Pohl/Knight/Silverberg/Carr : Best of Originals


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Only four series of science fiction original anthologies have lasted long enough to support "Best Of" volumes in the way long-running magazines have generated such anthologies.

The first was Frederik Pohl Star Science Fiction Stories, which ran six volumes from 1953 to 1959 in mass market paperback from Ballantine (with an additional intermediary Star Short Novels in 1954). Star of Stars appeared in hardcover in 1960, with stories from all six volumes, though weighted toward the early ones.

The second was Damon Knight's Orbit, which ran 21 volumes, in hardcover from Putnam and then Harper & Row, from 1966 to 1980. His Best from volume in 1975 includes stories from only the first ten volumes, in roughly chronological order. Knight's introduction tells the origin story of the series, and the story selections are interspersed with letters from authors (in correspondence with Knight) and readers.

The third was Robert Silverberg's New Dimensions, which ran 12 volumes from 1971 to 1981 in hardcover and paperback: Doubleday for two volumes, Signet for the next two, then Harper & Row for six more volumes until Silverberg turned the series over to Marta Randall for two final volumes from Pocket. Silverberg's Best of, a 1979 paperback original, includes stories from the first nine volumes. Silverberg's introduction and story notes include details about the inspiration for the series and how he discovered each story and interacted with their authors.

Finally, Terry Carr's Universe debuted in 1971 more-or-less simultaneously with Silverberg's series, running 17 volumes from 1971 to 1987. His relatively slender Best from has nine stories from the first 10 volumes, with an introduction and story notes describing the series' origin story, and his interactions with authors.

No author appears in all four of these books; Harlan Ellison and R.A. Lafferty are reprinted four times, twice in a couple volumes; Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Kate Wilhelm, and Gene Wolfe are reprinted three times.

  • Star of Stars, Frederik Pohl, ed. (Doubleday, 1960) [isfdb]
  • The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10, Damon Knight, ed. (Berkley, 1975) [isfdb]
  • The Best of New Dimensions, Robert Silverberg, ed. (Pocket, 1979) [isfdb]
  • The Best from Universe, Terry Carr, ed. (Doubleday, 1984) [isfdb]



Combined Contents by Author and Title


Gregory Benford
  • Calibrations and Exercises (New Dimensions 9, 1979) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Alfred Bester
  • Disappearing Act (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1953) -- Star of Stars
  • Jerome Bixby
  • It's a Good Life (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1953) -- Star of Stars
  • Robert Bloch
  • Daybroke (Star Science Fiction Magazine Jan 1958) -- Star of Stars
  • Elizabeth Mann Borgese
  • Twin's Wail (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1959) -- Star of Stars
  • F. M. Busby
  • Tell Me All About Yourself (New Dimensions 3, 1973) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Carol Carr
  • Look, You Think You've Got Troubles (Orbit 5, 1969) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Terry Carr
  • They Live on Levels (New Dimensions 3, 1973) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Deep Range (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1954) -- Star of Stars
  • Jack Dann
  • A Quiet Revolution for Death (New Dimensions 8, 1978) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Avram Davidson
  • Rite of Spring (Orbit 8, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Daniel P. Dern
  • Yes, Sir, That's My (New Dimensions 8, 1978) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Horse of Air (Orbit 8, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • A Special Kind of Morning (New Dimensions I, 1971) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • George Alec Effinger
  • f(x)=(11/15/67) x=her, f(x)!=0 (New Dimensions II, 1972) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Live, from Berchtesgaden (Orbit 10, 1972) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Harlan Ellison
  • At the Mouse Circus (New Dimensions I, 1971) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • On the Downhill Side (Universe 2, 1972) -- The Best from Universe
  • One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty (Orbit 8, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Shattered Like a Glass Goblin (Orbit 4, 1968) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Carol Emshwiller
  • Al (Orbit 10, 1972) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Philip Josť Farmer
  • Don't Wash the Carats (Orbit 3, 1968) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • The Sliced-Crosswise Only-On-Tuesday World (New Dimensions I, 1971) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Nicholas Fisk
  • Find the Lady (New Dimensions 5, 1975) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • H. L. Gold
  • The Man with English (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1953) -- Star of Stars
  • Felix C. Gotschalk
  • The Examination (New Dimensions IV, 1974) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Gavin Hyde
  • Sparkie's Fall (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1959) -- Star of Stars
  • Donnan Call Jeffers
  • When the Morning Stars Sing Together (New Dimensions 8, 1978) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Langdon Jones
  • The Time Machine (Orbit 5, 1969) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Gerald Kersh
  • Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo? (The Brighton Monster, 1953) -- Star of Stars
  • C. M. Kornbluth
  • The Advent on Channel Twelve (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1958) -- Star of Stars
  • Henry Kuttner
  • A Cross of Centuries (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1958) -- Star of Stars
  • R. A. Lafferty
  • Continued on Next Rock (Orbit 7, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Eurema's Dam (New Dimensions II, 1972) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • The Hole on the Corner (Orbit 2, 1967) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Nor Limestone Islands (Universe 1, 1971) -- The Best from Universe
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The End (Orbit 6, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (New Dimensions 3, 1973) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Schrödinger's Cat (Universe 5, 1974) -- The Best from Universe
  • Fritz Leiber
  • A Rite of Spring (Universe 7, 1977) -- The Best from Universe
  • Space-Time for Springers (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1958) -- Star of Stars
  • Barry N. Malzberg
  • On the Air (New Dimensions 6, 1976) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Richard Matheson
  • Dance of the Dead (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1954) -- Star of Stars
  • Richard McKenna
  • The Secret Place (Orbit 1, 1966) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • William Morrison
  • Country Doctor (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1953) -- Star of Stars
  • Edgar Pangborn
  • The Night Wind (Universe 5, 1974) -- The Best from Universe
  • Marta Randall
  • A Scarab in the City of Time (New Dimensions 5, 1975) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • Allison Rice
  • The Loolies Are Here (Orbit 1, 1966) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Joanna Russ
  • Gleepsite (Orbit 9, 1971) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • I Gave Her Sack and Sherry (Orbit 2, 1967) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Nobody's Home (New Dimensions II, 1972) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • James Sallis
  • Binaries (Orbit 9, 1971) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Jim and Mary G (Orbit 7, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Robert Silverberg
  • Good News from the Vatican (Universe 1, 1971) -- The Best from Universe
  • Passengers (Orbit 4, 1968) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Norman Spinrad
  • The Big Flash (Orbit 5, 1969) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Theodore Thomas
  • The Doctor (Orbit 2, 1967) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • James Tiptree, Jr.
  • The Psychologist Who Wouldn't Do Awful Things to Rats (New Dimensions 6, 1976) -- The Best of New Dimensions
  • John Varley
  • Options (Universe 9, 1979) -- The Best from Universe
  • Howard Waldrop
  • The Ugly Chickens (Universe 10, 1980) -- The Best from Universe
  • Thom Lee Wharton
  • The Bystander (Orbit 8, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Kate Wilhelm
  • Baby, You Were Great (Orbit 2, 1967) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • The Encounter (Orbit 8, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • The Planners (Orbit 3, 1968) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Jack Williamson
  • The Happiest Creature (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1953) -- Star of Stars
  • Richard Wilson
  • Mother to the World (Orbit 3, 1968) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • Gene Wolfe
  • The Changeling (Orbit 3, 1968) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10
  • The Death of Doctor Island (Universe 3, 1973) -- The Best from Universe
  • The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories (Orbit 7, 1970) -- The Best from Orbit Volumes 1-10

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