Cover of Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 5, 1943
Book 226 Anthology 1981
In the Beginning Asimov on Science Fiction
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Asimov fan
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Target reader

“I believe this will be one of the most important collections of all time. From year to year Asimov and his co-editor will continue to bring together these masterpieces and DAW will publish them. No fan or serious student of sf will want to miss any of them. Each volume contains hundreds of pages of fine writing plus editorial commentaries about the authors and stories, and the result is a continuing series of anthologies which will add up to a complete history of science fiction.”—Leo McConnell, Books

This, the fifth volume of the Asimov selections, brings back into print such marvelous stories as Leight Brackett's The Halfling, Fredric Brown's Daymare, Eric Frank Russell's Symbiotica, Lewis Padgett's Mimsy Were the Borogroves, C.L. Moore's Doorway Into Time, and lots more!

The great Golden days of science fiction are here again!

For general comments on this series, see Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 1, 1939.

While I still like this anthology a lot, one big strike against it is that it’s the first anthology in this series not to have any stories by Asimov in it—his one story not in the Foundation series published in 1943 was the hardly memorable “Death Sentence”, and Asimov and Greenberg obviously felt that with “The Encyclopedists” included in Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 4, 1942, there was no need to include later Foundation stories (which is a shame because “The Mule” and “The Search by the Foundation” get left out by that criterion).

This is, in fact, it’s a rather weak entry in the series, all told. The only story that rings a bell with me without reviewing the contents of the book is Lewis Padgett’s “Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” although that’s worth the price of the anthology in and of itself. The remaining stories aren’t bad, but somehow managed to fail to carve a place for themselves in my shamefully faulty memory.

And Robert A. Heinlein doesn’t even get mentioned in this volume at all.

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