Anthony Boucher’s All Stars: 52 best SF books (+6 More) and 12 Fantasy books

April 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction - October1958

The “All Star Anniversary Issue” of Fantasy And Science Fiction Magazine (for October 1958) featured famed editor Anthony Boucher’s regular “Recommending Reading” column – but with a twist. In celebration of the magazine’s 9th anniversary Boucher challenged himself to create a list of “Fifty Review Copies I Would Not Part With.” He failed in this herculean task – he just couldn’t pair down the list to fifty (even by restricting what would qualify in a number of ways). Instead, he ended up listing 52 Science Fiction novels or collections that he had no hand in publishing, another six that he did, and twelve Fantasy titles that were absolute must keepers as well. Of them Boucher wrote:

“These are novels and collections which have, from 1949 through 1957, given intense pleasure to a man professionally, obligated to read every s.f. book published in America; and I venture the guess that any reader, novice or habitué of our field, will find stimulation and delight in a high number of these titles.”

That’s good enough for me! I have reproduced as Boucher listed them (in alphabetical order by author). But I’ve added links to extant audiobook editions:

Boucher’s 52 best SF books:
Brain Wave by Poul Anderson |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov [COLLECTION] |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov |READ OUR REVIEW|
Earth Is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov [COLLECTION]

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury [COLLECTION] |READ OUR REVIEW|

What Mad Universe by Fredric Brown
The Lights In The Sky Are Stars by Fredric Brown
Angels And Spaceships by Fredric Brown [COLLECTION]

Cloak Of Aesir by John W. Campbell [COLLECTION]

No Blade Of Grass / The Death Of Grass by John Christopher |AUDIBLE FRONTIERS|

Prelude To Space by Arthur C. Clarke
Expedition To Earth by Arthur C. Clarke [COLLECTION]
Against The Fall Of Night (and The City And The Stars) by Arthur C. Clarke

Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement

The Wheels Of If by L. Sprague de Camp [COLLECTION]
Rogue Queen by L. Sprague de Camp

Nerves by Lester Del Rey

Eye In The Sky by Philip K. Dick |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|

The Third Level by Jack Finney [COLLECTION]

The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein [COLLECTION]
The Green Hills Of Earth by Robert A. Heinlein [COLLECTION] |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|BOOKS ON TAPE|CAEDMON|

Bullard Of The Space Patrol by Malcolm Jameson

Takeoff by C.M. Kornbluth
The Explorers by C.M. Kornbluth [COLLECTION]
Not This August by C.M. Kornbluth

Gather, Darkness by Fritz Leiber
The Green Millennium by Fritz Leiber |WONDER AUDIO|

The Big Ball Of Wax by Shepherd Mead

Shadow On The Hearth by Judith Merrril

Shadows In The Sun by Chad Oliver
Another Kind by Chad Oliver [COLLECTION]

A Mirror For Observers by Edgar Pangborn

The Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth

The Other Place by J.B. Priestly [COLLECTION]

Deep Space by Eric Frank Russell [COLLECTION]

Untouched by Human Hands by Robert Sheckley [COLLECTION]

City by Clifford D. Simak [COLLECTION] |AUDIBLE FRONTIERS|
Strangers In The Universe by Clifford D. Simak

Without Sorcery by Theodore Sturgeon [COLLECTION]
The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|
More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|

Slan by A.E. van Vogt |BBC AUDIOBOOKS AMERICA|
The Weapon Shops and The Weapon Makers by A.E. van Vogt

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. |AUDIBLE MODERN VANGUARD|

A Martian Odyssey by Stanley Weinbaum [COLLECTION] |LIBRIVOX|

The Throne Of Saturn by S. Fowler Wright

The Day Of The Triffids by John Wyndham |AUDIBLE FRONTIERS|
Re-Birth/The Chrysalids by John Wyndham |AUDIBLE FRONTIERS|

Excellent titles that had origins on the pages of Fantasy And Science Fiction:

Bring The Jubilee by Ward Moore

Tales From Gavagan’s Bar by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp [COLLECTION]

The Sinister Researches Of C.P. Ransom by H. Nearing Jr. [COLLECTION]

One In Three Hundred by J.T. McIntosh

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein |FULL CAST AUDIO|
The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|

Boucher’s best dozen Fantasy books:

The Devil In Velvet by John Dickson Carr

Fancies And Goodnights by John Collier [COLLECTION]

The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison |MARIA LECTRIX|

The Circus Of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney

The Private Memoirs And Confessions Of A Justified Sinner by James Hogg

Fear by L. Ron Hubbard |GALAXY PRESS|

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson [COLLECTION] |BBC AUDIOBOOKS AMERICA|

The Ghostly Tales by Henry James [COLLECTION]

Pogo by Walt Kelly

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|

Further Fables For Our Times by James Thurber [COLLECTION]

The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien |RECORDED BOOKS|

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #084

November 29, 2010 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #084 – Jesse talks recent arrivals and new releases with Paul W. Campbell, Luke Burrage, Rick Jackson and Gregg Margarite

WATCH OUT FOR THE FALSE ENDINGS (mostly attributable to Luke)

Talked about on today’s show:
Role playing game names, “Tom And His Friends” Dungeons And Dragons comedy (aka Farador), SFFaudio Challenge #2, Rebels Of The Red Planet by Charles L. Fontenay, Mars, martian rebels, Podiobooks.com, Cossmass Productions, Mark Douglas Nelson, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, the least interesting vs. the least fitting, I’m Dreaming Of A Black Christmas by Lewis Black, Christmas = Fantasy?, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Suck It, Wonder Woman |READ OUR REVIEW|, Star Wars, what makes Star Wars Science Fiction is a sense-of-wonder?, Star Trek, METAtropolis: Cascadia, Star Trek The Next Generation narrators vs. Battlestar Galactica narrators, Wil Wheaton as a narrator, Dove Audio, Levar Burton as a narrator, liking Star Trek for all the wrong reasons, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, assimilation is a neat idea, “who the hell are the Borg?”, The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Unincorporated War, “is there true Science Fiction to be found in sequels?”, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Peter F. Hamilton’s The Void Trilogy, Blackout by Connie Willis, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis |READ OUR REVIEW|, Firewatch, dragging the story out, Whiteout by Connie Willis, World War II, Katherine Kellgren as a narrator, Jenny Sterlin as a narrator, Recorded Books, Brilliance Audio, Audible.com, Amazon.com, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, Deep Six by Jack McDevitt, introductions to audiobooks, the introduction as an apology for the book, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison, The Time Traders by Andre Norton, H.G. Wells, The First Men In The Moon, Around The Moon, Jules Verne, continuing characters rather than continuing series, Sherlock Holmes, Khyber Pass vs. Reichenbach Falls, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Valley Of Fear, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series, does reading a series defeat the hope of being surprised? Priest Kings Of Gor by John Norman, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin |READ OUR REVIEW|, fun vs. funny, crime and adventure vs. ideas, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Bill The Galactic Hero, Slippery Jim DiGriz, The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge, This Immortal by Roger Zelazny, The Speed Of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, Books On Tape, Grover Gardner, Gregg has a grumbly voice, The Space Dog Podcast, The Science Fiction Oral History Association, Gordon Dickson, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Cordwainer Smith, Scott Westerfeld, Ben Bova, Luke’s next podcast project, NaNoWriMo, what podcast schedule should you have?, Robert Silverberg AUDIOBOOKS are coming from Wonder Audio, the old stuff vs. the new stuff, Jay Snyder as a narrator, a Science Fiction story that has little SF content, autism, Charly, Understand by Ted Chiang, Flowers For Algernon, interacting with the world, I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, psychopathy, an unreliable first person narrator, young Dexter, Asperger syndrome, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon, a detached (but reliable) narrator, the two audiobook versions of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, the Baroque Cycle, Anathem, John Allen Nelson as a narrator, Phat Fiction, The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, The Towers Of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, walking around central park as a retired person as my new career, who listens to audiobooks?, working the unworked niche, they really like Gregg’s voice!, no RSS-feed = soooo sad, Sam This Is You by Murray Leinster, Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett, The World That Couldn’t Be Clifford D. Simak, The Idiot by John Kendrick Bangs, The Hate Disease, Asteroid Of Fear, Industrial Revolution by Poul Anderson, A Horse’s Tale by Mark Twain, anthropomorphic fiction, A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain, Gregg has bugles lying around, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Thought You Were Dead by Terry Griggs, Iambik Audio‘s upcoming Science Fiction audiobooks, LibriVox, working with small press publishers, Extract From Captain Stormfield’s Visit To Heaven, Blackstone Audio, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, Bernadette Dunne as a narrator, time travel, The Pliocene Epoch, sequel and prequel fatigue, flooding the Mediterranean, Blake’s 7: Zen : Escape Veloctiy is a Science Fictiony audio drama series, Firesign Theatre? (he means Seeing Ear Theatre), The Moon Moth based on the story by Jack Vance, Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers, Mistborn, Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds, Lord Of Light by Roger Zelazny, Finch by Jeff Vandermere, Flood by Stephen Baxter, thematic exploration vs. bad writing, GoodReads.com, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn |READ OUR REVIEW|, Luke’s books should be audiobooks, The Fifth Annual SFFaudio Challenge, all the cool Science Fiction ideas in Luke’s books, Gregg Margarite is a secret author with a secret pseudonym, Eric Arthur Blair, the publishing industry headache is intolerable to many, good writers + savvy marketers = sales success?, Redbelt, David Mamet, drowning in an ocean full of crap, the Jesse Willis bump?, catering to the listeners (or readers) desires vs. publishers desires, Pogoplug, Out Of The Dark by David Weber, artificial robots vs. natural robots, What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly, art and techne, does evolution have goals?, the Cool Tools blog, eyes vs. I, natural selection, zero-point energy, the Cat in Red Dwarf was pulled to the fish dispensing vending machine, if you won’t give me eyes at least give me bilateral symmetry, goals vs. patterns or positions, starfish vs. Inuit, technology is a function of evolution, Luke re-writes The War Of The Worlds in under 20 minutes, red weed and green mist, stomach-less martians, “the final final part” and the musical version, flipping over the narrative is fun, Ender’s Game vs. Ender’s Shadow, what do the martians have against doors?, keeping the martian cannon canon, The Dragon With The Girl Tattoo by Adam Roberts.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #063

June 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #063 – Scott and Jesse talk to Rick Jackson and William Coon about audiobook narration and recording.

Talked about on today’s show:
Eloquent Voice Audiobooks, Wonder Audio, LibriVox.org, WordPress, Elements of SEO (a wordpress theme), The Fabulous Clipjoint by Fredric Brown |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Wench Is Dead by Fredric Brown (available on audible.com), The Defenders and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick, Starman’s Quest and Other Stories by Robert Silverberg, OverDrive.com, Borders, Barnes & Noble, WHSmith, public libraries, Toronto, Anton Chekhov, “life is a passing parade”, Henry James, The Madonna Of The Future, William James, philosophy, Pro Tools, Starman’s Quest by Robert Silverberg, TellTaleWeekly.org, relativistic near-lightspeed travel, Majipoor.com, hard Science Fiction, The Happy Unfortunate, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Defenders by Philip K. Dick, The Skull by Philip K. Dick, time travel, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, The Little Movement by Philip K. Dick (which is sadly not public domain) is the inspiration for Toy Story, The Guardian article Philip K. Dick Needed A Co-Author, The Time Traders by Andre Norton, A Princess Of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Bill C-32, copyfight, how to make the economy better=make copyright really clear, the DMCA, Forrest J. Ackerman, The Day The Earth Stood Still by Harry Bates, non compos mentis, A.E. van Vogt, have any EULAs or Terms Of Use contracts ever been enforced?

Posted by Jesse Willis

SFBRP: The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast My friend Luke Burrage has, on his Science Fiction Book Review Podcast (it’s episode #92), a detailed review of the Wonder Audio audiobook The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley! Luke was supposed to be a participant in SFFaudio Podcast #56, but some particularly inopportune volcanic eruptions prevented it (that’s about the only excuse we accept for missing an episode by the way).

Luke talks about many aspects of the novel we hardly touched on, and makes a terrific case for checking out the novel for yourself! Luke gave it only three and a half stars (out of five), but it’s clearly a book he enjoyed sinking his teeth into. Have a listen |MP3|!

Podcast feed: http://www.sfbrp.com/?feed=podcast

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #057

May 3, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #057 – Jesse and Scott talk about the recently arrived audiobooks

Talked about on today’s show:
Penguin Audio, Stephen King, Brian Murphy of The Silver Key blog, The Dark Half, The Tommyknockers, Christine, It, reading all of Stephen King’s books, Brilliance Audio, Directive 51 by John Barnes, The Stand, Hater by David Moody, “the worst sin that any book can commit”, Angelology by Danielle Trussoni, reading out loud vs. reading in your head, Lost Fleet: Victorious by Jack Campbell, Audible Frontiers, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, The Player Of Games, RadioArchive.cc, audio drama, State Of The Art, the GoodReads.com HARD SF group, Hard SF, space opera, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman |READ OUR REVIEW|, the phenomenon of characters named “Jack“, Jack Bauer from 24, Armor by John Steakley, “Jack Crow”, recycling the names of characters, Vampire$ by John Steakley, the hidden history of Jack, why people like 24, Jane Slayre by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the trend of remixing public domain classics with modern monsters, Dancing On The Head Of A Pin by Thomas E. Sniegoski, “magic sword book, with angels”, The Invention Of Lying, WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Dying Earth: Cugel’s Saga by Jack Vance, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, The Android In The Iron Mask, Andre Norton, Web Of The Witch World, Year Of The Unicorn, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, what is YA (young adult) fiction?, is YA is for adults too?, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow |READ OUR REVIEW|, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Harry Potter, Paul Bishop of the Bish’s Beat blog loves YA books!, would Dirty Harry read YA?, the ability to affect the world, The Science Of Harry Potter, riding on the coattails of another book, the Open Court Presents podcast, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale, Firefly‘s philosophy episode Objects In Space, Hitchcock And Philosophy, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rope, Anne Is A Man, the Catholic Stuff You Should Know podcast, Dan Carlin’s HardCore History “Show 33 – (BLITZ) Old School Toughness”, Murdoch Mysteries, Corner Gas, Dog River, Saskatchewan, Connie Willis wrote a whole book about bells, Bellwether by Connie Willis, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Blackout by Connie Willis, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, To Say Nothing Of The Dog by Connie Willis, time travel, Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, reading about books (in books), Castle, fictional fictional characters (a great wikipedia entry), Bones, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy by Hawthorne Abendsen, is Hawthorne Abendsen supposed to be an alternate universe Robert A. Heinlein?, Colorado, “deeply nested fiction”, Ellery Queen, Dr. John Watson, Swords And Deviltry by Fritz Leiber, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Sword Of Sorcery, Blackstone Audio, The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry, Peter David, the Audio Drama Review blog, James Snowe’s review of The Zombie Astronaut’s Frequency Of Fear, W. Ralph Walters, awards, Startide Rising by David Brin |READ OUR REVIEW|, Kiln People by David Brin, Surrogates is “a big-old-fashioned-clunky-80s-action-movie”, Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost, The Twilight Zone Companion, 2nd Edition by Marc Scott Zicree, King Kong |READ OUR REVIEW|, Orson Scott Card, Dercum Audio, A Dirge For Clowntown by James Powell, Dreamsongs Vol. 1 by George R.R. Martin |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Road To Science Fiction, Science Fiction 101 (aka Worlds Of Wonder) edited by Robert Silverberg, Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner, Honest Roger Belamy, New York, The Monsters by Robert Sheckley, Wonder Audio, Fondly Fahrenheit, Scanners Live In Vain by Cordwainer Smith, Little Black Bag by C.M. Kornbluth, Day Million by Frederik Pohl, perhaps the first ever singularity story, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: Pride Of Baghdad, the second Gulf War, anthropomorphic fiction, Baghdad.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #056 – READALONG: The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley

April 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #056 – Jesse and Scott talk with Rick Jackson, Gregg Margarite, Jerry Stearns and Julie Davis about Robert Sheckley’s The Status Civilization!

Talked about on today’s show:
Wonder Publishing Group (Wonder Audio and Wonder Ebooks), LibriVox.org, Acoustic Pulp, Sound Affects, Great Northern Audio Theatre, Doctor Who, The Prisoner, Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer, deep Science Fiction, Deathworld by Harry Harrison, The Space Merchants (aka Gravy Planet) by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth, Preferred Risk by Frederik Pohl and Lester del Rey, Gladiator At Law by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth, Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake, a religion based on evil, satire, Friedrich Nietzsche‘s “master-slave morality,” good and evil, David Hume‘, the naturalistic fallacy, cognitive dissonance, original sin (aka atavistic guilt), Skulking Permit by Robert Sheckley, Breaking Point by James Gunn |READ OUR REVIEW|, psychology, society, robots, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin, utopia, dystopia, libertarianism, rebellion, “a benign evil,” narrating audiobooks, Mark Douglas Nelson, This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch, Deathworld 2 by Harry Harrison, Watchbird by Robert Sheckley, Second Variety by Philip K. Dick, Tunnel Under The World by Frederik Pohl, Bellona Times, X-Minus One, Mark Time , Yuri Rasovsky, Raymond Z. Gallun, Bing, Seeing Ear Theatre, Orson And The Alien, The SFFaudio Challenge, turning modern public domain books into audio drama, Night Of The Cooters by Howard Waldrop, Jack J. Ward, The Sonic Society, Brian Price, Alfred Bester‘s review of The Status Civilization (from The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, December 1960), the naming of “Tetrahyde”, a readalong on The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, the “amazing” audio drama version from BBC Tiger Tiger, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Frederik Pohl’s review of The Status Civilization (from January 1961 issue of Worlds Of If), the competition between the LibriVox and the commercial versions of audiobooks, Plato’s Cave, precognition, John W. Campbell, skrenning, scrying, Icelandic cook books!

The Status Civilzation (Planet Of The Criminals) GERMAN INTERIOR
The Status Civilzation (Planet Of The Criminals) GERMAN INTERIOR
The Status Civilzation (Planet Of The Criminals) GERMAN INTERIOR
The Status Civilization (Planet Of The Criminals) GERMAN INTERIOR
The Status Civilization (Planet Of The Criminals) GERMAN INTERIOR
The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley
Signet - The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley

Posted by Jesse Willis

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