Science Fiction Reviews


(2000) Alfred Bester, ibooks, 9.99/$14.95, pbk, 519pp, ISBN 0-7434-0725-3

Alfred Bester needs no introduction to old hands, perhaps best known for his Hugo-winning novel The Demolished Man, the winner of the first Hugo Award for 'Best Novel' (which back then was called 'The Science Fiction Achievement Award'). Newcomers may have unwittingly stumbled across him as the namesake behind the Babylon 5 character who is a leading light in the telepathic secret service. (Newcomers who read The Demolished Man will understand the raison d'etre.) Bester was one of SF's grand masters and it is a delight that over a decade after his death that this collection is being published. However new-comers should note that as a number of the stories were written the best part of half a century ago (when trains were steam and there was no spaceflight or computers) some of the writing seems dated - that is because it is.

Re-demolished consists of a collection of Bester's short stories together with a fair number of non-fiction articles and for the first time the never-before-published 3,000 word prologue to The Demolished Man. There is also a memorial article on Bester by Gregory Benford. Re-demolished is a must for both seasoned SF readers and those who have only begun to explore the genre and wish to learn about its roots. (Thank you Richard Raucci for pulling this volume together.)

Jonathan Cowie

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