Alfred Bester (1913-1987) was the author of two of science fiction's seminal works, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination. He also wrote some fast-moving, sizzling short stories that were very highly regarded; many of them are included in the 17 stories showcased in Virtual Realities; two were never before published. Highlights include "Disappearing Act," in which shell-shocked soldiers vanish from their hospital ward; "Hobson's Choice," in which a statistician uncovers a disturbing population trend in post-nuclear Kansas; "Time Is the Traitor," wherein powerful business people manipulate their most valuable consultant; and "The Devil Without Glasses," a conspiracy tale with an X-Files feel. The science fiction and literary classic "Fondly Fahrenheit" stars wealthy Vandaleur and his mad android who has an unfortunate habit of turning murderous when the temperature gets too hot... All reet!|
Bester's use of the word girl and the occasional female as manipulating schemer are not in line with current sensibilities and may give readers pause, especially those accustomed to feminist improvements in modern SF. Nevertheless, these stories are a frenetic and delightful confection of SF from the mid-20th century.
Source: Bonnie Bouman, Amazon.com.