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The Best of Fredric Brown

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4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  231 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The Wit and Whimsy of Fredric Brown

Twenty-nine of the best-loved stories by the man some critics call the O. Henry of science fiction… stories that range from the wryly humorous to the deadly serious, but are always unforgettable.

Contents:
ix · Introduction · Robert Bloch · in
1 · “Arena” · nv Astounding Jun ’44
31 · Imagine · pp F&SF May ’55
33 · It Didn’t Happen · ss
...more
Mass Market Paperback, First US paperback edition, 315 pages
Published May 1977 by Del Rey / Ballantine (first published 1976)
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The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienNine Princes in Amber by Roger ZelaznyElric of Melniboné by Michael MoorcockSwords and Deviltry by Fritz LeiberThe Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard
Appendix N
49th out of 57 books — 17 voters
Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul AndersonThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienLord of Light by Roger ZelaznyThe Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Gary Gygax's Appendix N
19th out of 59 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

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Inge
Dec 17, 2008 Inge rated it it was amazing
In my opinion Fredric brown is one of the best short story writers ever in all the world and time. He uses few words to let your imagination freefall through the plot and there are some vicious twists. But if you don't engage your imagination you may find the stories sparse. And some can be quite disturbing...
Joyce
Jan 05, 2011 Joyce rated it really liked it
A fairly quick read, worth a day or two of your time.

As with any anthology, some stories are better than others, but Brown remains one of the best classic SF writers. Since I'm a long-time Star Trek fan, I especially liked reading "Arena" and seeing the changes that -- probably -- the network or Standards and Practices forced on it.

Brown and Eric Frank Russell are both worth exploring if you're not familiar with their work.






Jacob Ruefer
Aug 10, 2011 Jacob Ruefer rated it really liked it
In grade school I borrowed a copy of this book, most likely inspired by the interesting cover and my love for The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. The 300+ pages were a bit daunting back then, so I stuck to the shortest stories. Now, nearly 15 years later I finally found and finished a copy of this collection. I'm surprised Fredric Brown isn't given the respect he deserves anymore. In the 60's his story "Arena" was used in both Star Trek and The Outer Limits, but except for a short-lived resu ...more
***Dave Hill
Jun 16, 2012 ***Dave Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
Classic SF shorts (along with a few of his equally famous mysteries) from the 40s-60s. Most of these are short-shorts, and feature twist endings that would have fit in perfectly on "The Twilight Zone". They tend to be a bit more satisfying than the longer tales, which either belabor the point or meander a bit (but remain entertaining or, in cases, disturbing).

Good stuff from an author sadly little known these days (and that mostly by Trekkies for his after-the-fact credit for the TOS episode "Ar
...more
Rebecca
Nov 10, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming collection overall, and it's nice to see the best stories of a once-popular and now-obscure Golden Age SF writer like Fredric Brown presented together in one volume. A handful of these tales ("Puppet Show," "Arena," "Reconciliation") are absolute gems. Moving, tense, and unpredictable. [Interesting note: "Arena" became the famous episode of Star Trek in which Kirk fought the Gorn. "The Geezenstacks" was produced on "Tales From the Darkside."]

Many of the other stories are solid
...more
Eric
Jun 07, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every genre fiction fan should give this a read, basically.

Wonderful mystery, wonderful sci-fi, wonderful horror.

Great stuff all around. Warm and humane able to aptly capture a sense of wonder or a sense of dread.

Just absolutely worth everyone's time.

They don't make them like this anymore, much to everyone's loss.
Craig
Nov 09, 2007 Craig rated it really liked it
Brown was arguably the best short-fiction writer in the sf field for decades, and it's a shame that he's nearly forgotten now. His work still holds up wonderfully. While I never was too sure that this volume included alll of his "best" work, it does include classics such as "Arena," "Knock," and one off my all-time favorites, "Star Mouse."
Frode
Jul 07, 2011 Frode rated it really liked it
Still good after a number of years. Lots of twists and unexpected endings. The book was published in 1977, but the stories are from the 40's and 50's. It was fun.
Scott
Oct 15, 2008 Scott rated it really liked it
All entertaining. Some of the stories are very strong, some merely enjoyable--a couple fall flat. But well worth anyone's time.
Silviu
Jan 27, 2013 Silviu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This here is an amazing collection of stories.
A must read for all those who enjoy good science fiction.
Manuel Alfonseca
Jan 11, 2016 Manuel Alfonseca rated it liked it
This book contains 29 stories, from super-short vignettes (less than one page) to longer ones, with tens of pages. The collection seems to have been well chosen. There is a little of everything. In fact, the same applies to my reaction to the stories. Three of them I liked a lot, seven I disliked or even abhorred! For me, the best three stories are the following:
1. Puppet show (1962)
2. The star mouse (1942)
3. Etaoin Shrdlu (1942)
I won't mention those that I abhorred. I'll just say that they are
...more
Olethros
Aug 12, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-Algunas muestras muy representativas del trabajo del autor.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. Con Robert Bloch como responsable de la recopilación y de su introducción, muestra bastante acertada de la obra corta de Brown (la parte del león de su producción, junto al noir y el misterio, por encima de la novela de Ciencia-Ficción).

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...
Olethros
-Algunas muestras muy representativas del trabajo del autor.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. Con Robert Bloch como responsable de la recopilación y de su introducción, muestra bastante acertada de la obra corta de Brown (la parte del león de su producción, junto al noir y el misterio, por encima de la novela de Ciencia-Ficción).

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...
Brian Greiner
Feb 24, 2015 Brian Greiner rated it really liked it
Some of these are OK, some are charming, and some are going to stick inside your head for some time. Yes, some of his stuff is dated, but the man was a writer's writer. Good stuff.
Ty MC
Nov 18, 2015 Ty MC rated it really liked it
Fredric's are the shoulders upon which many greats have stood.
Norman Howe
Science-Fiction
Jerry
Jul 02, 2015 Jerry rated it really liked it
Fredric Brown definitely loves twists and surprise endings. Fortunately, he was very good at writing them. This collection includes some very classic science fiction stories, including one that ended up becoming a Star Trek episode. His twists are usually well-foreshadowed, like a good mystery solution. And his surprise endings are very twisted. Well worth reading.
Brett
Jun 21, 2009 Brett added it
Science Fiction,Anthology
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Fredric Brown was an American science fiction and mystery writer. He was one of the boldest early writers in genre fiction in his use of narrative experimentation. While never in the front rank of popularity in his lifetime, Brown has developed a considerable cult following in the almost half century since he last wrote. His works have been periodically reprinted and he has a worldwide fan base, m ...more
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