Best SF Stories from New Worlds

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Best SF Stories from New Worlds is a series of eight anthologies, edited by Michael Moorcock, published between 1967-74, which reprinted fiction, poems and articles originally published in New Worlds magazine during Moorcock's tenure as editor. Featured writers included Brian Aldiss, J.G. Ballard, John Brunner, Barrington Bayley, Roger Zelazy, George Collyn and Thomas Disch. Many of the stories also appeared in Moorcock's later collection, New Worlds An Anthology.

Moorcock provided Introductions to all but the final volume of the series, although he hinted in the seventh that it would be the last. The series coincided with New Worlds most turbulent/notorious period, and Moorcock makes reference in his Introductions to events affecting the parent magazine, such as being 'banned' by Smiths and Menzies (on the grounds of "obscenity and libel") and its change from a monthly magazine to a quarterly paperback. As such, they serve not only to outline the purpose of the collections but also as contemporary commentaries on a seminal publication.

The first six volumes were also published in America by Berkley Medallion.

Publication History (UK)

  • best s.f. stories from new worlds, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 141pp, 1967
  • best stories from new worlds II, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 157pp, ISBN: 0-586-02369-0, 1968
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 3, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 157pp, ISBN: 0-586-02495-6, 1968
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 4, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 158pp, ISBN: 0-586-02794-7, 1969
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 157pp, ISBN: 0-586-02964-8, 1969
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 6, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 176pp, ISBN: 0-586-03283-5, 1970
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 7, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 175pp, ISBN: 0-586-03449-8, 1971
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 8, Mass Market Paperback, Panther, 204pp, ISBN: 0-586-03803-5, 1974

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Publication History (US)

  • The Best SF Stories from New Worlds, Mass Market Paperback, Berkley Medallion, 1968
  • The Best SF Stories from New Worlds 2, Mass Market Paperback, Berkley Medallion, 1968
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 3, Mass Market Paperback, Berkley Medallion, 1970
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 4, Mass Market Paperback, Berkley Medallion, 1971
  • Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5, Mass Market Paperback, Berkley Medallion, 1971
  • The Best SF Stories from New Worlds 6, Mass Market Paperback, Berkley Medallion, 1971

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Contents

Volume 1

  • Introduction - Michael Moorcock
  • The Small Betraying Detail - Brian Aldiss
  • The Keys to December - Roger Zelazny
  • The Assassination Weapon - J.G. Ballard
  • Nobody Axed You - John Brunner
  • A Two-Timer - David Masson
  • The Music Makers - Langdon Jones
  • The Squirrel Cage - Thomas Disch

Volume 2

  • Introduction - Michael Moorcock
  • Another Little Boy - Brian Aldiss
  • The Poets of Millgrove, Iowa - John T Sladek
  • The Transfinite Choice - David Masson
  • You: Coma: Marilyn Monroe - J G Ballard
  • Three Short Stories - Thomas Disch
The Contest
The Empty Room
The Descent of the West End

Volume 3

  • Introduction - Michael Moorcock
  • In Passage of the Sun - George Collyn
  • Multi-Value Motorway - Brian W. Aldiss
  • The Great Clock - Langdon Jones
  • The Post-Mortem People - Peter Tate
  • The Disaster Story - Charles Pratt
  • The Heat Death of the Universe - Pamela Zoline
  • Coranda[1] - Keith Roberts
  • The Soft World Sequence - George MacBeth
  • Kazoo - James Sallis
  • Integrity - P.F. Woods
  • The Mountain - James Colvin

Volume 4

  • Introduction - Michael Moorcock
  • The Ship of Disaster - B.J. Bayley
  • The Square Root of Brain - Fritz Leiber
  • In Seclusion - Harvey Jacobs
  • Transient - Langdon Jones
  • The Head-Rape - D. M. Thomas
  • The Source - Brian Aldiss
  • Period of Gestation - Thom Keyes
  • Dr Gelabius - Hilary Bailey
  • The Valve Transcript - Joel Zoss
  • Linda and Daniel and Spike - Thomas M. Disch
  • Masterson and the Clerks - John T. Sladek

Volume 5

  • Introduction - Michael Moorcock
  • The Last Hurrah of the Golden Horde - Norman Spinrad
  • The Death Module - J. G. Ballard
  • The Last Inn on the Road - Roger Zelazny and Danny Plachta
  • The Spectrum - D. M. Thomas
  • The Tennyson Effect - Graham M. Hall
  • The Serpent of Kundalini - Brian W. Aldiss
  • Mars Pastorale - Peter Tate
  • Biographical Note on Ludwig van Beethoven II - Langdon Jones
  • A Landscape of Shallows - Christopher Finch
  • Scream - Giles Gordon
  • The Rodent Laboratory - Charles Platt

Volume 6

  • Introduction - Michael Moorcock
  • The Killing Ground - J. G. Ballard
  • Gravity - Harvey Jacobs
  • The Eye of the Lens - Langdon Jones
  • A Man Must Die - John Clute
  • Mr. Black's Poems of Innocence - D. M. Thomas [omitted from US edition]
  • In Reason's Ear - Hilary Bailey
  • The Ersatz Wine - Christopher Priest
  • Lib - Carol Emshwiller
  • Baa Baa Blocksheep - M John Harrison
  • The Luger is a 9mm Automatic Handgun with a Parabellum Action - J. J. Mundis
  • The Delhi Division - Michael Moorcock

Volume 7

  • Introduction - Michael Moorcock
  • The Ash Circus - M. John Harrison
  • All the King's Men - B.J. Bayley
  • Mix-up - George Collyn
  • Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-precious Stones - Samuel R. Delany
  • Lone Zone - Charles Platt
  • Two Poems: Flower-gathering and Transplant - Langdon Jones
  • The Apocalypse Machine - Leo Zorin
  • The Beach Murders - J. G. Ballard
  • The Wall - Josephine Saxton
  • The Tank Trapeze - Michael Moorcock (Illustrated by Mal Dean)

Volume 8

  • A Boy and his Dog - Harlan Ellison
  • The Fall of Frenchy Steiner - Hilary Bailey
  • The Bait Principal - M. John Harrison
  • Salvador Dali - J. G. Ballard
  • The Last Lonely Man - John Brunner
  • The Radius Riders, Barrington Bayley
  • The Big Sound - Barrington Bayley
  • The Ship that sailed the Ocean of Space - Barrington Bayley
  • Double Time - Barrington Bayley
  • Erogenous Zone - Graham Charnock

Mike Says

  • "The thing that these stories have in common is their concentration on ideas; and by "idea" we do not mean merely a technical gimmick of some kind, but the presence in the writer's work of a serious intention, a wish to say something about the human condition. This is what good science fiction concerns itself with, in all it's variety..."[2]
  • "Through their fiction, NEW WORLDS writers are, in extremely different ways, looking for a way through, for a way of understanding the future and of coming to terms with it. In a sense they are mental time-travellers, pioneers of the new, strange countries of the mind which will exist tomorrow. They have not lost their sense of wonder, and they have not lost their sense of purpose either. They are providing us with information, a language, a code, a new mythology with the aid of which we may learn to live in those countries of the future - and with luck they will not lose their sense of humour as they continue the exploration into the interior."[3]
  • "These anthologies are not representative of any particular year in the career of NEW WORLDS - I prefer to select stories that will produce a balanced collection and give maximum variety of style, form and subject matter - but they are representative, I hope, of some of the best writers at work today."[4]

See Also

Notes

  1. This short story is set in the Matto Grosso environment of Moorcock's The Ice Schooner
  2. From Moorcock's Introduction to the first volume.
  3. From Moorcock's Introduction to the third volume.
  4. From Moorcock's Introduction to the sixth volume.

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