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War and Space by Lester Del Rey
Cover Artist: John Picacio
Review by Steve Sawicki
NESFA Press Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781886778764
Date: 15 August 2009 List Price $29.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: War and Space Webpage / Show Official Info /

NESFA has done it again, produced a beautiful book that's a joy to hold and a joy to read. Lester del Rey is one of the giants in the field of SF. He could do it all, write novels, write short fiction, do reviews, edit, anthologize and publish. It's quite factual to say that without Lester del Rey the science fiction you know right now would not exist. Of course no one had more than an inkling that this might be true at the time del Rey was busy writing. Within these 570 pages are 29 short stories that collect del Rey's beginnings with Space Opera and post apocalyptic musings. The time period covered ranges from the late 30s to the early 60s and includes del Rey's best efforts. Oddly enough, del Rey is best known for editing Ballantine's fantasy line and, in doing so, creating a series of works that is still looked at today with envy.

Del Rey is not just a giant in the field but he is one who shaped the field through his own fiction as well as through his work as an editor and publisher. His work here, from his first short story to those stories that he later turned into novels, is representative of his work as a whole and entirely fascinating to those who still yearn for the good old days or just wonder what all that hoopla about the good old days was really about. Sure, some of the work is dated, but what do you expect from a story that was written 70 years ago. But, you'll also be very surprised at how refreshing much of the work is and how well even old SF holds up over time.

This is a fabulous book on a number of different levels. Besides collecting del Rey's short fiction, which, at this point is very difficult to find, even if you do haunt the used book stores, this book is another fabulous addition to NESFA Press growing collection of must have books. NESFA continues to put out beautiful books that preserve the history of the field and present classic work in attractive packages that are affordable. Go out, buy a copy and have them send you a list of other books they have available. This is a must have.

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