I was hoping for stories with decent protagonists striving to survive TEOTWAWKI. What I got was 25 stories that went nowhere, some written better than others, but none with characters worth caring about or even happenings worth knowing about.
Bloodletting by Kate Wilhelm is written well in a literary style she does well, but it's over before it begins (another marker of the literary style).
Seepover by Alistair Reynolds is a novel fragment and reads like one: static dialog, snail pacing, soporific action and unlikable protagonists. This guy describes an attack by a tentacled dragon in such a way that I nearly lost consciousness while reading---that's not easy.
A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber is great but if you read golden age sci fi you've read it before. This is a great example of a real story with characters you care about, a mystery and a resolution. Anthologists and authors please take note.
Terraforming Terra is a Jack Williamson novel... Terraforming Earth cut down to ten percent of its length and that must be why it feels like a novel outline. Williamson is the real deal. He wrote hundreds of killer short sf stories and they condense his novel for this anthology? Read Gateway to Paradise, The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume Six instead.
Many of the other stories are what now passes for science fiction: nebulous, nihilist, directionless, depressing musings... in this case on the end of the world.
There is one story here that is worth reading: The End of the World Show by David Barnett. This is a very English, very funny look at the last week of the earth. Think Shawn of the Dead funny.
It's really a very nearly perfect story.
Well, then, there you have it: yet another mediocre anthology.
If you want to try your luck, then remember that all books are returnable to amazon and enjoy.
- Paperback: 500 pages
- Publisher: Running Pr Book Pub (6 July 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780762439911
- ISBN-13: 978-0762439911
- ASIN: 0762439912
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 363 g
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