The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction

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The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. Arthur B. Evans, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, Rob Latham, and Carol McGuirk, editors. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2010. As of the date of entry, a 2018 pdf is available for download at the link here.[1]

Reviewed Catherine Croker, SFRA Review #295 (Winter 2011): pp. 12-14.[2]

The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction is hefty, weighty and authoritative. Edited by the six co-editors of Science Fiction Studies, it culls selections from a century and a half of fiction, puts them in chronological order, and then cross-references them by numerous topics designed to get at some of the Big Topics in the genre [...]. (Croker, p. 12; see below for Contents)

The selection of works begins in 1844 with Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter” rather than with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818. [...] The arbitrary time period of the volume, meant to cover some one hundred and fifty years, seems to have been designed with the goal of including Jules Verne’s work in the book in mind more than anything else. The vast majority of the selections are also from the twentieth century, [...] overwhelmingly drawn from the pool of American and British writers. Jules Verne, Stanislaw Lem and Greg Egan are standouts, but the lack of more international authors, particularly from Asia and Russia, is puzzling. [***]

Further Reading section at the end of the book will prove very useful to those students new to the business of genre scholarship, and may well be one of the best things about the collection. It consists of short bibliographies of both general resources as well as on specialized topics within the field, including histories, critical studies and the like. The bibliographies are up to date and reflect both classics and recent scholarship [...]. (Croker, p. 13)

Croker notes an online, downloadable Teacher's Guide, available as of the date of this entry at the link here.[3]

CONTENTS[4]

• THEMATIC LISTING OF STORIES

Alien Encounters • C. L. Moore, “Shambleau” (1933) • Stanley Weinbaum, “A Martian Odyssey” (1934) • Arthur C. Clarke, “The Sentinel” (1951) • Robert Sheckley, “Specialist” (1953) • Robert Silverberg, “Passengers” (1968) • Nancy Kress, “Out of All Them Bright Stars” (1985) • Gene Wolfe, “Useful Phrases” (1992) • James Patrick Kelly, “Think Like a Dinosaur” (1995)

Apocalypse and Post-apocalypse • H. G. Wells, “The Star” (1897) • Fritz Leiber, “Coming Attraction” (1950) • Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950) • J. G. Ballard, “The Cage of Sand” (1962) • Octavia E. Butler, “Speech Sounds” (1983) • Misha Nogha, “Chippoke Na Gomi” (1989)

Artificial/Posthuman Life-forms • Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” (1844) • Isaac Asimov, “Reason” (1941) • Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954) • Avram Davidson, “The Golem” (1955) • Brian Aldiss, “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long” (1969) • Ursula K. Le Guin, “Nine Lives” (1969) • Ted Chiang, “Exhalation” (2008)

Computers and Virtual Reality • Philip K. Dick, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” (1966) • William Gibson, “Burning Chrome” (1982) • Pat Cadigan, “Pretty Boy Crossover” (1986) • Eileen Gunn, “Computer Friendly” (1989)

Evolution and Environment • Jules Verne, from Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) • Edmond Hamilton, “The Man Who Evolved” (1931) • Clifford D. Simak, “Desertion” (1944) • Frank Herbert, “Seed Stock” (1970) • Charles Stross, “Rogue Farm” (2003)

Gender and Sexuality • Leslie F. Stone, “The Conquest of Gola” (1931) • Frederik Pohl, “Day Million” (1966) • Samuel R. Delany, “Aye, and Gomorrah . . .” (1967) • Pamela Zoline, “The Heat Death of the Universe” (1967) • Joanna Russ, “When It Changed” (1972) • James Tiptree Jr., “And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side” (1972) • Carol Emshwiller, “Abominable” (1980) • Greg Egan, “Closer” (1992)

Time Travel and Alternate History • Robert A. Heinlein, “ ‘All You Zombies—’” (1959) • Stanislaw Lem, “The Seventh Voyage” from Star Diaries (1971) • John Varley, “Air Raid” (1977) • Kate Wilhelm, “Forever Yours, Anna” (1987) • John Kessel, “Invaders” (1990)

Utopias/Dystopias • E. M. Forster, “The Machine Stops” (1909) • R. A. Lafferty, “Slow Tuesday Night” (1965) • Harlan Ellison, “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” (1965) • Geoff Ryman, “Everywhere” (1999)

War and Conflict • Theodore Sturgeon, “Thunder and Roses” (1947) • Judith Merril, “That Only a Mother” (1948) • William Tenn, “The Liberation of Earth” (1953) • Cordwainer Smith, “The Game of Rat and Dragon” (1955) • Bruce Sterling, “We See Things Differently” (1989) • Acknowledgments • Further Reading



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