Thursday, 27 September 2012

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s - Ed. Gary K Wolf

Release Date: 27/09/12


Modern science fiction came of age in the 1950s, and it was inAmericathat the genre broke most exuberantly free from convention. Moving beyond the pulp magazines, science fiction writers stretched their imaginations at novel length, ushering in an era of stylistic experiment and freewheeling speculation that responded in wildly inventive ways to the challenges and perplexities of an era of global threat and rapid technological change. Long unnoticed or dismissed by the literary establishment, these “outsider” novels are now recognized as American classics.

Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants
What’s it all worth?
Theodore Sturgeon, More Than Human
Could this be the next stage of evolution?
Leigh Brackett, The Long Tomorrow
Who will control post-apocalyptic America?
Richard Matheson, The Shrinking Man
Ever feel small?
Robert A. Heinlein, Double Star
Are politicians ever really themselves?
Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination
What is the price of revenge?
James Blish, A Case of Conscience
What in God’s name are we to do with aliens?
Algis Budrys, Who?
Can you trust?
Fritz Leiber, The Big Time
Is the past ever really past?


OK, I have to admit this, I’m a huge fan of Science Fiction B-Movie from the 1950’s, so it’s always good to read stories that not only inspired them but also had a way to bring their own messages forward. Wrapped up in a collector’s hardcase alongside hardback copies of the books, this no expense spared collection from the Library of America really does hit the spot for the reader.

Whether it’s taking a trip with Richard Matheson and his Incredible Shrinking Man or even embarking Robert A Heinlein’s Double Star this title reads like a who’s who of Science Fiction. It’s incredible that so much talent can be packed into so little space. All in a great collector’s item and a wonderful gem for any fan of Sci-Fi to enjoy.

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