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The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology

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Contents: Blowups Happen (1940) by Robert A. Heinlein Hindsight (1940) by Jack Williamson Vault of the Beast (1940) by A. E. van Vogt The Exalted (1940) by L. Sprague de Camp Nightfall (1941) by Isaac Asimov When the Bough Breaks (1944) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Clash by Night (1943) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Invariant (1944) by John R. Pierce First Contact (1945) by Contents: Blowups Happen (1940) by Robert A. Heinlein Hindsight (1940) by Jack Williamson Vault of the Beast (1940) by A. E. van Vogt The Exalted (1940) by L. Sprague de Camp Nightfall (1941) by Isaac Asimov When the Bough Breaks (1944) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Clash by Night (1943) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Invariant (1944) by John R. Pierce First Contact (1945) by Murray Leinster Meihem in ce Klasrum (1946) essay by Dolton Edwards Hobbyist (1947) by Eric Frank Russell E for Effort (1947) by T. L. Sherred Child's Play (1947) by William Tenn Thunder and Roses (1947) by Theodore Sturgeon Late Night Final (1948) by Eric Frank Russell Cold War (1949) by Kris Neville Eternity Lost (1949) by Clifford D. Simak The Witches of Karres (1949) by James H. Schmitz Over the Top (1949) by Lester del Rey Meteor (1950) by William T. Powers Last Enemy (1950) by H. Beam Piper Historical Note (1951) by Murray Leinster Protected Species (1951) by H. B. Fyfe


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Contents: Blowups Happen (1940) by Robert A. Heinlein Hindsight (1940) by Jack Williamson Vault of the Beast (1940) by A. E. van Vogt The Exalted (1940) by L. Sprague de Camp Nightfall (1941) by Isaac Asimov When the Bough Breaks (1944) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Clash by Night (1943) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Invariant (1944) by John R. Pierce First Contact (1945) by Contents: Blowups Happen (1940) by Robert A. Heinlein Hindsight (1940) by Jack Williamson Vault of the Beast (1940) by A. E. van Vogt The Exalted (1940) by L. Sprague de Camp Nightfall (1941) by Isaac Asimov When the Bough Breaks (1944) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Clash by Night (1943) by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore Invariant (1944) by John R. Pierce First Contact (1945) by Murray Leinster Meihem in ce Klasrum (1946) essay by Dolton Edwards Hobbyist (1947) by Eric Frank Russell E for Effort (1947) by T. L. Sherred Child's Play (1947) by William Tenn Thunder and Roses (1947) by Theodore Sturgeon Late Night Final (1948) by Eric Frank Russell Cold War (1949) by Kris Neville Eternity Lost (1949) by Clifford D. Simak The Witches of Karres (1949) by James H. Schmitz Over the Top (1949) by Lester del Rey Meteor (1950) by William T. Powers Last Enemy (1950) by H. Beam Piper Historical Note (1951) by Murray Leinster Protected Species (1951) by H. B. Fyfe

30 review for The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology

  1. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    Though he's fallen somewhat out of favor of favor in recent years, there's no disputing the fact that without Campbell's ASF, there wouldn't be a science fiction field as we have come to know it today. The first decade of his editorship was always called the Golden Age of science fiction, and his development of the form from science-adventure-for-young-boys to a serious speculative literature that incorporated real characters and philosophies and plot, not to mention literary style and expertise Though he's fallen somewhat out of favor of favor in recent years, there's no disputing the fact that without Campbell's ASF, there wouldn't be a science fiction field as we have come to know it today. The first decade of his editorship was always called the Golden Age of science fiction, and his development of the form from science-adventure-for-young-boys to a serious speculative literature that incorporated real characters and philosophies and plot, not to mention literary style and expertise, was instrumental. This large volume is a good representation of the the best of the decade. There's little diversity in these stories from the 1940's, probably because there was no such concept in the society of the 1940's, but their worth can't be dismissed no more than one would dismiss any other classic work from any other period of history for the same reasons. Many of the familiar classics are included, such as Robert A. Heinlein's Blowups Happen, Isaac Asimov's Nightfall, Murray Leinster's First Contact, Theodore Sturgeon's Thunder and Roses, and A.E. van Vogt's Vault of the Beast. Not to mention The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz. Campbell picked two stories by Eric Frank Russell, whom he called his favorite, and there are two by Murray Leinster, and two by the team of Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, though their stories are under two different pseudonyms, Lewis Padgett and Laurence O'Donnell. There are stories by other famous writers closely associated with the magazine, such as Lester del Rey, H.B. Fyfe, H. Beam Piper (no, not the same person), William Tenn, T.L. Sherred, Clifford D. Simak, L. Sprague de Camp, Jack Williamson, and a few others. I don't think it's a perfect collection-- I would've picked more than one by Heinlein, and included something by L. Ron Hubbard and maybe a few others-- but it's the best ever assembled. Golden Age indeed!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    "My" local librarian gave me this a few days ago. She gets an astounding number of book donations for such a small town and this one, though in good structural shape had a bit of moldiness(that grey-white stuff) on the cover and so she was going to toss it. Since I was right there she offered it to me! Nice! The collection covers the relatively early years of sci-fi(the 1940's) and has many stories by now-famous writers. All are from "Astounding Magazine" 1 - Blowups Happen(1940) By Robert Heinle "My" local librarian gave me this a few days ago. She gets an astounding number of book donations for such a small town and this one, though in good structural shape had a bit of moldiness(that grey-white stuff) on the cover and so she was going to toss it. Since I was right there she offered it to me! Nice! The collection covers the relatively early years of sci-fi(the 1940's) and has many stories by now-famous writers. All are from "Astounding Magazine" 1 - Blowups Happen(1940) By Robert Heinlein.(no middle initial!) A story from 1939 that shows it's age(Symbology!, slide rules!). Still fun to read of course. 2 - Hindsight(1940) - By Jack Williamson - Using a time-weapon in a story means producing confusion inn my head. Still ... entertaining. An old-fashioned space opera with no computers but with a clunky "mechanical brain" instead. 3 - Vault of the Beast(1940) by A. E. Van Vogt - This one's full of math and physics stuff which may or may not be pure speculation. Either way it was beyond my understanding. Sounded cool, though! Earth saved from annihilation - a common theme back then ... 4 - Exalted(1940) by L. Sprague de Camp - A whimsical tale full of speculative science. Set on the Yale campus! A place where I once dwelled. One of the scenes was set in Bingham, a corner dorm in the Old Campus and my residence for a few months back in 1964-65. I've been on top of that tower! 5 - Nightfall(1941) by Isaac Asimov - Probably the most famous and most anthologized story in this collection. And still a good one though the logic/credibility factor is a bit shaky. Still a fun read ... I still remember reading this for the first time. I thought it(the idea) was very clever indeed. - When I was in the Navy and riding my ship(USS Jamestown) somewhere in the Far East, I was out on deck one moonless night chatting with a friend of mine. It was so black ... he was literally only a foot or two away from me and I could ... not ... see ... him ... AT ... ALL. Helps me to get the feeling of this story. 6 - When the Bough Breaks(1941) by Lewis Padgett - A funny little tale and dark indeed. How can a couple be glad when their precocious baby blows himself up? Read this and find out! Sci-fi back in the day had a lot of these sort of wry and clever little tales. Seems much more serious these days! 7 - Clash by Night by Lawrence O'Donnell - A long short story in the classic military sci-fi vein. An entertaining tale that reminded me of "In Harm's Way." The whole Venus-thing as a setting(unless those clever Venutians are putting up a very effective smokescreen to warn us off) is obviously outdated but all you gotta do is imagine it being a planet far, far away. 8 - Invariant by John Pierce - Another one of those "be careful what you wish for" sci-fi tales. A common theme back then in short fiction. Irony ... 9 - First Contact by Murray Leinster - Sci-Fi all-timer Leinster(I think he has other names as well)'s neat tale of the old outer space stand-off. What to do? 10 - Meihem in ce Classroom by Dolton Edwards - A short amusing take on the curse of "scientific improvers" in our lives. 11 - Hobbyist by Eric Frank Russell - Another all-time story and much anthologized. I well remember reading it long ago. One version of God ... 12 - E for Effort by T. L. Sherred - This one's taking me a while to finish. It's a long short story about two guys making hay(and lots of dough) from a dazzling invention by one of them; a sort of time-machine projector. It's easy enough to read but too typical of the now-clunky-looking prose of that era. Not inspiring, but early sci-fi prose rarely was. So ..the dazzling invention leads to chaos, as you knew it would. A story with something to say, although the overall credibility factor is shaky. Reads more as a broad fable than anything real-ish. 13 - Child's Play by William Tenn - Another amusing and pithy tale of the foolhardiness of messing with the unknown as a young fool gets an expected "gift" from the future. Watch out for that Census Taker guy! 14 - Thunder and Roses by Theodore Sturgeon. A nice post-Ap tale from a master of Sci-Fi. As such, it will remind the reader of many to follow. 15 - Late Night Final by Eric Frank Russell - Another neat tale with a suggestion of Odysseus and Mutiny on the Bounty. Not sure I get the enigmatic last line, though! 16 - Cold War by Kris Neville - A Rush Limbaugh type makes an appearance in this cautionary tale about the near future. Bombs in Space! 17 - The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz - Mr. Schmitz is a favorite of mine ever since I read his serialized "The Tuvela"("The Demon Breed" in book form) back in the late 1960's. Looks like according to Wiki he's enjoying a bit of a re-issue renaissance lately. This story is one of a series involving these witchy little witches. Jack Vance may well have enjoyed this stuff! Probably the best story in the collection. 18 - Over the Top by Lester del Rey - Sounds SO MUCH like "The Martian"! 19 - Meteor by William T. Powers - Finally ... a computer! Thesis a kind of 1950's version of "The Perfect Storm." 20 - Last Enemy by H. Beam Piper - Darsh - a word used(but obviously not invented) by Jack Vance. Fantasy-time with this story. Makes fun of left and right-wingers. Cigarettes! 21 - Historical Note by Murray Leinster - A typical(for the genre and time), jokey-toned tale. 22 - Protected Species by H. B. Fyfe - Another tale with a twisty ending, also common for the times. Also an environmental awareness, which was not common. Think "Planet of the Apes"(movie) ... - Can't give this a 4* rating but it's pretty good despite the "historical" quality of the stories. The latest one was from 1951. 3.5* rounds down to 3*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peveril

    Disappointing. Forties SF published in book form early fifties. This mass market pb has eight of the 23 stories in the original hardcover. If this was considered the best of Astounding which was considered the best sf published then, thank goodness for progress since and Galaxy, F&SF, the New Wave, etc etc. Asimov's Nightfall and Leinster's First Contact are/were considered seminal, but are horribly dated, poor dull things. Kuttner's When The Bough Breaks is less dated and an enjoyable squib, the Disappointing. Forties SF published in book form early fifties. This mass market pb has eight of the 23 stories in the original hardcover. If this was considered the best of Astounding which was considered the best sf published then, thank goodness for progress since and Galaxy, F&SF, the New Wave, etc etc. Asimov's Nightfall and Leinster's First Contact are/were considered seminal, but are horribly dated, poor dull things. Kuttner's When The Bough Breaks is less dated and an enjoyable squib, the best of the book. I pushed through the rest hoping but but in vain.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    because I enjoyed (pretty much) the sampler Astounding Tales of Space and Time because I enjoyed (pretty much) the sampler Astounding Tales of Space and Time

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ben Nickell

    Where did he find all this information, loved all the information about the contributions from the women in the lives of these authors, and the look into the darker parts of their personalities. A must for fans of the golden age of science fiction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Capitulo

    Bits and pieces inspire introspection, but it's obviously dated. I respect and enjoy it for what it is - authors daring to explore their fascination with the otherworldly and help build the foundation for the scifi we read today. Bits and pieces inspire introspection, but it's obviously dated. I respect and enjoy it for what it is - authors daring to explore their fascination with the otherworldly and help build the foundation for the scifi we read today.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Brown

    Science fiction in its early years was a short-story driven genre, owing to publication in the pulp magazines of the day. Because of this, most of the best early work is either short stories or novellas. Many early award-winning novels were often padded versions of short stories or novellas, or originally serialized in magazine form (Budrys' Rogue Moon , Flowers for Algernon , Bester's The Demolished Man , Clifton's They'd Rather Be Right, to name a few). This anthology, along with the SFWA Science fiction in its early years was a short-story driven genre, owing to publication in the pulp magazines of the day. Because of this, most of the best early work is either short stories or novellas. Many early award-winning novels were often padded versions of short stories or novellas, or originally serialized in magazine form (Budrys' Rogue Moon , Flowers for Algernon , Bester's The Demolished Man , Clifton's They'd Rather Be Right, to name a few). This anthology, along with the SFWA short story and novella collections volumes 1, 2, and 2A (edited by Silverberg and Bova) are a great survey of some of the best short stuff from those early magazine days.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Curt Jeffreys

    We tend to look back on the fifties with nostalgia, blinded by yearnings for a simpler time. Truth is the fifties, as all decades past and yet to come, were fraught with their own perils -- the Bomb was a new and very real threat and the storm clouds of what would become the Cold War were already forming. The stories in this collection reflect these perils, as well as the hopes of space travel and the unlimited power of the atom. It was a scary time, an exciting times, a hopeful time. Reading th We tend to look back on the fifties with nostalgia, blinded by yearnings for a simpler time. Truth is the fifties, as all decades past and yet to come, were fraught with their own perils -- the Bomb was a new and very real threat and the storm clouds of what would become the Cold War were already forming. The stories in this collection reflect these perils, as well as the hopes of space travel and the unlimited power of the atom. It was a scary time, an exciting times, a hopeful time. Reading these stories with an open and forgiving mind brings a sense of joy and wonder I think is missing in today's SF. If you can find a copy, read this book. You won't regret it. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    Almost all the stories start out good and are interesting and thought-provoking (even today), but some have better endings than others.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Simon Mcleish

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wade

  14. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lance Schonberg

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ray Savarda

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steve Teso

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bob Van Arsdale

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Garriss

  21. 4 out of 5

    Norm

  22. 5 out of 5

    Roddy Williams

  23. 4 out of 5

    D. E.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel H

  25. 4 out of 5

    Clay Jordan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  27. 5 out of 5

    John

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brice

  29. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  30. 5 out of 5

    Abby

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