Summary

Collected here are the stories, poems, and religious writings that preceded and helped form the science fiction and fantasy genres. The collection explores the key imaginative roots and their later literary permutations. The author list alone reads like a literary who’s who and includes many writers not primarily known for their forays into the fantastic. Organized by topic rather than simple chronology, this volume allows the listener to trace the history of robots, aliens, and apocalypses up to some of their most recent manifestations.
Topic chapters and represented authors include "Transformers" (Card, Asimov, Rossetti), "Shocking Futures" (Swift, More), and "Traveling Fools" (Carol, Burroughs, McCaffrey). This definitive collection of science fiction and fantasy sources illustrates how earlier generations imagined the future.
©2004 2009 by Stefan Rudnicki (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Sydney on 29-10-12

Fun Pulp Anthology

It's hard to describe this collection. I'll start by saying it's a good listen and worth a credit for the epic introduction by Harlan Ellison alone!



This is not at all a global or real historical survey of fantasy themes, as I was hoping from the description. It's mainly American, a little European, and mostly 20th century, with a sprinkling of earlier stuff. On the theme of 'Pan', for instance, there's four or five modernish short stories and just one tiny snippet from The Bacchae.



It leans heavily towards not-exactly-timeless stories that sound as though they're drawn from pulp magazines-- not a bad thing! as I'd come across hardly any of these before and they're generally good fun and read with spirit. Still, they're not towering masterpieces by any means and there's about twenty too many of the nymph-like, nagging and/or drippy women typical of the genre which gets a bit grating.



Though I would love to hear a real anthology of the historic roots of modern genre fiction, I can't mark down this audiobook for not being what I want it to be. Four stars, mostly pretty good stories excellently read.



This badly needs a table of contents available somewhere, there's dozens of stories and good luck remembering who wrote what as the introductions fly past.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Maliboo on 10-07-13

Table of Contents

Courtesy of sffaudio:

INTRODUCTION
Lofty Ambitions by Harlan Ellison, read by Harlan Ellison

PART 1: THE MYTHS WE LIVE BY
A Youth In Apparel That Glittered by Stephen Crane, read by Stefan Rudnicki (poem)
After the Myths Went Home by Robert Silverberg, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Novelty by John Crowley, read by Harlan Ellison
Pan And The Firebird by Sam M. Steward, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Murderer, The Hope Of All Women by Oskar Kokoschka, performed by cast
The Touch Of Pan by Algernon Blackwood, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Lost Thyrsis by Oliver Onions, read by Roz Landor
The Bacchae (excerpt) by Eurpides, performed by cast

PART 2: MYTHS THAT BITE
A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Mystery Train by Lewis Shiner, read by John Rubenstein
Continued On The Next Rock by R.A. Lafferty, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Diary Of A God by Barry Pain, read by Enn Reitel
The Repairer of Reputations (excerpt) by Robert W. Chambers, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Yellow Sign by Robert W. Chambers, read by Stefan Rudnicki
An Inhabitant Of Carcosa by Ambrose Bierce, read by Danny Campbell
The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, read by Arte Johnson

PART 3: SHOCKING FUTURES
Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, read by Stefan Rudnicki (poem)
City Come A’Walkin (excerpt) by John Shirley, read by Don Leslie
A Pail Of Air by Fritz Leiber, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Machine Stops (excerpt) by E.M. Forster, read by Roz Landor
Looking Backward and Equality (excerpts) by Edward Bellamy, read by David Birney
Gulliver’s Travels (excerpt) by Jonathan Swift read by Scott Brick
Utopia (excerpt) by Sir Thomas More, read byChristopher Cazanove
Monument To Amun by Queen Hatshepsut, read by Judy Young

PART 4: TRAVELING FOOLS
La Bateau Ivre by Arthur Rimbaud, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Inspiration by Ben Bova, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Bones Do Lie by Anne McCaffrey, read by Stefan Rudnicki
A Princess Of Mars (excerpt) by Edgar Rice Burroughs, read by John Rubinstein
The Great Stone Of Sardis (excerpt) by Frank R. Stockton, read by David Birney
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (excerpt) by Lewis Carroll, read by Michael York
Diary Of A Madman (excerpt) by Nicolai Gogol, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Inferno (excerpt) by Dante, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Odyssey of Homer (excerpt), read by David Birney

PART 5: TRANSFORMERS
The Stolen Child by William B. Yeats, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Porcelain Salamander by Orson Scott Card, read by Gabrielle de Cuir
Let’s Get Together by Isaac Asimov, read by Arte Johnson
Dracula (excerpt) by Bram Stoker, read by Simon Vance
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (excerpt) by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by John Lee
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, read by Gabrielle de Cuir
Frankenstein (excerpt) by Mary Shelley, read by Stefan Rudnicki0\ *
The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh (Traditional English Fairy Tale), read by Judy Young
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (excerpt) by William Shakespeare, performed by cast
The Ballad of Tam Lin (Celtic ballad), read by Stefan Rudnicki
Metamorphosis (excerpt) by Ovid, read by Cassandra Campbell

PART 6: REST IN PIECES
Hearse Song
The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The New Testament: Revelations (excerpt), read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Colloquy of Monos & Una by Edgar Allan Poe, read by Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir
From the Crypts of Memory by Clark Ashton Smith, read by Danny Campbell
The Comet by W.E.B. DuBois, read by Mirron Willis
Sand (excerpt) by Stefan Rudnicki, performed by cast
Transience by Arthur C. Clarke, read by Bahni Turpin
The Illusionist by Gareth Owen, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Unchosen Love by Ursula K. LeGuin, read by Stefan Rudnicki
In Lonely Lands by Harlan Ellison, read by Harlan Ellison
News from Nowhere (excerpt) by William Morris, read by Stefan Rudnicki

PART 7: COMMENTARIES
The Special And General Joys of Science Fiction by Ben Bova, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849 by Elliott Engel, read by Gabrielle de Cuir
Adolescence And Adulthood In Science Fiction by Orson Scott Card, read by Stefan Rudnicki

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Linda Bell on 13-02-16

SO GOOD! You've Got to listen to it

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm recommending to everyone here, on Goodreads, on my FB page

What other book might you compare Fantastic Imaginings to and why?

There have been some good anthologies over the years, but none like this. Each short story is read by a different reader, each better than all the others

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Stefan Rudnicki does OSR's books. Scott Brick reads the first 3 in the Shannara Series

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It humbled me. How can I possibly write that well? Then that turned to motivation: by re-listening to them & learning from them

Any additional comments?

Of course, I didn't love EVERY ONE of the short stories. Of course, I knew some of the short stories. But so well read! I even enjoyed the Forward by 75 y-o Harlan Ellison (editor), himself!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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