I have the The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, but that only covers up to 1964. I’m looking for another volume to go with it. The obvious choice, Volume 2, seems to be novellas not short stories. Any suggestions?
(I do also have a few of the Year’s Best Science Fiction books. They’re very good, but getting the rest of these would be a bit too much, both to buy and read.)
I don’t recommend the later volumes of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. I’ve been dissatisfied with them, and they’re not up to the standards of the others.
There are various anthologies of The Nebula Award Winners, The Hugo ward Winners, Fantasy and Science Fiction’s Best, and Terry Carr Picks the Best SF of … , all for several years post-1964. They’re mostly, if not all, out of print, so you’ll have to check the used book places.
I like Ellison’s anthologies, too, but be aware that they lean more toward fantasy, IMHO.
Mirrorshades edited by Bruce Sterling was my introduction to what came to be called “cyber-punk”. A collection of short stories by relatively unknown authors (at the time) such as William Gibson, Greg Bear, Pat Cadigan, Lewis Shiner and others.
Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions, ed. Harlan Ellison. Two must-read anthologies. The first is one of the best original anthologies ever, and the second it pretty good, too. And be sure to grab The Last Dangerous Visions when it comes out.
The Persistence of Vision by John Varley. A superb single-author collection. Most of the concepts (which show up all over the place) were first popularized by Varley.
San Diego Lightfoot Sue by Tom Reamy. Reamy died young, but this collection is superb.
Any of the Gardner Dozois Years Best SF anthologies to capture the state of the art.
I rather liked Will The Last Person To Leave The Planet Pleast Shut Off The Sun?, a collection of stories by Mike Resnick. The mood of the stories vary widely, from the (obviously) humorous title story or a self-referential and highly irrelevant satire on science fiction novels, to excerpts from his Kirinyaga series and some downright scary ones. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than what’s already been suggested.
The Orbit series of anthologies is a good way to experience late New Wave and Ur-Cyberpunk sf. Also, Robert Silverberg alone must have edited dozens of good anthologies, often based on a given theme (e.g., Trips in Time).
Axiomatic, Greg Egan
Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang
A Place So Foreign and 8 More, Cory Doctorow
Tales of Old Earth, Michael Swanwick,
Burning Chrome, William Gibson
The Ultimate Cyberpunk, Pat Cadigan ed.
Impossible Things, Connie Willis
Any of Spider Robinson’s “Callahan” collections
The Locus Awards, Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Charles N. Brown and Jonathan Strahan, eds.
And if we ever create a technology by which you can clone yourself, convince your clone to undergo a sex change, and have crazy monkey-sex with your clone, this book will be the Kama Sutra of the process. My dim memory of the book is that this is the plot of like half the stories in it.
Keith Roberts was a brilliant short story writer (though some of his later work was more ‘magical reality’ than SF). Wildside Press has kept him in print in the States since his death in 2000 and all his collections are still available.
I can’t offhand think of any story in that collection with that plot. Varley used clones for sex changes, but the original was destroyed in the process, and I don’t recall that being mentioned until the story “Options,” which isn’t in this collection.
Looking at the story list, I see only one where a sex change was part of the plot, though it was mentioned in a few of the others.
I don’t know if it’s still being put out, but L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future anthologies contained some pretty good short stories by new authors. Usually I was quite happy with almost all of the stories contained in each anthology. Don’t be put off by Elron’s name, just skip his essays if they’re included.
Vernor Vinge has some very good short story collections out too.
Here’s an online collection of good SF stories…some I love, some I don’t llike, but almost all of them are worth reading.
Nanodreams, edited by Elton Elliot (Baen 1995). Themed collection of stories about nanotechnology and its effects on society (except for one story about strong AI, included for no reason I can see).
Indistinguishable from Magic, by Robert L. Forward (Baen 1995); series of essays about exotic technologies, paired with short stories (not very good stories, IMO, but illustrative) about their applications.
Neutron Star, with some of Niven’s best ever work, was published in 1968 according to Wiki, so I’d plump for that for a start. A number of brilliant stories including The Soft Weapon and Flatlander, probably my two favourites ever.
I second the WOTF series. I have read some seriously good stories there. And I don’t mind Elron’s essays on the technical side of writing. To give the devil his due, the man could write, and he wrote some good stuff. Then he got wierd.
And don’t forget Spider Robinson’s short stories based around Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. Those stories inspired the Usenet group alt.callahans and Spider himself occasionally turns up in there.