Cosmic Collections
Single-author collections by some masters of short fiction


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Best Science Fiction Stories of H G Wells
by H G Wells (1966)


An unbeatable lineup of Wells' short fiction classics published from 1894-1901. The full novella version of 'The Invisible Man' is here - in addition to the prototypical sci-fi short stories 'The New Accelerator', 'The Star', 'In the Abyss' and 'The Crystal Egg'. Reading these leaves little doubt as to who is the true father of science fiction, although the collection tends to drift in and out of print.





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The Man Who Sold the Moon
by Robert A Heinlein (1950)


In the absence of the omnibus 'The Past Through Tomorrow' (1967), this early collection is the best of RAH's 'Future History' tales currently on offer. Future History is a loosely-connected framework that was created mainly for marketing purposes. Dating back to 1939, some of Heinlein's best short fiction is found here - including the title story, 'Roads Must Roll' and 'Requiem'.





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Neutron Star
by Larry Niven (1968)


A collection of eight outstanding stories from Niven's popular Known Space series. The title story won a Hugo in 1966. Races of creatures such as grog, thrint and bandersnatchi delight us with their exploits - all set on a galaxy of planets with their own histories, ecologies and cultural epochs. Niven at his freshest best, but getting hard to find.





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Deathbird Stories
by Harlan Ellison (1975)


American Ellison made his name editing the acclaimed New Wave-ish 'Dangerous Visions' original anthologies. Best known for his boundary-shattering short fiction - 'Deathbird Stories' presents us with a pantheon of gods holding sway over things such as pain, smog, machines, Freudian guilt, coaxial cables and neon. Master at work and good to see it back in print.





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Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
by Spider Robinson (1977)


A terrific collection of nine very funny linked stories originally appearing in Analog magazine. Callahan's is a bar frequented by time travelers, cybernetic aliens, telepaths and various other regulars. Its mantra is the Law of Conservation of Pain and Joy: "Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased - thus do we refute entropy." Remarkable observations of the human condition.





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Burning Chrome
by William Gibson (1986)


Cyberpunk supremo Gibson outpaced the declining marketability of single-author collections with this cutting-edge set of street-wise tales. The standouts are the title piece and 'The Gernsback Continuum', while 'Johnny Mnemonic' was turned into a feature film. Cyberpunkers might also like Bruce Sterling's Crystal Express (1989).





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Maps in a Mirror
by Orson Scott Card (1990)


While not strictly a sci-fi collection (plenty of fantasy and some horror), it is hard to go past this massive 688-page volume as the ultimate collection of Card's short fiction. The best sci-fi includes 'Dogwalker' and 'I Put My Blue Genes On', while the novelette version of 'Ender's Game' shows an author on the way to the top. Indispensable modern collection.





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Wool Omnibus
by Hugh Howey (2012)


While the publication history of Hugh Howey's 'Wool' stories may be a little confusing to the newcomer, this omnibus edition brings them all together in a neat one-volume package. In a future underground society, talk of 'going outside' is strictly forbidden. Some optimists, however, still dare to dream. As punishment, they get what they want. Worth checking out.


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