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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2013
A wonderful collection of stories, each one a small gem that leaves you thinking. Don't expect neat little tales with a beginning, middle and end... they aren't all like that. Some leave you guessing or wondering which adds to the enjoyment. I can't say there was one story I didn't love for one reason or another. All superbly crafted so that you get lost inside someone else's imagination for a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2014
I have read zillions of sci-fi short stories this year, and this is one of the better collections. Some of them are absolutely amazing, and I would recommend taking time between each one to let the ideas sink in. I devoured them so probably didn't get as much out - gluttony is never a good idea. The final story blew my mind. This author is on to a good thing - very high quality, accessible stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2013
An excellent collection of short stories from the author of Dark Eden. The style and story-telling technique are rather old-fashioned (I mean that in a good way). I was reminded of John Wyndham (also in a good way). But Chris Becket is obviously familiar with the stranger corners of modern SF, and this shows in the ideas behind the stories. All are thoughtful and thought provoking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2013
A superb collection of SF shorts. What I found appealing was that each one seemed to contain a kernel of deep thought about science and people’s reaction to it, but without labouring the point – in essence, exactly my kind of SF.
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on 23 December 2014
I loved this and would have been astonished if I had not. I adored his first collection and finished this book in one sitting.

I don't have any issues with the politics - I am not convinced anyone can read a work by this author and not expect social commentary ( if that isn't your thing, other options are available).

The characters feel real. I felt an emotional pull after reading each one and this is extremely rare.

The SF is lightly worn and could be read with someone for whom this genre is not their natural calling ( and of course, anyone that is)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2013
If you like Chris Beckett, this of course is a must read, just waiting for the launch of the follow up to Dark Eden. Hurry up Chris!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2013
Hits the heights and poetic to boot
almost beyond the relms of sf
loved its trasubstansiations
wicked sad and fun
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 June 2013
The Peacock Cloak is the second collection of stories by Chris Beckett. It contains 12 stories set in the near and far future on our world and others. Some are linked (only ever so slightly), most are not. Stories include those of dimensional travel, alternate realities, a space travelling celebrity, a planet with mind projecting indigenous species and others. Through these tales Beckett tells moralistic stories that resonate in our time and include wars based on beliefs, isolation, marriage and a few others.

Always well written and thought provoking the tales really are a joy to read. They don't have a twist in the tale but are very reminiscent of Phillip K Dick's short stories compilations. They are creative, original and thought provoking whilst being true to Sci-fi at every turn. The tales included here are :-

Atomic Truth
Two Thieves
Johnny's New Job
The Caramel Forest
Greenland
The Famous Cave Paintings on Isolus 9
Rat Island
Day 29
Our Land
The Desiccated Man
Poppyfields
The Peacock Cloak

I particularly enjoyed Greenland (a story about immigration and cloning), The Peacock Cloak (about gods) and Our Land (a story of war between English, Brythons and Saxons). The stories stay with you for a while afterwards and are always as interesting as a sci-fi story as they are as fables. Very highly recommended.
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on 4 July 2013
I found all the stories extremely well written. They are all very different and up to Chris Beckett's usual high standard. The beauty of short stories is that you can 'dip in' but in this case, once you've begun you won't put the book down 'til you've finished
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on 30 May 2015
The first set of short stories - "The Turing Test" were absolutely gripping. This set isn't quite as good but still well worth reading.
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