The Complete Critical Assembly

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Complete Critical Assembly -- trade pb

The Complete Critical Assembly by David Langford collects his 101 sf/fantasy book review columns written for the British games magazines White Dwarf, GM and GMI from 1983 to 1992. These were previously collected in two volumes published by Ansible Information, Critical Assembly (1987) and Critical Assembly II (1992). As the blurb written for Amazon puts it:

Crammed with critical insights and acerbic wit, the "Critical Mass" -- later "Critical Hits" -- column was notoriously the first page turned to by White Dwarf readers, and it brings Langford appreciative fan mail to this day. Read the whole sequence and learn how to acquire 22 Hugos....

  • Publication Date: October 2002
  • Publisher: Cosmos Books (an imprint of Wildside Press), USA
  • Format: Trade paperback
  • ISBN: 9781587153303
  • Page Count: 335
  • Cover Artist: Lauren Halkon
  • Availability: Book Depository
  • Reviews
  • Publication Date: April 2001
  • Publisher: Cosmos Books (an imprint of Wildside Press), USA
  • Format: Hardback without jacket
  • ISBN: 9781587153983
  • Page Count: 335
  • Cover Artist: none
  • Availability: Book Depository
  • Reviews


Russ Allbery,, 24 August 2008

While it does cover briefly the well-known good books of this time period, this collection dives much farther into the midlist and differentiates between the entertaining but not Important and the truly bad. This is a very nice change. [...] Recommended if you like reading book reviews, particularly ones that survey a broad spectrum of the field.

Adam Roberts, The Alien Online, May 2003 [in passing, while reviewing Up Through An Empty House of Stars]

Anybody interested in recent sf would do better reading the Complete Critical Assembly and Up Through An Empty House of Stars than any of the literary critical histories of the genre currently available.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden of Tor Books, 2001:

Absolute models of what brief fiction reviews should be.