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The Mammoth Book of Mind Blowing SF

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Many readers are attracted to science fiction for that singular moment when a story expands your imagination, enabling you to see something in a new light. Not all SF works this way! This volume collects the very best of it that does, with 25 of the finest examples of mind-expanding and awe-inspiring science fiction.The storylines range from a discovery on the Moon that op ...more
Kindle Edition, 546 pages
Published (first published August 25th 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 323)
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Out of the Sun by Arthur C. Clarke - 7/10
A nice simple short story looking at the possibility of sentient life within the sun. Short and sweet, but unfortunately average.

The Pevatron Rats by Stephen Baxter - 9/10
This is a good story about rats that appear inside a particle accelerator that show some very strange qualities that lead to an infestation the likes has not been seen before. I really enjoyed this one and like the twist in the story - a highlight of the collection.

The Edge of the Map by
Some of these could genuinely be described as 'mind-blowing', but for the most part these stories were pretty average. And some were just down-right weird. But that's probably something you're going to get with any anthology, and there are certainly some good ideas within.
David C. Mueller
While I did not feel that this book lived up to the claim of its title, it is a very interesting collection of modern SF stories. The variety of stories is good. My favorite by far is Eric Brown's "The Rest is Speculation," which reads like an up to date version of an Olaf Stapledon story, perhaps the highest compliment I can pay. This short story led me to read more of Eric Brown's work.
I do realize that the word "mindblowing" in the title has a lot to do with marketing, but I was very disappointed when I realized it had much more to do with marketing than I assumed. The book opens up with a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, "Out of the Sun". It is a fairly good story and it made me think the book is going in the right direction.

Truth is, it's all just downhill from there on, with a couple of exceptions, such as "The Hole in the Hole" by Terry Bisson, which is a nice and relaxin
Tim Hicks
Does what it says on the tin.

The stories, a mix of old and new, are consistent with the theme of taking an angle that stretches the reader's mind a bit. No home runs, maybe, but mostly solid hits.
Some are just an author playing with an idea, but in a short story that's fine. Mostly established authors.

It was interesting to read the Blish story that gave us the spindizzy; I hadn't seen it before. And I particularly liked "The Rest Is Speculation" just for being different.
Like many anthologies, it's hard to review this one as a whole. Some of the stories are excellent, some are average. I didn't think any were terrible. My favorites were the stories by Clarke, Baxter, Zahn, Crowther, Swanwick, Reynolds, Silverberg, and Brown. I thought the Eric Brown story was most indicative of the sense of wonder promised by the title of the anthology. It seems that the editor agreed since the cover art was inspired by that story. I read bits and pieces of this over time, which ...more
Definitely not mind-blowing, that's for sure. The stories in here are all pretty good, but, for the most part, don't really rise above the pack in terms of wonder or storytelling or anything else. The first two stories, "Out of the Sun" and "The Pevatron Rats", are a strong start, and "Cascade Point" is a good solid novella. "Castle in the Sky," "The Hole in the Hole," "Mother Grasshopper," "The Black Hole Passes," and "The Width of the World" are all above-average, with ncie little twists on re ...more
Kevin Driskill
Some epic tales and intriguing stories. Easily read and lots of fun.
Loved the stories. Have read it through twice.
Wade Harmon
This is an above average anthology of SF stories. “The Rest Is Speculation” is a special story that stays with you. “Bridge”, a James Blish story offers a nice insight into the concerns and anxieties of the early '50s. “Anhedonia” speculates on a different way to reach the stars. Overall, it's a nice mix of old and new, long and short. For SF fans its worth picking up.
Earl Biringer
Above average:
Baxter: "The Pevatron Rats"
Watson: "The Width of the World"
Silverberg: "Our Lasy of the Sauropods"

Below Average:
Benford: "A Dance to Strange Musics"
Swanwick: "Mother Grasshopper"
Blish: "Bridge"

Absolutely Horrendous:
White & McCombs: "The Peacock King"

Still Have No Idea How To Rate It:
Roberts: "Anhedonia"

Everything else
Ketan Shah
Most of the stories here weren't exactly mindblowing. Robert Reed's effort,Castle In the Sky was the strongest one.Michael Swanwyck's Mother Grasshopper was also well put together. The Peacock King ,Anhedonia,The Width of the World and Our Lady of the Sauropods both had interesting premises as well but the other stories seemed quite bland.
Florin Pitea
An excellent anthology which delivers what it says on the cover. Good value for money. Recommended. For a detailed, review, please visit my blog here:
Solid collection of "sense of wonder" science fiction stories. Concise, informative introductions lead off stories that are consistently good or excellent. I even enjoyed stories by a few authors I normally don't care for.
Louise Armstrong
Mostly let's solve a problem with clever technology stories, which don't do it for me, but I loved Our Lady of the Sauropods by Robert Silverberg and Tiger Burning by Alistair Reynolds.
Not every story is great but it was certainly broad with lots of interesting subjects. A solid handful of very strong stories as well. Worth dipping in and out of.
Really enjoyed Tiger Burning, Peacock King, Mother Grasshopper, The Width of the World, & Into the Miranda Rift.
I don't know how much it blew my mind, but it was pretty damned good.
Arvind Vijh
Great 'hard' sf stories by the masters- Varley, others.
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Michael Raymond Donald Ashley is the author and editor of over sixty books that in total have sold over a million copies worldwide. He lives in Chatham, Kent.
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