Classic Science Fiction

Since my ‘retirement’ in 2012 I’ve begun revisiting classic and favorite authors of science fiction, many of which I first discovered as a teenager, to see how well they hold up against newer writers, to see if and how their premises have become obsolete in light of changing technology and scientific understanding (see General Nonfiction), and to what extent they inform my ‘Provisional Conclusions’ (see link in menu). Here’s a photo of the paperbacks I bought by those core BACH authors — Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein — with a couple book club editions, books I’m gradually reworking my way through. At the bottom of the page is a photo of some of my favorite SF books of all time that I have in first editions.

The book lists here focus on short fiction collections, for now, listed by author in chronological order. The * indicates a collection consisting mostly of stories already included in earlier collections.

Isaac Asimov:

  • Intro posts:
  • I, Robot (1950) (notes about “Reason”, a story about a creationist robot, and how this relates to contemporary creationist thinking, and how in a sense it doesn’t matter.)
  • Foundation (1951) (notes about this first Foundation’s book’s themes of technology, religion, free trade, and nationalism, and how some of its ideas of history and psychology have to some extent have been invalidated and revised by now.)
  • Foundation and Empire (1952)
  • Second Foundation (1953)
  • The Martian Way and other stories (1955)
  • Earth Is Room Enough (1957)
  • Nine Tomorrows (1959)
  • Eight Stories from the Rest of the Robots (1966)
  • Asimov’s Mysteries (1968)
  • Nightfall and other stories (1969)
  • *The Best of Isaac Asimov (1973) (notes on Asimov’s best stories: “Nightfall,” “The Dead Past,” “The Last Question,” “The Bicentennial Man,” and the heartbreaking “The Ugly Little Boy.”
  • Buy Jupiter and other stories (1975)
  • The Bicentennial Man (1976)
  • *The Complete Robot (1982)
  • The Winds of Change and other stories (1983)
  • *Robot Dreams (1986)
  • *The Asimov Chronicles (1989)
  • *Robot Visions (1990)
  • Gold (1995)
  • (not considered: The Early Asimov (1972); Magic (1996); the mystery collections)

Ray Bradbury

  • Intro posts:
  • Dark Carnival (1947)
  • The Martian Chronicles (1950) (notes)
  • The Illustrated Man (1951)
  • Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
  • The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953)
  • The October Country (1955) (notes)
  • Dandelion Wine (1957) (notes)
  • A Medicine for Melancholy (1959)
  • R Is for Rocket (1962)
  • The Machineries of Joy (1964)
  • *The Vintage Bradbury (1965)
  • S Is for Space (1966)
  • I Sing the Body Electric (1969)
  • Long After Midnight (1976)
  • *The Stories of Ray Bradbury (1980)
  • The Toynbee Convector (1988)
  • *Green Shadows, White Whale (1992)
  • Quicker Than the Eye (1996)
  • Driving Blind (1998)
  • *From the Dust Returned (2001)
  • One More for the Road (2002)
  • *Bradbury Stories (2003)
  • The Cat’s Pajamas (2004)
  • (novel) Farewell Summer (2006) (notes)
  • Now and Forever (2007)
  • We’ll Always Have Paris (2009)
  • A Pleasure to Burn (2010)
  • (omitting incidental volumes and poetry)

Arthur C. Clarke:

  • Expedition to Earth (1953)
  • Reach for Tomorrow (1956)
  • Tales from the White Hart (1957)
  • The Other Side of the Sky (1958)
  • Tales of Ten Worlds (1962)
  • *The Nine Billion Names of God (1967) (Two Religious Explorations, about “The Star” and “The Nine Billion Names of God”)
  • The Wind from the Sun (1972)
  • *The Sentinel (1983)
  • *Tales from Planet Earth (1990)
  • *The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2000)
  • novel Childhood’s End part 1; part 2; part 3

Robert A. Heinlein:

  • The Man Who Sold the Moon (1950)
  • Waldo and Magic, Inc. (1950)
  • The Green Hills of Earth (1951) (notes)
  • Assignment in Eternity (1953)
  • Revolt in 2100 (1953) (notes on “If This Goes On”)
  • The Menace from Earth (1959)
  • The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag (1959)
  • Orphans of the Sky (1963) (notes)
  • The World of Robert A. Heinlein (1966)
  • *The Past Through Tomorrow (1967)

Robert Silverberg:

Gene Wolfe:

Misc:

 

Some of my first editions: