Bio: (1915 to 1986) It seems that not a lot's known about Robert F. Young, one of the more obscure writers to have regularly published in the major science fiction short story markets (and even Playboy and The Saturday Evening Post). He lived his entire life in New York State, except for the three and a half years he served in the Pacific during World War II, and he and his wife owned a house on Lake Erie. His career spanned more than thirty years, and he was writing fiction even on the day he died. Only near the end of his life did the science fiction community learn he'd been a janitor in the Buffalo public school system. As Barry N. Malzberg noted to us: if he was a writer working as a janitor, he likely lived a frustrating life, but if he was a janitor who happened to write, he lived a surprising and triumphant one.
A little boy runs away from the bleak city to regain the bucolic countryside of his memory, with its little red schoolhouse and pretty, affectionate teacher. Unfortunately he's intercepted by the authorities, and even more unfortunately, they're willing to grant his wish. (This early story of Young's makes an interesting complement to "What Bleak Land," one of his final pieces.)
Robert F. Young published frequently in major markets from the 1950s to his death in 1985. Disney even optioned film rights to one of his books. However, probably because he wrote few novels, he was never widely known. His better stories, many collected here, captured a deep sense of nostalgia and winnowed a glimpse of true love from mere obsession: a mountaineer must redeem his life by scaling a miles-long artifact shaped like a woman; a little boy attempts to return from a bleak city to the id... more info>>
While his wife is away, a man meets a beautiful girl in the country who pretends to be from the future. Day after day, they return to the same idyllic spot to chat, and he soon finds himself enamored. However, being committed to his marriage, he's resigned to the loss of his new love and what she represents. Or is he?...
Selling a whole town, and doing it inconspicuously, can be a little difficult. People don't quite believe it.... A tale from the Golden Age of science fiction, edited by the legendary John W. Campbell, Jr!
During the Great Depression, a vagrant makes an extended stay with a struggling family, and wins their hearts with his lessons in decency and generosity. But the wanderer is learning as well as teaching, in ways that the young son of the family comes to understand through a profound and unsettling discovery.