sci-fi chronicles
Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy’s Greatest Science Ficiton is a visual feast! Every page of this 578-page tome is packed with book covers, magazine covers, still photos from movies, and illustrations galore! The book is roughly chronological and shows the development of the genre through a combination of visuals and mini-essays on various SF topics. Published in 2014, this book slipped by me. I don’t recall any reviews online or in LOCUS. But I stumbled across Sci-Fi Chronicles by accident recently. If you’re a fan of Science Fiction magazines, SF novels, SF movies, comic books, and popular culture in general, you’ll find plenty to like between these pages! GRADE: A
Foreword by Stephen Baxter
How to Use This Book
Chapter 1: 1818-1925
Early Science Fiction: The Birth of a Genre
Chapter 2: 1920-50
The Days of Pulp: The “Golden Age” of Science Fiction
Chapter 3: 1950-70
The Era of the Atom: The Marvels and Perils of Science
Chapter 4: 1970-90
Dark Futures: Apocalypses and the War in Space
Chapter 5: 1990-Present
The Adventure Continues: Modern Science Fiction
Famous Spaceships
The Science Fiction Chronology
Genre Definitions
Picture Credits

31 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #384: SCI-FI CHRONICLES Edited by Guy Haley

  1. Wolf Böhrendt

    Those glorious pulp days when you could get a book or magazine for 25 or 35 cents! Or maybe even less?

    I bought my first US SF books and magazines around 1962 – when I found them at a newsstand in the small university town of Tübingen – remember Analog/Astounding on sale and sometimes Galaxy …

    And the owner was a SF fan too – so he would order books for me when I gave them the number and title – some would arrive after a few weeks, sometimes they would send the wrong title, but no worry -I would read them all!

    And then the joy of going to London and finding so much stuff in the flea markets!

    The covers in those days were really remarkable!

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, I started collecting SF magazines in the early 1960s, too. The covers were the attraction initially, but then I became more author-oriented. Keith Laumer, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, Clifford Simak, Andre Norton, and Jack Vance delighted me then…and now!

    1. george Post author

      Bill, you would love SCI-FI CHRONICLES! Inexpensive copies are available on the Internet. You’ll get hours of browsing delight! I love all the magazine and paperback covers! They’re on every page.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, anyone interested in Science Fiction in all of it’s forms–paperbacks, magazines, movies, TV, video games, etc.–will enjoy SCI-FI CHRONICLES. Fun, wow!

      1. george Post author

        Rick, I’ve spend many happy hours with SCI-FI CHRONICLES since it showed up a week ago. You’ll be thrilled with this book!

  2. Todd Mason

    I’m always impressed when someone rules out an entire field of fiction…I’ve read excellent romance fiction. I’ve certainly read excellent western fiction. I think anyone who cuts themselves off from any field altogether is cheating themselves, and should never try to judge the whole field by one random (or even horribly overpraised) book or story…

    Did you ever pick up Dave Kyle’s ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SF, clearly the ancestor of this one? I suspect the publisher was unco-operative with LOCUS and other typical review media…though perhaps the employment of the dread neologism SCI-FI didn’t help…

    1. george Post author

      Todd, SCI-FI CHRONICLES has a much broader focus than Kyle’s ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SF. And, I like the international aspects, too.

    2. maggie mason

      Todd, I’ve tried some SF, but didn’t enjoy it. I think Stasheff, and Heinlein and a book with pluter day in the title, and a few others I don’t remember. Time is limited, so I concentrate on mysteries and PG Wodehouse

      1. Todd Mason

        That’s kind of what I was afraid of…I’ve barely read Stasheff, but haven’t much been tempted, and most of Heinlein’s most important work was published in the 1940s…after the late ’50s, he wrote one excellent novel (MOON/MISTRESS), two not bad/pretty good ones (FRIDAY and JOB), and a pile ranging from clumsy self-indulgence to utter trash. Ah, well. If you try some of the crime fiction geniuses who also do excellent SF, you might have a better time with them, if you ever feel like trying again: Kate Wilhelm, Fredric Brown, Walter Tevis, Avram Davidson, Harlan Ellison, Margaret St. Clair, Algis Budrys, Jack/John Holbrook Vance, Kit Reed/Kit Craig, Edward Wellen, Ron Goulart and so on…

        There are even a few who take after Wodehouse. Goulart at times.

  3. Jerry House

    This should be right up my alley, but I’m a little bit leery of these “survey” books. Too often they are bells and whistles and pretty pictures and glossy pages — all without much substance. I’ll keep my eyes open for it, George, but I don’t think I’ll make it a priority.

    1. Todd Mason

      Certainly THE VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SF edited by Brian Ash was, for example, an extraordinary mix of the good and the half-assed…the first nonfiction book about SF I bought…the second, Sam J. Lundwall’s SF: WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT, was solely half-assed. Could’ve been useful with its Swedish perspective, had it been any good at all.

      1. george Post author

        Todd, the folks behind SCI-FI CHRONICLES made this book irresistible to SF fans of all ages. There’s something here for everyone!

    2. george Post author

      Jerry, trust me: you would enjoy SCI-FI CHRONICLES. For a few dollars online, this graphic-filled delight could be yours! You won’t be sorry.

      1. Wolf Böhrendt

        Can you imagine my surprise when I met this attractive Hungarian woman and she told me that she liked Asimov and other “scee-fee” ((that’s how she pronounced it) – btw we were both already over 60 years old then …

        And the next evening she stayed over night and we’ve been together now almost 10 years …

        Ron Goulart is also one of my favourites, as is Bertram Chandler with his adventures of Grimes …

        Generally I like SF (that’s how I call it too) with a touch of humour, maybe even some kind of self parody.

      2. george Post author

        Wolf, finding a woman who is a SF fan is a real bonus! I’m with you on Ron Goulart and humor. I may have to review a Goulart for FFB soon!

  4. Darren Mitchell

    George, the same publisher published a similar book titled ROCK CHRONICLES. Same format and layout, but covering rock music instead of sci-fi.


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