Sense of Wonder

A Century of Science Fiction

Leigh Grossman (Edited by), Robert A. Heinlein (Contributions by), Edgar Rice Burroughs (Contributions by)
Sense of Wonder is a broad, inexpensive, single-volume anthology designed to give students a sense both of literature and history; the book includes canonical works, stories written in response to those works, and essays on major themes and topics in the field. The book will facilitate a variety of different types of speculative fiction course, whether the course is focused on particular themes, on a chronological look at writers, or on the roots of contemporary SF. Beginning with early twentieth-century writers, Sense of Wonder continues up through the most acclaimed present-day writers. Stories are not treated as purely academic exercises, but contextualized, which is vital in reading a genre where most writers know each other and the relationship between writer and reader is a major factor in how stories are created.
The collection includes more than 200 stories, poems, and bibliographic essays (contributed by professors who teach science fiction and by professionals), with an emphasis on the roots of modern SF. Each story author is given a biographical introduction as well.


By far the most comprehensive teaching anthology available for SF more than twice as long as competing works.

Available in both book and ebook editions only $50 for the book and $40 for the ebook.

A wide variety of stories by both major names and lesser-known but influential writers.

Dozens of essays introducing topics in the field, ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, from early radio dramas to postcolonial SF, from John W. Campbell and his writers to disability in science fiction.

A generous sampling of science fictional poetry an important part of the field thats often missing from textbooks.

Short biographical introductions to each author

An appendix geared to aspiring SF writers, with overviews on submitting manuscripts, literary agents, avoiding publishing scams, writers workshops, and more.

Table of Contents


Early Science Fiction ( -1926)

Edgar Rice Burroughs, from A Princess of Mars


The Origins of Science Fiction (Jennifer A. Rea)


Samuel Butler, from Erewhon

Karel Čapek, R.U.R. (play)

George Allan England, “The Thing fromOutside”

Hugo Gernsback and His Writers (Richard Bleiler)

D. H. Lawrence, “Robot Poems” (poems)

Mina Loy, “Lunar Baedeker” (poem)

Edgar Allan Poe, “Mellonta Tauta”

On the Baroque in Science Fiction (Thomas F. Bertonneau)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, from The Last Man

Nineteenth-Century Science Fiction (Monique R. Morgan)

Jean Toomer, “Her Lips Are Copper Wire” (poem)

Jules Verne, from Off on a Comet!

Science Fiction and Hidden Histories of Science (Katherine Pandora)

H. G. Wells, “The Time Machine”

Dark Futures and Dystopias (Matthew Crom)

Evgenii Zamyatin, from We

Russian and East European Science Fiction (Sibelan Forrester)  

The Field Takes Shape (1926-1936)

Miles J. Breuer, “The Gostak and the Doshes”

American Science Fiction Magazines (Hildy Silverman)

John W. Campbell, “Who Goes There?”

John W. Campbell and His Writers (Zahra Jannessari Ladani)

Clare Winger Harris, “The Diabolical Drug”

H. P. Lovecraft, “At the Mountains of Madness” and “Harbour Whistles” (poem)

The Lovecraft Circle (Dennis H. Barbour)

Laurence Manning, “The Man Who Awoke”

Philip Francis Nowlan, “Armageddon2419 A.D.”

Science Fiction on Radio (Tim DeForest)

Nat Schachner, “Pirates of the Gorm”

Clark Ashton Smith, “Afterwards” and “The Star-Treader” (poems)

E. E. “Doc” Smith, from The Skylark of Space

Space Opera (David Steiling)

Donald Wandrei, “The Red Brain”

The Golden Age (1936-1945)

Isaac Asimov, “Nightfall” and “The Martian Way”

Gender Images in Science Fiction (Twila Yates Papay and Paul D. Reid)

Stephen Vincent Benet, “By the Waters of Babylon,”

“Nightmare for Future Reference” (poem)

Fredric Brown, “Arena”

L. Sprague de Camp, “A Gun for Dinosaur”

Dinosaurs in Science Fiction (Tim DeForest)

Lester Del Rey, “The Wings of Night”

Lester and Judy-Lynn Del Rey (Frederik Pohl)

Raymond Z. Gallun, “Old Faithful”

Edmond Hamilton, “The Sargasso of Space”

Robert A. Heinlein, “The Green Hills of Earth”

C. L. Moore, “Shambleau”

Andre Norton, “All Cats Are Grey”

Young Adult Science Fiction (Carol Franko)

Frederik Pohl , “Day Million”

Conventions and Fandom (Sheri Giglio)

Clifford D. Simak, “Grotto of the Dancing Deer”

Theodore Sturgeon, “Microcosmic God”

A.E. van Vogt, “Black Destroyer”

Space Travel in Science Fiction (Steven Mollmann)

Stanley G. Weinbaum, “A Martian Odyssey”

Jack Williamson, “The Firefly Tree” and “The Metal Man”

The Mass Market Era (1945-1960)

Poul Anderson “Duel on Syrtis”

Alfred Bester “Fondly Fahrenheit”

Cyborgs (Kyle William Bishop)

James Blish “Surface Tension”

Anthony Boucher, “The Quest for St. Aquin”

Science Fiction Book Reviewing (Tom Easton)

Leigh Brackett, “The Last Days of Shandakor”

Algis Budrys, “The Stoker and the Stars”

Science Fiction in Western Europe (Sonja Fritsche)

Arthur C. Clarke, “The Sentinel”

Science Fiction Film: The Forbidden Genre (Daniel M. Kimmel)

Hal Clement, “Uncommon Sense”

World Building (Donald M. Hassler)

Avram Davidson, “Or All the Seas with Oysters”

Philip K. Dick, “The Defenders”

Robots (Amerdeep Singh)

Gordon R. Dickson, “Soldier, Ask Not”

Philip Jose Farmer, “Riverworld”*

Religion and Science Fiction (James F. McGrath)

Tom Godwin, “The Cold Equations”

Zenna Henderson, “Loo Ree”

The Science Fiction of Death, Dying, and Grief (Kathleen Fowler)

Frank Herbert, “Rat Race”

Damon Knight, “The Country of the Kind”

C. M. Kornbluth “The Little Black Bag”

Fritz Leiber, “A Bad Day for Sales”

Murray Leinster, “First Contact”

Aliens and Alien Worlds (Ericka Hoagland)

Richard Matheson, “Born of Man and Woman”

Judith Merril, “That Only a Mother”

Walter M. Miller Jr., “Death of a Spaceman”

After the End: Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Irene Sywenky)

Ward Moore, “Bring the Jubilee”

Alternate History (Andrew M. Gordon)

Edgar Pangborn, “The Golden Horn”

H. Beam Piper, “Graveyard of Dreams”

Eric Frank Russell, “Allamagoosa”

Science Fiction in the UK (Nick Hubble)

James H. Schmitz, “The Witches of Karres”

Robert Sheckley, “The Prize of Peril”

Cordwainer Smith, “The Game of Rat and Dragon”

Jack Vance, “Sail 25”

The New Wave and Beyond (1960-1975)

Brian W. Aldiss, “Man in His Time”

The New Wave (Darren Harris-Fain)

Ben Bova, “The Next Logical Step”

Marion Zimmer Bradley, “The Door Through Space”

Donald A. Wollheim (Betsy Wollheim)

John Brunner, “Good with Rice”

F. M. Busby, “If This Is Winnetka, You Must Be Judy”

Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild”

Black Women Writing Speculative Fiction (Ayana Abdallah)

Jack Dann, “Going Under”

Samuel R. Delany, “Driftglass”

Literary Criticism and Science Fiction (Donald M. Hassler)

Tom Disch, “The Demi-Urge”

Harlan Ellison “Jeffty Is Five”

Science Fiction on Television (Jim Davis)

Joe Haldeman, “Hero” and “Sauls Death” (poem)

Military Science Fiction (James D. Macdonald)

R. A. Lafferty, “Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne”

Time Travel (Ellen M. Rigsby)

Keith Laumer, “The Yillian Way”

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The First Contact with the Gorgonids”

Science Fiction and Environmentalism (Lisa Swanstrom)

Anne McCaffrey, “Weyr Search”

Fan Fiction (Karen Hellekson)

Vonda McIntyre, “Little Faces”

Larry Niven, “Neutron Star”

Kit Reed, “What Wolves Know”

Keith Roberts, “The Lady Margaret”

Spider Robinson, “Melancholy Elephants”

Joanna Russ, “Souls”

Taboos and Dangerous Ideas in Modern SF (Liberty Stanavage)

Robert Silverberg, “Passengers”

Norman Spinrad, “No Direction Home”

James Tiptree Jr., “The Only Neat Thing to Do”

John Varley “The Persistence of Vision”

News Magazines of the Science Fiction Field (Ian Randal Strock)

Vernor Vinge, “Fast Times at Fairmont High”

Kurt Vonnegut, “2 B R 0 2 B”

Roger Zelazny, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”

The Paperback Heydey (1975-1990)

Greg Bear, “Blood Music”

Germs in Science Fiction (Laurel Bollinger)

Gregory Benford “Bow Shock”

Hard Science Fiction (C. W. Johnson)

David Brin, “Senses Three and Six”

Lois McMaster Bujold, “The Mountains of Mourning”

Disability in Science Fiction (Breyan Strickler)

Pat Cadigan, “Pretty Boy Crossover”

Cyberpunk (Don Riggs)

Orson Scott Card, “Dogwalker”

C. J. Cherryh “The Sandman, the Tinman and the BettyB”

Paul Di Filippo, “Little Worker”

David Drake, “Ranks of Bronze”

Jim Baen (Henry T. Davis with Toni Weiskopf)

Alan Dean Foster, “The Muffin Migration”

Gregory Frost, “Madonna of the Maquiladora”

Lisa Goldstein “Split Light”

James Patrick Kelly, “Think Like a Dinosaur”

John Kessel, “Buffalo”

James Gunn and the Center for the Study of SF (Chris McKitterick)

Elizabeth Moon, “Hand to Hand”

James Morrow, “City of Truth”

Utopian Science Fiction (Samuel Gerald Collins)

Pat Murphy, “Rachel in Love”

LGBT Themes in SF (Wendy Gay Pearson)

Terry Pratchett, “Death and What Comes Next”

Craig Raine, “A Martian Sends A Postcard Home” (poem)

Mike Resnick, “For I Have Touched the Sky”

Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Lucky Strike”

Lucius Shepard, “Barnacle Bill the Spacer” and “White Trains” (poem)

Graphic Novels and Science Fiction (Peter J. Ingrao)

Joan Slonczewski, “Microbe”

S. P. Somtow, “Fiddling for Water Buffaloes”

Bruce Sterling, “Bicycle Repairman”

Michael Swanwick, “Edge of the World”

Harry Turtledove, “The Star and the Rockets”

Howard Waldrop, “The Ugly Chickens”

Connie Willis, “A Letter from the Clearys”*

Awards in Science Fiction (Lauren Cunningham)

Gene Wolfe, “Seven American Nights” and “The Computer Iterates the Greater Trumps” (poem)

SF in the Age of Consolidation (1990- )

Ayana Abdallah, “Shadow Catcher” (poem)

Catherine Asaro, “A Roll of the Dice”

Kage Baker, “Noble Mold”

Steampunk (Burgsbee L. Hobbs)

Terry Bisson, “Bears Discover Fire” and “Theyre Made out of Meat”

Ted Chiang “Hell is the Absence of God”

Cory Doctorow, “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth”

Survivalism (Kyle William Bishop)

Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald, “Uncle Joshua and the Groogleman”

Karen Joy Fowler, “Standing Room Only”

James Alan Gardner, “Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream”

Andrea Hairston, “Griots of the Galaxy”

Cathy Park Hong, from Dance Dance Revolution (poems)

Science Fiction and Lyric Poetry (Seo-Young Jennie Chu)

Nalo Hopkinson, “A Habit of Waste”

Postcolonial Science Fiction (Ericka Hoagland)

Mary Robinette Kowal, “Evil Robot Monkey”

Nancy Kress, “My Mother, Dancing”

Jonathan Lethem, “The Hardened Criminals”

Maureen McHugh, “The Lincoln Train”

Science Fiction and Anime (Mark Gellis)

Robert J. Sawyer, “Flashes”

Canadian Science Fiction in English (Ruby Ramraj)

Darrell Schweitzer, “Alternate Histories,” “Scientific Romance,” and

“At the Conclusion of the Intersteller War” (poems)

Charles Stross, “Lobsters”


Stories and authors listed alphabetically

Stories listed by date of first appearance

List of poems

List of essays

Science Fiction Writers Guides

60 Rules for Writing Short SF (Terry Bisson)

Writers Workshops (Debra Doyle)

Inventing the Future (Mike Brotherton)

Submitting a Manuscript (Leigh Grossman)

Literary Agents (Leigh Grossman)

Avoiding Publishing Scams (Leigh Grossman)

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is in use.
Please feel free to use this form to contact us directly, and we'll reply by email. Thank you!

 | Subscribe to comments via RSS