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Literature / 50 Short Science Fiction Tales

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First published in 1963 by editors Isaac Asimov and Groff Conklin, this Genre Anthology contains fifty Science Fiction short stories (plus two poems) and a short introduction by each of the famous anthology editors.


Works in this anthology:

  • "Ballade Of An Artificial Satellite", by Poul Anderson (1958)
  • "The Fun They Had", by Isaac Asimov (1951)
  • "Men Are Different", by Alan Bloch (1954)
  • "The Ambassadors", by Anthony Boucher (1952)
  • Advertisement:
  • "The Weapon", by Fredric Brown (1951)
  • "Random Sample", by T P Caravan (1953)
  • " Oscar", by Cleve Cartmill (1941)
  • "The Mist", by Peter Cartur (1952)
  • "Teething Ring", by James Causey (1953)
  • "The Haunted Space Suit", by Arthur C. Clarke (1958)
  • "Stair Trick", by Mildred Clingerman (1952)
  • "Unwelcome Tenant", by Roger Dee (1950)
  • "The Mathematicians", by Arthur Feldman (1953)
  • "The Third Level", by Jack Finney
  • "Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful!", by Stuart Friedman
  • "The Figure", by Edward Grendon (1947)
  • "The Rag Thing", by David Grinnell (1951)
  • "The Good Provider", by Marion Gross (1952)
  • "Columbus Was A Dope", by Robert A. Heinlein (1947)
  • "Texas Week", by Albert Hernhuter (1954)
  • "Hilda", by H B Hickey (1952)
  • "The Choice", by Whilton Young (1952)
  • "Not With A Bang", by Damon Knight (1950)
  • "The Altar At Midnight", by C M Kornbluth (1952)
  • Advertisement:
  • "A Bad Day For Sales", by Fritz Leiber (1953)
  • "Who's Cribbing", by Jack Lewis (1953)
  • "Spectator Sport", by John D Macdonald (1950)
  • "The Cricket Ball", by Avro Manhattan (1955)
  • "Double Take", by Winston K Marks (1953)
  • "Prolog", by John P Mcknight (1951)
  • "The Available Data On The Worp Reaction", by Lion Miller (1953)
  • "Narapoia", by Alan Nelson (1948)
  • "Tiger By The Tail", by Alan E Nourse (1951)
  • "Counter Charm", by Peter Phillips (1951)
  • "The Fly", by Arthur Porges (1952)
  • "The Business As Usual", by Mack Reynolds (1952)
  • "Two Weeks In August", by Frank M Robinson (1951)
  • "See?", by Edward G Robles Jr (1954)
  • "Appointment At Noon", by Eric Frank Russell (1954)
  • "We Don't Want Any Trouble", by James H. Schmitz (1953)
  • "Built Down Logically", by Howard Schoenfeld (1951)
  • "An Egg A Month From All Over", by Idris Seabright (1952)
  • Advertisement:
  • "The Perfect Woman", by Robert Sheckley (1953)
  • "The Hunters", by Walt Sheldon (1952)
  • "The Martian & The Magician", by Evelyn E Smith (1952)
  • "Barney", by Will Stanton (1951)
  • "Talent", by Theodore Sturgeon (1953)
  • "Project Hush", by William Tenn (1954)
  • "The Great Judge", by A. E. van Vogt (1948)
  • "Emergency Landing", by Ralph Williams (1940)
  • "Obviously Suicide", by S Fowler Wright (1951)
  • "Six Haiku", by Karen Anderson (1962)

Tropes appearing in this work:

  • Atlantis: "Ballade Of An Artificial Satellite", a Poem by Poul Anderson, mentions several lands or cities lost to myth, such as Atlantis, Avalon, Cibola, Tir-nan-Og, Tartessus, and Punt.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Charley, the narrator of "The Third Level", wants to get to 1894 Illinois like Sam, his psychiatrist.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: In "Men Are Different", by Alan Bloch, the robot narrator describes how they learned that humans aren't quite the same as robots.
  • Epigraph: "Ballade Of An Artificial Satellite", a Poem by Poul Anderson, opens with a quote from "Thorfinn Karlsefni's voyage to Vinland" as described in The Saga of Erik the Red.
    "Thence they sailed far to the southward along the land, and came to a ness; the land lay upon the right; there were long and sandy strands. They rowed to land, and found there upon the ness the keel of a ship, and called the place Keelness, and the strands they called Wonderstrands for it took long to sail by them."
  • Humanoid Aliens: In "The Ambassadors", by Anthony Boucher, the aliens found on Mars had evolved from a canine-like basis, still with the general humanoid appearance.
  • Nameless Narrative: "Men Are Different", by Alan Bloch, has a Man and a Robot, describing their "species" rather than their actual names.
  • Pen Name:
    • "An Egg A Month From All Over" is credited to 'Idris Seabright', a name Margaret St Clair used for any stories she published in The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
    • "The Mist" is credited to 'Peter Cartur', a name used by Peter Grainger.
    • "The Rag Thing" is credited to 'David Grinnell', a pseudonym for Donald A Wollheim.
  • People Zoo: "Teething Ring", a Short Story by James Causey, an alien disguised as a human has come for first-hand information for their anthropological project. Melinda assumes he's saying this because of an unusual fraternity initiation.
  • Shout-Out: "The Weapon", by Fredric Brown, mentions Chicken Little by name.
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: "Teething Ring", a Short Story by James Causey,, Melinda assumes the poor guy with a shaven head trying to trade geegaws for information must be trying to complete a fraternity initiation test, rather than being an alien anthropologist.
  • Worst Aid: In "Men Are Different", by Alan Bloch, the Man was sick and the Robot tried to help by administering first aid, figuring that Robots and Man take the same sort of repairs.

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