This is the definitive collection of the twentieth-century's most characteristic genrescience fiction. The tales are organized chronologically to give readers a sense of how the genre's range, vitality, and literary quality have evolved over time. Each tale offers a unique vision, an altered reality, a universe all its own. Readers can sample H.G. Well's 1903 story "The Land Ironclads" (which predicted the stalemate of trench warfare and the invention of the tank), Jack Williamson's "The Metal Man," a rarely anthologized gem written in 1928, Clifford D. Simak's 1940s classic, "Desertion," set on "the howling maelstrom that was Jupiter," Frederik Pohl's 1955 "The Tunnel Under the World" (with its gripping first line, "On the morning of June 15th, Guy Burckhardt woke up screaming out of a dream"), right up to the current crop of writers, such as cyberpunks Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, whose 1982 story "Burning Chrome" foreshadows the idea of virtual reality, and David Brin's "Piecework," written in 1990. In addition, Shippey provides an informative Introduction, examining the history of the genre, its major themes, and its literary techniques.