The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1: 1929-1964

The definitive collection of the best in science fiction stories between 1929-1964.

This book contains twenty-six of the greatest science fiction stories ever written. They represent the considered verdict of the Science Fiction Writers of America, those who have shaped the genre and who know, more intimately than anyone else, what the criteria for excellence in the field should be. The authors chosen for The Science Fiction Hall Fame are the men and women who have shaped the body and heart of modern science fiction; their brilliantly imaginative creations continue to inspire and astound new generations of writers and fans.

Robert Heinlein in “The Roads Must Roll” describes an industrial civilization of the future caught up in the deadly flaws of its own complexity. “Country of the Kind,” by Damon Knight, is a frightening portrayal of biological mutation. “Nightfall,” by Isaac Asimov, one of the greatest stories in the science fiction field, is the story of a planet where the sun sets only once every millennium and is a chilling study in mass psychology.

Originally published in 1970 to honor those writers and their stories that had come before the institution of the Nebula Awards, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, Volume One, was the book that introduced tens of thousands of young readers to the wonders of science fiction. Too long unavailable, this new edition will treasured by all science fiction fans everywhere.

The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, Volume One, includes the following stories:

Introduction by Robert Silverberg
“A Martian Odyssey” by Stanley G. Weinbaum
“Twilight” by John W. Campbell
“Helen O’Loy” by Lester del Rey
“The Roads Must Roll” by Robert A. Heinlein
“Microcosmic God” by Theodore Sturgeon
“Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov
“The Weapon Shop” by A. E. van Vogt
“Mimsy Were the Borogoves” by Lewis Padgett
“Huddling Place” by Clifford D. Simak
“Arena” by Frederic Brown
“First Contact” by Murray Leinster
“That Only a Mother” by Judith Merril
“Scanners Live in Vain” by Cordwainer Smith
“Mars is Heaven!” by Ray Bradbury
“The Little Black Bag” by C. M. Kornbluth
“Born of Man and Woman” by Richard Matheson
“Coming Attraction” by Fritz Leiber
“The Quest for Saint Aquin” by Anthony Boucher
“Surface Tension” by James Blish
“The Nine Billion Names of God” by Arthur C. Clarke
“It’s a Good Life” by Jerome Bixby
“The Cold Equations” by Tom Godwin
“Fondly Fahrenheit” by Alfred Bester
“The Country of the Kind,” Damon Knight
“Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes
“A Rose for Ecclesiastes” by Roger ZelaznyIf you own only one anthology of classic science fiction, it should be The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964. Selected by a vote of the membership of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), these 26 reprints represent the best, most important, and most influential stories and authors in the field. The contributors are a Who’s Who of classic SF, with every Golden Age giant included: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, John W. Campbell, Robert A. Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, Cordwainer Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, and Roger Zelazny. Other contributors are less well known outside the core SF readership. Three of the contributors are famous for one story–but what stories!–Tom Godwin’s pivotal hard-SF tale, “The Cold Equations”; Jerome Bixby’s “It’s a Good Life” (made only more infamous by the chilling Twilight Zone adaptation); and Daniel Keyes’s “Flowers for Algernon” (brought to mainstream fame by the movie adaptation, Charly).

The collection has some minor but frustrating flaws. There are no contributor biographies, which is bad enough when the author is a giant; but it’s especially sad for contributors who have become unjustly obscure. Each story’s original publication date is in small print at the bottom of the first page. And neither this fine print nor the copyright page identifies the magazines in which the stories first appeared.

Prefaced by editor Robert Silverberg’s introduction, which describes SFWA and details the selection process, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964 is a wonderful book for the budding SF fan. Experienced SF readers should compare the table of contents to their library before making a purchase decision. Fans who contemplate giving this book to non-SF readers should bear in mind that, while several of the collected stories can measure up to classic mainstream literary stories, the less literarily-acceptable stories are weighted toward the front of the collection; adult mainstream-literature fans may not get very far into The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964. –Cynthia Ward

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. A must have for your permanent collection The stories in this book were voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America as the best short science fiction written between 1929 and 1964 and every one is a gem. Some of these stories are reasonably well known and often reprinted, but most of them are difficult to find anywhere else, making this an essential collection for a true fan of the genre. In response to an earlier request for a list of its contents, here are the story titles and authors. I was going to indulge myself by placing an…

  2. Many fine stories from Grandmasters of Science Fiction. I picked this collection up on a whim at my local used book store, mostly to get an idea of which other Sci-fi writers I might be interested in collecting from. This collection turned out to be a goldmine of Science Fiction. In fact, this is one of the only books I will not lend out to friends; and I own an old, ratty-looking paperback Copyright 1970! There are many great stories here, but there are a few I must mention as bona-fide masterpieces. “Microcosmic God” by Theodore Sturgeon is…

  3. The single must-have science fiction anthology. I first picked up the original printing of this anthology when I was a small child, around ten years old, and the first story in it (“A Martian Oddyssey”) was so good that I put the book back down and didn’t read the rest of it for another year because I was afraid none of the other stories in there could possibly be as good. 

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