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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on 11 June 2012
For 49 of our English pence, you get 25 stories ranging from recognised classics by renowned names to second-tier work by renowned names to stories from renowned hacks to tales from forgotten hacks. The oldest story dates from 1930 and the most recent is from 1994, though most are from the '40s and '50s, and are showing their age, though usually in quite an endearing way. The tone and themes vary widely, which is good, but that only reinforces the fact there's no unifying editorial vision - though the age of most of the stories suggests that being out of copyright could have been a key consideration. The lack of any editorial matter further supports the "all expenses spared" impression. The suggestion it's edited by Robert Siverberg should be taken with a very large pinch of what you earthlings call sodium chloride.

Some of it's really good. Some of it's terrible. Anthologies being anthologies, you'll probably agree with that principle but disagree over choices so I won't waste your time listing my favourites, though it's a fair guess that "Arena" and "The Little Black Bag" will be near the top of most readers' lists.

The Kindle formatting is poor. There's no contents page and the text hasn't been edited from wherever it appeared before, so there are numerous randomly hyphenated words in the middle of paragraphs. This gives the impression that it's been written by old-fashioned robots, which if nothing else is pleasingly ironic.

So all told, a curate's egg. If it had involved anything other than nominal expenditure, this could have been a scathing review. But for 49p, you get a smattering of real quality, and a lot of fun even when - or perhaps because - the quality dips. In conclusion, it's hard to say anything other than - what have you got to lose?
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on 24 May 2012
This is a strangely mixed collection of the good, the very good and - well, let's just say not as good. It's not easy to see the reasoning behind the editors choices. Certainly, all the stories show a lot of imagination, and there are some vivid and descriptions of possible future worlds. Perhaps for a student of the genre who wants to trace the development of SF ideas and styles this might be a very useful selection. In which case, as other reviewers have commented, some sort of introduction to each story to put them in context would have been useful.

But I just wanted to read some good stories, and was disappointed with some of them. Three stars for the sake of the good ones. A more consistent selection would have got four or five.
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on 27 January 2013
This seems to be a very diverse collection and may not be to everyone's taste. Some introduction to each story would have been helpful to put them into historical perspective - many seem to date from the 1930s or the immediate post-war era and could be described as fantasy today as they rely on "science" that has now been disproved (e.g. canals on Mars). The stories themselves are often rather clumsily written by modern standards and I suspect they were all originally published in the cheap "pulps" that were popular at the time. That said, many are still engaging and worth reading to get a good feel for the speculative fiction of the time, and a few are genuine classics.
Given the extremely low price, it would be churlish to complain.
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on 6 February 2013
Half of these stories are almost unreadable - badly written, thoughtless, stereotype-riddled tripe. The kind of fiction that has given sf its reputation for being reactionary; racist, sexist, socially unimaginative, gadget-obsessed, aimed at 13 year boys.
The other half has some real gems - well written, startling, thoughtful. The kind that's given sf its other reputation: for being capable of transcending its lowest forms, sometimes in startling ways.
A good cross-section of the genre, then, and at the price, certainly recommended. I will be reading the rest of the series with the expectation of finding more of both types.
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on 5 December 2012
Some stories are classic, many are not particularly good examples, most are showing their age (but that in itself can have interest) and some of the formatting/lack of features leaves much to be desired. But they make up a readable volume and for 49p you really cannot grumble!
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on 13 February 2012
I agree with John this collection is interesting from an historical perspective, many stories are weak and it could do with pulling together
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on 1 April 2013
Complied with the description of the item on the web page but not a very exiting e-book . . No problems with this order ,
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on 10 May 2013
Good book enjoyed it emenslly can't spell that sorry , worth every penny will look for more of same thanks
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on 27 February 2013
The Science Fiction Megapack, SOME VERY GOOD, SOME NOT, ALL A BIT TO SHORT BUT ALL OK FOR SHORT STORIES.
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on 16 March 2015
Lots of rubbish among the good
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