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50 Short Science Fiction Tales

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Fifty Exciting Experiences You visit a world where Robots strain to remember the existence of the Men who created them; hear the tantalizingly brief report of a man who returns from a trip to the future; see the snake-armed Thing that emerges from the minds of the people who conjure it. You meet a souvenir hunter in the Thirtieth Century and a schoolgirl who tries to cope w Fifty Exciting Experiences You visit a world where Robots strain to remember the existence of the Men who created them; hear the tantalizingly brief report of a man who returns from a trip to the future; see the snake-armed Thing that emerges from the minds of the people who conjure it. You meet a souvenir hunter in the Thirtieth Century and a schoolgirl who tries to cope with the teaching methods of the Twenty-second Century. You share the terror of an astronaut in a “haunted” space suit and the dilemma of a wife whose husband knows a common chemical formula for destroying the earth. In short, you feel the impact, the originality, and the uncanny atmosphere created by these science fiction experts not once—but 50 times. Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales have been selected for their concise writing, and for punch lines that leave the reader “surprised, shocked, and delighted at the final sentence.” According to the editors, another important aspect of this literary form is “evocation of a background differing from our own.” Consequently, though some of the stories are just a page long, the reading experience is always excitingly unique. Ballade of an artificial satellite / Paul Anderson -- Fun they had / Isaac Astimov -- Men are differenct / Alan Bloch -- Ambassadors / Anthoy Boucher -- Weapon / Fredric Brown -- Random sample / T.P. Caravan -- Oscar / Cleve Cartmill -- Mist / Peter Cartur -- Teething ring / James Causey -- Haunted space suit / Arthur C. Clarke -- Stair Trick / Mildred Clingerman -- Unwelcome tenant / Roger Dee -- Mathematicians / Arthur Feldman -- Third level / Jack Finney -- Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! / Stuart Friedman -- Figure / Edward Grendon -- Rag thing / David Grinnell -- Good provider / Marion Gross -- Columbus was a dope / Robert A. Heinlein -- Texas Week / Albert Hernhuter -- Hilda / H.B. Hickey -- Choice / W. Hilton-Young -- Not with a bang / Damon Knight -- Altar at midnight / C.M. Kornbluth -- Bad day for sales / Fritz Leiber -- Who's cribbing? Jack Lewis -- Spectator sport / John D. MacDonald -- Cricket ball / Avro Manhattan -- Double-take / Winston K. Marks -- Prolog / John P. McKnight -- Available data on the worp reaction / Lion Miller -- Narapoia / Alan Nelson -- Tiger by the tail / Alan E. Nourse -- Counter charm / Peter Phillips -- Fly / Arthur Porges -- Business, as usual / Mack Reynolds -- Two weeks in August / Frank M. Robinson -- See? / Edward G. Robles, Jr. -- Appointment at noon / Eric Frank Russell -- We don't want any trouble / James H. Schmitz -- Built down logically / Howard Schoenfeld -- Egg a month from all over / Idris Seabright -- Perfect woman / Robert Sheckley -- Hunters / Walt Sheldon -- Martian and the magician / Evelyn E. Smith -- Barney / Will Stanton -- Talent / Theodore Sturgeon -- Project hush / Willian Tenn -- Great judge / A.E. Van Vogt -- Emergency landing / Ralph Williams -- Obviously suicide / S. Fowler Wright -- Postlude -- Six Haiku / Karen Anderson


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Fifty Exciting Experiences You visit a world where Robots strain to remember the existence of the Men who created them; hear the tantalizingly brief report of a man who returns from a trip to the future; see the snake-armed Thing that emerges from the minds of the people who conjure it. You meet a souvenir hunter in the Thirtieth Century and a schoolgirl who tries to cope w Fifty Exciting Experiences You visit a world where Robots strain to remember the existence of the Men who created them; hear the tantalizingly brief report of a man who returns from a trip to the future; see the snake-armed Thing that emerges from the minds of the people who conjure it. You meet a souvenir hunter in the Thirtieth Century and a schoolgirl who tries to cope with the teaching methods of the Twenty-second Century. You share the terror of an astronaut in a “haunted” space suit and the dilemma of a wife whose husband knows a common chemical formula for destroying the earth. In short, you feel the impact, the originality, and the uncanny atmosphere created by these science fiction experts not once—but 50 times. Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales have been selected for their concise writing, and for punch lines that leave the reader “surprised, shocked, and delighted at the final sentence.” According to the editors, another important aspect of this literary form is “evocation of a background differing from our own.” Consequently, though some of the stories are just a page long, the reading experience is always excitingly unique. Ballade of an artificial satellite / Paul Anderson -- Fun they had / Isaac Astimov -- Men are differenct / Alan Bloch -- Ambassadors / Anthoy Boucher -- Weapon / Fredric Brown -- Random sample / T.P. Caravan -- Oscar / Cleve Cartmill -- Mist / Peter Cartur -- Teething ring / James Causey -- Haunted space suit / Arthur C. Clarke -- Stair Trick / Mildred Clingerman -- Unwelcome tenant / Roger Dee -- Mathematicians / Arthur Feldman -- Third level / Jack Finney -- Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! / Stuart Friedman -- Figure / Edward Grendon -- Rag thing / David Grinnell -- Good provider / Marion Gross -- Columbus was a dope / Robert A. Heinlein -- Texas Week / Albert Hernhuter -- Hilda / H.B. Hickey -- Choice / W. Hilton-Young -- Not with a bang / Damon Knight -- Altar at midnight / C.M. Kornbluth -- Bad day for sales / Fritz Leiber -- Who's cribbing? Jack Lewis -- Spectator sport / John D. MacDonald -- Cricket ball / Avro Manhattan -- Double-take / Winston K. Marks -- Prolog / John P. McKnight -- Available data on the worp reaction / Lion Miller -- Narapoia / Alan Nelson -- Tiger by the tail / Alan E. Nourse -- Counter charm / Peter Phillips -- Fly / Arthur Porges -- Business, as usual / Mack Reynolds -- Two weeks in August / Frank M. Robinson -- See? / Edward G. Robles, Jr. -- Appointment at noon / Eric Frank Russell -- We don't want any trouble / James H. Schmitz -- Built down logically / Howard Schoenfeld -- Egg a month from all over / Idris Seabright -- Perfect woman / Robert Sheckley -- Hunters / Walt Sheldon -- Martian and the magician / Evelyn E. Smith -- Barney / Will Stanton -- Talent / Theodore Sturgeon -- Project hush / Willian Tenn -- Great judge / A.E. Van Vogt -- Emergency landing / Ralph Williams -- Obviously suicide / S. Fowler Wright -- Postlude -- Six Haiku / Karen Anderson

30 review for 50 Short Science Fiction Tales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Fifty short short stories of science fiction gave me a wide range to enjoy my favorite genre. Although there were some stories that I did not like, there were many that made me laugh, shudder, or simply contemplate the story's idea. This collection is a good way to give authors, who may be unknown to you, a quick sample. Fifty short short stories of science fiction gave me a wide range to enjoy my favorite genre. Although there were some stories that I did not like, there were many that made me laugh, shudder, or simply contemplate the story's idea. This collection is a good way to give authors, who may be unknown to you, a quick sample.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rasheed

    Ballade of an Artificial Satellite (1958) poem by Poul Anderson 2/5 The Fun They Had (1951) by Isaac Asimov 4/5 Men Are Different (1954) by Alan Bloch 4/5 The Ambassadors (1952) by Anthony Boucher 4/5 The Weapon (1951) by Fredric Brown 4/5 Random Sample (1953) by T.P. Caravan 4/5 Oscar (1941) by Cleve Cartmill 4/5 The Mist (1952) by Peter Grainger 4/5 Teething Ring (1953) by James Causey 5/5 The Haunted Space Suit (1958) by Arthur C. Clarke 5/5 Stair Trick (1952) by Mildred Clingerman 3/5 Unwelc Ballade of an Artificial Satellite (1958) poem by Poul Anderson 2/5 The Fun They Had (1951) by Isaac Asimov 4/5 Men Are Different (1954) by Alan Bloch 4/5 The Ambassadors (1952) by Anthony Boucher 4/5 The Weapon (1951) by Fredric Brown 4/5 Random Sample (1953) by T.P. Caravan 4/5 Oscar (1941) by Cleve Cartmill 4/5 The Mist (1952) by Peter Grainger 4/5 Teething Ring (1953) by James Causey 5/5 The Haunted Space Suit (1958) by Arthur C. Clarke 5/5 Stair Trick (1952) by Mildred Clingerman 3/5 Unwelcome Tenant (1950) by Roger Dee 4/5 The Mathematicians (1953) by Arthur Feldman 4/5 The Third Level (1950) by Jack Finney 5/5 Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! (1952) by Stuart Friedman 4/5 The Figure (1947) by Edward Grendon 4/5 The Rag Thing (1951) by Donald A. Wollheim 3/5 The Good Provider (1952) by Marion Gross 3/5 Columbus Was a Dope (1947) by Robert A. Heinlein 4/5 Texas Week (1954) by Albert Hernhuter 4/5 Hilda (1952) by H. B. Hickey 4/5 The Choice (1952) by Wayland Hilton-Young 5/5 Not With a Bang (1950) by Damon Knight 3/5 The Altar at Midnight (1952) by C.M. Kornbluth 4/5 A Bad Day for Sales (1953) by Fritz Leiber 4/5 Who's Cribbing? (1953) by Jack Lewis 4/5 Spectator Sport (1950) by John D. MacDonald 4/5 The Cricket Ball (1955) by Avro Manhattan 4/5 Double-Take (1953) by Winston K. Marks 3/5 Prolog (1951) by John P. McKnight 3/5 The Available Data on the Worp Reaction (1953) by Lion Miller 3/5 Narapoia (1948) by Alan Nelson 4/5 Tiger by the Tail (1951) by Alan E. Nourse 5/5 Counter Charm (1951) by Peter Phillips 3/5 The Fly (1952) by Arthur Porges 4/5 The Business, As Usual (1952) by Mack Reynolds 4/5 Two Weeks in August (1951) by Frank M. Robinson 4/5 See? (1954) by Edward G. Robles, Jr. 5/5 Appointment at Noon (1954) by Eric Frank Russell 4/5 We Don't Want Any Trouble (1953) by James H. Schmitz 4/5 Built Down Logically (1951) by Howard Schoenfeld 4/5 An Egg a Month from All Over (1952) by Margaret St. Clair 4/5 The Perfect Woman (1953) by Robert Sheckley 3/5 The Hunters (1952) by Walt Sheldon 3/5 The Martian and the Magician (1952) by Evelyn E. Smith 4/5 Barney (1951) by Will Stanton 3/5 Talent (1953) by Theodore Sturgeon 3/5 Project Hush (1954) by William Tenn 4/5 The Great Judge (1948) by A.E. van Vogt 5/5 Emergency Landing (1940) by Ralph Williams 4/5 Obviously Suicide (1951) by S. Fowler Wright 3/5 Six Haiku (1962) poem by Karen Anderson 3/5 Editors' introductions 5/5

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    I was looking for some good old school science fiction to cleanse my palate. As much as I love modern fiction and historical non fiction, I selected this after feeling in a rut. This is an excellent collection and includes short stories by the masters of science fiction, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, etc. Also, it's immensely satisfying to read a short story and put the book aside for a while. Right now I'm trying to find some current science fiction writers that match up to t I was looking for some good old school science fiction to cleanse my palate. As much as I love modern fiction and historical non fiction, I selected this after feeling in a rut. This is an excellent collection and includes short stories by the masters of science fiction, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, etc. Also, it's immensely satisfying to read a short story and put the book aside for a while. Right now I'm trying to find some current science fiction writers that match up to the standard set by the old masters. One which may be promising (I've ordered it) is The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I originally read this book when I was about 35. I will not list all story titles and authors names because those are listed at the top of the summary. 50 short science fiction stories. Most are pretty good, a few are OK or poor, and a select few are very good or standouts. The few that I consider very good and/or standouts are The Fun They Had Isaac Asimov Teething Ring James Causey Third Level Jack Finney Rag Thing David Grinnell Good Provider Marion Gross Not With a Bang Damon Knight (although a very I originally read this book when I was about 35. I will not list all story titles and authors names because those are listed at the top of the summary. 50 short science fiction stories. Most are pretty good, a few are OK or poor, and a select few are very good or standouts. The few that I consider very good and/or standouts are The Fun They Had Isaac Asimov Teething Ring James Causey Third Level Jack Finney Rag Thing David Grinnell Good Provider Marion Gross Not With a Bang Damon Knight (although a very good story it is very depressing and somewhat disgusting IMO) Perfect Woman Robert Sheckley Barney Will Stanton Project Hush William Tenn The Great Judge A.E. Van Vogt If anyone is interested in some very good short vintage science fiction, this is definitely the book for them.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    [***] Ballade of an Artificial Satellite (1958) poem by Poul Anderson The Fun They Had (1951) by Isaac Asimov [**] Men Are Different (1954) by Alan Bloch [**] The Ambassadors (1952) by Anthony Boucher [**] The Weapon (1951) by Fredric Brown [**] Random Sample (1953) by T.P. Caravan [****] Oscar (1941) by Cleve Cartmill [***] The Mist (1952) by Peter Grainger [***] Teething Ring (1953) by James Causey [**] The Haunted Space Suit (1958) by Arthur C. Clarke [*] Stair Trick (1952) by Mildred Clingerman [**] Un [***] Ballade of an Artificial Satellite (1958) poem by Poul Anderson The Fun They Had (1951) by Isaac Asimov [**] Men Are Different (1954) by Alan Bloch [**] The Ambassadors (1952) by Anthony Boucher [**] The Weapon (1951) by Fredric Brown [**] Random Sample (1953) by T.P. Caravan [****] Oscar (1941) by Cleve Cartmill [***] The Mist (1952) by Peter Grainger [***] Teething Ring (1953) by James Causey [**] The Haunted Space Suit (1958) by Arthur C. Clarke [*] Stair Trick (1952) by Mildred Clingerman [**] Unwelcome Tenant (1950) by Roger Dee [***] The Mathematicians (1953) by Arthur Feldman [***] The Third Level (1950) by Jack Finney [**] Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! (1952) by Stuart Friedman [**] The Figure (1947) by Edward Grendon [***] The Rag Thing (1951) by Donald A. Wollheim [***] The Good Provider (1952) by Marion Gross [***] Columbus Was a Dope (1947) by Robert A. Heinlein [**] Texas Week (1954) by Albert Hernhuter [***] Hilda (1952) by H. B. Hickey [***] The Choice (1952) by Wayland Hilton-Young [***] Not With a Bang (1950) by Damon Knight [****] The Altar at Midnight (1952) by C.M. Kornbluth [**] A Bad Day for Sales (1953) by Fritz Leiber [****] Who's Cribbing? (1953) by Jack Lewis [***] Spectator Sport (1950) by John D. MacDonald [***] The Cricket Ball (1955) by Avro Manhattan [**] Double-Take (1953) by Winston K. Marks [*] Prolog (1951) by John P. McKnight [***] The Available Data on the Worp Reaction (1953) by Lion Miller [**] Narapoia (1948) by Alan Nelson [***] Tiger by the Tail (1951) by Alan E. Nourse [***] Counter Charm (1951) by Peter Phillips [**] The Fly (1952) by Arthur Porges [***] The Business, As Usual (1952) by Mack Reynolds [***] Two Weeks in August (1951) by Frank M. Robinson [***] See? (1954) by Edward G. Robles, Jr. [**] Appointment at Noon (1954) by Eric Frank Russell [*] We Don't Want Any Trouble (1953) by James H. Schmitz [**] Built Down Logically (1951) by Howard Schoenfeld [*] An Egg a Month from All Over (1952) by Margaret St. Clair [**] The Perfect Woman (1953) by Robert Sheckley [***] The Hunters (1952) by Walt Sheldon [**] The Martian and the Magician (1952) by Evelyn E. Smith [*] Barney (1951) by Will Stanton [***] Talent (1953) by Theodore Sturgeon [***] Project Hush (1954) by William Tenn [*] The Great Judge (1948) by A.E. van Vogt [*] Emergency Landing (1940) by Ralph Williams [*] Obviously Suicide (1951) by S. Fowler Wright [**] Six Haiku (1962) poem by Karen Anderson [***]

  6. 4 out of 5

    Austin Beeman

    50 Short Science Fiction Tales is an anthology of very very short stories published - with very few exceptions - between 1950 and 1954. Many of these stories are little more than jokes with a sci-fi theme. As the tales are frequently one or two pages, there wasn’t a single story that I had to DNF. Unfortunately, this is also the weakest collection of stories that I’ve read as part of this blog. Many of the stories that are listed as “good” barely qualified for that status Despite the anthology’s 50 Short Science Fiction Tales is an anthology of very very short stories published - with very few exceptions - between 1950 and 1954. Many of these stories are little more than jokes with a sci-fi theme. As the tales are frequently one or two pages, there wasn’t a single story that I had to DNF. Unfortunately, this is also the weakest collection of stories that I’ve read as part of this blog. Many of the stories that are listed as “good” barely qualified for that status Despite the anthology’s dismal performance, four includes stories made my “Great List.” "The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov. You’ve probably read this story before, anthologized in thousands of classroom reading collections for students. This story of students who find a ‘real book’ is, for many young people, probably their entry into literary science fiction. “The Weapon" by Fredric Brown. An intense and impactful story of a scientist who has invented the ultimate weapon and he late-night visitor who intends to teach him a lesson. A great science fictional statement with an economy of words. “The Good Provider” by Marion Gross. A gentle and kind story of a time travel inventor and his practical wife. Absolutely charming. “The Altar at Midnight” by C.M. Kornbluth. One of the longer stories in the book, but still quite short. A wonderful character study of a young man on leave from his space work. Dripping with the humanity found in the seedier sides of life and heavily reminiscent of Depression-Era stories. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the exceptional introduction by Isaac Asimov. It is one of the best I’ve ever read about the specific nature of Science Fiction and why characterization will often not be the writers priority. Here is a sample. "The author of such a book [not SF], relieved of the necessity to do more than nail two sticks together to supply the background, has ample time to devote to the minutiae of characterization. How fortunate he is! … The disadvantage is that the background, however cleverly introduced, takes up time. I should judge about half the space in a good science fiction story must be devoted to detailing the background. This leaves only half the space for such things as characterization, and in a novel of the usual length it is no wonder that the science fiction author sometimes misses a bit in these areas." 50 Short Science Fiction Tales Is Rated 58%. 4 Great / 19 Good / 12 Average / 15 Poor / 0 Dnf The Fun They Had by Isaac Asimov. 1951 Great. Two children discover a ‘real book.’ From the time they were printed on paper! Men Are Different by Alan Bloch. 1953 Good. A robot’s misunderstanding of men leads to some horrible problems. The Ambassadors by Anthony Boucher. 1952 Average. A strange first contact story with werewolves. The Weapon by Fredric Brown. 1951 Great. A scientist who created the ultimate weapon receives a late night visitor with a horrible lesson to teach him. Random Sample by T. P. Caravan. 1953 Good. Alien first contact is unfortunately with horrible nasty children. Oscar by Cleve Cartmill. 1941 Poor. Monster story with traveling con artist. The Mist by Peter Cartur. 1952 Poor. Fantasy gimmick about stepping through mist. Teething Ring by James Causey. 1953 Average. Traveling salesman from ‘somewhere else’ presents a family with technology they should never have seen. The Haunted Space Suit by Arthur C. Clarke. 1958 Good. What if you aren’t alone inside this spacesuit? Stair Trick by Mildred Clingerman. 1952 Good. Bartender with a secret ‘trick’ meets a woman who takes it to the next level. Unwelcome Tenant by Roger Dee. 1950 Good. Interstellar travel reveals a horrible secret about the human condition. The Mathematicians by Arthur Feldman. 1953 Poor. A dumb joke of a story of aliens conquering the earth. The Third Level by Jack Finney. 1952 Good. Another of Finney’s quietly beautiful time travel stories. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! by Stuart Friedman. 1952 Average. Finding love when people are just numbers. The Figure by Edward Grendon. 1947 Average. Exploration of insect like and the future. The Rag Thing by David Grinnell. 1951 Good. Creepy tale of dangerous new life arising in a flop house. The Good Provider by Marion Gross. 1952 Great. A man thinks his invention is worthless, but his wife finds an ingenious way to use it. Columbus Was a Dope by Robert A. Heinlein. 1949 Good. The spirit of discovery in interrogated at a bar. With a touch of irony. Texas Week by Albert Hernhuter. 1954 Poor. A man seems to have been changed by Texas Week on the TV Hilda by H. B. Hickey. 1952 Average. A playboy gets his comeuppance when his robot falls in love with him. The Choice by W. Hilton-Young. 1952 Good. Very very short story of a man returned from the future. Not With a Bang by Damon Knight. 1950 Poor. Nasty story of the last man trying to convince the last woman to sleep with him. The Altar at Midnight by C.M. Kornbluth. 1952 Great. A young man, damaged from his time in space, connects with an older man to drink their way through seedy bars. A Bad Day for Sales by Fritz Leiber. 1953 Good.. Robot salesman finds himself in the city on a particularly bad day. Who’s Cribbing? by Jack Lewis. 1953 Poor. Author suspects that a time travel has been stealing his writing. Spectator Sport by John D. MacDonald. 1950 Poor. The first man to travel to the future finds himself around people that don’t care. The Cricket Ball by Avro Manhattan. 1955 Poor. A dense ball causes issues the spiral up the chain of command. Double-Take by Winston K. Marks. 1953 Average. A Hollywood producer is in conflict with another more talent person. Prolog by John P. McKnight. 1951 Average. Neanderthals and the dawn of language. The Available Data on the Work Reaction by Lion Miller. 1953 Good. A mentally challenged man builds a cool machine at his chicken coop. Narapoia by Alan Nelson. 1951 Poor. Man comes in for psychological care and says he feels like his always following someone. Tiger by the Tail by Alan E. Nourse. 1951 Average. Woman arrested for putting retail products into her limitless purse. Counter Charm by Peter Phillips. 1951 Poor. Fantasy with a weird SF twist at the end. The Fly by Arthur Porges. 1952 Average. The more a man studies a fly caught in a spider’s web, the stranger this situation becomes. The Business, As Usual by Mack Reynolds. 1952 Poor. Man travels to the future and must barter with the person he meets Two Weeks in August by Frank M. Robinson. 1951 Average. Co-worker play a prank on a man by pretending they’ve taken a vacation to Mars See? by Edward G. Robles Jr. 1954 Good. Four hobos - well drawn - have contact with a strange object. Appointment at Noon by Eric Frank Russell. 1954 Poor. A man is waiting in the lobby for a busy executive. We Don’t Want Any Trouble by James H. Schmitz. 1953 Good. Scary story of frog like aliens and their first interactions to humanity. Built Down Logicially by Howard Schoenfeld. 1951 Poor. Stupid logic puzzle without substance. An Egg a Month from All Over by Idris Seabright. 1952 Good. Weird story of an alien egg wrongly shipped to a weird man. The Perfect Woman by Robert Sheckley. 1954. Average. A robot wife malfunctions. The Hunters by Walt Sheldon. 1952 Poor. People are hunted by invaders from another world The Martian and the Magician by Evelyn E. Smith. 1952 Average. All science was actually due to magic. Barney by Will Stanton. 1951 Good. A man spends time with with his science project rat. Talent by Theodore Sturgeon. 1953 Poor. Rural boy has strange powers. Project Hush by William Tenn. 1954 Good. The army tries to discover who has pull a base on the moon. The Great Judge by A. E. Van Vogt. 1948 Good. A condemned man tries an ingenious method to turn the tables on the Great Judge. Emergency Landing by Ralph Williams. 1940 Good. Fun tale of military bureaucracy and a crashed spacecraft. Obviously Suicide by Fowler Wright. 1951 Good. 30 Men know a simple formula that will destroy the world. Whatever can be done about it?

  7. 4 out of 5

    nick

    the introduction made me chuckle because the point or I should say rant he made about sci-fi was said so perfectly. though should have slight wiggle room. storys had a twilight zone vibe. lesson or message to them. twists. most where written in the 50s. parts of 4,5,6,10,11, seemed oddly familiar to me, though I have no idea where iv read them before. a couple you could see where it was headed or twist that was going to happen, but that didnt take away from the enjoyment. im honestly surprised I the introduction made me chuckle because the point or I should say rant he made about sci-fi was said so perfectly. though should have slight wiggle room. storys had a twilight zone vibe. lesson or message to them. twists. most where written in the 50s. parts of 4,5,6,10,11, seemed oddly familiar to me, though I have no idea where iv read them before. a couple you could see where it was headed or twist that was going to happen, but that didnt take away from the enjoyment. im honestly surprised I liked the one by arthur c Clarke, almost skipped over it since everything else iv read by him is crap. how id rate each story (1)2.5 (2)5 (3)5 (4)5 (5)3 (6)4.5 (7)5 (8)5 (9)5 (10)5 (11)5 (12)3 (13)5 (14)4 (15)5 (16)4.5 (17)4 (18)4 (19)5 (20)5 (21)4.5 (22)1 (23)2 (24)3 (25)2.5 (26)3.5 (27)3 (28)1 (29)1 (30)5 (31)2.5 (32)5 (33)1 (34)5 (35)4 (36)3.5 (37)2.5 (38)2.5 (39)4 (40)1.5 (41)5 (42)1 (43)5 (44)2.5 (45)2.5 (46)skipped (47)2.5 (48)4 (49)3 (50)3.5 why I gave these low ratings (1)just touched on the idea. writing was juvenile. (5)im not into bratty kids. (22)wife beater. religious. the end was confusing...homophobic or did she kill him or statement or they where robots? (23)I dont get the point of the story. (25)just touched on the idea. (27)ending...what? (28)gender stereotypes, homophobic, against a few other things. (29)how is a normal story involving neanderthal scifi? he already knows that's the childs mother. (31)to silly. things flipped around is an overused concept. (33)im not a fan of fairys. the story had little point. (37)took way to long to get interesting. (38)a douche bag & death comes for him, overused concept. (40)baby. boring. slight point. (42)gender stereotypes. against women. (44)possibly against science, against wicca. gender stereotypes. (45)how is it scifi? whats the end point? (46)so many grammar errors I could barely follow. bratty kid. (47)boring. looks like all the storys where not typed out but photocopied. the edge of some words are cut, which made it slightly hard to figure out.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    This book contains 50 stories, all of which are very short, being between 300 and 3000 words. Fortunately, they are also pretty good stories, with only a few being ones I wouldn't consider worth reading. The brevity exaggerates the effect of having a short story: since you don't have time to get to know characters, you should concentrate on expressing an idea instead of feelings. Almost all of the short stories that weren't worth reading fell into that trap - the story was about a character and This book contains 50 stories, all of which are very short, being between 300 and 3000 words. Fortunately, they are also pretty good stories, with only a few being ones I wouldn't consider worth reading. The brevity exaggerates the effect of having a short story: since you don't have time to get to know characters, you should concentrate on expressing an idea instead of feelings. Almost all of the short stories that weren't worth reading fell into that trap - the story was about a character and how they felt, and ideas were forced to the background. For example, I don't really care about a middle-aged man whose life is pointless until he gets killed by an alien that hatches out of an egg, because I've only known the character for four pages. The alien was actually kind of neat, but there's not enough time to expand on it because the space was taken up with the man's pointless life as he incubates and hatches an egg. Most of the stories in this collection, however, are quite good and easy to read because they're so short.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    I treasured this book when I first read it at age 13 (AKA the "golden age of science fiction"). Much to my surprise I found it still delights and has not lost much of its lustre. All of the stories are from the fifties, and include the requisite atomic apocalypse vibe. It seems that there was more variety in topic and tone back then than there is now. Space opera and/or noirish sensibility are now inescapable. When this anthology was published writers seemed freer and less full of themselves. Fi I treasured this book when I first read it at age 13 (AKA the "golden age of science fiction"). Much to my surprise I found it still delights and has not lost much of its lustre. All of the stories are from the fifties, and include the requisite atomic apocalypse vibe. It seems that there was more variety in topic and tone back then than there is now. Space opera and/or noirish sensibility are now inescapable. When this anthology was published writers seemed freer and less full of themselves. Finally, not wanting to spoil any surprises (and most of these stories hinge on an irony) I recommend this book on the strength of one story: "The Available Date on the Worp Reaction." This is apparently the only published work by Lion Miller and is worth the effort to find this long out of print paperback.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Henderson

    Collier Books produced high quality paperback editions of science fiction and mysteries in the nineteen-sixties. This is a selection of short tales they published that includes some of the great names from the two decades prior to that. Included are selections from Poul Anderson, Anthony Boucher, Frederic Brown, Heinlein, Damon Knight, Fritz Leiber, Robert Sheckley, Theodore Sturgeon, and A. E. van Vogt along with many others. You meet robots and aliens of every size and scope. The edges of real Collier Books produced high quality paperback editions of science fiction and mysteries in the nineteen-sixties. This is a selection of short tales they published that includes some of the great names from the two decades prior to that. Included are selections from Poul Anderson, Anthony Boucher, Frederic Brown, Heinlein, Damon Knight, Fritz Leiber, Robert Sheckley, Theodore Sturgeon, and A. E. van Vogt along with many others. You meet robots and aliens of every size and scope. The edges of reality are strained by the imaginations of these authors and the result is a great selection of stories from the classic age of science fiction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    Nice and easy read for a sci-fi virgin like myself. Most stories are very enjoyable, thought-provoking or simply funny, but not all can be winners. My favourite is "The Weapon" by Frederic Brown. Was not impressed with the poems sandwiching the stories though. Nice and easy read for a sci-fi virgin like myself. Most stories are very enjoyable, thought-provoking or simply funny, but not all can be winners. My favourite is "The Weapon" by Frederic Brown. Was not impressed with the poems sandwiching the stories though.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    A couple of years later and this would have been called a bathroom reader. The stories range from two to nine pages, with the vast majority at five pages and less. There are more two pagers than eight and above. The stories are generally good old-school fiction; there are a larger than normal number of twist endings, probably partly because of the limitations of size. James Causey’s “Teething Ring” is a good example of misplaced high technology, like Mimsy Were the Borogoves but a lot shorter. Arth A couple of years later and this would have been called a bathroom reader. The stories range from two to nine pages, with the vast majority at five pages and less. There are more two pagers than eight and above. The stories are generally good old-school fiction; there are a larger than normal number of twist endings, probably partly because of the limitations of size. James Causey’s “Teething Ring” is a good example of misplaced high technology, like Mimsy Were the Borogoves but a lot shorter. Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Haunted Space Suit” shows off his prediction of communications satellites. Robert A. Heinlein gets in a good jab at people wanting to legislate against risky ventures in “Columbus Was a Dope”. W. Hilton Young’s “The Choice” is possibly the most unique twist ending in the bunch. Edward G. Robles, Jr.’s “See?” was possibly the funniest, and may or may not be a scam by a couple of hoboes. A.E. Van Vogt’s “The Great Judge” did not go where I expected it to, though it was telegraphed from the start. S. Fowler Wright’s “Apparent Suicide” starts out looking like an early investigation into the graphs of destruction, but quickly turns into just another example of writers thinking a simple scientific discovery can be thwarted by killing the people who know about it. Poul Anderson and Karen Anderson bookend the stories with poetry, Poul with a ballad and Karen with haiku. The book does a great job of meeting its goals; its goals aren’t very high, but they are worthwhile. Those crisp cucumbers Not yet planted in Syrtis— How I desire one!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phil Giunta

    Typically when I review an anthology, I will enumerate my favorite stories and briefly provide a blurb about each one. In the case of 50 Short Science Fiction Tales—edited by the legendary Isaac Asimov and renowned anthologist Groff Conklin—that would be a daunting and tedious task. Suffice it to say that like any collection, certain stories are better than others and this one is no exception. However, the majority of the entries are some combination of witty, engaging, chilling, thought provoki Typically when I review an anthology, I will enumerate my favorite stories and briefly provide a blurb about each one. In the case of 50 Short Science Fiction Tales—edited by the legendary Isaac Asimov and renowned anthologist Groff Conklin—that would be a daunting and tedious task. Suffice it to say that like any collection, certain stories are better than others and this one is no exception. However, the majority of the entries are some combination of witty, engaging, chilling, thought provoking, or amusing. Of course, how could it be otherwise with such luminaries as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, C.M. Kornbluth, Robert Sheckley, Theodore Sturgeon, and A.E. Van Vogt, just to name a few. Most of the stories here are no more than 3,000 words. The book opens with a short poem by Poul Anderson and closes with six haiku written by his wife, Karen. Overall, I highly recommend this anthology both to aficionados of the golden age of science fiction or as an introduction to many of the top talents of the time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris Aldridge

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Haunted Space Suit by Arthur C. Clarke See also Mindwebs audiobook ##22 Part 2. 2nd 15mins Audiobook Streamed from https://archive.org/details/MindWebs_... Taken From the book "50 short science fiction tales" edited by Asimov. Paranoia takes hold as an astronaut prepares to rescue an obsolete satellite before it becomes space junk. Did his suit actually contain the ghost of the unfortunate Bernie Sanders, (not the American politician who is currently president of the US, in the far preferable a The Haunted Space Suit by Arthur C. Clarke See also Mindwebs audiobook ##22 Part 2. 2nd 15mins Audiobook Streamed from https://archive.org/details/MindWebs_... Taken From the book "50 short science fiction tales" edited by Asimov. Paranoia takes hold as an astronaut prepares to rescue an obsolete satellite before it becomes space junk. Did his suit actually contain the ghost of the unfortunate Bernie Sanders, (not the American politician who is currently president of the US, in the far preferable alternative reality where logic and truth beat prejudice and propaganda in the last election). Or does that strange sound and worse, those intermittent touches, mean that there is an alien life-form trapped inside his space suit and perhaps preparing to breakfast on astronaut? The ending turns out to be ....aww .. 22 Mindwebs-770926_Harrisonburg / Haunted Space Suit Kurt Vonnegut / Arthur C. Clarke

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    This compilation of science fiction stories is no doubt a good book. There is plenty of stories (50, obviously) to read, and the book is quite thick. However, some of the stories are kinda weird, and others don’t show their sci-fi qualities. Some foul language is used. The book is a science fiction work (or rather, 50 science fiction works), so it doesn’t exactly make sense. So what? Science fiction writers take liberties in writing stories, because they don’t HAVE to make sense (except for hard This compilation of science fiction stories is no doubt a good book. There is plenty of stories (50, obviously) to read, and the book is quite thick. However, some of the stories are kinda weird, and others don’t show their sci-fi qualities. Some foul language is used. The book is a science fiction work (or rather, 50 science fiction works), so it doesn’t exactly make sense. So what? Science fiction writers take liberties in writing stories, because they don’t HAVE to make sense (except for hard science fiction…).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    If you like short story science fiction, this is a MUST READ. Developing a story line, characters, plot, beginning-middle-end, and engaging writing is a very difficult task. Doing this in a way that entertains and educates is even harder. But doing all of this in a story that less than ten pages is a seemingly impossible task. Yet this book contains great story after great story by a range of authors that successfully perform this task. You will want to read it again and again!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Simkiss

    Honestly, the fiction in the selecetion doesn’t really stand up to the test of time. A lot of the concepts are overdone and it felt pretty monotonous reading through all of these. Additionally, there were only four total female authors out of the 50 proclaimed in the book. All in all, this just wasn’t that appealing to me. I give it a solid 2 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura Pellowski

    As with any collection, some of the short stories were definitely better than others. But overall, this was a pretty decent collection, and I enjoyed each story at least on some level. Since the stories are so short, it is easy to read a couple of them here and there, between doing other tasks. Would I re-read this? Probably not. But it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Earl Truss

    This really is a book containing 50 short stories yet only containing 286 pages. That means an average of only 5.72 pages per story. I think the longest one was eight pages and a few were only one page. I was surprised at the quality of the stories. There were only a few that I did not like or just didn't understand. If you like short stories this is the book for you. This really is a book containing 50 short stories yet only containing 286 pages. That means an average of only 5.72 pages per story. I think the longest one was eight pages and a few were only one page. I was surprised at the quality of the stories. There were only a few that I did not like or just didn't understand. If you like short stories this is the book for you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Even though most of these 50 stories are slight and predictable, they are fun, but a handful did impress. Those include: - "The Weapon" by Fredric Brown - "The Fly" by Arthur Porges - "Columbus Was a Dope" by Robert A. Heinlein - "The Altar at Midnight" by C. M. Kornbluth - "An Egg a Month From All Over" by Idris Seabright - "Double-Take" by Winston K. Marks - "A Bad Day for Sales" by Fritz Leiber - "Narapoia" by Alan Nelson - "Not With a Bang" by Damon Knight Even though most of these 50 stories are slight and predictable, they are fun, but a handful did impress. Those include: - "The Weapon" by Fredric Brown - "The Fly" by Arthur Porges - "Columbus Was a Dope" by Robert A. Heinlein - "The Altar at Midnight" by C. M. Kornbluth - "An Egg a Month From All Over" by Idris Seabright - "Double-Take" by Winston K. Marks - "A Bad Day for Sales" by Fritz Leiber - "Narapoia" by Alan Nelson - "Not With a Bang" by Damon Knight

  21. 5 out of 5

    Namitha Varma

    This was my first proper science fiction - and perhaps it's a good thing that I started with short stories. I liked almost 90% of the stories in this collection, but the others felt a little obscure. This was my first proper science fiction - and perhaps it's a good thing that I started with short stories. I liked almost 90% of the stories in this collection, but the others felt a little obscure.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Almustafa Couch

    A really fine collection, which shows (among other things) how broad a genre science-fiction is, and how difficult it is to define. It moves from, my favourite, Haunted Spacesuit to dealing with education. From comedy to Cold War, science-fiction covers it all.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jason Copenhaver

    I love a good collection of classic sci-fi shorts. As always some better than others but overall an enjoyable read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Ackerman

    Some enjoyable tales, and some that are alright. Overall it's a good book, but some stories are not to my taste. Some enjoyable tales, and some that are alright. Overall it's a good book, but some stories are not to my taste.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Pretty good old sci-fi. Some of the stories are pretty short, but with a couple exceptions, they were all pretty good.

  26. 4 out of 5

    April Whitney

    A simple way to dip one’s toe into Science Fiction and a variety of authors.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    I enjoyed these short sci fi tales!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Skallagrimsen

    A classic collection of flash science fiction.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bad-at-reading

    Mostly dry stories from the '40s and '50s. Recurring themes include television (IT"S EVIL), nukes and other more inventive WMDs, children with superhuman abilities, and a dozen or so variations on The Day My Wife Was Right For Once. A similar later anthology 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories has wider variety subject matter and much, much higher overall quality. There's the occasional good one but man oh man are the rest ever lame. Here are some (relative) highlights: James Causey, "T Mostly dry stories from the '40s and '50s. Recurring themes include television (IT"S EVIL), nukes and other more inventive WMDs, children with superhuman abilities, and a dozen or so variations on The Day My Wife Was Right For Once. A similar later anthology 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories has wider variety subject matter and much, much higher overall quality. There's the occasional good one but man oh man are the rest ever lame. Here are some (relative) highlights: James Causey, "Teething Ring" Mildred Clingerman, "Stair Trick" Jack Finney, "The Third Level" H. B. Hickey, "Hilda" Fritz Leiber, "A Bad Day for Sales" Alan Nelson, "Narapoia" Alan E. Norse, "Tiger by the Tail" Mack Reynolds, "The Business As Usual" Robert Sheckley, "The Perfect Woman" Will Stanton, "Barney" Theodore Sturgeon, "Talent"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    A diverse collection of tales. One is able to read 2 or 3 while smoking a cigarette. This book lived on the table in my smoking porch for the duration of my reading of it. I especially enjoyed how the editors placed the stories together in a semblance of order that is not easily noticed. For example, a story featuring a couple named Williams was followed by a story in which the hero is named Williams, then a story about the 'Perfect Woman' is followed by a story that includes another idea of a pe A diverse collection of tales. One is able to read 2 or 3 while smoking a cigarette. This book lived on the table in my smoking porch for the duration of my reading of it. I especially enjoyed how the editors placed the stories together in a semblance of order that is not easily noticed. For example, a story featuring a couple named Williams was followed by a story in which the hero is named Williams, then a story about the 'Perfect Woman' is followed by a story that includes another idea of a perfect woman. All the pieces pack a punch and are quick and entertaining. I also enjoyed the introductions as the Science Fiction Short-Short was a type of literature I was unfamiliar with prior to reading this book.

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