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The Furthest Horizon: SF Adventures to the Far Future Paperback – May 5, 2000

2.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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The Underground Railroad
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In his preface to this collection of 17 stories and novellas, all published between 1950 and 1998, Gardner Dozois points out that the notion of the far future could not exist without the concept of deep time; that is, this planet's history stretches back billions of years. His groundwork prepares the reader for the vast scale of the fiction that follows.

The best stories combine unabashedly science-fictional wonders with intimate characterization and clear story lines. Cordwainer Smith's "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard"--set on an Earth ruled by the mysterious Lords of the Instrumentality and populated by true men, hominids, and homunculi--is the story of two people who climb a ruined causeway to the clouds where the Abba-dingo, an ancient computer, will foretell their future. It reads like a lucid dream: strange, compelling, and beautiful. Unfortunately, it's followed in short order by "Bumberboom," nominally far-future SF but really a comic fantasy unlikely to be enjoyed by the same readers who appreciate Smith's piece. Michael Moorcock, in "Pale Roses," shows how it should be done, combining fantasy motifs with science-fictional sensibilities in a wickedly playful, psychologically dark, and cliché-mocking story of terminal ennui set in his Dancers at the End of Time milieu. Several of the later stories, particularly those written in the '90s by Robert Reed, Alexander Jablokov, and Paul McAuley, strive for transcendence but miss by a whisker. The anthology closes with a satisfyingly circular time-and-universe-spanning epic, Ian McDonald's "In the Days of Solomon Gursky," which manages brilliantly to give the reader a wonder-filled roller-coaster ride, yet end on a human note. --Luc Duplessis

From Booklist

Editor Dozois' latest theme anthology presents 17 stories, many of them classics, set in a future so far from now that memories of today's humans have been lost by our descendants. The contents' original publication dates range from 1950 for Jack Vance's "Guyal of Sfere" to 1998 for Ian McDonald's "The Days of Solomon Gursky." Vance isn't the only writer represented who treds the boundary between fantasy and sf, for stories by Michael Moorcock, Avram Davidson, and Cordwainer Smith are similarly mixed. Gene Wolfe, Keith Roberts, and James Tiptree Jr. are other old hands on hand, while Paul J. McAuley, Alexander Jabolokov, and Robert Reed stand out among the more newly come contributors. Special mention must go to Poul Anderson's "Genesis," the basis of his new novel Genesis. For Dozois, it is another anthology, another feather for his cap. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (May 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312263260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312263263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,564,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When Dozois introduced the first of these retrospective anthologies a couple of years ago (THE GOOD OLD STUFF), I didn't buy it at first because of what I considered a hefty price tag for a paperback. Still, every year the best anthology of science fiction I buy is inevitably Dozois' Year's Best collection, so I have a great deal of respect for his selections. Finally, I broke down and bought that earlier volume, and I have bought each since (The Good New Stuff, Explorers, and now The Furthest Horizon).
Each of these volumes has been very well-packaged, and filled with some of the best classic science fiction short stories to be found anywhere, but in my opinion this newest volume is definitely the best yet. Granted, this is partly because all of the stories deal with one of my favorite science-fictional premises, the depiction of the extremely distant future. Even with such a seemingly-limited topic, Dozois has managed to assemble a varied and entertaining collection.
The real standout stories are Cordwainer Smith's "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard" , Jack Vance's "Guyal of Sfere" (originally part of The Dying Earth), James Tiptree, Jr.'s "Slow Music", and Ian McDonald's "The Days of Solomon Gursky", but there are also great works by Brian Aldiss, Frederik Pohl, Avram Davidson (a story I had never seen anywhere before), Walter Jon Williams, Robert Reed, Alexander Jablokov, and Poul Anderson.
This volume definitely goes on my permanent bookshelf. I cannot recommend it too highly.
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Format: Paperback
Gardner Dozois collects a fine assortment of really far future SF stories in one of his best anthologies to date.
The theme of "far far future" is handled in many diverse ways, as the stories themselves were written over almost fifty years.
Jack Vance has an excerpt from his Dying Earth series...and Paul McAuley has a prequel to his "Confluence" novels. In between lie classics like Pohl's satiric Day Million, Silverberg's Nightwings and a story related to Gene Wolfe's Book of the Sun series. And many others, from authors like Michael Moorcock and Poul Anderson.
All in all, this is one of the best SF anthologies I have yet read.
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Format: Paperback
Of the 17 stories, I would say most are average. There are a couple of dogs and a few gems. I thought Reed, McDonald, Anderson were excellent. Strong finish, otherwise pretty average, but worth reading.
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