Paul Di Filippo on “A” is for Android and Other Tales: Masters of Science Fiction Vol. #8

Paul Di Filippo on “A” is for Android and Other Tales: Masters of Science Fiction Vol. #8

Milton Lesser A is for AndroidOver at Locus Online, Paul Di Filippo has a look at the latest Masters of Science Fiction reprint from Armchair Fiction, this one focused on Milton Lesser, author of Slaves to the Metal Horde and The Thing from Underneath.

If you do not know the enchantingly retro line of SF/F/H books published by Armchair Fiction… then I offer you now an eye-popping introduction. Visit his site and marvel at the vast range of vintage fiction, long out of print, lovingly repackaged with period artwork. Names as seminal as those of Fritz Leiber, Clifford Simak and Edmond Hamilton consort with the bylines of lesser craftsmen… The Armchair Fiction catalogue opens an essential window onto a vital and overlooked and still enjoyable portion of our history.

The latest entry in their “Masters of Science Fiction” series is awarded to Milton Lesser, who bears a name the majority of modern fans will probably be unfamiliar with. Lesser was one of those working-stiff writers back in the day who turned out intelligent, yet perhaps sometimes over facile, goods to suit whatever market was looking for material and paying a decent word rate… Truly the work of a Master? Did it exhibit a genuine affinity for the mode, a sense of wonder, some unique ideation? Does it seem hokey and clunky today, or do its narrative virtues still engage and reward?

We last looked at Armchair Fiction — via Paul W. Fairman’s The Girl Who Loved Death and Murray Leinster’s Planet of Dreadlast January.

Curiously, this book is listed under the variant title “A” as in Android at and other places. I haven’t seen a copy myself, so I can’t confirm which title is correct.

“A” is for Android (or maybe “A” as in Android) was published January 30 by Armchair Fiction. It is 320 pages in trade paperback, priced at $16.95. There is no digital edition. See more details at the Armchair Fiction site here, and you can read Paul’s complete review here.

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