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Literature / My Best Science Fiction Story

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A Science Fiction Genre Anthology edited by Leo Margulies and Oscar J Friend, first published in 1949. An abridged copy was published in 1954 with only twelve of the following twenty-five stories (stories ending with an asterisk* are included in the abridged version).

Each story contains an introduction by the editors about the author in general, and a blurb titled "Why I Selected-" with the title of the work, so that each author can give context for why this story is their best work. The stories are all of novelette-length or shorter.


Works published in this Anthology:

Tropes present in this Anthology:

  • "Best Of" Anthology: Edited by Leo Margulies and Oscar J Friend, this book contains 25 different stories, chosen by each of their respective authors as the best stories they've written. Each story is preceded by biography and a short blurb by the author, explaining how they decided which story to submit for the Anthology.
  • Cassandra Truth: Ray Bradbury's "Zero Hour": A daughter tells her mother about the upcoming Alien Invasion and all the promises the Martians made the children in exchange for help. The mother brushes it off as a new game until it's too late.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Satirized in "Dont Look Now".
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  • Domed Hometown: The cover of the 1954 Pocket Books version has multiple clear domes spread over a barren landscape that appears to have no atmosphere. Each dome contains at least one building, and the roadways that snake around the domes have domed cars, as well.
  • Doorstopper: The original hardcover version clocks in at around 560 pages, depending on how you count the i - xiv pages.
  • Enfant Terrible: Ray Bradbury's "Zero Hour": Every child in the world is convinced by an alien race to set things up to let them invade Earth and kill all of the adults. And they agree because they are promised later bedtimes, no baths, and all the TV they want. At the end of the story, the viewpoint character's daughter is leading a group of aliens straight to her parents, calling for them to come out as she searches the house.
  • Exact Words: John Taine's "The Ultimate Catalyst": The scientist, Doctor Beetle, had told his daughter that chlorophyll couldn't be turned into haemoglobin. At the climax, he reveals that the reverse, haemoglobin to chlorophyll, is possible.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Edmond Hamilton's "The Inn Outside The World": Events in this story takes place in an inn where famous historical figures regularly meet. Figures from different eras of history.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Theodore Sturgeon's "Thunder And Roses": The marine narrator thinks the creaking cot behind him is because his bunkmate is enjoying the singing star's broadcast immensely. The bunkmate is actually committing suicide.
  • Pen Name:
  • Retro Rocket:
    • A very simple (and small) dart-like rocket with four large fins appears on the top of the 1949 Merlin Press cover, with a dotted line extending behind it to indicate constant velocity.
    • The cover of the 1954 Pocket Books version has a couple of light grey spaceships that look like darts flying above a city of domed habitats.
  • Tagline:
    • "As chosen by 25 outstanding authors" — 1949 Merlin Press cover
    • "The top science fiction authors choose the best stories they ever wrote" — 1954 Pocket Books cover