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Authors: Robert Silverberg

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The Science Fiction Hall of Fame

BOOK: The Science Fiction Hall of Fame
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THE SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME

Volume One, 1929-1964

The Greatest Science Fiction Stones of All Time

Chosen by the Members of The Science Fiction Writers of

America

Edited by Robert Silverberg

v3.0 - Fixed broken paragraphs, garbled text, formatting; by peragwinn 2004-10-09

® TOR

® A Tom Doherty Associates Book New York

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in the stories in this collection are either fictitious or are used fictitiously.

THE SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME, VOLUME ONE, 1929-1964

Copyright © 1970, 1998 by Science Fiction Writers of America Edited by Robert Silverberg

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

A Tor Book Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC

175 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10010

www.tor.com Tor® is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

ISBN 0-765-30536-4

First Tor Hardcover Edition: February 2003

Printed in the United States of America

0987654321

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

A Martian Odyssey, by Stanley G. Weinbaum, copyright © 1934 by Continental Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Forrest J. Ackerman on behalf of the author's estate.

Twilight, by John W. Campbell, copyright © 1934 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author's agents, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.

Helen O'Loy, by Lester del Rey, copyright © 1938 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author's agents, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.

The Roads Must Roll, by Robert A. Heinlein, copyright © 1940 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Copyright renewed 1967 by Robert A. Heinlein. Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Lurton Blassingame.

Microcosmic God, by Theodore Sturgeon, copyright © 1941 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Robert P.

Mills.

Nightfall, by Isaac Asimov, copyright © 1941 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc.

Copyright renewed 1968 by Isaac Asimov. Reprinted by permission of the author.

The Weapon Shop, by A. E. van Vogt, copyright © 1942 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author's agent, Forrest J.

Ackerman.

Mimsy Were the Borogoves, by Lewis Padgett, copyright © 1943 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Harold Matson Company, Inc.

Huddling Place, by Clifford D. Simak, copyright © 1944 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Robert P.

Mills.

Arena, by Fredric Brown, copyright © 1944 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of the author's agents, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.

First Contact, by Murray Leinster, copyright © 1945 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.

That Only a Mother, by Judith Merril, copyright © 1948 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Scanners Live in Vain, by Cordwainer Smith, copyright © 1948 by Fantasy Publishing Co., Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author's agents, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.

Mars Is Heaven!, by Ray Bradbury, copyright © 1948 by Love Romances Publishing Company, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Harold Matson Company, Inc.

The Little Black Bag, by C. M. Kornbluth, copyright © 1950 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Robert P. Mills on behalf of the author's estate.

Born of Man and Woman, by Richard Matheson, copyright © 1950 by Fantasy House, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Harold Matson Company, Inc.

Coming Attraction, by Fritz Leiber, copyright © 1950 by World Editions, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Robert P. Mills.

The Quest for Saint Aquin, by Anthony Boucher, copyright © 1951 by Henry Holt & Co. Reprinted by permission of the author's agents, Collins-Knowlton-Wing, Inc.

Surface Tension, by James Blish, copyright © 1952 by Galaxy Publishing Corporation. Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Robert P. Mills.

The Nine Billion Names of God, by Arthur C. Clarke, copyright © 1953 by Ballantine Books, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author's agents, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.

It's a Good Life, by Jerome Bixby, copyright © 1953 by Ballantine Books, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of the author's agent, Forrest J. Ackerman.

The Cold Equations, by Tom Godwin, copyright © 1954 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author's agents, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.

Fondly Fahrenheit, by Alfred Bester, copyright © 1954 by Fantasy House, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Robert p. Mills.

The Country of the Kind, by Damon Knight, copyright © 1955 by Fantasy House, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Robert P. Mills.

Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes, copyright © 1959 by Mercury Press, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Robert P. Mills.

A Rose for Ecclesiastes, by Roger Zelazny, copyright © 1963 by Mercury Press, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of Ace Books, Inc.

CONTENTS

Introduction: Robert Silverberg

A MARTIAN ODYSSEY,

Stanley G. Weinbaum

TWILIGHT,

John W. Campbell

HELEN O'LOY,

Lester del Rey

THE ROADS MUST ROLL,

Robert A. Heinlein

MICROCOSMIC GOD,

Theodore Sturgeon

NIGHTFALL, Isaac

Asimov

THE WEAPON SHOP,

A. E. van Vogt

MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES,

Lewis Padgett

HUDDLING PLACE,

Clifford D. Simak

ARENA, Fredric

Brown

FIRST CONTACT,

Murray Leinster

THAT ONLY A MOTHER,

Judith Merril

SCANNERS LIVE IN VAIN,

Cordwainer Smith

MARS IS HEAVEN!,

Ray Bradbury

THE LITTLE BLACK BAG,

C. M. Kombluth

BORN OF MAN AND WOMAN,

Richard Matheson

COMING ATTRACTION,

Fritz Leiber

THE QUEST FOR SAINT AQUIN,

Anthony Boucher

SURFACE TENSION,

James Blish

THE NINE BILLION NAMES OF GOD,

Arthur C. Clarke

IT'S A GOOD LIFE,

Jerome Bixby

THE COLD EQUATIONS,

Tom Godwin

FONDLY FAHRENHEIT,

Alfred Bester

THE COUNTRY OF THE KIND,

Damon Knight

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON,

Daniel Keyes

A ROSE FOR ECCLESIASTES,

Roger Zelazny

INTRODUCTION

This is as nearly definitive an anthology of modern science fiction stories as is likely to be compiled for quite some time. Its contents were chosen by vote of the membership of the Science Fiction Writers of America, an organization of some three hundred professional writers whose roster includes virtually everyone now living who has ever had science fiction published in the United States. The book you now hold represents the considered verdict of those who themselves have shaped science fiction—a roster of outstanding stories selected by people who know more intimately than any others what the criteria for excellence in science fiction should be.

SFWA—the Science Fiction Writers of America—was founded in 1965 "to inform science fiction writers on matters of professional interest, to promote their professional welfare, and to help them deal effectively with publishers, agents, editors, and anthologists." Though other special writers' organizations, such as the Mystery Writers of America and the Western Writers of America, had come into existence long before, all previous attempts to create a professional science fiction writers' group had been abortive. However—thanks in large measure to the energy and devotion of the first president of SFWA, Damon Knight, and its first secretary-treasurer, Lloyd Biggie—all but a few writers in this notoriously individualistic field quickly joined. For greater cohesiveness, membership was limited to writers whose work had appeared m the United States, but no restrictions were placed on a writer's own residence or citizenship. Thus SFWA has a large British contingent as well as members from Australia, Canada, and several other Commonwealth countries.

In 1966 SFWA held the first of its annual awards banquets, at which handsome trophies nicknamed Nebulas were presented to the authors of 1965's outstanding science fiction stories, as chosen by vote of the membership. These awards have been presented in each subsequent year in four categories: short story, novelet, novella, and novel.

During my term of office (1967-68) as SFWA's second president, it was decided to extend the concept of awards retroactively into the period prior to SFWA's inception. Members would be asked to nominate and vote for the best science fiction stories of the era ending on December 31, 1964: that is, the period up to the point covered by the Nebula awards. No trophies would be given, but the stories chosen would be republished in a showcase anthology spanning several volumes—the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

This is the first of those anthologies. It embraces the categories of short story and novelet; arbitrarily, stories over 15,000 words in length were excluded from nomination and reserved for consideration in the volumes to come. Nominations remained open for more than a year, during which time a significant proportion of the membership suggested favorite stories, each writer giving no consideration to his own work. Eventually, 132 stories by seventy-six different writers found places on the final ballot. Then the members of SFWA were asked to choose ten stories from this list. They were limited to the choice of one story by any author, and were asked to keep historical perspective in mind. That is, it was hoped that they would distribute their votes in such a way as to give representation to each of the evolutionary stages of modern science fiction. (The stories on the ballot had originally been published between 1929 and 1964.)

As editor of the book, I exercised certain limited prerogatives of selection after the counting of the votes. No editorial discretion whatever was invoked upon the fifteen most popular stories as shown by the vote tally; their inclusion in the book was regarded as obligatory. Those fifteen, in order of the number of votes they received, were:

1. Nightfall, Isaac Asimov

2. A Martian Odyssey, Stanley G. Weinbaum

3. Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes

4. Microcosmic God, Theodore Sturgeon(tie) First Contact, Murray Leinster 6. A Rose for Ecclesiastes, Roger Zelazny

7. The Roads Must Roll, Robert A. Heinlein(tie) Mimsy Were the Borogoves, Lewis Padgett (tie) Coming Attraction, Fritz Leiber (tie) The Cold Equations, Tom Godwin

11. The Nine Billion Names of God, Arthur C. Clarke

12. Surface Tension, James Blish

13. The Weapon Shop, A. E. van Vogt(tie) Twilight, John W. Campbell 15. Arena, Fredric Brown

(Arthur C. Clarke's The Star would have been the fifteenth story on this list if it had not been disqualified by the presence of another Clarke story in eleventh place.

Clarke was the only writer to place two stories in the top fifteen, although both Robert A. Heinlein and Ray Bradbury had two stories in the top twenty.) Beyond the first fifteen, some selectivity had to be imposed to keep the book from growing to infinite length. As far as possible, I attempted to follow the dictates of the tallied vote, eliminating only those stories whose authors were represented by a story higher on the list. But there were some obvious injustices requiring remedies. One important and highly respected author had had four stories on the original ballot, including two from the same cycle. As a result of this competition with himself, no one of his stories finished within the top twenty, although the aggregate of his vote placed him well up among the leaders. Eliminating a man whose career had been so distinguished from a book of this nature seemed improper; and so I gave preference to one of his four stories over that of another writer whose only nominated piece had finished slightly higher on the list. In this case recognition of an entire body of work was deemed more important than recognition of a single story.

In another instance, two of a writer's stories made the second fifteen, one vote apart; but the story with the higher number of votes was not the story that the writer himself wished to see included in the book. I chose to regard the one-vote differential as statistically insignificant, and reversed the order of finish of that writer's stories so that I might use the one that he (and I) regarded as superior.

There were several other minor modifications of this sort, made necessary by considerations of length, balance, and over-all career contributions. Strictly speaking, then, the table of contents of the present anthology does not reflect a rigid tally of the SFWA vote. Rather, it offers the fifteen stories of the pre-1965 period that were selected as best by the SFWA, plus all but a few of the second fifteen. I regret the necessities of publishing reality that forced me to omit some of the stories in that second fifteen, amounting to over 50,000 words of fiction; but in view of the need to keep the book within manageable size I think it does offer a definitive group of stories by the writers who have done most to give form and substance to modern science fiction—a basic one-volume library of the short science fiction story.

BOOK: The Science Fiction Hall of Fame
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