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The Norton Book of Science Fiction: North American Science Fiction, 1960-90

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In the tradition of other groundbreaking Norton anthologies, Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Atteberry's Norton Book of Science Fiction provided the first truly comphrehensive and cohereent look at the best of contemporary science fiction. Its 67 stories, all published since 1960, offer compelling evidence that science fiction is the source of the most thoughtful, imaginative ...more
Hardcover, 869 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by W.W. Norton & Company
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Werner
Apr 01, 2011 Werner marked it as started-and-not-finished
Shelves: science-fiction
Back in 2002 or 2003, when I was interested in developing a college course in science fiction, I borrowed this book by interlibrary loan to examine it as a possible textbook, knowing that Norton had a reputation for producing quality anthologies. This one was a distinct disappointment, however. Le Guin, who apparently dominated the editing process though she did have assistance from a couple of academics, confined her selection to American and Canadian works written after 1960 (the period of the ...more
Paul Bryant
This collection kicks off with a favourite of mine, "The Handler" by Damon Knight. Pete, the big man, steps into a room where a showbiz apres-show party is in mid-swing and everyone lights up like neon, now he's here. The whole place is really jumpin and jivin, Pete is ladling out the praise for everyone involved and they're all loving him right back. He was the star of the show and it's a hit. The love is flowing like the champagne. Then he says "Now, I'd like you to meet my handler" and he .. ...more
Gabriel
This kind of collection is a terrific antithesis to the perception of science fiction as a less-than-literary, nerd-wish-fulfillment genre. Instead, we get a number of stories that span such diverse writing styles, morals, plots, and moods, that one might at first be at a loss to find the common thread — what defines “science fiction?” — until you realize that more than anything, all of these authors use fantastically creative fictional devices (future worlds, strange abilities, alien characters ...more
Jeff
Bought during attempt to quantify The Science Fiction Canon in late 90s. Read ~50% then; determined to read all in order now.

6 July 2009
The Handler **1/2 -- We meet Pete, the star, & his handler. If it worked on metaphorical AND realistic levels, i'd rate it higher.

Alpha Ralpha Boulevard *** -- Super-future Earth decides to revert to simpler times. Shoulda been longer? Nice that everything isn't TOLD AT us along w/sense of full world history lurking beneath it all; sense of Myth. Resolution
...more
Lisa
This is a book I would like to own one day. It's a packed-full treasure of short stories from many authors I was familiar with with but hadn't read and others whom I didn't know existed but well in love with. I initially picked it up from the library because it contained an Octavia Butler story I hadn't' yet read (she did not disappoint) but I was surprised by how many other stories pulled me in. I know I like sci-fi as a genre (and Le Guin's introduction to how and why the stories were chosen g ...more
Matt
Aug 21, 2012 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
It took me nearly two years to finish this book. I rated this book highly because of the shear expanse of it. It has short stories from 1960 until 1990, and while I did not enjoy all of them, I found having the author information present to be very helpful. This actually made the reading a bit slower because I would put down the book for awhile to read some of the books I found in the author descriptions. Some of the stories hardly qualify as science fiction but it is ok. There is a large variat ...more
Nehalemn
It has a wide range of stories, but the book is hard to get through. I skipped about a handful of them that I just couldn't get into. I'm fairly certain some of the stories weren't even in the science fiction genre.

If caught I recommend Tandy's Story by Theodore Sturgeon, Balanced Ecology by James Schmitz, For the Sake of Grace by Suzette Elgin, and Tauf Aleph by Phyllis Gotlieb.
Michael
Variable, with sudden gusts.
It was difficult to see how some of the stoires in the anthology could be called Science Fiction.
Some were simply poor.
However, some fine examples of the genre from this time and place.
Of much greater interest is Attebury's 'Teacher's Guide to Accompany the Norton Book of Science Fiction'. Recommended to teachers!
Megan
I though the majority of these stories were quite good, though a few I didn't think fit very well into sci-fi, even the way the editors defined it. But overall I liked it a lot and now I need to track down more stories by some of the authors I liked the best.
Laura
Some great, great stuff is contained in these pages. Even better the second time around—seven years later! Part of what made it fun this time was the notes I’d written about the stories last time—and how different my perspective was on them now.
John
Worth a read merely for the robust introduction by Le Guin. Like many anthologies, not every story is equal in quality. Le Guin, Atteberry, and Fowler's definition of "science fiction" is more in line with mine than Dozois.
D.J.
This was okay, but there is a clear feminist slant to the stories chosen, so it isn't a fair cross-section of the best science fiction of the given period.
bluetyson
The Norton Book of Science Fiction: North American Science Fiction, 1960-1990 (Norton Book Of...) by Ursula K. Le Guin (1999)
Laura
Just randomly pick one and read it: some are funny, and some are sick. Read as a bedtime snack for the dream world.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
This was the text for a class I ended up dropping a couple weeks in.
Martin Bromirski
i read many (most?) but not all, i prefer novels.
Kytica
One of my FAVORITE reads.
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As of 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. Forthcoming ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin...
A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1) The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2) The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3) The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4) The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #5)

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