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The Best of C. M. Kornbluth

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  159 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
This Halcyon Classics ebook contains two stories by science fiction writer C.M. Kornbluth.

The Adventurer
The Altar at Midnight
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published October 1st 1977 by Taplinger Publishing Company (first published January 1st 1976)
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Rasheed
Jun 11, 2012 Rasheed rated it liked it
Surprisingly, all of the stories were of mediocre quality with the exception of The Little Black Bag. I listened to an old audiobook edition so perhaps it was the poor quality of the recording which was partly blame.
Peter
Jan 10, 2016 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of C.M. Kornbluth, but found this in one of the "Little Free Libraries" around town and noted the introduction by Frederik Pohl. The stories were all decidedly science fiction, but in that way that doesn't require aliens or interstellar travel. Stories set in bars and dirty apartments. Gritty stuff. What really resonated with me was this voice, from the 50s, sounding the alarm on societal concerns that seem so modern and urgent today, especially our ability to amuse ourselves t ...more
Tracey
Sep 06, 2007 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of several books I've been juggling over the past month, The Best of C.M. Kornbluth is very good, if somewhat depressing science fiction. Think Philip K. Dick with a 50's sensibility and a bit more wry humour. Like Dick, his career was also cut short, but by death, not mental illness.

Kornbluth's best-known works - "The Marching Morons" and "The Little Black Bag" - posit a future where intelligence has been bred out of humanity for the most part, and the super-brains are run ragged caring for
...more
Mike
Jun 22, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read The Best of C. M. Kornluth more than 30 years ago and loved it. I haven't been back to it since because I was worried I might not enjoy it as much but I need not have worried. I loved it again.

The book and each story have an introduction from his friend Frederik Pohl. All the stories were written between 1941 and 1958, the year he died. Most, if not all the stories as set on Earth and written in a style that seems a little dated today but you have to take that into account. I think
...more
Raj
Aug 14, 2010 Raj rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
I've not read very much of Cyril Kornbluth's work but this collection won me over. Kornbluth's writing is humorous, sarcastic and revels in the stupidity of the human species (in one or two stories, the idea that stupid people are outbreeding the intelligentsia are actively explored). Kornbluth collaborated with Fred Pohl extensively in his fairly short life and Pohl's introductions to the stories show a warmth to his friend and offer some interesting notes on the stories themselves. Definitely ...more
Frederic Gleach
I had previously rated this 4 stars, have now raised it to 5. The reason? Not only the best-known stories like "The Little Black Bag" and "The Marching Morons", or even the Irving Klaw-inspired world of "Shark Ship", but the way that these stories have stuck with me over the years. I first read this when it came out in the '70s, have re-read it once or twice since, and many of these stories are ones that come to mind regularly.
Ericpegnam Pegnam
Jun 27, 2009 Ericpegnam Pegnam rated it it was amazing
its hard to rate a book of short stories but the best of these stories are as good as any fantasy/science fiction from the 50's. Kornbluth has a very cynical view of mankind but he dramatizes his dramatizes his cyncism he isn't preachy. He's a bit like Ambrose Bierce in that way.

Died to early, worth reading marching morons, little black bag and the mindworm are the best of the bunch.
James
Sep 06, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I had never read Kornbluth before but was highly impressed with stories like "Little Black Bag" and "Gomez." Kornbluth does a great job at characterization. His characters feel like real people. I also enjoyed the not-so-subtle points of many of these stories. Great read! Highly recommend!
Rick
Jan 02, 2011 Rick rated it it was ok
Book OK, but in general I wasn't a big fan. It is a collection of short stories. I liked Gomez and Two Dooms. Several were OK and a few were boring.
Rainbowmeow
Oct 08, 2012 Rainbowmeow rated it it was amazing
Here is an overlooked writing talent. I'm obsessed now. Totally my kind of thing.
Patrick
6/15/12: "Two Dooms" (1958)
5/12/13: "The Words of Guru" (1941)
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Cyril M. Kornbluth was born and grew up in Inwood in New York City. As a teenager, he became a member of the Futurians, the influential group of science fiction fans and writers. While a member of the Futurians, he met and became friends with Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Donald A. Wollheim, Robert A. W. Lowndes, and his future wife Mary Byers. He also participated in the Fantasy Amateur Press Asso ...more
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