Alan's Reviews > The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction

The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction by Arthur B. Evans
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's review
Feb 19, 2011

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Recommended to Alan by: Its Table of Contents
Recommended for: Scholars and seekers after a modern and comprehensive overview of sf
Read in February, 2011 , read count: 1

I grew up reading anthologies like this... from throwaway "year's best" books and themed groupings by the editor-of-the-month, to the enduring greats by editors like Groff Conklin, Anthony Boucher, Terry Carr, Robert Silverberg, Isaac Asimov and Ben Bova. This book, I think, would stand up well in comparison to any of these... Spanning more than a century, The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction collects carefully-chosen short stories from authors ranging from Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1844, through Ted Chiang in 2008, and every one is a solid, justifiable choice.

While the editors' introductions to the stories are sometimes a bit too dry and academic, it is a teaching anthology, after all. There is a second table of contents arranged by theme, as well as an extensive bibliography. And while many of the stories herein have previously been collected elsewhere, I found it fun to revisit the ones I'd already read... and there were several gems I had not run across before.

It makes me a little sad to see how many of the writers in this volume have already passed away (each Introduction carefully includes both birth and, where applicable, death dates for each author); this is most definitely a backward-looking volume. Very few of the authors included here were born after 1960. Nevertheless, this solid compendium would be a fine introduction to science fiction for just about anyone, and has something to offer even to seasoned veterans in the field.
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