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Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales Mass Market Paperback – 1963


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Collier; 1st edition (1963)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001KRX5J0
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 3.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Saxton on July 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy SciFi then this one's for you. These are obviously very short stories since 50 of 'em are crammed into such a small book - but many of them have a hidden depth that transcends their brevity. Some are deeply philosophical, and many contain clever Rod-Serling-esque twists at the end. Very highly recommended. Turn off the TV and read this instead.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daemous Riel on May 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was my first scifi short story collection. I was given it when I twelve by my great aunt. It is so incredibly classic and so powerful, it probably slanted me toward sciences even more than I had been.

If you enjoy Gardner Dozois (editor) anthologies, you'll love this. If you think Dozois' anthologies are sometimes weak, well... you've got Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and Leiber to name a few in this 1963 packed paperback. The only regret you will have is that there are only 287 pages.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 2theD on June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Being a collection of short-shorts, the emphasis is on the absurd, the punchline, the bait and reel. Some stories are clearly not science fiction (sorcerers, ghosts and shoulder-shrugging). As far as anthologies go, this one is one of the easiest to pick up and put down while reading another novel which isn't very good (for example, I'm reading Jack McDevitt's Deepsix and I HAD to take a break from it). I'm surprised no one else has listed and reviewed each and every story, so I'm at your service by doing so... and limiting each review to five words.

Asimov, Isacc - The Fun They Had - 3/5 - Paper book discovery wows children. 4pg
Bloch, Alan - Men Are Different - 4/5 - Men aren't quite like robots. 2pg
Boucher, Anthony - The Ambassadors - 5/5 - Lupus Mars needs werewolf ambassadors. 5pg
Brown, Fredric - The Weapon - 5/5 - Visitor dissuades scientist of weapon. 4pg
Caravan, T.P. - Random Sample - 5/5 - Abominable girl disgusts visiting aliens. 4pg
Cartmill, Cleve - Oscar - 2/5 - Mike sees the Unseen Thing. 5pg
Cartur, Peter - The Mist - 3/5 - Mister Brown houses shimmering disturbance. 4pg
Causey, James - Teething Ring - 4/5 - Alien student visits common housewife. 8pg
Clarke, Arthur C. - Haunted Space Suit - 3/5 - Space suited supervisor retrieves satellite. 6pg
Clingerman, Mildred - Stair Trick - 2/5 - Lonely bartender impresses regular customers. 6pg
Dee, Roger - Unwelcome Tenant - 4/5 - Gravity dwelling intelligence frees man. 6pg
Feldman, Arthur - The Mathematicians - 3/5 - Narrative emotional inbred aliens conquer. 4pg
Finney, Jack - The Third Level - 4/5 - Train to Galesberg, Illinois, 1894? - 5pg
Friedman, Stuart - Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! - 4/5 - Boy #735 yearns girl #735.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Peter O'connor on February 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you like really short SF stories then you should read this book. It contains a lot of them and they are good. They are also short. The book packs fifty stories plus introductions etc into less than 300 pages.
The collection was first issued in the early sixties and the stories themselves come from the forties and fifties. SF is a rapidly changing medium and, with an average age of half a century, many of these stories now show their age. But that does not really detract from their quality. After all, this collection features the greatest SF talents of the era.
If forced to pick a favourite from the collection, I'd choose "The Available Data on the Worp Reaction" by Lion Miller but there are so many good tales in here that naming one alone is an injustice to the others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on July 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
50 Short Science Fiction Tales (1963) is an anthology of brief SF stories. Naturally, it contains 50 short-short stories, but it also includes separate introductions by the editors and a poetic prelude and postlude. These tales span the years from 1940 to 1962.

- Introduction No. 1 by Isaac Asimov discusses the importance of background in SF tales.

- Introduction No. 2 by Groff Conklin concerns the role of short-short stories in the publishing field.

- Prelude is the poem "Ballade of an Artificial Satellite" by Poul Anderson.

- Postlude is six Haiku by Karen Anderson.

The stories themselves are by a wide selection of SF writers, some of which are more famous in other genres. Obviously there is not enough room in this review to list all the stories and authors. But a few tales are particularly noteworthy.

- The Weapon by Fredric Brown is an indictment of the arms race.

- The Third Level by Jack Finney concerns a way to visit the past.

- Columbus Was a Dope by Robert A. Heinlein gives a jab at those who would prefer to live in the past.

- Tiger by the Tail by Alan E. Nourse tells of the discovery of a portal into another place.

- We Don't Want Any Trouble by James H. Schmitz relates the treatment of an alien by the army and the consequences.

- Project Hush by William Tenn exposes a secret project to reach the Moon.

The authors of the above tales were well-known in their time. Most of the others were also among the favorite authors of those times and some are even known to the present generation. Consider this a blast from the past.

Other reviews have warned of the poor quality of the printing.
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