James Gunn Books In Order

Transcendental Machine Books In Order

  1. Pilgrims to Transcendence (2020)
  2. Transcendental (2013)
  3. Transgalactic (2016)
  4. Transformation (2017)


  1. Star Bridge (1955)
  2. This Fortress World (1955)
  3. The Burning (1972)
  4. The Listeners (1972)
  5. The Magicians (1976)
  6. Kampus (1977)
  7. The Dreamers (1980)
  8. Tiger! Tiger! (1984)
  9. Crisis! (1986)
  10. The Millennium Blues (2000)
  11. Gift from the Stars (2005)


  1. The End of the Dreams (1975)


  1. Station in Space (1958)
  2. The Joy Makers (1961)
  3. The Immortals (1962)
  4. Future Imperfect (1964)
  5. The Witching Hour (1970)
  6. Breaking Point (1972)
  7. Some Dreams Are Nightmares (1974)
  8. Human Voices (1999)
  9. The Unpublished Gunn (2020)


  1. The Gravity Business (2016)

Anthology series

  1. The Road to Science Fiction 1 (1977)
  2. The Road to Science Fiction 2 (1979)
  3. The Road to Science Fiction 3 (1979)
  4. The Road to Science Fiction 4 (1982)
  5. The Road to Science Fiction 5 (1998)

Anthologies edited

  1. The Best of Astounding (1992)
  2. Reading Science Fiction (2018)

Non fiction

  1. Isaac Asimov (1968)
  2. Alternate Worlds (1975)
  3. The Science of Science Fiction Writing (1988)
  4. The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1988)
  5. Inside Science Fiction (1992)
  6. All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger (1998)
  7. Paratexts (2013)
  8. Star-Begotten (2017)
  9. Modern Science Fiction: A Critical Analysis (2018)
  10. Talks with the Masters (2018)

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James Gunn Books Overview

This Fortress World

SFWA Grand Master James Gunn’s This Fortress World takes place in the far future of our galaxy, when countless civilizations have risen and fallen, leaving only their marvelous scientific achievements as legacy to those worlds which have now fallen into a new Dark Age. On the planet Brancusi, William Dane, an acolyte monk in the all powerful Church, comes into possession of a crystal pebble dropped in the offering plate, a stolen treasure believed to hold untold secrets of mankind’s past. There are powerful men who will stop at nothing, including murder, to recover this ancient artifact, and Dane must flee for his life to protect the knowledge the crystal holds. Once in the outside world to which he is a stranger, and no longer in the comforting isolation of the Cathedral where he has spent his entire life, Dane faces not only internal challenges to his deepest held beliefs, but those external and involving the long term destiny of mankind if only he can survive. Deceived, imprisoned, tortured, and now a murderer himself, Dane must not only break down the walls that have kept him alone in the world, but those imposed upon the people through an oppressive centralized government, a government putting its own desires above those of its people.

The Burning

Scientist John Wilson cannot deny the accusations coming from the beautiful blonde girl with The Burning eyes, nor can he refuse her offer. But in accepting her proposal, John must forgo his first love, science, and resign himself to the will of a higher power magic. Now the door to his past has slammed shut with terrifying finality, and his future holds a horror that no rational mind can fathom. Will The Burning separate John from the comfort of the reality he loves so dearly or will it open doors in his mind that had been locked…
until she arrived?

The Listeners

A classic of science fiction, this book predicted and inspired the creation of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence SETI the organization dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life. A tale of contact with alien life hailed by leaders of SETI organizations and today’s leading science fiction authors as hugely influential, the story appeals to both science fiction readers and the hundreds of thousands of members of various SETI organizations.

The Magicians

Struggling PI Casey thinks he’s finally found an easy score: an elderly woman has just walked into his office and offered him a thousand dollars to find out the real name of a man who calls himself Solomon. Solomon is a magician. Not only does he carry false identification, but he can change his physical appearance at will. One of Solomon’s identities is nationally prominent, but another is a power hungry crook with political ambitions. Casey finds himself at a magicians’ convention where no one is who he appears to be and all the tricks seem to lead to death…
Casey’s death. Casey is caught in the middle of a power struggle between Solomon and Ariel, a young woman out to avenge the death of her father. It’s a struggle between black and white magic, and when Casey throws his weight to the good, he may learn a few tricks of his own…
James Gunn has been a professional science fiction writer for more than 60 years, and in 2007, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named him a Grand Master.


The college of the future has just one purpose: endless battle. Political organizations urge ruthless combat with an invisible opponent and each student is challenged to be more extreme than the rest. One man finds his fame by kidnapping and killing a professor. Instantly he is immersed into the world of grease guns and grenades, where the anarchy is suspiciously formulated. The professors have forgotten their pursuit of knowledge, midnight groping at the point has turned into isolated sex with keyboards and the only goal is to completely in deadly political games. By becoming a shining example of academic excellence, Tom Gavin has tapped into the secrets inside the private chambers of the university. He finds it is either play the game or die beneath the latest revolutionary fire.

The Dreamers

It?s an age where high tech rules supreme. Computers do all the work while humans spend their lives enjoying drug induced fantasies. Only a handful live and work in the traditional sense?managing the few affairs that still need attention. At the center of this system is the Mnemonist, the man who directs everything that happens. But now he has reached an advanced age and must carefully choose a dreamer capable of taking over his crucial position.

The Millennium Blues

Wow, the millennium is off to a great start, the notorious Y2K bug was no problem, and the world didn t end; time to take a break and relax Well, not exactly. The millennium didn’t really get underway until January 1, 2001. You thought you were safe? Think again! Something much, MUCH, MUCH worse is ahead. The new millennium will bring nothing but disaster and destruction. As six unique people rush feverishly to resolve catastrophes both personal and otherwise, they cannot ignore the loudly ticking clock that will bring THE END OF THE WORLD. And this time its no psychic premonition; it’s more real than you ve ever dreamed.

Gift from the Stars

The age-old question about alien existence and human contact is explored in a new way in this collection of six novellas, previously anthologized in Analog magazine. When disillusioned aerospace engineer Adrian Mast buys a book at a remainder sale, the last things he expects to find in its appendix are alien spacecraft designs. With the help of the bookstore owner, Adrian tracks down the author-only to find him in a mental institution anguishing over the intentions of the aliens who sent the designs to him. By bluffing a bureaucrat intent on thwarting their progress, the two friends continue their quest for the stars and go ahead with the spacecraft designs. Having successfully launched their ship 15 years later, the questions that remain are What were the intentions of the aliens? and Is mankind ready to face what’s out there?

Station in Space

At one time, outer space was seen as the last frontier, the final challenge to human ingenuity. But those days are gone as the galaxy becomes the stomping ground for humans encountering strange new machinery and green faced Martians. Depicted with stark realism and meticulous detail, this novel tells of the dangers, despair and unbelievable pleasurethat awaits the men and women who are to populate the first ever Station in Space.

The Joy Makers

Happiness, Guaranteed…

In the not-too-distant future, money truly can buy happiness, and Hedonics, Inc., is willing to sell it to you. They’ll even offer you a money-back guarantee, if you’re not ‘happy’ with the product. But with their team of psychologists, life specialists, and self-improvement coaches, they don’t have any ‘unhappy’ customers.

What happens when a company grows too big, becomes too successful? It wants to guarantee its place in society and its future, and Hedonics is no exception. When your product is happiness, the way you guarantee your success is to pass laws mandating happiness.

But when universal happiness is required, does it really matter if you’re getting what you want, or happy with what you have?

James Gunn has been a professional science fiction writer for more than 60 years, and in 2007, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named him a Grand Master.

The Immortals


For nomad Marshall Cartwright, the price is knowing that he will never grow old. That he will never contract a disease, an infection, or even a cold. That because he will never die, he must surrender the right to live.

For Dr. Russell Pearce, the price is eternal suspicion. He appreciates what synthesizing the elixir vitae from the Immortal’s genetic makeup could mean for humankind. He also fears what will happen should Cartwright’s miraculous blood fall into the wrong hands.

For the wealthy and powerful, no price is too great. Immortality is now a fact rather than a dream. But the only way to achieve it is to own it exclusively. And that means hunting down and caging the elusive Cartwright, or one of his offspring.

The Immortals, James Gunn’s masterpiece about a human fountain of youth, collects the author’s classic short stories that ran in elite science fiction magazines throughout the 1950s. All new material accompanies this updated edition, including an introduction from renowned science fiction writer Greg Bear, a preface from Gunn himself, and ‘Elixir,’ Gunn’s new short story that introduced Dr. Pearce to another Immortal in the May 2004 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine.

Future Imperfect

Master of science fiction James Gunn explores the infinite possibilities of the unknown world in his collection of short stories, Future Imperfect. From planets where social status is based on poverty to a human zoo that serves as a refrigerator for a bloodthirsty monster, Gunn tests the limit of human imagination. Step inside and feel free to browse. This Venusian factory in Jersey manufactures only the finest women on the market. Each is flawless in her beauty and poise, but there is one malfunction that may prove deadly for the future of this company and the owner of the lovely lass. Enjoy this tale and more, in this collection of alternate realities.

The Witching Hour

‘WE SUMMON THEE, PRINCE, RULER OF DARKNESS, LORD OF EVIL: YOUR WORSHIPPERS SUMMON THEE TO RECEIVE OUR SACRIFICE..’ James E. Gunn’s sci fi world has veered into the realm of the unholy with The Witching Hour, three novelettes of satanic scenery and devilish deceit. Demons, death and disbelief will haunt you at every corner. Macabre rituals of darkness will creep up your spine until your fragile mind tingles with fear.

The Road to Science Fiction 1

Now in Paper! The Road to Science Fiction is a six volume anthology of science fiction that covers the development of science fiction from its earliest prototypes in the Sumerian Gilgamesh and the Greek epics to approximately 1990. Created originally to provide anthologies for use in clas*ses, these volumes have become mass market sellers as well, since they are not only a source of outstanding stories but also explain what constitutes science fiction, how it developed and the contribution the authors and the stories have made to the evolution of science fiction. Cloth edition previously published in 1979.

The Road to Science Fiction 3

Now in Paperback!Between an ancient Roman’s trip to the moon and the fantastic tales of H.G. Wells lies a journey through time and space and an awesome evolution in scientific thinking. From Gilgamesh’s search for immortality to Lucian’s odyssey on the moon; from Jonathan Swift’s hilarious satire on scientists in Gulliver’s Travels to Mary Shelley’s horrifying description of a scientist who has gone too far in Frankenstein from Edgar Allan Poe’s balloon trip in the year 2848 to Jules Verne’s prophesies of the impact of scientific inventions on future civilization; from Edward Bellamy’s utopian escape from the industrial Revolution to H.G. Wells’s magnificent story of Earth threatened by an inescapable menace here are the chief ancestors of the modern science fiction story. For the first time, these and other key works are gathered together in one anthology, complete with revealing commentary on the authors, their eras, and the role each played in establishing what we today recognize as science fiction. The Road to Science Fiction is a six volume anthology of science fiction that covers the development of science fiction from its earliest prototypes in the Sumerian Gilgamesh and the Greek epics to approximately 1990. Created originally to provide anthologies for use in clas*ses, these volumes have become mass market sellers as well, since they are not only a source of outstanding stories but also explain what constitutes science fiction, how it developed and the contribution the authors and the stories have made to the evolution of science fiction. Volume 3, From Heinlein to Here, covers the period from 1940 to 1975, beginning in the Golden Age of Science Fiction and ending at a time when SF book publication was just beginning to explode and SF films 2001: A Space Odyssey; Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars, E.T. would soon dominate box offices. Cloth edition previously published in 1979.

The Road to Science Fiction 5

In its first four volumes, this much praised historical anthology series traced how the earliest forms of fantastic fiction developed into what is now known as science fiction. Volume Six looks at sci fi in a dozen foreign countries and offers a rich variety of stories from around the world.

Reading Science Fiction

Reading Science Fiction brings together world class scholars and fiction writers to introduce the history, concepts and contexts necessary to understanding this fascinating genre. Comprehensive and engaging, Reading Science Fiction includes: Explores a wide range of theoretical approaches to studying science fiction, such as gender studies, post colonial studies and structuralism Maps the definitions and history of science fiction, including its origin, influences and parallel development with modern society Introduces major science fiction writers such as Arthur C. Clarke, Joanna Russ, Octavia Butler and Kim Stanley Roberts. This work provides valuable insights into the world of science fiction, this thought provoking textbook makes learning how to read science fiction an exciting and collaborative process for teachers and students alike.

Isaac Asimov

Harvard’s George C. Simpson called the late Isaac Asimov ‘one of our natural wonders and national resources,’ for his hundreds of nonfiction works on science, mathematics, history, and literature. Asimov, however, is best known as a science fiction writer. This second edition, ‘Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction’, updates and expands science fiction scholar James Gunn’s definitive, Hugo Award winning critical volume about Asimov and his contributions to the science fiction genre. A concluding chapter analyzes Asimov’s best sellers. Those interested in Asimov and science fiction will want Gunn’s study, with its insider’s look at the most prolific author of the twentieth century, its chronology, selected list of critical works, and bibliography.

Alternate Worlds

The Illustrated History of Science Fiction

The Science of Science Fiction Writing

Written by one of the leading authorities on writing, publishing and teaching science fiction, The Science of Science Fiction Writing offers the opportunity to share in the knowledge James Gunn has acquired over the past forty years. He reflects on the fiction writing process and how to teach it, and the ideas he has shared with his students about how to do it effectively and how to get it published afterwards. The first section discusses why people read fiction, the parts of the short story, the strategy of the science fiction author, scene as the smallest dramatic unit, how to speak well in print, suspense in fiction, how to say the right thing, and how to give constructive criticism. The second section takes a more philosophical approach. Here, Gunn elaborates on the origins of science fiction, its definition, the worldview of science fiction, and the characters that appear in science fiction novels. The third section highlights well known sci fi authors: H.G. Wells, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, and others, and the impact they have had on the development and progression of science fiction.

The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

From 19th century beginnings to the cutting edge of ‘Cyberpunk’, science fiction has powerfully gripped the modern imagination. Gunn explores the fascinating landscape of how science fiction became what it is today. An eye opener for every fan of the genre. 8 pages of full color illustrations.

Inside Science Fiction

James Gunn has had a long and distinguished career in science fiction. In addition to his stories and novels, he has written extensively about the reading, writing, and criticism of science fiction. Many of these essays were published in The Science of Science-Fiction Writing Scarecrow, 2002. A second collection of essays, Inside Science Fiction, was originally published in 1992, and is now available in this revised, updated, and expanded edition. With the addition of five new articles written since 1992, Inside Science Fiction represents Gunn’s latest thoughts about the genre and offers a complete overview of science fiction for readers and viewers from an author, reader, and teacher who has seen it from all sides for more than seventy years.

All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger

Imagine Roger Corman and John Waters crossed with Howard Stern and you’ll have an idea of the demented genius behind Troma studios, one of the oldest and most successful independent film studios in the world. Lloyd Kaufman’s spirited, outrageous, no holds barred look at low budget, guerilla filmmaking is truly an inspiration to young filmmakers, a delight for movie buffs, and an absolute must for Toxic Avenger fans everywhere. This is the true story of the moviemaking maverick who co founded an independent studio twenty five years ago in a humble broom closet…
who used raw hamburger, Karo syrup blood, and Bromo Seltzer vomit to create films of questionable artistic and moral value…
who is responsible for a string of cult movie hits…
who was the first to reject Madonna for a part…
who defied the Hollywood system and slapped the face of the industry…
and who built a B movie empire filled with Chopper Chicks, Surf Na*zis, Kabuki Cops, Nymphoid Barbarians, and a lone hero known as The Toxic Avenger.

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