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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. 4 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. 4 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dewey

    At long last, after taking around two years to read, I finally finish reading the 1,077 page long World Treasury of Science Fiction; it now holds the record for “longest length of time” that it took to read it (in actuality it was less than that, due to graduate school distractions. But it would still hold the record either way). But man oh man what an incredible anthology! If I could give it six stars instead of five I would, for this is, without a doubt, the best introduction to science fictio At long last, after taking around two years to read, I finally finish reading the 1,077 page long World Treasury of Science Fiction; it now holds the record for “longest length of time” that it took to read it (in actuality it was less than that, due to graduate school distractions. But it would still hold the record either way). But man oh man what an incredible anthology! If I could give it six stars instead of five I would, for this is, without a doubt, the best introduction to science fiction anybody could ask for! Containing forty-five stories and novellas ranging from 3 or 4 pages to more than sixty, this anthology leaves few, if any, stones unturned when it comes to the wealth and diversity of science fiction written in the post-HG Wells period. Virtually all the great names are in there: John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, J.G. Ballard, Isaac Asimov, Brian W. Aldiss, Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin, along with many others. For those they did not include (Frank Herbert, E.B. Van Vogt, Karel Čapek and Roger Zelazny were some I didn’t notice, though I don’t know whether they wrote any short fiction), they made up for it by mentioning them in the excellent introductions to each story, which were just as great to read as the short stories since they included tidbits about the history of SF and about where these writers stand, how their types of stories are viewed, what is the tradition if they come from a different country, etc. It was in many ways like taking a course in science fiction, minus any hard work associated with college. All of this, plus the exceptional quality of the works and arrangement, compensated for anybody important they didn’t happen to include. Anybody wanting to be convinced of the worthiness of science fiction but doesn’t know where to begin (though Dune, by Frank Herbert, is also an excellent candidate), look no further. Despite being thirty years or so out of print, this anthology is perfect! None of it is hit and miss, except by personal preference. Most importantly is its showcasing of the diversity of science fiction, not only as to whether it’s about aliens or time travel or robots but about ideas, theories, technology, history and any other questions “mainstream fiction” is usually expected to answer. I cannot recommend this anthology highly enough! Track it down and see for yourself. To conclude, just a bit of how I assess each story: Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut – one can’t ask for a better introduction than this famous Orwellian tale by the author of Slaughterhouse-five. Forgetfulness, by John W. Campbell Jr – tough to read, but qualitative from beginning to end. Darker than I expected from a writer of Campbells’ reputation, which I guess makes a good argument for his versatility. Special Flight, by John Berryman – fun read for technological people. Similar to Star Trek, and apparently is the type of SF that influenced that show later on (no idea if he is, or has anything to do with, the famous poet of the same name. Anybody with any info feel free to comment below). Chronopolis, by J.G. Ballard – an instant favorite! Will definitely read more Ballard soon. Triceratops, by Kono Tensei – fascinating example of Japanese SF. Wish there was more to read from Tensei. Godzilla fans will love this one. The Man Who Lost The Sea, by Theodore Sturgeon – couldn’t make head or tail of Theodore Sturgeon, but the story is clearly one of quality On the Inside Track, by Karl Michael Armer – German SF story about aliens. Extraterrestrial subject matter well balanced with the Bavarian countryside. Will keep an eye open for more German SF, if there is more. The Golem, by Avram Davidson – short story that I assume is here to represent Jewish SF. Like Sturgeons’ story, well done but hard to comprehend. The New Prehistory, by René Rebetez-Cortes – well-known story by a Colombian writer that has appeared in other anthologies. A trip to read every time. A Meeting With Medusa, by Arthur C. Clarke – instant favorite!! What an imaginative, beautiful tale! Concise without sacrificing any quality. The Valley of Echoes, by Gérard Klein – A shame this French writer isn’t more well known. A very good story with a geological theme. The Fifth Head of Cerberus, by Gene Wolfe – For all those who need obvious proof of SF’s literary qualities, look no further. Gene Wolfe is incredible! Not the easiest to read, as I’ve heard the same about his other stuff, but pure, 100% quality. The Chaste Planet, by John Updike – Updike’s only SF short story (unless he wrote more since the late 80’s). Chosen to represent SF written by well-known “mainstream fiction” writers. An excellent argument for the vastly different approaches these “mainstream fiction” writers take. The Blind Pilot, by Nathalie-Charles Henneberg – one of five stories written by women in this anthology. I couldn’t make much sense of this story. The Men Who Murdered Mohammed, by Alfred Bester – not an anti-Islamic story, but one about time travel. Very good story. Pairpuppets, by Manuel van Loggem – one of two Dutch SF stories. This one has a sexual theme people with certain mental images of Amsterdam would almost expect to be there. Two Dooms, by C. M. Kornbluth – one of several stories of that subgenre of SF about WWII with questions about what would have happened if the Germans won, or had made atomic bombs. Very American take and a very amusing story. Tale of a Computer that Fought a Dragon, by Stanisław Lem – Lem’s reputation in the Anglo-American world is well deserved. One won’t find any better purveyor of the science fiction fairytale than here. His tactics of word invention are as good as anything Günter Grass has done, though more humorous! The Green Hills of Earth, by Robert A. Heinlein – very strange story that wasn’t easy to read. Nevertheless, all the words were in the right places. Very unique writer. Ghost V, by Robert Sheckley – an excellent, at-times scary story about a terraforming company that is among my favorites. The Phantom of Kansas, by John Varley – will definitely read more of his works! The Phantom of Kansas was just downright awesome! He uses big SF ideas, but none of them are overdone. Captain Nemo’s Last Adventure, by Josef Nezvadba – a nod to Jules Verne, this story by the most renowned Czechoslovak writer of SF after Karel Čapek is a satire of Campbellian adventure/utopian SF. Incontestant Moon, by Larry Niven – very easygoing, lightly written, could be classified as commercial. But whatever traits it has, it’s a good story. The Gold At Starbow’s End, by Frederik Pohl – if I had to choose a favorite that I kept thinking about, it would be this one. Pohl is just that good, and the story he wrote is one of the most fascinating ones I’ve ever read! A Sign in Space & The Spiral, by Italo Calvino – two selections from Calvino’s famous work Cosmicomics and an absolute trip about the universe. Not the easiest to read, but hey! It’s Italo Calvino. The Dead Past, by Isaac Asimov – one of those writers who is just good in pretty much every way. This novella features huge questions about time travel, psychology, history and the education system. The Lens, by Annemarie van Ewyck – another Dutch SF story that shows up in other publications from time to time. Not about sex like the other one, but about ecstasy. One of these days the Dutch will have to turn it into a prolific subgenre, since it is a unique approach. The Hurkle is a Happy Beast, by Theodore Sturgeon – same as with the other Sturgeon story Zero Hour, by Ray Bradbury – Good choice by Ray Bradbury, and very all-American. Nine Lives, by Ursula K. Le Guin – an excellent story about clones from the period before Le Guin became more anthropological. One of the best here! The Muse, by Anthony Burgess – a fun read from the author of A Clockwork Orange. This is for anybody who’s dreamed of reading about aliens and Shakespeare in the same story. A Public Hating, by Steve Allen – a curious story written by a 50’s talk-show host. Not Gene Wolfe by any means, but not a bad story. Slightly Orwellian, which is a strange thing to expect a 50’s talk-show host to write. Poor Superman, by Fritz Leiber – a futuristic story about trickery in the upper echelons of futuristic society. Not as captivating as some of the others, but just as good. Angouleme, by Thomas M. Disch – an intergalactic story I couldn’t follow. But like the others I couldn’t follow, clearly well written. Stranger Station, by Damon Knight – another favorite about aliens, artificial intelligence, benefits towards humanity and other such things. One of the more intense ones. The Dead Fish, by Boris Vian – the vastly underrated French writer who wrote stories that don’t really fit into any one genre. In fact, it was hard to tell at first how this one was SF-ish. A commendable inclusion, nevertheless. I was the First to Find You, by Kirill Bulychev – the first of two stories from the Soviet Union. Excellent choice, if not the most remarkable one. The Lineman, by Walter M. Miller Jr. – superb novella that gets surprisingly down and dirty for a story written in 1957. Will definitely read more from Miller in the future. Tlön, Uqbar & Orbis Tertius, by Jorge Luis Borges – the classic story of mysterious planets from one of the greatest writers to have picked up the pen! It fits just as well with these stories as it does among his other Fictions, which only further showcases its universality. Codemus, by Tor Åge Bringsvaerd – Norwegian SF that, like all other Scandinavian SF, is usually the only story translated by that author into English. A good story that has much in common with a story I read by Sweden’s Sam J Lundwall. A Kind of Artistry, by Brian Aldiss – pure excellence! Although harder to read than I expected. The most intergalactic story in this book, it takes place in a part of the universe as far away as Frank Herberts’ Dune and Le Guin’s Hainish Series. Will read more. Second Variety, by Philip K. Dick – wonderful introduction to this renowned writer. It features claw robots, nuclear destruction and other such things. From what I’ve heard about his other works, I deem it safe to say that this is a good introduction to this Berkeley boy. Weihnachtsabend, by Keith Roberts – another post-WWII alternate reality if the Germans had won the war, only told from a more British perspective than Kornbluth. I Do Not Love Thee, Doctor Fell, by Robert Bloch – a psychological story representative of the darker SF side of the genre that Bloch was supposed to be good at doing. Not my favorite, but well done. Aye, and Gomorrah…, by Samuel R Delany – the most well known black SF writer is not forgotten, with a fascinating story about a class of superhumans with interchangeable genders. Considering the enthusiasm of today for gender studies, this story remains very relevant I should think. How Erg the Self-Inducting Slew a Paleface, by Stanisław Lem – another of Lem’s SF fairy tales, a little more complex than the first one with the greatest short story name ever! (the word paleface has no relation in this context to its use by Native Americans historically and/or stereotypically) Nobody’s Home, by Joanna Russ – a Feminist SF writer who seems more feminist than Le Guin in a number of respects. I didn’t find her inclusion easy to follow, however. Party Line, by Gérard Klein – an excellent story that only barely fits into the category of SF, but another exemplar of Kleins skills with the short story. A heart pumping story whose idea is later used in a South Park episode. The Proud Robot, by Lewis Padgett – a story from the 40’s that resonates with that time very well but is just as fresh today, minus some expressions that haven’t held up this long. Probably the one I laughed out loud at the most. Vintage Season, by Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore – a fascinating extraterrestrial story that, like Bradbury and Asimov, is just that good. Asks many interesting questions and showcases much imagination on the part of these two writers. The Way to Amaltheia, by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky – a long novella by the greatest SF legends from the Soviet Union that serves as a perfect ending among the moons of Jupiter. The longest story in here I think. Though the dialogue could have been better translated, the wealth of scientific know-how the brother’s use is astounding! Even if the Soviet Union has met its end, somebody should make a movie based on this novella.

  7. 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.

  8. 4 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 En 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 5 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.

  12. 4 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 4 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

  15. 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.

  16. 4 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!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    4/20/11: "Pairpuppets" (1974) by Manuel van Loggem 4/21/11: "The Lens" (1977) by Annemarie van Ewyck 10/21/14: "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" (1956) by Jorge Luis Borges 10/21/14: "Zero Hour" (1947) by Ray Bradbury

  18. 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!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susie

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

  20. 4 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.

  21. 5 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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Don Gubler

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

  23. 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.

  24. 4 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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    bluetyson

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

  26. 4 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!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Preston

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elissa

  29. 4 out of 5

    andy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robert Faughnan

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