Here's the Table Of Contents For Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's Amazing Big Book of Science Fiction

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

A couple of years ago, Ann and Jeff Vandermeer put out a request for recommendations: they were putting together a survey anthology of short science fiction stories, and it would be a massive project. Their work is now complete: The Big Book of Science Fiction will be released in July, and they’ve told us what will be included in the book.

This is going to be a massive tome, one that clocks in at 1,200 pages and more than 750,000 words, which Vintage believes is the single largest book of its type. After requesting stories, the Vandermeers got to work, combing through hundreds of anthologies and submitted stories.


The anthology covers an impressive breadth of the genre as well: the earliest story represented is (Update: Wells’ story is the earliest) H.G. Wells’, “The Star,” from 1897, and runs all the way up to 2002's story from Johanna Sinisalo, “Baby Doll”. 97 stories make up everything in between, including the likes of Clifford D. Simak, Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Bruce Sterling, while some lesser-known authors, such as Edmond Hamilton, Katherine MacLean, and others are included.


There’s also some curious omissions here: I don’t see anything by Robert Heinlein, Nancy Kress, C.L. Moore, Francis Stevens, and some others that I expected to see. It’s not entirely surprising, given the length of the book.

Update 9:00pm: Jeff Vandermeer wrote in to note that Heinlein’s works weren’t included due to the Heinlein estate’s restrictions on reprinting his stories.


What is most exciting about this list is the fact that it’s including a range of stories from outside of the English language, with some stories being translated for the first time. Authors from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain and the Ukraine are all included.

Here’s the entire list of the stories that will be included.

Note: this isn’t the finalized table of contents, but a listing in alphabetical order.


[first translation = never in English before; new translation = a new translation of a previously translated story; translation = acquisition of an existing translation]

  • Yoshio Aramaki, “Soft Clocks” 1968 (Japan) – translated by Kazuko Behrens and stylized by Lewis Shiner
  • Juan José Arreola, “Baby H.P.” 1952 (Mexico) – new translation by Larry Nolen
  • Isaac Asimov, “The Last Question” 1956
  • J.G. Ballard, “The Voices of Time” 1960
  • Iain M. Banks, “A Gift from the Culture” 1987
  • Jacques Barbéri, “Mondo Cane” 1983 (France) – first translation by Brian Evenson
  • John Baxter, “The Hands” 1965
  • Barrington J. Bayley, “Sporting with the Chid” 1979
  • Greg Bear, “Blood Music” 1983
  • Dmitri Bilenkin, “Crossing of the Paths” 1984 – new translation by James Womack
  • Jon Bing, “The Owl of Bear Island” 1986 (Norway) - translation
  • Adolfo Bioy Casares, “The Squid Chooses Its Own Ink” 1962 (Argentina) - new translation by Marian Womack
  • Michael Bishop, “The House of Compassionate Sharers” 1977
  • James Blish, “Surface Tension” 1952
  • Michael Blumlein, “The Brains of Rats” 1990
  • Jorge Luis Borges, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” 1940 (Argentina) – translation by Andrew Hurley
  • Ray Bradbury, “September 2005: The Martian” 1949
  • David R. Bunch, “Three From Moderan” 1959, 1970
  • Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild” 1984
  • Pat Cadigan, “Variations on a Man” 1984
  • André Carneiro, “Darkness” 1965 (Brazil) – translation by Leo L. Barrow
  • Stepan Chapman, “How Alex Became a Machine” 1996
  • C.J. Cherryh, “Pots” 1985
  • Ted Chiang, “The Story of Your Life” 1998
  • Arthur C. Clarke, “The Star” 1955
  • John Crowley, “Snow” 1985
  • Samuel R. Delany, “Aye, and Gomorrah” 1967
  • Philip K. Dick, “Beyond Lies the Wub” 1952
  • Cory Doctorow, “Craphound” 1998
  • W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Comet” 1920
  • Jean-Claude Dunyach, “Paranamanco” 1987 (France) – translation by Sheryl Curtis
  • S. N. Dyer, “Passing as a Flower in the City of the Dead” 1984
  • Harlan Ellison, “‘Repent Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktock Man” 1965
  • Carol Emshwiller, “Pelt” 1958
  • Paul Ernst, “The Microscopic Giants” 1936
  • Karen Joy Fowler, “The Lake Was Full of Artificial Things” 1985
  • Sever Gansovsky, “Day of Wrath” 1964 (Ukraine) – new translation by James Womack
  • William Gibson, “New Rose Hotel” 1984
  • Angélica Gorodischer, “The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets” 1973 (Argentina) – first translation by Marian Womack
  • Edmond Hamilton, “The Star Stealers” 1929
  • Han Song, “Two Small Birds” 1988 (China) – first translation by John Chu
  • Alfred Jarry, “The Elements of Pataphysics” 1911 (re-translation by Gio Clairval; France)
  • Gwyneth Jones, “The Universe of Things” 1993
  • Langdon Jones, “The Hall of Machines” 1968
  • Kaijo Shinji, “Reiko’s Universe Box” 1981 (Japan) – translation by Toyoda
  • Takashi and Gene van Troyer
  • Gérard Klein, “The Monster” 1958 (France) – translation by Damon Knight
  • Damon Knight, “Stranger Station” 1956
  • Leena Krohn, “The Gorgonoids” 1992 (Finland) – translation by Hildi Hawkins
  • R.A. Lafferty, “Nine Hundred Grandmothers” 1966
  • Kojo Laing, “Vacancy for the Post of Jesus Christ” 1992 (Ghana)
  • Geoffrey A. Landis, “Vacuum States” 1988
  • Tanith Lee, “Crying in the Rain” 1987
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, “Vaster Than Empires and More Slow” 1971
  • Stanisław Lem, “Let Us Save the Universe” 1981 (Poland) – translation by Joel Stern and Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek
  • Cixin Liu, “The Poetry Cloud” 1997 (China) – translation by Chi-yin Ip and Cheuk Wong
  • Katherine MacLean, “The Snowball Effect” 1952
  • Geoffrey Maloney, “Remnants of the Virago Crypto-System” 1995
  • George R.R. Martin, “Sandkings” 1979
  • Michael Moorcock, “The Frozen Cardinal” 1987
  • Pat Murphy, “Rachel in Love” 1987
  • Misha Nogha, “Death is Static Death is Movement” 1990
  • Silvina Ocampo, “The Waves” 1959 (Argentina) – first translation by Marian Womack
  • Chad Oliver, “Let Me Live in a House” 1954
  • Manjula Padmanabhan, “Sharing Air” 1984 (India)
  • Frederick Pohl, “Day Million” 1966
  • Rachel Pollack, “Burning Sky” 1989
  • Robert Reed, “The Remoras” 1994
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, “Before I Wake”1989
  • Joanna Russ, “When It Changed” 1972
  • Josephine Saxton, “The Snake Who Had Read Chomsky” 1981
  • Paul Scheerbart, “The New Abyss” 1911 (Germany) – first translation by Daniel Ableev and Sarah Kaseem
  • James H. Schmitz, “Grandpa” 1955
  • Vadim Shefner, “A Modest Genius” 1965 (Russia) –translation by Matthew J. O’Connell
  • Robert Silverberg, “Good News from the Vatican” 1971
  • Clifford D. Simak, “Desertion” 1944
  • Johanna Sinisalo, “Baby Doll” 2002 (Finland) – translation by David Hackston
  • Cordwainer Smith, “The Game of Rat and Dragon” 1955
  • Margaret St. Clair, “Prott” 1985
  • Bruce Sterling, “Swarm” 1982
  • Karl Hans Strobl, “The Triumph of Mechanics” 1907 (Germany) – first translation by Gio Clairval
  • Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, “The Visitors” 1958 (Russia) – new translation by James Womack
  • Theodore Sturgeon, “The Man Who Lost the Sea” 1959
  • William Tenn, “The Liberation of Earth” 1953
  • William Tenn, “Ghost Standard” 1994
  • James Tiptree, Jr., “And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side” 1972
  • Tatyana Tolstoya, “The Slynx” 2000 (Russia) – translation byJamey Gambrell
  • Yasutaka Tsutsui, “Standing Woman” 1974 (Japan) – translation by Dana Lewis
  • Lisa Tuttle, “Wives” 1979
  • Miguel de Unamuno, “Mechanopolis” 1913 (Spain) – new translation by Marian Womack
  • Élisabeth Vonarburg, “Readers of Lost Art” 1987 (Canada/Quebec) – translation by Howard Scott
  • Kurt Vonnegut, “2BRO2B” 1962
  • H.G. Wells, “The Star,” 1897
  • James White, “Sector General” 1957
  • Connie Willis, “Schwarzschild Radius” 1987
  • Gene Wolfe, “All the Hues of Hell” 1987
  • Alicia Yánez Cossío, “The IWM 1000” 1975 (Chile) – translation by Susana Castillo and Elsie Adams
  • Valentina Zhuravlyova, “The Astronaut” 1960 (Russia) – new translation by James Womack
  • Yefim Zozulya, “The Doom of Principal City” 1918 (Russian) – first translation by Vlad Zhenevsky

From the list alone, this looks like it’ll be an essential book for any serious science fiction reader. Just make sure you lift it with your knees, not your back.