THE VERY BEST OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, VOLUME 2 is an excellent place to see great stories from over 60 years
As to be expected the book is filled with great stories, including some real classics of the genre. Anyone who wants to know the genre should be reading classics like Robert A. Heinlein’s “——All You Zombies——" and Harlan Ellison’s “Jefty is Five” and this is a great place to find them. It’s also a way to see the work of authors whose names are not as well known as they should be, people like C. M. Kornbluth, Zenna Henderson, Jack Vance, R. A. Lafferty, George Alec Effinger, and Kit Reed. In addition, there are 21st Century authors (and perhaps classics to be) with Paolo Bacigalupi and Ken Liu. It’s really unlikely a science fiction reader won’t be excited by the names.
I found it fascinating to trace the evolution of the genre through the stories. The earlier ones were filled with sense of wonder and clever plotting, but characters still hung on to their pulp roots, and often the stories revolved around revealing a clever idea. But as the field evolved, the characters became stronger, and an idea, no matter how clever, was looked at in far more depth. Instead of just introducing it, the more modern authors tried to show more about the personal and social changes it caused.
But there really isn’t a bad story in the lot. 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.
Read the rest of Rothman’s review at Tangent.
For more info on The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume 2, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty.