If This Goes Wrong . . .
If This Goes Wrong… edited by Hank Davis is an accessible and fascinating anthology. It is by far the best anthology I have read from him as a reviewer for City Books over the last five or so years. Others have been sometimes hard to follow or fetishistic. Some have had themes that were not very far ranging, just gushy good fun. These anthologies have been focused fun for youngsters over the years but have not been profound like If This Goes Wrong….
This year’s anthology is a tribute to Robert A. Heinlein, and the book’s title is a reference to a serial he wrote. There are two funny stories from him with the reader waiting for the interdimensional “-And He Built a Crooked House.” Contained herein are a collection of old science fiction tales, many of which were written since The Golden Age. Some may prefer these stories to the new ones, which sometimes don’t seem as fresh. Included are some famous practitioners in the field like Ambrose Bierce, Gordon R. Dickson, Jody Lynn Nye, Clifford D. Simak, Fredric Brown, Fritz Leiber, and Lester del Ray. Things have gone awry in these tales about a wondrous and dark universe and future. Contained within are some great ideas, even if we know better now.
Hank Davis, Editor