News Ticker

TOC: ‘Sense of Wonder – A Century of Science Fiction’ Edited by Leigh Ronald Grossman

Can you say “massive textbook”? I knew you could…

Mike Brotherton has posted the contents of the upcoming 992-page science fiction textbook Sense of Wonder – A Century of Science Fiction edited by by Leigh Ronald Grossman and published by Wildside Press.

Here’s the description:

Sense of Wonder is a broad, inexpensive, single-volume anthology designed to give students a sense both of literature and history. By far the most comprehensive speculative fiction textbook available, Sense of Wonder includes canonical works, stories written in response to those works, and essays on major themes and topics in the field. The book will facilitate a variety of different types of speculative fiction course, whether the course is focused on particular themes, on a chronological look at writers, or on the roots of contemporary SF. Beginning with nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century writers, Sense of Wonder continues up through the most acclaimed present-day writers. Stories are not treated as purely academic exercises, but contextualized, which is vital in reading a genre where most writers know each other and the relationship between writer and reader is a major factor in how stories are created.

The collection includes 225 stories, poems, and bibliographic essays (contributed by professors who teach science fiction and by SF professionals), with an emphasis on the roots of modern SF. Each story author is given a biographical introduction as well.


  • By far the most comprehensive teaching anthology available for SF – at about two million words it’s more than twice as long as competing works.
  • Available in both book and ebook editions – Only $50 for the book and $40 for the ebook.
  • A wide variety of stories by both major names and lesser-known but influential writers.
  • Dozens of essays introducing topics in the field, ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, from early radio dramas to postcolonial SF, from John W. Campbell and his writers to disability in science fiction. Essays are by SF professors, scholars of the field, and SF professionals.
  • A generous sampling of science fictional poetry – an important part of the field that’s often missing from textbooks.
  • Short biographical introductions to each author
  • An appendix geared to aspiring SF writers, with overviews on submitting manuscripts, literary agents, avoiding publishing scams, writers’ workshops, and more.

And here’s the juicy table of contents:

Introduction Early Science Fiction ( -1926)

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs, from A Princess of Mars
  • The Origins of Science Fiction (Jennifer A. Rea)
  • Samuel Butler, from Erewhon
  • Karel Capek, R.U.R. (play)
  • George Allan England, “The Thing from-Outside”
  • Hugo Gernsback and His Writers (Richard Bleiler)
  • D.H. Lawrence, “Robot Poems” (poem)
  • Mina Loy, “Lunar Baedeker” (poem)
  • Edgar Allan Poe, “Mellonta Tauta”
  • On the Baroque in Science Fiction (Thomas F. Bertonneau)
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, from The Last Man
  • Nineteenth-Century Science Fiction (Monique R. Morgan)
  • Jean Toomer, “Her Lips Are Copper Wire” (poem)
  • Jules Verne, from Off on a Comet!
  • Science Fiction and Hidden Histories of Science (Katherine Pandora)
  • H. G. Wells, “The Time Machine”
  • Dark Futures and Dystopias (Matthew Crom)
  • Evgenii Zamyatin, from We
  • Russian and East European Science Fiction (Sibelan Forrester)

The Field Takes Shape (1926-1936)

  • Miles J. Breuer, “The Gostak and the Doshes”
  • American Science Fiction Magazines (Hildy Silverman)
  • John W. Campbell, “Who Goes There?”
  • John W. Campbell and His Writers (Zahra Jannessari Ladani)
  • Clare Winger Harris, “The Diabolical Drug”
  • Robert E. Howard, “Almuric”
  • H. P. Lovecraft, “At the Mountains of Madness” and “Harbour Whistles” (poem)
  • The Lovecraft Circle (Dennis H. Barbour)
  • Laurence Manning, “The Man Who Awoke”
  • Philip Francis Nowlan, “Armageddon-2419 A.D.”
  • Science Fiction on Radio (Tim DeForest)
  • Nat Schachner, “Pirates of the Gorm”
  • Clark Ashton Smith, “Afterwards” and “The Star-Treader” (poems)
  • E. E. “Doc” Smith, from The Skylark of Space
  • Space Opera (David Steiling)
  • Donald Wandrei, “The Red Brain”

The Golden Age (1936-1945)

  • Isaac Asimov, “Nightfall” and “The Martian Way”
  • Gender Images in Science Fiction (Twila Yates Papay and Paul D. Reid)
  • Stephen Vincent Benet, “By the Waters of Babylon, Nightmare for Future Reference” (poem)
  • Fredric Brown, “Arena”
  • L. Sprague de Camp, “A Gun for Dinosaur”
  • Dinosaurs in Science Fiction (Tim DeForest)
  • Lester Del Rey, “The Wings of Night”
  • Lester and Judy-Lynn Del Rey (Frederik Pohl)
  • Raymond Z. Gallun, “Old Faithful”
  • Edmond Hamilton, “The Sargasso of Space”
  • Robert A. Heinlein, “The Green Hills of Earth”
  • C. L. Moore, “Shambleau”
  • Andre Norton, “All Cats Are Grey”
  • Young Adult Science Fiction (Carol Franko)
  • Frederik Pohl , “Day Million”
  • Conventions and Fandom (Sheri Giglio)
  • Clifford D. Simak, “Grotto of the Dancing Deer”
  • Theodore Sturgeon, “Microcosmic God”
  • A.E. van Vogt, “Black Destroyer”
  • Space Travel in Science Fiction (Steven Mollmann)
  • Stanley G. Weinbaum, “A Martian Odyssey”
  • Jack Williamson, “The Firefly Tree” and “The Metal Man”

The Mass Market Era (1945-1960)

  • Poul Anderson “Duel on Syrtis”
  • Alfred Bester “Fondly Fahrenheit”
  • Cyborgs (Kyle William Bishop)
  • James Blish “Surface Tension”
  • Anthony Boucher, “The Quest for St. Aquin”
  • Science Fiction Book Reviewing (Tom Easton)
  • Leigh Brackett, “The Last Days of Shandakor”
  • Algis Budrys, “The Stoker and the Stars”
  • Science Fiction in Western Europe (Sonja Fritsche)
  • Arthur C. Clarke, “The Sentinel”
  • Science Fiction Film: The Forbidden Genre (Daniel M. Kimmel)
  • Hal Clement, “Uncommon Sense”
  • World Building (Donald M. Hassler)
  • Avram Davidson, “Or All the Seas with Oysters”
  • Philip K. Dick, “The Defenders”
  • Robots (Amerdeep Singh)
  • Gordon R. Dickson, “Soldier, Ask Not”
  • Philip Jose Farmer, “Riverworld”
  • Religion and Science Fiction (James F. McGrath)
  • Tom Godwin, “The Cold Equations”
  • Zenna Henderson, “Loo Ree”
  • The Science Fiction of Death, Dying, and Grief (Kathleen Fowler)
  • Frank Herbert, “Rat Race”
  • Damon Knight, “The Country of the Kind”
  • C. M. Kornbluth “The Little Black Bag”
  • Fritz Leiber, “A Bad Day for Sales”
  • Murray Leinster, “First Contact”
  • Aliens and Alien Worlds (Ericka Hoagland)
  • Richard Matheson, “Born of Man and Woman”
  • Judith Merril, “That Only a Mother”
  • Walter M. Miller Jr., “Death of a Spaceman”
  • After the End: Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Irene Sywenky)
  • Ward Moore, “Bring the Jubilee”
  • Alternate History (Andrew M. Gordon)
  • Edgar Pangborn, “The Golden Horn”
  • H. Beam Piper, “Graveyard of Dreams”
  • Eric Frank Russell, “Allamagoosa”
  • Science Fiction in the UK (Nick Hubble)
  • James H. Schmitz, “The Witches of Karres”
  • Robert Sheckley, “The Prize of Peril”
  • Cordwainer Smith, “The Game of Rat and Dragon”
  • Jack Vance, “Sail 25?
  • The New Wave and Beyond (1960-1975)
  • Brian W. Aldiss, “Man in His Time”
  • The New Wave (Darren Harris-Fain)
  • Ben Bova, “The Next Logical Step”
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley, “The Door Through Space”
  • Donald A. Wollheim (Betsy Wollheim)
  • John Brunner, “Good with Rice”
  • F. M. Busby, “If This Is Winnetka, You Must Be Judy”
  • Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild”
  • Black Women Writing Speculative Fiction (Ayana Abdallah)
  • Jack Dann, “Going Under”
  • Samuel R. Delany, “Driftglass”
  • Literary Criticism and Science Fiction (Donald M. Hassler)

The New Wave and Beyond (1960-1975) (continued)

  • Tom Disch, “The Demi-Urge”
  • Harlan Ellison “Jeffty Is Five”
  • Science Fiction on Television (Jim Davis)
  • Joe Haldeman, “Hero” and “Saul’s Death” (poem)
  • Military Science Fiction (James D. Macdonald)
  • R. A. Lafferty, “Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne”
  • Time Travel (Ellen M. Rigsby)
  • Keith Laumer, “The Yillian Way”
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, “The First Contact with the Gorgonids”
  • Science Fiction and Environmentalism (Lisa Swanstrom)
  • Anne McCaffrey, “Weyr Search”
  • Fan Fiction (Karen Hellekson)
  • Vonda McIntyre, “Little Faces”
  • Larry Niven, “Neutron Star”
  • Kit Reed, “What Wolves Know”
  • Keith Roberts, “The Lady Margaret”
  • Spider Robinson, “Melancholy Elephants”
  • Joanna Russ, “Souls”
  • Taboos and Dangerous Ideas in Modern SF (Liberty Stanavage)
  • Robert Silverberg, “Passengers”
  • Norman Spinrad, “No Direction Home”
  • James Tiptree Jr., “The Only Neat Thing to Do”
  • John Varley “The Persistence of Vision”
  • News Magazines of the Science Fiction Field (Ian Randal Strock)
  • Vernor Vinge, “Fast Times at Fairmont High”
  • Kurt Vonnegut, “2 B R 0 2 B”
  • Roger Zelazny, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”

The Paperback Heydey (1975-1990)

  • Greg Bear, “Blood Music”
  • Germs in Science Fiction (Laurel Bollinger)
  • Gregory Benford “Bow Shock”
  • Hard Science Fiction (C. W. Johnson)
  • David Brin, “Senses Three and Six”
  • Lois McMaster Bujold, “The Mountains of Mourning”
  • Disability in Science Fiction (Breyan Strickler)
  • Pat Cadigan, “Pretty Boy Crossover”
  • Cyberpunk (Don Riggs)
  • Orson Scott Card, “Dogwalker”
  • C. J. Cherryh “The Sandman, the Tinman and the BettyB”
  • Paul Di Filippo, “Little Worker”
  • David Drake, “Ranks of Bronze”
  • Jim Baen (Henry T

    . Davis with Toni Weiskopf)

  • Alan Dean Foster, “The Muffin Migration”
  • Gregory Frost, “Madonna of the Maquiladora”
  • Lisa Goldstein “Split Light”
  • James Patrick Kelly, “Think Like a Dinosaur”
  • John Kessel, “Buffalo”
  • James Gunn and the Center for the Study of SF (Chris McKitterick)
  • Elizabeth Moon, “Hand to Hand”
  • James Morrow, “City of Truth”
  • Utopian Science Fiction (Samuel Gerald Collins)
  • Pat Murphy, “Rachel in Love”
  • LGBT Themes in SF (Wendy Gay Pearson)
  • Terry Pratchett, “Death and What Comes Next”
  • Craig Raine, “A Martian Sends A Postcard Home” (poem)
  • Mike Resnick, “For I Have Touched the Sky”
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Lucky Strike”
  • Lucius Shepard, “Barnacle Bill the Spacer” and “White Trains” (poem)
  • Graphic Novels and Science Fiction (Peter J. Ingrao)
  • Joan Slonczewski, “Microbe”
  • S. P. Somtow, “Fiddling for Water Buffaloes”
  • Bruce Sterling, “Bicycle Repairman”
  • Michael Swanwick, “Edge of the World”
  • Harry Turtledove, “The Star and the Rockets”
  • Howard Waldrop, “The Ugly Chickens”
  • Connie Willis, “A Letter from the Clearys”
  • Awards in Science Fiction (Lauren Cunningham)
  • Gene Wolfe, “Seven American Nights” and “The Computer Iterates the Greater Trumps” (poem)

SF in the Age of Consolidation (1990- )

  • Ayana Abdallah, “Shadow Catcher” (poem)
  • Catherine Asaro, “A Roll of the Dice”
  • Kage Baker, “Noble Mold”
  • Steampunk (Burgsbee L. Hobbs)
  • Terry Bisson, “Bears Discover Fire” and “They’re Made out of Meat”
  • Ted Chiang “Hell is the Absence of God”
  • Cory Doctorow, “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth”
  • Survivalism (Kyle William Bishop)
  • Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald, “Uncle Joshua and the Groogleman”
  • Karen Joy Fowler, “Standing Room Only”
  • James Alan Gardner, “Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream”
  • Andrea Hairston, “Griots of the Galaxy”
  • Cathy Park Hong, from Dance Dance Revolution (poems)
  • Science Fiction and Lyric Poetry (Seo-Young Jennie Chu)
  • Nalo Hopkinson, “A Habit of Waste”
  • Postcolonial Science Fiction (Ericka Hoagland)
  • Mary Robinette Kowal, “Evil Robot Monkey”
  • Nancy Kress, “My Mother, Dancing”
  • Jonathan Lethem, “The Hardened Criminals”
  • Maureen McHugh, “The Lincoln Train”
  • Science Fiction and Anime (Mark Gellis)
  • Robert J. Sawyer, “Flashes”
  • Canadian Science Fiction in English (Ruby Ramraj)
  • Darrell Schweitzer, “Alternate Histories,” “Scientific Romance,” and “At the Conclusion of the Intersteller War” (poems)
  • Charles Stross, “Lobsters”


  • Stories and authors listed alphabetically
  • Stories listed by date of first appearance
  • List of poems
  • List of essays
  • Science Fiction Writer’s Guides
  • 60 Rules for Writing Short SF (Terry Bisson)
  • Writer’s Workshops (Debra Doyle)
  • Inventing the Future (Mike Brotherton)
  • Submitting a Manuscript (Leigh Grossman)
  • Literary Agents (Leigh Grossman)
  • Avoiding Publishing Scams (Leigh Grossman)
About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

12 Comments on TOC: ‘Sense of Wonder – A Century of Science Fiction’ Edited by Leigh Ronald Grossman

  1. Any idea how one might aquire this? Mike’s site mentions a ship date of “July” but there is no mention of the book on Wildside’s website nor on Amazon.

  2. Shouldn’t that be spelled ‘Sensawunda’?


  3. What a wonderful spectrum of stories!

  4. Adam Walker // June 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm //

    I think it’s print-on-demand, which means it won’t be available until it’s actually published 🙁

  5. The order link is

    absolutely looking forward to enjoying this book 🙂

  6. These sorts of tomes are always risky–there are people who wonder why author x is missing, or if there aren’t enough of a certain type of author (based on gender, culture, location, et cetera).  With the size of this book, and a glance at the contents shows that there is a diversity here, which is a relief.


    It’s also a relief this is not the kind of tome like a nameless anthology of SF which tried to have no stories from Heinlein, Asimov and other major authors at all.

  7. Thanks, K and Joy!



  8. The TOC looks good, not great.  It’s hard to justify spending 50 bucks on a reprint anthology though, especially one that tries to cover all of SF.  I love theme anthologies because of the focus they provide on a specific theme or subgenre, but if that theme is too large, like all of SF, subgenres and themes and authors that should be represented will undoubtably be left out.  For example, there is not a single Bradbury story.  I dunno. 

  9. @Sensawunda: there’s no Bradbury story because of rights issues. I’m certain the editor wanted to get at least one in there, but it didn’t work out. (Disclosure: he’s a friend of mine.)

    I should also note that while “reprint anthology” is certainly an accurate description, the intention of the book was as a teaching tool. Leigh teaches a course in SF, and was occasionally frustrated that he couldn’t get all the material he wanted in one book. He talked with other profs at other universities and found they had the same problem. That’s why the book is as comprehensive as it is and priced where it is–so it can be a college textbook that doesn’t break the students’ budgets. General readers may enjoy it, but they weren’t the primary audience in mind when Leigh put this thing together.


    @Adam Walker: I don’t think it’s POD. Leigh had advance copies at Readercon (July 15).

    @MikeP: It is on Amazon:   

    It’s also on Barnes & Noble:

  10. gottacook // August 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm //

    I wonder why some stories – if this contents list is accurate – are not from the time periods they’re listed in; for example, “The Green Hills of Earth” (a postwar Saturday Evening Post story) and “Day Million” (a 1966 story) apparently are both in the 1936-45 chapter. 

  11. I’m having trouble ordering the eBook version from the site linked (or from Amazon, for that matter).  Anyone know how to get it to work?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: