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American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s [Hardcover]

Frederik Pohl , C. M. Kornbluth , Gary K. Wolfe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s + American Noir: 11 Classic Crime Novels of the 1930s, 40s, & 50s (Library of America)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1672 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; Slp edition (27 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598531573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598531572
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.7 x 8.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Following its acclaimed three-volume edition of the novels of science fiction master Philip K. Dick, The Library of America now presents a two-volume anthology of nine groundbreaking works from the golden age of the modern science fiction novel, works by turns satiric, adventurous, incisive, and hauntingly lyrical. Long unnoticed or dismissed by the literary establishment, these visionary "outsider" novels grappled in fresh ways with a world in rapid transformation and have gradually been recognized as American classics that opened new imaginative territory in American writing.This first volume contains: Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth / "The Space Merchants"Theodore Sturgeon / "More Than Human"Leigh Brackett / "The Long Tomorrow"Richard Matheson / "The Shrinking Man"

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Must for Science Fiction Fans 28 Sep 2012
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
148 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it too much too ask? 2 Oct 2012
By William Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Is it too much too ask that Amazon list the nine novels in the collection? Here they are:
*Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants
*Theodore Sturgeon, More Than Human
*Leigh Brackett, The Long Tomorrow
*Richard Matheson, The Shrinking Man
*Robert A. Heinlein, Double Star
*Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination
*James Blish, A Case of Conscience
*Algis Budrys, Who?
*Fritz Leiber, The Big Time
I had to go to the LOA website to find out.
They're great books and I have other Library of America books that are beautifully made so 5 stars

UPDATE: Amazon responded to this comment by changing the listing to show the titles...Thanks Amazon!
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid set 1 Oct 2012
By Wayne Dynes - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
For too long, science fiction has been banished to the margins of American literature. This splendid set goes a long way to repairing this injustice. The selections are varied and representative, the annotation is helpful, and the printing quality is exceptional. The dust jackets and box are works of art in themselves. Surely this set deserves an award as one of the best publications of 2012. Buy the set: when it arrives it will make your day. It certainly did mine.
45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous edition and great value 28 Sep 2012
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I received this collection today as promised, having ordered it when the first announcement was made some months ago. I have not read the novels again but wish to comment on the presentation. The books are produced to the same standard as other LoA books, with clean typography, high-quality paper and Brillianta cloth binding. The end notes explain the sources of the texts (for example the multiple versions of Alfred Bester's The Stars my Destination, originally published as Tiger, Tiger) and define many names and places that might be unfamiliar. There also is a web site with essays on the novels and other information (loa.org/sciencefiction).

In my opinion the nine novels are all among the best science fiction novels of the 1950s. There are some favorite authors missing, including Kurt Vonnegut, who has his own set of Library of America volumes, and Ray Bradbury, who may someday also have his own volume. But the selections are excellent and the presentation fine.

Plus, to buy the least expensive mass market paperbacks of the nine would cost significantly more than the price of these volumes.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Powers Box illustration 9 Dec 2012
By Doyle Elmo Collins - Published on Amazon.com
It needs to be noted that the illustration on the box that we see illustrated here is by Richard Powers and was originally the cover of the classic 1953 Ballantine Books # 33 CHILDHOOD'S END by Arthur C. Clarke. The painting is among my favorite works of art. It is a little odd to me, therefore, that the Powers 1953 cover was selected to illustrate this anthology of American SF because (1) Clarke was a British author and (2) CHILDHOOD'S END is not part of this set.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Selection 29 Nov 2012
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
Its great to see the Library of America publish more science fiction. As pointed out by the editor of this set, Gary Wolfe, the 1950s is the first period to see the publication of a signficant number of American Science Fiction novels, something made possible by an expanded market for Science Fiction. The genre attracted a number of talented writers and the 1950s are regarded often as a "Golden Age" for science fiction. Wolfe's selection is aimed clearly at anthologizing a wide spectrum of fine Science Fiction novels. All books selected are worthwhile reading and include a couple of the best Science Fiction novels ever published; Blish's A Case of Conscience and Bester's The Stars My Destination.

Like all such anthologies, some selections and omissions are contestable. Heinlein's Double Star, one of his best written novels, is included. But as a Science Fiction novel, Double Star is relatively weak and one or more of Heinlein's other 1950s novels like Rocket Ship Galileo or Starship Troopers, could have been selected. Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow is selected as a post-holocaust novel but the best post-holocaust novel, Walter Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz, is not. Similarly, some truly original and outstanding books such as Ward Moore's pioneering and very interesting parallel world novel, Bring The Jubilee, or Edgar Pangborn's A Mirror for Observers are not included.

Having published this book and a set of Philip Dick novels, I hope Library of America continues to publish more work in this important and distinctive branch of American literature.
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