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Short Reviews of Short Fiction [3]

“Of Time and Third Avenue” (1951) by Alfred Bester

Herewith the third installment of this regular feature on the Dwarf Planet Press blog: short reviews of short fiction. Our reviewer, renowned reader, indexer, and bon vivant, John A. Magee, has been jolted out of his regular time slot this week by the vagaries of a science fiction convention, where time is regularly distorted. Worse yet, this was to have been the first installment, not the third. The Editors apologize. It’s an immense task to terraform dwarf planets…

Speaking of time, our first installment of Short Reviews of Short Fiction features a time-travel tale, “Of Time and Third Avenue” (1951) by Alfred Bester:

In the eight short pages “Of Time and Third Avenue” Alfred Bester takes a classic time-travel conundrum, adds several sharp dashes of philosophy, then tops the temporal cocktail a clever twist at the end. The characters are only briefly sketched, the plot is nearly nonexistent, but the philosophical questions about time travel are … um … um, timeless?

Hmmn … that can’t possibly have been the word I wanted there. But the story’s a good, quick read. Check it out.

—John A. Magee

“Of Time and Third Avenue” (1951) by Alfred Bester appears in The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, from Tachyon Publications.

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