cover image Modern Classics of Science Fiction

Modern Classics of Science Fiction

. St. Martin's Press, $27.5 (672pp) ISBN 978-0-312-07238-4

This new collection from the editor of The Year's Best Science Fiction and Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine generally lives up to its billing. Deliberately avoiding oft-anthologized stories, Dozois serves up a wide variety of SF from 1955 to 1989, offered here chronologically and ranging from the disturbing settings characteristic of Damon Knight, Richard McKenna and Ursula K. Le Guin, to touching character studies from Samuel R. Delaney, Roger Zelazny and Connie Willis, to the complex futures of James Tiptree Jr., Pat Cadigan and William Gibson. A highlight is Jack Vance's brilliant tale of alien anthropology, ``The Moon Moth.'' The collection's weak link is Keith Roberts's ``The Lady Margaret,'' which moves too slowly toward an uninteresting climax. Readers might enjoy Bruce Sterling's ``Dori Bangs,'' but only if they're familiar with rock critic Lester Bangs and with cartoonist Dori Seda. Dozois's introductions tend toward hyperbole (many contributors are labeled ``giants'' or ``masters''). Also included are tales by L. Sprague de Camp, Cordwainer Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, R. A. Lafferty, Gene Wolfe, Joanna Russ and eight others. (Feb.)