science fiction short story collection
Baen books has been reprinting Anvil’s work in a set of collections edited by Eric Flint. This is the seventh such collection. In this one we have 18 stories which were originally published between 1957 and 1972.
Anvil (the pseudonym of Harry C. Crosby) has long been a personal favorite, since I began reading his stories in Astounding Science Fiction in the 1950s. Droll, eminently readable, sometimes humorous, sometimes thought-provoking but always entertaining, Anvil’s short stories are a delight.
This collection shows the influence of the cold war on science fiction of the time. The “bad guys” in these stories, with one exception, aren’t aliens. It’s Russians, or Communists, who pose the threat in these stories, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable to read, except for the restrictions of one set of bad guys and of staying on Earth. That may make this the weakest set in the reprint series, but it’s still worthwhile reading, especially if, like me, you’re a fan of this author. About the only things I could wish for here are an introduction and a few of the original interior illustrations. So far as I can tell, the cover illustration here, by the way, seems to have no basis in any of the stories.