Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
At least a fortnight's worth of enjoyment!
on 11 December 2011
Whether you are a newbie to SF, or a hardened consumer, I'd like to recommend this anthology of shorts to you. To mirror Ian Whates' editorial introduction, this collection offers a flavour of the type of SF available nowadays and should, in my opinion, have the reader searching for more from the authors of their favourite stories.
In particular, I enjoyed The Incredible Exploding Man by Dave Hutchinson for its concept and execution, Steel Lake by Jack Skillingstead for its emotion, and the outrageous, laugh-out-loud Return of the Mutant Worms by Peter F. Hamilton.
Any major quibbles? Not really - out of the nineteen, I found one to be so impenetrable I gave up, and another that I wish I had, but then this anthology is a broad church and you can't please everyone, so I'd suggest buying it and flipping past any that don't do it for you. I was also mildly irked by the problems which prompt the usual SF criticisms: a really clunky info-dump in one and zero characterisation within dialogue in another, whilst a third had the page-checking distraction of an antagonist being one-hundred-and-seventy years older than another character on one page, then having an actual age of one-hundred-and-seventy years further on in the story. But these are minor annoyances when compared to the whole, so do the decent thing and add it to your basket!