From Publishers Weekly
Gathering six novellas written by some of SF's luminaries and published in the genre magazine Astounding in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, this collection raises great expectations--and quickly dashes them. Aside from that of the final entry, Anderson's magnificent "We Have Fed Our Sea" (an engrossing examination of a four-person ship stranded far from earth) the plots here have all become SF cliches, while characters are stereotypical, sexist and/or two-dimensional. Two potentially engrossing space operas, Isaac Asimov's "Sucker Bait" and James Blish's "Bindlestiff," suffer from their indistinct casting and too-lengthy scientific exposition. Both L. Sprague de Camp's satiric "The Stolen Doormouse," set in the future, and H. P. Lovecraft's horrific "The Shadow Out of Time," set in the past, seem like needlessly attenuated short stories. "The Fifth Dimension Tube," by Murray Leinster, an adventure that takes place in a jungle-laden fifth dimension, reads alternately like third-rate Joseph Conrad and like fourth-rate Roger Zelazny. Both Gunn ( Future Imperfect ) and Anderson ( The Time Patrol ) have received prizes for their own science fiction.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.