04-28 Short Stories Read: sf

Reading from a 1960 an anthology this week, and in the weeks to come.

The Fantastic Universe Omnibus edited by Hans Stefan Santesson, Prentice-Hall 1960 hardcover, science-fantasy short story anthology, 19 stories, 270 pages, introduction by Lester del Rey. Here’s the first half I read. The rest will be next week.

Introduction (The Fantastic Universe Omnibus) (1960) essay by Lester del Rey

Introduction (The Fantastic Universe Omnibus)  (1960)  essay by Hans Stefan Santesson

“First Law” (1956) by Isaac Asimov

“She Only Goes Out at Night” (1956) by William Tenn

“The Pacifist”  [Tales from the White Hart] (1956) by Arthur C. Clarke

“The Bounty Hunter” (1958) by Avram Davidson

“The Muted Horn” (1957) by Dorothy Salisbury Davis

As an addition, I found out about this anthology through the Black Gate blog, in particular this article: The Art of Things To Come Part II in which it was featured. Things to Come was the pamphlet sent by the Science Fiction Book Club to members every other month showing upcoming club selections. Here’s the page for this one:

The Fantastic Universe Omnibus, featured in the
September-October 1960 issue of Things to Come. Art by Virgil Finlay

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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15 Responses to 04-28 Short Stories Read: sf

  1. Steve A Oerkfitz says:

    I’m a big fan of Clarke, Tenn and Davidson but am not familiar with these stories. I know the Asimov. Never realized Davis ever wrote any thing but mysteries.

  2. Seth Davis says:

    The Bounty Hunter is fantastic! Love that story! Glad you enjoyed it. Will be in audio format soon.

  3. Cap'n Bob Napier says:

    Looks like a winner.

    • Jerry House says:

      Rick, FANTASTIC UNIVERSE was a second tier magazine that featured many name authors, mostly with readable albeit less than major stories. It ran for 69 issues from June 1953 to March 1960 and went through four editors (Sam Merwin, Jr. for the first three issues, Beatrice Jones for the next two issues, followed by a longer run under Leo Margulies — 26 issues — that ended in August 1956, and finally Hans Stefan Santessen for the final 38 issues). A somewhat eclectic magazine worth seeking out. Alas, the Santessen anthology was the only one derived from the magazine.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Looks like a good collection. I’ve read the WHITE HART stories, as well as a couple of the others.

  5. Wonderful anthology. I’m ordering a copy now!

  6. tracybham says:

    This looks like a very good book of stories. I love that illustration for the advertisement for the book. I need to check out the Black Gate blog on a more regular basis.

  7. Todd Mason says:

    Actually, Jerry’s slightly mistaken–he’s correct that the OMNIBUS was the only “official” FU anthology, but Santesson also edited two other anthologies in the ’60s which were primarily drawn from FANTASTIC UNIVERSE stories, though not exclusively: RULERS OF MEN and (this won’t surprise anyone familiar with his run as FU editor) FLYING SAUCERS IN FACT AND FICTION.

    Flying Saucers in Fact and Fiction ed. Hans Stefan Santesson (Lancer, 1968, pb)
    7 · Introduction · Hans Stefan Santesson · in
    13 · The Flying Saucer Myth · Lester del Rey · ar Fantastic Universe Aug 1957
    25 · Now Meet the Nonterrestrial · Ivan T. Sanderson · ar Fantastic Universe Jan 1959
    52 · Welcome, Stranger · Robert Bloch · ss Satellite Science Fiction Apr 1957
    63 · Our Saucer Vacation · Fritz Leiber · ar Fantastic Universe Dec 1959
    88 · A Saucer of Loneliness · Theodore Sturgeon · ss Galaxy Feb 1953
    105 · Amused Visitor · John Stephens · ss *
    118 · The Night Before Christmas · Nancy Forsythe Coe · pm 1959
    120 · Neither Snow Nor Rain · Miriam Allen deFord · ss If Nov 1959, as “Not Snow Nor Rain”
    137 · Sense of Wonder · Bertram Chandler · ss New Worlds Oct 1957; Fantastic Universe Feb 1958
    145 · Cassidy’s Saucer · Edward D. Hoch · ss *
    153 · Pickup · Aidan van Alm · ss Fantastic Universe Jan 1960
    161 · Little Green Men · John Nicholson · ar Fantastic Universe May 1958
    167 · Exile from Space · Judith Merril · nv Fantastic Universe Nov 1956
    211 · Press Conference · Richard Wilson · ss Amazing Oct/Nov 1953, as “Visitor from the Void”

    Rulers of Men ed. Hans Stefan Santesson (Pyramid R1227, 1965, 50¢, 173pp, pb)
    Introduction · Hans Stefan Santesson · in
    A Way of Life · Robert Bloch · nv Fantastic Universe Oct 1956
    Be of Good Cheer · Fritz Leiber · ss Galaxy Oct 1964
    This Earth of Majesty · Arthur C. Clarke · ss F&SF Jul 1955; originally published as “?” for a story title contest.
    A Thing of Custom · L. Sprague de Camp · ss Fantastic Universe Jan 1957
    Prison Break · Miriam Allen deFord · ss Fantastic Universe Jul 1959
    The Eyes Have It [Lord Darcy] · Randall Garrett · nv Analog Jan 1964
    Murderer’s Chain · Wenzell Brown · ss Fantastic Universe Mar 1960
    Fall of Knight · A. Bertram Chandler · ss Fantastic Universe Jun 1958
    The K-Factor · Harry Harrison · nv Analog Dec 1960
    The Wolfram Hunters · Edward D. Hoch · ss The Saint Mystery Magazine (UK) Jan 1963

    (Santesson edited THE SAINT magazine as well)

    • I knew he did the other two, but had no idea he edited The Saint magazine. Thanks for doing the research, Todd.

      • Todd Mason says:

        THE SAINT magazine was essentially a less well-budgeted version of ELLERY QUEEN’S (with most of the reprints, when any, Saith stories by Charteris and his ghosts that had been published elsewhere), and so, too, FANTASTIC UNIVERSE (the most upbeat fantasy/sf title ever, in some ways) was, as Jerry notes, kind of the slightly down-market F&SF. I think Santesson could’ve fashioned a slightly better anthology from FU than the OMNIBUS (where’s “Short in the Chest” by Margaret St. Clair? and, and…)…but FU did have its gems and no lack of decent reading to ti.

        Santesson also edited the US edition of NEW WORLDS in 1960, after the new publishers folded FU with the issue that began serialization of THE MIND THING by Fredric Brown (also an issue with Jorge Luis Borges in it). See this for more:

        • Wow, thanks, Todd! I don’t think I ever saw an issue of FU, but then I was primarily a reader of Astounding and Galaxy.

          • Todd Mason says:

            You’re quite welcome. GALAXY and ASTOUNDING were a Lot better-distributed, in the latter ’50s, ASF with Street and Smith behind it and GALAXY coasting, to some degree, on the muscle first publisher World Editions used to launch it.

    • Todd Mason says:

      FWIW dept.: Clarke didn’t appreciate F&SF editors pulling his title for the story off it in the magazine (though I think “This Earth of Majesty” rather a good one), and it’s collected in Clarke volumes and (I think) most other places as “Refugee” (about an heir apparent to the British throne who wants to take part in a human space mission and what that requires).

  8. Todd Mason says:

    Middle-aged moment, above–THE SAINT magazine for most of its run ran no few reprints, making it very much in the EQMM mode…in those decades.

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