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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Eclectic Collection of Hard (ish) SF, 27 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Engineering Infinity (The Infinity Project Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Engineering Infinity is a collection of modern science fiction which gives a broad view of the work being produced towards the hard end of the spectrum. Starting with a nod to the classic cyberpunk anthology, Mirrorshades, it is a highly contemporary selection, with a number of stories which could be categorised as being part of the post-human sub-genre, but which is also very firmly grounded in the work of classic writers.

The heartbreaking "Watching the Music Dance", a story of a little girl damaged by illegal implants which boost her musical ability, could easily have been written by a modern Phillip K Dick, using science fiction as an instrument to explore current issues. In this case, this is a tale of the damage over zealous parents can inflict on themselves and their offspring.

"Mercies", by Gregory Benford, on the other hand recalls classic Asimov, with a tale of a time travelling assassin, changing alternative pasts by despatching historical serial killers before they commit their crimes.
Thirdly, Stephen Baxter mines a very British seam reminiscent of Arthur C Clarke with the "Invasion of Venus", a story of mysterious alien incursion into the Solar System, seemingly oblivious of the human race.

Moving forward (in terms of writers), "Malak", a stunningly good tale about a military drone given a conscience, is very much, in its combination of very near future and high technological focus, on the Cyberpunk playing field.
That Cyberpunk feel is also to be found in "Laika's ghost", which is additionally reminiscent of Ken Macleod or Adam Roberts, bringing in themes of post-Soviet revolutionary politics.

Probably the most outright entertainment is to be had from Charles Stross's "Bit Rot". This is an enjoyably high concept romp which could be summed up as "Cannibal Zombie Cyborgs in Deep Space". In the set up of things going awry on a starship on a generations long mission it brings to mind the works of Allen Steele, Greg Bear, or Alastair Reynolds.

Hannu Rajaniemei makes a characteristic far future contribution, describing exotic technologies in a near hallucinogenic fashion. His is a story of a star system spanning artificial intelligence undermined by an exotic dragon-like virus.

In total there are 14 stories here, not all of the very highest quality, but all certainly readable.
If you want a picture of the work of today's science fiction (and very definitely science fiction rather than fantasy) authors, this is highly recommended.
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