Books with Buzz Courage To Act by Ben S. Bernanke Learn more Shop Men's Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Amazon Gift Card Offer blacklist blacklist blacklist  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Shop Now Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

The Norton Book of Science Fiction

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393972412
ISBN-10: 0393972410
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $3.96
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Buy new
More Buying Choices
19 New from $33.84 38 Used from $9.97
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Save up to 80% on Textbook Rentals Rent Textbooks
$37.85 FREE Shipping. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Norton Book of Science Fiction
  • +
  • The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction
Total price: $64.94
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ursula K. Le Guin has written over fifty books of prose and poetry. Winner of many prizes including a National Book Award, she is perhaps best known for her six Books of Earthsea which have sold millions of copies and been translated into sixteen languages.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Norton Book Of...
  • Paperback: 872 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (December 17, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393972410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393972412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Tu on February 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers mention this anthology fails as an introduction to science fiction. It somewhat succeeds as an introduction to the different moods, tones and flavors of science fiction, and it could be considered worthy in terms of its difference from other "greatest/most influential" collections, of which there are many.

After reading this very large collection I didn't know what to think. Many of the stories are good enough, but not great. Only a handful are the kind I find myself rereading willingly. In the end I was glad I made my way through because there are some genuinely fine pieces in here, and it was interesting to read a collection that was very obviously put together in defiance of the incredibly male-dominated statistics of sci-fi.

In the end this collection is worth picking up if only for one story: Cordwainer Smith's "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard". I am serious in this. The only other place you can find it, I think, is Smith's collection of shorts "The Rediscovery of Man". I was entertained by a lot of the stories (from memory: "For the Sake of Grace", "Speech Sounds" and "The Women Men Don't See") but this is hardly a representative collection of science fiction. I'd call it a hopeful presentation, showing what Le Guin believes science fiction is capable of.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Merricat Franklin on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
As you can see from the various reviews, this is a rather polarizing anthology. I think it's terrific, but it's misleadingly titled (perhaps for sales reasons?) - this is an anthology of North American science fiction from approximately 1960 onward which foregrounds "New Wave" and character driven stories. If that's not what you enjoy, you won't like this book. You probably won't like it if your politics are conservative, either, since although there are several conservative stories in the book the general trend is left.

When I encountered this book in my early twenties, it introduced me to many writers whose work I've enjoyed, from Cordwainer Smith to Zenna Henderson to Joanna Russ. These are writers who are directly concerned with the social, with language and with experiments in content and form. Again, if you are looking for hard science fiction (or for rocket ships, lasers and space babes, for that matter) you won't like this book. If you are looking for a book which traces the change in SF which occurred between the fifties and the eighties, this is an excellent place to start.

Deficiencies? Some of the stories are extremely sentimental ("Lucky Strike", an alternate history of the bombing of Hiroshima, which frankly makes me tear up but is very heavy-handed). Some of the stories are inexplicably orientalizing/racist ("For The Sake of Grace" and the one with the Fanatic!Arab!Assassin!)- which is weird in a book that is obviously intended as progressive/left. There aren't many stories by writers of color (which were being written - check out Dark Matter if you don't believe me).

But honestly, the thing came out sixteen years ago and, I think, consolidated a lot of interest in New Wave and character-driven science fiction.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Having taught at a technical college from this assigned anthology a course in SF, I found a wide range of reactions. When I used it in the late '90s and early '00s, my students--all majoring in non-liberal arts--did not note as much its inclusion of "soft" SF aimed, as co-editor Ursula LeGuin champions in her spirited, quirky introduction, to challenge the canon of "hard" SF with its spacecraft, battles, gadgets, and stoic or sexist men. I was able to balance its editorial tilt with another collection featuring older stories, and an international array of tales. This time, I had no option but to use this text; a decade later, I noticed a far more polarized reaction to its intentions

Six-sevenths of my class were male, and a couple of my female students told me that it was suited for those who didn't like, or didn't think they'd like, science fiction. One liked it more for precisely that reason, and others may have too. But many students vociferously reacted to the thick book's relative dearth of machines, concepts, and inventions. Too much fiction, not enough science?

The strongest of the dozen stories I used seemed those able to enchant or challenge expectations. Octavia Butler's "Speech Sounds" worked well for a class filled with those who knew inner-city Los Angeles well. John Kessel's "Invaders" perplexed with three storylines, but those with Latin American roots welcomed its reversal of New World conquest. Bruce Sterling's "We See Things Differently" for a story from 1989 anticipates post-9/11 attitudes and a sort of Tea Party-meets-Occupy grassroots movement eerily well. These, full of conflict in a weakened America, met with most enthusiasm.

James Tiptree Jr.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Yadda 2x on November 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
The problem with this book is that it's a "Norton Book" and will be used as a teaching tool. Due to the prominence of Norton's stuff on college campuses, it's easy to imagine students who don't have much experience with written science fiction taking classes from professors who don't have much experience with written science fiction, using this book as a resource. They're going end up being very confused about the subject of science fiction.

There's an element of political correctness to the story selection, an element of pure feminism, and as element of weirdness and mystery. What can she possibly have been thinking? How can anyone be said to know anything about science fiction without going back a little further, to the so-called "golden age" of science fiction which a lot of these stories are reactions against? How can a study of science fiction not include Asimov, Heinlein, or Clarke? The most likely audience of this book is not well served by the story selection.

If none of the above bothers you, you'll find a mixed collection of stories, of which you're bound to enjoy a few. Do not pass judgement on any of the authors whose work seems crappy after a first reading from this book: some of the selections are not fair representations of the author's work in any way. All, or almost all, of the authors represented in the book have written very good stories, but the stories in this volume were chosen because of a mission of the author's which is articulated in the introduction. A simple, perhaps chronological collection of really good stories isn't on the menu, unfortunately.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Norton Book of Science Fiction
This item: The Norton Book of Science Fiction
Price: $37.85
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: norton book of short stories, science fiction books authors, ursula le guin short stories