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A Science Fiction Omnibus by Brian Aldiss

A Science Fiction Omnibus (2007)

by Brian Aldiss

Other authors: Isaac Asimov (Contributor), J. G. Ballard (Contributor), Greg Bear (Contributor), Eliza Blair (Contributor), James Blish (Contributor)24 more, Fredric Brown (Contributor), Bertram Chandler (Contributor), Ted Chiang (Contributor), John Crowley (Contributor), H. B. Fyfe (Contributor), Harry Harrison (Contributor), James Inglis (Contributor), Garry Kilworth (Contributor), Damon Knight (Contributor), Katherine MacLean (Contributor), Walter M. Miller (Contributor), Ward Moore (Contributor), Frederik Pohl (Contributor), Arthur Porges (Contributor), Kim Stanley Robinson (Contributor), Eric Frank Russell (Contributor), James H. Schmitz (Contributor), Robert Sheckley (Contributor), Clifford Simak (Contributor), John Steinbeck (Contributor), Bruce Sterling (Contributor), William Tenn (Contributor), Jr Tiptree, James (Contributor), A. E. Van Vogt (Contributor)

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I'm not a fan of science fiction, so I decided to give it yet another chance. I thought this collection of short stories mostly of older (1950s onward) science fiction would help me to form an opinion on the genre, and of course, I was hoping to improve my poor appreciation towards it. Maybe I'm a hopeless case, but this didn't impress me. The stories were mostly okayish, but the lack of great ones made the whole turn to the totally forgettable side of literature. ( )
  Lady_Lazarus | Sep 20, 2010 |
I began reading this anthology out of a sense of duty, part of my SF education, but I enjoyed almost all of these stories. There was only one I couldn't finish.

Most date from the 1950s but though some of the technology now seems dated, they are still good stories. I found the social contexts of some of the older stories quite interesting, and most stories weren't as sexist etc. as I would have expected.

I would have liked to know what criteria Aldiss used to select the newer stories to fit in with the anthology as a whole.

Recommended, especially if you haven't read much older SF. ( )
  byzanne | Sep 23, 2009 |
Very variable.

A scattered collection of 31 short and slightly longer stories. The oldest is "Nightfall" by Asimov that must have apeared in a hundred collections by now. The most recent is a 2007 offreing from a new author Eliza Blair. As can be expected in such a collection it's a bit hit and miss, depending on what you personally like. I generally found most of the older stories badly dated - LP players in the 21st cen? Some big names and some are ok - Harry Harrison's "An Alien Agony" is decent and surprising considering it was a '62 offereing. One or two of the new tales were very good - "friends in need" is worthwhile as is Chiang's "Story of your life". However the balance of good to mediocre isn't great.

The range of themes is nothing secial, a few alien encounters, a few expanding empires and a bit of time travel is about it. With the occasional exception none of the plots are particularly special, merely a quick expoundation of an Idea.

Worth picking up as anintrodction to some of the big names in SF, or for a specific tale you are seeking. However not that strong on it's own. ( )
  reading_fox | Mar 13, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Aldissprimary authorall editionscalculated
Asimov, IsaacContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ballard, J. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bear, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blair, ElizaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blish, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, FredricContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chandler, BertramContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chiang, TedContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crowley, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fyfe, H. B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrison, HarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Inglis, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kilworth, GarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knight, DamonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLean, KatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, Walter M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, WardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pohl, FrederikContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porges, ArthurContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, Kim StanleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, Eric FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schmitz, James H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sheckley, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simak, CliffordContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steinbeck, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterling, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tenn, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tiptree, Jr, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Van Vogt, A. E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Bringing together a diverse selection of science fiction spanning over 60 years, this collection includes stories from noted authors such as Isaac Asimov, Clifford Simak, Harry Harrison, Bruce Sterling and A.E. Van Vogt. Previous ed.: published as The Penguin science fiction omnibus. 1973.… (more)

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