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Best "Space SF" Story (1920-1960)


- many stories listed here only exist in rare sf pulps, so they could be hard-to-find...

FIRST PLACE Best "Space SF" Story (1920-1960)

Poul Anderson "Gypsy"
(expanded into "Star Ways")

SECOND PLACE Best "Space SF" Story (1920-1960)

Jerome Bixby "Laboratory"
Fredric Brown "Arena"
John W. Campbell "The Brain-Stealers of Mars"
"The Tenth World"
Robert Sheckley "Ghost V"; "Hands Off"
"The Lifeboat Mutiny"; "Subsistence Level"
Stanley Weinbaum "A Martian Odyssey"

THIRD PLACE Best "Space SF" Story (1920-1960)

Poul Anderson "Garden In The Void"
Eando Binder "Via" all stories
Jerome Bixby "Angels In The Jets"; "Nightride And Sunrise"
"Page and Player"; "Tubemonkey"
James Blish "How Beautiful With Banners"
Leigh Brackett "Child of the Sun"
"Interplanetary Reporter" ; "No-Man's Land In Space"
Ray Bradbury "The Earth Men"
"Mars Is Heaven!" (also as "The Third Expedition'')
Fredric Brown "Placet Is a Crazy Place''
John W. Campbell "The Double Minds"; "The Last Evolution"
Alfred Coppel "Captain Midas"
Philip K. Dick "The Infinites"
M. Emtzev & E. Parnov "Ne Ostavlyayuschi Sleda"
Paul Ernst "Nothing Happens on the Moon"
Raymond Z. Gallun "Blue Haze of Pluto", "The Lotus-Engine"; "Saturn' Ringmaster"
Tom Godwin "The Cold Equations"
J. Harvey Haggard "Messenger To Infinity"
Edmond Hamilton "The Dead Planet"
Robert A. Heinlein "Delilah and the Space-Rigger"
Neil R. Jones "The Music-Monsters"; "On the Planet Fragment"
Henry Kuttner "The Big Night"; "The Voice of the Lobster"
"We Guard the Black Planet!"
Milton Lesser "The Graveyard of Space"; "Ride the Crepe Ring"
Walter Miller Jr. "Six and Ten Are Johnny"
C. L. Moore "Shambleau"
Sam Moskowitz "The Way Back"
Alan E. Nourse "Brightside Crossing"
David Wright O'Brien (as Duncan Farnsworth) "Rayhouse In Space"
Eric Frank Russell "Hobbyist"; "Mechanistria"; "Mesmerica"; "Symbiotica"
James Schmitz "Grandpa"
Robert Sheckley "Milk Run"; "One Man's Poison"
("Untouched By Human Hands")
Clifford Simak "Beachhead" ("You'll Never Go Home Again")
"Buckets Of Diamonds"
Theodore Sturgeon "Bulkhead" ("Who?"); "The Pod And The Barrier"
A. E. Van Vogt "Black Destroyer"; "Vault of the Beast"
Jack Vance "The World Between"; "Noise"
"The Spa Of The Stars"; "When the Five Moons Rise"
Harry Walton "Schedule"
Stanley Weinbaum "The Lotus Eaters"; "Planet Of Doubt"
"Redemption Cairn"
John Wyndham "Time To Rest"

FOURTH PLACE Best "Space SF" Story (1920-1960)

Brian Aldiss "Gesture of Farewell" ; "Incentive"
Poul Anderson "Kings Who Die"; "Say it With Flowers"
"Strange Bedfellows" ("To Build a World")
Isaac Asimov "Marooned Off Vesta"
Keith Bennett "The Rocketeers Have Shaggy Ears"
J. G. Ballard "The Waiting Grounds"
Arthur K. Barnes "Almussen's Comet" ("The Seven Sleepers")
"The Dual World"; "The Hothouse Planet"; "Satellite Five"
"Siren Satellite"; "Trouble on Titan"
Eando Binder "Double or Nothing"; "Moon of Intoxication"; "The Black Comet";
Jerome Bixby "The Holes Around Mars"
Leigh Brackett "Outpost on Io"; "Terror Out of Space"
Ray Bradbury "And the Moon Be Still as Bright"
"The Blue Bottle" ("Death-Wish"); "Chrysalis"
"Final Victim" (with Henry Hasse); "The One Who Waits"
"The Golden Apples of the Sun"; "Here There Be Tygers"
"I, Mars" ("Night Call, Collect"); "Kaleidoscope"
Fredric Brown "Honeymoon in Hell''
John D. Clarke "Minus Planet"
John W. Campbell "The Brain Pirates"; "The Immortality Seekers"
"Marooned" (as Karl Van Kampen)
Arthur Clarke "Walk in the Dark"
Stanton A. Coblentz "An Episode In Space"
Alfred Coppel "Flight From Time"; "Task to Luna"; "The Rebel of Valkyr"
Lester Del Rey "Stacked Deck"
Philip K. Dick "Breakfast at Twilight"; "Colony"
"Rautavaara's Case"; "Sales Pitch"
Harlan Ellison "Nothing for My Noon Meal"
Paul W. Fairman "Kiss And Kill" (as P. F. Costello)
John Russel Fearn "After Doomsday" (as John Cotton)
H. B. Fyfe "Fee Of The Frontier"; "Moonwalk"
Henry Guth "Doomship"; "Signal Red"
Raymond Z. Gallun "Asteroid of Fear"; "Derelict"
"Return of a Legend"; "Space Oasis"; "Comet's Burial"
Chester S. Geier "Environment";
"The Beacons Must Burn" (as Warren Kastel)
Tom Godwin "Cry from a Far Planet"
"Mother of Invention"; "The Nothing Equation"
"We'll Walk Again in the Moonlight"
Edmond Hamilton "The Comet-Drivers"; "A Conquest of Two Worlds"
"The Cosmic Cloud"; "Crashing Suns"; "The Star-Stealers";
"The Sun People"; "Sunfire!"; "Thundering Worlds";
"TransUranic"; "Wacky World"; "Within the Nebula"
Robert A. Heinlein "The Black Pits of Luna"
"Gentlemen, Be Seated !"; "The Green Hills of Earth"
"Space Jockey"
E. Mayne Hull & A. E. Van Vogt "Competition"
Carl Jacobi "The White Pinnacle"
Malcolm Jameson "The Lilies Of Life" ("Planet Of Doom")
Neil R. Jones "Hermit of Saturn's Ring"; "Into the Hydrosphere"
"Spoilers of the Spaceways"; "The Sunless World"
"Time's Mausoleum"; "Twin Worlds"
Raymond F. Jones "The Touch of Your Hand"
Frank K. Kelly "Exiles of Mars"
Frederik Arnold Kummer "The Flying Dutchman of Space"
"Vengeance from the Void"
Henry Kuttner "Beauty and the Beast"; "Hollywood on the Moon"
Murray Leinster "Assignment on Pasik"; "The Corianis Disaster"
"The Ethical Equations"; "The Plants"
Fritz Leiber "The Foxholes of Mars"
Milton Lesser "The Music of the Spheres"
Frank Belknap Long "Invaders from the Outer Suns"
"The World of Wulkins"
Richard Matheson "Shipshape Home"
Walter Miller Jr. "Blood Bank"
C. L. Moore "Black Thirst"; "The Cold Gray God"; Dust Of The Gods"
"Scarlet Dream"; "The Tree Of Life"; "The Handicapped"
Frederick Pohl "The Middle of Nowhere"
Arthur Porges "The Priceless Possession"
Festus Pragnell "Monsters Of The Moon"
Milton Rothman (as Lee Gregor) "Last Night Out"
Ross Rocklynne "Jupiter Trap"; "The Men & The Mirror"
"The Sound Of Space"
Eric Frank Russell "Jay Score"; "Metamorphosite"
Nat Schachner "Reverse Universe"
James Schmitz "The Second Night of Summer"
Michael Shaara "The Holes", "The Book"
Robert Sheckley "The Laxian Key"; "The Monsters"
"The Necessary Thing"; "A Wind Is Rising" (as Finn O'Donnevan)
Robert Silverberg "Appropiation" ("Chestny Kontrakt")
Clifford Simak "The Asteroid Of Gold"; "Construction Shack"; "Courtesy"
"Drop Dead"; "Limiting Factor"; "Masquerade" ("Operation Mercury")
Clark Ashton Smith "The God of the Asteroid"; "The Plutonian Drug"
("Master of the Asteroid"); "Marooned in Andromeda"
Margaret St.Clair "Pillows"; "Stawdust"
R. F. Starzl "The Terrors of Aryl"
Theodore L. Thomas "The Far Look"
A. E. Van Vogt "Discord In Scarlet"; "Far Centaurus"
"The Gryb" ("Repetition"); "The Rull"; "The Great Engine"
"Enchanted Village" ("The Sands of Mars")
"The Green Forest"; "The Second Solution"; "The Storm"
Jack Vance "I'll Build You a Dream Castle"
"The Howling Bounders"; "The Kokod Warriors"
"The Masquerade on Dicantropus"; "The Unspeakable McInch"
"Winner Lose All"
Harl Vincent "The Lethal Planetoid"
F. L. Wallace "Student Body"
Harry Walton "Subcruiser"
Ed Weston "Cosmic Caravan"
George Whittington "Space-lane Of No-return"
John Wiggin "The Cave Dwellers Of Saturn"
Byce Walton "Moon Of The World"; "To Each His Star"
Stanley Weinbaum "Tidal Moon"; "Valley Of Dreams"
Manly Wade Wellman "Men Against The Stars"
Hal K. Wells "The White Brood"
James White "Fast Trip"
Jack Williamson "Born Of The Sun"; "Dead Star Station"
"The Plutonian Terror"; "Salvage In Space"
Russell Winterbotham "The Minus Woman"
John Wyndham "The Asteroids, 2194"; "Dumb Martian"
Robert F. Young "Jupiter Found"

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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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some truly crazed stories in there...
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and other classic sf blasts

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

and other masterpieces of terror
including original illustrations

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

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and other Vance extravaganzas

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"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.

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("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

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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
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--/ adventure award
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--/ romance award
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