The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two B: The Greatest Science Fiction Novellas of All Time Chosen by the Members of the Science Fiction Writers of America
Edited by Ben Bova
Tor, Apr 2008, $29.95
The follow up to Volume Two A, which also like this anthology, contains eleven novellas published from 1929 to 1964, is a strong selection; however in fact Volume Two B is a boomer era collection containing one tale from 1928 (close enough for government and sci fi collections), three from the forties, five from the fifties, and two from the sixties. The authors for the most part remain famous, a virtual who’s who to include Asimov, Blish, Budrys, Cogswell, Forster, Pohl, Schmitz, Sherrod, Shiras, Simak, and Vance. Some of the entries like “The Martian Way”, "The Midas Plague" and “The Witches of Karres” remain popular. The choices are solid as none are bad though some handle the test of time better. This reviewer especially enjoyed “Earthman Come Home by James Blish having remembered reading it in high school. The key to this anthology and its predecessor are that it is just about all story; in this case 526 pages of stories with no padding except for a brief two and half page introduction to explain the voting process. Great look back at some of the pre Nebula Awards age, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume Two B is a strong enjoyable compilation that validates how entertaining science fiction was especially from 1947-1961.