The Best of Lester del Rey

by Lester del Rey
Reviewed date: 2004 Aug 18
333 pages
cover art

A collection of Lester del Rey's own favorite stories. He's a good writer in the fine old Campbellian tradition. He is more than a Campbellian author, though, as many of his stories deal with subjects John Campbell would never have published. Del Rey is one of the best writers of the genre.

  • Helen O'Loy: Robot girl.
  • The Day is Done: Last Neanderthal man in a world of Cro-Magnons. Best story in the collection.
  • The Coppersmith: Elf awakens from long sleep, finds that coppersmiths are in short demand in modern America.
  • Hereafter, Inc.: Phineas Theophilus Potts is as ascetic in the afterlife as he was in life.
  • The Wings of Night: Last survivor of a great civilization lives on the moon.
  • Into Thy Hands: A scant few robots survive nuclear holocaust.
  • And It Comes Out Here: Time travel. Meant to be funny, I suppose. It fails mostly.
  • The Monster: Unremarkable.
  • The Years Draw Night: Man is trapped on Earth, alone in a universe inhospitable to life--but now scout ship 34 is coming back, and surely they must have found a hospitable colonizable planet?
  • Instinct: Robots try to recreate man.
  • Superstition: People on a backwards planet seem to have a real, magically gifted god.
  • For I Am a Jealous People: God abandons mankind.
  • The Keepers of the House: Dog is lone survivor of nuclear holocaust. Dull story.
  • Little Jimmy: Man's mother is seemingly sane except that she believes she has a little boy named Jimmy. But Jimmy is imaginary.
  • The Seat of Judgment: Good story.
  • Vengeance is Mine: Hatred spurs robots to find and destroy mankind's killers.

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