Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume II A (The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, #2A)” as Want to Read:
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume II A (The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, #2A)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume II A

(The Science Fiction Hall of Fame)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  3,981 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Eleven Classic Novellas by the most honored authors of science fiction:

This volume is the definitive collection of the best science fiction novellas between 1929 to 1964 and contains eleven great classics. There is no better anthology that captures the birth of science fiction as a literary field. Published in 1973 to honor stories that had come before the institution of t
Mass Market Paperback, Eighth Printing, 572 pages
Published June 1st 1976 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 1973)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,981 ratings  ·  88 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume II A (The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, #2A)
5.0 stars. I have not read all of the books in this collection but will comment on the ones I have:

Call Me Joe (Poul Anderson)(1957): 6.0 Stars (One of my All Time Favorite Stories). Outstanding story about exploring and terraforming the surface of Jupiter through the use of bio-mechanical life forms whose consciousness is controlled via remote control with researchers above the planet. A story of identity and quality of life.

The Marching Morons (C.M. Kornbluth)(1951): 5.0 to 5.5 Stars. Satirica
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I have to quibble: C'Mell is 20 pp, hardly a novella. This book didn't take long to read, as most stories were quite familiar to me from other anthologies. And some just don't hold up all that well. But as an introduction to some of the foundational & inspirational classics, it's quite good. ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I’ve listened to The Science Fiction Hall of Fame v. 2A all the way through. I’ve also read many of these stories with my eyes, and even heard some of them in other audiobooks. In all, I’ve read some of these stories as many as five times. Some of them get better with every reading, and others are starting to wear out. My ratings are just my current emotional reaction.

- “Call Me Joe” by Poul Anderson is a wonderful tale about surviving on Jupiter, a planet we seldom see e
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I cheated a bit. I did not re-read "The Time Machine," by H.G. Wells. I think I've probably read that story twice before and I've probably seen the excellent and faithful George Pal movie (1960)a couple times, as well. It is a good story and was worthy of inclusion in this book.

My favorite selection here is " . . . And Then There Were None," by Eric Frank Russell. This has got to be one of the most hilarious works of fiction that I have ever read. (If you love Vonnegut, my guess is tha
Jul 18, 2009 rated it liked it
So far:

"Call Me Joe" by Poul Anderson -- excellent

"Who's Out There?" by John W. Campbell -- Good page turner, interesting premise of a chameleon-like alien (the alien in Howard Hawks' classic horror film based on this story, The Thing, did not have this power), but a little too rushed and slapdash to be wholly convincing.

"Nerves" by Lester del Rey -- There's a good story here, but, as told, is rather a mess -- verbose, unorganized, with the technical aspects of the story (involving a Chernobyl-l
4.0 stars

Summary / Anthology Review:

A much belated “Congratulations” to the Science Fiction Writers of America, (SFWA), and editor Ben Bova for presenting Volume II, (A), The Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthology—eleven of the “Greatest Science Fiction Novellas of All Time.”

Every included work is enjoyable and affecting in its own way.

Particularly laudable is the process with which the separate works were chosen as Bova explains in his introduction: the basic vote. Further discernment for selec
Nov 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comments/Reviews of the novellas in this anthology:

"Call Me Joe" - Poul Anderson. An artificial creature on the surface of Jupiter is psychically linked to a cripple in an orbiting spacestation. But who is controlling whom? Quite an enjoyable read.

"Who Goes There?" John W. Campbell Jr (as Don A. Stuart). A polar expedition discovers an alien - what happens when it is thawed? Meh - interesting concept, I guess - but the writing didn't really move me.

"Nerves" - Lester del Rey - A crisis at a nuc
Steven Peterson
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a treasure trove of older science fiction classic novellas. Authors here include such worthies as Poul Anderson, John Campbell, Jr., Lester del Rey, Robert Heinlein, C. M. Kornbluth, Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore, Eric Frank Russell, Cordwainer Smith, Theodore Sturgeon (progenitor of Sturgeon's Law, "90% of everything is crud," if I recall accurately), H. G. Wells, and Jack Williamson. This volume was published originally in 1973 (the version, in fact, that I have).

Let's look at a coupl
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Call Me Joe (1957) by Poul Anderson 5/5
Who Goes There? (1938) John W. Campbell 5/5
Nerves (1942) by Lester del Rey 5/5
Universe (1941) by Robert A. Heinlein 5/5 1st part of Orphans of the Sky - 2nd part equally enjoyable
The Marching Morons (1951) by C. M. Kornbluth 3/5
Vintage Season (1946) by Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore 3/5
...And Then There Were None (1951) by Eric Frank Russell 4/5
The Ballad of Lost C'Mell (1962) by Cordwainer Smith 3/5
Baby Is Three (1952) by Theodore Sturgeon 5/5
The Time Machine
Gavin Otteson
Oct 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of literature.
An anthology of epic proportions in both concept and literary execution. Volumes IIA and IIB are comprised of novellas instead of short stories like Vol. I which is why it is split into two sub-volumes. However it packs a serious punch and sits near the top of my recommendation list for anyone interested in fiction.
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Stories too long to be in Vol 1. This is for both 2a and 2b

My favorites:
Heinlein's "Universe"
Eric Frank Russel "... And then there were none"
Sturgeon "Baby is Three"

Asimov "The martian way"
Blish "Earthman Come Home"
Vance "The Moon Moth"
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
These are mostly of novella length rather than short stories, including "Who Goes There," the story that was filmed as "The Thing."

Great collection.
??? childhood: ‘vintage season’ by kuttner and moore... an original favourite... good others too...
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, short-stories
Some stories are better than others; but as a whole, a strong collection. My favorites include "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell," by Cordwainer Smith, and "Baby is Three," by Ted Sturgeon. ...more
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very good collection that, along with the other two volumes, makes a great introduction to classic science fiction.

Call Me Joe • (1957) • novelette by Poul Anderson **** Fun and creative, bears some interesting similarities to the film Avatar (which came out over half a century later)

Who Goes There? • [Who Goes There?] • (1946) • novella by John W. Campbell, Jr. [as by Don A. Stuart] ***** I’ve read this one several times and each time I am again pleasantly surprised by how well it holds up

Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Anthologies tend to always be uneven, even when the stories are supposed to be Hall of Fame worthy.
My favorites in this anthology where:

Who Goes There? By John Campbell, Jr. A classic, although this resembles the John Carpenter film somewhat, the ending is different.

Robert Heinlein's Universe which the forgotten Canadian TV series "Starlost' from the 1970's seems to have been inspired by. And Harlan Ellison sued James Cameron over "The Terminator," for shame.

The Vintage Season by Harry Kuttner
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice collection of SF story. I only skipped one story. Most had a timeless message. I especially enjoyed "With Folded Hands" by Williamson and "Universe" by Heinlein. ...more
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection of short stories and classic novelettes in Science Fiction. I liked almost all of them and was happy to finally get the chance to read The Time Machine.
Nihal Vrana
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I have enjoyed the first volume more, but this was a treat too. Except 2-3 weak stories, it is masterpiece after masterpiece.
Call Me Joe · Poul Anderson : A better version of Rogue Moon and an expansion of the "running video" in Strange Days.

Who Goes There? [as by Don A. Stuart] · John W. Campbell, Jr.: the second most famous story in the collection after Time machine and the inspiration for the famous "The Thing" movie which I should watch sometime. It has some plotholes, but the atmosphere and
Michael Tildsley
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This is another mixed bag of sorts. There are some really wonderful novellas in this collection, but also a fair share of clinkers. Some were clinkers for me personally because I first experienced them in a more entertaining media, such as "Who Goes There?" (which John Carpenter handled very well in his remake of The Thing) and "The Time Machine" (which I personally feel was handled better in both movie adaptations, because the time-traveler has more to gain or lose in his travels).

My favorites
Steven Peterson
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another set of terrific works, this time novellas, in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Ben Bova edited this volume. Some of nthe classics that I have enjoyed immensely that are included: Isaac Asimov, "The Martian Way," Algis Budrys, "Rogue Moon," Frederik Pohl, "The Midas Plague," and Jack Vance's "The Moon Moth."

A fine collection of novellas. . . .
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is another collection of true classics. H.G. Wells, one of Heinlein's best, one of Eric Frank Russell's best, terrific stories from Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson, the Campbell story that became famous films, stories by Lester Del Rey and Jack Williamson that were better than their longer novel versions... Classic stuff! ...more
James Hurley
Feb 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a nice collection of some of the early works of some of the great masters of Sci Fi. My former instructor and mentor Jack Williamson is in this one, and it was one of my first readings of his work. A fun look back.
Classic science fiction stories that defined the genre.
Stephanie "Jedigal"
Jul 18, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Stephanie "Jedigal" by: Got it at the 2010 Book Fair w/Beth, Em
Shelves: sci-fi
Volume II (at least two parts, A and B) is "The Greatest Science Fiction Novellas of All Time". ...more
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great book of science fiction writing. All of the stories are very good.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
My own favorite story is "Mimsy Were the Borogoves". "X-logic" helped me toward a greater understanding of algebra! Well for a while, at least.
Also check out "Macroscopic God"...
Asha Hawkesworth
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf
The novellas in this book were chosen by SFWA, and I don't agree with all the picks. Some of the writers are mostly underappreciated these days, and there are some real classics here. So I'll address each story on its merits.

Call Me Joe, by Poul Anderson -- James Cameron probably "borrowed" (stole) from this story while he cobbled together the film "Avatar" (for the record, he has done this before, most notably stealing from and getting sued by Harlan Ellison for "Terminator"). A mind/bio-link b
Aki Umemoto
I originally had the paperback when this first came out, but unfortunately I dropped it in the bath and damaged a third of it. I always intended to get another copy and finally when I got my Kindle, I got a new version of this anthology and finally finished it.

Well, most of the stories haven't dated well. Some of the writing is stilted and verbose and the stories themselves have been well known thr0ugh TV and movie adaptations and countless anthologies. So here goes my review of the tales:

Ken Abel
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great selection of stories. Only one I feel was a waste of time was Vintage Season. The standout was Baby is Three by Theodore Sturgeon and Universe by Robert Heinlein. Although none prominently feature women or minorities, quite a few touch on civil rights.

Call Me Joe Poul Anderson
Great story about an enfeebled geriatric finding a new home in a new savage colony on the surface of Jupiter.

· Who Goes There? John W. Campbell, Jr.
The story that became the move The Thing. I felt like its still funn
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929-1964
  • . . . And Then There Were None
  • Universe
  • The Ballad of Lost C'mell
  • Vintage Season
  • The Marching Morons
  • Call Me Joe
  • Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the Twentieth Century
  • Again, Dangerous Visions
  • Nightfall and Other Stories
  • Nerves
  • The First Science Fiction Megapack: 25 Modern and Classic Science Fiction Tales
  • Second Skin
  • The Fountains of Paradise
  • Steamsworn (Steamborn, #3)
  • Who Goes There?
See similar books…
Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.

Bova is an avid fencer and organized Avco Everett's fencing club. He is an environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Bova was a technical writer fo

Other books in the series

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame (5 books)
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929-1964
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume II B (The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, #2B)
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume III: The Nebula Winners
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume IV

Related Articles

"Do you want to write a sci-fi short story?" Blake Crouch asked Andy Weir. This is how Forward, the brand-new collection from...
68 likes · 14 comments