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A Science Fiction Omnibus (Penguin Modern Classics)

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A Science Fiction Omnibus (Penguin Modern Classics)

This new edition of Brian Aldiss’s classic anthology brings together a diverse selection of science fiction spanning over sixty years, from Isaac Asimov’s ‘Nightfall’, first published in 1941, to the 2006 story ‘Friends in Need’ by Eliza Blair. Including authors such as Clifford Simak, Harry Harrison, Bruce Sterling, A. E. Van Vogt and Brian Aldiss himself, these stories portray struggles against machines, epic journeys, genetic experiments, time travellers and alien races. From stories set on Earth, to uncanny far distant worlds and ancient burnt-out suns, the one constant is humanity itself, compelled by an often fatal curiosity to explore the boundless frontiers of time, space and probability.

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3 Responses to " A Science Fiction Omnibus (Penguin Modern Classics) "

  1. Anonymous says:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A superb collection !, 22 Mar. 2016
    By 
    Lazaros K.

    Verified Purchase(What is this?)
    A superb collection.Every true science fiction fan should have it in his bookselves !
  2. Anonymous says:
    29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    For what it is, this is worthwhile., 30 May 2010
    By 
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    R. Palmer

    Verified Purchase(What is this?)
    This anthology is an update of the now classic survey of the SF field published originally in 1973 (there were 3 books that made that version up published 1961, 3 and 4). Obviously there has been a *lot* of SF published in the intervening years, so, necessarily, the contents of this book have been updated. Naturally, however, it’s hardly definitive, however, I think that it does a reasonable job of showing where SF came from and where it’s going.

    The oldest story in it is Asimov’s 1941 story, Nightfall and the most recent stories from Gary Kilworth and Eliza Blair. Something that I did notice reading through it is that while, obviously, the immediate concerns of the stories changed, a lot of the earlier short stories seemed to be concerned with building to a pay-off of some kind (if you know Nightfall, or Fred Pohl’s The Tunnel Under the World you’ll know what I mean) while some of the later stories seem less concerned with this. I suspect that this has something to do with the market that they were writing for in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

    It seems, therefore, churlish to criticise the earlier stories for being concerned with politics we don’t consider relevant, or to be in some way “one-dimensional” (and, I think, some are) this book does what it sets out to do very well. The other thing that I’ve found is that, perhaps, some of the stories have been over-anthologised (for example, I think I’ve seen the Ted Chiang story in several: it is superb and deserves to be there, but if you read a lot of SF anthologies, you may well come accross it a lot – similarly for some of the older ones, the Asimov and Pohl stories have shown up a lot). I suppose, though, that demonstrates that there is, generally, a high standard of quality amongst this stuff.

    If you like SF and want as decent a survey of the genre as you’re likely to find in one volume, this is well worth a try. If you want up to the minute or more innovative stuff, I’d try elsewhere, though. I think that it would probably suit anybody not too familiar with the genre who wanted a decent in – if that’s you, you could add an extra star! Furthermore, a couple of the stories should be an in to some excellent longer fiction (for example, Blood Music which became an superb full length novel: Blood Music (Gollancz S.F.))

    Sole Solution – Eric Frank Russell (1956)
    Lot – Ward Moore (1953)
    Skirmish – Clifford Simak (1950)
    And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side – James Tiptree, Jr (1971)
    Poor Little Warrior! – Brian Aldiss (1958)
    Grandpa – James H. Schmitz (1955)
    Nightfall – Isaac Asimov (1941)
    The Snowball Effect – Katherine MacLean (1952)
    Swarm – Bruce Sterling (1982)
    Blood Music – Greg Bear (1983)
    Answer – Frederic Brown (1964)
    The Liberation of Earth – William Tenn (1953)
    An Alien Agony – Harry Harrison (1962)
    Track 12 – J.G. Ballard (1958)
    Sexual Dimorphism – Kim Stanley Robinson (1999)
    The Tunnel Under the World – Frederick Pohl (1954)
    Friends in Need – Eliza Blair (2006)
    The Store of the Worlds – Robert Sheckley (1959)
    Jokester – Isaac Asimov (1956)
    The Short-Short Story of Mankind – John Steinbeck (1958)
    Night Watch – James Inglis (1964)
    Ted Chiang – Story of Your Life (1998)
    Protected Species – H. B. Fyfe (1951)
    The Rescuer – Arthur Porges (1962)
    I Made You – Walter M. Miller, Jr. (1954)
    The Country of the Kind – Damon Knight (1956)
    The Cage – Bertram Chandler (1957)
    Fulfilment – A. E. van Vogt (1952)
    Common Time – James Blish (1960)
    Alien Embassy – Garry Kilworth (2006)
    Great Work of Time – John Crowley (1989)

  3. Anonymous says:
    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Perfect, 28 Dec. 2013
    By 
    N. M. Jones (UK)
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What is this?)
    This review is from: A Science Fiction Omnibus (Penguin Modern Classics) (Kindle Edition)
    This book was an excellent read.
    This item is exactly as described and performed perfectly.
    Recommended seller would shop with them again.

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