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reviews of books and stories by author's name
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retrospective look at sf&f year-by-year
The Ultimate Guide to New SF&F Writers (from 1990 till now)

Best Science Fiction Collections

Single-author short story collections only, not anthologies.
FIRST PLACE Best SF Collection

Sergei Snegov "Lyudi Kak Bogi"
( incl. "Galakticheskaya Razvedka"
"Vtorzhenie V Persei" and
"Koltzo Obratnogo Vremeni")

SECOND PLACE Best SF Collection

Brian Aldiss "Long Afternoon of Earth" ("Hothouse")
J. G. Ballard "Chronopolis" ("The Disaster Area")
Jerome Bixby "Space By The Tail"
Ray Bradbury "The Martian Chronicles"
Samuel R. Delany "Driftglass"
William Gibson "Burning Chrome"
Henry Kuttner "Return To Otherness"; "Robots Have No Tails"
Larry Niven "Neutron Star"
Alastair Reynolds "Galactic North"
Eric Frank Russell "Men, Martians And Machines"
Robert Sheckley "Pilgrimage to Earth"
James White "Hospital Station"
Askold Yakubowski "Kupol Galaktiki"

THIRD PLACE Best SF Collection

Brian Aldiss "The Airs Of Earth" ("Starswarm")
"Space, Time & Nathaniel"
Poul Anderson "Explorations"
Isaac Asimov "I, Robot"
J. G. Ballard "The Impossible Man", "Vermillion Sands"
Greg Bear "Tangents"
Alfred Bester "The Dark Side Of The Earth"
Eando Binder "Puzzle of the Space Pyramids"
Leigh Brackett "The Halfling"
Ray Bradbury "The Illustrated Man"
John W. Campbell "Who Goes There?"
C. J. Cherryh "Sunfall"
Arthur Clarke "The Lost Worlds Of 2001"
Dmitry DeSpiller "Poyuschie Skaly"
Paul Di Filippo "Ribofunk"
Philip K. Dick "The Days of Perky Pat"; "The Variable Man"
Harlan Ellison "Angry Candy"; "Approaching Oblivion"
Edmond Hamilton "Horror on the Asteroid"
Neil R. Jones "Twin Worlds"
Henry Kuttner "Ahead Of Time"; "No Boundaries"
Ursula Le Guin "The Wind's Twelve Quarters"
Murray Leinster "Get Off My World!"
George R. R. Martin "A Song For Lya"
Richard Matheson "The Shores Of Space"
Michael Moorcock "The Time Dweller"
Christopher Priest "Real-Time World"
Ross Rocklynne "The Sun Destroyers"
Eric Frank Russell "Somewhere a Voice"
Bob Shaw "Cosmic Kaleidoscope"; "Ship Of Strangers"
Robert Sheckley "Citizen In Space"; "The People Trap"
"Untouched By Human Hands"
Clifford Simak "All The Traps Of Earth"; "Strangers In The Universe"
Cordwainer Smith "Quest Of The Three Worlds"
Bruce Sterling "Crystal Express"
Theodore Sturgeon "A Way Home"
Michael Swanwick "Gravity's Angels"
A. E. Van Vogt "Voyage Of The Space Biggle"
"The War Against the Rull"
John Varley "The Persistence Of Vision"
Jack Williamson "The Pandora Effect"; "People Machines"

FOURTH PLACE Best SF Collection

Brian Aldiss "Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand"
"The Saliva Tree & Other Strange Growths"
Poul Anderson "Beyond The Beyond"
"Conquests" ("Seven Conquests"); "Guardians of Time"
"The Star Fox"; "Time And Stars"
J. G. Ballard "The Four-Dimensional Nightmare"
"The Overloaded Man"; "The Terminal Beach"
"The Voices Of Time"
Arthur K. Barnes "Interplanetary Hunter"
Terry Bisson "In The Upper Room & Other Stories"
Leigh Brackett "The Coming Of Terrans"
Fredric Brown "Angels and Spaceships"
Paul Di Filippo "Strange Trades"
Philip K. Dick "The Eye of the Sybil" ("The Little Black Box")
"Beyond Lies The Wub" ("Paycheck")
Harlan Ellison "Alone Against Tomorrow"
"Ellison Wonderland"; "Shatterday"; "Strange Wine"
Robert A. Heinlein "The Green Hills of Earth"
Neil R. Jones "The Sunless World"
Victor Kolupaev "Kacheli Otshelnika"
Henry Kuttner "Line To Tomorrow"
George R. R. Martin "Tuf Voyaging"
Vladimir Mikhailov "Ruchei Na Yapete"
Walter Miller, Jr. "Conditionally Human" (UK)
Robert Sheckley "Notions : Unlimited"; "Shards Of Space"
"Store Of Infinity"
Clifford Simak "The Worlds of Clifford Simak"
"So Bright the Vision"
Norman Spinrad "No Direction Home"
Bruce Sterling "Globalhead"
Theodore Sturgeon "Sturgeon is Alive And Well"; "Starshine"
William Tenn "The Human Angle"
Jack Vance "Future Tense"; "The World Between and Other Stories"
"The Moon Moth and Other Stories"
A. E. Van Vogt "Away & Beyond"
Ian Watson "The Very Slow Time Machine"
Stanley Weinbaum "Dawn of Flame"
Jack Williamson "The Power Of Blackness"
Gene Wolfe "Endangered Species"
Roger Zelazny "Four For Tomorrow" ("A Rose For Ecclesiates")


Also see: (full navigation tree)

Best SF Novel (General Themes)
Best Space SF Novel
Best Time SF Novel
Best Apocalyptic SF Novel


Best SF Series (general themes)
Best Space SF Series

Best SF Novella 1920-1960 (general themes)
Best SF Novella 1961-now (general themes)
Best Space SF Novella 1920-1960
Best Space SF Novella 1961-now
Best Time SF Novella
Best Apocalyptic SF Novella

Best SF Story 1920-1960 (general themes)
Best SF Story 1961-now (general themes)
Best Space SF Story 1920-1960
Best Space SF Story 1961-now
Best Time SF Story
Best Apocalyptic SF Story





Best Fantasy Story 1920-1960
Best Fantasy Story 1961-now




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Collecting Pulp Magazines

Ephemera Interview with Avi Abrams

Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Exceptional British Scifi Artwork from the 1950s

Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and other British artists

Pulp Pleasures: Eando Binder

Great space adventure fiction from the 1930s
"Where Eternity Ends" and other rare gems

Epic Fantasy: the Start of the Journey

Part 2 of our "Best Classic Fantasy" series
incl. works by Henry Kuttner, Tolkien, etc.

Strange Shadows: Best Classic Fantasy

Fantasy "glitches in the matrix",
...lovely baroque magical lands, and more

Classic Cyberpunk SF Novels: Reviews

Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, K. W. Jeter, et al
(awesome must-reads)

10 Possible Sources of "Avatar" in Classic Science Fiction

Going beyond the obvious "Dances with Smurfs"...
(many stories worth reading)

"Steampunk" Anthology: Full Review

some truly crazed stories in there...
(plus artwork by John Coulthart)

"Dune", Plus Often-Neglected
Other Novels by Frank Herbert

"Dune", plus some overlooked gems:
"The Santaroga Barrier" and "The Green Brain"

Universe at Play:
Two Must-Read Novels of the Fantastic

"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon...
and David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas"

Two of the Most Entertaining SF Novels from the 1980s

"Vacuum Flowers" by Michael Swanwick...
and Tim Power's "The Anubis Gates", of course!

"The Body Snatchers" and Other Alien Pods

Fiction by Jack Finney, Vance, Simak and Bloch
mind impostors and emotion imitators

Exploring the Noir and the Grotesque

Jack O'Connell "The Resurrectionist"
and other newest examples of the bizarre

Overpopulation, Sex and Sensibility

Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside"
and other classic sf blasts

H. P. Lovecraft "At the Mountains of Madness"

and other masterpieces of terror
including original illustrations

"Constellations", edited by Peter Crowther

original anthology, 2005
full review: mind-bending stories

The Ultimate Guide to New Writers of SF&F

more than 2,000 writers, 1990-2009
Ratings, awards, web links

The Surreal Office

"The Situation", "The Cookie Monster"
Weird fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Vernor Vinge

Mind-shattering Novels of Philip K. Dick

"UBIK", "Now Wait for Last Year", etc.

Theodore Sturgeon's "More Than Human"

There’s a problem with this new gestalt being: needs a conscience.

Jack Williamson's "Legion of Space" Series

Classic Space Opera
The ultimate weapon, controlled by a gorgeous woman

Astounding Stories, August 1934

Jack Williamson, Nat Schachner, "Doc" Smith
Epic space opera gems and horror surprises

Rare Pulp SF&F, Issue 3

Leigh Brackett, Fritz Leiber, Vic Phillips
Rediscovered gems of wonder & adventure

William Gibson's Novels

"Pattern Recognition", "Neuromancer"
A Fractured Delight...

Alfred Bester "The Computer Connection"

"Bester was the mountain, all the rest of us..."
Pyrokinetic writing in one neat package

Two Novels by Samuel R. Delany

"Nova" and "Babel-17"
New Wave Milestones, and then some.

Theodore Sturgeon's "The Cosmic Rape"

(and more reviews of his fiction)
Classic SF at its best and most humane

Travel Distant Worlds!

Vintage Space Travel Posters, and more.
Part 3 of Pulp Sf art series...

Alastair Reynolds' Epic Novels

"Chasm City" and "Revelation Space"
And it's only the beginning...

Rare Fantasy Gems by C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

Hidden Gems of Pulp Fiction
When two star writers become husband and wife

Grand Old Times... in the Future

Overview of Pulp Art
A Loudly Lurid Universe of Sci-Fi Illustration

Exclusive: Interview with Nancy Kress

From High Fantasy to Hard Science Fiction
A Spectrum of Wonder

Jack Vance

"To Live Forever"
and other Vance extravaganzas

Alastair Reynolds

"Pushing Ice"
Cosmological "noir" chase across space

Charles Stross

"Missile Gap"
Mind-bending Cold War world-building

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 2

Rare stories from the "Age of Wonder"
incl. David Keller, Horace Gold etc.

Ultra-Rare Serials from "Fantasy Magazine"

"Cosmos" + "Challenge From Beyond"
incredible line-up of writers

Hidden Gems of Pulp SF, Part 1

Neat & Rare Stories
incl. the mad rally story "The Racer"

Astounding Stories, June 1935

Full Issue Review
incl. Gallun, Schachner, Campbell

Astounding Stories, May 1941

Full Issue Review
incl. Heinlein, Asimov, Eric Frank Russell

Horace Gold; P. Schuyler Miller

"Apocalyptic Blockbusters"
"Inflexure" and "Spawn": guilty pleasure

Interview with John C. Wright

Plus his advice to new writers
Adventures in Space & Magic

Frank Belknap Long

"The Horror from the Hills"
Great Lovecraftian Weird Novella

Interview with Jeff VanderMeer

Plus his Recommended Reading List
A Triumph of the Bizarre

Alastair Reynolds, Part 2

More "Galactic North" Stories
A Mixture of Hard Sf, James Bond & Jaws...

Alastair Reynolds Review

"Galactic North"
staring down infinity...

Most Shocking Article

"Holey Fools" by M. Christian
Warning: Gross Subject Matter

Alfred Bester Review

"The Stars My Destination"
"...nail it to the Retro Hugo voting board..."

Larry Niven Review

"Neutron Star"
"better get GP alien ship hull"

Poul Anderson Review

"Ensign Flandry"
"or how to start a sub-genre..."

Thomas M. Disch Review

"The Squirrel Cage"
"...seriously mind-bending stuff..."

Henry Kuttner Review

"Mimsy Were the Borogoves" (The Last Mimzy)
"...great storyline for a pretty average movie..."

Robert A. Heinlein Review

"The Moon is the Harsh Mistress"
" caused a tooth ache, and put my brain on freeze..."

Frank Herbert Review

"Destination: Void"
"...a layered cake of ideas and a scientific extrapolation on a genius level..."

Harlan Ellison Review

"The Abnormals"
"...editors slapped the most outrageous titles on his stories..."

James White Review

"All Judgement Fled"
"...the tension is palpable, soon to grow almost unbearable..."

Grand Adventure Strikes Again

Space Opera Article, by Avi Abrams
Based on Arthur Clarke's "Against the Fall of Night"

William Gibson Review

"Burning Chrome"
"...sheer pyrotechnics and exuberance of style..."

Ace Double: Murray Leinster

"The Pirates of Ersatz /The Mutant Weapon"
"...the characters might as well be cats or hamsters..."

Astounding Stories, May 1935

Pulp SF Magazine Review
with many original illustrations

Also read recent posts:
Author's Pen Names - Most Complete List Ever
The Wonder Timeline: SF&F Restrospective
Space Adventure Article



"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.

All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

--/ shock value
altogether wild

--/ awesome scale
mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

--/ rare find
very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.

Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.