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Science Fiction Hall of Fame (SF Hall of Fame) [Hardcover]

Ben Bova
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 527 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765305321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765305329
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.5 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,180,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.0 out of 5 stars More Good Old Stuff 11 Feb 2014
By Roochak
Format:Paperback
Here are four good reasons for picking up this collection: Clifford Simak's "The Big Front Yard" (Hugo winner, Best Novelette, 1959); Algis Budrys' "Rogue Moon" (Hugo nominee, Best Novel, 1961); the 1949 version of James Schmitz's "The Witches of Karres" (expanded to novel length in 1966, and nominated for a Best Novel Hugo in '67); and James Blish's "Earthman, Come Home" (winner of the 2004 Retro Hugo, Best Novelette).

My personal favorite here, Isaac Asimov's "The Martian Way," may not have garnered any awards, but it's a perfect example of what problem-solving, hard sf does best: it confronts its characters with a seemingly insoluble problem, and then allows them to solve it, with both elegance and tough-minded determination.

The rest of the stories include Frederik Pohl's "The Midas Plague," Jack Vance's "The Moon Moth," Theodore Cogswell's "The Spectre General" (a military comedy in SF drag), and three also-ran stories by E.M. Forster, T.L. Sherred, and Wilmar H. Shiras.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good follow-up, but read Vol. 1 first. 25 July 2009
By T. S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first picked up the original printing of the first volume of this anthology when I was a small child, around ten years old, and the first story in it ("A Martian Oddyssey") was so good that I put the book back down and didn't read the rest of it for another year because I was afraid none of the other stories in there could possibly be as good.

The second two volumes took me years to track down; II B I managed to find in a sale of discards from my school library; II A I didn't find at all until Amazon came along.

The conceit of this series is that the Science Fiction Writers of America picked the best short stories, novellas, and novels from before the Nebula Awards were commenced in 1965, and published them as a hall-of-fame anthology. Volume 1 collected the short stories and volume II (A and B) collected the novellas -- essentially, one stop volumes of all the "Nebula Emeritus" books, the sci-fi that professional SF writers of the sixties felt had most influenced and impacted them up to that point.

As such, this series is perfect for two groups of people: people who are completely ignorant of sci fi, and people who want to gain a better critical understanding of sci fi and its history as a genre. You can't find a better starting place, because these are the stories that the great modern SF writers started on, so by reading these, you'll understand more about what modern writers are doing, and you'll have the opportunity to experience the tropes first hand, from the stories that coined them, not in later knockoffs.

This particular volume has some really great stories in it, with a great deal of emotional impact. "The Martian Way" by Isaac Asimov is a great space yarn; "Earthman, Come Home" is an absolute classic; "The Machine Stops" has been amazingly influential (probably best seen lately in the movie WALL-E from Pixar) and "The Moon Moth" is unforgettably charming.

Probably the best benefit of these volumes is that they'll give you a general familiarity with the big names of Golden Age SF, so that you'll know who you like and don't and whose works you want to find more of. If I'd never read this volume, I don't know if (for example) I'd have ever read anything else by Jack Vance, and that would've been an absolute shame.

This volume contains:
"The Martian Way" by Isaac Asimov
"Earthman, Come Home" by James Blish
"Rogue Moon" by Algis Budrys
"The Spectre General" by Theodore Cogswell
"The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster
"The Midas Plague" by Frederik Pohl
"The Witches of Karres" by James H. Schmitz
"E for Effort" by T.L. Sherred
"In Hiding" by Wilmar H. Shiras
"The Big Front Yard" by Clifford D. Simak
"The Moon Moth" by Jack Vance.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation - all stories 12 May 2008
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The follow up to Volume Two A, which also like this anthology, contains eleven novellas published from 1929 to 1964, is a strong selection; however in fact Volume Two B is a boomer era collection containing one tale from 1928 (close enough for government and sci fi collections), three from the forties, five from the fifties, and two from the sixties. The authors for the most part remain famous, a virtual who's who to include Asimov, Blish, Budrys, Cogswell, Forster, Pohl, Schmitz, Sherrod, Shiras, Simak, and Vance. Some of the entries like "The Martian Way", "The Midas Plague" and "The Witches of Karres" remain popular. The choices are solid as none are bad though some handle the test of time better. This reviewer especially enjoyed "Earthman Come Home by James Blish having remembered reading it in high school. The key to this anthology and its predecessor are that it is just about all story; in this case 526 pages of stories with no padding except for a brief two and half page introduction to explain the voting process. Great look back at some of the pre Nebula Awards age, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume Two B is a strong enjoyable compilation that validates how entertaining science fiction was especially from 1947-1961.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Titles in this Volume_ Two-B 22 Feb 2007
By David Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Greatest Science Fiction Novellas of All Time: Titles as follows: SF Hall of Fame, The: Vol Two B

Asimov, Isaac Martian Way, The

Blish, James Earthman, Come Home

Budrys, Algis Rogue Moon - Psychological thriller

Cogswell, Theodore Spectre General, The

Forster, E.M. Machine Stops, The

Pohl, Frederik Midas Plague, The

Schmitz, James H. Witches of Karres, The

Sherred, T.L. E For Effort

Shiras, Wilmar H. In Hiding

Simak, Clifford D. Big Front Yard, The - a clever tale

Vance, Jack Moon Moth, The
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Good Old Stuff 10 Feb 2014
By Roochak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Here are four good reasons for picking up this collection: Clifford Simak's "The Big Front Yard" (Hugo winner, Best Novelette, 1959); Algis Budrys' "Rogue Moon" (Hugo nominee, Best Novel, 1961); the 1949 version of James Schmitz's "The Witches of Karres" (expanded to novel length in 1966, and nominated for a Best Novel Hugo in '67); and James Blish's "Earthman, Come Home" (winner of the 2004 Retro Hugo, Best Novelette).

My personal favorite here, Isaac Asimov's "The Martian Way," may not have garnered any awards, but it's a perfect example of what hard sf does best: it confronts its characters with a seemingly insoluble problem, and then allows them to solve it, with both elegance and tough-minded determination.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lot'sa fun! OLDE TYME SF. 28 Sep 2010
By E. Orchowski - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This series of Novellas is old school SF (no cyber, no political statements, nor any "green" themes). Could not help smiling a bit at the plots which were by any description light fun, best described as "Camp SF". As a SF reader for 50 years+, the collection was a bit nostalgic, easy reading, and pure amusement.
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