Monday, May 11, 2009


So in keeping with the resolution I made a few months back to read more sci-fi, I picked up Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the Century. I figured that this would drop me into the classics, both old and new, and really give me a taste for what I've been missing.

And in some ways, it worked. I was exposed to authors I hadn't read before. Orson Scott Card's introductions to the stories talked a little about the authors' other works and even pointed me in some directions I might like to go.

But here's the thing: at least a third of these stories just didn't do anything for me. They weren't that good. At least, I didn't think so. And based on what I've seen over at Amazon reviews, a lot of people feel the same way.

That's not to say that there aren't enjoyable stories in here. Personally, I really enjoyed "Call Me Joe" by Poul Anderson, "Tunesmith" by Lloyd Biggle, Jr., "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" by Ray Bradbury, "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" by Harlan Ellison, "Sandkings" by George R. R. Martin, and "The Road Not Taken" by Harry Turtledove. Out of those, "Sandkings" is my personal favorite. Wild tale, well told, enough to make me check out more of Martin's works.

So was it worth it? Sure. The book accomplished what I bought it for. But I'm not so sure I'd call everything in here "Masterpieces."

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