The definitive collection of the best in science fiction stories between 1929-1964.
This book contains twenty-six of the greatest science fiction stories ever written. They represent the considered verdict of the Science Fiction Writers of America, those who have shaped the genre and who know, more intimately than anyone else, what the criteria for excellence in the field should be. The authors chosen for The Science Fiction Hall Fame are the men and women who have shaped the body and heart of modern science fiction; their brilliantly imaginative creations continue to inspire and astound new generations of writers and fans.
Robert Heinlein in "The Roads Must Roll" describes an industrial civilization of the future caught up in the deadly flaws of its own complexity. "Country of the Kind," by Damon Knight, is a frightening portrayal of biological mutation. "Nightfall," by Isaac Asimov, one of the greatest stories in the science fiction field, is the story of a planet where the sun sets only once every millennium and is a chilling study in mass psychology.
Originally published in 1970 to honor those writers and their stories that had come before the institution of the Nebula Awards, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, Volume One, was the book that introduced tens of thousands of young readers to the wonders of science fiction. Too long unavailable, this new edition will treasured by all science fiction fans everywhere.
The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, Volume One, includes the following stories:
Introduction by Robert Silverberg
"A Martian Odyssey" by Stanley G. Weinbaum
"Twilight" by John W. Campbell
"Helen O'Loy" by Lester del Rey
"The Roads Must Roll" by Robert A. Heinlein
"Microcosmic God" by Theodore Sturgeon
"Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov
"The Weapon Shop" by A. E. van Vogt
"Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett
"Huddling Place" by Clifford D. Simak
"Arena" by Frederic Brown
"First Contact" by Murray Leinster
"That Only a Mother" by Judith Merril
"Scanners Live in Vain" by Cordwainer Smith
"Mars is Heaven!" by Ray Bradbury
"The Little Black Bag" by C. M. Kornbluth
"Born of Man and Woman" by Richard Matheson
"Coming Attraction" by Fritz Leiber
"The Quest for Saint Aquin" by Anthony Boucher
"Surface Tension" by James Blish
"The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke
"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
"The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin
"Fondly Fahrenheit" by Alfred Bester
"The Country of the Kind," Damon Knight
"Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes
"A Rose for Ecclesiastes" by Roger Zelazny
About the Author
Robert Silverberg is a past president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, has published stories in all of the major science fiction magazines, written numerous science fiction novels, and is considered one of the greatest authors in the field. He is an award-winning author and has edited the New York Times bestselling anthology Legends.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Robert Silverberg
"A Martian Odyssey," Stanley G. Weinbaum
"Twilight," John W. Campbell
"Helen O'Loy," Lester del Rey
"The Roads Must Roll," Robert A. Heinlein
"Microcosmic God," Theodore Sturgeon
"Nightfall," Isaac Asimov
"The Weapon Shop," A. E. van Vogt
"Mimsy Were the Borogoves," Lewis Padgett
"Huddling Place," Clifford D. Simak
"Arena," Frederic Brown
"First Contact," Murray Leinster
"That Only a Mother," Judith Merril
"Scanners Live in Vain," Cordwainer Smith
"Mars is Heaven!," Ray Bradbury
"The Little Black Bag," C. M. Kornbluth
"Born of Man and Woman," Richard Matheson
"Coming Attraction," Fritz Leiber
"The Quest for Saint Aquin," Anthony Boucher
"Surface Tension," James Blish
"The Nine Billion Names of God," Arthur C. Clarke
"It's a Good Life," Jerome Bixby
"The Cold Equations," Tom Godwin
"Fondly Fahrenheit," Alfred Bester
"The Country of the Kind," Damon Knight
"Flowers for Algernon," Daniel Keyes
"A Rose for Ecclesiastes," Roger Zelazny
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
From Heinlein to Sturgeon to Asimov, this collection of short stories includes fiction that is far more applicable to contemporary issues than one might first suspect. Including twenty-six tales in all, the topics include religion, politics, technology's effect on the human race, aliens, time travel, and the lot. The book starts with stories written at the beginning of the Great Depression and span, in publication, all the way until around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The stories all provoke thought in morality, so-called 'progress,' and the nature of humanity in general. My favorite was the slightly altered(from the Martian Chronicles), standalone version of Bradbury's classic, 'Mars is Heaven!' where spacemen journey to Mars only to find all their dead relatives living in a town together. The intelligent Martians have a few tricks up their sleeves and this collection of stories does not disappoint. Whether you'd like an introduction to science fiction or you want to have all your favorites together in one book, I highly recommend this volume.
I first read this anthology as a twelve year-old Junior High student. The school library had it in hardback, and I was already a fan of Heinlein. This book absolutely rocked my world. Story after story after story each better, different, mind-expanding, mind-BENDING. And age has not affected the impact of the overwhelming majority of these pieces, either. 'Microcosmic God' - what happens when man creates a new species? 'The Cold Equations' - when is it morally correct to murder an innocent young woman? 'Flowers for Algernon' - what might happen if we keep tinkering with our own intellects? 'First Contact' - if there IS another intelligent species out there, I hope our first meeting goes like this. 'The Weapons Shop' - standing up for yourself will still have meaning in the future, I hope. 'For Love of Mother Not' - not Lovecraft, but still quite frightening. I strongly recommend this anthology. Don't pass up this reissue.
And for Dotto being the newbie XD
I've been reading quite a few science fiction books lately, particularly anthologies, and this one stands out as special. It's comprised of the 26 stories voted into the "Science Fiction Hall of Fame" as the best in the genre under 15,000 words by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Spanning from 1934 to 1963, these are all stories from before the group established their yearly Nebula Awards and are from the "Golden Age of Science Fiction." I think that gave the voters some perspective, a little distance from politics and personalities, because this is about as strong a group of science fiction stories as you can get in one volume. Nine of the twenty-six were also nominated for or won Hugo Awards, the other major award in the field. One sci-fi anthology I read recently I found disappointing was Dangerous Visions, a 1967 anthology of what were supposed to be innovative, daring stories by the "New Wave" writers in contrast to the staid old timers. But I found more stories truly innovative here in style (Matheson's "Born of Man and Woman," Smith's "Scanners Live in Vain," Bester's "Fondly Fahrenheit") and daring and iconoclastic (Boucher's "Quest for Saint Aquin," Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God," even in its way Vogt's "The Weapon Shop" and Knight's "Country of the Kind") without ever being...well crude. There was only one story I considered rather weak, and that was Judith Merril's "That Only a Mother." Along with C.L. Moore who co-wrote one story, Merril was the only female writer represented--and I had to wonder if that was part of why Silverberg chose the story, especially since it didn't come in on the "mandatory" first fifteen in the balloting listed in the introduction. (Female science fiction writers were thin on the ground then. Anne McCaffrey was the first to win a Nebula or Hugo in 1968.) On the other hand, that story by Merril--and others given the chronological order--did give an interesting picture of the fears of the post-nuclear age. If I counted stories I loved--truly loved, that would be 21 out of the 26. If I was forced to name a top five...1) "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov - One of those stories that made me fall in love with science fiction--this story I had read long before--and absolutely deserves listing as among the best. It came in first in the vote tally. You'll never look at the night sky in the same way again. Trust me.2) "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes - This isn't simply one of the best science fiction stories I've read, but one of the best short stories period. Later expanded into a novel and made into the film Charly, I love how this tells its story through diary entries--showing the changes in its protagonist directly in the way he writes. A heart-breaking story.3) "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" by Roger Zelazny - Written in a pitch perfect first person, this is the most lyrical story in the book--fitting given the poet protagonist. And yes, as the title promises, the story is poignant and haunting. (Campbell's time-travel story "Twilight" had a similar quality.)4) "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett - Padgett is the pseudonym of the husband and wife writing team of C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner. Moore is a favorite author of mine--I own a collection of her short stories. This one wasn't in there, and I began it skeptical it could possibly top "Vintage Season" in quality. Well, it didn't top it--but it did match it. And that's quite a feat. One of the rare stories with convincing child characters, it would have made a great Twilight Zone episode--which could be said of quite a few stories in this book. (See, for instance "Mars is Heaven!," "The Little Black Bag" or "It's a Good Life.")5) "Surface Tension" by James Blish - I just loved the way this created a completely unique world--one where humanity spans a world the size of a puddle with protozoa allies and rotifer enemies and the challenge of...surface tension. "Microcosmic Gods" was ano
This is a great book for those who want to sample the "golden age" of science fiction. Guarantee upon completion you will be seeking more works by the authors within.
Nice short story collection, I purchased it for a writing group I joined.
I recently read the first five stories collected in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964. While I enjoyed "A Martian Odyssey" by Stanley Weinbaum the most, all of the stories were excellent and many of them demonstrated interesting features. In our class discussion the connections with classical literature was noted for several of the stories starting with the Weinbaum story, for as the title suggests it has aspects that appear to be variations on Homer's Odyssey. The main character, Jarvis, goes on a journey outward bound and when he attempts to return his journey is derailed or lengthened by encounters with an amazing variety of aliens, each of whom are unique. The third story, "Helen O'Loy" by Lester del Rey, presents a robot that appears to be comparable to Helen of Troy as the story opens with this description of her:"I am an old man now, but I can still see Helen as Dave unpacked her, and still hear him gasp as he looked her over."Man, isn't she a beauty?"She was beautiful, a dream spun in plastics and metals, something Keats might have seen dimly when he wrote his sonnet. If Helen of Troy had looked like that the Greeks must have been pikers when they launched only a thousand ships; at least that's what I told Dave." (p 42)And in Robert Heinlein's "The Roads Must Roll" the militaristic depiction of the Road support organization reminded me of the concept of the "Guardians" in Plato's Republic. The dedicated class of cadets who man the roads seemed similar to Plato's idea for his ideal society. Who would have expected allusions like these in tales of the future? I concluded my traversal of The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964 and found myself reflecting on some of the themes. I have previously commented on the intersection of the SF and Horror genres but there are other themes that we noted in our discussion of the stories. One theme is that of extreme situations exemplified in "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin where a shuttle space ship (Emergency Dispatch Ship) is unprepared for even and ounce of excess weight when a stowaway is found on board with disastrous consequences. Not unexpectedly many of the stories emphasize the theme of the "other", whether aliens from outer space -- Mars is a popular choice from this era -- or aliens from the future, or aliens among us who, but for the vagaries of biology or psychology, would otherwise be human.In the famous story by Daniel Keyes, "Flowers for Algernon", Charlie Gordon experiences the feeling of being the "other" both due to his low intelligence and subsequent extreme high intelligence level that he reaches before returning to his original mental state. Through it all his emotional state develops so that there is some hope for whatever future he may have after the story ends.The theme of monsters who are beyond human control is also prominent. Both "It's a GOOD Life' by Jerome Bixby and "The Country of the Kind" by Damon Knight present monsters that are unsettling in their ability to change the world around them and the humans who survive are challenged beyond what one would expect they could manage.I found paradoxical the hubris of the scientists in "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke when they attempted to create a computing machine for Tibetan Monks that would catalog all of the names of god. They did not believe they could succeed and the result when they did was astonishing. I challenge the reader of this story to consider the possibility of an infinite number of universes in god's creation (if that is what this is).The beauty of the prose style of the writers was never more evident than in Roger Zelazny's award-winning story "A Rose for Ecclesiates". In it a scientist on Mars falls in love with a dying civilization and one representative of it whose response is not what he expects. The result of all the stories is and engaging medley that does justice to the "Golden Age" of Science Ficti
This anthology of stories is the Bible of science fiction. If you´re a science fiction fan you might not lose the oportunity to read this marvelous book. All its stories leaves you thinking about how can be the future: A MARTIAN ODSSEY, are there other life forms on Mars? ARENA, will the race fate be decided by a war that will finish in a 1-1 fight? THE LITTLE BLACK BAG, how much medicine will evolve to treat diseases and accidents? MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES, can we modify the future sending objects to the past? COMMING ATTRACTION, will a nuclear war devast our planet transforming it in a radioactive hell?