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The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories
     

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories

by Tom Shippey
 

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This is the definitive collection of the twentieth-century's most characteristic genre—science 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

Overview

This is the definitive collection of the twentieth-century's most characteristic genre—science 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Tom Shippey is a major contributor in science fiction, as well as in medieval and language studies, and his new anthology not only is useful and important, it illuminates the field with the editor's insights and selections."—James Gunn, Director, The Center for the Study of Science Fiction, University of Kansas

"A vindication for all of us [science fiction fans] who have had to defend the genre as deserving serious consideration...This book collects 30 classic science-fiction stories by some of the field's msot famous authors....It's a great selection of intelligent and intriguing work."—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A collection that makes us feel the uniqueness of this discipline so freshly is doing its job."—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These 30 SF tales, arranged chronologically from 1903 to 1990, cover a typically wide and uneven range in the genre. The omission of some authors might raise eyebrows--notably Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, and Robert A. Heinlein, all known for their short fiction. Only three women are represented: C. L. Moore (whose The Piper's Son is written under the collaborative pseudonym Lewis Padgett), Ursula K. Le Guin and Racoona Sheldon (Alice Sheldon, better known under the James Tiptree Jr. pseudonym). Only Sheldon's The Screwfly Solution, a devastatingly scary story about misogyny gone mad, dates from the past 20 years, during which women have made serious progress in the genre; thus, the final third of the book is less representative than it might be. Standouts include Le Guin's 0. Henry-esque The Dowry of the Angyar, Gene Wolfe's frightening How the Whip Came Back, H. G. Wells's anticipation of modern weapons in The Land Ironclads, Thomas M. Disch's insightful Problems of Creativeness, George R.R. Martin's fascinating religious study The Way of Cross and Dragon and Frederik Pohl's The Tunnel Under the World, which opens with the now-classic line, On the morning of June 15th, Guy Burckhardt woke up screaming out of a dream. (Oct.)
Library Journal
From H.G. Wells's ``The Land Ironclads'' (1903) to David Brin's ``Piecework'' (1990), this collection of 30 sf stories gives a chronological sampling of 20th-century speculative fiction.
Booknews
A collection of 30 stories spanning the period from 1903 (H.G. Wells) to 1990 (David Brin). Shippey (English language and medieval lit., U. of Leeds) has chosen well and reflects upon the genre in a longish introduction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192803818
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
920,460
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Tom Shippey inherited J. R. R. Tolkien's Chair of Medieval English Language at the University of Leeds, and now holds the Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities at St Louis University, Missouri, specializing in Medieval Literature, Old English Arthurian and Romance Literature, Fantasy, and Science Fiction. He has written and edited numerous books, including J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (2001).

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