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Worlds Without End Blog

Recent Additions: SF Masterworks Posted at 10:09 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

The First Men in the MoonThe Fountains of ParadiseThe Stars My DestinationThe Book of SkullsA Scanner Darkly

The SF Masterworks is a series of science fiction books published by Orion through its imprints Millennium and Gollancz.  The idea was to bring the best out of print titles back into circulation so they could be enjoyed by new generations of readers.  The series features some excellent books and some really great covers – two factors that make them extremely collectible.

Many of the books in the series were already in our database, as winners and nominees for the awards we cover, and the remainder has now been added to bring us to a total of 73.  I’ve also gone in and replaced all the existing book covers with the Masterwork covers to complete the set.  We’ve built a SF Masterworks page to display them all together so you can easily see how many you’ve read.  Sounds like a good reading challenge to me.  I’ve only read 11 from the list so far but I found that I already had 7 more on my reading list.

The folks at Orion really like Philip K. Dick.  There are 14 PKD books in the series – far more than any other author – but you’ll find many other greats in the list like Alfred Bester, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Silverberg to name a few.  I’m also excited to be adding many new authors including H.G. Wells to our database.  The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, The First Men in the Moon and The Invisible Man all pre-date the awards by many years but remain among the most familiar classics of the genre.

Take a look at the list and let us know what you think.  How does this list compare to the awards?  How many have you read?  I’ll be adding more lists going forward to complement and fill in some of the gaps from our awards coverage.  For next week I’m already working on the companion Fantasy Masterworks list – to cover both sides of the SF/F aisle.  What other lists should we consider?
 

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10 Comments

jwbjerk   |   01 Mar 2010 @ 01:02

I think i’ve read 28 of these. Of course i don’t know all of these books, but there are quite a few more that i’ve heard of and want to read, so this seems like a good addition.For significant sci-fi that somehow missed getting an award, i’d recommend this list:http://home.austarnet.com.au/petersykes/topscifi/lists_books_rank1.htmlIt's an aggregate of a bunch of lists of top sci-fi books, with a little web voting on top.

Ryan F   |   01 Mar 2010 @ 12:04

I might have to tackle these sometime in the distant future when I finish with the Hugo winners. I’ve read about two dozen, and lots of the others have been on my "to read" list.Are these editions just available in the UK?

htaccess   |   01 Mar 2010 @ 18:06

Awesome thanks a lot for adding this series! I have 27 still to read of this series, so ill be adding them to my reading list.

Dave Post   |   01 Mar 2010 @ 18:33

Hey htaccess, it was your idea to begin with! I should have given you props for the idea in the original post. We really appreciate comments and suggestions from our members so keep ‘em coming. Thanks again for a great idea that has really enhanced the site.

Dave Post   |   01 Mar 2010 @ 22:51

jwbjerk, you’ve got a good start with 28. You going to read them all? I’ve seen that list before and it’s really impressive how it’s calculated.Ryan, there is some small overlap with the Hugo so you’ll be able to knock off a few as you go. I think the series originated in the UK but you can get them from Amazon or Ebay. I’ve not seen many in the stores except maybe the used bookstore. I’ve got it in my head to collect them now so I’ll be trolling Ebay to get mine most likely. The hunt is on.

Robin of My Two Blessings   |   02 Mar 2010 @ 12:09

Awesome books and love the covers! I think I’ve read 3 total out of the whole group. I want to read them all. :) The problem with being a voracious reader and reading so many sci fi books way back in the 80′s is when the covers change, I don’t recognize the title or book anymore so don’t remember if I read it or not. I didn’t keep a list or keep track way back when. Several are already on my reading list, will have to add a few more.

jwbjerk   |   05 Mar 2010 @ 10:04

Dave: "You going to read them all?"I’ll certainly read more, but probably no all. The Hugo winners is the list i aspire to completely read, and i’ve still got a ways to go.Though it’s nice to see other lists. Finding a book on multiple lists tends to bump it closer to the top of my reading queue. Speaking of that, you know what would be cool and useful on this site? I don’t know how easy it would be to implement, but while browsing for instance the Nebulas, it would be cool to see some little icons by a title to show how many other awards it won.something like this: http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/5653/starsux.jpgThree big stars for 3 wins and 2 little stars for nominations without wins.

Dave Post   |   05 Mar 2010 @ 14:50

jwbjerk: That’s actually something we’ve been planning for some time. We’re also going to have a trophy icon with an overlib to display a list of noms and wins. When we started out all the books in our DB were nominated books so it wasn’t really necessary. That’s changed a lot as we’ve added in the series books so now you can’t tell which books are noms unless you see them in an award list or go to the novel page. We’re going to switch to a 5 star rating and show the stars under the cover graphic as well. That will be easier to read and will more convenient. Stay tuned.

jwbjerk   |   06 Mar 2010 @ 17:29

Cool.

htaccess   |   07 Mar 2010 @ 18:13

Yea I think thats a great idea showing trophies or something to indicate the awards/noms for a book, also as you add more lists an icon or other indicator to show which lists its in.

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