What if life was neverending? What if you could change your body to adapt to an alien ecology? What if the pope were a robot? Read more...
What if life was neverending? What if you could change your body to adapt to an alien ecology? What if the pope were a robot? Spanning galaxies and millennia, this must-have anthology showcases classic contributions from H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia E. Butler, and Kurt Vonnegut, alongside a century of the eccentrics, rebels, and visionaries who have inspired generations of readers. Within its pages, you'll find beloved worlds of space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, the New Wave, and more. Learn about the secret history of science fiction, from titans of literature who also wrote SF to less well-known authors from more than twenty-five countries, some never before translated into English. In The Big Book of Science Fiction, literary power couple Ann and Jeff VanderMeer transport readers from Mars to Mechanopolis, planet Earth to parts unknown. Immerse yourself in the genre that predicted electric cars, space tourism, and smartphones. Sit back, buckle up, and dial in the coordinates, as this stellar anthology has got worlds within worlds.
- Legendary tales from Isaac Asimov and Ursula K. Le Guin
- An unearthed sci-fi story from W. E. B. Du Bois
- The first publication of the work of cybernetic visionary David R. Bunch in twenty years
- A rare and brilliant novella by Chinese international sensation Cixin Liu
- Space battles
- Technology gone wrong
- Technology gone right
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-06-06
- Reviewer: Staff
At 105 stories—taken from around the world and since the genre’s very beginnings to its recent heights—and more than 1,000 pages, this extraordinary anthology handily earns its billing as the “ultimate collection” of science fiction. Featuring authors from A (Isaac Asimov’s “The Last Question”) to Z (Valentina Zhuravlyova’s “The Astronaut”), the anthology manages to touch all bases of the genre, from its origins (H.G. Wells’s “The Star”), through the pulp era (Edmond Hamilton’s “The Star-Stealers”), the so-called golden age of the 1940s and ’50s (Ray Bradbury’s “September 2005: The Martian”), New Wave (Samuel R. Delany’s “Aye, and Gomorrah...”), cyberpunk (William Gibson’s “New Rose Hotel”), and beyond (the most recent story is Johanna Sinisalo’s “Baby Doll,” published in 2002). There is hard science fiction (James White’s “Sector General”) and horror (George R.R. Martin’s “Sandkings”) as well as stories that are humanist (Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life”) and feminist (Joanna Russ’s “When It Changed”). World-famous authors are included (Kurt Vonnegut’s “2BRO2B”) as well as those now unfortunately obscure (Katherine MacLean’s “The Snowball Effect”). Women are well represented, including SFWA Grand Masters Ursula K. Le Guin (“Vaster than Empires and More Slow”), Connie Willis (“Schwarzschild Radius”), and C.J. Cherryh (“Pots”), as is work by international authors past (Miguel de Unamuno’s “Mechanopolis”) and present (Cixin Liu’s “The Poetry Cloud”); 29 stories are translated, many appearing in English for the first time. The VanderMeers, longtime SF/F editors (The Time Traveler’s Almanac and many others), provide a critical survey of the field as well as incisive biographies of the contributors. The book is dedicated to the late Judith Merril, one of SF’s most highly regarded anthologists, and it is a worthy homage to her enshrinement of genre excellence. (July)