The Best of A.E. van Vogt    [American]
Collection 1976 136,000 words
  • There are two separate collections entitled The Best of A.E. van Vogt — one British (1974), one American. The contents of the two collections differ significantly, with only two stories common to both collections, "War of Nerves" and "The Proxy Intelligence." To all intents and purposes these two "Best of" books are in fact two separate collections, and should be thought of as two completely different books that merely share the same title. As such, the two collections have separate entries.

  • Throughout the 1970s, everyone was putting out The Best of Whoever collections. The selection of stories often had more to do with who could get the rights to which stories for how much, rather than which stories were indeed generally considered "the best."

  • Van Vogt wrote a forward for each story, and an afterword for several, making this book a valuable insight into van Vogt's appraisal of his own stories.

  • Even though this is called a "Best of" collection, some of these stories are van Vogt's worst, and alongside the lackluster fiction are a few rather dreary non-fiction articles. And to top it all off, Malzberg's blurb-for-hire introduction is full of back-handed compliments. All of these things make this perhaps the worst "Best of" collection ever printed.

Contents
"Ah, Careless, Rapturous van Vogt!" 1976

Preface by Barry N. Malzberg

Introduction by A.E. van Vogt 1976
"Don't Hold Your Breath" 1973

includes a Forward & Afterword

"All We Have on This Planet" 1974

includes a Forward & Afterword

"War of Nerves" 1950

includes a Forward & Afterword

"The Rull" 1948

1955 version; includes a Forward

"The Semantics..." 1971

includes a Forward & Afterword

"Future Perfect" 1973

includes a Forward & Afterword

"Being an Examination..." 1971

includes a Forward

"Home of the Gods" 1947

includes a Forward

"The Violent Male" 1965

includes a Forward

"Prologue to The Silkie" 1976

includes a Forward & Afterword

"The Proxy Intelligence" 1968

includes a Forward

Final Comment by A.E. van Vogt 1976
English
1976 July Pocket
paperback 0-671-80546-0 256 pages $1.95

cover art by
Harry Bennett

First edition

First Pocket printing.

The publishing history of these two Pocket printings is somewhat muddled. This first edition might have been published in May, not July.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1976 July Pocket
paperback 0-671-80546-0 256 pages C$1.95

cover art by
Harry Bennett

Second Pocket printing.

Canadian printing.

The publishing history of these two Pocket printings is somewhat muddled. This Canadian printing might have been published in 1977, not 1976.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB