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The Best of L. Sprague de Camp Hardcover – February 1, 1978


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Nelson Doubleday / SFBC; 1st edition (February 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000BN65FA
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,442,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
L. Sprague de Campe has some of the most unique ideas that I have ever run across. In this colection you will find eighteen stories illustrating the strongests points about short stories: good characterization and story without a lot of boring, mouthy filler (too many authors seem to get paid by the word rather than the quality of the story). You will find out what happens if everyone suddenly grew hair like a cat or dog; or what an immortal apeman might think like; or how gunpowder might affect a knight in the age of dragons; or why a magic fan can create havoc in an ancient court. de Campe's stories take place in a wide variety of places and ages, illustrating the versatility of his thought. If you've read any of his other stories, you will find vague or outright connections to his other works in some of these stories.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
De Camp's stories are lean, well-researched, and most importantly, fun. You get the sense that when you read them, that he knows so much more about the world he is writing about, yet he pares it down to the essentials for the reader and this makes a thoroughly fleshed-out world of make believe all that much more accessible and enjoyable without slowing down the story.

Spanning 5 decades, this collection contains 15 short stories (all in the 10-25 page range for length) and 3 sci-fi poems (yes poems, each 1 page long):

My favorites are:

Gun For Dinosaur(1956), This story is about a safari that goes back in time to hunt dinosaurs. It is like the Ray Bradbury story about dinosaurs written before it, but taken to an amazing level of detail and fun. This is a fantasy classic and a must read for those that like the Golden Age of SF.

Two Yards of Dragon(1976) This story deals with a knight on a quest to prove himself worthy of a woman's love by performing a heroic deed of hunting a dragon in times when dragons have become scarce.

Nothing in the Rules(1939) What happens when supernatural creatures invade the world of women's sports

The only thing that kept me from giving this a fifth star was the exclusion of the article De Camp wrote called "Little Green Men from Afar" in which he addresses the issues he has with Ancient Astronaut Theory

All fun stuff. Enjoy!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martha C. Shepler on August 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a basic book for all science fiction lovers. I will read it again and again.
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By Stephen Fabian on January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
L Sprague decamp is one of science fiction's outstanding writers, he helped shape the maturing of the field in the 1940s.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By StephenC on December 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I love the stories (I used to have the paperback), but I returned the Kindle version because it does not have an active table of contents. Very difficult if you want to go back and find and read a specific story.
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