Monsters
edited by Forrest J. Ackerman
Collection 1965 69,500 words
Alternate Titles

Science Fiction Monsters     (1967, etc.)

The Blal     (1976, etc.)

  • As part of this collection's emphasis on monsters, each story is given a rather humorous taxonomic subtitle, such as "Genus: Robot Monster." (See below for the full list.)

  • In the mid-'70s, Zebra — who, like Paperback Library, loved to retitled reprints — put out a trio of van Vogt books under odd one-word titles: The Blal, The Gryb, and Ptath. For Monsters they had to do a bit of digging to get "Blal" on the cover, but they managed it — it is a creature featured in the story "Not Only Dead Men." I've often thought that Zebra missed a golden opportunity by never publishing books entitled Ixtl, Sevagram, or Modyun.

  • Around 2000, Forrest J. Ackerman's publishing company Sense of Wonder Press had plans to published an expanded edition of this collection as Science Fiction Monsters Plus: Eleven Tales from the SF Master. This edition would have added three stories that were planned to be part of the original 1965 edition but had to be cut due to space constraints — "Itself" (Genus: Electronic Monster), "Process" (Genus: Arboreal Monster), and "Fulfillment" (Genus: Frankenbrain Monster). This edition was apparently close to being published when it was cancelled, since it was assigned a price ($14.95) and an ISBN (0-91-918736). For many years I believed it had indeed been printed, but was extremely rare, but after finally contacting the publisher I learned that it was in fact scrapped shortly before its slated publication date. This makes SF Monsters Plus one of the few true "phantom" editions of van Vogt's books.

Contents
Introduction by Forrest J. Ackerman 1965

not included in all editions

"Not Only Dead Men" 1942

Genus: Space Monster

"Final Command" 1949

Genus: Robot Monster

"War of Nerves" 1950

Genus: Avianoid Monster

"Enchanted Village" 1950

Genus: Martian Monster

"Concealment" 1943

Genus: Mystery Monster

"The Sea Thing" 1940

Genus: Oceanic Monster

"Resurrection" 1948

Genus: Revivified Monster

"Vault of the Beast" 1940

Genus: Multimorph Monster

English
1965 February Paperback Library
paperback 52-515 154 pages $0.50

cover artist: unknown

First edition

First Paperback Library printing.

Cover image: Axelsson Data: Walwyn
Science Fiction Monsters (alternate title)
1967 September Paperback Library
paperback 52-555 154 pages $0.50

cover art by
Jerome Podwil

Second Paperback Library printing.

Oddly, the new title only appears on the front cover. The spine and interior still say just Monsters.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
Science Fiction Monsters (alternate title)
1970 August Paperback Library
paperback 63-406 154 pages $0.60

cover art by
Robert LoGrippo

Third Paperback Library printing.

Oddly, the new title only appears on the front cover. The spine and interior still say just Monsters.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1970 November Corgi
paperback 0-552-08570-7 190 pages £0.25

cover artist: unknown

First British edition.

First Corgi printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

Bizarrely, the cover seems to reproduce a photo from The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Cover image: Axelsson Data: ISFDB
The Blal (alternate title)
1976 August Zebra
paperback 0-89083-200-5 224 pages $1.25

cover art by
D.A. Daily

Back Cover

First Zebra printing.

Funnily enough, this short story collection is described as a "novel" on the back cover. Still, in all fairness, if I had 88 blurbs to write before the weekend I'd probably slip up a bit every now and then too.

Cover & other images: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1977 November Corgi
paperback 0-552-10605-4 190 pages £0.80

cover artist: unknown

Second Corgi printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
The Blal (alternate title)
1978 January Zebra
paperback 0-89083-315-X 224 pages $1.75

cover art by
Douglas Beekman

Wallpaper

Second Zebra printing.

Cover & other images: Walwyn, Lledó Data: Walwyn