Back in the late ’70s Del Rey published a series of author “Best of” collections. There was The Best of Lester Del Rey, The Best of Leigh Brackett, The Best of L. Sprague de Camp, The Best of Fritz Leiber, The Best of Cordwainer Smith, and The Best of Jack Williamson. These books were about 350 pages long and came with an intelligent introduction written by someone close to the field, who was able to say something meaningful to put the writer in context. These were good books, single, concise arguments for why these writers were important.
I love these books, and this kind of book. If I could get a dream job, it would be to edit a series of similar books for the writers of the ’60s,Â ’70s. and even 80s.Â I mean, we have a few awful collections for Larry Niven, but how about The Best of Larry Niven? Or The Best of Harlan Ellison, or The Best of Connie Willis or The Best of Stephen Baxter?Â And there are others. The Best of Gene Wolfe! It would be very cool. Publish them as a set, matching design, numbered as a set – it’s definitely a dream job. sigh.