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His Share of Glory: The Complete Short Science Fiction of C. M. Kornbluth

NESFA Press, 1997, ISBN 0-915368-60-9

If you ask old-time science fiction writers who they thought was the best among them, the name "Cyril Kornbluth" will appear more often than not. And yet, his name is rarely mentioned among the Asimovs and Heinleins he surpassed, perhaps due to his early death from a heart attack. A group of science fiction fans decided to do something about that.

The New England Science Fiction Association Press has produced this mammoth work containing the short science fiction stories written by legendary science fiction author Cyril M. Kornbluth. Edited by Timothy P. Szczesuil, and containing a foreword by his friend, collaborator, and fellow Futurian Frederik Pohl, the volume contains every story he had published from his teens through his death on March 21, 1958.

Reading through the collection, you can trace the devlopment of his writing ability and style, from the awkward teenage stories of the early 1940s, through the extremely good stories of the early 1950s, to the awe-inspiring stories just before his death.

Timothy Szczesuil spent three years compiling this volume, searching for Kornbluth stories written under a wide variety of pseudonyms. The editor took eight early stories he wrote "to spec" and moved them towards the end, clearly not thinking them the same quality as his other stories, even going so far as to have them set in a smaller typeface. I'm not so sure about this choice; they are not as good as his later stories, but I cannot see a distinction between these and his other early stories. At any rate, what the young Kornbluth may have lacked in the skills of story construction, he more than made up for in talent. They're all stories that you will want to read all the way through.

If you've read The Space Merchants or "The Marching Morons", I'm sure you'll want to read more of Kornbluth. And this is the mother lode.

Below is a list of the stories that you will find in the volume. Mr. Szczesuil arranged them in a different order; I have decided to arrange them in the order of their appearance (the early "to spec" stories are marked with an asterisk). Of note is the long hiatus in the 1940s, when he and the other Futurians were drafted to fight in World War II.

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