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The Golden Age of Science Fiction [Hardcover]

Kingsley Amis


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Hutchison Hardback edition

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader 20 May 2008
By Blue Tyson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
An interesting introduction, with a note first talking about what SF is. Amis suggests that the New Wave was on a whole deleterious, Ballard's characters not doing much, Spinrad being good at swearing, and a couple of yanks in there too, etc.

Things like Zoline's Heat Death of the Universe, much liked by Aldiss he says, but is no fan of such writing tricksiness with science fictional trimmings, being basically a story about a common woman in California that isn't SF at all. I'm with you on that one, Kingsley.

Also talks about people like Asimov moving more into non-fiction as possibly having run out of stuff.

He also says (talking of Peter Nicholls suggesting much genre blending is a great thign": "There are usually good reasons for the existence of barriers, and this specimen has always been permeable by individuals on both sides of it. Breaking it down altogether would at the best of times be likely to have the same result as, say, the amalgamation of Lake Victoria with the Indian Ocean."

He dedicates the book to Edmund Crispin, who did a Best SF series, that was not a Year's Best series. I stumbled across this name in a library catalogue just last week, actually, and here he is talking about the man. One for the list.

An average of 3.59, but enough interesting intro stuff to boost it into 3.75+ish round to 4 range.

This book is from 1981, and Amis concludes his intro on page 27 with "Science fiction has lost its innocence, a quality notoriously hard to recapture."

Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Quest for Saint Aquin - Anthony Boucher
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Xi Effect - Philip Latham
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Tunnel Under the World - Frederik Pohl
Golden Age of Science Fiction : Old Hundredth - Brian W. Aldiss
Golden Age of Science Fiction : A Work of Art - James Blish
Golden Age of Science Fiction : Harrison Bergeron - Kurt Vonnegut
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Voices of Time - J. G. Ballard
Golden Age of Science Fiction : Specialist - Robert Sheckley
Golden Age of Science Fiction : He Walked Around the Horses - H. Beam Piper
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Game of Rat and Dragon - Cordwainer Smith
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Nine Billion Names of G0d - Arthur C. Clarke
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Streets of Ashkelon - Harry Harrison
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Country of the Kind - Damon Knight
Golden Age of Science Fiction : The Machine That Won the War - Isaac Asimov
Golden Age of Science Fiction : Student Body - Floyd L. Wallace
Golden Age of Science Fiction : It's a Good Life - Jerome Bixby
Golden Age of Science Fiction : Sister Planet - Poul Anderson

Robotheology aims.

3 out of 5

Spectrum shrinking supremely serious.

4 out of 5

Brain capacity reduction circuit.

(maybe a 3.25)

3 out of 5

Bear shoulda got it.

2.5 out of 5

Composer impression.

4 out of 5

Handicap gravity uplift termination.

4 out of 5

Galactic goodbye.

3.5 out of 5

Need a new Pusher.

3.5 out of 5

A English diplomat in Prussia, in 1809, performs the titular action and disappears. The story is told in documentation about the event.

3 out of 5

Another actual use for a live cat. Fight you little bastich.

4 out of 5

Ubergeek monks finish a cataloguing project, and with it comes some serious consequences.

5 out of 5

Native superstition addition.

4.5 out of 5

Violent man gets odiferously ostracised.

4 out of 5

Coin flip strategy.

3 out of 5

Things change really fast around here.

4 out of 5

When Anthony is born, he uses his abilities to transport his whole town to somewhere else. After that, everyone is extremely careful around him, as when he comes across something he doesn't like his extreme powers of transmutation and transfiguration can do bad things, and he is also somewhat telepathic and has degrees of animal control. Basically a young, sociopathic supervillain.

3 out of 5

Venusforming violence.

3 out of 5
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