Twelve stories by the author of “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” from 1949-52,55,56,57.
Favorites: “Such Interesting Neighbors” (1951) – Al and Nell get new neighbors, Ted and Ann Hellenbeck. They said they just moved from South America. One day Ted spots Al reading a SF magazine and that leads to a discussion about time travel. Ted shows Al an article he wrote about it. It takes place in the future where time machines are cheap and everybody has one. Finney’s story was adapted for “Science Fiction Theater.” The episode was “Time Is Just A Place”. It was aired April 15,1955. The screenplay changed things around and used one throwaway line from the story to build the episode. There are similarities but different endings.This is a rare case where despite the differences the story is worth reading and the show is worth watching.
“Behind The News” (1952) – Johnny Deutsch is following in his father’s footsteps and publishing a small town newspaper. He likes making up outlandish stories he knows he can’t publish. His father used part of a metorite in the linotype machine with interesting results. That fragment is now long gone. Johnny puts a paperweight of his birth announcement in the machine made with another fragment with similar results. If he writes a story that seems like it could be true then it really happens.
“Quit Zoomin’ Those Hands Through The Air” – A Civil War Major relates a story about how he invented a time machine to try and beat the rebel army. It involved traveling ninety years into the future to steal an exhibit from the Smithsonian in Washington.
“Second Chance” (1956) - A twenty year old restores a 1923 Jordan Playboy. He picks up a girl for a date and she goes back into her house because she doesn’t want to drive around in an old car. He takes off on his own and ends up…..
“Contents Of The Dead Man’s Pockets” (1956 novelette) – Not too many authors can pull this off. Finney takes a simple premise and turns it into a great suspense story. This isn’t SF. It’s all about a man who wrote down some ideas on improving grocery store displays. He worked two months on his idea. One night the paper with his notes blows out the window. He goes to retrieve it.