The Science Fiction of Mark Clifton

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Southern Illinois University Press, 1980 - Fiction - 296 pages
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This collection of the best short stories of Mark Clifton makes these fine tales readily available for the first time in two decades.

 

Winner with Frank Riley of the 1955 Hugo Award for They’d Rather Be Right, Clifton has for a variety of reasons unrelated to the quality of his writing all but disappeared from the aware­ness of today’s science fiction audience. Never a prolific writer he had published only about twenty-five short stories before his death in 1963. But with those stories and his three novels he irrevocably altered the course of contemporary science fiction.

 

Almost single-handedly he introduced the full range of psy­chological insights to the commonly occurring themes of the genre—alien invasion, expanding technology, revolution against political theocracy, and space exploration and coloniza­tion—to ever more truthfully portray how humanity would react to a future that could be either mindless or intellectually stunning.

 

With his first published story, “What Have I Done?” Clifton initiated the theme of a starkly realistic world in which, at its best, humanity is inalterably vile—a theme that became an in­extricable part of all his subsequent works. In his later works Clifton occasionally clothed his bitter indictment in the garb of comedy.

 

The stories collected here include “What Have I Done?” “Star, Bright,” “Crazy Joey,” “What Thin Partitions,” “Sense from Thought Divide,” “How Allied,” “Remembrance and Re­flection,” “Hide! Hide! Witch!” “Clerical Error,” “What Now, Little Man?” and “Hang Head, Vandal!”

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About the author (1980)

Barry N. Malzberg is a writer and editor of numerous science fiction anthologies and magazines. The author of more than 50 books and more than 250 short stories, he won the first John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the Year s Best Science Fiction, has won two Locus Awards for essay collections, and has been a finalist for Hugo and Nebula awards.

Martin H. Greenberg was born in 1942. He received a doctorate in Political Science in 1969 and was a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin until 1995. Over the course of his long and prolific career, Greenberg has published around 1000 anthologies and has worked with numerous best-selling authors including Isaac Asimov, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Anne McCaffrey, Sue Grafton, Scott Turow and Dean Koontz. He has won numerous awards including the Horror Guild Award in 1994, the Deathrealm Award in 1996, the Bram Stoker Award in 1998, and the Prometheus Special Award in 2005. He also received The Ellery Queen Award for lifetime achievement in mystery editing and the Milford Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction editing.

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