Genre-Defining Novels

Edited By Gary K. Wolfe
The Library of America, $70.00, 1680 pages

Fans of science fiction and readers new to the genre will thoroughly enjoy this anthology’s groundbreaking featured work from a decade many consider to be the golden age of the science fiction novel. The Library of America and editor Gary K. Wolfe have assembled a two-volume boxed set containing nine fantastic stories of the 1950s. Although written over 50 years ago, the plots and ideas found in each tale still speak to the same fears, wonders, hopes, and challenges of today. In her book, The Long Tomorrow, Leigh Brackett tackles life after an apocalyptic event. Time travel is featured in Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time. Authors, Pohl and Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants discusses the future of advertising agencies. Richard Matheson’s The Shrinking Man lets readers experience the feeling of being tiny in a huge world. More Than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon, addresses stages of evolution. Each volume contains notes about the stories and biographical information about each author.

In addition, there is an online companion for the collection which includes jacket art and photographs, interviews and current authors’ interpretations and analysis of the stories. Readers will likely be inspired to seek out additional work by these authors to further explore the beginnings of the science fiction genre.

Reviewed By Kathryn Franklin

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