From the Publisher
“Over the past quarter century, Hartwell has built a well-deserved reputation in SF, fantasy and horror as an editor extraordinaire. In addition to discovering many of the leading luminaries in the genre, he has produced a pool of anthologies that attempt to stand as definitive volumes. The Science Fiction Century is another such successful landmark collection.” Publishers Weekly
“A superb survey for the uninitiated and a definitive sampler for confirmed fans.” Booklist on The Science Fiction Century
“This ranks as one of the definitive anthologies of the genreand it makes the perfect introduction to the field of science fiction. . . . The Science Fiction Century shows great breadth and range. . . . Editor Hartwell succeeds by including a wide range of authors, styles, and themes.” The Des Moines Register
“This is a book filled with familiar treasures and a great way to introduce a skeptic to the field.” SF Chronicle on The Science Fiction Century
“We are in the hands of a loving expert.” John Updike on The Hard SF Rennaissance
The Barnes & Noble Review
Originally published in 1997 as a gargantuan 992-page hardcover, The Science Fiction Century -- David G. Hartwell's ambitious attempt to pack 100 years of science fiction into one anthology -- has finally been released in a two-volume trade paperback edition.
Included within The Science Fiction Century: Volume One are stories by genre legends like H. G. Wells, A. E. van Vogt, and C. S. Lewis -- as well as mainstream literary icons like Rudyard Kipling, E. M. Forster, and Jack London. London's "The Scarlet Plaque" follows a group of semi-barbaric survivors of a mysterious contagion that wiped out most of humankind, while "Ministering Angels" by Lewis delves into spiritual enlightenment -- and fornication -- on Mars. Poul Anderson's Hugo- and Nebula-winning "Goat Song," equal parts science fiction and restructured Greek myth, pits man against the gods, or in this case, a supercomputer.
Hartwell writes in the introduction: "Science fiction is the characteristic literary genre of the century. It is the genre that stands in opposition of literary Modernism. It is the paraliterary shadow of Modernism…it expresses, represents, and confirms faith in science and reason." That unwavering faith exemplified in the 26 classic stories included herein makes this anthology one of the most comprehensive -- and downright interesting -- historical overviews of 20th-century science fiction ever put together. With stories by the aforementioned authors, as well as genre heavyweights like Hal Clement, James Tiptree Jr. (a.k.a. Alice B. Sheldon), and Philip José Farmer, this collection is a priceless addition to the library of anyone with a taste for science fiction. Paul Goat Allen