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Table of contents Introduction 1988 essay by David G. Hartwell Harrison Bergeron 1961 story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr Forgetfulness 1937 story by John W. Campbell Jr Special Flight 1939 story by John Berryman Chronopolis 1960 story by J.G. Ballard Triceratops 1974 story by Kono Tensei The Man Who Lost the Sea 1959 story by Theodore Sturgeon On the Inside Track 1986 story by Karl Michael Table of contents Introduction 1988 essay by David G. Hartwell Harrison Bergeron 1961 story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr Forgetfulness 1937 story by John W. Campbell Jr Special Flight 1939 story by John Berryman Chronopolis 1960 story by J.G. Ballard Triceratops 1974 story by Kono Tensei The Man Who Lost the Sea 1959 story by Theodore Sturgeon On the Inside Track 1986 story by Karl Michael Armer The Golem 1983 story by Avram Davidson The New Prehistory 1972 story by René Rebetez-Cortes A Meeting With Medusa 1972 novella by Arthur C. Clark The Valley of Echoes 1973 story by Gérard Klein The Fifth Head of Cerberus 1972 novella by Gene Wolfe The Chaste Planet 1983 story by John Updike The Blind Pilot 1960 story by Nathalie-Charles Henneberg The Men Who Murdered Mohammed 1958 story by Alfred Bester Pairpuppets 1974 story by Manuel van Loggem Two Dooms 1958 story by C.M. Kornbluth The Tale of the Computer That Fought a Dragon 1977 story by Stanislaw Lem The Green Hills of Earth 1947 story by Robert A. Heinlein Ghost V 1957 story by Robert Sheckley The Phantom of Kansas 1976 story by John Varley Captain Nemo's Last Stand 1973 story by Josef Nesvadba Inconstant Moon 1971 story by Larry Niven The Gold at the Starbow's End 1971 story by Frederik Pohl A Sign In Space 1968 story by Italo Calvino The Spiral 1968 story by Italo Calvino The Dead Past 1956 story by Isaac Asimov The Lens 1977 story by Annemarie van Ewyck The Hurkle Is a Happy Beast 1949 story by Theodore Sturgeon Zero Hour 1947 story by Ray Bradbury Nine Lives 1969 story by Ursula K. LeGuin The Muse 1964 story by Anthony Burgess The Public Hating 1955 story by Steve Allen Poor Superman 1951 story by Fritz Leiber Angouleme 1974 story by Thomas M. Disch Stranger Station 1956 story by Damon Knight The Dead Fish 1955 story by Boris Vian I Was the First to Find You 1977 story by Kirill Bulychev The Lineman 1957 novella by Walter M. Miller Jr Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius 1962 story by Jorge Luís Borges Codemus 1968 story by Tor Age Bringsvaerd A Kind if Artistry 1962 story by Brian Aldiss Second Variety 1953 story by Philip K. Dick Weihnachtsabend 1972 story by Keith Roberts I Do Not Love Thee, Doctor Fell 1955 story by Robert Bloch Aye, & Gomorrah... 1967 story by Samuel R. Delany How Erg the Self-Inducting Slew a Paleface 1977 story by Stanislaw Lem Nobody's Home 1972 story by Joanna Russ Party Line 1973 story by Gérard Klein The Proud Robot 1943 story by Lewis Padgett Vintage Season 1946 story by Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore The Way to Amalteia 1984 novella by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky


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Table of contents Introduction 1988 essay by David G. Hartwell Harrison Bergeron 1961 story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr Forgetfulness 1937 story by John W. Campbell Jr Special Flight 1939 story by John Berryman Chronopolis 1960 story by J.G. Ballard Triceratops 1974 story by Kono Tensei The Man Who Lost the Sea 1959 story by Theodore Sturgeon On the Inside Track 1986 story by Karl Michael Table of contents Introduction 1988 essay by David G. Hartwell Harrison Bergeron 1961 story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr Forgetfulness 1937 story by John W. Campbell Jr Special Flight 1939 story by John Berryman Chronopolis 1960 story by J.G. Ballard Triceratops 1974 story by Kono Tensei The Man Who Lost the Sea 1959 story by Theodore Sturgeon On the Inside Track 1986 story by Karl Michael Armer The Golem 1983 story by Avram Davidson The New Prehistory 1972 story by René Rebetez-Cortes A Meeting With Medusa 1972 novella by Arthur C. Clark The Valley of Echoes 1973 story by Gérard Klein The Fifth Head of Cerberus 1972 novella by Gene Wolfe The Chaste Planet 1983 story by John Updike The Blind Pilot 1960 story by Nathalie-Charles Henneberg The Men Who Murdered Mohammed 1958 story by Alfred Bester Pairpuppets 1974 story by Manuel van Loggem Two Dooms 1958 story by C.M. Kornbluth The Tale of the Computer That Fought a Dragon 1977 story by Stanislaw Lem The Green Hills of Earth 1947 story by Robert A. Heinlein Ghost V 1957 story by Robert Sheckley The Phantom of Kansas 1976 story by John Varley Captain Nemo's Last Stand 1973 story by Josef Nesvadba Inconstant Moon 1971 story by Larry Niven The Gold at the Starbow's End 1971 story by Frederik Pohl A Sign In Space 1968 story by Italo Calvino The Spiral 1968 story by Italo Calvino The Dead Past 1956 story by Isaac Asimov The Lens 1977 story by Annemarie van Ewyck The Hurkle Is a Happy Beast 1949 story by Theodore Sturgeon Zero Hour 1947 story by Ray Bradbury Nine Lives 1969 story by Ursula K. LeGuin The Muse 1964 story by Anthony Burgess The Public Hating 1955 story by Steve Allen Poor Superman 1951 story by Fritz Leiber Angouleme 1974 story by Thomas M. Disch Stranger Station 1956 story by Damon Knight The Dead Fish 1955 story by Boris Vian I Was the First to Find You 1977 story by Kirill Bulychev The Lineman 1957 novella by Walter M. Miller Jr Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius 1962 story by Jorge Luís Borges Codemus 1968 story by Tor Age Bringsvaerd A Kind if Artistry 1962 story by Brian Aldiss Second Variety 1953 story by Philip K. Dick Weihnachtsabend 1972 story by Keith Roberts I Do Not Love Thee, Doctor Fell 1955 story by Robert Bloch Aye, & Gomorrah... 1967 story by Samuel R. Delany How Erg the Self-Inducting Slew a Paleface 1977 story by Stanislaw Lem Nobody's Home 1972 story by Joanna Russ Party Line 1973 story by Gérard Klein The Proud Robot 1943 story by Lewis Padgett Vintage Season 1946 story by Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore The Way to Amalteia 1984 novella by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky

30 review for The World Treasury of Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    This is probably the best science fiction anthology that I have seen. Its attractions are many. 1. The Introduction by David Hartwell In his Introduction, Hartwell presents an overview history of science fiction writing, starting in 1929 with Hugo Gernsback’s coinage of the term from a previous term, “scientific romance”. In the first issue of Amazing Stories, he defined it as “charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision.” Most of the action in the 1930s occurred in the U This is probably the best science fiction anthology that I have seen. Its attractions are many. 1. The Introduction by David Hartwell In his Introduction, Hartwell presents an overview history of science fiction writing, starting in 1929 with Hugo Gernsback’s coinage of the term from a previous term, “scientific romance”. In the first issue of Amazing Stories, he defined it as “charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision.” Most of the action in the 1930s occurred in the U.S., but the World War pretty much put the movement on hold. During the war, however, Joseph W. Campbell became the new leader of American SF, and spent the war years developing young writers, creating what some now call the Golden Age of SF. When the war ended in the mid-1940s American SF was ready to boom again, under the leadership of Campbell and his Astounding Stories magazine. Hartwell then begins to weave in the story of how American SF influenced (or didn’t influence) the development of foreign SF in various parts of the world, and how it was accepted (or not) both in the U.S. and elsewhere, as “real literature”. It’s a pretty interesting essay, though only seven pages long, and highlights both the similarities and the differences between American SF and that of other countries. Hartwell also mentions the Futurians, a group of New York SF “fans turned writers”. Included in this group were such well-known future authors as Asimov, Damon Knight, James Blish, Frederick Pohl, and Cyril M. Kornbluth. Of this group he says, “Starting as members of an idealistic teenage fan club, they have carried through their careers definite leftist leanings and a deep utopian optimism.” Whether the details of Hartwell’s narrative are really verifiable, I have no idea. Obviously when one is writing about literary history, personal interpretation comes into play. I did feel that the story Hartwell told was a darn good one, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it on occasion. 2. The Introductions to the stories Each story in the volume is prefaced with its own ~200 word introduction. These are presumably by Hartwell, and generally say something about the author, the author’s most well-known writings, perhaps a few words about the SF tradition of the author’s country (for foreign authors), and in some cases remarks either about the story itself, or about a comparison of the story with another in the book. I’ll give a couple examples, though they can’t really indicate the wide range of information types that Hartwell includes in the set. For Isaac Asimov’s story “The Dead Past”: Isaac Asimov is a giant of science fiction, the only Futurian who fit into the Campbell mold and the most popular writer of them all. While Pohl, Kornbluth, Knight, and Blish did not break out until the advent of new editorial philosophies and new audiences in the 1950s, Asimov was one of the great names of the 1940s (when it was Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard, Van Vogt and Asimov who were the “big four” most popular writers in Campbell’s stable). In the 1940s Asimov wrote his classic robot stories, later collected in I, Robot, and the Foundation stories, later The Foundation Trilogy, and, of course, his famous story “Nightfall”, about a distant planet upon which night and darkness come only once in thousands of years. But it was in the 1950s that Asimov reached the height of his powers, in a series of novels culminating in The Caves of Steel, The End of Eternity, and The Naked Sun, and in many of the finest stories of the decade – the decade of Heinlein and Bradbury, Asimov and Clarke. “The Dead Past” is one of Asimov’s best from any decade, a serious investigation, in specific human terms, of the meaning of science and technology with a psychological depth uncharacteristic of its contemporaries. Now, in this day of Wikipedia, one would perhaps question why this kind of information needs to be presented. Of course Wiki didn’t exist when the book was published. But even today, Wiki contains no articles on a few of the authors represented here. So here’s Hartwell’s intro for one of those. For Annemarie Van Ewyck’s story “The Lens”: It is interesting to contrast Van Ewyck’s story with Van Loggem’s; while the latter reflects the mood, tone, and concerns of primarily 1950s American SF, “The Lens” seems more in tune with Anglo-American post-New Wave works. It is darker, more heterogeneous in its influences (here a touch of Bradbury or Zelazny, there a touch of Tiptree or Sturgeon). And “The Lens”, translated from the Dutch by its author, is told in the first person rather the conventional third. The author is an active member of World SF, an international body, and she is a participant in fan activities internationally. This story is one of a small but growing body of works in many languages that incorporate a wide variety of English-language SF influences. Not earth shaking information, but enough to spur some readers’ interests in an author perhaps. At any rate, I always like reading stuff like this. A little non-fiction to connect the fiction with reality, as it were. 3. Variety: temporal, spatial and otherwise Time span covered The earliest story in the collection is John W. Campbell’s Forgetfulness, from 1937. The latest is Karl Michael Armer’s On the Inside Track, from 1986. So just about fifty years of SF are represented. By decades: 1930s, 2; 1940s, 5; 1950s, 13; 1960s, 10; 1970s, 18; 1980s, 4. Fifty-two stories, spread out nicely over the different periods of SF. Fewer stories than might be really representative pre-1950, but many earlier anthologies would have concentrated, by necessity, on these early days. Length The shortest story is The Chaste Planet, the only SF story ever written by John Updike, all of four pages long; the longest, at 60 pages, is The Way To Amalteia, by the Russian brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The other longer offerings, including the latter, have been reserved for many of the best SF writers represented in the collection: Arthur C. Clarke, Gene Wolfe, C.M. Kornbluth, Frederick Pohl, Asimov, Walter M. Miller Jr. (of A Canticle for Leibowitz fame), Philip K. Dick, and the Henry Kuttner/C.L. Moore tandem. Writers represented In addition to those just mentioned, other well-known SF writers represented in the collection include Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Alfred Bester, Damon Knight, and Ray Bradbury. But this is not a collection of stories by all the best-known SF writers; nor are all the writers here well-known, at least to me. The main reason for this is probably the “World” in the book’s title. 23 of the stories are written by non-American writers, and even removing the five by British writers still leaves over a third of the stories by non-English language authors. This is one of the charms of the book. These eighteen stories are written by writers from eleven different countries around the world. It is the introductions written for these stories that are particularly interesting for an American reader. For example, the intro to the long story by the Strugatsky brothers raves about the work of these Soviet writers, urgently drove me to Wiki to find out more, and thereby introduced me to their series of Noon Universe books (which I found, from the description on Wiki, to be incredibly similar to the idea of a Stage 3 species of the Big History narrative, recently documented here, their connection to the 1979 film Stalker (which inspired the 1995 dark ambient album of that name, which I obtained several months ago) … my goodness, what webs! There are also a few writers represented that are known very little, if at all, for SF writing. These include a total of six stories by John Updike (noted above), Italo Calvino (two), Steve Allen (known for everything but his writing of any type), Boris Vian (a French Polymath), and Jorge Luis Borges. Some or all of these selections could be argued with; but at a total page count of about 50, we’re not talking about a major segment of the book in any case. Again, the introductions to these stories take a stab at justifying their inclusion, usually with some success. On the other hand … There are only five stories here attributed to female writers. One is the Henry Kuttner/Catherine L. Moore collaboration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._L._Mo... one is by Ursula Le Guin, the writer who brought female S.F. out of the darkness around 1970 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursula_K... another is by Joana Russ, an American academic and writer of science fiction, fantasy and feminist literary criticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_R... a story by Nathalie-Charles Henneberg, a French writer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathalie... and finally the story by Annemarie Van Ewyck (see its Introduction quoted above). No Marion Zimmer Bradley? No Anne McCaffrey? These are names that I could come up with rather easily. Too bad that female writers weren’t represented a bit better. There are also what I consider to be several classic SF writers not represented here: Clifford Simak, Anthony Boucher, Murray Leinster, L Sprague de Camp, Lester del Rey, and to top them all, A.E. van Vogt. Okay, these names have been well-anthologized many times. And there’s no doubt that attempting to come up with the “perfect” list of authors (much less stories) for a book like this is an impossible task. So admitting that these short-comings could be viewed as minor, I’ll conclude as I started, by saying that this is certainly the best S.F. anthology I’m acquainted with. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: Far from the Madding Crowd Next review: Lonesome Dove More recent: The Unwinding Previous library review: Genius in Disguise Harold Ross & The New Yorker Next library review: Parkinson's Law

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    God, where to begin? My parents sent me and my sister this book in a care-package during a summer music program in 1990, and I don't know that I've ever loved a book more. If I could, I'd give this one six stars; maybe seven. Part of what makes this book so amazing is that this is where I first discovered so many of my favorite authors: Larry Niven, John Varley, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Heinlein (okay, he's not a favorite, but I think this book has one of his best). And even the writers I've nev God, where to begin? My parents sent me and my sister this book in a care-package during a summer music program in 1990, and I don't know that I've ever loved a book more. If I could, I'd give this one six stars; maybe seven. Part of what makes this book so amazing is that this is where I first discovered so many of my favorite authors: Larry Niven, John Varley, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Heinlein (okay, he's not a favorite, but I think this book has one of his best). And even the writers I've never sought out afterward have stories in this collection that I still read over and over again: "The Gold at the Starbow's End", "Chronopolis", "The Fifth Head of Cerebus" and "Vintage Season" (my personal favorite). I don't know if there's any ONE book I would choose to have with me on a deserted island (I'd need at least, say, sixteen or so) but this one would keep me happy for a good long while.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    As good a collection of fine sf as you are likely to find, there are very few clunkers here. It is, however, a product of a different era of science fiction and the preponderance of white, male, primarily European voices is a bit of a shock from the perspective of current publishing. Since the most recent story was published in 1986 and the earliest, by the venerable John W. Campbell, in 1937 this is not surprising but it does leave some of the stories and styles feeling quite dated. A World Tre As good a collection of fine sf as you are likely to find, there are very few clunkers here. It is, however, a product of a different era of science fiction and the preponderance of white, male, primarily European voices is a bit of a shock from the perspective of current publishing. Since the most recent story was published in 1986 and the earliest, by the venerable John W. Campbell, in 1937 this is not surprising but it does leave some of the stories and styles feeling quite dated. A World Treasury published now would, I think, be quite different in tone and content but there is no reason that the selection of stories could not be just as good. Best reads in the collection, in no particular order. Chronopolis, J.G. Ballard Stranger Station, Damon Knight The Phantom of Kansas, John Varley Inconstant Moon, Larry Niven The Spiral, Italo Calvino Angouleme, Thomas Disch The Hurkle is a Happy Beast, Theodore Sturgeon

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Wallace

    I read a LOT of short story collections, and I think the reason why is that I'm hoping that SOME day I'll find a collection as good as this one. Reading it always brings me back to music camp, where my Mom sent a copy in a care package for my sister and I. It was my first look at Kurt Vonnegut ("Harrison Bergeron") and Larry Niven ("Inconstant Moon") and John Varley ("The Phantom of Kansas") and Frederik Pohl ("The Gold At the Starbow's End") and way too many more to mention, all of them wonderf I read a LOT of short story collections, and I think the reason why is that I'm hoping that SOME day I'll find a collection as good as this one. Reading it always brings me back to music camp, where my Mom sent a copy in a care package for my sister and I. It was my first look at Kurt Vonnegut ("Harrison Bergeron") and Larry Niven ("Inconstant Moon") and John Varley ("The Phantom of Kansas") and Frederik Pohl ("The Gold At the Starbow's End") and way too many more to mention, all of them wonderful. (Aww, just looking through the contents I spotted Lewis Padgett's "The Proud Robot," that's a great one, I'll have to reread that one tonight...) Great great stuff, all of it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wil C. Fry

    (2.69 of 5 — average rating of 52 stories)This collection of 52 short stories and novellas spanning six decades of sci-fi was compiled in 1989; it includes authors from around the world as well as more renowned award-winning authors like Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein. Though I was disappointed in many of the stories (both older and newer), enough of them were worth reading that I’m glad I picked up this anthology for 50 cents at a library sale.I have published a longer review, complete with mini- (2.69 of 5 — average rating of 52 stories)This collection of 52 short stories and novellas spanning six decades of sci-fi was compiled in 1989; it includes authors from around the world as well as more renowned award-winning authors like Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein. Though I was disappointed in many of the stories (both older and newer), enough of them were worth reading that I’m glad I picked up this anthology for 50 cents at a library sale.I have published a longer review, complete with mini-reviews of each story, on my website.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    This may be the best collection of science fiction I've yet to encounter. It includes not only a chronological range of classic sf stories and novellae by established writers from several countries, but also stories written by well-known authors not usually associated with the genre. All the stories are, in my opinion, good to excellent. I recommend this as a gift for friends who have never gotten interested in the genre. This may be the best collection of science fiction I've yet to encounter. It includes not only a chronological range of classic sf stories and novellae by established writers from several countries, but also stories written by well-known authors not usually associated with the genre. All the stories are, in my opinion, good to excellent. I recommend this as a gift for friends who have never gotten interested in the genre.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ebenmaessiger

    "Harrison Bergeron" (1961): 9 - Leave it to Vonnegut to complicate the classic, easily replicable libertarian anti-communalism sf of postwar America. In many ways, I'm sympathetic to complaints that we're reading too much into certain tropes -- esp. as they appear in the work of those producing for pulp-like environments -- of genre fiction, and especially so when it comes to near-future stories like these: both the premise of "equality" and the "logical" steps towards the (intentional or not) m "Harrison Bergeron" (1961): 9 - Leave it to Vonnegut to complicate the classic, easily replicable libertarian anti-communalism sf of postwar America. In many ways, I'm sympathetic to complaints that we're reading too much into certain tropes -- esp. as they appear in the work of those producing for pulp-like environments -- of genre fiction, and especially so when it comes to near-future stories like these: both the premise of "equality" and the "logical" steps towards the (intentional or not) misapplication of that principle are just too easy for the on-the-clock writer to bypass. They're readymade for dystopia. The piece here: future world enforces equality (interestingly, it's not explicitly material [although, I'm sure if we were to extrapolate this world outwards, that would be implied], but instead focused on intelligence and personal advantage [strength, beauty, talent, etc.]) through intrusive measures (masks on the beautiful, brain blocks on the smart, etc.), until one Exquisite boy one day escapes and uses his advantages for himself, eventually being murdered for it, all while his parents watch on the television, not really sure of what they're watching in their enforced stupidity (although, funnily, I think the mother is introduced as just being this actually stupid?! haha come on). The story works, however, (in addition to just the prosaic beauty of V.'s prose) because Vonnegut out-thinks his template. He takes a chock-a-block script -- one that's simply begging for both an individualized ending and ideology -- and he underscores the ferocity of both systems at play here--at the excesses of the handicapped and the handicapper. What the Handicapper General is disrupting is not the natural human flowering and bonhomie and care for the commonweal inherent to any individualized flowering, but actually the drive to possess and dominate. AND, to complicate things even more, humanity's more benign, beautiful impulses are also contained within those very totalitarian impulses (as in Harrison's urge to dance, love, and make music). Good stuff. Oh, and that he happened to make him both 7 feet tall and 14 is just hilarious. "Forgetfulness," by John W. Campbell (1938): 7.5 - Nothing too compelling in this early do-they-know-it’s-earth tale. “Two Dooms,” by C. M. Kornbluth (1958): 7.25 - Well, you can’t say he didn’t stick to the bit. His remit here: present a dire depiction of defeated, occupied America. So he does. Our protagonist wanders through different geological expressions of said desiccation – desert, heartland, farming, city – as both he and the reader wait for the inevitable moment at which he’ll come across some semblance of urban civilization (even of the kind available only to the occupying powers). It never happens; it’s a vision of unremitting despondence, penury, and suffering, gradually ramping up and up in a way that verged right on the edge of laughably bleak (pulled off, only, by the deadpan style entered into for the presentation of the greatest depravities later in the story [ie the Race Scientist telling him, after he’s volunteered for a position as ‘lab assistant,’ that he’s to be dissected]. In the case of that endeavor, an unqualified success, and one that puts later Nazis-Win Alt Hists to shame (is that our metric?), even if that success nonetheless simultaneously relies upon an element that constitutes the weaknesses of the story: the jejeune simple-minded understanding of Axis evil and ideology. (Or, to wit, their history: to what end, other than the in-the-moment shock of it, the erasure of Hitler from the alternate history at work here? And how does that actually work within the time-traveling mechanisms within the story? I can’t really think of any other AltHists where the jonbar point is not a jonbar point – he leaves in ’44, but his future [a dream is it?] has history shifted from at least the late 20s? [if we’re to believe Goebbels ascendance and Hitler’s subordination (itself a queer supposition, esp. with the understanding of Kornbluth’s time, considering how much pop history placed in the ‘unique charisma’ of Hitler as reason for Machtergreifung! Hmm.)]) Regardless, as “story,” it’s lacking: the structure is a bit clunky, with the big jonbar explication coming whole-hog and out of nowhere, and the peyote-driven Indian mysticism parallel-worlding hokey even for its own time. And then, the implications of the whole thing (we GOTTA drop the bomb cause look what’ll happen otherwise! [we get other nods in this direction throughout for those paying attention, ie America loses millions trying to launch an amphibious invasion against Japan itself]), something I’m sure gets the majority of ilk spilled over this story, but one that doesn’t bother me much, again considering how these things go. As is, though, an interesting example of a type of inadvertent conservatism in genre work – an oft-ignored subgenre in contemporary criticism, given all the overt examples to choose from. "Special Flight," by John Berryman (1939): 7 - In fine "engineer's fiction" form, a story wholly existing to allow one to narrate the speculative mechanics of crewing, flying, and navigating a spaceship. It's "hard" in that sense, which is basically a truer sense of the word than what passes now. But what's there to do with it? STORY: disaster on moon requires regular shuttle crew to make dangerous jaunt back to help, wherein they pass meteor field, technical problems, and crew doubts to save the day. "Nine Lives," by Ursula K. Le Guin (1968): 8.5 - Having read little Le Guin, I'm nonetheless familiar with her themes and preoccupations. It's in the aether. And this story did not disappoint in living up to those expectations, either thematically or in terms of setting. Yet, what was surprising was just how well crafted it was otherwise-in terms of pacing, character, and brusque exploration of major themes. We have here a crash course in identity, sex, and gender ambiguity, all transposed through the guise of what is admittedly a fairly conventional sci-fi setup. [to that end, note the intros (very right) claim that this story "inverts trad. Doppelgänger tale, and explores how uncanny it is to NOT meet ourself everywhere we go]. And, maybe actually even worse than conventional, as the planet and mine really only served as a generic means to bring our characters together and damage them later. To that end, the denouement was weak and detracted from the Point/s Being Made on account of its roteness (even she seemed a bit bored with the whole thing by the end). Still, these quick reads of mine only accentuate the jump in quality from other stories to her, as evidenced in her often actual incisive human psychology ('do many individuals ruin potential for individuality’) and halfgood prosey flourishes scattered throughout. "Vintage Season," by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (1946): 9 - [after-the-fact review] potentially over-stays its welcome, but that's a tiddling complaint. strong, classic time-travel story, fit up with an overriding sense of strangeness, mild foreboding, and hits some emotional beats that land well, especially for a story of its era. "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed," by Alfred Bester (1958): 8.25 - Bester's trademark bravura style — really quite unique for his time and field — is tamped down enough to work for me here, even if the central conceit plays off a bit shaggy. “Angouleme,” by Thomas M. Disch (1971): 9 - If an example of the “realistic fiction of the future,” as described by this collection’s editors in their introduction, then Disch’s little what-if-Leopold-and-Loeb in a dystopia reflects that realism less in a representative slice-of-life narrative way than in its finely observed, subtly clued character study. Indeed, I struggle to see our prepubescent plotters as typical of any social cadre even in the future depicted here, although this doesn’t take away from the power Disch finds in illuminating the contours of this most plausible of futures — little noticeable technological change, “progressive” socio-cultural changes overlaying general socio-economic degeneration, shunting have nots onto a UBI-like “now-don’t-complain” program — through them. Disch employs a slightly overwrought, half strained, and half quite effective prose style that is probably the main source of lumping him in with the li-fi crowd—in addition to the decidedly degenerate and relatively low-stakes atmosphere of his work. The thing, though: it’s pretty good. Nonetheless, clearly suffers as a stand-alone, ie sure the cumulative effect of reading this in conjunction with the rest of 334 provides more generous view than getting it solo here. STORY: slightly off-kilter future with bored rich kids doing what bored rich kids do: planning to murk someone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Awkward

    This absolute unit of a book left me with very mixed feelings. A broad range of stories with an equivalent range of sources and authors. The editorial comments were heavily biased towards a very particular literary approach; not necessarily a negative, but may sometimes color your view of a story before you start reading it. I almost gave three rather than four stars for this reason, but the actual quality of stories on the whole was high enough to merit the fourth. All in all, worth the read for This absolute unit of a book left me with very mixed feelings. A broad range of stories with an equivalent range of sources and authors. The editorial comments were heavily biased towards a very particular literary approach; not necessarily a negative, but may sometimes color your view of a story before you start reading it. I almost gave three rather than four stars for this reason, but the actual quality of stories on the whole was high enough to merit the fourth. All in all, worth the read for anyone interested in experiencing new, different, or simply more scifi -- and maybe doubly so for those coming from outside the field of scifi as new readers -- just know what to expect out of it before you head in.

  9. 5 out of 5

    UziMonkey

    I loved everything in this book. I'd previously only read hard science fiction and seeing the breadth of what SF has to offer was really eye-opening. I especially liked The Fifth Head of Cerberus which I read over a week ago and am still thinking about. This is over 1,000 pages over pure gold. All of it is good, all of it has something great to offer. The only criticism I have is a small one, it doesn't tell you when the stories were published. The editor wrote a good introduction to each author b I loved everything in this book. I'd previously only read hard science fiction and seeing the breadth of what SF has to offer was really eye-opening. I especially liked The Fifth Head of Cerberus which I read over a week ago and am still thinking about. This is over 1,000 pages over pure gold. All of it is good, all of it has something great to offer. The only criticism I have is a small one, it doesn't tell you when the stories were published. The editor wrote a good introduction to each author before the story but doesn't tell you when the story was published. Only after I finished the book did I discover there's a list at the end that tells you when they were published, but why not just include that information with the story itself?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Earl Truss

    A very large book, sort of a history of world science fiction with examples. Many classic stories that many of us have probably read before. Most of the stories were good - only a few that were not.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    This is a massive, wide-ranging collection of science fiction pieces, compiled by Hartwell, the long-time editor of the "Year's Best SF" & "Year's Best Fantasy" serieses, a couple of which I have read and enjoyed. There can be no question regarding his ability to identify first-rate imaginative writing. The pieces in this collection run the gamut of SF from the 1930s or 1940s up to 1989, and a number of them are by foreign scribes, mostly from Europe, along with the expected Americans and Englis This is a massive, wide-ranging collection of science fiction pieces, compiled by Hartwell, the long-time editor of the "Year's Best SF" & "Year's Best Fantasy" serieses, a couple of which I have read and enjoyed. There can be no question regarding his ability to identify first-rate imaginative writing. The pieces in this collection run the gamut of SF from the 1930s or 1940s up to 1989, and a number of them are by foreign scribes, mostly from Europe, along with the expected Americans and Englishmen. It is not organized chronologically or thematically, and you could read it in any order you feel like. Each piece is prefaced by an effective introduction to the author's work and its place in the SF society. Like a good anthology should, it introduces the reader to a number of fascinating writers that are most likely not known to those who do not regularly attend SF conventions, including at least one (Manuel van Loggem) whose piece I loved but whom I was unable to find any work by. Also in this category could go the Strugatsky brothers, Keith Roberts, Kirill Bulychev, and Karl Michael Armer, all of whom contribute interesting stories. Of course many of the genre's heavy hitters are also represented: Campbell, Heinlein, Ballard, Sturgeon, Clarke, Dick, Lem, Asimov, Bradbury, Le Guin, Lem, Bester, Delany, Pohl, Leiber, and Disch are all here. And there is also another interesting cohort of writers present (and perhaps in this way it sets itself apart from other anthologies): a handful of literary writers who have tried their hand at the occasional SF piece, or who have one foot in and one out of the genre: Borges, Updike, Vonnegut, and Anthony Burgess (who delivers a hilarious piece about a time traveler who is determined to spend some time with Shakespeare). A few of the pieces had a lasting impact, enough so that I had to reread them. Among these were John Varley's "The Phantom of Kansas", a brilliant tale of a weather artist who keeps getting killed by a determined assassin (and resurrected, something for which there is a technology available.) Brian Aldiss impressed me enough with his elegant and vivid imaginings that I had to pick up one of his titles, and the same goes for the murky and unique Gene Wolfe. Samuel Delany mixes science fiction and sexual confusion into an energetic brew in "Aye, and Gomorrah..." I also had to grab some Robert Sheckley after reading his semi-comic tale about a ghost-ridden planet that challenges the abilities of a couple of young planet decontamination experts. If you are an established fan, or a reader who is looking to dip into an intelligent, interesting mix of SF pieces and writers, then I can confidently recommend this to you.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars. I've read hundreds of science fiction anthologies over the years. I never expect to read more than two or three memorable stories per collection; the rest are always second-rate filler. Not this time. I picked this anthology up at a public library sale of discontinued books, which means it's likely out of print, and that's too bad. It's a 1,000-plus page collection of short stories and novellas, featuring many of the great science fiction authors and several less familiar Actual rating: 4.5 stars. I've read hundreds of science fiction anthologies over the years. I never expect to read more than two or three memorable stories per collection; the rest are always second-rate filler. Not this time. I picked this anthology up at a public library sale of discontinued books, which means it's likely out of print, and that's too bad. It's a 1,000-plus page collection of short stories and novellas, featuring many of the great science fiction authors and several less familiar foreign writers: Kurt Vonnegut, John Campbell, Theodore Sturgeon, J. G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke, Gene Wolfe, John Updike, Stanislaw Lem, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Frederick Pohl, Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guin, Antony Burgess, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip K. Dick, Arkady & Boris Strugatsky. Every story is outstanding; there are no B-sides. The publisher must have paid a fortune in royalties. I had read a few of the included stories and novellas when I was younger. I'm happy to say they stand the test of time and are still excellent. Many stories in this anthology were new to me; they too are brilliant. I was thrilled to find the collection included Gene Wolfe's brilliant The Fifth Head of Cerberus, which I've been wanting to re-read for some time (it was even better than I remembered, by the way). And I must say this: damn, Theodore Sturgeon rocked! I'm telling you, this is the best SF anthology I've come across. I just checked: it is out of print, but used and some new copies are available on Amazon. If you collect science fiction anthologies, you'll want this one in your collection.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    An exhaustive (and exhausting) survey of world science fiction, this book was a very uneven read. Some stories fascinated, some bewildered (and not in a good way), and the rest fell somewhere in between. A lot of recognizable names were included, but the stories selected were not always among their best known. And there were a lot of authors that this reader was completely unfamiliar with. One stand out in the bunch was an Italian, Italo Colvino. The editor included two of his stories, one of wh An exhaustive (and exhausting) survey of world science fiction, this book was a very uneven read. Some stories fascinated, some bewildered (and not in a good way), and the rest fell somewhere in between. A lot of recognizable names were included, but the stories selected were not always among their best known. And there were a lot of authors that this reader was completely unfamiliar with. One stand out in the bunch was an Italian, Italo Colvino. The editor included two of his stories, one of which, The Spiral, is one of the most beautifully written pieces of literature that I can remember reading. I hope to find that more of his work has been published and is available. I found some of the pieces to be quite dated. What was gee-whiz possible in the mid 20th century has become ho-hum passe in the early 21st. But even so, as survey, one could have done worse.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Pretty hit and miss. A lot of translations, and quite a few "space adventure"-type stories. Here's my favorites: Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The Man Who Lost the Sea, Theodore Sturgeon The Men who Murdered Mohammed, Alfred Bester The Phantom of Kansas, John Varley Inconstant Moon, Larry Niven The Gold at Starbow's End, Frederik Pohl Stranger Station, Damon Knight Second Variety, Philip K Dick Vintage Season, Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (though it could be shortened by 80% and be much better for Pretty hit and miss. A lot of translations, and quite a few "space adventure"-type stories. Here's my favorites: Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The Man Who Lost the Sea, Theodore Sturgeon The Men who Murdered Mohammed, Alfred Bester The Phantom of Kansas, John Varley Inconstant Moon, Larry Niven The Gold at Starbow's End, Frederik Pohl Stranger Station, Damon Knight Second Variety, Philip K Dick Vintage Season, Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (though it could be shortened by 80% and be much better for it) I was hoping to find some lesser-known authors here that I could dig into, but that wasn't really the case. Maybe the translations were bad, but it felt like there was a lot of filler here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Being a complete newbie to the Sci-Fi genre (I read mostly fantasy) I picked this up at the library. I didn't notice at the time that the book was only one year younger then I am, and the majority of the stories were quite a bit older then the publication date of this collection. I enjoyed a few of the stories in it, but not enough that I would recommend this to anyone. I'm not sure whether it was the age of the writing, and that I'm simply not a fan of the styles at the time, or if the stories Being a complete newbie to the Sci-Fi genre (I read mostly fantasy) I picked this up at the library. I didn't notice at the time that the book was only one year younger then I am, and the majority of the stories were quite a bit older then the publication date of this collection. I enjoyed a few of the stories in it, but not enough that I would recommend this to anyone. I'm not sure whether it was the age of the writing, and that I'm simply not a fan of the styles at the time, or if the stories were legitimately not good. I just found this collection lacking, and would recommend that if you are new to the Sci-Fi world like I am, that you look for a newer, up to date collection that will be closer to the writing styles today.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    52 short stories, not all good but definitely worth reading. Some of the standouts for me was: Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut (which I remember reading in high school English); The Blind Pilot by Nathalie-Charles Henneberg; Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth; Ghost V by Robert Sheckley; Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven; Zero Hour by Ray Bradbury; Second Variety by Philip K. Dick; Party Line by Gerard Klein; Vintage Season by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore; The Way to Amalteia by Arkady and Boris Struga 52 short stories, not all good but definitely worth reading. Some of the standouts for me was: Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut (which I remember reading in high school English); The Blind Pilot by Nathalie-Charles Henneberg; Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth; Ghost V by Robert Sheckley; Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven; Zero Hour by Ray Bradbury; Second Variety by Philip K. Dick; Party Line by Gerard Klein; Vintage Season by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore; The Way to Amalteia by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rift Vegan

    Some good stories here. Unfortunately almost every single one of them were written by men, for men, about men. Occasionally a female character would show up, and she would be a cardboard cutout, just getting in the way of the men. Unworthy to be called a "World" Treasury and I'm glad it went out of print so quickly! Some good stories here. Unfortunately almost every single one of them were written by men, for men, about men. Occasionally a female character would show up, and she would be a cardboard cutout, just getting in the way of the men. Unworthy to be called a "World" Treasury and I'm glad it went out of print so quickly!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    It is good and worth the read. The issue is somehow the sum is less than the parts. Why include authors who represent the fact that, say, Scandinavian SF is derivative? Is it relevant that Chip Delany was a gay black man in the 1960's? Its purpose may have been more encyclopedic than entertainment, but that wasn't the possibility that attracted me in the first place. It is good and worth the read. The issue is somehow the sum is less than the parts. Why include authors who represent the fact that, say, Scandinavian SF is derivative? Is it relevant that Chip Delany was a gay black man in the 1960's? Its purpose may have been more encyclopedic than entertainment, but that wasn't the possibility that attracted me in the first place.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Wow. What a great book. Already read a John Campbell Jr. which is so hard to find & Forgetfulness is a total knockout. Then the original story that Star Trek was based on, no doubt, named Special Flight by none other than John Berryman himself, very early hard SF. What a treasure & I'm going to take my time with this monster. It's a thick and heavy book of shorts & novellas Wow. What a great book. Already read a John Campbell Jr. which is so hard to find & Forgetfulness is a total knockout. Then the original story that Star Trek was based on, no doubt, named Special Flight by none other than John Berryman himself, very early hard SF. What a treasure & I'm going to take my time with this monster. It's a thick and heavy book of shorts & novellas

  20. 5 out of 5

    Velveeta

    an excellent collection of scifi from around the world - truly! authors from continents as diverse as asia and arabia are represented to great enjoyment and effect. a huge book but no struggle to read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    bluetyson

    The World Treasury of Science Fiction by David Hartwell (1989)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christopher O'Brien

    Some excellent and inspiring stories from all over. This was a gift from my family from years ago. I've been reading the stories off an on since 2006. Recommended! Some excellent and inspiring stories from all over. This was a gift from my family from years ago. I've been reading the stories off an on since 2006. Recommended!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Malone

    A Sun-sized book of science fiction that includes the most renowned of sci-fi authors, as well as a few that readers would not expect to see.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Don Gubler

    Some very good stuff here and some mediocre. Choose wisely.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

    This is by far the best collection of Sci-Fi Short stories i've ever read. Every single story, even the ones that seemed boring at first, ended up being amazing. This is by far the best collection of Sci-Fi Short stories i've ever read. Every single story, even the ones that seemed boring at first, ended up being amazing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susie

    Something for everyone is this selection of tales. Easy to read and imagine.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    A wide variety of stories from authors around the world. Contains the amazingly good story "The Fifth ahead of Cerberus" that introduced me to Gene Wolfe. A wide variety of stories from authors around the world. Contains the amazingly good story "The Fifth ahead of Cerberus" that introduced me to Gene Wolfe.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rena Sherwood

    If you just read one anthology of science fiction in your life, make this one it. Sublime. As it's name implies, it includes authors from around the world instead of just North America and the UK. If you just read one anthology of science fiction in your life, make this one it. Sublime. As it's name implies, it includes authors from around the world instead of just North America and the UK.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cheli Cresswell

    My favourite book in the world during Junior High.

  30. 4 out of 5

    L.

    Not bad. Some of the weirder stories don't really work, but it's good overall. Not bad. Some of the weirder stories don't really work, but it's good overall.

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