About American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s
Contains: American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels 1953—1956 Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth / The Space Merchants Theodore Sturgeon / More Than Human Leigh Brackett / The Long Tomorrow Richard Matheson / The Shrinking Man 978-1-59853-158-9
American Science Fiction: Five Classic Novels 1956—1958 Robert Heinlein / Double Star Alfred Bester / The Stars My Destination James Blish / A Case of Conscience Algis Budrys / Who? Fritz Leiber / The Big Time 978-159853-159-6
Following its acclaimed three-volume edition of the novels of science fiction master Philip K. Dick, The Library of America now presents a two-volume anthology of nine groundbreaking works from the golden age of the modern science fiction novel. Long unnoticed or dismissed by the literary establishment, these “outsider” novels have gradually been recognized as American classics. Here are genre-defining works by such masters as Robert Heinlein, Richard Matheson, James Blish, and Alfred Bester. The themes range from time travel (Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time) to post-apocalyptic survival (Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow), from the prospect of a future dominated by multinational advertising agencies (Pohl and Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants) to the very nature of human identity in a technological age (Theodore Sturgeon’s More Than Human and Algis Budrys’s Who?). The range of styles is equally diverse, by turns satiric, adventurous, incisive, and hauntingly lyrical. Grappling in fresh ways with a world in rapid transformation, these visionary novels opened new imaginative territory in American writing.
"Here’s the heart of the heart of where those who take American science fiction seriously would want to begin — the genre’s equivalent of Hollywood’s classical period, and the books subsequent creators like Thomas Pynchon and Stanley Kubrick used to bend their brains — as well as a selection of novels as fresh and evocative as any hungry reader could hope to discover." — – Jonathan Lethem