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The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  500 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Here are 25 stories of science fiction that push the envelope, by the biggest names in an emerging new crop of high-tech futuristic SF - including Charles Stross, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Peter Hamilton and Neal Asher. High-tech SF has made a significant comeback in the last decade, as bestselling authors successfully blend the super-science of 'hard science fiction ...more
ebook, 300 pages
Published December 14th 2010 by Robinson Publishing (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jim
Mine is an RNIB edition for blind people that I got from my local library as a download. There are several readers, all good, & it's about 25 hours long.

Ashley & I don't agree on what makes a good SF short story. Most of these were far too long & not particularly interesting. If you like Greg Bear's writing, you'll probably like this collection. He wrote one of the stories. For all his popularity, I've never found it worthwhile to wade through his prose, though. Too many words for to
...more
Rasheed
Jul 19, 2010 Rasheed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anomalies (2001) by Gregory Benford 4/5
And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (2003) by Paul Di Filippo 5/5
Crucifixion Variations (1998) by Lawrence Person 4/5
The Pacific Mystery by (2006) Stephen Baxter 4.5.5
Flowers from Alice (2003) by Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow 3/5
Merlin's Gun (2000) by Alastair Reynolds 5/5
Death in the Promised Land (1995) by Pat Cadigan 3/5
The Long Chase (2002) by Geoffrey A. Landis 4.5/5
Waterworld (1994) by Stephen L. Gillett and Jerry Oltion 3/5
Hoop-of-Benzene (2006)
...more
Tommy Carlson
Jun 28, 2012 Tommy Carlson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extreme Science Fiction is a nice collection of extreme science fiction, hence the title. I love short stories and it's an unfortunate reality that authors don't make much from them. So I'm always glad for nice collections like this one. Still, it's a great way to find new authors. (Well, new to me, anyway.)

Many of the stories are great. A few are merely good. I don't think there was a truly bad one in the lot. The main weakness is in the ordering. The collection is ordered from least extreme to
...more
Tim
Nov 06, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***** Anomalies by Gregory Benford
*** ...& the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon by Paul Di Filippo
**** Crucifixion Variations by Lawrence Person
***** The Pacific Mystery by Stephen Baxter
***** Flowers from Alice by Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross
**** Merlin's Gun by Alastair Reynolds
*** Death in the Promised Land by Pat Cadigan
***** The Long Chase by Geoffrey A. Landis
**** Waterworld by Stephen L. Gillett & Jerry Oltion
***** Hoop-of-Benzine by Robert Reed
**** The New Humans by B
...more
Marie Michaels
Jul 16, 2013 Marie Michaels rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, a great collection of sci-fi -- maybe not as extreme as I'd hoped but thought-provoking and unpredictable. Of course I enjoyed some, particularly the longer stories toward the end, more than others, but none of them felt like a waste of time. Not surprisingly, some of the hard sf is quite dense, and I did find myself skimming some of the very scientific exposition (like passages in "Wang's Carpets" and "Judgment Engine"). On the whole it's a good mix -- some are stronger in the story de ...more
Ratiocination
A good anthology all told, though the format is a little misleading. A high proportion of the stories are only a few years older than the book. I haven't been all that up on new SF recently, so they were new to me, and generally pretty good... but not really a thorough overview of extreme-concept science fiction as a whole. Some might also have benefited from not being read so close together, given similarities in premise. It's hard to read a third or fourth nanotech immortality story with quite ...more
Voodoo Shampoo
The only stories really worth reading:
Anomalies by Gregory Benford - great
Crucifixion Variations by Lawrence Person - decent
Death in the Promised Land by Pat Cadigan - very interesting, quite original
The Long Chase by Geoffrey A. Landis - great
The Creator by Clifford D. Simak - great
The Region Between by Harlan Ellison - great

The other stories:
...& the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon by Paul Di Filippo - funny ending, but overall lacking
The Pacific Mystery by Stephen Baxter - sort of bland and
...more
Peter Dunn
Fine in parts – though somewhat padded with stories that simply are not Extreme Science Fiction as claimed by the anthology’s title and I am not just talking about the obviously out of place, predictable, and forgettable story entitled Stuffing by Jerry Oltion.

However the book is worth it alone for the excellent: The Pacific Mystery by Stephen Baxter, The Region Between by Harlan Ellison, Wang's Carpets by Greg Egan, and The Days of Solomon Gursky by Ian McDonald. In the next rank also well wor
...more
Sean Roach
Jan 04, 2008 Sean Roach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone Extreme enough
Shelves: modern-classics
This book is more extreme than jumping off a cliff without a bungee cord, unless of course, you were jumping off said cliff while reading this book. Extreme!
Sylvain
Dec 05, 2012 Sylvain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good stories, all well (to very well) written.
Kristýna Obrdlíková
Tichomořská záhada (Stephen Baxter) - fajne nápad o neeukleidovské zemi a navíc zařazený do zajímavé epochy první poloviny 20. století.
Merlinova zbraň (Alastair Reynolds) - Měl smůlu, že jsem na nápady nadhozené tady narazila už dřív u Neala Ashera.
Smrt v zemi zaslíbené (Pat Cadiganová) - takový poctivý cyberpunk, probudil ve mně nostalgii.
Dlouhý Hon (G. A. Landiss) - to bylo fakt dobré a styl i myšlenka mi sedly. Asi i pro možnosti transhumanismu.
Vodní svět (S. Gillet a J. Oltion) - dobře zprac
...more
Edelhart Kempeneers
Een aantal verhalen vond ik heel goed (Waterworld, The Girl Had Guts), de meeste vielen wel mee, en een aantal vond ik gewoonweg slecht. Ik ga trachten om elk verhaal een score te geven; maar eigenlijk is dat nogal relatief, moest ik het morgen opnieuw doen, zou ik wellicht andere resultaten bekomen...

Anomalies (2001) by Gregory Benford 4/5
And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (2003) by Paul Di Filippo 2/5
Crucifixion Variations (1998) by Lawrence Person 3/5
The Pacific Mystery (2006) by Stephen Ba
...more
David Maixner
Libi se mi, ze to byly povidky, kazda jina, nektery dobry, jiny ne. Co me u scifi vetsinou zklame jsou scifi bez fantazie, kdy jde vlastne o banalni pribeh bez zapletky nebo neceho zajimaveho, jen je posunuty do vesmiru a okecany nejakyma vedeckyma blabolama, nejlepe vcetne chemickych vzorcu. Jen se proste zmeni realie, jinak by se to klidne mohlo odehravat v prumerne ceske vesnici. I takovy tam bohuzel jsou. Naopak se mi libi pribehy, ktery jsou demonstraci fantazie, kde autor projevil napadito ...more
Andrew
Nov 30, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting stories in here but it's a flawed collection. The 'least extreme to most extreme' structure means that the first half of the collection aren't really extreme at all, certainly nothing along the lines of culture novels for example.

Then there's the fact that of the 19 stories only one is by a female author. The editor claims he tried really hard but couldn't find any more. Well the existence of Alice Sheldon, Sheri Tipper, Ursula Le Guin etc etc suggest he didn't really try nearl
...more
Jamel Cato
Worth a read if you're a fan of hard SF. IMHO the Lawrence Person story was easily the best piece.

Whenever I read an anthology devoted to hard SF, I always come away with the same feeling: Reading multiple hard SF stories back-to-back, no matter how good they are, is mentally fatiguing because my mind has to work so hard to keep the science from overwhelming the fiction. Some of the weaker stories are no different than reading a physics textbook.
Kamil Kopacewicz
Some of these stories were good, some bad, and few extremely badly written

I liked The Pacific Mystery, The Long Chase, and Merlin's Gun - those were the fine pieces of text.
Anomalies, Flowers From Alice - those were terrible.

Death In The Promised Land - that is the worst story I have ever read. Atrocity, awful, short-minded, biased. -1/5. Burn it and don't let print again.

Hoop of Benzene was loon and in fact - really extreme. I would read the whole book with this setting.

Abiola Lawal
Oct 19, 2013 Abiola Lawal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this four years back, or thereabouts. Very well written collection of concepts I must admit. BUT. I didn't 'feel the Extreme' till I got to Greg Bear's Judgment Engine. It was so high up there it blew the other stories away; It got me seeking out all his books; I even bought the audio version of the book. Seriously.

I recommend this anthology to anyone interested in extreme science fiction based on that singular piece of writing.
Katya
Aug 18, 2013 Katya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an OK compilation of stories. Some of them I loved, some of them were more weird than I normally care to read about. Only a selected few have caught my imagination, their ideas being fantastic. Otherwise, the characterization has killed a lot of them for me. I know the stories have little room for making their characters big and bold but all of them were so...two dimensional, little more than cardboard cutouts with whom I couldn't relate to.
Zorena
I really did prefer this one over "The Mammoth Book of Science Fiction" but I think that's a personal preference. I like my sci fi a little more edgy and extreme and this book delivered. There were a couple of misses but then again that may have just been me.
I highly recommend this to anyone willing to "read" outside the box.
J.
Nov 06, 2013 J. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is an amazing collection of mindboggling stories that introduce the reader to a wide variety of concepts and ideas. Most stories I liked very much, others less, and some were about an intriguing concept but the story itself was only so and so. But it is definitely and absolutely worth the read, and I advise every science fiction lover to do so.
Nick
Sep 03, 2008 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I've enjoyed most of the stories in this book. In particular, "Hoop of Benzene" by Robert Reed was truly excellent. I'll be checking out his other titles.

Some of the stories were a little too far reaching for me. Dealing with the end of the universe and organisms so far evolved and complicated that it seemed too far removed from my simple little existance.
Paul
Dec 31, 2005 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edited by Ashley. Mixed bag of stories that largely don't fuflill the definition of extreme science fiction laid out in the introduction. Does have some good (and extreme) stories by Doctorow, Bear and Ian McDonald amongst others.
Emma
Apr 18, 2015 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only read a couple of stories from this book. I love short stories but Sci Fi is possibly my least favourite genre. I'm reading it because my husband enjoyed it a lot. My favourite story was Undone, it made me cry. I might read more stories in this collection, but I also might not.
Eduardo
Nov 08, 2015 Eduardo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nineteen stories and only three deserving three or more stars, in my opinion. They are:
"Waterworld" (S. L. Gillett & Jerry Oltion)
"Hoop-of-Benzene" (Robert Reed)
"Wang's Carpets" (Greg Egan)
My favorite: R. Reed's. We're back in his Marrow travelling world.
Cheryl
Dec 24, 2012 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
there were a few good short stories in here but towards the middle, stories were slow and seemed like filler.
Joe
Mar 10, 2013 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a few killer stories in here...but, also some junk that wasn't worth the time. A good book to skim the beginning of each store to see if it catches you eye.
Garrett Mccutcheon
Jan 05, 2015 Garrett Mccutcheon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Plenty of hits, and a few misses, in this large volume. Overall, worth reading if you're into hard/extreme sci-fi.
Ned Davis
This very large collection of SiFi stories was exactly what the title stated...Extreme Science. Enjoyed about half of the stories.
Florin Pitea
Jan 20, 2013 Florin Pitea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good value for money. Most of the stories are good, some very good, a few are truly mind-blowing. Highly recommended.
Bill
Jul 07, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite enjoyable, some of the stories were just too "out there" to make sense of, but overall, a good collection of SF
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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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