The Collected Book Review Columns of Algis Budrys

This is an attempt to produce a consolidated index for the 4 collected volumes of Algis Budrys' book review columns that were originally published in Galaxy and F&SF magazines.

The Books

Benchmarks: Galaxy BookshelfSouthern illinois University Press, 1985, hc, xxvi+349pp
Gollancz SF Gateway, 2013?, ebook
Galaxy, February 1965 - November-December 1971BGB
Benchmarks Continued: F&SF "Books" Columns 1975-1982Ansible Editions, 2012, tp, 265pp
Ansible Editions, 2013?, ebook
F&SF, September 1975 - November 1982BF1
Benchmarks Revisited: F&SF "Books" Columns 1983-1986Ansible Editions, 2013, tp, 266pp
Ansible Editions, 2013?, ebook
F&SF, January 1983 - December 1986BF2
Benchmarks Concluded: F&SF "Books" Columns 1987-1993Ansible Editions, 2013, tp, 270pp
Ansible Editions, 2013?, ebook
F&SF, January 1987 - January 1993BF3
June 2020 Update:Ansible Editions has published 2 more collections, which contain some standalone book reviews
Beyond the Outposts: Essays on SF and Fantasy 1955-1996Ansible Editions, 2020, tp, 378pp
Ansible Editions, 2020, ebook
A Budrys Miscellany: Occasional Writing 1954-2000Ansible Editions, 2020, ebook

The Index, and other generated pages

NB This is still very much a Work-In-Progress. There are some content & formatting issues with what is here, and there are things missing.

AJBIndex.htm The Index
AJBByAuthor.htm Titles Reviewed listed by Author
AJBByIssue.htm Titles Reviewed listed by Issue
AJBByTitle.htm Titles Reviewed listed by Title

NB The content of the generated pages is limited to the data that has been stored in the ISFDB, and does not include secondsry references in the reviews, or reviews of works that are not published books.


The 'problem' columns are currently:

Galaxy IssueExplanation
Sep '69The ISFDB has this column as by 'A. J. Budrys' so my queries haven't picked it up, as I was just searching for reviews by Algis Budrys (author_id = 12).
Jan '71The ISFDB has no details of the contents of this column. The column contained an untitled essay about what commercial writing is like.
May-Jun '71The ISFDB has no details of the contents of this column. The column starts with a response to some of the responses to the January 1971 column, and then reviews Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.
Jul '71Benchmarks: Galaxy Bookshelf has the issue date as 'July, 1971' but the ISFDB has it as 'July-August 1971'. They do agree on the contents of the column, so this is only a minor issue.
F&SF IssueExplanation
Sep '75The column contained an essay "H. P. Lovecraft and Others... the salutary effect of chastity upon life in a commercial establishment", and a review; the reviewed book is L. Sprague de Camp's Lovecraft: A Biography, which does appear in the generated pages.
Apr '88The column contained an essay "Some Thoughts on the Topic", and no reviews.
Sep '88The column contained an essay "An Essay on Robert A. Heinlein [1907-1988]", and no reviews.
Oct '89The column contained a poem, and no reviews.
Dec '90The column contained an essay "Stephen King", and no reviews.

I will fix the issues that are related to missing data in the ISFDB, or the way I've queried the data.


While trying to adjust my SQL so that it would retrieve the type of the reviewed book (so that I could identify Anthologies, and then qualify the title in the output pages with '(Edited)'), I asked for help on the ISFDB Wiki. Ahasuerus and MartyD responded, and MartyD suggested some alternative SQL.

Comparing the results produced by the 2 queries, MartyD's produced more data for reviews in F&SF than the original query. The extra rows are because some of the columns in the magazine didn't list all the contributors against a few of the reviewed titles. The original query retrieved the information as published in the magazine columns, whereas the alternate version retrieved the correct contributors.

Correct Credits(?)
May '76The 1975 Annual World's Best SFDonald A. WollheimDonald A. Wollheim & Arthur W. Saha
Jun '77The Book of Virgil FinlayGerry de la ReeGerry de la Ree & Virgil Finlay
Dec '79The End of Summer: Science Fiction of the FiftiesBarry N. MalzbergBarry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini
Aug '80A Reader's Guide to Science FictionBaird Searles, et alBaird Searles, Martin Last, Beth Meacham & Michael Franklin
Apr '83Paperback Price Guide #2Kevin B. HancerKevin B. Hancer, Rahn Kollander & R. Reginald
Feb '85CastlesAlan LeeAlan Lee & David Larkin
Jan '86A. Merritt: Reflections in the Moon PoolSam MoskowitzSam Moskowitz & A. Merritt
Mar '86Philip K. Dick: In His Own WordsGregg RickmanGregg Rickman & Philip K. Dick
Mar '86Philip K. Dick: The Last TestamentGregg RickmanGregg Rickman & Philip K. Dick
Oct '86Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review Index, 1980-1984Hal W. HallHal W. Hall & Geraldine L. Hutchins
Dec '89Chroma: The Art of Alex SchomburgJon GustafsonJon Gustafson & Alex Schomburg
Jul '90Vintage SeasonC. L. MooreC. L. Moore & Henry Kuttner [1]


Budrys occasionally discussed books without actually reviewing them; the way that these were listed at the top of the F&SF Books column in the magazine varied.

For example, the Jan '76 column includes a discussion of John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider, prefixed by "Book Not Being Reviewed Here"; the book is not mentioned at the top of the column. On the other hand, in the May '76 column the list of books starts with "Books not reviewed this month:" followed by details of two books.

The second collected volume of the F&SF columns has reproduced this inconsistency, although there is an entry for The Shockwave Rider in the index of the volume under Brunner,John but not for the title.

Technical Info: The pages are built using Python code, running against a local copy of the ISFDB database, which is running inside an Ubuntu 10.04 VirtualBox VM.

[1] Opinions seem to differ about how much of a contribution Kuttner made to this story. Budrys notes in this column that the edition being reviewed is credited only to Moore, and says "His signature[Kuttner's], too, is on this story, although very lightly, and it probably makes no injustice at all that Tor has now republished it as by Moore alone."