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The Big Book of Science Fiction (edition 2016)

by Jeff VanderMeer (Editor), Ann VanderMeer (Editor), Bruce Pennington (Cover artist), H.G. Wells (Author), Rokheya Shekhawat Hossain (Author)103 more, Karl Hans Strobl (Author), Paul Scheerbart (Author), Alfred Jarry (Author), Miguel de Unamuno (Author), Yefim Zozulya (Author), W.E.B. DuBois (Author), Edmond Hamilton (Author), Clare Winger Harris (Author), Stanley G. Weinbaum (Author), Leslie F. Stone (Author), A. Merritt (Author), Paul Ernst (Author), Jorge Luis Borges (Author), Clifford D. Simak (Author), Ray Bradbury (Author), Juan José Arreola (Author), James Blish (Author), Philip K. Dick (Author), Katherine MacLean (Author), Margaret St. Clair (Author), William Tenn (Author), Chad Oliver (Author), Arthur C. Clarke (Author), James Schmitz (Author), Cordwainer Smith (Author), Isaac Asimov (Author), Damon Knight (Author), James White (Author), Arkady Strugatsky (Author), Boris Strugatsky (Author), Gérard Klein (Author), Carol Emshwiller (Author), Theodore Sturgeon (Author), Silvina Ocampo (Author), Will Worthington (Author), J.G. Ballard (Author), Kurt Jr. Vonnegut (Author), Valentina Zhuravlyova (Author), Adolfo Bioy Casares (Author), Vadim Shefner (Author), Sever Gansovsky (Author), John Baxter (Author), Andre Carneiro (Author), Harlan Ellison (Author), R. A. Lafferty (Author), Frederik Pohl (Author), F.L. Wallace (Author), Samuel R. Delany (Author), Langdon Jones (Author), Yoshio Aramaki (Author), David R. Bunch (Author), Stanislaw Lem (Author), Ursula K. LeGuin (Author), James Jr. Tiptree (Author), Joanna Russ (Author), Robert Silverberg (Author), Dmitri Bilenkin (Author), Michael Bishop (Author), Yasutaka Tsutsui (Author), Alicia Yanez Cossio (Author), Barrington J. Bayley (Author), George R. R. Martin (Author), Lisa Tuttle (Author), Josephine Saxon (Author), Bruce Sterling (Author), Shinji Kajio (Author), Greg Bear (Author), Jacques Barbéri (Author), Octavia E. Butler (Author), Pat Cadigan (Author), S.N. Dyer (Author), William Gibson (Author), C.J. Cherryh (Author), John Crowley (Author), Karen Joy Fowler (Author), John Bing (Author), Angélica Gorodischer (Author), Elisabeth Vonarburg (Author), Iain M. Banks (Author), Jean-Claude Dunyach (Author), Tanith Lee (Author), Michael Moorcock (Author), Pat Murphy (Author), Manjula Padmanabhan (Author), Connie Willis (Author), Gene Wolfe (Author), Geoffrey A. Landis (Author), Han Song (Author), Rachel Pollack (Author), Kim Stanley Robinson (Author), Robert Reed (Author), Misha Nogha (Author), Michael Blumlein (Author), Leena Krohn (Author), Kojo Laing (Author), Gwyneth Jones (Author), Geoffrey Maloney (Author), Cixin Liu (Author), Stepan Chapman (Author), Ted Chiang (Author), Cory Doctorow (Author), Tatyana Tolstaya (Author), Johanna Sinisalo (Author)

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236577,248 (3.88)5
"What if life was neverending? What if you could change your body to adapt to an alien ecology? What if the pope were a robot? Spanning galaxies and millennia, this must-have anthology showcases classic contributions from H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia E. Butler, and Kurt Vonnegut, alongside a century of the eccentrics, rebels, and visionaries who have inspired generations of readers. Within its pages, you'll find beloved worlds of space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, the New Wave, and more. Learn about the secret history of science fiction, from titans of literature who also wrote SF to less well-known authors from more than twenty-five countries, some never before translated into English. In The Big Book of Science Fiction, literary power couple Ann and Jeff VanderMeer transport readers from Mars to Mechanopolis, planet Earth to parts unknown. Immerse yourself in the genre that predicted electric cars, space tourism, and smartphones. Sit back, buckle up, and dial in the coordinates, as this stellar anthology has got worlds within worlds"--Back cover.… (more)
Member:filkferengi
Title:The Big Book of Science Fiction
Authors:Jeff VanderMeer (Editor)
Other authors:Ann VanderMeer (Editor), Bruce Pennington (Cover artist), H.G. Wells (Author), Rokheya Shekhawat Hossain (Author), Karl Hans Strobl (Author)102 more, Paul Scheerbart (Author), Alfred Jarry (Author), Miguel de Unamuno (Author), Yefim Zozulya (Author), W.E.B. DuBois (Author), Edmond Hamilton (Author), Clare Winger Harris (Author), Stanley G. Weinbaum (Author), Leslie F. Stone (Author), A. Merritt (Author), Paul Ernst (Author), Jorge Luis Borges (Author), Clifford D. Simak (Author), Ray Bradbury (Author), Juan José Arreola (Author), James Blish (Author), Philip K. Dick (Author), Katherine MacLean (Author), Margaret St. Clair (Author), William Tenn (Author), Chad Oliver (Author), Arthur C. Clarke (Author), James Schmitz (Author), Cordwainer Smith (Author), Isaac Asimov (Author), Damon Knight (Author), James White (Author), Arkady Strugatsky (Author), Boris Strugatsky (Author), Gérard Klein (Author), Carol Emshwiller (Author), Theodore Sturgeon (Author), Silvina Ocampo (Author), Will Worthington (Author), J.G. Ballard (Author), Kurt Jr. Vonnegut (Author), Valentina Zhuravlyova (Author), Adolfo Bioy Casares (Author), Vadim Shefner (Author), Sever Gansovsky (Author), John Baxter (Author), Andre Carneiro (Author), Harlan Ellison (Author), R. A. Lafferty (Author), Frederik Pohl (Author), F.L. Wallace (Author), Samuel R. Delany (Author), Langdon Jones (Author), Yoshio Aramaki (Author), David R. Bunch (Author), Stanislaw Lem (Author), Ursula K. LeGuin (Author), James Jr. Tiptree (Author), Joanna Russ (Author), Robert Silverberg (Author), Dmitri Bilenkin (Author), Michael Bishop (Author), Yasutaka Tsutsui (Author), Alicia Yanez Cossio (Author), Barrington J. Bayley (Author), George R. R. Martin (Author), Lisa Tuttle (Author), Josephine Saxon (Author), Bruce Sterling (Author), Shinji Kajio (Author), Greg Bear (Author), Jacques Barbéri (Author), Octavia E. Butler (Author), Pat Cadigan (Author), S.N. Dyer (Author), William Gibson (Author), C.J. Cherryh (Author), John Crowley (Author), Karen Joy Fowler (Author), John Bing (Author), Angélica Gorodischer (Author), Elisabeth Vonarburg (Author), Iain M. Banks (Author), Jean-Claude Dunyach (Author), Tanith Lee (Author), Michael Moorcock (Author), Pat Murphy (Author), Manjula Padmanabhan (Author), Connie Willis (Author), Gene Wolfe (Author), Geoffrey A. Landis (Author), Han Song (Author), Rachel Pollack (Author), Kim Stanley Robinson (Author), Robert Reed (Author), Misha Nogha (Author), Michael Blumlein (Author), Leena Krohn (Author), Kojo Laing (Author), Gwyneth Jones (Author), Geoffrey Maloney (Author), Cixin Liu (Author), Stepan Chapman (Author), Ted Chiang (Author), Cory Doctorow (Author), Tatyana Tolstaya (Author), Johanna Sinisalo (Author)
Info:Vintage (2016), 1216 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:science fiction, anthologies

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The Big Book of Science Fiction by Ann VanderMeer (Editor)

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Showing 5 of 5
A little light reading for the holidays. The first 75% of the book I liked a lot; several stories I read in other anthologies, so a bit like coming home. After that I hit a bit of a snag with stories I just couldn't relate to. Fortunately there were a few gems in there still. A memorable collection. ( )
  meznir | Jan 8, 2020 |
"Sultana's Dream," by Rokheya Shawkat Hossain (1905): 8.25
- wonderfully essentialist feminist tale. I like the complete reversal of oppression rather than gleichberechtigkeit. and you can guess a lot about the authors class and education therefrom. enjoyable nonetheless, esp. the abrupt ending!

"The Doom of Principal City," by Yefim Zozulya (1918): 7
- it's kind of blank vagueness is both asset and detriment, as the former allows it to remain timeless, as we can fill the gap and flush out the illusion to our own satisfaction, while the latter demonstrates The difficulty of finding anything to hold onto, even in the allegory, let alone the characters

"The Triumph of Mechanics," by Karl Hans Strobel (1907): 6.5
- more noteworthy as an historical curio than piece of leisure entertainment reading now but interesting nonetheless in its clear german- and period-markers (taylorism, American innovation and mechanical prowess) which I can't see many others getting excited by.

"Baby Doll," by Johanna Sinisalo (2002): 4.5
- a one-trick pony and even that trick is quite unimpressive. the same story could exist, with the actual same (conservative) message, even if you aged-up each character to "appropriate" ages: a sin that the gimmick was both pointless and not essential to the point trying to be made. still, some good: I did like the muted undertones of disintegrating morality, esp. in the nice delayed reveal that she stopped the boy not because he was raping her, but because she was jealous (and that she took a positive message away from dollhouse). still, a big ehh

"Craphound," by Cory Doctorow (1998): 6
- eh, the charm's lost on me here. allegory-wise. at first was thinking capitalism, then colonialism, then I actually think it's just relative consumerism, and a kind of uninteresting whack at it at that. a bit like the final baby doll story-stale symbolism wrapped in lackluster storytelling. but eh. maybe it's the fault of the book title and the unrealistic expectations it heaps upon each story (both in terms of story AND thematic relevance).

"The Star," by H.G. Wells (1897): 9
- great. the wide lens. the martian astronomers.

"Slynx," by Tatiana Tolstoya (2000): 8
- hard to know exactly what to give, as its an excerpt from a novel, but if measured by wanting to read the novel then pretty good. the tone was that affected simplicity that worked well considering the context here and I liked the suggestions and implications about the world (the half human Degenerants and the sense that they don't know why they call enemies Chechens).

"The Gorgonoids," by Leena Krohn (1993): 6.5
- the truest yet to the form of "philosophical disquisition " with speculative elements as means of investigating larger questions. This, unfortunately, went too much in favor of the later at the expense of fleshing out the former at all.

"The Fate of the Poseidonia," by Clare Winger Harris (1927): 8.5
- I hope I'm not tinging too many of my scores with a patronizing 'appreciation' of things in older stories that I would find irredeemable in newer ones, but I enjoyed this kind of paranoid big-scale and small-window adventure, and more in spite of its obvious flaws than many others: those being, namely, clunky prose and characterization, a fairly muddled timeline, and loose ends galore [does anything come of the Profs visit at the end?]. Still, a fun macro vision here and little threads nicely untied [the "German" spy and others], as well as a pleasingly actual malevolence in the character of Martell.

"The Poetry Cloud," by Cixin Liu (1997): 9
- strange enough to outweigh the obvious Borges replication and otherwise staid scifi trope of artistic glorification in confrontation with cold science.

"The Star Stealers," by Edmond Hamilton (1929): 9
- okay, so this seems to be what is meant by 'classic sci fi,' what all the conservative readers want a return to. indeed, this seems to set the template for all the, again, 'classic' images I have in my head, even without knowing their provenance: the bridge with the mighty vistas; the dually new/retrograde gender politics [the beauty parlor seemed even too much]; the strangely omnipotent, strangely understandable, strangely defeatable, fully malign alien force; and, basically the complete re-tread of a long history of pulpy naval adventures translated to space [dashing escapes; huge ports; sudden rescues].

"The Conquest of Gola," by Leslie F. Stone (1931): 8.5
- nice little playing with gender here, although in a decidedly antebellum way (ie without contemporary gender tropes, such that the 'gender power reversal' here is entirely malign and simply a women dominating men instead of the other, while, similarly, the invading men here are entirely malicious in their intent, AND the clear anti-capitalism, a marker of prewar fiction). Still, a successful early perspective shift in both the gender way and protagonist, as this is clearly taking place on Venus and these are earth men (and an effective 'othering' of the human anatomy as well).

"The Last Poet and the Robot," by A. Merritt (1934): 7.5
- got some of that big thinking and sweep of classic sf I enjoy, although some of the negatives of that style came out in their negative manifestations here [Big Great Man; confusing exposition; clunky dialogue]. Yet, interesting sinister nuggets spread throughout that benefit from his minimal engagement with them [the "truth" of the robot malevolence; the ship attacking].

"Vacancy for the Post of Jesus Christ," by Kojo Laing (1992): 6.5
- Didn't read closely enough to suss out larger metaphor, so total take depends on the effectiveness of the allusions for the reader. But a bit narratively scattershot and not purposefully always, if with some good panoramic views of the society. Does giantman represent secular rulers or man, presupposing power to upset old socio-religious orders, only to be laid low by same?

"The Universe of Things," by Gwyneth Jones (1993): 6.5
- So, I might not totally have all of the actual mechanics down and intricacies of plot, I couldn't read the thing that closely, but as just simple story of alienation and difference and the inescapability of self, no matter how different the other, it kind of worked. Kind of. More so as a reflection on this strange melancholy alien, and not on the mechanic, who I could've spent even less time with it in an already short story. But the writing was too hackneyed to be profound and the plotting a bit clunky

"The Remoras," by Robert Reed (1994): 9.25
- such a strange story that's doing such a common thing; transplanting the narrative of the rich lady, bored as housewife, allured by the poor cool underworld and strange subculture into a place in which she's out of her depths until that dislocation is made abundantly clear. So, the question then is whether this is good BEYOND that smart Scifi allusion to mainstream tropes or if it can even stand on its own apart from that. here i think it does; there's enough strange compelling stuff going on in this Cruise Ship in Space and allusions to a broader world that work

"The Ghost Standard," by William Tenn (1994): 8.75
- strange little story with the philosophy foregrounded, rather than latent, which I imagine'll be more common in the "great" SF stories. narratively, I enjoyed it, although I don't know how formally inventive it was--language game as different means of demonstrating engineering problems. might have dug a bit more into its central Phil. quandary, ie give us more of comp. but good.

"Remnants of the Virago-Crypto System," by Geoffrey Maloney (1995): 7.5
- (quite) affecting, although is it anything more than the sum of its (one) parts?? the hit comes from the machine's question and his answer back, yet that doesn't require really any of the preceding action, his desultory aimlessness, or, especially, her maudlin end.

"How Alex Became A Machine," by Stephan Chapman (1997): 7.25
- picked up towards the end, or at least the strangeness overwhelmed me, or I just gave into it. But still, there's little to hold onto on either a character or narrative level, unless you want to put a whole lot into it

"The Microscopic Giants," by Paul Ernst (1936): 7.5
- Altogether a little trifle, and one, at that, not doing much more than these things from this time tend to do: big theme, exposition, clunky prose, concluding action, and out. The story: the operators at a deep mineshaft have discovered, down at the bottom, a very small race of humanoids who possess great power and the ability to walk through solid-ish pieces of matter that we cannot. Two people confront them, one dies, and the other narrowly escapes, [*50s genre film voice*] hoping, nay, praying(!) that he won’t be alive when they inevitably come once again to the surface to wreak havoc upon the earth! A solid B-movie narrativization, then. Yet, what it does do well--and what precisely these eras stories can do quite wonderfully that ones now would be less likely to--is imbue this ‘other’ with a straight, uncomplicated, and unvarnished malevolence that, at its best, makes the narrative at times read like a strange horror story just as much if not more than a science fiction story.

"The Brains of Rats," by Michael Blumlein (1986): 9.5
- So, one of the negative byproducts of this rapid blowing through of short stories and the subsequent rushed cataloging and inane analysis is that, while the method works pretty well on the average-to-bad short story --in that the thoughts can rise (or not rise) to meet the level and subtlety of the story fairly easily -- it struggles to adequately deal with the more fine-grained, complex, or contemplative tale. Case being, our story here, in which a scientist ruminates over the space between sexual/biological difference and gender expression, interspersing (fairly pat and often ahistorical, but fine for a genre story) scholarly observations with anecdotes about his patients and his own struggles with gender identification. Importantly for the story, he's a man who both "acts" feminine and moderately desires to be a woman, whereas his wife "acts" masculine, and works at conventionally masculine professions while also presenting as quite masculine herself. (Most most importantly, all of this needs to be read through the 1986 filter first and foremost, which simultaneously brings back down to earth any too-large claims for its innovation [think Foucault and pub dates] while also reiterates the quite impressive things his gender play is doing nonetheless [and, moreover, the reason why they would need to be demonstrated through these particular gendered stereotypes, which might seem a bit laughably essentialist, or black and white, today]). Interestingly, the only SF element here -- beyond the kind-of dream state in which some of his interactions occur (thinking esp. of the scene where he tells that woman about his one-time homosexual encounter) -- is the ability to turn the whole world either all male or all female--a Macguffin of a genre conceit, in that it's the vehicle for the story's gentleness but almost an afterthought the whole time. Fairly wonderful. Indeed, the "point" of the story -- which I would locate in its gradual, and 1980s-ish, blurring of the lines between male and female, all while presumably detailing one man's apocalyptic ability to separate sexes definitively -- turns away from the device nearly totally itself. This is also to say nothing of the prose, which was sparse, sometimes beautiful, often counter-intuitively astute, and always indicative of a deep intelligence from the source itself. More than anything, refreshing; and a necessary reminder of the possibilities of genre fiction and the boon that is a voice with teeth, after the tepid dreck of some recent offerings. Impressive.

"Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," by Jorge Luis Borges (1940): 8.5
- My thoughts on Borges are even less necessary than these lesser-known stories. I've read this story of unknown worlds and the slow blending of reality and fantasy before, and this time laughed at the ending, a wetdream ending for the authoritarian-disposed antiquarians, in that they achieve near complete victory in the ascension of their own creation and worldview -- as closely as our Argentian might've preferred.

"Death is Static Death is Movement," by Misha Nogha (1990): n/a
- Life's too short to read novel excerpts.
  Ebenmaessiger | Oct 6, 2019 |
The Big Book of Science Fiction edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer

Some statistics:
* 115 (or 116…I may have miscounted) stories
* 1,178 pages
* Contains many Hugo & Nebula prize winning authors
* It took me almost 2 years to read it (while also reading about 101 other novels)

Reading this book required a lot of effort on my part, for various reasons. In general: I wasn't captivated by the stories. This is primarily a compendium of international authors expressing emotional concepts that might as well be from outer-space for being so alien. What keeps me from saying the stories are bad or that I didn't "like" them is that I still haven't digested whatever it was they were trying to say. If you want weird, this is the book for you. If you want to know what passes for popular sci-fi in China, India, South America and other places that do NOT think like North Americans, this is the book for you. If you want stories that will inspire you to shudder…not from horror, but from revulsion that a human could think of such themes, this is the book for you.

Even the stories by authors whose novels I really have enjoyed were not all that enjoyable for being second-rate and/or just plain emotionally weird. I won't mention names because my least/most favorite stories may not be yours and I don't want to influence you to avoid any stories---I found at least a half-dozen that I want to, and will, remember. But, for the most part, I'm now trying NOT remember some other few of them. I had to make a concerted effort to finish this book and did not find the process rewarding and edifying; but I'm glad I did it, a) for the strength of will that allowed me to finish it; b) for the breadth of conceptualization that forced me to think and feel in ways that are still beyond my ability to accept; c) enabling me to see how far Science Fiction has come in the few years since it was recognized as a genre.

So if you have the curiosity and stamina, read this book. If you can remember the "Omnibus of Science Fiction" or the "Treasury of Science Fiction" and enjoyed them, you might not find this collection as satisfying. In the end, it may be just my old age preferring the "time honored" classical themes of my childhood.

As an afterthought, the Vandermeers did a marvelous job of researching and introducing each author and story. In any collection this large, their prologues will stand for the touchstone of how an editor would ideally prepare me for what I'm about to read. ( )
  majackson | Jun 17, 2018 |
Lots of awesome authors, including my favourites, but the softcover version is so big and wobbly it's hard to read.
1 vote MalinNN | Oct 14, 2017 |
This huge anthology is thorougly recommended to all who want to explore the breadth and diversity of the genre as it offers a selection of consistently very good stories.

The collection offers stories covering every decade of the 20th century (plus a little before and a little after) and in addition to containing many classics from recognised "grandmasters" it deliberately selects works from authors representing groups that have been underrepresented in mainstream sf (early female /feminist writers, translations from non-English authors, less widely spread subgenres). As a result of that selection process we do get a few (not many) stories of lesser quality (included because they are representative of a development in the field or a subgenre) and compared to more traditional anthologies there is a larger selection of weird or surrealist fiction that might not suit everyone's tastes.

On the whole though, the quality of the writing and the originality and diversity of the stories is extremely good (****).

Microreviews:

- Introduction by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer (no rating)
A history of the genre as seen by the editors and an explanation of their selection process.

- "The Star" by H.G. Wells (***)
Still very readable. The god viewpoint and lack of characters are fine here.

- "Sultana's Dream" by Rokheya Shekhawat Hussain (**)
Early 1900s feminist utopia.

- "The Triumph of Mechanics" by Karl Hans Strobl (***)
Robot bunnies and a super villain take over a German town!

"The New Overworld" by Paul Scheerbart (*)
The intro on Scheerbart was a lot more interesting than this pulpy story.

- "Elements of Pataphysics" by Alfred Jarry (*)
Bonedry. Did not finish.

- "Mechanopolis" by Miguel de Unamuno (***)
The melancholy of being the only human in a city of machines.

- "The Doom of Principal City" by Yefim Zozulya (****)
This 1918 Russian dystopia is a very well-executed and funny satire of war and oppression. Slightly too long for my taste.

- "The Comet" by W.E.B. Du Bois (**)
The Comet starts off as an entertaining classic sf adventure but evolves into a pamphlet against racial inequality.

- "The Fate of the Poseidonia" by Clare Winger Harris (**)
Martian spies are among us. This one appears to have been included more for the fact that it is by one of the first woman sf authors to be published, than for its qualities as a story.

- "The Star Stealers" by Edmond Hamilton (**)
Dated, sometimes cringe worthy and badly flawed in many ways, this story's one redeeming quality is the fast-paced space opera action that drives it.

- "The conquest of Gola" by Leslie F. Stone (*)
This is a badly dated feminist fiction that is now only of historical interest, if that. Decent prose.

- "A Martian Odysea" by Stanley L. Weinbaum (***)
This story about the discovery of alien life forms on another planet holds up quite well.

- "The last poet and the robots" by A. Merritt (*)
The author doesn't manage to tie together everything that's going on in this tale that features reclusive artists/scientists/undying geniuses, robot overlords ruling the earth and space explorers returning home chased by a mysterious threat to our planet. And who could?

- "The Microscopic Giants" by Paul Ernst (**)
Typical tale about a strange discovery deep inside the earth.

- "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" by Jorge Luis Borges (***)
The classic that led to many other classics. The crisp writing keeps this complex story and its fictions within fictions in check.

- "Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak (***)
Man becomes the alien in order to explore the solar system.

- "September 2005: The Martian" by Ray Bradbury (**)
Colonists on Mars encounter a creature that mimics their loved ones.

- "Baby HP" by Juan José Arreola (****)
This flash fiction piece is shorter than its introduction, whch contains an even shorter additional story. A perfectly executed satirical advert.

- "Surface Tension" by James Blish (*****)
One of, if not the longest story in the book. It took me a while to accept microbe-sized humans and exoplanets with microbial life this similar to Earth's, but once past that, this 1950's tale provides all the excitement, belief in humanity and adventure that scifi has to offer.

- "Beyond Lies The Wub" by Philip K. Dick (****)
Short, funny and Dick are all words that apply to this story.
It's his debut story and doesn't feature any of his usual themes.

- "The Snowball Effect" by Katherine MacLean (****)
This is a very different sort of sf, with the science in this case being social science. Well-executed, funny and kept nicely short.

- "Prott" by Margaret St. Clair (****)
A lone space surveyor attempts to communicate with radically different alien life forms. Decent plot, very original premise.

- "The Liberation of Earth" by William Tenn (***)
Suck air, grab clusters and read this anti-war parable disguising as sf.

-"Let Me Live In a House" by Chad Oliver (**)
A tense horror story about a battle of wills between man and alien. Stylistically well executed but not for me.

- "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke (***)
A Jesuit space explorer reminisces about faith as he explores the remnants of an ancient civilization in this flash piece.

- "Grandpa" by James H. Schmitz (**)
The adventure of a young interplanetary colonist discovering the dangers of the alien fauna and flora.

- "The game of Rat and Dragon" by Cordwainer Smith (**)
This story of telepathic humans and cats joining forces to fight interplanar space rats/dragons to defend humanity's grip on the galaxy is a lot more coherent than you might imagine from that description, but it's not my cup of tea.

- "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov (****)
Even in the farthest future, the question troubling man remains the same. Quick, philosophical story.

- "Stranger Station" by Damon Knight (****)
A solitary man is sent out to rendez-vous with an alien.Both the being and their meeting are properly weird.

- "Sector General" by James White (****)
Fun tale about the goings-on in a hospital that serves a large variety of alien species. The plot was a bit naive and the editing could've been crisper but the imagination in all the alien species was well-done. On the whole this was enjoyable and light-hearted with hints about moral issues.

- "The Visitors" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (***)
A Russian archaeologist reports about an alien encounter. Part of a cycle of three stories. Certainly not bad but not noteworthy either.

- "Pelt" by Carol Emschwiller (****)
Cleverly written short piece about the question at what point a species should no longer be considered prey. This blurred line between human and animal appears to be a recurring theme in the author's works.

- "The Monster" by Gerard Klein (**)
This tale of an alien landing is not as unremarkable as it initially seems. Pageturner because of the urgency in its voice, but unfortunately not because of its plot.

- "The Man Who Lost the Sea" by Theodore Sturgeon (*****)
Intentionally confusing on the first read, you just know there's a twist coming that will explain what this beautifully constructed, romantic story is all about.

- "The Waves" by Silvina Ocampo (***)
In just a few short pages the author manages to conjure up a plausible dystopia and a classical story of impossible love. The implausible "science" it opens with, I found hard to swallow.
Odd choice to include an author who only wrote (according to the editors) a single, very short story that can be classified as sf.

- "Plenitude" by Will Worthington (***)
A very human and hopeful dystopia.

- "The Voices of Time" by J.G. Ballard (*****)
A meditation on the finiteness of life. The crisp prose and theme both remind me of DeLillo, but the added weird science and space themes give this a nice pulpy flavour of its own.

- "The Astronaut" by Valentina Zhuravlyova (***)
Melancholy but hopeful, this story perfectly captures the spirit of scifi.

- "The Squid Chooses Its Own Ink" by Adolfo Bioy Casares (**)
I enjoyed the objective tone used to relate the events of this (supposed) alien encounter, but there was not enough actual plot.

- "2BR02B" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (***)
Brief, somewhat blunt story about the moral issues relating to population control and assisted suicide.

- "A Modest Genius" by Vadim Shefner (***)
A charming old-school love story with amazing inventions thrown in.

- "Day of Wrath" by Sever Gansovsky (****)
A dark adventure story on a struggle with human-animal hybrids.

- "The Hands" by John Baxter (***)
This sf horror story is well written but too short to develop any interesting tension.

- "The Darkness" by André Carneiro (*****)
This one brings the reader into the action and the protagonist's struggle immediately and becomes a little more reflective at the very end. An ode to life but also a warning about its vulnerability.

- "'Repent, Harlequin!',said the ticktockman" by Harlan Ellison (****)
This classic about individual freedom is starting to feel a little dated, but it still deserves to be read.

- "Nine Hundred Grandmothers" by R.A. Lafferty (***)
A nice blend of surreal humour and aliens.

- "Day Million" by Frederik Pohl (***)
On day million (AD) one doesn't need their lover to be present, not even for physical sex, in this piece of humorous flash fiction.

- "Student Body" by F.L. Wallace (*****)
An almost flawless story about a human colony facing a strange pest on an alien planet. The editors were absolutely right to call this "a future classic".

- "Aye, And Gomorrah" by Samuel R. Delany (****)
This story about neutered astronauts used as lust objects is well written and would probably have been shocking to some, but I'm not entirely sure how to rate it.

- "The Hall of Machines" by Langdon Jones (**)
The author knows his craft but this description of a series of strange machines and the protagonist's reaction to them was too experimental for me.

- "Soft Clocks" by Yoshio Aramaki (**)
This amusingly surreal story certainly isn't bad, but it's a bit longer than necessary and the writing is a bit awkward in places.

- Three from "Moderan" by David R. Bunch (***)
Three surreal stories that describe a post-human civilization and its inhabitants. The language is somewhat lyrical.

- "Let Us Save the Universe (an open letter from Ijon Tichy)" by Stanislaw Lem (*)
A series of lame jokes and bad puns in the form of a pamphlet against space tourism.

- "Vaster than empires and more slow" by Ursula K. Le Guin (***)
Pretty good story about a deep space exploration team, their interrelationships and how they handle the emotions of a truly alien entity.

- "Good News from the Vatican" by Robert Silverberg (***)
This very short satire on religion showcases Silverberg's pleasant writing but there's little else.

- "When it changed" by Joanna Russ (**)
Too short on its own for my liking. Perhaps it's better within the context of the other stories in this feminist utopia.

- "And I awoke and found me here on the cold hill's side" by James Tiptree Jr. (****)
A gritty space opera story that made me wish for much much more.

- "Where two paths cross" by Dmitri Bilenkin (*****)
Clever and funny story about the encounter between a group of planetary explorers and an alien plant-like creature. There are a number of similar stories in this collection; this one is probably the best.

- "Standing Woman" by Yasutaka Tsutsui (***)
A surreal picture of a world where people are turned into plants. Features hilarity, romance and melancholy.

- "The IWM 1000" by Alicia Yanez Cossio (****)
Short cautionary tale about a growing reliance on technology. Would be considered dull if written in the time of tablets and smartphones but what makes it interesting is that it was written long before.

- "The House of Compassionate Sharers" by Michael Bishop (****)
Alienated after having his body rebuilt as a cyborg in the aftermath of an accident, Dorian Lorca learns to accept his new self in the house of Compassionate Sharers.

- "Sporting with the Chid" by Barrington J. Bayley (***)
An encounter with a very alien species of extra terrestrials. A bit surreal and somewhat grotesque.

- "Sandkings" by George R.R. Martin (*****)
One of the longest stories in the book, this Hugo and Nebula winning sci-fi horror classic is absolutely unputdowneable.

- "The Wives" by Lisa Tuttle (**)
This dark tale of aliens oppressed by man (their position as the "Wives" makes this clearle feminist) felt a bit crude to me.

- "The Snake who had Read Chomsky" by Josephine Saxton (***)
A well-constructed absurdist "science gone mad" story.

- "Reiko's Universe Box" by Kajio Shinji (*****)
Excellent quick-read that manages to remain funny and playful while dealing with themes of dysfunctional families and addiction.

- "Swarm" by Bruce Sterling (****)
The writing in the initial pages of this Shaper/Mechanist alien contact story was a bit crude, but it picks up and the plot is well thought-out and perfectly paced.

- "Mondocane" by Jacques Barbéri (**)
An intense post-human post-apocalyptic vision. Well written, but excessively surreal.

- "Blood Music" by Greg Bear (*****)
Hard near-future sf that was later expanded into a very good novel.

- "Bloodchild" by Octavia E. Butler (*****)
A must-read. There is horror of both the psychological and the visceral kinds in this story about the complex and thought-provoking relationship between a boy and an alien creature.

- "Variation on a Man" by Pat Cadigan (****)
This is a very good cyberpunk story focusing on the mental rather than the technological aspect of a neurological interface.

- "Passing as a Flower in the City of the Dead" by S.N. Dyer (**)
A space station free from bacteria to house the ill. Perhaps the implausible science put me off, but I found the tone too distant and the language at times a bit unnatural.

- "New Rose Hotel" by William Gibson (*****)
Lovely pacing in this short 80's neon-noir cyberpunk.

- "Pots" by C.J. Cherry (**)
The archeology of an extinct civilization and how its relation to religious dogma affects those investigating it. There are echoes of 60s scifi in this one. Certainly not a bad story, but its slow development and the distant, almost analytical portrayal of the main character put me off.

- "Snow" by John Crowley (****)
Melancholy tale about memory, loss and aging.

- "The sky was full of artificial things" by Karen Joy Fowler (***)
The scifi elements are limited (but present) in this story about a VR created from memories used to help someone cope with a loss.

- "The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets" by Angelica Gorodischer (***)
This story about a space explorer and a somewhat surreal future brings to mind a feminist Calvino.

- "The Owl of Bear Island" by Jon Bing (***)
Old school and well executed alien encounter/possession tale.

- "Readers of the Lost Art" by Elisabeth Vonarburg (*****)
This excellent tale about ritual and sadistic performance art is bone chilling.

- "A Gift from The Culture" by Iain M. Banks (***)
A decent intro to "The Culture" and a decent story but nothing more.

- "Paranamanco" by Jean-Claude Dunyach (**)
The writing draws you in, but the combination of weird scifi (the unexplained living "animalcities"), absurd details (the explorer's luggage consisting mainly of bottles of booze, the bizarre coin-operated phone booths, ...)and one-dimensional characters fell flat for me.

- "Crying in The Rain" by Tanith Lee (****)
An outdated vision of the future and a couple of cringeworthy cliches but a well-written timeless story.

- "The Frozen Cardinal" by Michael Moorcock (****)
This seems a run-of-the-mill exploration story until the frozen cardinal shows up. Perhaps lacking resolution, but the tone of this playful story is spot on.

- "Rachel in Love" by Pat Murphy (*****)
Sweet, poignant coming-of-age story with an intelligent chimpanzee as the main character.

- "Sharing Air" by Manjula Padmanabhan (***)
Seemingly naive and somewhat lacking a sense of immediacy this story does pack a punch.

- "Schwarzschild Radius" by Connie Willis (****)
There's a poetic quality to this story that combines symbolism and hard science with the madness of war.

- "All the Hues of Hell" by Gene Wolfe(***)
Fairly dense writing in an otherwise straightforward story that hints of a deeper background in an interesting universe.

- "Vacuum States" by Geoffrey A. Landis (***)
Funny, thought-provoking story about questions raised by physicists performing an experiment.

- "Two Small Birds" by Han Song (***)
Slightly depressing but intriguing and poetic.

- "Burning Sky" by Rachel Pollack (***)
Playful and surreal feminist piece written with an urgency that pulls you in but the overly blunt eroticism detracts from it.

- "Before I Wake" by Kim Stanley Robinson (***)
Brief (probably too brief) speculation on how an abrupt change in our environment can affect humanity and on the meaning of consciousness.

- "Death is Static Death is Movement" (Excerpt from Red Spider White Web) by Misha Nogha (**)
Interesting blend of cyberpunk and urban fantasy, though as an excerpt you do get the feeling a lot of details go past you.

- "The Brain of Rats" by Michael Blumlein (****)
This reflection on gender has onla a very limited sf element. SOme might find this story shocking or perverse.

- "Gorgonoids" (excerpt from Mathematical Creatures or Shared Dreams) by Leena Krohn (**)
A playful "fake science" piece but not as good as the other ones i read from this collection.

- "Vacancy for the Post of Jesus Christ" by Kojo Laing (**)
This melange of religion, psychology and alien contact was interesting bit lacked proper characters.

- "The Universe of Things" by Gwyneth Jones (*****)
A beautiful little story about things both alien and very human.

- "The Remoras" by Robert Reed (****)
Very well-written story that takes places on the Great Ship.

- "The Ghost Standard" by William Tenn (**)
Humorous story that is overly dependant on a few language quirks.

- "Remnants of the Virago Crypto-System" by Geoffrey Maloney (****)
This haunting, slightly surrealist story is told at a breakneck speed and leaves you yearning for more.

- "How Alex Became a Machine" (excerpt from The Troika) by Stepan Chapman (*)
The writing reads easily, but becomes increasingly surreal.

- "The Poetry Cloud" by Cixin Liu (****)
Very playful and well-rounded take on the art vs. science trope.

- "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang (*****)
Crisp writing and deliberate pacing have never been as appropriate as in this excellently constructed alien contact story.

- "Craphound" by Cory Doctorow (****)
Very good if somewhat forgettable tongue-in-cheeck alien contact story.

- "The Slynx" by Tatyana Tolstaya (excerpt from the novel of same title) (***)
A promising first chapter of a post-apocalyptical novel, well written, but not very interesting on its own.

- "Baby Doll" by Johana Sinisalo (*****)
Disturbing view of a hyper sexualized future. ( )
  igorken | Aug 13, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
VanderMeer, AnnEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
VanderMeer, JeffEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Aramaki, YoshioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arreola, Juan JoseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Asimov, IsaacContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ballard, J.G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Banks, Iain M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barberi, JacquesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baxter, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayley, Barrington J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bear, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bilenkin, DimitriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bing, JonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bioy Casares, AdolfoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bishop, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blish, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blumlein, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borges, Jorge LuisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bunch, David R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Butler, OctaviaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cadigan, PatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carneiro, AndreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chapman, StepanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cherryh, C.J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chiang, TedContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, Arthur C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crowley, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Delany, Samuel R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dick, Philip K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doctorow, CoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Du Bois, W.E.BContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dunyach, Jean-ClaudeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emshwiller, CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ernst, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farber, Sharon N.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fowler, Karen JoyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gansovsky, SeverContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibson, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorodischer, AngelicaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, EdmondContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, Claire WingerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hossain, Rokeya SakhawatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jarry, AlfredContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, LangdonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kajio, ShinjiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, GerardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knight, DamonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Krohn, LeenaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lafferty, RAContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laing, KojoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Landis, Geoffrey A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, UrsulaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, TanithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lem, StanislawContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Liu, CixinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLean, KatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maloney, GeoffreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martin, George RRContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Merritt, AbrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MishaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mohler, WillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moorcock, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murphy, PatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ocampo, SilvinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oliver, ChadContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Padmanabhan, ManjulaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pohl, FrederikContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pollack, RachelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reed, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, Kim StanleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russ, JoannaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saxton, JosephineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scheerbart, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schmitz, James H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shefner, VadimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silverberg, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simak, Clifford D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sinisalo, JohannaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, CordwainerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Song, HanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
St. Clair, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterling, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stone, Leslie F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strobl, Karl HansContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strugatsky, ArkadyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strugatsky, BorisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sturgeon, TheodoreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tenn, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tiptree Jr., JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolstaya, TatyanaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tsutsui, YasutakaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tuttle, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Unamuno, Miguel deContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vonarburg, ElisabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vonnegut Jr., KurtContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallace, FLContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weinbaum, Stanley G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wells, HGContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willis, ConnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, GeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yánez Cossío, AliciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zhuravlyova, ValentinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zozulya, YefimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

Contains

Blood Music [short story] by Greg Bear

Bloodchild {novelette} by Octavia E. Butler

Aye, and Gomorrah... [short story] by Samuel R. Delany

2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut

Vaster than empires and more slow (short story) by Ursula K. Le Guin

And I awoke and found me here on the cold hill's side (short story) by James Tiptree Jr.

Story of Your Life {novella} by Ted Chiang

Beyond Lies the Wub [short story] by Philip K. Dick

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges

Craphound by Cory Doctorow

"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman by Harlan Ellison

Surface Tension by James Blish

When It Changed [short story] by Joanna Russ

Baby Doll by Johanna Sinisalo

Schwarzschild Radius by Connie Willis

The Voices of Time by J. G. Ballard

Sandkings [novelette] by George R. R. Martin

New Rose Hotel by William Gibson

A Gift from the Culture [short story] by Iain M. Banks

Pots by C. J. Cherryh

The Lake Was Full Of Artificial Things by Karen Joy Fowler

The House Of Compassionate Sharers by Michael Bishop

The Comet by W. E. B. Du Bois

Sultana's Dream by Rokheya Shekawat Hossein

Pelt by Carol Emshwiller

The Star {short story} by Arthur C. Clarke

The Last Question (When the World Ends) by Isaac Asimov

The Game of Rat and Dragon by Cordwainer Smith

The Snake Who Had Read Chomsky {short story} by Josephine Saxton

The Liberation Of Earth by William Tenn

Desertion by Clifford D. Simak

A Martian Odyssey [short story] by Stanley G. Weinbaum

Grandpa [short story] by James H. Schmitz

Stranger Station by Damon Knight

The Snowball Effect by Katherine MacLean

The Man Who Lost the Sea [short story] by Theodore Sturgeon

Plenitude by Will Worthington

Rachel in Love by Pat Murphy

All the Hues of Hell [short story] by Gene Wolfe

Swarm (novelette) by Bruce Sterling

Good News From The Vatican by Robert Silverberg

Crying in the Rain [short story] by Tanith Lee

The Frozen Cardinal {short story} by Michael Moorcock

Before I Wake by Kim Stanley Robinson

Reiko's Universe Box by Shinji Kajio

The Brains of Rats [short story] by Michael Blumlein

The Owl of Bear Island {short story} by Jon Bing

Soft clocks [short fiction] by Yoshio Aramaki

Baby HP {short story} by Juan José Arreola

Mondocane {short story} by Jacques Barbéri

The hands [short fiction] by John Baxter

Sporting with the Chid {short story} by Barrington J. Bayley

Where Two Paths Cross {short story} by Dmitri Bilenkin

The Squid Chooses Its Own Ink {short story} by Adolfo Bioy Casares

The Martian {short story} by Ray Bradbury

The Flesh Man from Far Wide {short story} by David R. Bunch

New Kings Are Not for Laughing {short story} by David R. Bunch

No Cracks or Sagging {short story} by David R. Bunch

Variation on a Man {short story} by Pat Cadigan

Darkness {short story} by André Carneiro

How Alex Became a Machine {short story} by Stepan Chapman

Snow {story} by John Crowley

Mechanopolis {short story} by Miguel de Unamuno

Paranamanco {short story} by Jean-Claude Dunyach

The Microscopic Giants {short story} by Paul Ernst

Passing as a Flower in the City of the Dead {short story} by Sharon N. Farber

Day of Wrath {short story} by Sever Gansovsky

The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets {short story} by Angélica Gorodischer

The Star Stealers by Edmond Hamilton

The Fate of the Poseidonia by Clare Winger Harris

Elements of Pataphysics {short story} by Alfred Jarry

The Universe of Things {short story} by Gwyneth Jones

The Hall of Machines {short story} by Langdon Jones

The Monster {short story} by Gérard Klein

Gorgonoids {short story} by Leena Krohn

Nine Hundred Grandmothers [short story] by R. A. Lafferty

Vacancy for the Post of Jesus Christ {short story} by Kojo Laing

Vacuum States by Geoffrey A. Landis

Let Us Save the Universe {short story} by Stanisław Lem

The Poetry Cloud {short story} by Cixin Liu

Remnants of the Virago Crypto-System by Geoffrey Maloney

The Last Poet and the Robots {short story} by A. Merritt

Death is Static Death is Movement {short story} by Misha Nogha

The Waves {short story} by Silviana Ocampo

Let Me Live in a House {short story} by Chad Oliver

Sharing Air {short story} by Manjula Padmanabhan

Day Million [short story] by Frederik Pohl

Burning Sky by Rachel Pollack

The Remoras by Robert Reed

The New Overworld {short story} by Paul Scheerbart

A Modest Genius by Vadim Shefner

Two Small Birds {short story} by Han Song

Prott {short story} by Margaret St. Clair

The Conquest of Gola {short story} by Leslie F. Stone

The Triumph of Mechanics {short story} by Karl Hans Strobl

The Visitors {short story} by Arkady Strugatsky

The Ghost Standard {short story} by William Tenn

The Slynx {short story} by Tatyana Tolstaya

Standing Woman {short story} by Yasutaka Tsutsui

Wives {short story} by Lisa Tuttle

Readers of the Lost Art {short story} by Élisabeth Vonarburg

Student Body {short story} by F. L. Wallace

The Star by H. G. Wells

Sector General by James White

The IWM 1000 {short story} by Alicia Yánez Cossio

The Astronaut {short story} by Valentina Zhuravlyova

The Doom of Principal City {short story} by Yefim Zozulya

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Epigraph
Dedication
The editors dedicate this book to Judith Merril, who helped show us the way.
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Since the days of Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and H. G. Wells, science fiction has not just helped define and shape the course of literature but reached well beyond fictional realms to influence our perspectives on culture, science, and technology.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Contents:
  • Introduction / Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Star / H.G. Wells
  • Sultana's Dream / Rokheya Shekhawat Hossain
  • The Triumph of Mechanics / Karl Hans Strobl
  • The New Overworld / Paul Scheerbart
  • Elements of Pataphysics / Alfred Jarry
  • Mechanopolis / Miguel de Unamuno
  • The Doom of Principal City / Yefim Zozulya
  • The Comet / W.E.B. Du Bois
  • The Fate of the Poseidonia / Clare Winger Harris
  • The Star Stealers / Edmond Hamilton
  • The Conquest of Gola / Leslie F. Stone
  • A Martian Odyssey / Stanley G. Weinbaum
  • The Last Poet and the Robots / A. Merritt
  • The Microscopic Giants / Paul Ernst
  • Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius / Jorge Luis Borges
  • Desertion / Cliford D. Simak
  • September 2005: The Martian / Ray Bradbuy
  • Baby HP / Juan José Arreola
  • Surface Tension / James Blish
  • Beyond Lies the Wub / Philip K. Dick
  • The Snowball Effect / Katherine MacLean
  • Prott / Margaret St. Clair
  • The Liberation of Earth / William Tenn
  • Let Me Live in a House / Chad Oliver
  • The Star / Arthur C. Clarke
  • Grandpa / James H. Schmitz
  • The Game of Rat and Dragon / Cordwainer Smith
  • The Last Question / Isaac Asimov
  • Stranger Station / Damon Knight
  • Sector General / James White
  • The Visitors / Arkady Strugatsky & Boris Strugatsky
  • Pelt / Carol Emshwiller
  • The Monster / Girard Klein
  • The Man Who Lost the Sea / Theodore Sturgeon
  • The Waves / Silvina Ocampo
  • Plenitude / Will Worthington
  • The Voices of Time / J.G. Ballard
  • The Astronaut / Valentina Zhuravlyova
  • The Squid Chooses Its Own Ink / AdoIfo Bioy Casares
  • 2 B R 0 2 B / Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  • A Modest Genius / Vadim Shefner
  • Day of Wrath / Sever Gansovsky
  • The Hands / John Baxter
  • Darkness / André Carneiro
  • "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman / Harlan Ellison
  • Nine Hundred Grandmothers / R.A. Lafferty
  • Day Million / Frederik Pohl
  • Student Body / F.L. Wallace
  • Aye, and Gomorrah / Samuel R. Delany
  • The Hall of Machines / Langdon Jones
  • Soft Clocks / Yoshio Aramaki
  • Three from Moderan / David R. Bunch
  • Let Us Save the Universe / Stanislaw Lem
  • Vaster Than Empires and More Slow / Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Good News from the Vatican / Robert Silverberg
  • When It Changed / Joanna Russ
  • And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side / James Tiptree Jr.
  • Where Two Paths Cross / Dmitri Bilenkin
  • Standing Woman / Yasutaka Tsutsui
  • The IWM 1000 / Alicia Yánez Cossío
  • The House of Compassionate Sharers / Michael Bishop
  • Sporting with the Chid / Barrington J. Bayley
  • Sandkings / George R.R. Martin
  • Wives / Lisa Tuttle
  • The Snake Who Had Read Chomsky / Josephine Saxton
  • Reiko's Universe Box / Kajio Shinji
  • Swarm / Bruce Sterling
  • Mondocane / Jacques Barbéri
  • Blood Music / Greg Bear
  • Bloodchild / Octavia E. Butler
  • Variation on a Man / Pat Cadigan
  • Passing as a Flower in the City of the Dead / S.N. Dyer
  • New Rose Hotel / William Gibson
  • Pots / C.J. Cherryh
  • Snow / John Crowley
  • The Lake Was Full of Artificial Things / Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets / Angélica Gorodischer
  • The Owl of Bear Island / Jon Bing
  • Readers of the Lost Art / Élisabeth Vonarburg
  • A Gift from the Culture / lain M. Banks
  • Paranamanco / Jean-Claude Dunyach
  • Crying in the Rain / Tanith Lee
  • The Frozen Cardinal / Michael Moorcock
  • Rachel in Love / Pat Murphy
  • Sharing Air / Manjula Padmanabhan
  • Schwarzschild Radius / Connie Willis
  • All the Hues of Hell / Gene Wolf
  • Vacuum States / Geoffrey A. Landis
  • Two Small Birds / Han Song
  • Burning Sky / Rachel Pollack
  • Before I Wake / Kim Stanley Robison
  • Death Is Static Death Is Movement / Misha Nogha
  • The Brains of Rats / Michael Blumlein
  • Gorgonoids / Leena Krohn
  • Vacancy for the Post of Jesus Christ / Kojo Laing
  • The Universe of Things / Gwyneth Jones
  • The Remoras / Robert Reed
  • The Ghost Standard / William Tenn
  • Remnants of the Virago Crypto-System / Geoffrey Maloney
  • How Alex Became a Machine / Stepan Chapman
  • The Poetry Cloud / Cixin Liu
  • Story of Your Life / Ted Chiang
  • Craphound / Cory Doctorow
  • The Slynx / Tatyana Tolstaya
  • Baby Doll / Johanna Sinisalo
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