Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction Of The Century Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction Of The Century

Ace, Nov 2001, 24.95, 416 pp.
ISBN: 044100864X

    This latest “best ... of the century” actually consists of twenty-six tales from the second half of the twentieth century and one story from the 1940s. Either that means science fiction matured considerably after World War II, the editor is too young to appreciate the early years, or the anthology should be labeled differently. In either case, the contributions are all aces and represent the wide gamut of the genre divided into three classifications: “The Golden Age, “The New Wave”, and “The Media Generation”. Though I enjoyed the other two periods, my favorite stories are from “The New Wave” because I cut my molars on several of these including having read some while working on a masters thesis involving science fiction. Regardless of nostalgia or other reasons for personal taste, each entry is powerful and shows how enlightening the genre can be when written by masters like those who rendered entries to MASTERPIECES: THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION OF THE CENTURY.
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Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction Of The Century

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   exploring a wondrous planet or phenomena    -   colonizing/homesteading another planet    -   preventing/surviving an ecological disaster    -   stranded on alien planet, fighting aliens to survive    -   fighting a disease/illness affecting everyone    -   surviving natural elements on planet Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   rescue mission/escape from confinement If an invasion, from Earth/human POV:    -   fighting overt invasion (attacking aliens) War or Invasion    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's


Spaceship setting:    -   futuristic human warship    -   alien spaceship    -   a space station    -   futuristic human freighter/transport    -   really, really giant spaceship/station    -   one or two man fighter/scoutship Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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