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The collection includes more than 200 stories, poems, and bibliographic essays (contributed by professors who teach science fiction and by professionals), with an emphasis on the roots of modern SF. Each story author is given a biographical introduction as well.
Posted November 18, 2012
The rating pertains to the e-book specifically. I started reading the appendix at the end listing the contents in alphabetical order, I came across Almuric by Robert E Howard. That story is not in the e-book at all. I do not know what is going on, but for an e-book version of an anthology to omit a novella from an anthology is serious--especially when the e-book anthology is over $20. I ended up buying the hardcopy--elsewhere.
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Posted November 19, 2012
This is by far the most comprehensive anthology of science fiction and essays on science fiction designed for college classes in science fiction. The ordering of the texts is a little odd, but the appendix offers a chronological guide to them. Some of the later selections are questionable--the editor tried to please living writers, which often means he agreed to anthologize a recent or an atypical work by a famous writer--a writer whose classic works were published in the 1980s might want more people to see her story from 2005, but that doesn't mean the anthologist should comply, especially since this anthology claims to be representative. The nineteenth century content is a bit slim, but it is alright. 1910 through 1980, this book is unparalleled in the breadth and quality of its texts. The essays are mostly good, but they sometimes overlap and often focus heavily on texts that are not represented in the anthology. A couple of the essays are too narrowly focused (the essay on the sf program at the University of Kansas is the best example of that). Still, there are enough essays that are properly focused for a college class of 15 weeks or less. You could read this anthology on your own as well, too, of course. A bonus--the anthology includes information about how to get your science fiction stories or novels published if you want to become a writer.
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Posted September 16, 2014
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