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The Far Side of Nowhere

Written By:Nelson S. Bond - 2002

  • The Far Side of Nowhere  - Nelson S. Bond cover


This collection of 29 stories, Bond's second Arkham collection after Nightmares and Daydreams (1968), stands as a sparkling tribute to one of the greats, now 93 years old, of SF and fantasy. Bond says that he prefers the latter, because "fantasy is tongue-in-cheek, but there's nothing funny about hardware!" Humor, not surprisingly, is the keynote of these tales, which are divided into five thematic sections, each with a brief introduction by the author (one wishes these intros were longer). The section entitled "Family Circle" features Bond's favorite series characters: Lancelot Biggs, Pat Pending, Squaredeal Sam McGhee and the incomparable Lobblies (two invisible creatures who accompany Henry Mergenthwirker and correctly predict the future with unpredictable results). Nearly all the stories date from the WWII era, and since Bond has chosen not to do any rewriting, the book, like one of his typical time-travel yarns, serves as a nostalgic trip to the past. The Dodgers still play baseball (badly) in Brooklyn in "Herman and the Mermaid"; the old Pennsylvania Station, even in ruins, awes the "Jinnian" travelers from a postapocalyptic future in "Magic City." The quintessential Virginia gentleman, Bond is at heart a New Yorker, and he nicely captures the city's accent. Edd Cartier's illustration from Unknown Worlds for the concluding story, "Occupation: Demigod," makes the perfect frontispiece. An earlier, more wholesome America lovingly emerges from these pages.