Benchmarks Concluded: F&SF "Books" Columns
1987-1993 is the final instalment of a three-volume collected
edition of all Algis Budrys's classic SF review columns for The
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Published: 1 July 2013.
Ebook edition February 2014 (see Ebooks link at left). 161,500
words with index.
"The idea that speculative fiction is a genre has hard sledging against the fact that its polar counterpart, descriptive or 'Mainstream' fiction, is younger and contains many sub-categories itself. In fact, if we look at the history of the literary art, which began with attempts to dramatize the ways of the supernatural toward mankind, then descriptive fiction is an offshoot of speculative fiction – i.e., a genre."
Algis Budrys, April 1987 column
"Even when hes reviewing books youre not interested in, Budrys is always funny and fascinating and insightful ... Budryss highly entertaining review essays constitute a priceless how-to source for science fiction writers."
Tim Powers, 2013
"There have been three fathers of sf criticism, Damon Knight, James Blish, and A J Budrys. More than any of their heirs, they knew sf inside out, from the 1940s onward. They all wrote well, and more than well. AJ also wrote vastly: authoritative, loose, sharp, casual, tough; and with all the past at his command. He told us everything he could. This 460,000 word trilogy is only a part of that gift. Feast well. We shall see nothing of its like ever again."
John Clute, 2013