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This anthology started in the course of a conversation I had with Jim Baen regarding possible future prospects for reissuing old science fiction authors. In the course of advancing this or that idea, Jim interrupted me and said what he'd like to see immediately would be for Dave Drake and myself to select those stories which had the most impact on us as teenagers and got us interested in science fiction in the first place. "Call it The World Turned Upside Down," he said.

I liked the idea, and so did Dave when Jim and I raised it with him. The one change Dave proposed, however, was that Jim serve as one of the editors of the volume, not simply as the publisher. That seemed eminently rational, given that by then Jim had already advanced half a dozen stories he wanted included in it because of the effect they'd had on him as a teenager.

So. This does not purport to be an anthology that contains "the best stories of science fiction"—although all of us think this volume contains a superb collection of stories. But that was not the fundamental criterion by which we made our selection. The stories were selected because of the impact they had on us several decades ago, as we were growing up in the '50s and '60s.

Some authors are missing, unfortunately. In some cases—Andre Norton being the major example, here—because the stories the author wrote which had such an effect on us were novels, and there just wasn't room in such an anthology for novel-length works. In other cases, because we were unable to obtain the rights for the stories we wanted from the agencies representing some of the estates.

We got most of what we wanted, though. And . . . here it is.

The World Turned Upside Down. 


—Eric Flint
March 2004

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