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Book Review

Book Cover

The Folio Science Fiction Anthology (Folio Society Hardback)


Editor: Brian Aldiss
Illustrations: Florian Schommer
Publisher: The Folio Society
RRP: £29.95
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Publication Date: Available now

It is never going to be easy to collect together a series of science fiction short stories which will please everybody, but if anyone can it's Brian Aldiss, a famous science fiction writer in his own right, as well as editor of over forty other anthologies.

The Folio Science Fiction Anthology (2016. 272 Pages) continues the Folio Societies mission to create books which not only have intrinsic importance as works of art, but to also present them in the best way possible, making them desirable not only for their content but also as objects in their own right.

The book is bound in buckram, blocked with a design by the artist Florian Schommer who has chosen an overall motif for the pictures, which starts with a series of greys and blacks for the first story, Voltaire’s Micromégas (1752) and gradually moving to warmer reds and oranges as the stories become more contemporary. Overall, Schommer provides seven illustrations including the books cover with a three-colour foil design. The complete listing of the stories includes:-

Voltaire: Micromégas (1752)
H. G. Wells: The Star (1897)
Isaac Asimov: Bridle and Saddle (1942)
Tom Godwin: The Greater Thing (1954)
James H. Schmitz: Grandpa (1955)
Brian W. Aldiss: Poor Little Warrior! (1959)
Philip K. Dick: Recall Mechanism (1959)
Harry Harrison: An Alien Agony (1962)
Robert A. Heinlein: Searchlight (1962)
Anna Kavan: Clarita (1970)
James Tiptree, Jr: And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side (1972)
Alice B. Wilson: The Day They Raised the Titanic (2015)

Aldiss as well as providing a short story of his own provides a brief preface, as well as introductions to each of the stories, these are often anecdotes involving Aldiss’s interaction with their authors. These illustrate that the stories were chosen not only for their own personal merit, but also for their personal connection to Aldiss.

Many of the authors stand as colossus of the genre, but like any good anthology there will be stories which you have somehow missed, some new delight for you to read.


Charles Packer

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