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Full title A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love [permalink]
Language English
Author Richard Dawkins (author)
Publisher Mariner Books
Categories Anthology, biology, essay and science
Publication year 2004
Original publication year 2003
ISBN 978-0-618-48539-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 263
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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction to the American Edition
  1. Science and Sensibility
    • 1.1 A Devil's Chaplain
    • 1.2 What is True?
    • 1.3 Gaps in the Mind
    • 1.4 Science, Genetics and Ethics: Memo for Tony Blair
    • 1.5 Trial By Jury
    • 1.6 Crystalline Truth and Crystal Balls
    • 1.7 Postmodernism Disrobed
    • 1.8 The Joy of Living Dangerously: Sanderson of Oundle
  2. Light Will Be Thrown
    • 2.1 Light Will Be Thrown
    • 2.2 Darwin Triumphant
    • 2.3 The 'Information Challenge'
    • 2.4 Genes Aren't Us
    • 2.5 Son of Moore's Law
  3. The Infected Mind
    • 3.1 Chinese Junk and Chinese Whispers
    • 3.2 Viruses of the Mind
    • 3.3 The Great Convergence
    • 3.4 Dolly and the Cloth Heads
    • 3.5 Time to Stand Up
  4. They Told Me, Heraclitus
    • 4.1 Lament for Douglas
    • 4.2 Eulogy for Douglas Adams
    • 4.3 Eulogy for W. D. Hamilton
    • 4.4 Snake Oil
  5. Even the Ranks of Tuscany
    • 5.1 Rejoicing in Multifarious Nature
    • 5.2 The Art of the Developable
    • 5.3 Hallucigenia, Wiwaxia and Friends
    • 5.4 Human Chauvinism and Evolutionary Progress
    • 5.5 Unfinished Correspondence with a Darwinian Heavyweight
  6. There is All Africa and her Prodigies in Us
    • 6.1 Ecology of Genes
    • 6.2 Out of the Soul of Africa
    • 6.3 I Speak of Africa and Golden Joys
    • 6.4 Heroes and Ancestors
  7. A Prayer for My Daughter
    • 7.1 Good and Bad Reasons for Believing
  • Endnotes
  • Index
Full title The Abominable Earthman [permalink]
Language English
Author Frederik Pohl (author)
Publisher Ballantine Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1963
Pages 159
Synopsis

The Abominable Earthman contains five short stories, and one long-ish one (taking up the bulk of the book).

The Abominable Earthman, the titular story, is about what happens when green-skinned aliens conquer Earth in a short span of time, and the adventures of a small group of people who are trying to overthrow them.

We Never Mention Aunt Nora is about a most curious pregnancy and an aunt who we don't talk about...

A Life and a Half is about a very bleak future which runs very efficiently, alright, but about which something else is off.

Punch is a strange little story about benevolent aliens.

The Martian Star-Gazers reads like an anthropology report on the previous inhabitants of Mars.

Whatever Counts, the longest of the stories, is about a group of colonists and the crew who are hauling them to Aleph Four, a satellite of a Jupiter-like planet a long way off (the journey takes eighteen years). There's also a rhinoceroid alien race of graceful and fast creatures who lack any kind of subconscious who feature prominently (to say more would spoil).

Three Portraits and a Prayer is a very short story about a dying scientist, his doctor, and an evil millionaire.

Review

Unfortunately, almost all the short stories fell rather flat for me. It's all very well written, but some of the stories left me wondering what the point was. The Martian Star-Gazers stood out for me. There's not a whole lot of action in it, but the way it's written made it very interesting to read. It's written almost as thought it were a piece of anthropology, describing Martian mythology and the stars in their skies and what it meant to them. Whatever Counts, the longest story in the collection, also stood out. There aren't too many main characters and Pohl develops them in style: In the end, one really does care about them and their motives, and the aliens, the Gormen, are enigmatic and fit the story very well.

I can't recommend this one unless you really want those two stories. However, you're probably better off buying another Pohl collection with those two in them.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • The Abominable Earthman
  • We Never Mention Aunt Nora
  • A Life and a Half
  • Punch
  • The Martian Star-Gazers
  • Whatever Counts
  • Three Portraits and a Prayer
Full title The Alternate Asimovs [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1986
Pages 320
Synopsis

Contains Grow Old Along with Me (which became Pebble in the Sky), The End of Eternity (which became a novel with the same name), and two versions of Belief (the unpublished and the published versions).

Grow Old Along with Me takes place in the Galactic Era (when humans have colonized millions of worlds) and deals with an Earth plot to take revenge at the rest of the Galaxy for its poor treatment of the Earth, and to establish the Earth as the ruling world. (As a side-note, no one in the Galaxy really knows if humanity originated on a single planet, or if they originated on several worlds more or less simultaneously and, when each planet became space-faring, met and interbred to form the humanity that is the Galactic Empire. Most adhere to the latter, which they call the Merger Theory. The former is called the Radiation Theory and is believed by a small sect on Earth calling themselves the Ancients.)

The End of Eternity is a time travel short story about the so-called Eternals who live in Eternity and alter the realities of different centuries by making quantum changes.

Belief is a story about Roger Toomey who one morning discovers that he can levitate, and centers around his attempts at getting his fellow physicists to believe him. The two versions (the unpublished and the published) differ only in the endings. My favorite of these is by far the published version of Belief (Asimov preferred the unpublished one), because it tells a beautiful story in a beautiful way. My least favorite is The End of Eternity, because time travel is full of paradoxes (and I really dislike paradoxes).

Full title American Poetry: An Introductory Anthology [permalink]
Language English
Author Donald Hall (author)
Publisher Faber and Faber
Categories Anthology and poetry
Publication year 1991
Original publication year 1969
Pages 192
Synopsis

As the title says, this is an introductory anthology to American poetry. The introduction devotes around three pages to a synopsis of a selection of the authors' lives, and the book itself has a handful of poems from each author.

Review

This book is pretty dated, but I still enjoyed the selection.

Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Anne Bradstreet
  • Edward Taylor
  • Philip Freneau
  • William Cullen Bryant
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • John Greenleaf Whittier
  • Jones Very
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Herman Melville
  • Walt Whitman
  • Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Sidney Lanier
  • Duncan Campbell Scott
  • Edgar Lee Masters
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson
  • Trumbull Stickney
  • Robert Frost
  • Vachel Lindsay
  • Wallace Stevens
  • William Carlos Williams
  • E. J. Pratt
  • Ezra Pound
  • H. D.
  • Robinson Jeffers
  • Marianne Moore
  • John Crowe Ransom
  • Archibald MacLeish
  • Phelps Putnam
  • E. E. Cummings
  • F. R. Scott
  • Hart Crane
  • Allen Tate
  • Earle Birney
  • Richard Eberhart
  • Theodore Roethke
  • Elizabeth Bishop
  • John Berryman
  • Irving Layton
  • Robert Lowell
  • Richard Wilbur
  • Index of Titles and First Lines
Full title Asimov Laughs Again: More Than 700 Jokes, Limericks, and Anecdotes [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Publisher Harper Perennial
Categories Anthology and humor
Publication year 1993
Original publication year 1992
ISBN 978-0-06-092448-5 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 341
Synopsis

Unlike Asimov's previous compilation of jokes, Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor, this one isn't divided into categories; rather, it's a long story of one joke flowing neatly into the next one, with banter inbetween.

Review

I like this style much better, as evidenced by the copious amount of dog-earing in my paperback edition.

Let me give you some samples.

One psychiatrist met another and greeted him with, "You're fine; how am I?"

A German was giving an impassioned speech at the United Nations and the interpreter was silent.

"What's he saying?" someone whispered to the interpreter.

"I don't know yet," said the interpreter. "I'm waiting for the verb."

An astronomer said, "What's the use!
Our classical knowledge is loose.
There can be nothing stupider
Than to name that world Jupiter,
When we all know it should be called Zeus."

"As for screwing," said Little Miss Muffet,
"I proclaim here and now that I love it.
I defy the authority
Of the Moral Majority.
They can take all their preaching and stuff it."

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Full title The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1986
Pages 249
Synopsis

Perhaps The best non-robot non-Foundation science fiction of Isaac Asimov would be a more fitting, if longer, title for the book. This is an anthology of stories chosen by Asimov himself, with commentary preceding each story.

Full title Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: Dikt i utvalg [permalink]
Translated title Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: Selected Poems
Language Norwegian
Authors Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (author), Olav Christopher Jenssen (illustrator) and Knut Ødegård (foreword)
Publisher Den Norske Bokklubben
Categories Anthology and poetry
Publication year 1979
ISBN 82-525-0295-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 124
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Full title The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke [permalink]
Language English
Author Arthur C. Clarke (author)
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2001
ISBN 978-1-85798-323-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 966
Synopsis

A collection of virtually every short story of Arthur C. Clarke. See Structure for links to some of them.

Review

The stories are of varying quality, although most are very good (and some are truly excellent). As this is a compilation, it's hard to give a verdict, but I definitely recommend it to you if you're a Clarke fan.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Travel by Wire!
  • How We Went to Mars
  • Retreat from Earth
  • Reverie
  • The Awakening
  • Whacky
  • Loophole
  • Rescue Party
  • Technical Error
  • Castaway
  • The Fires Within
  • Inheritance
  • Nightfall
  • History Lesson
  • Transience
  • The Wall of Darkness
  • The Lion of Comarre
  • The Forgotten Enemy
  • Hide-and-Seek
  • Breaking Strain
  • Nemesis
  • Guardian Angel
  • Time's Arrow
  • A Walk in the Dark
  • Silence Please
  • Trouble with the Natives
  • The Road to the Sea
  • The Sentinel
  • Holiday On the Moon
  • Earthlight
  • Second Dawn
  • Superiority
  • 'If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth...'
  • All the Time in the World
  • The Nine Billion Names of God
  • The Possessed
  • The Parasite
  • Jupiter Five
  • Encounter In the Dawn
  • The Other Tiger
  • Publicity Campaign
  • Armaments Race
  • The Deep Range
  • No Morning After
  • Big Game Hunt
  • Patent Pending
  • Refugee
  • The Star
  • What Goes Up
  • Venture to the Moon
  • The Pacifist
  • The Reluctant Orchid
  • Moving Spirit
  • The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch
  • The Ultimate Melody
  • The Next Tenants
  • Cold War
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Security Check
  • The Man Who Ploughed the Sea
  • Critical Mass
  • The Other Side of the Sky
  • Let There Be Light
  • Out of the Sun
  • Cosmic Casanova
  • The Songs of Distant Earth
  • A Slight Case of Sunstroke
  • Who's There?
  • Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Orbiting...
  • I Remember Babylon
  • Trouble With Time
  • Into the Comet
  • Summertime on Icarus
  • Saturn Rising
  • Death and the Senator
  • Before Eden
  • Hate
  • Love That Universe
  • Dog Star
  • Maelstrom II
  • An Ape About the House
  • The Shining Ones
  • The Secret
  • Dial F for Frankenstein
  • The Wind from the Sun
  • The Food of the Gods
  • The Last Command
  • The Light of Darkness
  • The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told
  • Playback
  • The Cruel Sky
  • Herbert George Morley Roberts Wells, Esq.
  • Crusade
  • Neutron Tide
  • Reunion
  • Transit of Earth
  • A Meeting With Medusa
  • Quarantine
  • siseneG
  • The Steam-Powered Word Processor
  • On Golden Seas
  • The Hammer of God
  • The Wire Continuum (with Stephen Baxter)
  • Improving the Neighbourhood
Full title The Complete Robot [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1982
Pages 680
Synopsis

This is a collection of robot stories that he wrote between 1940 and 1976. They're not grouped chronologically, but by theme (and this works really well). The stories, of course, revolve around robots; non-humanoid, immobile, metallic, and humanoid (there's even an android in the last story, but I've already spoiled too much).

Review

Some of these stories are amazing, and you should go pick up this anthology now. My favorites are A Boy's Best Friend, Victory Unintentional, Segregationist, Evidence, Feminine Intuition, and The Bicentennial Man.

Full title Counting the Eons [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Categories Anthology, astronomy and science
Publication year 1983
Pages 254
Full title Dangerous Visions [permalink]
Language English
Authors Harlan Ellison (editor), Diane Dillon (illustrator), Leo Dillon (illustrator), Isaac Asimov (foreword), Brian W. Aldiss, Carol Emshwiller, Damon Knight, David R. Bunch, Frederik Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Henry Slesar, Howard Rodman, J. G. Ballard, James Cross, Joe L. Hensley, John Brunner, John Sladek, Jonathan Brand, Keith Laumer, Kris Neville, Larry Eisenberg, Larry Niven, Lester del Rey, Miriam Allen deFord, Norman Spinrad, Philip José Farmer, Philip K. Dick, Poul Anderson, R. A. Lafferty, Robert Bloch, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Samuel R. Delany, Sonya Dorman and Theodore Sturgeon
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1975
Pages 544
Synopsis

An anthology with short stories which each presents a "dangerous vision" (although I would call them "visions for thought").

Review

These thirty-two stories are all excellent in their own ways, but some stand out as superbly excellent. They are Shall the Dust Praise Thee?, Evensong, The Malley System, Carcinoma Angels, and A Toy For Juliette. Go buy this book.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword 1: The Second Revolution
    Isaac Asimov
  • Foreword 2: Harlan and I
    Isaac Asimov
  • Introduction: Thirty-Two Soothsayers
    Harlan Ellison
  • EVENSONG Lester del Rey
  • FLIES Robert Silverberg
  • THE DAY AFTER THE DAY THE MARTIANS CAME Frederik Pohl
  • RIDERS OF THE PURPLE WAGE Philip José Farmer
  • THE MALLEY SYSTEM Miriam Allen deFord
  • A TOY FOR JULIETTE Robert Bloch
  • THE PROWLER IN THE CITY AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD Harlan Ellison
  • THE NIGHT THAT ALL TIME BROKE OUT Brian W. Aldiss
  • THE MAN WHO WENT TO THE MOON—TWICE Howard Rodman
  • FAITH OF OUR FATHERS Philip K. Dick
  • THE JIGSAW MAN Larry Niven
  • GONNA ROLL THE BONES Fritz Leiber
  • LORD RANDY, MY SON Joe L. Hensley
  • EUTOPIA Poul Anderson
  • "A Pair of Bunch"
  • INCIDENT IN MODERAN David R. Bunch
  • THE ESCAPING David R. Bunch
  • THE DOLL-HOUSE Jame Cross
  • SEX AND/OR MR. MORRISON Carol Emschwiller
  • SHALL THE DUST PRAISE THEE? Damon Knight
  • IF ALL MEN WERE BROTHERS, WOULD YOU LET ONE MARRY YOUR SISTER? Theodore Sturgeon
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO AUGUSTE CLAROT? Larry Eisenberg
  • ERSATZ Henry Slesar
  • GO, GO, Go, SAID THE BIRD Sonya Dorman
  • THE HAPPY BREED John T. Sladek
  • ENCOUNTER WITH A HICK Jonathan Brand
  • FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE Kris Neville
  • LAND OF THE GREAT HORSES R. A. Lafferty
  • THE RECOGNITION J. G. Ballard
  • JUDAS John Brunner
  • TEST TO DESTRUCTION Keith Laumer
  • CARCINOMA ANGELS Norman Spinrad
  • AUTO-DA-FÉ Roger Zelazny
  • AYE, AND GOMORRAH... Samyel R. Delany
Full title Discoveries [permalink]
Language English
Authors Alan Lothian (introduction), Arthur C. Clarke, Bob Shaw, Greg Bear, Ian McDonald, Ian Watson, Mike McQuay, Paul J. McAuley, Robert Holdstock and Tricia Sullivan
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1995
ISBN 0-575-06258-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 190
Synopsis

I can't remember where I got this book, but I reckon it's pretty rare to come across as it's not normally sold, but was given away free with the October 1995 issue of BBC Focus. It's an anthology of short science fiction stories from budding British authors.

Review

A few of the stories fell flat, but some are good (I really enjoyed Blood Music). If you happen to come across it, you might want to buy it, if only for its rarity.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Prison Dreams
    Paul J. McAuley
  • Blood Music
    Greg Bear
  • The Charisma Trees
    Robert Holdstock
  • Dark Night in Toyland
    Bob Shaw
  • Virtually Lucid Lucy
    Ian Watson
  • Morpheus
    Tricia Sullivan
  • Winning
    Ian McDonald
  • extract from Richter 10
    Arthur C. Clarke and Mike McQuay
Full title Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems [permalink]
Language English
Authors Edgar Allan Poe (author), Aubrey Beardsley (illustrator), Édouard Manet (illustrator), Gustave Doré (illustrator), Harry Clarke (illustrator) and John Tenniel (illustrator)
Publisher CRW Publishing
Categories Anthology, novel and short stories
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 2006
ISBN 978-1904919773 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 374
Synopsis

This is a collection of Poe's works. It's a big and beautifully-bound book, with illustrations for all the stories and poems.

Review

If you've never read anything by Edgar Allan Poe before, you're in for a major treat. I can highly recommend some stories: The Pit and the Pendulum (about a man being kept captive during the Spanish Inquisition), The Gold Bug (about a man discovering an ancient treasure map), The Premature Burial (about exactly what the title says), The Cask of Amontillado (about a drunk man meeting a horrifying death), The Tell-Tale Heart (about a murderer who hallucinates his victim's heart beat), and Shadow — A Parable (about whispers in the night, not to spoil it). I can heartily recommend this book, or any other Poe collection, for that matter.

Images Back flap of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Back of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Spine of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Front of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Front flap of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.
Structure [Toggle visibility]

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

  • The Gold Bug
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
  • MS Found in a Bottle
  • A Descent into the Maelström
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Mystery of Marie Rogêt
  • The Purloined Letter
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Premature Burial
  • The Black Cat
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • The Oval Portrait
  • The Oblong Box
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • Ligeia
  • Loss of Breath
  • Shadow — A Parable
  • Silence — A Fable
  • The Man of the Crows
  • Some Words with a Mummy

Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque

  • Metzengerstein
  • The Visionary (The Assignation)
  • Morella
  • King Pest
  • The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall
  • Berenice
  • Mystification
  • How to Write a Blackwood Article
  • A Predicament
  • The Man that was Used Up
  • William Wilson
  • Eleonara
  • The Island of the Fay
  • The Balloon Hoax
  • The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether
  • Mesmeric Revelation
  • A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
  • The Spectacle
  • The Imp of the Perverse
  • The Sphinx
  • The Domain of Arnheim or the Landscape Garden
  • Von Kempelen and His Discovery
  • X-ing a Paragraph

Poems

  • The Raven
  • The Valley of Unrest
  • Bridal Ballad
  • The Sleeper
  • The Coliseum
  • Lenore
  • Hymn
  • Israfel
  • Dream-Land
  • To Zante
  • The City in the Sea
  • To One in Paradise
  • Eulalie
  • To F—S S. O—D
  • To F—
  • Silence
  • The Conquerer Worm
  • The Haunted Palace
  • Scenes from "Politian"
Later Poems
  • The Bells
  • To M. L. S.—
  • To— ("Not long ago, the writer of these lines")
  • An Enigma
  • To Helen
  • A Valentine
  • For Annie
  • To My Mother
  • Eldorado
  • Annabel Lee
  • Ulalume
Poems Written in Youth
  • Tamerlane
  • Sonnet — To Science
  • Al Aaraaf
  • Romance
  • Song
  • Dreams
  • Spirits of the Dead
  • Evening Star
  • A Dream within a Dream
  • Stanzas
  • A Dream
  • 'The Happiest Day, The Happiest Hour'
  • The Lake
  • To— ("The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see")
  • To the River
  • To— ("I heed not that my earthly lot")
  • Fairyland
  • To Helen
  • Alone
Poems Now First Collected
  • Spiritual Song
  • Elizabeth
  • From an Album
  • To Sarah
  • The Great Man
  • Gratitude To—
  • An Enigma
  • Impromptu
Additional Poems Attributed to Poe
  • Song of Triumph
  • Latin Hymn
  • The Skeleton-Hand
  • The Magician
  • Translation: Hymn to Aristogeiton and Harmodius
  • The Mammoth Squash
  • Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!
Full title Expanded Universe [permalink]
Language English
Author Robert A. Heinlein (author)
Publisher Baen Publishing Enterprises
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2007
Original publication year 1980
ISBN 978-0-7434-9915-6 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 705
Synopsis

A collection of short stories and essays, the essays focusing for the most part on WWII and the atomic bomb.

Review

A really nice read. I especially liked How to Be a Survivor, Nothing Ever Happens on the Moon, and Paul Dirac, Antimatter, and You.

Images Back of Expanded Universe.Spine of Expanded Universe.Front of Expanded Universe.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Life-Line
  • Successful Operation
  • Blowups Happen
  • Solution Unsatisfactory
  • The Last Days of the United States
  • How to Be a Survivor
  • Pie from the Sky
  • They Do It with Mirrors
  • Free Men
  • No Bands Playing, No Flags Flying—
  • A Bathroom of Her Own
  • On the Slopes of Vesuvius
  • Nothing Ever Happens on the Moon
  • Pandora's Box
  • Where To?
  • Cliff and the Calories
  • Ray Guns and Rocket Ships
  • The Third Millennium Opens
  • Who Are the Heirs of Patrick Henry?
  • "Pravda" Means "Truth"
  • Inside Intourist
  • Searchlight
  • The Pragmatics of Patriotism
  • Paul Dirac, Antimatter, and You
  • Larger than Life
  • Spinoff
  • The Happy Days Ahead
Full title Expedition to Earth [permalink]
Language English
Author Arthur C. Clarke (author)
Publisher Ballantine Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1982
Original publication year 1953
ISBN 0-345-31057-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 165
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Structure [Toggle visibility]
Full title Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales [permalink]
Language English
Authors Groff Conklin (editor), Isaac Asimov (editor), A. E. van Vogt, Alan Bloch, Alan E. Nourse, Alan Nelson, Albert Hernhuter, Anthony Boucher, Arthur C. Clarke, Arthur Feldman, Arthur Porges, Avro Manhattan, C. M. Kornbluth, Cleve Cartmill, Damon Knight, David Grinnell, Edward G. Robles, Edward Grendon, Eric Frank Russell, Evelyn E. Smith, Frank M. Robinson, Fredric Brown, Fritz Leiber, H. B. Hickey, Howard Schoenfeld, Idris Seabright, Jack Finney, James Causey, James H. Schmitz, John D. MacDonald, John Lewis, John P. McKnight, Karen Anderson, Lion Miller, Mack Reynolds, Marion Gross, Mildred Clingerman, Peter Cartur, Poul Anderson, Ralph Williams, Robert A. Heinlein, Robert Sheckley, Roger Dee, S. Fowler Wright, Stuart Friedman, T. P. Caravan, Theodore Sturgeon, W. Hilton-Young, Walt Sheldon, Will Stanton, William Tenn and Winston K. Marks
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1963
ISBN 0-684-84296-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 287
Synopsis

Fifty short-short stories from fifty different authors are collected here.

Review

Almost all of the stories are truly excellent, and I have transcribed some of the best ones and put them on my Short Stories page (Men Are Different, Texas Week, The Haunted Space Suit, and Counter Charm). Go there for a sample before you buy the book. (You will buy it, remember.)

Images Back of Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales.Spine of Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales.Front of Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Prelude: Ballade of an Artificial Satellite — Poul Anderson
  • The Fun They Had — Isaac Asimov
  • Men Are Different — Alan Block
  • The Ambassadors — Anthony Boucher
  • The Weapon — Fredric Brown
  • Random Sample — T. P. Caravan
  • Oscar — Cleve Cartmill
  • The Mist — Peter Cartur
  • Teething Ring — James Causey
  • The Haunted Space Suit — Arthur C. Clarke
  • Stair Trick — Mildred Clingerman
  • Unwelcome Tenant — Roger Dee
  • The Mathematicians — Arthur Feldman
  • The Third Level — Jack Finney
  • Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! — Stuart Friedman
  • The Figure — Edward Grendon
  • The Rag Thing — David Grinnell
  • The Good Provider — Marion Gross
  • Columbus Was a Dope — Robert A. Heinlein
  • Texas Week — Albert Hernhuter
  • Hilda — H. B. Hickey
  • The Choice — W. Hilton-Young
  • Not with a Bang — Damon Knight
  • The Altar at Midnight — C. M. Kornbluth
  • A Bad Day for Sales — Fritz Leiber
  • Who's Cribbing? — Jack Lewis
  • Spectator Sport — John D. MacDonald
  • The Cricket Ball — Avro Manhattan
  • Double-Take — Winston K. Marks
  • Prolog — John P. McKnight
  • The Available Data on the Worp Reaction — Lion Miller
  • Narapoia — Alan Nelson
  • Tiger by the Tail — Alan E. Nourse
  • Counter Charm — Peter Phillips
  • The Fly — Arthur Porges
  • The 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
  • An Egg a Month from All Over — Idris Seabright
  • The Perfect Woman — Robert Sheckley
  • The Hunters — Walt Sheldon
  • The Martian and the Magician — Evelyn E. Smith
  • Barney — Will Stanton
  • Talent — Theodore Sturgeon
  • Project Hush — William Tenn
  • The Great Judge — A. E. Van Vogt
  • Emergency Landing — Ralph Williams
  • Obviously Suicide — S. Fowler Wright
  • Postlude: Six Haiku — Karen Anderson
Full title Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1990
Pages 416
Synopsis

The first part is an anthology of short stories, while the two last parts are non-fiction dealing with concepts in science fiction and on writing science fiction, respectively.

Full title Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor: 640 Jokes, Anecdotes, and Limericks, Complete with Notes on How to Tell Them [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Categories Anthology and humor
Publication year 1971
ISBN 978-0-395-57226-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 420
Synopsis

As advertised on the front cover, the book contains 640 jokes, anecdotes, and limericks, complete with notes on how to tell them. The jokes are sorted into eleven chapters (Anticlimax, Shaggy Dog, Paradox, Put-down, Word Play, Tables Turned, Jewish, Ethnic, Religion, Marriage, and Bawdy), more or less successfully (apparently it's hard to classify jokes).

Review

Most of the jokes are pretty good, and some stand out. Here's a little selection:

Science has a language of its own which sometimes puzzles laymen. The word "obvious" is a case in point.

Thus a professor of physics, deriving some profound point of theory for the class, scribbled an equation on the board and said, "From this, it is obvious that we can proceed to write the following relationship —" and he scribbled a second equation on the board.

Then he paused. He stared hard at the two equations and said, "Wait a while. I may be wrong —"

He sat down, seized a pad and started to write furiously. He paused for thought, crossed out what he had written, and began over. In this fashion, half an hour passed while the class held its breath and sat in absolute silence.

Finally, the professor rose with an air of satisfaction and said, "Yes, I was right in the first place. It is obvious that the second equation follows from the first."

Two gentlemen, both hard of hearing and strangers to each other, were about to ride the London Underground. One of them, peering at the station they were entering, said, "Pardon me, sir, but is this Wembley?"

"No," said the other, "Thursday."

"No, thank you," said the first, "I've already had my little drink."

The Latin professor arrived home in a state of utter confusion, and much the worse for wear. His jacket was torn, his trousers muddy, his hat a battered ruin, his eyeglasses bent askew.

His wife ran to him, startled. "Septimus," she cried, "whatever has happened to you?"

"Why, my dear," said the professor, seating himself carefully, "I scarcely know. I was passing the corner of Second and Main when, without provocation of any sort on my part, I was suddenly assaulted by two hoodla."

The curator of one zoo was shipping several animals to another zoo, and wrote an accompanying letter which said in part, "Included are the two mongeese you asked for."

The curator paused. "Mongeese" looked funny.

He tore up the letter and tried again, saying, "Included are the two mongooses you asked for."

That looked funny, too.

After long thought, the curator began a third time and now completed it without trouble. He wrote in part, "Included is the mongoose which you requested. Included is also the other mongoose which you also requested."

Tell me why the stars do shine;
Tell me why the ivy twines;
Tell me why the skies are blue;
And I will tell you why I love you.

Nuclear fusion makes the stars to shine;
Tropisms make the ivy twine;
Rayleigh scattering makes skies so blue;
Testicular hormones is why I love you.

I highly recommend the book.

Images Back of Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor.Spine of Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor.Front of Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • I Anticlimax
  • II Shaggy Dog
  • III Paradox
  • IV Put-Down
  • V Word Play
  • VI Tables Turned
  • VII Jewish
  • VIII Ethnic
  • IX Religion
  • X Marriage
  • XI Bawdy
  • Index
Full title The Martian Chronicles [permalink]
Language English
Author Ray Bradbury (author)
Publisher William Morrow
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2006
Original publication year 1950
ISBN 978-0-380-97383-5 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 268
Synopsis

A collection of short stories woven together into a coherent whole. The stories concern Mars, and humanity's efforts to colonize it.

Review

I really enjoyed all the "chapters" (short stories), but "Usher II" really stood out, being an homage to E. A. Poe. Definitely recommended.

Images Back flap of The Martian Chronicles.Back of The Martian Chronicles.Spine of The Martian Chronicles.Front of The Martian Chronicles.Front flap of The Martian Chronicles.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • January 2030: Rocket Summer
  • February 2030: Ylla
  • August 2030: The Summer Night
  • August 2030: The Earth Men
  • March 2031: The Taxpayer
  • April 2031: The Third Expedition
  • June 2032: —And The Moon Be Still As Bright
  • August 2032: The Settlers
  • December 2032: The Green Morning
  • February 2033: The Locusts
  • August 2033: Night Meeting
  • October 2033: The Shore
  • November 2033: The Fire Balloons
  • February 2034: Interim
  • April 2034: The Musicians
  • May 2034: The Wilderness
  • 2035-2036: The Naming of Names
  • April 2036: Usher II
  • August 2036: The Old Ones
  • September 2036: The Martian
  • November 2036: The Luggage Store
  • November 2036: The Off Season
  • November 2036: The Watchers
  • December 2036: The Silent Towns
  • April 2057: The Long Years
  • August 2057: There Will Come Soft Rains
  • October 2057: The Million-Year Picnic
Full title Mortality [permalink]
Language English
Authors Christopher Hitchens (author), Graydon Carter (foreword) and Carol Blue (afterword)
Publisher Twelve
Categories Anthology, autobiography, essay and memoir
Publication year 2012
ISBN 978-1-4555-2347-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 104
Synopsis

Mortality is a very short collection of essays that Hitchens wrote for Vanity Fair about his diagnosis of and living with oesophageal cancer. There are forays into other topics, but the essays mainly concern his living with cancer and all that that implies.

"To the dumb question 'Why me?' the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?"

Review

It's a very short book, but the essays are interesting. If you're familiar with Hitchens' output, then you know what to expect.

Images Back of Mortality.Spine of Mortality.Front of Mortality.
Full title The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing [permalink]
Language English
Author Richard Dawkins (author)
Publisher Oxford University Press
Categories Anthology and science
Publication year 2008
Pages 395
Synopsis

This is an anthology book of post-1900 science writings (essays, anecdotes, poetry) written by working scientists, as opposed to written by non-scientists, and it is supremely excellent. Richard Dawkins has collected them, sorted them, and written introductions to each of them, which put them in context.

Review

I liked this book so much that I transcribed a few of these and put them on my Essays page ("On Being the Right Size", "One Self", an extract from Man in the Universe, "Seven Wonders", and an extract from The Periodic Table); you could read those if you want a short taste of what the book is about. I strongly recommend this book.

Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Featured Writers and Extracts
  • Introduction

PART I
What Scientists Study

  • James Jeans from The Mysterious Universe
  • Martin Rees from Just Six Numbers
  • Peter Atkins from Creation Revisited
  • Helena Cronin from The Ant and the Peacock
  • R. A. Fisher from The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
  • Theodosius Dobzhansky from Mankind Evolving
  • G. C. Williams from Adaptation and Natural Selection
  • Francis Crick from Life Itself
  • Matt Ridley from Genome
  • Sydney Brenner Theoretical Biology in the Third Millennium
  • Steve Jones from The Language of the Genes
  • J. B. S. Haldane from On Being the Right Size
  • Mark Ridley from The Explanation of Organic Diversity
  • John Maynard Smith The Importance of the Nervous System in the Evolution of Animal Flight
  • Fred Hoyle from Man in the Universe
  • D'Arcy Thompson from On Growth and Form
  • G. G. Simpson from The Meaning of Evolution
  • Richard Fortey from Trilobite!
  • Colin Blakemore from The Mind Machine
  • Richard Gregory from Mirrors In Mind
  • Nicholas Humphrey One Self: A Meditation on the Unity of Consciousness
  • Steven Pinker from The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works
  • Jared Diamond from The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee
  • David Lack from The Life of the Robin
  • Niko Tinbergen from Curious Naturalists
  • Robert Trivers from Social Evolution
  • Alister Hardy from The Open Sea
  • Rachel Carson from The Sea Around Us
  • Loren Eiseley from How Flowers Changed the World
  • Edward O. Wilson from The Diversity of Life

PART II
Who Scientists Are

  • Arthur Eddington from The Expanding Universe
  • C. P. Snow from the Foreword to G. H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology
  • Freeman Dyson from Disturbing the Universe
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer from War and the Nations
  • Max F. Perutz A Passion for Crystals
  • Barbara and George Gamow Said Ryle to Hoyle
  • J. B. S. Haldane Cancer's a Funny Thing
  • Jacob Bronowski from The Identity of Man
  • Peter Medawar from Science and Literature, Darwin's Illness, The Phenomenon of Man, the postscript to Lucky Jim, and D'Arcy Thompson and Growth and Form
  • Jonathan Kingdon from Self-Made Man
  • Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin from Origins Reconsidered
  • Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey from Lucy
  • Stephen Jay Gould Worm for a Century, and all Seasons
  • John Tyler Bonner from Life Cycles
  • Oliver Sacks from Uncle Tungsten
  • Lewis Thomas Seven Wonders
  • James Watson from Avoid Boring People
  • Francis Crick from What Mad Pursuit
  • Lewis Wolpert from The Unnatural Nature of Science
  • Julian Huxley from Essays of a Biologist
  • Albert Einstein Religion and Science
  • Carl Sagan from The Demon-Haunted World

PART III
What Scientists Think

  • Richard Feynman from The Character of Physical Law
  • Erwin Schrödinger from What is Life?
  • Daniel Dennett from Darwin's Dangerous Idea and Consciousness Explained
  • Ernst Mayr from The Growth of Biological Thought
  • Garrett Hardin from The Tragedy of the Commons
  • W. D. Hamilton from Geometry For the Selfish Herd and Narrow Roads of Geneland
  • Per Bak from How Nature Works
  • Martin Gardner The Fantastic Combinations of John Conway's New Solitaire Game 'Life'
  • Lancelot Hogben from Mathematics for the Million
  • Ian Stewart from The Miraculous Jar
  • Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver from The Mathematical Theory of Communication
  • Alan Turing from Computing Machinery and Intelligence
  • Albert Einstein from What is the Theory of Relativity?
  • George Gamow from Mr. Tompkins
  • Paul Davies from The Goldilocks Enigma
  • Russell Stannard from The Time and Space of Uncle Albert
  • Brian Greene from The Elegant Universe
  • Stephen Hawking from A Brief History of Time

PART IV
What Scientists Delight In

  • S. Chandrasekhar from Truth and Beauty
  • G. H. Hardy from A Mathematician's Apology
  • Steven Weinberg from Dreams of a Final Theory
  • Lee Smolin from The Life of the Cosmos
  • Roger Penrose from The Emperor's New Mind
  • Douglas Hofstadter from Gödel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid
  • John Archibald Wheeler with Kenneth Ford from Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam
  • David Deutsch from The Fabric of Reality
  • Primo Levi from The Periodic Table
  • Richard Fortey from Life: An Unauthorized Biography
  • George Gaylord Simpson from The Meaning of Evolution
  • Loren Eiseley from Little Men and Flying Saucers
  • Carl Sagan from Pale Blue Dot
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index
Full title The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer [permalink]
Language English
Author Christopher Hitchens (foreword)
Publisher Da Capo Press
Categories Anthology, philosophy and religion
Publication year 2007
Pages 499
Synopsis

A huge collection of writings by atheists about religion, faith, non-religion, reason, science, and logic, with biographical information on each author. Some of them are pretty dated, but they're interesting nonetheless.

Images Back of The Portable Atheist.Spine of The Portable Atheist.Front of The Portable Atheist.
Full title The Relativity of Wrong: Essays on the Solar System and Beyond [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Publisher Oxford University Press
Categories Anthology, astronomy, physics and science
Publication year 1988
Pages 225
Synopsis

Explains atoms and isotopes, planets and satellites, novas and supernovas. It also contains a title essay, which is available online. In it, he explains that there is a continuum from right to wrong, and that it's possible to be righter and wronger. For instance, if you think the Earth is flat you are wronger than if you think the Earth is a sphere. You're still wrong, because the Earth is more like an oblate spheroid, but even that is wrong. And so on.

Images Back of The Relativity of Wrong.Spine of The Relativity of Wrong.Front of The Relativity of Wrong.
Full title Robot Dreams [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and Ralph McQuarrie (illustrator)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2004
Original publication year 1986
ISBN 0-441-01183-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 333
Images Back of Robot Dreams.Spine of Robot Dreams.Front of Robot Dreams.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Little Lost Robot
  • Robot Dreams
  • "Breeds There a Man...?"
  • Hostess
  • Sally
  • Strikebreaker
  • The Machine That Won the War
  • Eyes Do More Than See
  • The Martian Way
  • Franchise
  • Jokester
  • The Last Question
  • Does a Bee Care?
  • Light Verse
  • The Feeling of Power
  • Spell My Name With an S
  • The Ugly Little Boy
  • The Billiard Ball
  • True Love
  • The Last Answer
  • Lest We Remember
Full title Robot Visions [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and Ralph McQuarrie (illustrator)
Publisher Roc Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1991
Original publication year 1990
ISBN 0-451-45064-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 482
Synopsis

This is an anthology of a few stories that are (perhaps paradoxically) not found in The Complete Robot, and a few essays about robots and computers in general.

Images Back of Robot Visions.Spine of Robot Visions.Front of Robot Visions.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction: The Robot Chronicles

Stories

  • Robot Visions
  • Too Bad!
  • Robbie
  • Reason
  • Liar!
  • Runaround
  • Evidence
  • Little Lost Robot
  • The Evitable Conflict
  • Feminine Intuition
  • The Bicentennial Man
  • Someday
  • Think!
  • Segregationist
  • Mirror Image
  • Lenny
  • Galley Slave
  • Christmas Without Rodney

Essays

  • Robots I Have Known
  • The New Teachers
  • Whatever You Wish
  • The Friends We Make
  • Our Intelligent Tools
  • The Laws of Robotics
  • Future Fantastic
  • The Machine and the Robot
  • The New Profession
  • The Robot As Enemy?
  • Intelligences Together
  • My Robots
  • The Laws of Humanics
  • Cybernetic Organism
  • The Sense of Humor
  • Robots in Combination
Full title Sherlock Holmes: Short Stories [permalink]
Language English
Author Arthur Conan Doyle (author)
Publisher Chancellor Press
Categories Anthology, crime and short stories
Publication year 2006
Original publication year 1985
ISBN 978-07537-0912-2 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 992
Synopsis

A collection of all of the Sherlock Holmes short stories in one neat volume.

Review

What struck me while reading the short stories is how ingenious Sherlock Holmes is. It's a very fun exercise to try to second-guess what Holmes' solution to each case turns out to be.

Images Back flap of Sherlock Holmes.Back of Sherlock Holmes.Spine of Sherlock Holmes.Front of Sherlock Holmes.Front flap of Sherlock Holmes.
Structure [Toggle visibility]

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • A Scandal in Bohemia
  • The Red-Headed League
  • The Case of Identity
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  • The Five Orange Pips
  • The Man with the Twisted Lip
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  • The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  • The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
  • The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  • The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  • The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

  • The Adventure of Silver Blaze
  • The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
  • The Adventure of the Yellow Face
  • The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk
  • The Adventure of the 'Gloria Scott'
  • The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual
  • The Adventure of the Reigate Squire
  • The Adventure of the Crooked Man
  • The Adventure of the Resident Patient
  • The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter
  • The Adventure of the Naval Treaty
  • The Adventure of the Final Problem

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

  • The Adventure of the Empty House
  • The Adventure of the Norwood Builder
  • The Adventure of the Dancing Men
  • The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
  • The Adventure of the Priory School
  • The Adventure of Black Peter
  • The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton
  • The Adventure of the Six Napoleons
  • The Adventure of the Three Students
  • The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez
  • The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter
  • The Adventure of the Abbey Grange
  • The Adventure of the Second Stain

His Last Bow

  • Wistaria Lodge
  • The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
  • The Adventure of the Devil's Foot
  • The Adventure of the Red Circle
  • The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
  • The Adventure of the Dying Detective
  • His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

  • The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone
  • The Problem of Thor Bridge
  • The Adventure of the Creeping Man
  • The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
  • The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
  • The Adventure of the Illustrious Client
  • The Adventure of the Three Gables
  • The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier
  • The Adventure of the Lion's Mane
  • The Adventure of the Retired Colourman
  • The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger
  • The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place
Full title The Tyrannosaurus Prescription: And 100 Other Essays [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Publisher Prometheus Books
Categories Anthology, astronomy and science
Publication year 1989
ISBN 0-87957-540-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 323
Synopsis

A collection of 101 essays divided into seven sections: The Future, Space, Science, SciQuest, "Foreword by Isaac Asimov", Science Fiction, and Personal.

Review

Almost all Asimov essays are excellent and when you pick up an anthology of them you're almost bound not to be disappointed, and this book is no exception except for the section "Foreword by Isaac Asimov", which is simply a collection of forewords to various books. This isn't too bad in itself (in fact, they are all rather well-written), but I, at least, when reading positive forewords and blurbs and reviews, positively want to get the book being foreworded/blurbed/reviewed. Other than that section, I can thoroughly recommend the book. (For a taste of the book, read What Is the Universe?)

In the introduction Asimov says that the title of the eponymous essay (The Tyrannosaurus Prescription) is whimsical, but I disagree. It is actually a prescription for an ill, and it's not at all whimsical. Read the essay if you want to find out why I think so.

Images Back flap of The Tyrannosaurus Prescription.Back of The Tyrannosaurus Prescription.Spine of The Tyrannosaurus Prescription.Front of The Tyrannosaurus Prescription.Front flap of The Tyrannosaurus Prescription.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction

THE FUTURE

  • 1 Our Future in Education
  • 2 Filling the Brain Gap
  • 3 The Global Computerized Library
  • 4 What Computers Won't Do
  • 5 The Future of Handicraft
  • 6 The Future of Chemical Engineering
  • 7 Men and Marriage

SPACE

  • 8 The Lure of Exploration
  • 9 Our Second World
  • 10 All Aboard for Phobos
  • 11 What Do We Do Next in Space?
  • 12 Adventure in Space
  • 13 The Distant Flights
  • 14 The Telephone in Space
  • 15 The Average Person as Astronaut
  • 16 Other Intelligent Life?

SCIENCE

  • 17 Giant Jupiter
  • 18 Pluto, the Constant Surprise
  • 19 A Hole in the Sky
  • 20 Our Changing Perception of the Universe
  • 21 What is the Universe?
  • 22 The One-Man Revolution
  • 23 The Fifth Force
  • 24 Two at a Time
  • 25 Ozone
  • 26 The Ravages of Nature
  • 27 The Double Discovery of Evolution
  • 28 Master Lizard, the King
  • 29 The Hot-Blooded Giants

SCIQUEST

  • 30 The Absent-Minded Professor
  • 31 Playing It Safe
  • 32 The First Scientist
  • 33 Tough Luck
  • 34 To See Is Not Enough
  • 35 The Race for Honor
  • 36 Thoughts in Prison
  • 37 Getting Started
  • 38 The Moon Hoax
  • 39 Scientific Heretics
  • 40 Gold from the Sun
  • 41 The Joys of the Unexpected
  • 42 Facing the Giant
  • 43 Scientists Are Human
  • 44 Sometimes It Takes Time
  • 45 Learning Science
  • 46 Self-Correcting
  • 47 The Knowledge of Good and Evil
  • 48 Science and Technology
  • 49 Missed Opportunities

"FOREWORD BY ISAAC ASIMOV"

  • 50 Shuttle
  • 51 The Good Deed of Voyager 2
  • 52 The Longest Voyage
  • 53 Spreading Through Space
  • 54 First Contact
  • 55 Welcome, Stranger!
  • 56 The Lost City
  • 57 The Bitter End
  • 58 The Tail Wags the Dog
  • 59 The Ifs of History
  • 60 The Sorry Record
  • 61 Cleverness
  • 62 In Days of Old
  • 63 Nonviolence
  • 64 Empires
  • 65 The Last Man on Earth
  • 66 Image of One's Self
  • 67 Psychology
  • 68 Show Business
  • 69 Super
  • 70 Larger Than Life
  • 71 Science Fiction Mysteries
  • 72 The Science Writer
  • 73 The Scribbling Scientists
  • 74 Neanderthal Man
  • 75 The Nonhuman Brains
  • 76 Computer Envy
  • 77 Dogs
  • 78 Dragons!
  • 79 The New Beginning
  • 80 Valentine's Day
  • 81 Hobgoblins
  • 82 All the Ways Things Can't Happen
  • 83 Is Fantasy Forever?
  • 84 Wishing Will Make it So
  • 85 Wizards
  • 86 Witches
  • 87 Curses!
  • 88 The Forces of Evil
  • 89 Monsters
  • 90 The Power of Evil
  • 91 The Devil

SCIENCE FICTION

  • 92 Science Fiction Finds its Voice
  • 93 The Five Greats of Science Fiction
  • 94 The Success of Science Fiction
  • 95 Science Fiction Today
  • 96 The Feminization of Science Fiction
  • 97 Back Through Time

PERSONAL

  • 98 Our Shangri-La (with Janet Asimov)
  • 99 The Tyrannosaurus Prescription (with Janet Asimov)
  • 100 Ellis Island and I
  • 101 Seven Steps to Grand Master
Full title View From a Height [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Publisher Avon Books
Categories Anthology, biology, chemistry, physics and science
Publication year 1975
Original publication year 1963
ISBN 0-380-00356-2 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 224
Synopsis

This is an essay collection broken into four parts: Biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. As the subtitle says, it's a brilliant overview of the exciting realms of science. The title invokes the image of viewing science from above, to get an overview of it, and in the introduction Asimov likens science before 1800 to a well-managed orchard. After 1800, it's overgrown and even though there's still an underlying order to it, each wanderer through the orchard only gets to see a small part of it.

"So I have here a collection of essays with little internal unity. They are glimpses, here and there, of the orchard of science, as viewed from a height."

Images Back of View From a Height.Spine of View From a Height.Front of View From a Height.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • INTRODUCTION
  • PART I BIOLOGY
    • 1 That's About the Size of It
    • 2 The Egg and Wee
    • 3 That's Life!
    • 4 Not as We Know It
  • PART II CHEMISTRY
    • 5 The Element of Perfection
    • 6 The Weighting Game
    • 7 The Evens Have It
  • PART III PHYSICS
    • 8 Now Hear This!
    • 9 The Ultimate Split of the Second
    • 10 Order! Order!
    • 11 The Modern Demonology
    • 12 The Height of Up
  • PART IV ASTRONOMY
    • 13 Hot Stuff
    • 14 Recipe for a Planet
    • 15 The Trojan Hearse
    • 16 By Jove!
    • 17 Superficially Speaking
Full title We'll Always Have Paris [permalink]
Language English
Author Ray Bradbury (author)
Publisher Voyager
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2009
ISBN 978-0-00-730364-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 210
Images Back of We'll Always Have Paris.Spine of We'll Always Have Paris.Front of We'll Always Have Paris.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction: Watching and Writing
  • Massinello Pietro
  • The Visit
  • The Twilight Greens
  • The Murder
  • When the Bough Breaks
  • We'll Always Have Paris
  • Ma Perkins Comes to Stay
  • Doubles
  • Pater Caninus
  • Arrival and Departure
  • Last Laughs
  • Pietà Summer
  • Fly Away Home
  • Un-pillow Talk
  • Come Away with Me
  • Apple-core Baltimore
  • The Reincarnate
  • Remembrance, Ohio
  • If Paths Must Cross Again
  • Miss Appletree and I
  • A Literary Encounter
  • America
Full title What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty [permalink]
Language English
Authors John Brockman (editor) and Ian McEwan (foreword)
Publisher Pocket Books
Categories Anthology and essay
Publication year 2005
ISBN 978-1-4165-2261-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 266
Synopsis

This book is a collection of very small essays by a bunch of leading scientists, philosophers, writers, and intellectuals on the title question. The topics range from artificial intelligence to consciousness to epistemology (and a lot in between).

Review

This was an immensely satisfying read. You get a lot of perspective just reading the speculations of these people. I highly recommend this book!

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Full title Zima Blue and Other Stories [permalink]
Language English
Authors Alastair Reynolds (author) and Paul J. McAuley (introduction)
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2010
ISBN 978-0-575-08455-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 455
Synopsis

A short story (and novella-length) anthology from Alastair Reynolds.

The Real Story is about a journalist's quest to unravel the real story behind the first Mars landing.

Beyond the Aquila Rift is about what it means to be lost. Really lost.

Enola is about a little nomad girl's affinity for a machine (and mutatis mutandis for the machine), and what that implies.

Signal to Noise and Cardiff Afterlife are two connected stories about what happens when you make contact with parallel universes.

The next three stories, Hideaway, Minla's Flowers, and Merlin's Gun, are the longest in the anthology and form a chronological trilogy (despite being written out of order). The first one is about a so-called swallowship (huge spaceship) on the run from an alien enemy known as the Huskers. The other two are a continuation of the first, but I won't say anything about them except that all three concern the same protagonist, Merlin, and his quest for his Gun.

Angels of Ashes is a weird piece about religion and statistics (ehr, more or less)

Spirey and the Queen is about a faux war over a planetary accretion disk.

Understanding Space and Time is about one man's quest to, well, understand space and time.

Digital to Analogue is a conspiracy/thriller tale set on Earth in the nineties, and is the least science fictional (not to mention the least space operatic) one in the collection, and is about a memetic virus spreading through the club scene.

Everlasting is about the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum physics. Specifically, one man's (pretty weird) take on it.

And finally, the eponymous Zima Blue is about a pretty eccentric and long-lived artist's quest to connect with his roots.

Review

I enjoyed almost all the stories in this collection, and before I praise this collection any further, I have to get it out of the way: Angels of Ashes and Digital to Analogue fell entirely flat for me! The ones that stood out, however, more than made up for it. In particular I immensely enjoyed the Merlin trilogy (Hideaway, Minla's Flowers, and Merlin's Gun). They are truly epic in scale, and brilliantly captures the sense of the lone ranger on a quest. Understanding Space and Time, another wonderful story, is also epic, but in its own way. I hope I'm not spoiling anything by saying that it reminded me of Asimov's The Last Question, both in form and content. (Read them both and you'll understand.) The last two items, Everlasting and Zima Blue, also had me hooked, the former for its weird speculations (and the experimental testing of said speculation...), the latter for its musings on time and memory, and the sympathy you get for the protagonist, the eccentric artist Zima.

All in all, if you enjoy pointed SF vignettes or space opera novellas, go buy this book!

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction by Paul J. McAuley
  • The Real Story
  • Beyond the Aquila Rift
  • Enola
  • Signal to Noise
  • Cardiff Afterlife
  • Hideaway
  • Minla's Flowers
  • Merlin's Gun
  • Angels of Ashes
  • Spirey and the Queen
  • Understanding Space and Time
  • Digital to Analogue
  • Everlasting
  • Zima Blue
Full title The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Two [permalink]
Language English
Authors George Mann (editor), Brenda Cooper, Chris Roberson, Dan Abnett, David Louis Edelman, Dominic Green, Eric Brown, Karl Schroeder, Kay Kenyon, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michael Moorcock, Neal Asher, Paul Di Filippo, Peter Watts and Robert Reed
Publisher Solaris Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2008
ISBN 978-1-84416-542-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 413
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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction (George Mann)
  • iCity (Paul Di Filippo)
  • The Space Crawl Blues (Kay Kenyon)
  • The Line of Dichotomy (Chris Roberson)
  • Fifty Dinosaurs (Robert Reed)
  • Mason's Rats: Black Rat (Neal Asher)
  • Blood Bonds (Brenda Cooper)
  • The Eyes of God (Peter Watts)
  • Sunworld (Eric Brown)
  • Evil Robot Monkey (Mary Robinette Kowal)
  • Shining Armor (Dominic Green)
  • Book, Theatre, and Wheel (Karl Schroeder)
  • Mathralon (David Louis Edelman)
  • Mason's Rats: Autotractor (Neal Asher)
  • Modem Times (Michael Moorcock)
  • Point of Contact (Dan Abnett)
Full title The State of the Art [permalink]
Language English
Author Iain M. Banks (author)
Publisher Orbit Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Series Culture (4/11)
Publication year 1991
ISBN 1-85723-030-2 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 216
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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • 1. Road of Skulls
  • 2. A Gift from the Culture
  • 3. Odd Attachment
  • 4. Descendant
  • 5. Cleaning Up
  • 6. Piece
  • 7. The State of the Art
  • 8. Scratch
Full title H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2: Dagon and Other Macabre Tales [permalink]
Language English
Authors H. P. Lovecraft (author) and August Derleth (introduction)
Publisher Voyager
Categories Anthology, horror and short stories
Series H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus (2/3)
Publication year 2000
Original publication year 1965
ISBN 978-0-586-06324-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 512
Synopsis

This collection contains a bunch of short stories, as well as a very interesting essay by August Derleth called Supernatural Horror in Literature. Also in there are some stories under the heading Early Tales and four really small stories under Fragments, stories not really completed (and therefore not that interesting).

Most of the stories are first-person accounts of some horrible fate befalling the protagonist (such as Dagon, The Temple, and Imprisoned with the Pharaohs) while a few are third-person narratives over a span of time (like The Doom that came to Sarnath, The Cats of Ulthar, and The Quest of Iranon).

Review

This collection represents my first foray into Lovecraft's literature (except for The Call of Cthulhu, which I read ages ago). As I'm not really well read in horror literature, I don't know how it stacks up against other authors, but I know I like it! Lovecraft has a very peculiar way of writing, and virtually every story manages to draw you in and keep your attention throughout. Also, most of the stories have a twist at the end that's not always easy to predict, which makes them all the more enjoyable.

This collection, as opposed to the first and third in this series, is a little bit special in that there are a lot of stories, so if you don't have that much time to read, this book is excellent. The stories are short and almost all are engaging and very fun to read.

Images Back of H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2.Spine of H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2.Front of H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction, by August Derleth
  • Dagon
  • The Tomb
  • Polaris
  • Beyond the Wall of Sleep
  • The Doom that came to Sarnath
  • The White Ship
  • Arthur Jermyn
  • The Cats of Ulthar
  • Celephais
  • From Beyond
  • The Temple
  • The Tree
  • The Moon-bog
  • The Nameless City
  • The Other Gods
  • The Quest of Iranon
  • Herbert West - Reanimator
  • The Hound
  • Hypnos
  • The Festival
  • The Unnamable
  • Imprisoned with the Pharaohs
  • He
  • The Horror at Red Hook
  • The Strange High House in the Mist
  • In the Walls of Eryx
  • The Evil Clergyman

Early Tales

  • The Beast in the Cave
  • The Alchemist
  • Poetry and the Gods
  • The Street
  • The Transition of Juan Romero

Fragments

  • Azathoth
  • The Descendant
  • The Book
  • The Thing in the Moonlight
  • Supernatural Horror in Literature

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