alima's review

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  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes


hammard's review

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What this collection demonstrates best for me was how much the science fiction genre was in need of new life at this point. These stories are not bad but a half of them are just rehashing past glories whilst the other half are willing to push out into new areas:

The Way of the Cross and the Dragon by George RR Martin: This is well written but a really sententious anti-religious tract, a path that had been so well trodden by this point it was practically worn away.

The Thirteenth Utopia by S. P. Somtow: Interestingly this uses a very similar concept to the prior story but is much more morally ambiguous and reflexive tale. As such much better in my opinion

Options by John Varley: At the time this would have seemed very interesting but gender roles had been explored much more interestingly by better feminist writers in the 70s and the concept is now very problematic.

Unaccompanied Sonata by Orson Scott Card: The usual "genius" narrative and heavy moralising. Not much of interest to me.

The Story Writer by Richard Wilson: A touch of interesting narrative experimentation but doesn't quite have the skill to pull it off.

Daisy, In The Sun by Connie Willis: Easily the bright star (pun intended) of the collection. It is beautiful, emotional and extremely clever. Obvious she was destined to have an incredible career ahead of her.

The Locusts by Niven and Barnes: Not a bad story technically and a solid concept but nothing dazzling. Definitely midrange.

The Thaw by Tanith Lee: Quite an innovative use cryogenics and look at how society changes.

Out There Where the Big Ships Go by Richard Cowper: An interesting idea but not one that really stuck with me.

Can These Bones Live? by Ted Reynolds: A strong beginning and a strong end but it really dragged in the middle for me.

The Extraordinary Voyages of Amélie Bertrand by Joanna Russ: Supposedly a homage to Jules Verne but it is much more than a pastiche. Rather a very modern type of Gaslight Fantasy which asks interesting questions.