Its great to see the Library of America publish more science fiction. As pointed out by the editor of this set, Gary Wolfe, the 1950s is the first period to see the publication of a signficant number of American Science Fiction novels, something made possible by an expanded market for Science Fiction. The genre attracted a number of talented writers and the 1950s are regarded often as a "Golden Age" for science fiction. Wolfe's selection is aimed clearly at anthologizing a wide spectrum of fine Science Fiction novels. All books selected are worthwhile reading and include a couple of the best Science Fiction novels ever published; Blish's A Case of Conscience and Bester's The Stars My Destination.
Like all such anthologies, some selections and omissions are contestable. Heinlein's Double Star, one of his best written novels, is included. But as a Science Fiction novel, Double Star is relatively weak and one or more of Heinlein's other 1950s novels like Rocket Ship Galileo or Starship Troopers, could have been selected. Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow is selected as a post-holocaust novel but the best post-holocaust novel, Walter Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz, is not. Similarly, some truly original and outstanding books such as Ward Moore's pioneering and very interesting parallel world novel, Bring The Jubilee, or Edgar Pangborn's A Mirror for Observers are not included.
Having published this book and a set of Philip Dick novels, I hope Library of America continues to publish more work in this important and distinctive branch of American literature.