Friday's "Forgotten" Book - Sylvia - In Reference to Murder

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August 17, 2012


Todd Mason

Fast was, unsurprisingly, able to publish under his own name in the sf magazines in the 1950s, albeit he was even more of a tyro in this field (even given he'd sold one story very early on, to AMAZING in 1932) and he didn't even much get going till the late '50s. And even given the obvious kinship between historical and fantastic fiction. But there were a lot of ex-Communists and more than one active Trotskyist working the sf field (and to some extent fantasy) and they were often already demonstrating bravery by trying to Make It in a low-paying field where the serious work appealed to a very small audience, indeed...)...and the bulk of Fast's fantasticated work would appear in the 1970s...even if his most widely regarded story in this mode was probably "The Large Ant" (FANTASTIC UNIVERSE, February 1960...FU was edited in those latter years by Hans Stefan Santesson, who had been the editor for the Unicorn Mystery book club, which did omnibus volumes like the more durable Detective Book Club did, and HSS would go on to edit THE SAINT MYSTERY MAGAZINE in the 1960s...).

Martin Edwards

Very interesting. I've never read anything by Fast, but this one sounds well worth a look. Thanks fo the review.

BV Lawson

Fast likes to use strong female characters in his writing, which I do admire, Martin. I've got his similarly one-name-titled book, "Sally," on my TBR pile right now.

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