Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Who Gods There?: The Elder Gods by Don A. Stuart - James Enge

"Don A. Stuart’s “The Elder Gods” is a fantasy novella from the late 1930s that reads a lot like the science fiction being written around the same time. That’s no accident: the author behind the pseudonym is John W. Campbell, once a leading light in the “super science” stories of the 1930s, later a pioneer of a more sophisticated form of speculative fiction, and (by the time the work under review appeared) he was well into his third and longest career as the influential editor of Astounding Science Fiction–and the new fantasy magazine Unknown, in which “The Elder Gods” first appeared. (I reread it in a rather battered copy of the 1970s Ace reprint of The Moon is Hell; but there’s a NESFA edition of Campbell’s Stuart stories, including “The Elder Gods”. That’s what I’d recommend seeking out, if you’re interested, as there are some typographical glitches in the Ace edition; plus, it may be harder to find; plus, I’ve always thought “The Moon Is Hell” was a stupid title.)"

3.5 out of 5

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