A Kid-Friendly Guide to Different Reading Genres
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Dabbler in criticism and biography. Winner of various awards. Mad about writing.
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View my complete profile. Sunday, October 4, 3. Posted by Michael Swanwick at AM. Don't get me wrong: the book is very good and most of the stories are top-notch fiction, but not everything is flawless.
Ursula K. Le Guin starts the ball with "The Stars Below," the sad, poignant story of an astronomer forced to hide and live in the dark underworld of the caves and tunnels belonging to and old mine. Keith Roberts' "The Will of God" is a truly extraordinary tale where an inventor, obsessed with the building of a machine able to transfer the sound an ante-litteram phone gradually loses contact with a world dominated by the Inquisition.
The extremely elegant prose, the skilled storytelling and the ability to elicit the sense of the frailty of the human condition all confirm the incredible talent of a writer whose work should be reprinted and rediscovered.
Martin contributes an interesting cross between a religious thriller and a SF tale, managing to be entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time. By contrast Edgar Pangborn's "The World Is a Sphere" is a mediocre political pastiche set in an undetermined future, that doesn't seem to fit in with the anthology's general quality.
MoD UFO investigator Nick Pope on Doctor Who and sci-fi
In Brendan DuBois' "Falling Star," ignorance and superstition have taken possession of the world in a grim future following the collapse of the global computer system, while an aged astronaut pays his dues to his dream of reaching the stars. A moving, great story full of lyricism and desolation. Clarke with "The Star" supplies a classy, short SF piece showing how fragile our faith is when facing the mysteries of the universe.
By far the weakest story in the volume, "The Last Homosexual" by Paul Park hints at the possibility that psychological disorders can be transmitted in the same way as viruses do.