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Showing 1-10 of 83 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 133 reviews
on January 15, 2016
Here's an example of what has been bothering me about the publishing world lately. But only are the prices going sky high but the quality of prints are getting just plain awful.
Let me first say the stories are fantastic. I had this book in hardcover many years ago and it's a wonderful collection. My problem is with the quality of the edition.
Cheap thin paper.
A cover that is magazine cover thin.
Probably because someone decided to cut corners and give another reason for their yearly bonus. "Let's cut costs and give the consumer a cheap paper cover. They will never notice"
Note to publisher: respect your own work and product. Respect your customer.
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on February 3, 2014
The SF Hall of Fame series was established to recognize quality SF writing before the era of the HUGO and NEBULA awards. What a wonderful gift to the early SF pioneers who were shamefully treated by the mainstream of creative writers. Of course, SF writers themselves changed these negative impressions by the higher literary standards achieved in the 1950s and beyond by such writers as Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Roger Zelazny, Ursala Le Quin, Joanna Russ, Frank Herbert (I'm having fun proving my point with this list, which could go on and on . . . .). This first volume is framed by two stories of a journey to Mars: "A Martian Odyssey" from 1934 (I wanted to make a movie version with Jack Nicholson as the hero) and "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" from 1963 (I wanted to make a movie version with Jack Nicholson as the hero). In those intervening 29 years SF writing matured from Stanley Weinbaum's rather primitive pulp fiction to Roger Zelazny's stunning modernist prose. The first story is just an action fantasy, with little science and the most rudimentary fiction techniques. Still it's a great read! It has action, humor, suspense and one of the great alien characters in the whole genre, the bird-like and noble-hearted Martian, named Tweel. Trust me: once you meet Tweel you will never forget it (?). The later distinction between Hard SF and Soft SF did not yet exist and I doubt it would have mattered to Weinbaum, who was not a professional writer. However, three decades later, we have a very professional, and polished writer in Roger Zelazny, who had internalized the main currents of modern literature as his references to Hart Crane, Rainer Maria Rilke, the Mahabharata, Shakespeare, Rimbaud attest. You get the point. For Zelazny, goddamit, SF is literature and occupies its own niche in world literature. His main character is a poet, an anti-hero with illusions of heroism, a scoundrel and a brilliant, imaginative individual who single-handedly saves a dying civilization from imploding. And what does he get for his efforts. Nothing, no material rewards, no recognition. In this, he resembles the existentialist anti-hero of main stream fiction in the 1960s. And Zelazny's style is breathtaking: metaphorical, lyrical, sarcastic (even sardonic), allusive, persuasive and, beneath Gallinger's tough talk, deeply moving, even empathetic. And Zelazny knew he was writing Soft SF, so he could indulge his imagination in creating his version of a SF Mars and an alien race inhabiting it. The distinction between Hard and Soft forms of SF clarified the intentions of writers so that their readers did not misinterpret the results. This volume is contains a plethora of short masterpieces which together create a vivid primer in the varieties of SF.
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on March 29, 2016
I bought this book because of one particular story I wanted to read. It was the printed version of one of my favorite old black and white Twilight Zone episodes. This book is a great book to keep by my bed because I read every night and love to have short stories that I can finish in one night. Each short story is by a different author and very well done. If Rod Serling read it that is a good enogh reference for me.
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on April 20, 2017
I found the plot of every story to be excellent. But the characters of many of the stories were pretty bland, and just not interesting people.
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on August 26, 2006
The stories in this book were voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America as the best short science fiction written between 1929 and 1964 and every one is a gem. Some of these stories are reasonably well known and often reprinted, but most of them are difficult to find anywhere else, making this an essential collection for a true fan of the genre. In response to an earlier request for a list of its contents, here are the story titles and authors. I was going to indulge myself by placing an asterisk next to my personal favorites, but I found myself marking almost all of them. The collection is that good.

A Martian Odyssey -- Stanley G. Weinbaum

Twilight -- John W. Campbell

Helen O'Loy -- Lester del Rey

The Roads Must Roll -- Robert A. Heinlein

Microcosmic God -- Theodore Sturgeon

Nightfall -- Isaac Asimov

The Weapon Shop -- A. E. van Vogt

Mimsy Were the Borogoves -- Lewis Padgett

Huddling Place -- Clifford D. Simak

Arena -- Fredric Brown

First Contact -- Murray Leinster

That Only a Mother -- Judith Merril

Scanners Live in Vain -- Cordwainer Smith

Mars is Heaven -- Ray Bradbury

The Little Black Bag -- C. M. Kornbluth

Born of Man and Woman -- Richard Matheson

Coming Attraction -- Fritz Leiber

The Quest for Saint Aquin -- Anthony Boucher

Surface Tension -- James Blish

The Nine Billion Names of God -- Arthur C. Clarke

It's a Good Life -- Jerome Bixby

The Cold Equations -- Tom Godwin

Fondly Fahrenheit -- Alfred Bester

The Country of the Kind -- Damon Knight

Flowers for Algernon -- Daniel Keyes

A Rose for Ecclesiastes -- Roger Zelazny
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Some of my favorite stories are in here. A classic collection. Similar to Asimov's The Hugo Awards vol. 1 & 2, and to James Gunn's The Road to Science Fiction, 3 volumes. Also similar to Grof Conklin's The Best of Science Fiction and to Healy & McComas's Adventures in Time and Space. No false notes in any of these.
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on April 23, 2016
I read this in college, it was required in my very first class and before then I had never taken the opportunity to dive into science fiction. I was blown away by how much I've enjoyed it. I would kick myself due to not keeping my original book from school, however, after locating this one I was able to re-read my favorite science fiction stories. There is something for everyone in this book and it broadens your horizon. So, like one of the stories, the Roads Must Roll...
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on May 13, 2011
Sometime during the mid 1970's, while an undergraduate student majoring in Biology, my brother loaned me an anthology of Science Fiction short stories. One of the stories I had read in that book ("Microcosmic God", By Theodore Sturgeon) left me with such a great impression that it influenced the direction I headed in graduate school. Now, as a microbiological professor for nearly 25 years, I thought it might be nice to have some of my students read the same story. However, after an exhaustive search of my library, checking with my brother, and searching through boxes of books in my mother's attic, I could not find the book. I found a web site that focuses on finding Sci-Fi books and short stories, and they gave me the actual title of the anthology ("The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1: 1929-1964). I immediately went to Amazon's web site, searched, and found and ordered the book. I've re-read the story and realize just how much ahead of his time Sturgeon was back in the early 1940's. There are many other wonderful early Sci-Fi stories in this book, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants to study the evolution of future-thinking through literature. I can't get over how quickly Amazon turns around their orders. And often with no cost shipping!
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on August 11, 2012
This is a great anthology. I'd read some of the stories before, but only those that everyone's read: Flowers for Algernon, Nightfall, The Cold Equations and so on. I think that of all of them, Helen O'Loy was likely my least favorite, and my favorite was a tie between That Only a Mother and Mimsy Were the Borogoves.

There was no overall theme. This isn't an anthology of SciFi horror or Space Opera. The stories run the gamut but all have a sense of their era. Inventiveness, inquisitiveness, and a fear of nuclear war abound, immediately dating the stories. Despite being obviously tied to the movement of the genre at the time, they don't really feel campy or silly the way that some of the stories from Asimov's Before the Golden Age does.

I really recommend this for anyone who loves science fiction.
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on February 11, 2013
I actually used to have this book, for many years, and I read it many times over from cover to cover, but I misplaced it when I moved to a new house many years ago. Naturally I finally got around to looking it up at Amazon, and of course they had it! Yippee! This collection of science fiction short stories is what got me hooked on the genre back in '72, when I was 16, and all the stories are so excellent I just had to read it over and over! The newest version of the book is slightly larger and consequently easier to read due to the slightly larger print. I have a few favorite books, and this is certainly one of them. If you're into classic sci-fi, or sci-fi of ANY period, this book is an absolute MUST for your collection!
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