The Best Science Fiction Stories and Novels 1956 (ed T.E. Dikty, Fell 1956)

This content dated 22nd February 2008, but only to enable it to appear in search results in the right publication order alongside other books in the series. The book landed with me after an air mail flight from the USA on 22nd January 2019 and I’m now reading and reviewing the stories and inserting on this page summaries of the fuller story reviews on the site.

Robert F. Young. Jungle Doctor.
Originally in Startling Stories, Fall 1955.

A strong start to Dikty’s anthology, with a story that stands the test of time well. The story flits between two protagonists, with the sfnal element being in the shapely shape of Sarith, a newly qualified psi-therapist, in her impatience to get to her first job, has transited to entirely the wrong planet. Full Best SF Review here.

L. Sprague de Camp. Judgment Day.
Astounding Science Fiction, August 1955.

A minimal SFnal element to a story that peers into the dark recesses of one human mind. Full Best SF Review here.

Cordwainer Smith. The Game of Rat and Dragon.
Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1955.

The story has many excellent turns of phrase, and leads the reader through the story introducing background concepts and technology, with the odd clever ‘reveal’ . Full Best SF Review here.

Algis Budrys. The Man Who Always Knew.
Astounding Science Fiction, April 1956.

A story that doesn’t go much beyond the principal conceit : a man has the uncanny knack of knowing just where and when someone is going to have a brainwave or invent something – and therefore be on hand to licence and exploit it. There is a neat ending though. Full Best SF Review here.

Frank M. Robinson. Dream Street.
Imaginative Tales #4, March 1955.

A neat story about a boy who dreams about running away from the orphanage for a life amongst the stars, and by golly he does it! Full Best SF Review here.

Tom Godwin. You Created Us.
Fantastic Universe, October 1955.

I started this story with high hopes – one from no less an author than Tom ‘The Cold Equations’ Godwin, but found that this story doesn’t quite live up to his most famous work. Full Best SF Review here.

R. DeWitt Miller. Swenson, Dispatcher.
Galaxy Science Fiction, 1956.

I have to own up to skipping this story as I really didn’t engage with the humour, which is laid on rather quick. Evidently Swenson, despite being partial to a drop of the strong stuff, has particular skills in managing the predicaments that the spaceships and crews of the Acme Interplanetary Express get themselves into.

Ivan Janvier. Thing.
Fantastic Universe, March 1955.

Written some 18 or more years after John W. Campbell’s ‘The Thing’, but with a similar underpinning idea. Full Bet SF Review here.

Robert Bloch. I Do Not Love Thee, Doctor Fell.
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1955.

Mark Clifton. Clerical Error.
Astounding Science Fiction, 1956.

Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz.
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1955.

Frank Riley. The Cyber and Justice Holmes.
If, 1955.

Thomas N. Scortia. The Shores of Night.
Astounding, 1956.

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