Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the Century may not include every reader's choices for the top science fiction of the 20th century, but it lives up to its title. Editor Orson Scott Card has assembled 27 standout stories by the biggest names and best writers in the genre. Not surprisingly, most of these stories have been anthologized or collected elsewhere, and some (like Arthur C. Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God," Harlan Ellison's "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman," and Robert A. Heinlein's "All You Zombies--") have been reprinted innumerable times. In addition, Card has previously placed some of these selections in his retrospective 1980s anthology Future on Ice.
While some stories in Masterpieces lack fine prose and well-rounded characters, they are solid and engrossing entertainments. Other selections combine literary and science fiction virtues to produce a superior blend, and some of these stories--"Bears Discover Fire" by Terry Bisson, "Snow" by John Crowley, "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" by Harlan Ellison, "Face Value" by Karen Joy Fowler, "Tourists" by Lisa Goldstein, and "The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin--are art.
Masterpieces isn't an anthology for the well-read fan. However, it is a great book for the new or intermediate science fiction reader. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The 29 classic stories in this anthology are as well chosen as you might expect, given editor Card's formidable knowledge of the field and his fellow writers, knowledge that makes his introductory comments on each story very good, further enhancing the book's considerable value for the classroom and as an introduction to major stories and writers for nonstudents. Card's selections span the period from 1936 to 1995, and from Edmond Hamilton's "Devolution" through Lisa Goldstein's "Tourist," they are outstanding. The authors represented constitute an sf hall of fame: Heinlein, Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Pohl, Ellison, Le Guin, and others as famous and beloved. Toward the end of the collection, a few stories, like so much current sf, blur the lines between sf and fantasy, which makes one hope that Card, a man of mighty prowess in both genres, will compile a companion volume of fantasy stories. Should he, buy that book, too. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I bought this book for only one story inside but have since read almost all of the short stories and discovered a few new authors I may have never known of, so thank you.Published 8 hours ago by Cody P.
At the beginning of each author's story is a well written background note about the impact each author had on the genre, the style of their writing, and where they fit into the... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Mark Hamman
This is a wonderful collection of scifi stories. It spans many years and is well worth giving it a try.Published 3 months ago by Peggy Elam
Another compilation.....different authors ....many stories.....some good , some bad, some in between....overall.....just what I expected!Published 4 months ago by Jesus Riesco
This is a nice Science Fiction anthology because all the writers are very different. I bought the book to read Heinlein's short - "All you Zombies-" and ended up reading... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bryan S. Higby
Short book with the best and most varied collection of Sci/Fi stories I know. For an English college class. Very good choice as a textbook.Published 8 months ago by L.Tonesi