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The Science Fiction Century by David G.…

The Science Fiction Century (1997)

by David G. Hartwell (Editor)

Other authors: Lino Aldani (Contributor), Poul Anderson (Contributor), Gregory Benford (Contributor), Eddy C. Bertin (Contributor), James Blish (Contributor)41 more, Algis Budrys (Contributor), Dino Buzzati (Contributor), Hal Clement (Contributor), Mildred Clingerman (Contributor), John Crowley (Contributor), Gordon Eklund (Contributor), Harlan Ellison (Contributor), Philip Jose Farmer (Contributor), E.M. Forster (Contributor), William Gibson (Contributor), Charles Harness (Contributor), Frank Herbert (Contributor), Wolfgang Jeschke (Contributor), Rudyard Kipling (Contributor), Nancy Kress (Contributor), Alexander Kuprin (Contributor), Philip Latham (Contributor), C.S. Lewis (Contributor), Jack London (Contributor), Frank Belknap Long (Contributor), Richard A. Lupoff (Contributor), James Morrow (Contributor), Chad Oliver (Contributor), Edgar Pangborn (Contributor), J.H. Rosny aine (Contributor), Michael Shaara (Contributor), Robert Silverberg (Contributor), Cordwainer Smith (Contributor), Margaret St. Clair (Contributor), Bruce Sterling (Contributor), Michael Swanwick (Contributor), William Tenn (Contributor), James Tiptree, Jr. (Contributor), George Turner (Contributor), A.E. van Vogt (Contributor), Jack Vance (Contributor), H.G. Wells (Contributor), Connie Willis (Contributor), Adam Wisniewski-Snerg (Contributor), John Wyndham (Contributor), Roger Zelazny (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Science Fiction Century (1-2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
441339,361 (4.07)12
"Science fiction is the characteristic literary genre of the century. It is the genre that stands in opposition to literary modernism." So says David G. Hartwell in his introduction to "The Science Fiction Century, " an anthology spanning a hundred years of science fiction, from its birth in the 1890s to the future it predicted. David G. Hartwell is a World Fantasy Award-winning editor and anthologist who has twice before redefined a genre--first the horror field with "The Dark Descent, " then the subgenre of hard science fiction with "The Ascent of Wonder, " coedited with Kathryn Cramer. Now, Hartwell has compiled the mother of all definitive anthologies, guaranteed to change not only the way the science fiction field views itself but also the way the rest of literature views the field. "The Science Fiction Century "includes stories from the founding fathers of the field, such as H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis, Jack London, and Rudyard Kipling; beloved mainstays of the genre, such as Philip Jose Farmer, Roger Zelazny, Jack Vance, and Poul Anderson; noted female writers, including Connie Willis, Nancy Kress, and James Tiptree, Jr.; and writers who have hit their stride in the last two decades, such as Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Michael Swanwick, and James Morrow. Hartwell has also included writers widely recognized outside the genre, such as E.M. Forster, Michael Shaara, and John Crowley; and translations of foreign writers' formative works, including Dino Buzzati and Wolfgang Jeschke. This is must-have anthology for all literary interests.… (more)



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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
"Beam Us Home," by James Tiptree, Jr. (1969): 7.25
- I know I need to take into account the time this was written and the actual context, that is The Vietnam war and the many ways in which people were dealing with the fallout back home. That said, it still strikes me as a bit weird to hang such an ominous story, with both high stakes narrative and contemporary implications, on a Star Trek connection. Partially the reason that it doesn't work is that the protagonist is so shoddily sketched out, with little evidence given for any of his many many possible character motivations, before it's just explained to us at the end. At the same time, she does about as good as she can with such a weak original concept, building up its realistically messed up world, in which foreign relations have gone bad, but not in the most evidently disastrous way that many genre writers would create, and painting a picture, if you would like to read the story this way, I've just a young person adrift in the world and I only have sure if what they want to do once they see how much they've messed up.

"Something Ending," by Eddy C. Bertin (1971): 6.75
- These ones are a bit sad; some people really want to join a club. It's of a piece with the story from the German writer: they look like an SF story, the walk and talk and quack like one. But they're just missing something--and that something's, no matter how small, the difference between a cringe and an 'hmm, okay.' Our story: a man meets -- three times, in the parable way the worst of these older stories ape -- another, older man who insists that nothing around him is real, i.e. that it's all an illusion manufactured just for him to give the semblance of other consciousness. A generous reader could say that Bertin is laying out a conte philosophique -- or a small fable-like story intended to illustrate or serve as a platform to interrogate one or more philosophical 'problems' -- in that he's dealing with [in the Illusion thought] one actual theory of consciousness. That's giving this a lot more credit than warranted, I believe, as, even if that was the intention, it's quite lazy, in simply placing the description in the exposition-spewing mouth of the drunkard. And also, come on, it's not doing that.

"Ministering Angels," by C.S. Lewis (1955): 6
- It is an unexpected pleasure, after first being so familiar with the stereotypes of the Bad Old SF -- namely, that it was racist, sexist, libertarian, callously colonialistic, and much more -- and second reading so much of it, to find, now so deep into the thing, that the single worst culprit of the claims, the story that, more than any other, actually and unapologetically embodies those expectations, is one by fucking CS Lewis. Just priceless. The piece: scientists on a years-long mission to Mars are surprised when a relief ship appears before their allotted time is up. They're there not to wrap things up, but instead to drop off two women to act as government-mandated Relief Women (otherwise ... what? space madness or some shit). The two women are, simply, grotesqueries: one, the "Fat Woman" constantly ridiculed in the prose for her girth and lasciviousness and disgustingness and complete indifference to her lack of desirability; and the other, the "Thin Woman," clearly meant to be a priggish, stern lesbian, only there because of her sincere devotion to science (as a Uni prof) and otherwise completely androgynous to the crew (they didn't initially know she was a woman). Other than the Thin Woman, they're all given cockney accents (!), and the classism seeps through. It's really quite remarkable stuff; the genuine hatred for women just seeps off the page. In short, some of the men escape, rather than have to live with/fuck these women, and the others are ready to revolt -- all except one: the saintly Monk, who is happy that he's able now to minister to the Fat Woman. Unfuckingbelievable. It's like a fair and Lewis is lining up all the socio-cultural developments he hates and just shooting wildly at them in the stupidest most puerile way possible. Every megachurch simp who ever talks about MERE CHRISTIANITY should likewise be required to teach this at Sunday School, although of course they would cause they'd love it. I mean, more, it's just real funny that I'm sure there are like really considered, labored annotatations of this tripe in some necktie Christians stupid Collected CS Lewis and they're giving space and thought to this reactionary drivel. Just really amazing stuff.

"He Who Shapes," by Roger Zelazny (1966): 9
- Zelazny wades in a world of literary possibility. Peep the drunken dreamvision scene: allusive language, some studiously non-purple purple prose, and some essential measure of authorial emotional remove, leavened, nonetheless, by what can only be called an excessive amount of sentimental emotional investment (that last line: “And he was afraid”). None of this is to say, however, that he’s doing any of this particularly well. Indeed, the joys to be found here (and they’re here aplenty) are largely the joys of well-done speculative fiction (very much of a very certain era, bear in mind): i.e. the noirish crackle, the explicit, psychoanalytically influenced philosophizing around the central SF conceit, the techno-utopianism. What bridges both of these modes, however, is his knack at the turn of phrase—at conveying an emotion or scene in the 85th rather than 30th percentile. Zum Beispiel: “Knowing she verged upon beauty, Jil took great pains to achieve it.”
1 vote Ebenmaessiger | Oct 6, 2019 |
I like to dip at leisure into my home library's short-story collections, rather than reading straight through. And so, by its nature, a book like this occupies the "unfinished" shelf. Like its title suggests, this book's authors encompass the 20th century. They represent a wide range of genres and focuses within the field of "science fiction." This book is sure to occupy my interest for some time to come.
  Cynthia_Parkhill | Nov 24, 2018 |

Little did I know the treasure I was finding when I picked up The Science Fiction Century, a massive anthology of 45 science fiction short stories edited by David Hartwell. Almost all of the selections included were outstanding, but I especially enjoyed the stories noted with an asterisk below. Each selection opens with a brief biography of the writer and their work, which I really appreciated.
Highly Recommended; http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/

Table of Contents
* Beam Us Home - James Tiptree Jr.
Ministering Angels - C. S. Lewis
* The Music Master of Babylon - Edgar Pangborn
A Story of the Days to Come - H. G. Wells
Hot Planet - Hal Clement
* A Work of Art - James Blish
* The Machine Stops - E. M. Forster
Brightness Falls from the Air - Margaret St. Clair
2066 Election Day - Michael Shaara
The Rose - Charles Harness
* The Hounds of Tindalos - Frank Belknap Long
* The Angel of Violence - Adam Wisniewski-Snerg
Nobody Bothers Gus - Algis Budrys
The Time Machine - Dino Buzzati
Mother - Philip Jose Farmer
As Easy as A.B.C. - Rudyard Kipling
* Ginungagap - Michael Swanwick
* Minister Without Portfolio - Mildred Clingerman
Time in Advance - William Tenn
Good Night Sophie - Lino Aldani
* Veritas - James Morrow
Enchanted Village - A. E. van Vogt
The King and the Dollmaker - Wolfgang Jeschke
Fire Watch - Connie Willis
Goat Song - Poul Anderson
* The Scarlet Plague - Jack London
Drunkboat - Cordwainer Smith
Another World - J. H. Rosny-Aîné
If the Stars Are Gods - Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund
* I Still Call Australia Home - George Turner
Liquid Sunshine - Alexander Kuprin; trans. by Leland Fetzer
Great Work of Time - John Crowley
* Sundance - Robert Silverberg
Greenslaves - Frank Herbert
* Rumfuddle - Jack Vance
The Dimple in Draco - Philip Latham
* Consider Her Ways - John Wyndham
Something Ending - Eddy C. Bertin
He Who Shapes - Roger Zelazny
Swarm - Bruce Sterling
* Beggars in Spain - Nancy Kress
Johnny Mnemonic - William Gibson
Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman - Harlan Ellison
Blood's a Rover - Chad Oliver
Sail the Tide of Mourning - Richard A. Lupoff ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 3 of 3
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hartwell, David G.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldani, LinoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, PoulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benford, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bertin, Eddy C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blish, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Budrys, AlgisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buzzati, DinoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clement, HalContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clingerman, MildredContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crowley, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eklund, GordonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farmer, Philip JoseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Forster, E.M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibson, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harness, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herbert, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jeschke, WolfgangContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kipling, RudyardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kress, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuprin, AlexanderContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Latham, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, C.S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
London, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Long, Frank BelknapContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lupoff, Richard A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrow, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oliver, ChadContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pangborn, EdgarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rosny aine, J.H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shaara, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silverberg, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, CordwainerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
St. Clair, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterling, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swanwick, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tenn, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tiptree, James, Jr.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turner, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
van Vogt, A.E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vance, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wells, H.G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willis, ConnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wisniewski-Snerg, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wyndham, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zelazny, RogerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed


The Science Fiction Century, Volume 1 by David G. Hartwell

The Scarlet Plague by Jack London (indirect)

Time in Advance [novelette] by William Tenn (indirect)

The Mammoth Book of 20th Century Science Fiction: Volume Two by David G. Hartwell

A work of art [short story] by James Blish (indirect)

2066 Election Day by Michael Shaara (indirect)

The Rose (Short story) by Charles L. Harness (indirect)

The Time Machine [short story] by Dino Buzzati (indirect)

Mother by Philip José Farmer (indirect)

Veritas [novelette] by James Morrow (indirect)

Enchanted Village [short story] by A. E. van Vogt (indirect)

The King And The Dollmaker by Wolfgang Jeschke (indirect)

Drunkboat by Cordwainer Smith (indirect)

Another World by J.-H. Rosny aîné (indirect)

If The Stars Are Gods [short story] by Gordon Eklund (indirect)

I Still Call Australia Home by George Turner (indirect)

Liquid Sunshine (in The Mammoth Book of 20th Century Science Fiction Volume Two - HARTWELL) by Alexander Kuprin (indirect)

Greenslaves by Frank Herbert (indirect)

He Who Shapes by Roger Zelazny (indirect)

Beggars in Spain (novella version) by Nancy Kress (indirect)

Rumfuddle [novella] by Jack Vance (indirect)

The Mammoth Book of 20th Century Science Fiction: Volume One by David G. Hartwell

The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster

Great Work of Time {novella} by John Crowley

Fire Watch [short story] by Connie Willis

A Story of the Days to Come by H. G. Wells

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

Goat Song [novelette] by Poul Anderson

Ginungagap by Michael Swanwick

The Hounds of Tindalos [short story] by Frank Belknap Long

Sundance [short story] by Robert Silverberg

Swarm (novelette) by Bruce Sterling

As Easy as A.B.C. [novelette] by Rudyard Kipling

Johnny Mnemonic [short story] by William Gibson

The Music Master Of Babylon by Edgar Pangborn

Beam Us Home by James Tiptree Jr.

Die vierte Dimension by Lino Aldani

Hot Planet by Hal Clement

Minister Without Portfolio by Mildred Clingerman

Sail the tide of mourning (short story) by Richard A. Lupoff

Brightness Falls From The Air by Margaret St. Clair

Consider Her Ways [novella] by John Wyndham

Nobody Bothers Gus by Algis Budrys

The Dimple in Draco [short story] by Philip Latham

Ministering Angels by C. S. Lewis

Something Ending by Eddy C. Bertin

Blood's a Rover [novella] by Chad Oliver

The Angel of Violence {short story} by Adam Wisniewski-Snerg

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