Book Spotlight–1/23/2011

The Science Fiction Bestiary edited by Robert Silverberg

This probably ranks as my favorite SF anthology, featuring nine Golden Age stories about fantastic alien creatures. It’s also my most travel-worn book, the one I throw into a bag for an unexpected trip, just as likely to be under the driver’s seat in my car as it is in my library.

No wonder, since it boasts a roster of funny and amazing stories by legendary SF authors, among them: “The Hurkle is a Happy Beast” by Theodore Sturgeon; “The Preserving Machine” by Philip K. Dick; “Drop Dead,” by Clifford D. Simak; and “A Martian Odyssey” by Stanley G. Weinbaum—widely considered to be the best Science Fiction story of all time, in a dead heat with “Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov. I like “Odyssey” better (go Tweel!).

I once found an almost pristine copy of Bestiary on a free books table at a Sci-Fi convention and for some unfathomable reason decided I’d grab it later in the day. Of course it was gone when I got back. So if you’re the person who snaked it out from under me, I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I do.

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