Alternate Worlds

The Illustrated History of Science Fiction, 3d ed.

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About the Book

Alternate Worlds was first published in 1975 and became an instant classic, winning a Hugo award the next year. This edition brings the history of science fiction up to date with a chapter covering developments over the past forty years—a period that has seen the advent of technologies only imagined in the genre’s Golden Age. As a literature of change, science fiction has become increasingly meaningful, presaging dangers to humanity and, as Alvin Toffler wrote, guarding against “the premature arrival of the future.” The world has begun to recognize science fiction in myriad ways, incorporating its visions in products, visual media and huge conventions. James Gunn describes its arc from early myth and fancy to today’s complex literature, as the world itself was changed by exploration, science and technology.

About the Author(s)

James Gunn, an emeritus professor of English at the University of Kansas, is the author or editor of 45 books and more than 100 short stories, has been president of both the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Science Fiction Research Association and has received their lifetime awards, including the Grand Master Award of SFWA and induction into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Bibliographic Details

James Gunn

Introduction by Isaac Asimov
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 200 photos, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7353-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3332-9
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

From the first edition:

  • Locus Award
  • Hugo WorldCon Special Award
  • Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Award
  • “Comprehensive, neatly balanced and lavishly illustrated…SF fans may never have had so thorough a tribute to their genre.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “An excellent, an intelligent, comprehensive, and above all objective history…a minor miracle”—Science Fiction Review
  • “The hundreds of photos of science fiction writers and the equally large number of reproductions of covers from the pulp magazines make it a treasure.”—Jackson Sun
  • “Gunn gives the history of sf according to Verne, Wells and Campbell. And he does so brilliantly, in a study that will long remain the voice for the so-called ‘hard concept of sf.’”—Extrapolation