2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Vacuum Diagrams (Mass Market Paperback)
It's not the cold hard science (that at times can read like a text book and be a little dull) or the lack of character development (this is a collection of short stories after all) that undermine this book. My problem is with the nasty, selfish, suspicious and even hateful way many characters treat each other, even if they are supposedly on the same side. This gives the book an unpleasant feel overall, even when the odd sympathetic character pops up. Other negatives are that the stories can be a little repetitive and formulaic. One paragraph is even copy and pasted from one story to another with only the planet name substituted. When a character tries to give a hard science "info dump" to set up the story they are always told to "shut up" halfway through by the person they are talking to. Having said all that some of the stories are just excellent. Pilot, a tale concerning a seemingly doomed intergalactic escape is one of the best I have ever read with The Xeelee Flower not far behind. To sum up, some of the stories are bit uninteresting, others are superb. The bullying, unfriendly tone is a problem.