“Asimov’s discriminating eye has chosen some of the best writings of the era; they reflect not only superior craftsmanship and creativity, but a flavor of the times.”—Midwest Book Review
“Asimov describes the stories’ importance and shortcomings, but never condescends to his material; his prefaces read almost like a conversation between editor, writer and reader.”—Fiction, Literature and the Arts Review
“The entire series would be an excellent addition to any paperback collection and is highly recommended.”—Kilatt Book Guide
For general comments on this series, see Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 1, 1939.
Asimov is present here with his story ”Green Patches” (aka ”Green Patches”), but this is an exceptionally strong anthology anyway, with Ray Bradbury’s beautiful “There Will Come Soft Rains,” Cordwainer Smith’s pivotal “Scanners Live in Vain,” Richard Matheson’s chilling “Born of Man and Woman,” and C.M. Kornbluth’s “Little Black Bag,” “The Silly Season,” and “Mindworm.” We’ve also got Damon Knight’s “To Serve Man,” A.J. Deutsch’s very funny “Subway Named Mobius,” and Charles L. Harness’ rather philosophical “New Reality.”
This volume actually marks an important transition, as sf starts to move out in a rather spectacular fashion from its domination by John Campbell. Galaxy started publication and the young F&SF acquired its current name, and this is reflected in the stories in this anthology.
And, on a lighter note, DAW—the publishing house that put out the "great sf stories" series—underwent a change itself. Its trademark for its first decade or so of existence was the yellow spines on all of its books. With this volume in this series, however, it switched to non-yellow spines, although the typeface would remain the same for a few more volumes.