Short Reviews – A Delightful Comedic Premise, Barry Malzberg (+ some new books!)

A Delightful Comedic Premise appeared in the February 1974 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

A Delightful Comedic Premise is something of an inside joke between Barry Malzberg and Edward Ferman (the editor of F&SF) that I don’t quite feel let in on, not having read any of Malzberg’s other work.

This piece is written as a series of exchanges between Ferman, who is offering to commission a story, and Malzberg, who is pitching various ideas. The joke is that Ferman wants something lighthearted and humorous, while Malzberg’s sense of humor doesn’t jibe with what Ferman wants. Malzberg keeps pitching ideas for cynical satirical pieces, and Ferman rejects them. This goes on through three different pitches until Ferman gives up on asking Malzberg for a piece and Malzberg has a breakdown.

Some of the ideas that Malzberg pitches might have made for really neat stories; I would’ve much rather read those. As such, I’ll give Malzberg another chance.


I just can’t help myself when it comes to picking up strange looking old sci-fi paperbacks. A few weeks ago, I saw this on Goodshowsir.


I realized I recognized the name: there was a stack of books by Swann in the same pile I’d got those Andrew J. Offutt books from at the store near where I work. Minikins wasn’t among them, but I got 5 books with equally wild and strange covers for 10 bucks. This bit from his wiki page was enough to convince me he was worth checking out: “…the painter Hieronymus Bosch is abducted by hideous aliens and forced to paint them…”

First, though, I need to finish the Complete Kull.

2 responses to “Short Reviews – A Delightful Comedic Premise, Barry Malzberg (+ some new books!)

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