A Science Fiction Omnibus Paperback
Edited by Brian Aldiss
Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series
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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 592 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/11/2007
- Category: Science fiction
- ISBN: 9780141188928
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by reading_fox
Very variable. A scattered collection of 31 short and slightly longer stories. The oldest is "Nightfall" by Asimov that must have apeared in a hundred collections by now. The most recent is a 2007 offreing from a new author Eliza Blair. As can be expected in such a collection it's a bit hit and miss, depending on what you personally like. I generally found most of the older stories badly dated - LP players in the 21st cen? Some big names and some are ok - Harry Harrison's "An Alien Agony" is decent and surprising considering it was a '62 offereing. One or two of the new tales were very good - "friends in need" is worthwhile as is Chiang's "Story of your life". However the balance of good to mediocre isn't great. The range of themes is nothing secial, a few alien encounters, a few expanding empires and a bit of time travel is about it. With the occasional exception none of the plots are particularly special, merely a quick expoundation of an Idea. Worth picking up as anintrodction to some of the big names in SF, or for a specific tale you are seeking. However not that strong on it's own.
Review by byzanne
I began reading this anthology out of a sense of duty, part of my SF education, but I enjoyed almost all of these stories. There was only one I couldn't finish. Most date from the 1950s but though some of the technology now seems dated, they are still good stories. I found the social contexts of some of the older stories quite interesting, and most stories weren't as sexist etc. as I would have expected.I would have liked to know what criteria Aldiss used to select the newer stories to fit in with the anthology as a whole.Recommended, especially if you haven't read much older SF.
Review by Lady_Lazarus
I'm not a fan of science fiction, so I decided to give it yet another chance. I thought this collection of short stories mostly of older (1950s onward) science fiction would help me to form an opinion on the genre, and of course, I was hoping to improve my poor appreciation towards it. Maybe I'm a hopeless case, but this didn't impress me. The stories were mostly okayish, but the lack of great ones made the whole turn to the totally forgettable side of literature.