6) Nebula Award Stories Number Three, ed. Roger Zelazny
This collection has been recently (2001) reprinted, and
I bought this as the last step in preparation for my planned piece on Fritz Leiber's story "Gonna Roll The Bones" which is one of the seven included here, but it also ties into my fascination with Roger Zelazny, who had won two of five Nebula awards the previous year, and was only thirty; and as Zelazny himself writes in one of the introductions here, "Consider the fact that everything a man writes is really only a part of one big story, to be ended by the end of his writing life. Consider that, as so many have said, everything a man writes is, basically, autobiographical… I tell you these things because every writer who has ever lived is unique."
Zelazny seems to have taken the job of editing this collection seriously, and though his introductions are as mere postscripts to those of Harlan Ellison in the near-contemporaneous Dangerous Visions, they do give evidence of his commitment to the project, including lengthy quotations from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Czesław Miłosz, and invokes Anne McCaffrey as an aspect of Goethe's Ewigweibliche.
While he had to include the three Nebula winners, his choice of the other four stories (as
Well, it cost me very little to buy, and I'd have paid the price five times over. Three of the other stories – "Aye, and Gomorrah…" by Samuel R. Delany, "Weyr Search" by Anne McCaffrey, and "Behold the Man" by Michael Moorcock – are generally recognised as classics in very different ways. I'll write more when I do my long-planned piece on the Leiber story.