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Star Science Fiction Stories

Entry updated 25 July 2017. Tagged: Publication.

Original-Anthology series (1953-1959) edited by Frederik Pohl, published by Ballantine Books. Star Science Fiction Stories was the first such series, antedating New Writings in SF by eleven years, and in its example very influential. The series was irregular; after Star Science Fiction Stories (anth 1953), Star Science Fiction Stories No. 2 (anth 1953) and Star Science Fiction Stories No. 3 (anth 1954) there was a three-year gap. In January 1958 Ballantine attempted to relaunch the title in magazine format, but Star Science Fiction Magazine lasted only one issue. Reverting to book format, the series continued with Star Science Fiction Stories No. 4 (anth 1958), Star Science Fiction Stories No. 5 (anth 1959) and Star Science Fiction Stories No. 6 (anth 1959). Star Short Novels (anth 1954) was an out-of-series volume. The first three volumes were of extraordinarily high quality; later issues, while highly competent, were less inspired. Notable stories included "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C Clarke (#1), "Disappearing Act" by Alfred Bester (#2), "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby (#2), "Foster, You're Dead" by Philip K Dick (#3) and "Space-Time for Springers" by Fritz Leiber (#4). Star of Stars (anth 1960; vt Star Fourteen) is a selection of stories from the series. The later Ballantine anthology series Stellar derived its title from Star Science Fiction Stories. [MJE]

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