The author of NIGHTMARES AND DAYDREAMS, one of Arkham s fastest selling books, is back with a brand new collection. Nelson Bond, still going strong at age 92, has personally selected many of his favorite uncollected stories. 28 stories grouped under 5 sections include Pipeline to Oblivion, a calculating tale of horror, The World Within, a chilling journey into the human body and a thought-provoking heroic fantasy, Magic City, a chapter in the adventures of Meg and Daiv. Also featuring stories with Bond's delightfully wacky characters such as Lancelot Biggs, Spaceman; Squaredeal Sam McGhee; the Lobblies; Wilberforce Weems, and others. These are interspersed with dark, brooding, thought-provoking tales of terror and imagination that amply demonstrate why Nelson Bond has long been called one of the greatest and most versatile storytellers of his generation.
Publisher's Weekly Book Review and Forecast:
This collection of 29 stories, Bond's second Arkham collection after Nightmares and Daydreams (1968), stands as a sparkling tribute to one of the greats, now 93 years old, of SF and fantasy. Bond says that he prefers the latter, because "fantasy is tongue-in-cheek, but there's nothing funny about hardware!" Humor, not surprisingly, is the keynote of these tales, which are divided into five thematic sections, each with a brief introduction by the author (one wishes these intros were longer). The section entitled "Family Circle" features Bond's favorite series characters: Lancelot Biggs, Pat Pending, Squaredeal Sam McGhee and the incomparable Lobblies (two invisible creatures who accompany Henry Mergenthwirker and correctly predict the future with unpredictable results). Nearly all of the stories date from the WWII era, and since Bond has chosen not to do any rewriting, the book, like one of his typical time-travel yarns, serves as a nostalgic trip to the past. The Dodgers still play baseball (badly) in Brooklyn in "Herman and the Mermaid"; the old Pennsylvania Station, even in ruins, awes the "Jinnian" travelers from a postapocalyptic future in "Magic City." The quintessential Virginia gentleman, Bond is at heart a New Yorker, and he nicely capture's the city's accent. Edd Cartiler's illustration from Unknown Worlds for the concluding story, "Occupation Demigod," makes the perfect frontispiece. An earlier, more wholesome America lovingly emerges from these pages (Apr.)
Forecast: Having basically stopped writing fiction circa 1960 with the demise of the pulp magazines, Bond has been overlooked when it's come time to hand out awards to the surviving masters of the pulp era. One hopes that he will be well enought to attend this year's World Fantasy Convention in Minneapolis as the con's guest of honor - where he may at last receive a Life Achievement Award.