Benchmarks: Galaxy Bookshelf
Over the years since 1965, Algis Budrys has emerged as the leading critic of modern speculative fiction: insightful, eclectic, and notoriously uninhibited. Benchmarks collects the material that started it—all 54 Galaxy Bookshelf book-review columns Budrys created for the now-vanished Galaxy Magazine. Written for what was then the world’s leading SF periodical, these legendary summations and summary judgments coincided with the period when newsstand-borne science fiction and fantasy were evolving from pulp toward literature. Budrys’ Galaxy reviews trace an incisive, sometimes wickedly acerb path through that sparsely charted literary territory.
Budrys defines his standards and his function in his own words: “A book should he good. A bird should fly.
“Writers of imperfect, tousled books should be made aware that standards of breeding and grooming exist. I strive to fulfill that function.”