The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century

  • by Greg Bear, Terry Bisson, David Brin, John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Judith Merrill, Frederik Pohl, Eric Frank Russell
  • Narrated by David Ackroyd, Wil Wheaton
  • 6 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From Ellison to Clarke to Merrill, hear a dozen unabridged science-fiction short stories, considered the best of the best from the 20th century. They are: "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Diner" by Lawrence Watt Evans, "Jeffty Is Five" by Harlan Ellison, "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke, "The Crystal Spheres" by David Brin, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. LeGuin, "Huddling Place" by Clifford D. Simak, "That Only a Mother" by Judith Merrill, "Fermi and Frost" by Frederick Pohl, "Tangents" by Greg Bear, "Bears Discover Fire" by Terry Bisson, "Allamagoosa" by Eric Frank Russell, and "Twilight" by John W. Campbell.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Biased toward the last 20 years of sci-fi

The only quibble I can find with this collection is the title. This is a great collection of sci-fi short stories, but it's a reach to call it a collection of the greatest of the 20th century. The majority of the stories were published within only the last 20 years or so. However, I still recommend this collection enthusiastically because of the inclusion of "Jeffty is Five", "The 9 Billion Names of God", "Alamagoosa", and "Why I Left Harry's All Night Hamburgers". Overall, a nice introduction to the short story format of sci-fi.
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- Gregory R. Martin

Greatest ever? Maybe not, but great, yes!

I too must admit surprise at the number of very low reviews. I've been an Audible subscriber more than 3 years now. This was one of the first books I bought. I was first introduced to science fiction in the 80s by reading endless anthologies. This, in audiobook form, is an excellent set of stunning short stories.

1) Jeffty Is Five by Harlan Ellison (read by Harlan Ellison)-A Hugo (1978)/Nebula (1977) winner about a very weird form of time travel/alternate realities.

2) Twilight by John W. Campbell, Jr.-originally published in 1934 under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart. One of the fathers of the "Golden Age of SF" & a prominent anthology/magazine editor.

3) The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin-1974 Hugo winner exploring the tension between a just & a happy society.

4) Bears Discover Fire by Terry Bisson-Hugo (1991)/Nebula (1990) winner.

5) The Crystal Spheres by David Brin-Hugo winner (1985).

6) That Only a Mother by Judith Merril-Canadian/American SF writer.

7) Allamagoosa by Eric Frank Russell-Hugo winner (1955). Military comedy. Anyone who has dealt with bureaucracy should appreciate this form-ticking SNAFU.

8) Tangents by Greg Bear-Hugo (1987)/Nebula (1986) winner.

9) The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke-Hugo winner (1954).

10) Huddling Place by Clifford D. Simak-Grand Master.

11) Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers by Lawrence Watt Evans (read by Will Wheaton)-Hugo winner (1988) exploring other realities & the axiom, "You can never go home again."

12) Fermi and Frost by Frederik Pohl-Grand Master & Hugo winner (1986) here for nuclear winter & Armageddon.

Out of the 12 stories, 9 are Hugo winners for best short story in their year & 3 won both awards. So while these stories, when examined over the last several decades, might not be the "greatest" ever, they were certainly "great" in the years they were published & many still stand today as fine examples of well-crafted SF short stories. Enjoy!
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- Michelle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books