20) Wondrous Beginnings, edited by
Nice idea, getting the first published story of numerous well-known sf authors – to be specific, Murray Leinster, L Sprague de Camp, Anne McCaffrey, Hal Clement, Arthur C Clarke and so on, and publishing it in an anthology together with an introduction by the author in question (or in one case from his daughter). The stories are a bit variable in quality, but less than one might have thought, and the autobiographical material from each author more than makes up for it, especially for those who have since died (de Camp and Clement).
I did wonder what the rationale for choosing particular authors was. Why Clarke, but not Asimov or Heinlein? Why include authors as recent as Catherine Asaro (first story published 1993), Michael Burstein (1995), Julie Czerneda (1997)? And there’s a definite leaning towards the hard end of the sf spectrum. None of these are necessarily bad things but it would have enlightened me if the editors had explained them. As it is the choice looks a little strange – and why is the Ann McCaffrey story apparently out of the order-of-initial-publication sequence that seems to link the rest?