What an incredible year was 1942 in the rise of modern science fiction! Even perhaps more so than the brilliant preceding years of the Golden Age.
Here in this, the fourth volume of the classic Asimov selection, are stories that every science fiction reader considers to be truly legendary. Included among them are Asimov’s FOUNDATION, Lester Del Rey’s NERVES, A.E. van Vogt’s THE WEAPONS SHOP, Frederic Brown’s THE STAR MOUSE, Lewis Padgett’s THE TWONKY, Alfred Bester’s THE PUSH OF A FINGER, and other memorable tales by Anthony Boucher, George O. Smith, Donald A. Wolheim, and Hal Clement.
Whether as a permanent addition to your basic science fiction collection or just for the pleasure of reading fabulous mind-boggling stories that have not lost their power to astonish even through the decades that were to follow their original publication, this is one book no one can afford to miss.
For general comments on this series, see Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 1, 1939.
If nothing else, this book is more than worth its price because of the presence of “The Encyclopedists”—the original “The Encyclopedists,” the story that was transformed into “The Encyclopedists” in order to be included in Foundation, the story that started it all. This is the original version, as found in Astounding, without any of the later changes which we have all come to know well.
It almost seems superfluous to mention that this book also contains Frederic Brown’s “Star Mouse,” Hal Clement’s “Proof,” Lester del Rey’s immortal “Nerves,” and A.E. Van Vogt’s equally immortal “Weapons Shop,” among others. This is an excellent anthology.
(Meanwhile, the Heinlein saga continues. There is no longer any effort to pretend that Heinlein’s work is going to be included in the series, but there is a note after the introduction apologizing for the fact that some of the Heinlein stories which were left out of Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 2, 1940 and Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 3, 1941 because permission could not be secured to include them aren’t even in the Heinlein anthologies that Asimov and Greenberg claimed they were in.)