THE RED PERI (1952) by Stanley G. Weinbaum


[L]ast time out, I had a look at one of the oldest and most valuable SF books in my collection, the original 1949 Fantasy Press US 1st Edition hardcover of A Martian Odyssey and Others, which contained a dozen of the best pieces of short fiction written by classic 1930\’s SF author Stanley G. Weinbaum. Now I\’m going to take a look at a second Weinbaum short fiction collection, The Red Peri, another US 1st Edition hardcover, also published by Fantasy Press, in 1952.

AUTHOR: Stanley G. Weinbaum
COVER ARTIST: John T. Brooks
CATEGORY: Short Fiction
SUB-CATEGORY: Single-Author Collection
FORMAT: Hardback (with dustjacket), US 1st Edition, 270 pages
PUBLISHER: Fantasy Press, Reading, Pennsylvania, US, 1952.

Contents (8 stories):

  • \”The Red Peri\” (novella, Astounding Stories, November 1935)
  • \”Proteus Island\” (novella, Astounding Stories, August 1936)
  • \”Flight on Titan\” (novelette, Astounding Stories, January 1935)
  • \”Smothered Seas\” (novelette, Astounding Stories, January 1936)
  • \”Redemption Cairn\” (novelette, Astounding Stories, March 1936)
  • \”The Brink of Infinity\” (short story, Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1936)
  • \”Shifting Seas\” (novelette, Amazing Stories, April 1937)
  • \”Revolution of 1950\” (novella, Amazing Stories, October-November 1938)

This one can be regarded as the companion collection to the earlier A Martian Odyssey and Others, and between them, they contain all but a couple of Weinbaum\’s entire short fiction output. There are fewer stories in this one – eight as opposed to twelve – but there are three novellas, four novelettes and only one short story in The Red Peri, whereas A Martian Odyssey and Others contained no novellas, eight novelettes and four short stories.

It\’s been a long, long time since I read this one, and my memories are understandably hazy. I do remember preferring A Martian Odyssey and Others to The Red Peri, as the earlier collection did contain more of Weinbaum\’s \”better\” stories. But this collection also contains several of his best longer-form stories. I distinctly remember enjoying both \”The Red Peri\” and \”Proteus Island\”, although my memories of the other stories range from extremely vague to non-existent.

Like A Martian Odyssey and Others, this 1st US hardcover edition of The Red Peri comes with the original dustjacket, showcasing some very nice art by John T. Brooks. As with the earlier collection, the dustjacket of this one is in remarkably good condition considering its age. A little frayed around the outside, but otherwise pretty intact.

Overall, The Red Peri is a very nice collection, and in great condition, considering the fact that it\’s almost sixty-five years old and has been around the block a bit. Along with A Martian Odyssey and Others, it\’s definitely one of the real treasures in my SF book collection.


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