Friday, September 10, 2010

Anthopology 101 -- Bud Webster

Bud Webster is younger than I am, but he came to SF the same way, by finding anthologies in the library. I'd read and loved SF earlier, including Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo, but when I discovered a Groff Conklin anthology in a school library, I was hooked forever. The first two books I ordered from the SF Book Club were Conklin's Omnibus of Science Fiction and The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology. It was by looking at the copyright page in the one from the library that I discovered the existence of SF magazines, and I owe Conklin and anthologies a lot. I've continued to read them down to the present day.

So Anthopolgy 101 is my kind of book. Yours, too, and if you care anything about SF short stories and the history of SF, you need this book. It's a collection of Webster's columns on anthologies that have appeared in various places over the years. I'd read some of them before, but not nearly all, and it's wonderful to have them here in one place. As soon as my copy arrived, I sat down and started to read. An hour passed before I even looked up again. The great Star series is discussed in the first essay, and I found myself nodding in agreement with Webster's assessments of most of the stories in those volumes. Then comes the Conklin chapter, with the contents of every Conklin anthology noted. The chapter on Ace Doubles is worth the price of admisssion. And so on. Don't bother listening to me. Go ahead and get a copy for yourself right now.


  1. Jerry House2:50 PM

    Just ordered it.

  2. I'd preordered this and am enjoying it immensely.

  3. Me too. Those early SF collections were the way I discovered the genre.