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In Association with
The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame Volume Two A
edited by Ben Bova
Orb paperback $18.99

review by Sandra Scholes

Unlike the standard short stories that would appear in many volumes, these treasure chests of tales are novellas chosen by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and edited by Ben Bova. With 11 stories in all, this book encompasses the talent of some of the most famous SF writers in history. If H.G. Wells is not enough to whet the appetite then perhaps Theodore Sturgeon and Robert A. Heinlein push the right buttons.

Unlike the stories in the much anticipated first volume, these novellas are of a much longer length becoming the definitive collection of stories in the field due to the SFWA's 400 professional writers selecting only the most impressive novellas out there. The main purpose of The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame - volume two anthologies was to make sure the stories are recognised even though they had no chance of winning a Nebula award. Whereas volume one was for short fiction, this second volume has the much longer pieces.

This collection of stories is supposed to give the reader a good idea of the early literature that became known purely as science fiction. These, by their very existence, are described as classics of their own genre, those that inspired the writers of today. Their aim was to encourage younger readers to the genre that surely would become larger as the decades passed. This book was made possible thanks largely to the many people involved and their votes for the best in science fiction.

The stories in this book are as diverse as the writers themselves. Robert A. Heinlein's Universe deals with the tolerance aspect of mutants after an expedition to Proxima Centauri. As a second volume it was a pity two of the stories A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr, and Ray Bradbury's The Fireman were not to be included in this anthology as the names were so famous and would have been an excellent addition to the book. It has been a lengthy process for Anthony R. Lewis who spent many hours finding out wording lengths and finding unusual stories as well as looking up publication dates.

The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame - volume two deserves the four stars it is awarded as there are many stories that do deserve being published in here and this is the second chance for those who are at the very top of their writing profession whose vision has been the greatest. Editor, Ben Bova, former editor of Analog who went on to edit Omni later, is a prolific writer of the genre with the 'Moonbase' saga volumes, Return To Mars, and Mars Life being some of his most recent works.

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame volume two A

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