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The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  211 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
This collection of 21 innovative and mind-blowing stories includes contributions from Sci-Fi pioneers such as Stephen Baxter, Robert Reed, J. G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke, Alastair Reynolds, and Geoffrey Landis.


vii • Acknowledgments (The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF) • essay by uncredited
ix • Introduction: That Sense of Wonder • essay by Mike Ashley
1 • Out of the
Paperback, 531 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Robinson (first published July 1st 2009)
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Kevin Kuhn
The title attracted me to pick up this book, as one of my favorite aspects of Science Fiction is that sense of wonder. The publisher has an interesting series with other compilations such as The Mammoth Book of Pirates, The Mammoth Book of Fast Puzzles, and let’s not forget, the Mammoth Book of Limericks. In all seriousness, you just put Arthur C. Clark’s name on anything and I’ll buy it.

This is a collection of twenty-one science fictions short stores, hung together by a theme of positivity and
Jul 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-read
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
Good for whiling away a leisurely 10 min here and there, but contains nothing that blows the mind, nor is even particularly memorable.. Bolded are ones I particularly enjoyed.


Out of the sun - Arthur C Clark
Might be great, but I literally cannot recall it without having to reread it.

The Pevatron Rats - Stephen Baxter
A quick and absorbing read about time travel and its effect on rodent evolution.

Edge of the Map - Ian Creasy
In a world blanketed by nanocams, what space is left for the monstro
David C. Mueller
Sep 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-anthologies
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.
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.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I recently bought this book because I do enjoy a bit o' sci-fi on occasion, even though I'm primarily a fantasy reader/writer. For the most part, I did quite enjoy this book. As with most anthologies, some stories are better than others, but that doesn't mean to say that any of the stories in this book are particularly horrible. None of them are - horrible, that is. Just some are better than others. The ones that I enjoyed the most are - Mother Grasshopper by Michael Swanwick, The Hole in the Ho ...more
Sean Randall
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't actually have the copy with me, to tell you all which of the stories I noted to investigate further. Suffice it to say that several were marked for future exploration either to the works in which they are set or for other works b their authors I have yet to read.
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Tim Hicks
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
Wade Harmon
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
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
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Florin Pitea
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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:
A solid collection. A couple of really good stories and no real clunkers.
Arvind Vijh
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Great 'hard' sf stories by the masters- Varley, others.
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I don't know how much it blew my mind, but it was pretty damned good.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some truly great sic-fi in here, but too much leaning into fantasy on several of the stories.
Peter Cowan
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of grand stories, some stood out as excellent.
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
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.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved the stories. Have read it through twice.
Kevin Driskill
Some epic tales and intriguing stories. Easily read and lots of fun.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed Tiger Burning, Peacock King, Mother Grasshopper, The Width of the World, & Into the Miranda Rift.
Louise Armstrong
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Jorge Van
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Aug 03, 2011
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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.