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The Big Book of Science Fiction

de Ann VanderMeer (Editor), Jeff VanderMeer (Editor)

Altres autors: Yoshio Aramaki (Col·laborador), Juan Jose Arreola (Col·laborador), Isaac Asimov (Col·laborador), J.G. Ballard (Col·laborador), Iain M. Banks (Col·laborador)101 més, Jacques Barberi (Col·laborador), John Baxter (Col·laborador), Barrington J. Bayley (Col·laborador), Greg Bear (Col·laborador), Dimitri Bilenkin (Col·laborador), Jon Bing (Col·laborador), Adolfo Bioy Casares (Col·laborador), Michael Bishop (Col·laborador), James Blish (Col·laborador), Michael Blumlein (Col·laborador), Jorge Luis Borges (Col·laborador), Ray Bradbury (Col·laborador), David R. Bunch (Col·laborador), Octavia Butler (Col·laborador), Pat Cadigan (Col·laborador), Andre Carneiro (Col·laborador), Stepan Chapman (Col·laborador), C.J. Cherryh (Col·laborador), Ted Chiang (Col·laborador), Arthur C. Clarke (Col·laborador), John Crowley (Col·laborador), Samuel R. Delany (Col·laborador), Philip K. Dick (Col·laborador), Cory Doctorow (Col·laborador), W.E.B Du Bois (Col·laborador), Jean-Claude Dunyach (Col·laborador), Harlan Ellison (Col·laborador), Carol Emshwiller (Col·laborador), Paul Ernst (Col·laborador), Sharon N. Farber (Col·laborador), Karen Joy Fowler (Col·laborador), Sever Gansovsky (Col·laborador), William Gibson (Col·laborador), Angelica Gorodischer (Col·laborador), Edmond Hamilton (Col·laborador), Claire Winger Harris (Col·laborador), Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (Col·laborador), Alfred Jarry (Col·laborador), Gwyneth Jones (Col·laborador), Langdon Jones (Col·laborador), Shinji Kajio (Col·laborador), Gerard Klein (Col·laborador), Damon Knight (Col·laborador), Leena Krohn (Col·laborador), RA Lafferty (Col·laborador), Kojo Laing (Col·laborador), Geoffrey A. Landis (Col·laborador), Ursula Le Guin (Col·laborador), Tanith Lee (Col·laborador), Stanislaw Lem (Col·laborador), Liu Cixin (Col·laborador), Katherine MacLean (Col·laborador), Geoffrey Maloney (Col·laborador), George RR Martin (Col·laborador), Abraham Merritt (Col·laborador), Misha (Col·laborador), Will Mohler (Col·laborador), Michael Moorcock (Col·laborador), Pat Murphy (Col·laborador), Silvina Ocampo (Col·laborador), Chad Oliver (Col·laborador), Manjula Padmanabhan (Col·laborador), Bruce Pennington (Col·laborador), Frederik Pohl (Col·laborador), Rachel Pollack (Col·laborador), Robert Reed (Col·laborador), Kim Stanley Robinson (Col·laborador), Joanna Russ (Col·laborador), Josephine Saxton (Col·laborador), Paul Scheerbart (Col·laborador), James H. Schmitz (Col·laborador), Vadim Shefner (Col·laborador), Robert Silverberg (Col·laborador), Clifford D. Simak (Col·laborador), Johanna Sinisalo (Col·laborador), Cordwainer Smith (Col·laborador), Han Song (Col·laborador), Margaret St. Clair (Col·laborador), Bruce Sterling (Col·laborador), Leslie F. Stone (Col·laborador), Karl Hans Strobl (Col·laborador), Arkady Strugatsky (Col·laborador), Boris Strugatsky (Col·laborador), Theodore Sturgeon (Col·laborador), William Tenn (Col·laborador), James Tiptree Jr. (Col·laborador), Tatyana Tolstaya (Col·laborador), Yasutaka Tsutsui (Col·laborador), Lisa Tuttle (Col·laborador), Miguel de Unamuno (Col·laborador), Elisabeth Vonarburg (Col·laborador), Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Col·laborador), FL Wallace (Col·laborador), Stanley G. Weinbaum (Col·laborador), HG Wells (Col·laborador), James White (Col·laborador), Connie Willis (Col·laborador), Gene Wolfe (Col·laborador), Alicia Yánez Cossío (Col·laborador), Valentina Zhuravlyova (Col·laborador), Yefim Zozulya (Col·laborador)

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317668,112 (3.96)7
"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"--Back cover.… (més)
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This is a massive book with almost 1200 pages of fairly small, and double columned, text and over 50 stories ranging over more than a century and with authors from all over the world and stories from the well-known and the less well-known with some of these proving some of the better stories., especially if the established author has a better claim to fame at longer lengths. The VanderMeers' introduction lays out their manifesto for this anthology, which is to widen the choice of authors out from the anglophone world and on the subjects covered, the former was quite illuminating and the latter was somewhat less so. ( )
  JohnFair | May 1, 2020 |
A little light reading for the holidays. The first 75% of the book I liked a lot; several stories I read in other anthologies, so a bit like coming home. After that I hit a bit of a snag with stories I just couldn't relate to. Fortunately there were a few gems in there still. A memorable collection. ( )
  meznir | Jan 8, 2020 |
"Sultana's Dream," by Rokheya Shawkat Hossain (1905): 8.25
- wonderfully essentialist feminist tale. I like the complete reversal of oppression rather than gleichberechtigkeit. and you can guess a lot about the authors class and education therefrom. enjoyable nonetheless, esp. the abrupt ending!

"The Doom of Principal City," by Yefim Zozulya (1918): 7
- it's kind of blank vagueness is both asset and detriment, as the former allows it to remain timeless, as we can fill the gap and flush out the illusion to our own satisfaction, while the latter demonstrates The difficulty of finding anything to hold onto, even in the allegory, let alone the characters

"The Triumph of Mechanics," by Karl Hans Strobel (1907): 6.5
- more noteworthy as an historical curio than piece of leisure entertainment reading now but interesting nonetheless in its clear german- and period-markers (taylorism, American innovation and mechanical prowess) which I can't see many others getting excited by.

"Baby Doll," by Johanna Sinisalo (2002): 4.5
- a one-trick pony and even that trick is quite unimpressive. the same story could exist, with the actual same (conservative) message, even if you aged-up each character to "appropriate" ages: a sin that the gimmick was both pointless and not essential to the point trying to be made. still, some good: I did like the muted undertones of disintegrating morality, esp. in the nice delayed reveal that she stopped the boy not because he was raping her, but because she was jealous (and that she took a positive message away from dollhouse). still, a big ehh

"Craphound," by Cory Doctorow (1998): 6
- eh, the charm's lost on me here. allegory-wise. at first was thinking capitalism, then colonialism, then I actually think it's just relative consumerism, and a kind of uninteresting whack at it at that. a bit like the final baby doll story-stale symbolism wrapped in lackluster storytelling. but eh. maybe it's the fault of the book title and the unrealistic expectations it heaps upon each story (both in terms of story AND thematic relevance).

"The Star," by H.G. Wells (1897): 9
- great. the wide lens. the martian astronomers.

"Slynx," by Tatiana Tolstoya (2000): 8
- hard to know exactly what to give, as its an excerpt from a novel, but if measured by wanting to read the novel then pretty good. the tone was that affected simplicity that worked well considering the context here and I liked the suggestions and implications about the world (the half human Degenerants and the sense that they don't know why they call enemies Chechens).

"The Gorgonoids," by Leena Krohn (1993): 6.5
- the truest yet to the form of "philosophical disquisition " with speculative elements as means of investigating larger questions. This, unfortunately, went too much in favor of the later at the expense of fleshing out the former at all.

"The Fate of the Poseidonia," by Clare Winger Harris (1927): 8.5
- I hope I'm not tinging too many of my scores with a patronizing 'appreciation' of things in older stories that I would find irredeemable in newer ones, but I enjoyed this kind of paranoid big-scale and small-window adventure, and more in spite of its obvious flaws than many others: those being, namely, clunky prose and characterization, a fairly muddled timeline, and loose ends galore [does anything come of the Profs visit at the end?]. Still, a fun macro vision here and little threads nicely untied [the "German" spy and others], as well as a pleasingly actual malevolence in the character of Martell.

"The Poetry Cloud," by Cixin Liu (1997): 9
- strange enough to outweigh the obvious Borges replication and otherwise staid scifi trope of artistic glorification in confrontation with cold science.

"The Star Stealers," by Edmond Hamilton (1929): 9
- okay, so this seems to be what is meant by 'classic sci fi,' what all the conservative readers want a return to. indeed, this seems to set the template for all the, again, 'classic' images I have in my head, even without knowing their provenance: the bridge with the mighty vistas; the dually new/retrograde gender politics [the beauty parlor seemed even too much]; the strangely omnipotent, strangely understandable, strangely defeatable, fully malign alien force; and, basically the complete re-tread of a long history of pulpy naval adventures translated to space [dashing escapes; huge ports; sudden rescues].

"The Conquest of Gola," by Leslie F. Stone (1931): 8.5
- nice little playing with gender here, although in a decidedly antebellum way (ie without contemporary gender tropes, such that the 'gender power reversal' here is entirely malign and simply a women dominating men instead of the other, while, similarly, the invading men here are entirely malicious in their intent, AND the clear anti-capitalism, a marker of prewar fiction). Still, a successful early perspective shift in both the gender way and protagonist, as this is clearly taking place on Venus and these are earth men (and an effective 'othering' of the human anatomy as well).

"The Last Poet and the Robot," by A. Merritt (1934): 7.5
- got some of that big thinking and sweep of classic sf I enjoy, although some of the negatives of that style came out in their negative manifestations here [Big Great Man; confusing exposition; clunky dialogue]. Yet, interesting sinister nuggets spread throughout that benefit from his minimal engagement with them [the "truth" of the robot malevolence; the ship attacking].

"Vacancy for the Post of Jesus Christ," by Kojo Laing (1992): 6.5
- Didn't read closely enough to suss out larger metaphor, so total take depends on the effectiveness of the allusions for the reader. But a bit narratively scattershot and not purposefully always, if with some good panoramic views of the society. Does giantman represent secular rulers or man, presupposing power to upset old socio-religious orders, only to be laid low by same?

"The Universe of Things," by Gwyneth Jones (1993): 6.5
- So, I might not totally have all of the actual mechanics down and intricacies of plot, I couldn't read the thing that closely, but as just simple story of alienation and difference and the inescapability of self, no matter how different the other, it kind of worked. Kind of. More so as a reflection on this strange melancholy alien, and not on the mechanic, who I could've spent even less time with it in an already short story. But the writing was too hackneyed to be profound and the plotting a bit clunky

"The Remoras," by Robert Reed (1994): 9.25
- such a strange story that's doing such a common thing; transplanting the narrative of the rich lady, bored as housewife, allured by the poor cool underworld and strange subculture into a place in which she's out of her depths until that dislocation is made abundantly clear. So, the question then is whether this is good BEYOND that smart Scifi allusion to mainstream tropes or if it can even stand on its own apart from that. here i think it does; there's enough strange compelling stuff going on in this Cruise Ship in Space and allusions to a broader world that work

"The Ghost Standard," by William Tenn (1994): 8.75
- strange little story with the philosophy foregrounded, rather than latent, which I imagine'll be more common in the "great" SF stories. narratively, I enjoyed it, although I don't know how formally inventive it was--language game as different means of demonstrating engineering problems. might have dug a bit more into its central Phil. quandary, ie give us more of comp. but good.

"Remnants of the Virago-Crypto System," by Geoffrey Maloney (1995): 7.5
- (quite) affecting, although is it anything more than the sum of its (one) parts?? the hit comes from the machine's question and his answer back, yet that doesn't require really any of the preceding action, his desultory aimlessness, or, especially, her maudlin end.

"How Alex Became A Machine," by Stephan Chapman (1997): 7.25
- picked up towards the end, or at least the strangeness overwhelmed me, or I just gave into it. But still, there's little to hold onto on either a character or narrative level, unless you want to put a whole lot into it

"The Microscopic Giants," by Paul Ernst (1936): 7.5
- Altogether a little trifle, and one, at that, not doing much more than these things from this time tend to do: big theme, exposition, clunky prose, concluding action, and out. The story: the operators at a deep mineshaft have discovered, down at the bottom, a very small race of humanoids who possess great power and the ability to walk through solid-ish pieces of matter that we cannot. Two people confront them, one dies, and the other narrowly escapes, [*50s genre film voice*] hoping, nay, praying(!) that he won’t be alive when they inevitably come once again to the surface to wreak havoc upon the earth! A solid B-movie narrativization, then. Yet, what it does do well--and what precisely these eras stories can do quite wonderfully that ones now would be less likely to--is imbue this ‘other’ with a straight, uncomplicated, and unvarnished malevolence that, at its best, makes the narrative at times read like a strange horror story just as much if not more than a science fiction story.

"The Brains of Rats," by Michael Blumlein (1986): 9.5
- So, one of the negative byproducts of this rapid blowing through of short stories and the subsequent rushed cataloging and inane analysis is that, while the method works pretty well on the average-to-bad short story --in that the thoughts can rise (or not rise) to meet the level and subtlety of the story fairly easily -- it struggles to adequately deal with the more fine-grained, complex, or contemplative tale. Case being, our story here, in which a scientist ruminates over the space between sexual/biological difference and gender expression, interspersing (fairly pat and often ahistorical, but fine for a genre story) scholarly observations with anecdotes about his patients and his own struggles with gender identification. Importantly for the story, he's a man who both "acts" feminine and moderately desires to be a woman, whereas his wife "acts" masculine, and works at conventionally masculine professions while also presenting as quite masculine herself. (Most most importantly, all of this needs to be read through the 1986 filter first and foremost, which simultaneously brings back down to earth any too-large claims for its innovation [think Foucault and pub dates] while also reiterates the quite impressive things his gender play is doing nonetheless [and, moreover, the reason why they would need to be demonstrated through these particular gendered stereotypes, which might seem a bit laughably essentialist, or black and white, today]). Interestingly, the only SF element here -- beyond the kind-of dream state in which some of his interactions occur (thinking esp. of the scene where he tells that woman about his one-time homosexual encounter) -- is the ability to turn the whole world either all male or all female--a Macguffin of a genre conceit, in that it's the vehicle for the story's gentleness but almost an afterthought the whole time. Fairly wonderful. Indeed, the "point" of the story -- which I would locate in its gradual, and 1980s-ish, blurring of the lines between male and female, all while presumably detailing one man's apocalyptic ability to separate sexes definitively -- turns away from the device nearly totally itself. This is also to say nothing of the prose, which was sparse, sometimes beautiful, often counter-intuitively astute, and always indicative of a deep intelligence from the source itself. More than anything, refreshing; and a necessary reminder of the possibilities of genre fiction and the boon that is a voice with teeth, after the tepid dreck of some recent offerings. Impressive.

"Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," by Jorge Luis Borges (1940): 8.5
- My thoughts on Borges are even less necessary than these lesser-known stories. I've read this story of unknown worlds and the slow blending of reality and fantasy before, and this time laughed at the ending, a wetdream ending for the authoritarian-disposed antiquarians, in that they achieve near complete victory in the ascension of their own creation and worldview -- as closely as our Argentian might've preferred.

"Death is Static Death is Movement," by Misha Nogha (1990): n/a
- Life's too short to read novel excerpts.
  Ebenmaessiger | Oct 6, 2019 |
The Big Book of Science Fiction edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer

Some statistics:
* 115 (or 116…I may have miscounted) stories
* 1,178 pages
* Contains many Hugo & Nebula prize winning authors
* It took me almost 2 years to read it (while also reading about 101 other novels)

Reading this book required a lot of effort on my part, for various reasons. In general: I wasn't captivated by the stories. This is primarily a compendium of international authors expressing emotional concepts that might as well be from outer-space for being so alien. What keeps me from saying the stories are bad or that I didn't "like" them is that I still haven't digested whatever it was they were trying to say. If you want weird, this is the book for you. If you want to know what passes for popular sci-fi in China, India, South America and other places that do NOT think like North Americans, this is the book for you. If you want stories that will inspire you to shudder…not from horror, but from revulsion that a human could think of such themes, this is the book for you.

Even the stories by authors whose novels I really have enjoyed were not all that enjoyable for being second-rate and/or just plain emotionally weird. I won't mention names because my least/most favorite stories may not be yours and I don't want to influence you to avoid any stories---I found at least a half-dozen that I want to, and will, remember. But, for the most part, I'm now trying NOT remember some other few of them. I had to make a concerted effort to finish this book and did not find the process rewarding and edifying; but I'm glad I did it, a) for the strength of will that allowed me to finish it; b) for the breadth of conceptualization that forced me to think and feel in ways that are still beyond my ability to accept; c) enabling me to see how far Science Fiction has come in the few years since it was recognized as a genre.

So if you have the curiosity and stamina, read this book. If you can remember the "Omnibus of Science Fiction" or the "Treasury of Science Fiction" and enjoyed them, you might not find this collection as satisfying. In the end, it may be just my old age preferring the "time honored" classical themes of my childhood.

As an afterthought, the Vandermeers did a marvelous job of researching and introducing each author and story. In any collection this large, their prologues will stand for the touchstone of how an editor would ideally prepare me for what I'm about to read. ( )
  majackson | Jun 17, 2018 |
Lots of awesome authors, including my favourites, but the softcover version is so big and wobbly it's hard to read.
1 vota MalinNN | Oct 14, 2017 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
VanderMeer, AnnEditorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
VanderMeer, JeffEditorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Aramaki, YoshioCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Arreola, Juan JoseCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Asimov, IsaacCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ballard, J.G.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Banks, Iain M.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Barberi, JacquesCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Baxter, JohnCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bayley, Barrington J.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bear, GregCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bilenkin, DimitriCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bing, JonCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bioy Casares, AdolfoCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bishop, MichaelCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Blish, JamesCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Blumlein, MichaelCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Borges, Jorge LuisCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bradbury, RayCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bunch, David R.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Butler, OctaviaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Cadigan, PatCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Carneiro, AndreCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Chapman, StepanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Chiang, TedCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Clarke, Arthur C.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Willis, ConnieCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Wolfe, GeneCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Yánez Cossío, AliciaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Zhuravlyova, ValentinaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Zozulya, YefimCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat


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The editors dedicate this book to Judith Merril, who helped show us the way.
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Since the days of Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and H. G. Wells, science fiction has not just helped define and shape the course of literature but reached well beyond fictional realms to influence our perspectives on culture, science, and technology.
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"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"--Back cover.

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