Universe

Tagged: Publication

US Original-Anthology series edited by Terry Carr for the first seventeen volumes (1971-1987) and renewed by Robert Silverberg and Karen Haber for three volumes (1990-1994). This was arguably the best (and longest-lasting) of all original-anthology series in the field. Universe 1 (anth 1971) appeared while Carr was still an editor for its publisher, Ace Books. It soon became peripatetic, the 17 volumes of series one coming from Ace Books (#1-#2), Random House (#3-#5) and Doubleday (#6-#17); series two has come from Doubleday Foundation (#1) and Bantam Spectra (#2-#3). The further titles are Universe 2 (anth 1972), Universe #3 (anth 1973), Universe #4 (anth 1974), Universe #5 (anth 1974), Universe #6 (anth 1976), Universe #7 (anth 1977), Universe #8 (anth 1978), Universe #9 (anth 1979), Universe #10 (anth 1980), Universe #11 (anth 1981), Universe #12 (anth 1982), Universe #13 (anth 1983), Universe #14 (anth 1984), Universe #15 (anth 1985), Universe #16 (anth 1986) and Universe #17 (anth 1987), plus The Best from Universe (anth 1984). The new series, edited by Silverberg with his wife Karen Haber, began the numbering afresh with Universe 1 (anth 1990), Universe 2 (anth 1992) and Universe 3 (anth 1994).

Carr's first volume contained Robert Silverberg's Nebula-winning "Good News From the Vatican"; Silverberg was one of the series' most regular contributors, along with Gregory Benford, Gordon Eklund, R A Lafferty, Edgar Pangborn, Howard Waldrop, Ian Watson and, later, Lucius Shepard. The series thrice won the Locus Award as the year's best original anthology in 1972, 1975 and 1980. Several other stories from the series won awards. Gene Wolfe won a Nebula and a Locus Award for "The Death of Dr. Island" in #3, Benford and Eklund won a Nebula for "If The Stars Are Gods" in #4; Waldrop's "The Ugly Chickens" in #10 won both a Nebula and a World Fantasy Award; Michael Bishop won a Nebula for "The Quickening" (#11) and a Locus Award for "Her Habiline Husband" (#13); Harlan Ellison's "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (#15) won a Hugo. Even so, these awards do not truly reflect the quality of this series, which proved that Carr was one of the outstanding editors in the field; while he knew exactly what constituted good writing, and never patronized his readership by feeding them pulp, he also never lost the popular touch. The series stopped with his death. A volume dedicated to the memory of both Carr and Universe was Terry's Universe (anth 1988) edited by Beth Meacham. The Silverbergs' 1990 relaunch of the Universe series was exemplary, and very much in the Carr tradition (but much longer), with good stories from Ursula K Le Guin, Barry Malzberg, Marta Randall, Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, James Tiptree Jr, and others. [PN/MJE]

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