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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 21 reviews
on September 2, 2013
I've read a lot of science fiction novels, and a lot of science fiction anthologies. I think I've read every collection of Hugo and Nebula award winners published up through 1999, and the anthologies by Dozois and others. This book is my favorite science fiction anthology, and my second-favorite anthology of any kind (behind Borges' /Labyrinths/ and /Ficciones (English Translation)/, which I am counting as the two halves of one book, and which is science fiction without science).

It's so /dense/. None of these stories are famous; they're too short to trigger the emotional identification needed to get on a Hugo ballot. But if you're reading for emotional identification, why are you reading science fiction? Science fiction is about ideas, and this book hits you with one idea after another. Many of them are small ideas; few are deep philosophical ideas; but they are all clever, the sort of thing a smart nerdy friend might say. Most people think of nerds as the media presents them, like in "The Big Bang Theory"--smart people as they appear to dumb people, like a TV show about humans written by dogs. Reading this book can give you the experience of being a nerd.

I read this book over the course of a few evenings about 30 years ago, and I still encounter things in the real world on a regular basis that make me think, "That reminds me of a story in 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories". I came here to buy another copy on Amazon because I'm tired of wanting to look stories up in it, and not being able to find my copy, which disappeared sometime within the past 10 years.
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on January 16, 2016
I like novels, and I like really short stories. I really don't like the in-between "short" stories that can't be consumed in a sitting. That's what I love about this book. All the stories are short enough to consume a few in a sitting. Long car trip? Plenty of stories. Short car trip? Bang a few out. Perfect.
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on July 31, 2010
Science fiction Grand Master Isaac Asimov assembles a collection of the shortest science fiction stories available to entertain and to illustrate a point. "As a story grows shorter and shorter, all the fancy embroidery that length makes possible must go. In the short story, there can be no subplots; there is no time for philosophy; what description and character delineation there is must be accomplished with concision." He has chosen 100 short shorts "from the science fiction blowgun" of experienced writers, including himself.

Some of my favorites, with their pithy, Asimovian tag lines:

1. Jerome Bixby's "Trace" - Imagine hitting that tiny bit of impurity.
2. Larry Niven's "Safe at Any Speed" - The womb was never like this.
3. Isaac Asimov's "Exile to Hell" - Well, look about you, wise guy.
4. Fred Saberhagen's "Martha" - And that's how television programming works, too.
5. Larry Niven's "Mistake" - Updating the pink elephant.
6. Roger Zelazny's "Collector's Fever" - Golly, isn't any form of depredation safe?
7. Alfred Bester's "The Die-Hard" - Yes, but how do you define man?
8. Anthony Boucher's "Star Bride" - Romeos come in all varieties; so do Juliets.
9. Thomas Monteleone's "Present Perfect" - You said it, not I, Tom.
10. Mildred Broxon's "Source Material" - That explains a lot of my own teachers.

The stories are good examples of the short-short form. The reader's enjoyment is somewhat hampered by their age. The tone of a science fiction story is affected not just by when in the future it is set, but by the vision of the future in vogue during the time it was written. Readers will encounter Martians, building-sized computers, and English-speaking, humanoid aliens. And a number of formerly surprising and hard-hitting endings have become less so with the passage of time.

But there are some classics and some obscure gems, too. This collection is recommended for science fiction fans, connoisseurs of the short-short form, and writers learning to write brief, high-impact narratives. Developing writers of short-shorts may also benefit from The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field.
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on August 18, 2015
It is sometims relaxing to read some dated sci-fi like this and understand how perceptions and ideas have evolved
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on August 31, 2014
Three of my favorite science fiction short stories are in this compilation (if Light Of Other Days was in here it would truly be complete). If you like having a book of short stories by your bedside while and as you read the ponderous tome you are currently plowing through, and you like Fiction and Fantasy, because you can't call some of this Science Fiction, then you will certainly like this book.
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on September 2, 2016
Very, very enjoyable. I love Asimov and I love short short stories, so of course I devoured this book. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because a few too many of the stories were just set-ups for bad puns.
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on January 21, 2017
Great collection of odd stories. Really enjoy it and have been reading some of these to buy 7th and 8th graders. It's almost like reading scripts for the Twilight Zone.
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on January 23, 2012
This is a great book. Thought provoking. Mind expanding. Highly recommended. Most of the stories are just a few pages long, but will leave you thinking about the "what if..." I actually bought this book twice, because I wore out the first one as I kept going back to re-read certain stories, and lending it to friends. Science fiction at its best.
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on August 13, 2004
I have always believed that there is a line between the Fantasy and Science Fiction genre-a thin, blurred line perhaps, but a line nonetheless. Science Fiction is speculative fiction based on science fact, which may be concerned with space travel, environmental evolution, alien life forms etc.

Asimov's "100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories" includes genies, leprechauns, wizards, deals with the devil, and even magic fortune cookies. I think Isaac missed the boat, especially since he saw fit to produce a separate volume entitled, "100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories". Hard-core Sci Fi fans, this book is not for you.

The anthology itself reads like a who's who of the science fiction (fantasy) legends of the 40s, 50s, 60's, and 70's. And although the reader may enjoy reading two or three stories by the same author (Asimov was not above including his own stories or stories about himself), there are a number of "short short" story greats noticeably absent-Simak, Brown, Del Rey, and Dick to name a few.

Although many of the stories are classic and will long be remembered after the final page is turned, the book falls short of what it could have been.
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on August 7, 2014
Bought a copy decades ago, while still in high school. Rereading was like a walk down memory lane.
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