Best SF: 1969. edited by Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss. 1970


Anthony Burgess. The Muse.
Originally in : The Hudson Review

Paley, a 25-year old literary historian, is transported back in time and to an alternate Earth, to discover whether William Shakespeare actually wrote all the works credited to him. He discovers rather more than he expected.

Brian W. Aldiss Working in the Spaceship Yards.
Originally in : Punch

A FTL-fitter’s mate bemoans the the loss of his love, Nellie, to an android in the shipyard.

Frederik Pohl. The Schematic Man.
Originally in : Playboy

Bederkind programs himself into a powerful computer.

James Tiptree, Jr. The snows are melted, the snows are gone.
Originally in : Venture Science Fiction Magazine

Post-holocaust scenario – a female without arms, with the assistance of her wolf, trap a physically perfect, but limited-intelligence survivor.

Paul Ehrlich. Eco-catastrophe!
Originally in : Ramparts

Previews the ecological catastrophes leading to the sooner-rather-than later downfall of mankind.

P. g. Wyal The Castle on the Crag.
Originally in : Fantastic

The history of a fairy-tale castle and its progression to a nightmare conclusion centuries hence.

Ursula K. Le Guin Nine Lives
Originally in : Playboy

Two scientists on Libra Exploratory Mission Base welcome assistance from ten clones (5 female, 5 male – all cloned from the same genius).

J.G. Ballard The Killing Ground.
Originally in : New Worlds

The US is waging global war with just about everyone. Brutal scenario in pastoral England. Not SF.

Ken W. Purdy. The Dannold cheque.
Originally in : Playboy

Joseph Wesley. Womb to Tomb.
Originally in : Analog Science Fact-Science Fiction

Pilots of intergalactic fighters have to undergo extremely distressing enclosure in womb-like eggs to enable them to endure the high-G stresses of battle, resulting in deep psychological trauma when removed from the eggs.

John Hartridge. Like Father.
Originally in : New Worlds

Fingest travels back in time to fertilise a prehistoric woman, to give the human race a genetic boost.

Philip K. Dick. The Electric Ant.
Originally in : Fantasy and Science Fiction

Garson Poole wakes up after an auto-crash to find that he has lost a hand. He then finds out that he is in fact an ‘electric ant’ – an organic robot. He further finds out that what he believes is his subjective reality is in fact being fed from a micro-punched tape in his chest cavity. He explores with this tape, affecting his reality. He totally bolloxes the tape, with a major affect on his reality, and on everyone elses.

Bruce McAllister. The Man Inside.
Originally in : Galaxy

Son with schizophrenic dad.

Algis Budrys. Now Hear the Word of the Lord.
Originally in : Galaxy

Amos Onsett believes that the Earth is at risk from aliens, posing as humans. In fact Walter Kenneally is a robot sent back in time by humans who are unable to time-travel, to prevent the outbreak of WWIII.

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