James Nicoll on Five Classic SFF Collections Too Good to Be Forgotten

James Nicoll on Five Classic SFF Collections Too Good to Be Forgotten

A Pride of Monsters
(Collier Books, 1973), Eyes of Amber (Signet, 1983) and Neutron Star
(Ballantine, 1976). Covers by Richard Jones, Tom Kidd, and Rick Sternbach

Over at Tor.com, James Davis Nicoll looks at a fine set of vintage SF collections, including Eyes of Amber and Other Stories by Joan D. Vinge.

Vinge began her publishing career with memorable novellas and novelettes. It’s therefore quite frustrating that, to my knowledge, there are only three collections of her work, all out of print. Of the three, Eyes of Amber and Other Stories is by far the best. In addition to the title story, a tale of aristocratic ambition and rock & roll set on Titan, the collection provides tales that range from straight-up adventure to puzzle stories, from classic hard SF to a deep space murder thriller, all skillfully written.

In addition to Vinge, James looks back at some very fine books by Tanith Lee, Katherine MacLean, Larry Niven, and James H. Schmitz.

[Click the images for Classic versions.]

Back covers for A Pride of Monsters, Eyes of Amber, and Neutron Star

The five collections in question are:

The Diploids and Other Flights of Fancy by Katherine MacLean (1962)
Neutron Star by Larry Niven (1968)
A Pride of Monsters by James H. Schmitz (1970)
Eyes of Amber and Other Stories by Joan D. Vinge (1979)
Forests of the Night by Tanith Lee (1989)

Read the whole thing here, and explore more vintage science fiction right here at Black Gate.

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Chris Willrich

I loved Eyes of Amber and Neutron Star. “Eyes of Amber” (the story) might be my favorite example of a planetary romance story. I loved that vision of Titan. (Roger Zelazny’s retro Mars story “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” probably comes second.) I’ve read a lot of Joan D. Vinge and Larry Niven’s short work, actually, but for some reason not much of Tanith Lee’s, and I don’t think I’ve read anything by Katherine MacLean or James H. Schmitz. I should fix that.

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