Regular price: $17.50

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From Ellison to Clarke to Merrill, hear a dozen unabridged science-fiction short stories, considered the best of the best from the 20th century. They are: "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Diner" by Lawrence Watt Evans, "Jeffty Is Five" by Harlan Ellison, "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke, "The Crystal Spheres" by David Brin, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. LeGuin, "Huddling Place" by Clifford D. Simak, "That Only a Mother" by Judith Merrill, "Fermi and Frost" by Frederick Pohl, "Tangents" by Greg Bear, "Bears Discover Fire" by Terry Bisson, "Allamagoosa" by Eric Frank Russell, and "Twilight" by John W. Campbell.
"Why I Left Harry's All-Night Diner", Copyright ©1987 by Lawrence Watt Evans; "Jeffty Is Five", Copyright ©1977 by Harlan Ellison; "The Nine Billion Names of God", Copyright ©1953, Renewed 1981 by Arthur C. Clarke; "The Crystal Spheres", Copyright ©1984 by David Brin; "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas", Copyright ©1973 by Ursula K. LeGuin; "Huddling Place", Copyright ©1944 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc., Renewed 1972 by Clifford D. Simak; "That Only a Mother", Copyright ©1948 by Judith Merrill; "Fermi and Frost", Copyright ©1985 by Davis Publications, Inc.; "Tangents", Copyright ©1986 by Omni Publications International Ltd.; "Bears Discover Fire", Copyright ©1990 by Davis Publications Inc., "Allamagoosa", Copyright ©1955 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc.; and "Twilight", Copyright ©1935 by Street & Smith Publications; Copyright (P)1998 by NewStar Media, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    125
  • 3 Stars
    87
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    21

Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Some Absolute GOLD - Some Absolute GARBAGE

Any additional comments?

The majority of the stories in this collection are pretty pathetic. Even many of the well-known authors on here had some of their worst work chosen.<br/><br/>"Bears Discover Fire" was easily one of the WORST pieces of trash that I have ever wasted my time listening to.<br/><br/>BUT - Among the pile of bad sci-fi, there are some stories that are PURE GOLD.<br/><br/>"The Nine-Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke is an absolute treat to listen to. Fortunately, this story in particular can be found on MANY other collections on Audible, including a collection of Arthur C Clarke's short stories, which is just fantastic.<br/><br/>This collection is not worth getting just for the 20% that's actually good.<br/><br/>4.60 / 10.00

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Renee
  • Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 02-06-13

Some great stories, some real duds

What did you like about this audiobook?

A couple of classic stories -- Arthur Clarke, Le Guin, but some painful duds.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

No.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

Overacting, especially loud to soft variations (turn it up, turn it down) and cloying enactments of children's parts (not that they weren't cloying to begin with. The wise child in SF is a deeply annoying stereotype.)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • AG
  • 08-29-15

Not great nor interesting

Would you try another book from the authors and/or David Ackroyd and Wil Wheaton ?

Absolutely not

Has The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century turned you off from other books in this genre?

It turned me off from this curator's choices, surely

How could the performance have been better?

Reading is average, but the best thing would have been not performing at all, listening to it was a waste if my time

What character would you cut from The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century?

Nearly everything: with a few exceptions I could call it "The most trivial and boring..." And most of the stories are non even SF, just fantasy

Any additional comments?

I advise to be more careful than I was: who is the guy that arrogates to itself the right to decide what are the Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century?

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Hanon
  • Milford, CT, USA
  • 11-22-08

Not so great

There were only a couple of short stories in this collection that I found to my liking. I am quite ready to admit that my taste may be more "traditional" (if that term may be applied to Science Fiction). I grew up reading Asimov, Herbert, Clark and the like. SciFi stories which attempt to address serious social issues in the genre simply diminish the effect in my eyes.

To paraphrase Bob Seger, "Gimme that ol' time SciFi..."

4 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Absolute garbage

This is the worst collection of random stories I have ever read. Don't waste your credits or money. Low quality audio also.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David A.
  • Concord, MA, United States
  • 10-17-11

"No soap the radio"

Back when I was a kid, there was a somewhat cruel trick that you used to play on kids who weren't quite cool enough to be in your group. (Of course, I discovered it by having it played on me). One of the cooler kids would tell a joke for which there was an intentionally nonsensical punchline. After the punchline was delivered, everyone in on the prank would laugh heartily causing the victim to (usually) laugh along with them as if they understood the joke. At which point, they would be asked to explain the joke which, of course, they could not.

That's how I felt about most of the stories here. I found the writing (and, for the most part the performances, very good) But the stories endings always seemed to fall off a cliff. Like the author just ran out of gas, or had to go somewhere and didn't have time to complete the story. Of course, "True" sci-fi fans will take exception to my analysis and insist that I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate the brilliance. Or they will (As they have) list all the awards a story has received. To that, I will simply mention an older "No Soap the Radio" version: The Emperor's New Clothes.

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

hit and miss.

three or four of the stories were worth it, but I cannot recommend it highly. If it's free okay, but otherwise keep your money. Cheers

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Greatest? You're joking. Not even Good.

I was amazed at how dreadful this book was after looking at its 3.7 rating. Though it started promisingly with "Jeffty is Five," the selected stories were, for the most part, overly long and exceedingly uninteresting. (Caution: do not listen to this book while driving!) I found one of them about a precocious newborn particulary pointless and offputting. I can only imagine that readers giving good reviews to this tripe haven't been exposed to really good sci-fi yet. I was all the more disappointed because I was anticipating a good "read." Rats.

6 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • baton rouge, LA, USA
  • 05-13-10

Some decent stories

There are some good stories here, and some not so good ones. Some of the narrators drove me crazy.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

If this is the greatest, what's left?

I agree Richard. Thank goodness it was only $10. Maybe the readers were culpable but these stories were boring and pointless. I'd comment in further detail but I didn't make it through any of the stories completely.

0 of 26 people found this review helpful