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The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology (The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction)

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  193 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Collecting more than two dozen stories that originally appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction—the premiere speculative fiction magazine—this extraordinary anthology celebrates 60 years of top-notch genre fiction.

This retrospective volume includes "All Summer in a Day,” Ray Bradbury’s lasting tale of what happened on one special day; "Flowers for Algerno
...more
Paperback, 475 pages
Published September 2009 by Tachyon Publications
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Community Reviews

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Stefan
The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology is an excellent collection of 23 stories picked from the treasure trove of short fiction that's been published in the eponymous magazine over the past 60 years. Editor Gordon Van Gelder — also the editor of the magazine since 1997 — has done an admirable job, picking stories that illustrate the diversity of both the genre and the magazine. As such, this is a great anthology for SF&F fans as well as newcomers looki ...more
Paul Weimer
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through the kind offices of the Publicist of the publisher, Tachyon Publications.

The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, edited by Gordon Van Gelder, is an anthology of stories across the eponymous magazine's 60 year history.

Although I am not a heavy reader of SF magazines (when I read SF stories, its usually in anthologies or collections), it is clear to me, immediately, that F&SF has had a wonderful history of publishing some of the best s
...more
Mike
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies, library
Some true classics here, along with stories I don't remember hearing of or reading before. As with any anthology, it's Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, and only the editor will love every one of the stories, but by and large these stories demonstrate why F&SF has been so successful for so long. They aren't, for the most part, trotting out the tropes, even to play with them or subvert them; they're taking SFF to strange and wonderful new places.

There's also a visible shift over time in the k
...more
Sarah
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not the very best of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction has published so many wonderful stories that for many years they were able to publish ANNUAL best-ofs. They did a few more anthologies for occasional anniversaries, and had to cull this list from all of those. So these may be some of the most culturally significant stories the magazine has put out, or they may be stories that the editors thought stood the test of time particularly well, but ...more
Tony
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
THE VERY BEST OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION. (2009). Gordon Van Gelder, ed. ****.
This collection represents the best stories from the past sixty years of the publication of the “Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.” There are a total of twenty-three short stories (or short novels) contained in this book. This is not one of my usual genres, but I recognized about half of the writers represented here. You will know these names: Alfred Bester, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, etc., etc. There wer
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Simon Hedge
May 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
For all the many, many years I've been reading science fiction, I had never read the classic "Flowers For Algernon". Always meant to, just never got around to it. Finally with this volume I did - and it turns out it IS as good as everyone says it is. Powerful stuff, and deeply affecting. I confess, there must have been a bit of dust in my eyes as I finished the story.
All the stories in this book are of a very high standard, and I would recommend to anyone who likes their fiction with a taste of
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Seth
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great collection, lots of old favorites and a few I missed over the years.
Nick
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed 12 of the 23 stories in this anthology, which would seem to indicate a so-so rating, but the stories I did like tended to be quite good indeed. This anthology is heavy on science fiction and alternative fantasy - there is basically no dungeons and dragons-style fantasy here, which was initially a bit of a disappointment. Overall, I found the author selection and subject matter diverse and pleasantly surprising and the story order well thought out. Also, the great thing about this being ...more
Standback
This is a fantastic anthology, with a huge variety of absolute classics and gems, from a sixty-year span of publication. Powerful, powerful pieces -- and ones that give you great tastes of a whole lot of different authors, from Alfred Bester to Ted Chiang.

Some of the standout stories are:

* The classic "Flowers For Algernon";
* Peter Beagle's heartbreaking adventure "Two Hearts,"
* Ted Chiang's "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," which does Arabian Nights style tales of magical time travel;
* "
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Anne Snyder
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of the stories were quite powerful in the thoughts they communicated.
Eveningstar2
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any fan of Fantasy and Science Fiction
I hesitate to give a book five stars. I'm not a crotchety literary elitist (I swear!); I just have this bizarre OCD about not wanting to cheapen the value of five stars. "The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology" is the only short story collection to which I've given five stars (and I loved Fragile Things and Last Defender of Camelot!).

Short story collections are usually mixed bags for me. I tend to leave a book behind with a vivid memory of a half-dozen fav
...more
Tee Jay
The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology is the most recent anthology to be published by the magazine bearing the same name. It is not a bad short-story collection, although I have to say that the first half is much better than the second. Some stories really have a lasting effect, like "Flowers for Algernon," while others, for a selection celebrating 60 years of publication, are really just so-so. One of the latter that immediately comes to mind is Ursula L ...more
Dr M
May 09, 2015 is currently reading it
Mini-reviews of each story:

Of Time and Third Avenue, Alfred Bester: 3/5
The short-story format has always been important and held in high regard in science fiction. This classic twist-in-time mystery story is a good example of why. The short format allows a simple idea and plot twist to be explored without the need to build elaborate sets, plot, and side characters. Bester serves us with an enjoyable, if straightforward and somewhat predictable story, effectively setting a scene and executing a p
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Kate
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, 2015
This is not a particularly inspired collection of short stories. My favorite was the Peter S. Beagle short story that was a sequel (of sorts) to the Last Unicorn, but I doubt it would stand well on it's own.

The editor seemed more interested in picking stories that were personally interesting to him (such as stories that he liked when he was twelve or what have you) than in picking the best short stories that had been published in the magazine.

Further, the short story Eastward Ho! was incredibly
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Greg Lehman
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I hadn't read the short story version of "Algernon," but found it just as heartbreaking as the novel was when I was half as old as I am now. Of course Bradbury still masters the form with his classic "All Summer in a Day," Le Guin similarly crushes it with "Solitude," and I am incredibly grateful to get proper introductions to legends like Damon Knight, Terry Bisson, Karen Jay Fowler, and Michael Swanwick. The weaker additions are forgivable since this is, after all, a survey of the magazine's t ...more
Fantasy Literature
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology is an excellent collection of 23 stories picked from the treasure trove of short fiction that's been published in the eponymous magazine over the past 60 years. Editor Gordon Van Gelder — also the editor of the magazine since 1997 — has done an admirable job, picking stories that illustrate the diversity of both the genre and the magazine. As such, this is a great anthology for SF&F fans as well as newcom
...more
Barbara Martin
Oct 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Gordon Van Gelder has been the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction since 1996. Mr. Van Gelder prepared brief paragraphs to introduce each of the short fiction selections of when it was first published in the magazine. He also included a little background on the authors which I found to be a nice touch.

It was lovely going back to some old favourite stories I had not read in years to reread them in this anthology, such as Flowers for Algernon. Many of the authors I had not read
...more
Sheila Ruth
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I can't say I enjoyed this book but that was more a matter of taste than the quality of the book itself. It's an excellent collection of stories by top-tier SFF authors, but unfortunately I found most of them to be too strange and oddly depressing for my taste. There were a few stories I liked. My favorite was probably Solitude by Ursula K. Le Guin, in which Le Guin accomplished what she does probably better than any other writer I've read: create a culture so alien to our own that it should be ...more
Sara
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book solely because it contains one of my most long-sought short stories, "Two Hearts," the sequel to Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn. That, of course, was perfection. There could not have been a more perfect conclusion to my all-time favorite book.

I accidentally erased the rest of my review. The TL;DR version is that there are a great many awesome standouts within this collection and only one that I especially didn't care for ("The Deathbird," by Harlan Ellison), probably because i
...more
Jess
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I checked this out mainly because it has Ray Bradbury's famous short story "All Summer in a Day," which was my first contact with his work when I was in G&T classes in 3rd grade. After his death, I wanted to share the story with my sons, and was delighted to find it still as poignant and incisive as ever. But the many other stories in this volume came as a wonderful surprise, and it contains works by authors I've read extensively without having come across these particular stories before, su ...more
Stephen Dorneman
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Given what the editor had to work with, a surprisingly mediocre collection. Although it does have two heartbreaking masterpieces in Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" and Daniel Keyes's "Flowers for Algernon", you also get dated pieces from Roger Zelazny and Alfred Bester, and Van Gelder includes Stephen King's "The Gunslinger" along with Michael Swanwick's very similar piece, "Mother Grasshopper." Still lots of wonderful stories in this volume's nearly 500 pages, but it could have been so muc ...more
Catarina
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
This is a great book for those of us who aren't big into Sci-fi!
Despite the title, it's more Sci-fi than Fantasy, although it does have a bit of both, and then some stories that are really in between (or just far out of any classification!).

It really renewed my love for short stories and it's an amazing read for people who spend time in public transport or who just don't have a lot of reading-time, because you can read a complete story on the time you have free!

Highly recommend this!
Doug
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very solid collection. In addition to the well-known classics (Harrison Bergeron, All Summer in a Day, Flowers for Algernon), there were a bunch of great stories I was unfamiliar with. Some standouts: The Electric Ant (PKD), Other People (Neil Gaiman), Journey into the Kingdom (Mary Rickert). I thought the last story, The Merchant at the Alchemists Gate (Ted Chiang) was the best in the collection, and maybe one of the best time-travel stories I've read.
Richard
Feb 23, 2010 marked it as hiatus
Recommended to Richard by: Borderlands-Books.com
(Borderlands Bookstore's Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club met on Sunday, 16 May, 2010, at 6 pm to discuss The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology, edited by Gordon Van Gelder.)
Kenny V
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
Excellent anthology collection with lots of great stories. "Journey Into the Kingdom" by M. Rickert is the best of her I've read. I had come across it in a previous anthology and had no qualms about reading it again. If you are considering subscribing to the magazine this is a good indicator of the quality of the stories as they are all republished from there.
Kathryn Harbin
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I bought this anthology for Kurt Vonnegut's 'Harrison Bergeron', but there wasn't a single story that was less than superb. Not only is each story a triumph, but each flows into the next like they were meant to be collected together.
Erin
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love love love this book. So many classics by great authors and lots of new stories I'd never seen before. Writers include Shirley Jackson, Philip K. Dick, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, and Ursula LeGuin. Highly recommend it for sci-fi lovers!
Ken
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
excellent collection.
Sasha
Dec 20, 2011 added it
I admit that I only read the stories that I thought might be appropriate for my students but I read at least half of them.
Casey Hampton
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This collection's diversity is what shines brightest for me. Most of the stories are good, some are great, and some are... stories you'll be glad you read but that may not linger long.
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"Flowers for Algernon" 2 4 Feb 18, 2012 01:11PM  
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Gordon Van Gelder (born 1966) is an American science fiction editor. From 1997 until 2014, Van Gelder was editor and later publisher of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, for which he has twice won the Hugo Award for Best Editor Short Form. He was also a managing editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction from 1988 to 1993, for which he was nominated for the Hugo Award a number o ...more
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The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction (1 - 10 of 39 books)
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