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The best science fiction short story anthology


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Initial post: Mar 12, 2011 11:34:10 PM PST
Music Man says:
I am new to the science fiction genre, and was wondering what would be the best science fiction anthology to start with. I love short stories, and I'm trying to find a solid collection, that includes a lot of the classic sci-fi authors, to get me hooked. Does anybody out there have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 1:35:52 AM PST
B. E. Morrow says:
Try any of the Ray Bradury one title that springs to mind in short stories of his is they were Brown Skinned with Golden eyes. about colonizing Mars and the inhabitants changing good story. H.G. Wells. and Jules Verne. Specific anthology i have read is the Rune lords. and Sword of Truth series. Start with the book. The Wizards first rule.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2011 11:10:01 AM PDT
You can't go wrong with the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. There are three volumes at this point, and volume one is full of the stories by the like of Azimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, Campbell, Sturgeon and Zelazny. You can't get more classic than that.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2011 11:12:14 AM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
second hall of fame, vol.1 is a gem

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2011 11:18:44 AM PDT
Music Man says:
Thanks Thomas, John, and Dragondark! Those are great suggestions - I just put the Science Fiction Hall of Fame books and one of the Rune Lord books in my shopping cart! Thanks again.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 2:06:40 PM PDT
David Hartwell's anthology The Ascent of Wonder and the Norton Book of Sf are other good starting points. The Rune Lords? That stuffs pretty crappy.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 2:30:48 PM PDT
Go to abe books and get the seminal collections--The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology, The Omnibus of Science Fiction, Adventures in Time and Space, and the 2-volume A Treasury of Great Science Fiction.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 2:33:16 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 13, 2011 10:34:07 PM PDT]

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 6:41:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2011 6:46:50 PM PDT
C. Sachs says:
The Garner Dozios are pretty good. At least when I was writing. They come out annually.

(edited to add that I fear that I will now be pilloried...)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2011 9:20:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2011 8:00:40 AM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
@C. Sachs, I think you're safe unless Paul Cook is lurking on this forum and is provoked enough to delurk and maul on someone praising Gardiner Dozois. I can't think of anyone currently putting together collections at the level of Carr or Dozois, I've enjoyed some John Joseph Adams collections, but he doesn't seem to be widely respected--the last one I read "Seeds of Change" was a good idea for an original anthology and most of the stories therein were high quality and/or thought provoking. It seems to me that the heroic age of the editor has come and gone.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2011 12:42:17 PM PDT
C. Sachs says:
Good. I'm tired of all those editors walking around in those chainmail loin cloths.
Or is that "loin chainmails"? Maybe an editor could tell us.

Posted on Mar 14, 2011 7:31:55 PM PDT
Too bad there aren't any more editors like John W. Campbell, whose office was in the printing plant where ASF was printed, and where an author could walk into his office, submit a story, and wait while a check was cut for it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2011 7:54:03 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
@C. Sachs: I believe the steel-spiked codpiece of death was the preferred garment back in the day. Deadly in conjunction with the "Time Warp".

@Gilbert--Juliet Ulman during her brief tenure at Bantam was excellent, but as far as I'm concerned, she's the only editor in the last couple decades who routinely managed to do ambitious and interesting stuff, and she didn't exactly set the world on fire.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 6:19:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2011 6:20:10 AM PDT
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1: 1929-1964 is a great starting point.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 7:17:37 PM PDT
Bill C. says:
My favorite anthologies are the Asimov "Golden Years" collections which have a marvellous selection of S.F. short stories from the 1930's through the 1950's. In hardback they begin with "Before the Golden Age" and are followed by "Isaac Asimov presents The Golden Years of Science Fiction" in six volumes titled "First Series" through "Sixth Series" (In paperback there were 12 volumes). They include, of course, Asimov's comments on each story.
I've helped several individuals in this forum who have posted "Looking for a short story" inquiries by referring them to various volumes of this series. I'd also like to second Mr. Avila above, his "seminal" collections are essential to any personal library.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2011 7:26:27 AM PDT
I personally think a lot of Stan Schmidt as an editor. He finds a lot of new talent, keeps old talent producing for him, and tries lots of different things. If you're interested in short SF, then you could do a lot worse than a subscription to Analog magazine. (No, I don't work there, but I do sell stories to Analog on occasion.)

Posted on Mar 16, 2011 8:41:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2011 8:43:40 AM PDT
FYI: Adventure Books of Seattle is releasing a new sci-fi anthology with 42 stories from authors all over the world. Should be out at Amazon in about two weeks. Runs 380 pages in six-by-nine paperback. Title: 'Escape Velocity - The Anthology'. (from the magazine we once published) ISBN 13 is still inactive because it hasn't been offiicially released, but here's the one that will be assigned to to it:

978-0-9823271-9-7

On a personal note, I always thought 'Dangerous Visions' and the follow-up to it, 'Again, Dangerous Visions' the collections put together by Harlan Ellison were pretty good.

Robert Blevins
Managing Editor

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2011 11:01:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2011 11:01:42 PM PDT
Music Man says:
Thank you so much for all of the great ideas and suggestions. I've definitely got a full shopping cart now! Thanks again!

Posted on Mar 19, 2011 3:34:48 PM PDT
Douglas says:
I don't know if any of you can help me but I'm looking for a particular anthology. I bought it in the late '80s or early 90's. I'm pretty sure I got my copy from the Science Fiction Book Club. It was a huge anthology and I think it had a picture of Saturn on the cover (or some other planet with rings). I don't remember any specific selections but it was huge. I'd appreciate any help you can offer.

Posted on Mar 19, 2011 7:31:49 PM PDT
Douglas,

Just a pure guess, since this included "The Saturn Game" by Poul Anderson and the cover has a planet on it (but no rings). Edited by Asimov.
The Hugo Winners, Volume 5, 1980-1982

Posted on Mar 27, 2011 11:15:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2011 11:17:16 AM PDT
Douglas says:
Thanks for the suggestion, CivWar64. I finally found the book with the cover I was thinking of. It's Modern Classics of Science Fiction. However, the contents don't match up with what I remember so I think I've conflated the contents of one book with the cover and title of another.

John, you are the the same guy who wrote "Small Moments in Time"? If so, it's a great story. If any of the rest of you haven't read it, it's available at http://www.analogsf.com/0602/smallmoments.shtml I wholeheartedly recommend it. I've actually thought about having my students read that one. I think it could lead to some interesting discussions (unless you'd rather I didn't link them to the web page).

Posted on May 7, 2011 11:03:28 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 7, 2011 2:36:00 PM PDT]

Posted on May 7, 2011 4:39:13 PM PDT
Douglas,

Thanks for the link to "Small Moments in Time". Great short story! If Analog had more stories like that I would buy it. [I bought an issue this past Christmas after many years of not buying it, and was disappointed.]

Posted on May 7, 2011 5:05:47 PM PDT
To the OP, just about any volume of The Hugo Winners.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2011 6:15:21 PM PDT
No problem at all with posting the link and thank you for the kind words about Small Moments in Time. I didn't know that link was still up, but that's fine. My earlier short fiction is on fictionwise still, but since fictionwise seems to have gone into stasis I'm trying to find the right place to post my later stuff. Most of it has first appeared in Analog. (There have been two other stories using the main character from Small Moments - "Working on Borrowed Time" and "These Are the Times," as well as other time travel stories using different mechanisms ("Joan" about Joan of Arc and most recently "Betty Knox and Dictionary Jones in the Mystery of the Missing Teenage Anachronisms")). If you do use the story in a class and the students have some questions, have them send them to me via my webpage contact form (at www.johnghemry.com)
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  23
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  Mar 12, 2011
Latest post:  Feb 2, 2013

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