The Folio Science Fiction Anthology

Illustrated by Florian Schommer

Introduced by Brian W. Aldiss

Edited by Brian W. Aldiss

In this collection created exclusively for The Folio Society, legendary science-fiction writer Brian Aldiss selects and introduces a series of electrifying short stories.


Science fiction has always been a fertile home for the short story. Brian Aldiss, award-wining author of science-fiction classics such as Non-Stop and the Helliconia trilogy, is also a master of the short story – Hothouse, his collection of novelettes, won the Hugo award for short fiction in 1962, while his ‘Super-Toys Last All Summer Long’ was the inspiration for the Steven Spielberg film A.I. Artificial Intelligence. A central figure in the genre for more than 60 years, and a hugely respected editor of numerous anthologies, Aldiss has selected and introduced each story in this special Folio collection. The result is a shining constellation of science-fiction stars, each story exemplifying the very best of the genre.

Production Details

Bound in blocked buckram

Set in Scala with Bebas Neue display

272 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations

Metallic slipcase

9½˝ x 6¼˝

The Collector’s Anthology

‘He was falling. Struggling frantically, he tried to get hold of something, but there was only empty darkness around him, no substance, no reality, only the depth beneath him and the din of his own terrified shrieks’
  1. Philip K. Dick, Recall Mechanism

An intruder in the solar system has disastrous consequences for Earth in H. G. Wells’s ‘The Star’, while fans of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series will get the chance to revisit his universe in ’Bridle and Saddle’. ’Recall Mechanism’ is a typically mind-bending story from Philip K. Dick, author of The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and ’Poor Little Warrior’ is a somewhat sardonic tale of time-travel from Aldiss himself. Also included are stories from Harry Harrison, James Tiptree Jr, Tom Godwin, James H. Schmitz, Voltaire and Anna Kavan, the writer whom Aldiss once described as ‘Kafka’s sister’. Writing under a pen name, Aldiss has also provided an extra story exclusively for this anthology, making it an irresistible collection for any science-fiction fan. 

Each of the stories is prefaced with an introduction by Aldiss, often touching on his relationships with the genre’s greats – he describes eating dinner with Philip K. Dick on the roof of a glamorous hotel in California – or providing a wider commentary on the vital role of short stories. Florian Schommer has created seven atmospheric colour illustrations which cleverly shadow the chronology of the book; Voltaire’s ‘Micromegas’, the earliest story featured, is accompanied by a beautiful illustration composed of greys and blacks, and as the stories move towards the modern age a palette of deep oranges and reds is gradually introduced. The spectacular binding features a three-colour foil design, evoking the glittering golden age of science fiction. 

Stories Included

Voltaire, ‘Micromégas’ (1752)
H. G. Wells, ‘The Star’ (1897)
Isaac Asimov, ‘Bridle and Saddle’ (1942)
Tom Godwin, ‘The Greater Thing’ (1954)
James H. Schmitz, ‘Grandpa’ (1955)
Brian W. Aldiss, ‘Poor Little Warrior!’ (1959)
Philip K. Dick, ‘Recall Mechanism’ (1959)
Harry Harrison, ‘An Alien Agony’ (1962)
Robert A. Heinlein, ‘Searchlight’ (1962)
Anna Kavan, ‘Clarita’ (1970)
James Tiptree, Jr, ‘And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side’ (1972)
Alice B. Wilson, ‘The Day They Raised the Titanic’ (2015)

About Brian W. Aldiss

‘Brian Aldiss is one of the most influential, and one of the best, science-fiction writers Britain has ever produced’

  1. Iain M. Banks

Brian W. Aldiss was one of the UK’s most prolific and influential science-fiction writers. He wrote more than 300 short stories and 41 novels and novellas, including the award-winning Hothouse (1962), The Saliva Tree (1965) and The Helliconia Trilogy (1982–5). He was a pre-eminent critic within the SF genre and a hugely successful anthologist, with more than 40 anthologies to his name. In 2000 he was named a SFWA Grand Master, in 2004 he was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame, and in 2005 he was awarded an OBE for Services to Literature. Born in 1925 in Norfolk, England, Aldiss died in 2017.

About Florian Schommer

Florian Schommer is an illustrator and graphic designer. In 2013 he graduated from Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences with a degree in Communication & Graphic Design, and since then has been continuing his artistic practice in Hamburg. In addition to his freelance work, he co-founded the kjosk collective, creating original designs for clients all over the world. He received the FWA site of the day in 2013, the ADC Bronze Award in 2013, the ADC Student of the Year Award in 2014, the Illustrative Nominee Award in 2014, and three ADC Gold Awards in 2014.


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