Building a Speculative Fiction Library

I am very excited about my recent purchase: the Library of America’s Philip K Dick collection. Included in the collection are thirteen of his greatest novels:

  • THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
  • THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH
  • DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?
  • UBIK
  • MARTIAN TIME-SLIP
  • DR. BLOODMONEY, OR HOW WE GOT ALONG AFTER THE BOMB
  • NOW WAIT FOR LAST YEAR
  • FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID
  • A SCANNER DARKLY
  • A MAZE OF DEATH
  • VALIS
  • THE DIVINE INVASION
  • THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER

I am hoping a fourth book will come out with his short stories, which are critical reading for any PKD fan.

The Library of America has other SF titles as well and I am hoping and suspecting that this is a trend that is going to continue. There is a short story collection of H.P. Lovecraft, two volumes of Kurt Vonnegut novels, and a two-volume set of classic science fiction novels spanning 1953-1958. This two-volume series includes:

  • Frederick Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants
  • Theodore Sturgeon, More Than Human
  • Leigh Brackett, The Long Tomorrow
  • Richard Matheson, The Shrinking Man
  • Robert Heinlein, Double Star
  • Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination
  • James Blish, A Case of Conscience
  • Algis Budrys, Who?
  • Fritz Leiber, Big Time

 

Another popular literary series is the Everyman’s Library, equal in quality with beautiful hardcover books. Like the Library of America, it features prominent fiction and non-fiction classics. There are a sprinkling of SF titles in this series as well.

This collection includes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Ray Bradbury’s short stories, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, H.G. Wells novels, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. In addition, there are several other authors who push the boundary of speculative fiction in this collection (George Orwell and R.L. Stevenson to name a couple).

It is nice to see speculative fiction being recognized in the company of other classics. Some of the other collections that I haven’t mentioned are the Modern Library collection (a large and diverse series of collections similar to the Everyman’s Library, both in hardcover and paperback), the SF Masterworks collection (a paperback series published by Gollancz), and the Fantasy Masterworks collection (also published by Gollancz).

For those who want a speculative fiction library, there are so many ways to go. The books I mention above are a great place to start, or one can individually seek first edition or collectible books from the novel’s original publishers. In addition, I have seen some beautiful editions of the The Lord of the Rings and I am sure there are many other examples of collectible science fiction that I am unaware of. Happy collecting!

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s