When most folks think science fiction, they don't think of books: to the unread masses, the genre's most visible representatives are up on the screen, in countless movies and TV shows. But as true believers know, most of those screenplays started out as short stories and other works by familiar and often esteemed names like Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ray Bradbury.
U.K. editor Peter Haining has gathered 20 of these seminal works here--10 from the big screen, 10 from TV--along with introductory material that gives context and often little-known background for each. On the movie side, Haining goes as far back as Robert Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo, the basis for 1950's Destination Moon, a tale of a scientist and a robot racing to the moon, only to be beaten there by a band of renegade Nazis. The collection also includes a Werner von Braun-based screenplay (Conquest of Space), Clarke's "Sentinel of Eternity" (source material for 2001: A Space Odyssey), and Dick's "We'll Remember It for You Wholesale" (a.k.a. Total Recall). On the small screen, Haining's picks include a Jerry Sohl story for Outer Limits, an episode from U.K. phenom The Quartermass Experiment, and a Twilight Zone story from Emmy-winning scriptwriter Rod Serling. --Paul Hughes
From the cerebral 2001 to the B-grade It Came From Outer Space -- both of which are from stories by Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury, respectively, and are collected here -- sci-fi films have always drawn from the printed word. In addition to tales by Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, and Clive Barker, several stories appear in book form for the first time, such as James Blish's Star Trek scenario, while others such as Werner von Braun's The Conquest of Space, are out of print or hard to find.