Where Does The Old Man Live In Final Fantasy Vi Omnibus of Science Fiction

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Omnibus of Science Fiction

40 years ago my uncle gave me a science fiction anthology, a thick red paperback that I read cover to cover. It inspired the love of this kind of longevity. The stories in the book made me think deeply. They filled me with fear because of the ideas they took to write them and sometimes they scared the hell out of me. The book remained in my collection for many years. At some point it faded, but not from my memory. I recently had the urge to read it again and thanks to Alibris.com I bought a used copy.

The title is OMNIBUS OF SCIENCE FICTION, written by Groff Conklin, the genre’s best-known and prolific editor. It was published in 1952, the Golden Age of Science Fiction. It is a hefty tome, 562 pages, with 43 articles divided into sections related to a common theme. Some stories are funny, some are interesting and some are rude. I love them all.

Part I. Wonders of the Earth and Man

Katherine MacLean’s “And be Merry” originally appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in February, 1950. When her husband sets off on an archeological expedition, a paleontologist takes a test of her own. Believing that he will become immortal if he avoids accidental death, he is afraid to live. Her husband knows that he has to convince her to die in order to live again, and tells her that she has a slow-growing tumor that will not work.

Other topics in this section are:

“John Thomas Cube” is John Leimert

“Hyperpilosity” by L. Sprague de Camp

“The Thing in the Woods” by Fletcher Pratt & BF Ruby

“Bees from Borneo” by Will H. Gray

“The Rag Thing” by David Grinnell

“The Conqueror” by Mark Clifton

Part II. Creative, Dangerous and Other

A fascinating short story, “A Subway Named Mobius,” by AJ Deutsch was published in Astounding Science Fiction in December, 1950. The Boston Subway Authority builds an extension to the subway and a train goes missing with three hundred people on board. The closed system became so interconnected and complex that it turned into a Mobius strip, a continuous cycle with one side identified by MC Escher.

Other topics in this section are:

“Ignore…” by Theodore Sturgeon

“The Doorbell” by David H. Keller

“Backfire” by Ross Rocklynne

“The Box” by James Blish

“Zeritsky’s Law” by Ann Griffith

“The Fourth Dynasty” by RR Winterbotham

Part III. From Outer Space

In “The Color Out of Space” by HP Lovecraft an explorer finds an abandoned farm with an old well in the middle. The world is lifeless and he asks about the name – the blasted heath. An old man tells him the story. In the 1880s, the farm was busy until a meteorite of incredible color fell into the side of the well. After hearing the horrors that befell the farmer and his family, the inspector concluded that he would not return and would not recommend drinking the water.

Other topics in this section are:

“The Head Hunters” by Ralph Williams

“The Star Dummy” by Anthony Boucher

“Catch That Martian” by Damon Knight

“Shipshape Home” by Richard Matheson

“Homo Sol” by Isaac Asimov

Part IV. Far Away

“Kaleidoscope” by Ray Bradbury is a tragic story of astronauts wandering through space after their ship crashes. They connect with each other but have no hope of being saved. A man laments that he has never done anything worthwhile but as his life ends he becomes a shooting star visible to a child on earth.

Other topics in this section are:

“Alexander the Bait” by William Tenn

“Nothing Happens in the Moon” by Paul Ernst

“Trigger Tide” by Wyman Guin

“Plague” by Murray Leinster

“Winner Loses All” by Jack Vance

“Test Piece” by Eric Frank Russell

“Nature” by Chester S. Geier

Part V. Fun in Dimension

“Spectator Sport” by John D. MacDonald was first published in Thrilling Wonder Stories in February 1950. A man goes into the future and finds nothing has changed. As soon as he left someone discovered the real world and all people were connected to it.

Other topics in this section are:

“High Threshold” by Alan E. Nourse

“Recruiting Station” by AE van Vogt

“The Stone and the Spear” by Raymond F. Jones

“What You Need” by Lewis Padgett

“The Choice” by W. Hilton-Young

Section VI. About Tomorrow’s World

“A History Lesson” by Arthur C. Clarke was first published in 1949. In the future the last ice age is approaching. A nomadic race goes to the equator but is caught between two advancing glaciers. They hide a few 21st century relics in the cairn. 5,000 years later Venusian reptiles visit Earth and recover the remains. He tries to learn about life on the Third Planet – by analyzing a cartoon

Other topics in this section are:

“Battle Against the Moon” by Andre Maurois

“Happy Dreams” by Ralph Robin

“Manners of the Age” by HB Fyfe

“The Weapon” by Fredric Brown

“The Scarlet Plague” by Jack London

“Heritage” by Robert Abernathy

“Instinct” by Lester del Rey

“Counter Charm” by Peter Phillips

Omnibus Of Science Fiction

Groff Conklin

Publisher: Crown Publishers 1952

Pages: 562

ASIN: B000NZ56FQ

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