RE: RARA-AVIS: The Demolished Man and Alfred Bester: Denton

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 12 Jan 2004

GOLEM 100 was a disappointment to me after his short fiction, but, then, so was THE DEMOLISHED MAN (though some day I intend to read it as it was published in GALAXY SF MAGAZINE, with more typographical and perhaps just graphic flexibility than its book publishers have allowed it). The later novel will probably disappoint you, too, after his first.

From what I (and, I suspect, you) read from another list, you might wish to seek out his long out of print WHO HE?; I can recommend the reconstruction job Charles Platt did on his TENDER LOVING RAGE (originally to be title TL RAPE). Both of these are apparently (since I haven't read WHO HE?) contemporary fiction that slip well over into hb. The obvious next step is THE STARS MY DESTINATION (TIGER! TIGER! in the UK), but I'd recommend the short fiction (in such collections as STARLIGHT, which combined two brief 1970s collections for the SF Book Club--and I've seen STARLIGHT around in second stores more often than either of the original volumes, and it's a better book for the combination, or the more recent REDEMOLISHED).

Among the more obvious short stories for the theme: "Fondly Farenheit," "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed," "5,271,009" (almost a stretch, but too good to not mention), and, while it's fantasy and not sf and an early work, why not
"Hell is Forever."


-----Original Message----- From: William Denton

I'm reading Alfred Bester's THE DEMOLISHED MAN (1952), and boy, is it good. Perfect for the hardboiled SF month, too. Thanks to those who recommended it. Would any of Bester's later stuff, or his short stories, fit the monthly theme? I've had GOLEM 100 (1981) on the shelf for almost 20 years now but still haven't read it.

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