Fantasy Review, No. 78, April 1985, p. 27.
An Anthology With A Message
Schmidt, Stanley. From Mind to Mind: Tales of Communication From Analog. Dial Press, New York, December 1984. 288 p. $12.95. ISBN 0-385-19646-6. Analog Anthology #9. Davis Publications, New York, November 1984. 288 p. $3.50, paper. No ISBN.
Communication, or a lack thereof, is one of the principal themes of science fiction. ”First contact” stories are almost always tales of communication, as are lost race stories and the majority of robot and intelligent computer stories.
While this anthology doesn’t have any robot or computer stories [presumably all the good ones were used in other anthologies], it does have some outstanding stories touching on almost every other aspect of communication. Dolton Edwards, in “Meihem In Ce Klasrum,” offers a splendid Astounding/ Analog style essay on simplifying the English language, as interesting today as it was in 1946. “Sailing, Through Program Management,” by Al Charmatz, satirizes modern management practices, placing Christopher Columbus in the midst of a bureaucratic memo war. Lewis Padgett’s classic, “The Piper’s Son,” dating from 1944, suggests telepathy could solve many communications problems, but also create some new ones of its own.
Theme anthologies often fade away, never to be heard from again. From Mind to Mind deserves better, if for no other reason than to preserve “Collaboration,” Mark C. Jarvis’s gentle, inspiring story of a remarkable collective effort. Here are sixteen stories from 1942 to 1983 actually worth preserving.
–Lawrence I. Charters