ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Books & Novels»
  • Fiction»
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

Five Extraordinary Science Fiction Collections

Updated on February 11, 2013


Here are some wonderful collections of science fiction stories you may not have heard of by writers regarded as among the best in the field. They are all great reads and I highly recommend them. I know that there are many other great collections out there; I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments.


1. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr


James Tiptree Jr. was the pseudonym adopted by Alice B. Sheldon for her science fiction. A middle-aged ex-employee of the CIA, she took the science fiction world by storm when she began publishing her unique, well-crafted stories in the 1960s. She rapidly rose to prominence in the field and began winning award after award. This is her definitive collection, in which no less than four award-winning stories are included: "Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death", The Screwfly Solution", "The Girl Who Was Plugged In", and "Houston, Houston, Can You Read?". Several other stories were award nominees or were at least award-worthy, in particular the seminal work "The Women Men Don't See". She wrote dark, pessimistic, elegantly crafted fiction often based on gender issues. This is not only one of the best science fiction short story collections ever published but one of the greatest story collections in any genre.


2. Tales of Old Earth by Michael Swanwick


This book is out of print, sad to say, but you can find used copies on Amazon by various sellers. It's another amazing collection full of award-winning fiction. Swanwick has won a multitude of awards, including the Nebula, the Hugo, and the World Fantasy Award for his tightly-plotted, elegantly worded fiction. Most of the stories in this collection were award nominees.


3. Geodesic Dreams by Gardner Dozois


This is another out-of-print book which is a real classic, full of sparkling gems of science fiction brilliance. Dozois is known to many as the magazine editor who won more awards for his editing than any other in the field ever, but he is also a first-class writer. He first became known when he appeared in several volumes of Damon Knight's anthology series "Orbit". Knight was looking for a more literary approach to science fiction, to break it out of the genre ghetto in which it had been relegated and bring it out into the literary mainstream. He had a keen grasp of talent, and published much in those days that other editors were too timid to touch. Dozois not only deals with wild, interesting science fictional concepts, but does it with exceptionally crafted prose. Two of the stories in this collection are Nebula Award winners, "The Peacemaker", and "Morning Child", and several others were award nominees.


4. Phases of the Moon: Six Decades of Masterpieces by Robert Silverberg


As the title says, this book is divided into decades, and each decade is represented by several stories. Each story also has an introduction by Silverberg, in which he details how it came to be written and anything else of interest which was happening at the time. The introductions themselves are worth the price of the book; they are an intimate look into how a writer lives and works. But the stories... The stories are superb. As you read through the sections, if you start from the beginning, you can see how Silverberg grew in his craft, and moved from writing fairly traditional science fiction to the highly literary experimental science fiction which garnered him so many awards and award nominations. It's a tremendous collection full of great fiction, which again is sadly out of print, but can be found through Amazon's independent sellers.


5. The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith by Cordwainer Smith


Cordwainer Smith was the pseudonym of Paul Linebarger, who was one of the most innovative and unusual writers in the science fiction field back in the 1950s and 60s. Most of his stories take place in a future history called "The Instrumentality of Mankind", a vast, complex universe encompassing many planets and star systems set tens of thousands of years in the future. He was an expert on the Far East and psychological warfare. Many of his stories have a more Chinese narrative style than western, and are full of complex and subtle nuances. He wrote of spacecraft which could move faster than light through a process called planoforming, of underpeople, which were animals converted into humanlike shape so they could be used as servants, of an immortality drug called stroon which many in the galaxy coveted, and of many other strange, enigmatic concepts. Many of the top writers in the science fiction field say that they were heavily influenced in their careers by the quality and originality of Cordwainer Smith's prose. If you give it a try you won't regret it.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)