His Share of Glory: The Complete Short Science Fiction of C. M. Kornbluth
NESFA Press, 1997, ISBN 0-915368-60-9
If you ask old-time science fiction writers who they thought was the best among them,
the name "Cyril Kornbluth" will appear more often than not. And yet, his name is rarely
mentioned among the Asimovs and Heinleins he surpassed, perhaps due to his early death
from a heart attack. A group of science fiction fans decided to do something
The New England Science Fiction Association Press has produced this mammoth work
containing the short science fiction stories written by legendary science fiction
author Cyril M. Kornbluth. Edited by Timothy P. Szczesuil, and containing a foreword
by his friend, collaborator, and fellow Futurian Frederik Pohl, the volume
contains every story he had published from his teens through his death on March 21, 1958.
Reading through the collection, you can trace the devlopment of his writing ability and style,
from the awkward teenage stories of the early 1940s, through the extremely good stories
of the early 1950s, to the awe-inspiring stories just before his death.
Timothy Szczesuil spent three years compiling this volume, searching for Kornbluth stories
written under a wide variety of pseudonyms. The editor took eight early stories he wrote
"to spec" and moved them towards the end, clearly not thinking them the same quality as his
other stories, even going so far as to have them set in a smaller typeface. I'm not so sure
about this choice; they are not as good as his later stories, but I cannot see a distinction
between these and his other early stories. At any rate, what the young Kornbluth may have
lacked in the skills of story construction, he more than made up for in talent. They're all
stories that you will want to read all the way through.
If you've read The Space Merchants or "The Marching Morons", I'm sure you'll want
to read more of Kornbluth. And this is the mother lode.
Below is a list of the stories that you will find in the volume. Mr. Szczesuil arranged
them in a different order; I have decided to arrange them in the order of their appearance (the
early "to spec" stories are marked with an asterisk). Of note is the long hiatus in the 1940s,
when he and the other Futurians were drafted to fight in World War II.