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The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories Paperback – April 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192803816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803818
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

These 30 SF tales, arranged chronologically from 1903 to 1990, cover a typically wide and uneven range in the genre. The omission of some authors might raise eyebrows--notably Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, and Robert A. Heinlein, all known for their short fiction. Only three women are represented: C. L. Moore (whose The Piper's Son is written under the collaborative pseudonym Lewis Padgett), Ursula K. Le Guin and Racoona Sheldon (Alice Sheldon, better known under the James Tiptree Jr. pseudonym). Only Sheldon's The Screwfly Solution, a devastatingly scary story about misogyny gone mad, dates from the past 20 years, during which women have made serious progress in the genre; thus, the final third of the book is less representative than it might be. Standouts include Le Guin's 0. Henry-esque The Dowry of the Angyar, Gene Wolfe's frightening How the Whip Came Back, H. G. Wells's anticipation of modern weapons in The Land Ironclads, Thomas M. Disch's insightful Problems of Creativeness, George R.R. Martin's fascinating religious study The Way of Cross and Dragon and Frederik Pohl's The Tunnel Under the World, which opens with the now-classic line, On the morning of June 15th, Guy Burckhardt woke up screaming out of a dream.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

From H.G. Wells's "The Land Ironclads" (1903) to David Brin's "Piecework" (1990), this collection of 30 sf stories gives a chronological sampling of 20th-century speculative fiction.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This book should definitely be on the shelf of every science fiction aficionado.
R. G. Somebody
In summary, I can’t really think of more than two stories in this collection that I didn’t like, and that was mostly due to my failure to understand them.
E. S. Charpentier
The book is thick enough to include a span of stories which vary in plot and complexity greatly.
FizzWiz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. G. Somebody on December 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories edited by Tom Shippey is a very representative collection of some of the best short stories of the genre written between 1903 and 1990 and collecting stories form such luminaries in the field as H.G. Wells, Ursula K. LeGuin, and George R. R. Martin. As you read each story, you are on a linear progression throughout the last century, watching the genre evolve and you get a good representation of the various forms of science fiction, from extraterrestrial exploration to time traveling. Shippey also does a good job of choosing stories that reflect the social conditions of the time each story was written letting us see how the world turned out despite the warnings given by the author's tale. The introduction is also a wonderful accounting of science fiction and its eras written by Shippey, which is a great read. This book should definitely be on the shelf of every science fiction aficionado.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A collection of Science-Fiction stories that tries to follow the genere from it's earliest days of H.G. Wells to the modern Gibson and Brin. Some of the stories are already famous, but a surprising number of them are excelent, yet mostly unknown to the average reader. In my opinion it's good both as an excelent collection as an historic collection.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on January 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As you would expect from an anthology of this sort, there is a historical and/or critical if you like introduction to the field of science fiction, of some reasonable length, before getting to the stories.

Then, you have a chronological progression of tales, or various types chosen by the editor to be presumably representative. He appears to have done a rather good job, too, averaging 3.73 over a wide range of eras. Should be able to, though, if taking your pick. Pretty minor Wolfe and Le Guin stories, and a useless Disch tale drag it down a little.

With that, and the intro, probably a 4.75 anthology I think, definitely excellent.

Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Land Ironclads - H. G. Wells
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Finis - Frank L. Pollock
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : As Easy as A.B.C. - Rudyard Kipling
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Metal Man - Jack Williamson
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : A Martian Odyssey - Stanley G. Weinbaum
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Night - John W. Campbell, Jr.
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Desertion - Clifford D. Simak
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Piper's Son - Lewis Padgett
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Monster - A. E. van Vogt
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Second Night of Summer - James H. Schmitz
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Second Dawn - Arthur C. Clarke
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Crucifixus Etiam - Walter M. Miller
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Tunnel Under the World - Frederik Pohl
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Who Can Replace a Man? - Brian W.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marcos Antuna on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is difficult to choose from among the myriad science fiction anthologies currently on the market; their lurid, garish covers demand the consumer's equal attention and purchase. The cover of Shippey's anthology is markedly nonchalant and spare in comparison to the aforementioned, but as one of the best SF anthologies in existence today, it is worth a second (and third and fourth) look.

Shippey was wise to avoid the second-rate and overly anthologized work of Heinlein and Asimov, and to choose just one of Clarke's better stories. The rest of the anthology he reserves for SF's more literary, and occasionally more obscure, authors - Cordwainer Smith's luxuriant "The Ballad of Lost C'mell" and Frank L. Pollack's fuliginous "Finis" can compete with the most profound of traditional literary fiction. Other works like A.E. van Vogt's "The Monster" - so illogical that it becomes charmingly surreal, Raccoona Sheldon's artfully acidic "The Screwfly Solution", and David Brin's poignantly lambent "Piecework" reveal the thought processes and weltanschauungen which make SF so fascinating.

There are a few middling stories in the anthology - these were likely chosen by Shippey to demonstrate an evolution of the genre. Harry Harrison's "A Criminal Act" has homophobic dialogue and a clunky exposition (the 'ah, but first I will tell you...' syndrome of mid-century SF), and Gene Wolfe's "How The Whip Came Back" loses credibility when it makes the Catholic Church a guarantor of personal freedom. (Walter Miller's "Crucifixus Etiam" and George R.R. Martin's "The Way of Cross and Dragon" demonstrate more insightful takes on the muddled collisions of faith, religion, science fiction, and society.)

Oxford and Shippey have rendered a voluminous, cogent collection - if you appreciate the history and the potential of science fiction, I urge you to consider it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By FizzWiz on March 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
That fact that this collection would get produced again after about 10 years is a sign that this book is selling well enough that it deserves a re-release with a different cover. I'd always been a fan of science fiction, but never really tried to get into it until I read most of the stories in it. With only 30 pages left to read, I'm interested in finishing the rest of the book now.

Shippey's selection of stories is excellent whether you are a science fiction fanatic or an amateur. What's good about short stories is that they are short enough so that if you don't like them, you can move on to the next one, and if you really like it, you can look for longer works by that particular author. The book is thick enough to include a span of stories which vary in plot and complexity greatly. More general ideas such as how the world may be like in the future, whether the world will end or not, how a part of the future may be like in the future, government policies, religion, standardized tests, alien invasions, sickness, the afterlife, and even sex are a few big concepts in the science fiction stories presented. At least one of these stories may even bring some disgust or creative joy to your taste buds. More specific plot stories which are not necessarily tuned in to a social global theory are also included such as search for treasure and visiting alien planets. Something for everyone pretty much in the science fiction genre.
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