The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume 2

Gordon Van Gelder, ed.

This companion volume showcases the groundbreaking magazine Fantasy & Science Fiction, with groundbreaking original stories written by some of the most famous authors in any genre.


The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume 2

by Gordon Van Gelder, ed.

ISBN: Print ISBN: 9781616961633; Digital ISBN: 9781616961848

Published: July 2014

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback

A mutant baby goes on a rampage through Central Park. An immigrant reveals secrets in the folds of a perfect gift. Lucky Cats extend their virtual paws to salute a generous revolution. The Internet invades a third-world village.

The premier speculative-fiction magazine Fantasy & Science Fiction continues to discover and showcase many of the most inventive authors writing in any genre. Now drawing even more deeply upon F&SF’s impressive history, this extraordinary companion anthology expands upon sixty-five years’ worth of top-notch storytelling. The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume Two is a star-studded tribute to the continuing vision of F&SF.

EBOOKS do not contain the short story, “——All You Zombies——” by Robert A. Heinlein.

“The best stand-alone reprint anthology of the year was probably the retrospective anthology The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume 2.
—Gardner Dozois, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Volumes 1-31

“If you like quality short fiction and you’re looking for an anthology that collects together stories both old and new, I’d warmly recommend that you check out The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume Two.”
SF Crowsnest

“The first [was] an all-star anthology, the second, also edited by Gordon van Gelder, possesses just as much impact, history, and sheer enjoyability, and is a welcome retrospective of one of the genre’s bastions…. Just a superb anthology.”—Speculition

“Gordon Van Gelder is the current editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and as with his earlier volume of this series, has put together a killer anthology of the very best from F&SF.”
Galaxy’s Edge 

“Van Gelder set out to provide a taste of some of the most renowned speculative fiction authors over the last half-century, and he succeeded brilliantly”
Book Likes

“…a collection of some of the best sci-fi and fantasy short stories out there.”

“This is an excellent place to see not only gems from Fantasy and Science Fiction, but also great stories from over 60 years of the field.”

“This is the second part of an anthology of incredible short stories edited by Gordon van Gelder (who has won two Hugo’s for Best Editor, Short Form). The stories themselves are, purposefully, incredibly varied. Some are funny, others heartbreakingly sad and others thrilling. The common thing across the board is that these are excellent stories.”
World of Books

“…a must read.”
Beauty in Ruins

The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume 2 is a great addition to any reader’s library because it chronicles the genres’ changes over time. All of the stories are enjoyable….”
Lit Reactor

“If the previous two anthologies had heavy-hitters, this one has legends: Brian Aldiss, Paolo Bacigalupi (the remarkable “The People of Sand and Slag”), Jack Finney, Elizabeth Hand, Robert A. Heinlein, Stephen King, Kit Reed, Robert Silverberg . . . oh, hell, why bother listing them? The stories in this book are so good (and surprisingly, many of them are funny) that you need to buy it. “

The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Volume 2, edited by Gordon van Gelder is a book that can’t help but appeal to anyone who already loves the genre and is a great way to introduce great science fiction and fantasy to new readers.”
Looking for a Good Book

Gordon Van Gelder has been the editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction since 1996. As an editor at St. Martin’s Press for twelve years, he worked with such writers as Christopher Priest, George Pelecanos, and Kate Wilhelm. Van Gelder has received the Hugo, World Fantasy, and Locus awards.

Praise for The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction (Volume 1)

F&SF editor Van Gelder has assessed, culled and organized the magazine’s best stories to produce this definitive volume of work from speculative fiction’s top authors, from Alfred Bester’s ‘Of Time and Third Avenue’ (1951) to Ted Chiang’s ‘The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate’ (2007). Hauntingly sad tales are laid alongside hopeful tales of the far future and heroic tales of honor and duty, but all have an intensity of emotion and draw the reader in with vibrant characters, fully realized settings and ingenious writing. Van Gelder’s introductory disclaimer that this contains ‘two dozen of our best stories’ rather than the best two dozen stories may explain the lack of inclusions from the 1980s. For sheer reading pleasure, this anthology is unparalleled.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This collection marks the 60th anniversary of one of science fiction and fantasy’s leading publications, gathering together 23 of the magazine’s best stories—though editor Gordon Van Gelder writes that he feels as if he has taken a few chunks off the top of an iceberg and claimed to have represented its entire mass. Contributors include the familiar—Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King—alongside authors better known to genre aficionados, such as James Tiptree Jr, Michael Swanwick and Terry Bisson. Among the highlights are Daniel Keyes’s ‘Flowers for Algernon’, in which Charlie Gordon has his intelligence artificially increased, and Ted Chiang’s ‘The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate’, which marries time travel with Arabian Nights-style fable. The word ‘classic’ could justifiably be applied to many stories in this volume, which, as a tribute to the magazine and an introduction to some of the finest authors of fantasy, SF and horror, is a landmark anthology.”
The Guardian

“In 1949, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction was founded upon two radical principles: to publish SF and fantasy in one volume and to emphasize literary quality. Fifty years later, F&SF is still going strong—indeed, it is the most acclaimed of SF’s longest-running magazines. In honor of this achievement, publisher Edward L. Ferman and editor Gordon Van Gelder have assembled many of F&SF‘s finest stories from the preceding five years for e [Very] Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Fiftieth[sic] Anniversary Anthology.”

“The stories have little more in common than ingenuity in choice of themes and, without falling into pretentiousness, the refusal to sacrifice quality of writing to the exploration of an idea. For a long time, F&SF (as the magazine is known in the trade) has been a leader in expanding the terrain of speculative fiction. Judging from this volume, it intends to continue in this role.”

The [Very] Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Fiftieth[sic] Anniversary Anthology is a wonderful celebration of the recent history of one of science fiction’s great magazines.”

“It’s obvious why F&SF has thrived while competitors have vanished. Eloquent, scintillating, often sublime.”

“I’m so envious of those of you who might be reading some of these for the first time. I was repeatedly blown away by the impact such short pieces…still had on me. Half an hour’s reading, and I spent the next day or so catching myself staring off into space muttering, ‘Oh wow.’”

“…this is a rare treasure that compiles some of the best genre stories over the past six decades, and through it, we witness the field’s history and growth.”
Bibliophile Stalker

“…I dropped everything to read it.”
Black Gate

“I cannot picture any fan of either fantasy or science fiction not liking this book. Perhaps the only reason to stay away is if you have all the stories in it already. But if, like me, several of them are missing from your collection, what are you waiting for? Buy it.”
Visions of Paradise

“…the contents are sheer pleasure, full of classics that feel as comfortable as an old sweater.”

“…this is a high quality anthology showcasing the diversity of F&SF‘s stories over the past six decades. It shows that short genre fiction has always had the power to surprise and excite and it proves that this remains just as true today as it has ever been.”
SF Crowsnest

“Every story is a priceless gem showcasing its author’s superlative craftsmanship and ability to engage the emotions while captivating the imagination.”

“There’s something for everyone in this amazing anthology, and it will certainly provide hours of entertainment for anyone who reads it.”
San Francisco Book Review

Visit the Gordon Van Gelder website.

“The Third Level” by Jack Finney 
"A Kind of Artistry" by Brian Aldiss 
“The Cosmic Charge Account” by C. M. Kornbluth 
“The Anything Box” by Zenna Henderson 
“The Prize of Peril” by Robert Sheckley 
“——All You Zombies——" by Robert A. Heinlein  - This story is only available in the Print Edition
“Green Magic” by Jack Vance 
"The Country of the Kind" by Damon Knight 
“Narrow Valley” by R. A. Lafferty 
“Sundance” by Robert Silverberg 
“Attack of the Giant Baby” by Kit Reed 
“The Hundredth Dove” by Jane Yolen 
“Jeffty Is Five” by Harlan Ellison - Nebula and BFA Award winner
"Salvador" by Lucius Shepard - SF Chronicle Award winner
“The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything” by George Alec Effinger 
“Rat” by James Patrick Kelly 
“The Friendship Light” by Gene Wolfe 
“The Bone Woman” by Charles de Lint 
“The Lincoln Train” by Maureen F. McHugh 
“Maneki Neko” by Bruce Sterling 
“Winemaster” Robert Reed 
“Suicide Coast” by M. John Harrison 
“Have Not Have” by Geoff Ryman 
“The People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi 
“Echo” by Elizabeth Hand - Nebula Award winner
"The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates" by Stephen King 
“The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu -  Nebula and World Fantasy Award winner

Other books by this author…