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Tomorrow's Children: 18 Tales Of Fantasy And Science Fiction

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Eighteen stories edited by the master of science-fiction, Isaac Asimov: "No Life of Their Own" by Clifford D. Simak "The Accountant" by Robert Sheckley "Novice" by James M. Schmitz "Child of Void" by Margaret St. Claire "When the Bough Breaks" by Lewis Padgett "A Pail of Air" by Fritz Leiber "Junior Achievement" by William Lee "Cabin Boy" by Damon Knight "The Little Terror" Eighteen stories edited by the master of science-fiction, Isaac Asimov: "No Life of Their Own" by Clifford D. Simak "The Accountant" by Robert Sheckley "Novice" by James M. Schmitz "Child of Void" by Margaret St. Claire "When the Bough Breaks" by Lewis Padgett "A Pail of Air" by Fritz Leiber "Junior Achievement" by William Lee "Cabin Boy" by Damon Knight "The Little Terror" by Will F. Jenkins "Gilead" by Zenna Henderson "The Menace From Earth" by Robert Heinlein "The Wayward Cravat" by Gertrude Friedberg "The Father-Thing" by Philip K. Dick "Star Bright" by Mark Clifton "All in a Summer Day" by Ray Bradbury "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby "The Place of the Gods" by Stephen Vincent Benet "The Ugly Little Boy" by Isaac Asimov


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Eighteen stories edited by the master of science-fiction, Isaac Asimov: "No Life of Their Own" by Clifford D. Simak "The Accountant" by Robert Sheckley "Novice" by James M. Schmitz "Child of Void" by Margaret St. Claire "When the Bough Breaks" by Lewis Padgett "A Pail of Air" by Fritz Leiber "Junior Achievement" by William Lee "Cabin Boy" by Damon Knight "The Little Terror" Eighteen stories edited by the master of science-fiction, Isaac Asimov: "No Life of Their Own" by Clifford D. Simak "The Accountant" by Robert Sheckley "Novice" by James M. Schmitz "Child of Void" by Margaret St. Claire "When the Bough Breaks" by Lewis Padgett "A Pail of Air" by Fritz Leiber "Junior Achievement" by William Lee "Cabin Boy" by Damon Knight "The Little Terror" by Will F. Jenkins "Gilead" by Zenna Henderson "The Menace From Earth" by Robert Heinlein "The Wayward Cravat" by Gertrude Friedberg "The Father-Thing" by Philip K. Dick "Star Bright" by Mark Clifton "All in a Summer Day" by Ray Bradbury "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby "The Place of the Gods" by Stephen Vincent Benet "The Ugly Little Boy" by Isaac Asimov

30 review for Tomorrow's Children: 18 Tales Of Fantasy And Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    This is one of my treasured SF collections, where I like almost all the stories - and absolutely love some of them. I like children, whether they be in the lying-on-their-back-drooling stage, the snotty-bawling-and-brawling-brat-stage, the neither-here-nor-there-tween-stage or infuriatingly-maddening-teen-stage. Childhood is a terrifying, exhilarating and frustrating banana republic. And don't think it's going to change in the future - and according to the authors of this volume, it won't. We have This is one of my treasured SF collections, where I like almost all the stories - and absolutely love some of them. I like children, whether they be in the lying-on-their-back-drooling stage, the snotty-bawling-and-brawling-brat-stage, the neither-here-nor-there-tween-stage or infuriatingly-maddening-teen-stage. Childhood is a terrifying, exhilarating and frustrating banana republic. And don't think it's going to change in the future - and according to the authors of this volume, it won't. We have some real terrors here - the terrifying mutant from "It's a Good Life" (the darkest story in the collection) who holds a whole community hostage, the super-intelligent infant from "When the Bough Breaks" and the aptly named "The Little Terror" where a little girl believes she can make things disappear by saying "Oogledeboo!" (She believes in it so deeply that things disappear - thus she becomes "the terror" of the title). There is one really mischievous "Cabin Boy" - who is not really one, but as Damon Knight says, we can imagine him as one. There is a highly resourceful youngster dealing with a very extraordinary situation in "A Pail of Air" - an earth separated from the sun and travelling as a frozen piece of rock in space. There is the quintessential nerd in "The Wayward Cravat" - a story that is borderline SF. There are some really sad stories, "The Ugly Little Boy" about a neanderthal child who is treated as a laboratory specimen and "All Summer in a Day", where a children's act of random cruelty becomes an unbelievable tragedy for an outsider among them. There is also a story which borders on psychological horror - "The Father-Thing" - in which the father literally becomes an alien for the child. And Heinlein has written a sweet teen romance ("The Menace from Earth"). All in all, I would recommend this collection to any SF lover.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    It has some of the best SF stories ever compiled. I'm not much on stories about kids, but this collection is more about humanity in general. It does a great job of pointing out our condition(s) through the stories of some of the best SF authors out there. I've read it several times, most of the stories more than once as they're in other books in my collection. I don't grow tired of them, though. Here's the list: Ray Bradbury: All Summer in a Day Robert Heinlein: The Menace From Earth Damon It has some of the best SF stories ever compiled. I'm not much on stories about kids, but this collection is more about humanity in general. It does a great job of pointing out our condition(s) through the stories of some of the best SF authors out there. I've read it several times, most of the stories more than once as they're in other books in my collection. I don't grow tired of them, though. Here's the list: Ray Bradbury: All Summer in a Day Robert Heinlein: The Menace From Earth Damon Knight: Cabin Boy Fritz Leiber: A Pail of Air Mark Clifton: Star Bright Lewis Padgett: When the Bough Breaks Robert Sheckley: The Accountant Stephen Vincent Benet: The Place of the Gods Clifford D Simak: No Life of Their Own Isaac Asimov: The Ugly Little Boy James H Schmitz: Novice Margaret St. Clair: Child of Void William Lee: Junior Achievement Will F Jenkins: The Little Terror Zenna Henderson: Gilead Gertrude Friedberg: The Wayward Cravat Philip K Dick: The Father-Thing Jerome Bixby: It's a Good Life I got my copy when a library got rid of it for a quarter, I think. I see now that even a used copy on Amazon sells for $35. I think that says something about the book - it's worth the money!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa H.

    This is one of those rare collections of short stories that sticks with you. I read it for the first time a long, long time ago - probably in the early 1970s - and I can still tell you without looking almost half of the stories it contains: Asimov's "The Ugly Little Boy"; Phillip K. Dick's "The Father-Thing"; "Star Bright" (don't remember who wrote it); Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life"; Zenna Henderson's "Gilead"; Fritz Leiber's "A Pail of Air"; Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day." All stories This is one of those rare collections of short stories that sticks with you. I read it for the first time a long, long time ago - probably in the early 1970s - and I can still tell you without looking almost half of the stories it contains: Asimov's "The Ugly Little Boy"; Phillip K. Dick's "The Father-Thing"; "Star Bright" (don't remember who wrote it); Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life"; Zenna Henderson's "Gilead"; Fritz Leiber's "A Pail of Air"; Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day." All stories I'd read before or since in other places, but stacked up together here, all of those children, gifted, malevolent, frightened, excited - collectively, this is a true heavyweight. Seems that others believe it, too - you can't even touch a copy in hardcover for under $50 - even Book Club Editions or ex-library copies, which is about all you'll find these days. And I mean even with no dust jacket. If you find one, grab it, and hang onto it - not as an investment, but because it's a damn fine book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    This was the very book that sent me on my love of science fiction. I read it from the public library when I was nine years old. I'm sure that I helped that library wear out a copy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Hicks

    No Life of Their Own by Clifford D. Simak Not that I've ever read Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn, but the characterization and atmosphere of this story was a lot like that - with the exception of aliens, of course. Who would have thought of mixing a Missouri drawl, and extra-terrestrials together? While not super deep... It has that lighthearted surreality about it, that makes for an easy-going read. Imaginative and fun. The Accountant by Robert Sheckley A whimsical satire, featuring a boy's dream No Life of Their Own by Clifford D. Simak Not that I've ever read Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn, but the characterization and atmosphere of this story was a lot like that - with the exception of aliens, of course. Who would have thought of mixing a Missouri drawl, and extra-terrestrials together? While not super deep... It has that lighthearted surreality about it, that makes for an easy-going read. Imaginative and fun. The Accountant by Robert Sheckley A whimsical satire, featuring a boy's dream to be an accountant, in a world that wants him to be a wizard. Think of it almost like a Harry Potter type tale - but in reverse. Written in 1954, no one can accuse Sheckley of ripping off Rowling. Novice by James H. Schmitz Though a bit abstract in the beginning, once you get into the meat of it, it's quite good! Here, you have a fifteen year old girl who recently discovers she's a "xenotelepath" and who befriends a wild species of cat that is capable of complete camouflage. How cool is that?? Child of Void by Margaret St. Clair Not sure how I felt about this one. It's about a boy who moves into the country, after his Uncle kills himself, and leaves the house to his mother. There, in Hidden Valley, strange inexplicable things begin happening that will test the boys sanity. When the Bough Breaks by Lewis Padgett In this zany story we meet baby Alexander, the very first Homo Superior. A new race of "supermen" vividly, and disturbingly, imagined. Every parent understands the level of tolerance required to raise a child (the normal kind anyway). But what parent is prepared to raise such a thing as a "homo superior" / super baby? This will make every parent feel very blessed to simply have a child that poos, cries and eats all day long. A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber Pa tells stories to his son, about how in the old days, the Earth used to orbit the sun. But now the Earth is rapidly leaving the sun, leaving a cold wasteland in its wake. If I had one word to describe this story it'd probably be claustrophobic. Leiber weaves a well crafted nightmare --- one that's both scientifically intriguing, as well as deeply human. Junior Achievement by William Lee A charming little ode to the future inventors and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. This lighthearted story is focused around a small school side project for little kids to brainstorm together, manufacturing and selling things. Though not really "science fiction" in the way you typically think of it, I can still see why it was in the collection. Cabin Boy by Damon Knight A story about perspective and discovery. As humans we tend to look at something, say, like a jellyfish and think it's the most bizarre thing in the universe. But what say, would a jellyfish like creature, be thinking about humans and all our bizarre appendages? This, I thought, was a refreshing take on terrestrial life. In shows like Star Trek and Star Wars, most all alien life isn't even all that alien.... But humanoid creatures that, for some strange reason, speak English. The Little Terror by Will F. Jenkins Based off of Bishop Berkeley's famous philosophy Esse Est Percipi (translated as To Be is To Be Perceived) --- a gullible little girl obtains a frightening new ability, simply by believing. Somewhat reminiscent of the Twilight Zone episode It's a Good Life, this story will make you think. Gilead by Zenna Henderson Gifted with extraordinary powers, young Peter and Bethie, try to fit in with the ordinary world. Their father and mother being extremely secretive of the reasons behind their gifts, and why it is they are different. Isaac Asimov says that Henderson has a collection of stories that fit into this category, of which Gilead is only one. I'd be curious, seeing how there is much mystery behind this one, and little is explained. The Menace From Earth by Robert A. Heinlein This was the second story I've read that involved Life on the Moon. The first was Part 3 in Isaac Asimov's wonderful book The Gods Themselves. That one was more serious, while this one was more comical. In a nutshell it's less about Life on the Moon and more about a love triangle involving two loonies and a groundhog (that's sci-fi speak for two lunarites and one earthling). Not my favorite in the collection, but it did have a wonderfully detailed account on flying - actual flying - unlike anything else I've read. The Wayward Cravat by Gertrude Friedberg William is one of those introverted boys who lives in a world all his own. Though a genius at math, he can't seem to remember the most basic of things, for everyday living. The overall tone of this was "a savant whose awkwardness makes him halfway endearing". I don't really see what this story had to do with science fiction. I'd rate it as a B story. The Father-Thing by Philip K. Dick Very creepy. When Charles says to his mother that his father is talking to himself... Take him literally. Star Bright by Mark Clifton One of the most intriguing ones. Themes are young children who are geniuses, complicated theories of time travel, and an alternative view on history that'll have you scratching your head. All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury I liked the simplicity of this story. Both endearing and yet tragic. Though only seven pages long it sticks with you a bit longer than you would think. It's a Good Life by Jerome Bixby Oh this was always one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes! I had no idea it was originally a short story though. Both are well worth your time - it's one of the creepiest, as well as terrifying, plots you'll ever come across. A science fiction writers depiction of what satan would look like - a little boy with the power to do whatever he wants. The Place of the Gods by Stephen Vincent Benet A young priest, who is the son a priest must journey to the forbidden places --- the Place of the Gods. In this post-apocalyptic world we are told of a young man's discovery in the form of a cautionary tale. Cleverly written and thought provoking. The Ugly Little Boy by Isaac Asimov Miss Fellowes, a longtime nurse, gets a job taking care of a new child named Timmie. What her employer fails to tell her, however, is that the child is no ordinary one --- but a Neanderthal brought back from the past. And now, unexpectedly, she's become apart of a new research company called Stasis Inc, that has developed a system of "grabbing things" from the distant past into the present... However due to the complications of the system, the subjects aren't ever allowed to freely roam wherever, but inside a small confined area. It's an interesting story, that has more to do with Timmie's nurse growing attached to him, and teaching him things. But it wasn't my favorite in the collection. Favorites: "No Life of Their Own", "When the Bough Breaks", "A Pail of Air", "Junior Achievement", "Star Bright", "All Summer in a Day", "It's a Good Life", "The Place of the Gods" So-so Stories: "Child of Void", "The Wayward Cravat" Overall I would say it's a pretty solid collection. Most anthologies are a mixed bag: some are brilliant, while others are just downright terrible. While obviously some were better than others in this collection, I didn't think any of them were horrible. 4.5 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Undine

    What a shock to see I'm not the only one who remembers this anthology as one of THE books from childhood days! I first read this book when I was eight years old, and had such fond memories of it that when I recently stumbled across a copy in my local library, I had to look through it again. I was amazed to find that it had lost none of its appeal for me in adulthood. The reason for its unjustified obscurity, I believe, is that it was originally marketed as a "kids' book" (I found this in the What a shock to see I'm not the only one who remembers this anthology as one of THE books from childhood days! I first read this book when I was eight years old, and had such fond memories of it that when I recently stumbled across a copy in my local library, I had to look through it again. I was amazed to find that it had lost none of its appeal for me in adulthood. The reason for its unjustified obscurity, I believe, is that it was originally marketed as a "kids' book" (I found this in the "Children's section" of the library,) thus giving adults the impression that it is not for them. What a mistake. Although all the stories here feature young people, it is hardly juvenile in tone. I am actually not usually much of a fan of the science fiction/fantasy genre, which just emphasizes the value of this collection. These are not just great sci-fi stories, they are great STORIES, period. I'm also stunned to see that this wonderful book is now so difficult to obtain. How dumb have publishers gotten these days?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Of the 18 stories that are in Tomorrow's Children, I enjoyed The Ugly Little Boy the most. This was a story about time travel, experimentation and a small ape like boy named Timmie who is under the care of a compassionate nurse. Being that this story is about times travel, experimenting on non domesticated beings (Timmie) the story allows you to develop compassion for Timmie and his care taker. This specific story is about morals, doing something for the greater good and believing that everyone Of the 18 stories that are in Tomorrow's Children, I enjoyed The Ugly Little Boy the most. This was a story about time travel, experimentation and a small ape like boy named Timmie who is under the care of a compassionate nurse. Being that this story is about times travel, experimenting on non domesticated beings (Timmie) the story allows you to develop compassion for Timmie and his care taker. This specific story is about morals, doing something for the greater good and believing that everyone in life has a purpose. The nurse who takes care of Timmie begins her job with the understanding that she will only be there a short while, but once she develops motherly feeling for Timmie and discovers what the scientists true intentions are to him she must act quickly. If you are interesting in an enthrawling story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I suggest you read The Ugly Little Boy in Tomorrow's Children.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cheruv

    There are some really nice stories included. I didn't care that much for two of them, but that is just my taste. All the stories were well written and generally concerns children of different ages. (Hence the title :) ) I liked the small introductory note by Asimov it gives a little bit of background on the story or on the author.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Excellent selection of stories. I especially liked "It's a Good Life" (not!!) by Jerome Bixby, and "The Ugly Little Boy" by Isaac Asimov.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Isaac Asimov edited a book of short stories that, though about children, are not necessarily for them. Tomorrow’s Children presents a wide gamut of what the young might do or how they might grow or evolve, and in at least one case what happens when we are faced with aliens or Neanderthals. I liked the stories there were so many writers I had never read before, and of course the one story by Asimov I had read. His fish out of water story the posits that Neanderthals are not nearly as “backwards” Isaac Asimov edited a book of short stories that, though about children, are not necessarily for them. Tomorrow’s Children presents a wide gamut of what the young might do or how they might grow or evolve, and in at least one case what happens when we are faced with aliens or Neanderthals. I liked the stories there were so many writers I had never read before, and of course the one story by Asimov I had read. His fish out of water story the posits that Neanderthals are not nearly as “backwards” as we would want to believe. A concept Jasper Fforde puts forth, though in different hilarious ways. I like the story of a boy who is brillant enough to send “caretakers” back from his future to care and teach his infant self. The problem is he learns too quickly and without the moral development that should and had previously come with his “slow” education he ends up driving his parents crazy and they don’t have the energy to stop him from his self-destructive path. The alien stories are interesting, either replacement stories where something lands and grows “fake families” in the garden, or country set story where the neighbors just happen to be aliens with various abilities and knowledge of beings that have shifted the “luck” in the community. I love the concept that personal entertainment devices destroy a communities structure as folks no longer have to look to each other for their amusement and therefore splinter of into individuals rather than cohesive units. This has been argued for years, but now as the entertainment devices get more sophisticated we are reforming the communities outside geographical areas. Overall a fascinating collection.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joanne G.

    I read this collection of science fiction back in the late '60s, and it became a favorite. It may have been the catalyst to ignite my love of science fiction. I was pleased to rediscover it, many years after, at a public library when I moved to a new city. Most of the stories have retained their appeal nearly 50 years later. Philip K. Dick's "The Father-Thing" remains creepy; Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" continues to pack an emotional punch; and Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life" provokes I read this collection of science fiction back in the late '60s, and it became a favorite. It may have been the catalyst to ignite my love of science fiction. I was pleased to rediscover it, many years after, at a public library when I moved to a new city. Most of the stories have retained their appeal nearly 50 years later. Philip K. Dick's "The Father-Thing" remains creepy; Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" continues to pack an emotional punch; and Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life" provokes skin-crawling terror. My very favorite short story of the book is Isaac Asimov's "The Ugly Little Boy." It does show its age, but it's still a sweet, wonderful tale. The book has an amazingly loyal following considering it has been out of print for so long. It's practically impossible to find a hardcover edition that isn't a library discard. Even that will empty your pocketbook as battered copies sell for a goodly amount. I love this book so well that I wouldn't let my husband borrow my copy (he is very hard on books--throws them in his truck and returns them battered and falling apart), so I searched for another one to give him for Christmas. When I found it, I presented it to him as a gift. Then, I promptly took it back because I can't allow this book to suffer that fate, either!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Raj

    This is an anthology, edited by Dr Asimov, centring around children in SF. With contributions from Robert Sheckley, Damon Knight, Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury and several more, it seems that just about all the big guns of the era are represented. It's a good collection from when SF was in one its most experimental phases and very readable.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hart

    Individually, the short stories in this collection aren't all 5 star stories, but taken as a whole, it's a marvelous compilation. The stories all all written by SF stars of the 20th century and all date from the mid-century era. I first came across this as a teenager (I may have even owned a copy of it, though I have no idea what happened to it), and the stories for the most part stand the test of time. And anyone who's a fan of the Harry Potter franchise needs to read "The Accountant". Individually, the short stories in this collection aren't all 5 star stories, but taken as a whole, it's a marvelous compilation. The stories all all written by SF stars of the 20th century and all date from the mid-century era. I first came across this as a teenager (I may have even owned a copy of it, though I have no idea what happened to it), and the stories for the most part stand the test of time. And anyone who's a fan of the Harry Potter franchise needs to read "The Accountant". Seriously, read it ASAP.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This is the book that single-handedly started me on a Sci Fi bender that lasted from age 9 through my adolescence! Being a girl, I couldn't relate to all mainstream sci fi, but I did relate very strongly to these tales, all of which feature child protagonists in sci fi and dystopian settings. This is an anthology which features some of the world's most renowned sci fi authors, and is edited by the demi-god of sci fi, Asimov himself. I found a copy recently through a used bookseller, and the This is the book that single-handedly started me on a Sci Fi bender that lasted from age 9 through my adolescence! Being a girl, I couldn't relate to all mainstream sci fi, but I did relate very strongly to these tales, all of which feature child protagonists in sci fi and dystopian settings. This is an anthology which features some of the world's most renowned sci fi authors, and is edited by the demi-god of sci fi, Asimov himself. I found a copy recently through a used bookseller, and the stories are just as compelling as they always have been!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides

    This has a lot of vintage, old-style SF stories in it. And the intros to each piece by Isaac Asimov are interesting. Plus the dust jacket has a picture of him wherein he looks a lot like Clark Kent. Unfortunately, it does not contain the time travel story I am looking for. It is, as I recall, much more modern and zany in tone and style.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This collection will always be my favorite sci-fi bundling of unique stories...from not so secret cereal ingrediants to life elimination games to handicapped monsters....I love it. I lost my copy in the move from Arizona to Florida but will get one online soon...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeannette Maldonado

    Loved it as a pre-adolescent, love it now. If saying "timeless" wasn't cliche I'd say it. Great read no matter what genre you're into. Thought provoking for even the inexperienced and unreluctant reader.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    Really charming set of science fiction and fantasy short stories. Very dated but still enjoyable. "A Pale Full of Air" is adorable, definitely my favorite short. Discovered some new authors too! Looking forward to reading more Zenna Henderson.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Davidson

    Lots of great original stories that have since been made into movies (for example- invasion of the Body Snatchers; Village of the Damned...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    One of my favorite childhood sci-fi books that I had to track down as an adult. And, it's still as wonderful today as it was then!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Love this book! Have read many of the stories before, and still get a kick out of them. Really classic sci-fi, at it's best!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kitty

    This is the best collection of science fiction short stories ever compiled.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES - VARIOUS AUTHORS

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tim Jarrett

    This book, Inexplicably in my elementary school library, gave me (at the age of 7 or 8) a lifelong love of speculative fiction. And it scared the pants off me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Phaedrav

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dedmanshootn dedmanshootn

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Duerr

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ljubisa Pavlovic

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bell

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