Three cheers to the internet and Amazon for making priceless out-of-print books like this one so easily available.
In Worlds of Wonder, the multi-Hugo and multi-Nebula award winner Robert Silverberg presents a book that's part autobiography of his early years as a developing writer, part literary criticism, part guide to other beginning writers, and part anthology.
Thirteen stories are included, each by a different author, ranging in date from 1944 to 1966. Silverberg selected these stories both for their value as lasting classics of the SF genre, and for the influence they had on him as a young writer. In a brief essay that follows each story, Silverberg explains why he considers it among the best that SF has produced, analyzes what makes it "work" as a story, and often, how the story influenced him when he first read it. Fascinating tidbits about the genesis of the story, its reception at the time of its publication, and its influence on the SF field in general are also sometimes included.
Any devoted reader of SF short stories will be familiar with some, if not all of the stories here. But the book works on several levels: As a fine collection of classics, as a work of SF criticism and analysis that will give readers new insights into some well-known stories, and as a partial autobiography of the early career of one of SF's greatest authors, revealing much about the man, his thoughts about SF writing and the circle of writers he moved among.
A list of the stories:
"Four in One"; Damon Knight, 1953
"Fondly Fahrenheit"; Alfred Bester, 1954
"No Woman Born"; C.L. Moore, 1944
"Home is the Hunter"; Henry Kuttner, 1953
"The Monsters"; Robert Sheckley, 1953
"Common Time"; James Blish, 1953
"Scanners Live in Vain"; Cordwainer Smith, 1950
"Hothouse"; Brian W. Aldiss, 1960
"The New Prime"; Jack Vance, 1951
"Colony"; Philip K. Dick, 1953
"The Little Black Bag"; C.M. Kornbluth, 1950
"Light of Other Days"; Bob Shaw, 1966
"Day Million"; Frederick Pohl, 1966