Alchemy and Academe : A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic

Alchemy and Academe : A Collection of Original Stories

Alchemy and Academe : A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic ❮EPUB❯ ❃ Alchemy and Academe : A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic ✾ Author Anne McCaffrey – Polishdarling.co.uk An enchanting collection of tales, enchantments, things magical and strange, devils and demons, professors of potent powers, witchcraft and wizardry, and Master fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey has chose An enchanting collection of tales, enchantments, Academe : PDF Ê things magical and strange, devils and demons, professors of potent powers, witchcraft and wizardry, and Master fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey has chosenshort tales and poems of wonder and awe, written by the finest writers of fantasy today, including Robert Silverberg, L Sprague de Camp, R A Lafferty, Gene Wolfe, Carol Emshwiller, Sonya Dorman, and othersContents Foreword Anne McCaffrey The dance of the solids John Updike Alchemy and ePUB Ù A mess of porridge Sonya Dorman The Institute Carol Emshwiller Condillac s statue R A Lafferty The sorcerers L Sprague de Camp The weed of time Norman Spinrad Night and the loves of Joe Dicostanzo Samuel R Delany Come up and see me Daphne Castell Shut the last door Joe Hensley Big Sam Avram Davidson More light James Blish The man who could not see devils Joanna Russ The Key to Out and Academe : Epub Þ Betsy Curtis Ringing the changes Robert Silverberg In a quart of water David Telfair Morning glory Gene Wolfe Ascension a workday arabesque Virginia Kidd The Devil you don t Keith Laumer The triumphant head Josephine Saxton Mainchance Peter Tate.


10 thoughts on “Alchemy and Academe : A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic

  1. Gregg Wingo Gregg Wingo says:

    Anne McCaffrey has put together an interesting if fairly random collection of stories Despite the wide ranging subtitle, there really isn t a common thread to these stories other than they are generally well written The collection surprised me by starting out with a poem by John Updike which was previously published in Scientific American Entitled The Dance of the Solids it holds closer to the theme of the collectionthan the rest of the stories I was drawn to the collection by the in Anne McCaffrey has put together an interesting if fairly random collection of stories Despite the wide ranging subtitle, there really isn t a common thread to these stories other than they are generally well written The collection surprised me by starting out with a poem by John Updike which was previously published in Scientific American Entitled The Dance of the Solids it holds closer to the theme of the collectionthan the rest of the stories I was drawn to the collection by the inclusion of James Blish s More Light , a critical work in the evolution of King in Yellow mythology of Bierce, Chambers, and, of course, H P Lovecraft Blish handles the material with both respect and humor, and delivers a successful Hastur tale and adds to the legendary horror Other stories of note for me included Norman Spinrad s The Weed of Time , a tale of a mind altering herb, Avram Davidson s Big Sam , a rural love story, David Telfair s In a Quart of Water , an alchemic tale set in a lightly disguised Swanee University, and Peter Tate s Mainchance , an AI human science fiction story All told there are twenty stories and poems in the book and they are all good in their various ways There are many heavy hitters in the group including Samuel R Delany, Robert Silverberg, L Sprague De Camp, and Keith Laumer whose pieces might strike your fancy


  2. Mike Mike says:

    I ve set myself a goal of reading a collection of short stories each month this year, picking one to analyse, and writing a short story using what I ve learned This is the first anthology I chose.I did so because I vaguely remembered that it had an excellent story in it, from when I read it many, many years ago However, I think I must have been confusing it with another collection possibly McCaffrey s own single author anthology, Get Off the Unicorn For the most part, despite the prominent I ve set myself a goal of reading a collection of short stories each month this year, picking one to analyse, and writing a short story using what I ve learned This is the first anthology I chose.I did so because I vaguely remembered that it had an excellent story in it, from when I read it many, many years ago However, I think I must have been confusing it with another collection possibly McCaffrey s own single author anthology, Get Off the Unicorn For the most part, despite the prominent names in the bylines, I found these stories dull, muddled and pretentious, self consciously transgressive Dangerous Visions came out around the time the call for contributors for this one went out and without much in the way of structure or direction Since story structure is exactly what I m trying to study, this was the wrong anthology for my purposes I was surprised in the Samuel Delaney story to see the word proscribed used when the author meant prescribed the two words have opposite meanings It s not beyond the bounds of possibility that this was originally correct and was changed by McCaffrey, who was a shocker for homonyms, but it s a glaring error in either case Otherwise, I only noticed a couple of minor typos I ll say a little about each of the stories now omitting the poems The theme was magic and academic institutions, which these days immediately makes us think of Harry Potter, but this was 1970 and he was still far in the future Sonya Dorman s A Mess of Porridge depicts the advent of a six year old girl to a remote university staffed mostly by old men It s a slice of life story showing the ineffectuality of the academics and their habitual indecisiveness, and was very mildly amusing Carol Emshwiller s The Institute concerns an educational institution for old ladies It doesn t go anywhere I found particularly interesting, and isn t so much a story as an exploration of thoughts.R.A Lafferty s Condillac s Statue is political, reflecting on revolution, property and philosophy It had a bitstory, but the story was mainly an excuse to talk about the ideas Norman Spinrad s The Weed of Time has a basic premise a drug which, when ingested, changes the perception of time so that the user is simultaneously aware of every moment in his lifetime, and always has been that is explored in far too many repetitive words, again without much attempt at story There are events, but rather by the nature of the idea there isn t a beginning, middle and end.Samuel R Delaney s Night and the Loves of Joe Dicostanzo also has events, but there s a kind of dream logic going on, and the story is incoherent and inconclusive Everyone is desperate and alienated, and it s all beautifully portrayed but ultimately pointless.Daphne Castell s Come Up and See Me was the first story I started skipping through, and the second after the Emshwiller that I had to look up to remind myself what it was about in order to write this review It s weird horror of a sort, full of one dimensional characters with no agency.Joe Hensley s Shut the Last Door I also skipped through Kid dealing with poverty and disability discovers he can kill people by hating them Decides he has to hate himself in case he accidentally destroys the world It s a Twilight Zone premise, but the execution bored me I had to look that one up too Avram Davidson s Big Sam has aconventional story structure, though I again needed to remind myself of what it was about Couple meets and marries in a small town He has a secret The secret is revealed at the end, and isn t terrible.James Blish s More Light hooks onto Lovecraft, quoting from some fictional letters that he wrote to one of the characters There s a play that another writer associated with Lovecraft wrote, a piece from within that other writer s fiction that he took the time to create in full but never published, and Lovecraft forwarded a copy of it to the narrator s friend many years before Though the narrator keeps pointing out that it s not very good and is very much of its time, it nevertheless has a sinister effect when read Not a bad story, but the matter of fact modern setting and language and the narrator s skeptical and critical attitude rather work against the concept.Joanna Russ s The Man Who Could Not See Devils is one of the best stories in the collection, in my opinion, though you ll have gathered that this isn t a high bar Young man is unique in his culture in that he can t see or be affected by the supernatural, and therefore isn t afraid to go out at night He s recruited by a group of thieves Closing, anachronistic reflection, by him he s the narrator , about how natural selection may lead to his dis ability spreading through the population in the future until nobody can see the supernatural and it s regarded as legendary Betsy Curtis s The Key to Out is a dimension hopping bar story Not a bad piece of play with the concept of being able to switch with alternate reality versions of yourself Robert Silverberg s Ringing the Changes I had to look up to remind myself, though it is one of thesuccessful stories The premise is recreational body switching, by technological means, and it s not really a fit for the theme except by stretching definitions to their breaking point There s an accident, and it s no longer clear which people belong to which bodies A middle aged man weary of life switches through several bodies and gets bits of their memories, vivid vignettes in the Silverberg style, and decides to stay in the body of a young man who is dying It s stronger than most of the others not only because of the vigorous writing but because the character acts as a protagonist albeit a world weary one rather than just experiencing some odd events David Telfair s In a Quart of Water I had to look up It s literally about alchemy, turning lead and other metals into gold The characters are either cynical and alienated or idiots, which doesn t make them appealing, the strange events are never explained and there s not much protagonism.Gene Wolfe s Morning Glory I remembered the idea of, but not the point There wasn t much point, which is probably why Professor takes drugs morning glory seeds , it changes his perception to belike that of the plants he experiments on I never have understood, or liked, Gene Wolfe s stuff, and this is no exception Keith Laumer s The Devil You Don t is a problem story,in the older style of writers like Murray Leinster than the New Wave style of most of the rest of the contributors It has a lot of playful foolishness about morality and Lucifer being misunderstood and misrepresented, which is not directly relevant to the problem part of the story alien demons are invading Hell,or less The problem is solved in a way that the reader couldn t have predicted, basically using handwavium, so there s not a lot of protagonism here either.Josephine Saxton s The Triumphant Head is about an alienated woman getting herself ready in the morning and her struggles with identity I had to look it up to remind myself It isn t necessarily spec fic at all, and it didn t do anything for me.Peter Tate s Mainchance I skimmed a bit It s about a rather unrealistic future setup in which, after a resurgence of nationalism, to keep the world from destroying itself people have to come together and build a computer to keep things in order A man is appointed to liaise with it and watch over it, and discovers that it s a tyrant and is being opposed by the few remaining religious people religion having withered in a rationalistic environment There are echoes of Babylonian mythos and Biblical mythos and it s a bit of a mess in which it s not really clear what the author thinks or what is true, but seemingly it s about human self determination Or something It needed a thorough rewrite for clarity, which might also have reduced it in length.Don t misunderstand me I m very grateful to the writers of the New Wave, who opened up speculative fiction to telling stories about people and the human condition, rather than just about engineering But all too often, they fell into a would be literary fiction mode in which alienated nobodies drifted through incomprehensible situations without knowing what they wanted or making any decisions, and this collection has too much of that for my taste I much prefer characters to be disturbed, but engaged to perceive that something is wrong with the world and to want to do something about it


  3. Sara Norja Sara Norja says:

    This anthology didn t contain nearly as much fun stuff involving actual alchemy as I d hoped for, which was disappointing Also, most of the stories were just really bad Pretty much the only redeeming feature was Joanna Russ s story The Man Who Could Not See Devils I will admit I skimmed skipped some of the stories because they were just so bad.SFF has got SO MUCH BETTER in the decades since the 1970s


  4. Amanda Amanda says:

    read about half of the stories found them mostly hard to follow i felt like the story started in the middle w o really introducing the characters or the setting and just as I was starting to get a handle on what was going on, the story would end.


  5. Mark Isaak Mark Isaak says:

    As with most story collections, there are good and not so good here But most of the stories were written for this collection, which means we do not get the best of a large sample Some of the stories are surreal impressionism, where interesting pictures are presented but nothing happens Those are not to my taste I don t think all of the stories quite fit the titular theme McCaffrey says in the intro that she was liberal about that , but those that don t are still good stories.


  6. Sam Sam says:

    Interesting collection, somewhat dated, but definitely worth a bargain bin purchase Best line that stuck with me was the description of the Bishop s wife in the story In a Quart of Water She reminded me of an untidy and harassesed chipmunk, without a chipmunk s charm.


  7. Nicholas Bobbitt Nicholas Bobbitt says:

    Excellent collection that I would love to keep on my shelves.


  8. V.A. Hezaran V.A. Hezaran says:

    This collection contains a handful of fun stories but most of them are written in an impenetrable gobbledygook style to the point of incomprehensibility.


  9. Zany Zany says:

    Tentokr t jsem s pov dkovou antologi s hl vedle, v t ina pov dek m nebavila, n kter jsem ani nedo etl.


  10. Pietro Pietro says:

    A mixed bag, but some gems within.


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10 thoughts on “Alchemy and Academe : A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic

  1. Gregg Wingo Gregg Wingo says:

    Anne McCaffrey has put together an interesting if fairly random collection of stories Despite the wide ranging subtitle, there really isn t a common thread to these stories other than they are generally well written The collection surprised me by starting out with a poem by John Updike which was previously published in Scientific American Entitled The Dance of the Solids it holds closer to the theme of the collectionthan the rest of the stories I was drawn to the collection by the in Anne McCaffrey has put together an interesting if fairly random collection of stories Despite the wide ranging subtitle, there really isn t a common thread to these stories other than they are generally well written The collection surprised me by starting out with a poem by John Updike which was previously published in Scientific American Entitled The Dance of the Solids it holds closer to the theme of the collectionthan the rest of the stories I was drawn to the collection by the inclusion of James Blish s More Light , a critical work in the evolution of King in Yellow mythology of Bierce, Chambers, and, of course, H P Lovecraft Blish handles the material with both respect and humor, and delivers a successful Hastur tale and adds to the legendary horror Other stories of note for me included Norman Spinrad s The Weed of Time , a tale of a mind altering herb, Avram Davidson s Big Sam , a rural love story, David Telfair s In a Quart of Water , an alchemic tale set in a lightly disguised Swanee University, and Peter Tate s Mainchance , an AI human science fiction story All told there are twenty stories and poems in the book and they are all good in their various ways There are many heavy hitters in the group including Samuel R Delany, Robert Silverberg, L Sprague De Camp, and Keith Laumer whose pieces might strike your fancy


  2. Mike Mike says:

    I ve set myself a goal of reading a collection of short stories each month this year, picking one to analyse, and writing a short story using what I ve learned This is the first anthology I chose.I did so because I vaguely remembered that it had an excellent story in it, from when I read it many, many years ago However, I think I must have been confusing it with another collection possibly McCaffrey s own single author anthology, Get Off the Unicorn For the most part, despite the prominent I ve set myself a goal of reading a collection of short stories each month this year, picking one to analyse, and writing a short story using what I ve learned This is the first anthology I chose.I did so because I vaguely remembered that it had an excellent story in it, from when I read it many, many years ago However, I think I must have been confusing it with another collection possibly McCaffrey s own single author anthology, Get Off the Unicorn For the most part, despite the prominent names in the bylines, I found these stories dull, muddled and pretentious, self consciously transgressive Dangerous Visions came out around the time the call for contributors for this one went out and without much in the way of structure or direction Since story structure is exactly what I m trying to study, this was the wrong anthology for my purposes I was surprised in the Samuel Delaney story to see the word proscribed used when the author meant prescribed the two words have opposite meanings It s not beyond the bounds of possibility that this was originally correct and was changed by McCaffrey, who was a shocker for homonyms, but it s a glaring error in either case Otherwise, I only noticed a couple of minor typos I ll say a little about each of the stories now omitting the poems The theme was magic and academic institutions, which these days immediately makes us think of Harry Potter, but this was 1970 and he was still far in the future Sonya Dorman s A Mess of Porridge depicts the advent of a six year old girl to a remote university staffed mostly by old men It s a slice of life story showing the ineffectuality of the academics and their habitual indecisiveness, and was very mildly amusing Carol Emshwiller s The Institute concerns an educational institution for old ladies It doesn t go anywhere I found particularly interesting, and isn t so much a story as an exploration of thoughts.R.A Lafferty s Condillac s Statue is political, reflecting on revolution, property and philosophy It had a bitstory, but the story was mainly an excuse to talk about the ideas Norman Spinrad s The Weed of Time has a basic premise a drug which, when ingested, changes the perception of time so that the user is simultaneously aware of every moment in his lifetime, and always has been that is explored in far too many repetitive words, again without much attempt at story There are events, but rather by the nature of the idea there isn t a beginning, middle and end.Samuel R Delaney s Night and the Loves of Joe Dicostanzo also has events, but there s a kind of dream logic going on, and the story is incoherent and inconclusive Everyone is desperate and alienated, and it s all beautifully portrayed but ultimately pointless.Daphne Castell s Come Up and See Me was the first story I started skipping through, and the second after the Emshwiller that I had to look up to remind myself what it was about in order to write this review It s weird horror of a sort, full of one dimensional characters with no agency.Joe Hensley s Shut the Last Door I also skipped through Kid dealing with poverty and disability discovers he can kill people by hating them Decides he has to hate himself in case he accidentally destroys the world It s a Twilight Zone premise, but the execution bored me I had to look that one up too Avram Davidson s Big Sam has aconventional story structure, though I again needed to remind myself of what it was about Couple meets and marries in a small town He has a secret The secret is revealed at the end, and isn t terrible.James Blish s More Light hooks onto Lovecraft, quoting from some fictional letters that he wrote to one of the characters There s a play that another writer associated with Lovecraft wrote, a piece from within that other writer s fiction that he took the time to create in full but never published, and Lovecraft forwarded a copy of it to the narrator s friend many years before Though the narrator keeps pointing out that it s not very good and is very much of its time, it nevertheless has a sinister effect when read Not a bad story, but the matter of fact modern setting and language and the narrator s skeptical and critical attitude rather work against the concept.Joanna Russ s The Man Who Could Not See Devils is one of the best stories in the collection, in my opinion, though you ll have gathered that this isn t a high bar Young man is unique in his culture in that he can t see or be affected by the supernatural, and therefore isn t afraid to go out at night He s recruited by a group of thieves Closing, anachronistic reflection, by him he s the narrator , about how natural selection may lead to his dis ability spreading through the population in the future until nobody can see the supernatural and it s regarded as legendary Betsy Curtis s The Key to Out is a dimension hopping bar story Not a bad piece of play with the concept of being able to switch with alternate reality versions of yourself Robert Silverberg s Ringing the Changes I had to look up to remind myself, though it is one of thesuccessful stories The premise is recreational body switching, by technological means, and it s not really a fit for the theme except by stretching definitions to their breaking point There s an accident, and it s no longer clear which people belong to which bodies A middle aged man weary of life switches through several bodies and gets bits of their memories, vivid vignettes in the Silverberg style, and decides to stay in the body of a young man who is dying It s stronger than most of the others not only because of the vigorous writing but because the character acts as a protagonist albeit a world weary one rather than just experiencing some odd events David Telfair s In a Quart of Water I had to look up It s literally about alchemy, turning lead and other metals into gold The characters are either cynical and alienated or idiots, which doesn t make them appealing, the strange events are never explained and there s not much protagonism.Gene Wolfe s Morning Glory I remembered the idea of, but not the point There wasn t much point, which is probably why Professor takes drugs morning glory seeds , it changes his perception to belike that of the plants he experiments on I never have understood, or liked, Gene Wolfe s stuff, and this is no exception Keith Laumer s The Devil You Don t is a problem story,in the older style of writers like Murray Leinster than the New Wave style of most of the rest of the contributors It has a lot of playful foolishness about morality and Lucifer being misunderstood and misrepresented, which is not directly relevant to the problem part of the story alien demons are invading Hell,or less The problem is solved in a way that the reader couldn t have predicted, basically using handwavium, so there s not a lot of protagonism here either.Josephine Saxton s The Triumphant Head is about an alienated woman getting herself ready in the morning and her struggles with identity I had to look it up to remind myself It isn t necessarily spec fic at all, and it didn t do anything for me.Peter Tate s Mainchance I skimmed a bit It s about a rather unrealistic future setup in which, after a resurgence of nationalism, to keep the world from destroying itself people have to come together and build a computer to keep things in order A man is appointed to liaise with it and watch over it, and discovers that it s a tyrant and is being opposed by the few remaining religious people religion having withered in a rationalistic environment There are echoes of Babylonian mythos and Biblical mythos and it s a bit of a mess in which it s not really clear what the author thinks or what is true, but seemingly it s about human self determination Or something It needed a thorough rewrite for clarity, which might also have reduced it in length.Don t misunderstand me I m very grateful to the writers of the New Wave, who opened up speculative fiction to telling stories about people and the human condition, rather than just about engineering But all too often, they fell into a would be literary fiction mode in which alienated nobodies drifted through incomprehensible situations without knowing what they wanted or making any decisions, and this collection has too much of that for my taste I much prefer characters to be disturbed, but engaged to perceive that something is wrong with the world and to want to do something about it


  3. Sara Norja Sara Norja says:

    This anthology didn t contain nearly as much fun stuff involving actual alchemy as I d hoped for, which was disappointing Also, most of the stories were just really bad Pretty much the only redeeming feature was Joanna Russ s story The Man Who Could Not See Devils I will admit I skimmed skipped some of the stories because they were just so bad.SFF has got SO MUCH BETTER in the decades since the 1970s


  4. Amanda Amanda says:

    read about half of the stories found them mostly hard to follow i felt like the story started in the middle w o really introducing the characters or the setting and just as I was starting to get a handle on what was going on, the story would end.


  5. Mark Isaak Mark Isaak says:

    As with most story collections, there are good and not so good here But most of the stories were written for this collection, which means we do not get the best of a large sample Some of the stories are surreal impressionism, where interesting pictures are presented but nothing happens Those are not to my taste I don t think all of the stories quite fit the titular theme McCaffrey says in the intro that she was liberal about that , but those that don t are still good stories.


  6. Sam Sam says:

    Interesting collection, somewhat dated, but definitely worth a bargain bin purchase Best line that stuck with me was the description of the Bishop s wife in the story In a Quart of Water She reminded me of an untidy and harassesed chipmunk, without a chipmunk s charm.


  7. Nicholas Bobbitt Nicholas Bobbitt says:

    Excellent collection that I would love to keep on my shelves.


  8. V.A. Hezaran V.A. Hezaran says:

    This collection contains a handful of fun stories but most of them are written in an impenetrable gobbledygook style to the point of incomprehensibility.


  9. Zany Zany says:

    Tentokr t jsem s pov dkovou antologi s hl vedle, v t ina pov dek m nebavila, n kter jsem ani nedo etl.


  10. Pietro Pietro says:

    A mixed bag, but some gems within.


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