Benchmarks: Galaxy Bookshelf

by Algis Budrys

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Over the years since 1965, Algis Budrys has emerged as the leading critic of mod­ern speculative fiction: insightful, ec­lectic, and notoriously uninhibited. Benchmarks collects the material that started it—all 54 Galaxy Bookshelf book-review columns Budrys created for the now-vanished Galaxy Magazine. Writ­ten for what was then the world’s leading SF periodical, these legendary summa­tions and summary judgments coincided with the period when newsstand-borne science fiction and fantasy were evolving from pulp toward literature. Budrys’ Galaxy reviews trace an incisive, some­times wickedly acerb path through that sparsely charted literary territory.


Budrys defines his standards and his function in his own words: “A book should he good. A bird should fly.


“Writers of imperfect, tousled books should be made aware that standards of breeding and grooming exist. I strive to fulfill that function.”



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