by Alan E. Norse, (no editor named), stories © 1954-1963, WLC Books, 2010 trade paper, science fiction short story collection
This collection of a dozen science fiction short stories came into my hands because I read a review of it on one of the many blogs I visit. The review made it sound interesting, a promising place to try an author I’d not previously sampled.
The collection is correctly labeled science fiction, but a majority of the stories are psychological, sociological, nature-of-mankind fiction that might have fitted as well in Atlantic Monthly as Galaxy. Norse is good at these stories, but has an irritating habit of leaving the endings very much up in the air, obviously intending for the reader to apply a conclusion depending on how they interpret what he has written. Interesting, but these were not the stories I liked best in the book.
Those favorites, “The Coffin Cure”, “An Ounce of Cure” and “Problem”, while having their sociological elements along with a large dose of human nature plus the future, involve clever solutions to unsuspected problems, while “Native Soil” is one of the few to take place off Earth.
That review I read was right: this is a promising place to sample the work of Alan Nourse, and this affordable, available collection would make a nice addition to any SF reader’s shelves.