For several years, hiding under a cloak of anonymity, the most penetrating critic of the filed of magazine science fiction was known as 'William Atheling, Jr'. it soon became a challenge to guess his real identity. And that was no easy game, for Atheling's dissection did not spare even his alter ego, the noted science fiction writer James Blish.
Here, then, is a collection of William Atheling's critiques of SF magazines covering the period 1952 - 1963. no subject is too sacred or taboo for Atheling's shredding typewriter: from sex to God, from religion to satirical poetry. No author, however fragile, is spared the bloody mark of his relentless ;ash; from Anderson to Heinlein to Wyndham, and all stops in between.
A vastly entertaining collection in its own right, The Issue at hand is also a first-class primer for new writer and seasoned professional alike.
James Blish (1921-75) studied microbiology at Rutgers and then served as a medical laboratory technician in the US army during the Second World War. Among his best known books are Cities in Flight, A Case of Conscience, for which he won the Hugo in 1959 for Best Novel, Doctor Mirabilis, Black Easter and The Day After Judgement.