do. The problem I have with the Baen collections is that they tend to have covers that seem to belong to more of a Mad Men age, while the older covers, even if they have a similar theme, don’t seem as unnecessarily “sexy” as the new ones. Don’t get me wrong, the art is often well done. They just seem a bit much to me, and I have fun finding these old paperbacks anyway. The first Flandry I read was because I came across a really great copy of a paperback with a Whelan cover on it.
This anthology does look good. In my twenties I remember reading Robert Silverberg, John Brunner, and Theodore Sturgeon. I have a few paperback science fiction anthologies I have picked up at the book sale; I will have to pull them out.
Getting back to your post on Poul Anderson (The War of the Wing-Men), I have bought a copy of The Earth Book of Stormgate.
I suggest you look up Anderson’s Future Earth to get an idea of the whole thing. There were three books titled EARTHBOOK of STORMGATE, then an omnibus of them…I think.
You might check this out:
I remember having this anthology but don’t remember any of these stories although I’m sure I read it. I know I was never a big fan of Robert Moore Williams.
The problem with the Williams story is he telegraphed the solution ahead of time.
Except the changes in crime fiction (like cell phones and computers) is due to advancing technology and what was used to make calls in the past wasn’t fanciful but just reflected the time. Whereas the changes here are the accumulation of knowledge about what is possible. We know now you can’t fly with wings on your back, for instance. But I see what you mean. You are honoring the imagination of the writers more than their knowledge of science.