Book Review (Anthology): The Best of John W. Campbell (4 Stars)

The Best of John W. Campbell
Edited by Lester del Rey

4 out of 5 stars

Read in November 2008

This collection was well worth perusing. If nothing else, reading “Who Goes There?” was a thrill, especially considering it was written originally in 1938.¬† Kudos to anyone who knows what movie (and several remakes) have been spawned from this exceptional story.

“Elimination” was one of the best time travel theory stories I’ve ever read. I highly recommend that one as well.

“Twilight” was chosen in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the great classics of the genre – and it definitely is that. It’s the story of a time traveler from 3059, plopped down in 1930s America after returning from the Earth of seven millions years in the future. The Earth, and the remnants of mankind and their legacy, of that far distant future left me feeling sad, lonely and full of regret. The time traveler did leave a spark of hope behind before he returned but we are left without knowing if he was successful.

“Forgetfulness” was an interesting tale of man reaching out to colonize what appears to be a planet abandoned by a very advanced civilization. The current inhabitants seem to be peaceful and non-technological (reminded me of the Nox in Stargate SG1). They knew of the ancient civilization but nothing of the technology. It asks the question: Do you remember how to make a fire without matches or a light? Do you remember how to make a stone (flint) tool?

The rest of the collection is good as well. See my updates and comments for further thoughts on the best works of John W. Campbell.

One thought on “Book Review (Anthology): The Best of John W. Campbell (4 Stars)”

Comments are closed.