Crytpic: Jack McDevitt

20 09 2009

Jack McDevitt: CrypticCryptic
The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt

ISBN 978-1596061958 (Subterranean)
Hardback, 2009

Amazingly, this is my first Jack McDevitt book. And it’s content is not something you come across much these days – pure science fiction. No fantasy here.

There are an interesting number of stories that deal with space exploration. The failure to find other space fairing races – are we alone!

One poignant tale deals with a time capsule. You now, those things you chuck a few things in, and marvel at when dug up again in 10, 20 or 50 years. Hopefully not as alarming as in the film “Knowing”.

In this case its’ been put away for a thousand years. Things like novels from popular 20th century authors, were stored in it – Bradbury, Clarke, Swanwick, Tiptree, etc. Wonders to set young minds to asking questions. Especially as man was still stuck in the solar system – external journeys have been put in the “too hard” basket. “To Hell with the Stars”

A few other stories, nearer our own time, deal with the fallout from retreating from space just as achievements are made. Just because we’ve ‘been there, done that’. It makes you think!

And as usual, a smattering of post disaster stories.

The last story “Time Travellers Never Die” seems to be an introduction to a novel of the same name, that is due for release in ACE Hardcover in Nov 2009.

38 Short stories – a great read

This Subterranean Press edition seems to be sold out. Grab a copy wherever you can.

http://jackmcdevitt.com

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The Best of Michael Swanwick

18 01 2009

The Best of Michael Swanwick

ISBN 978-1596061781 (Suberranean Press)
Hardback, 2008

In the last few months of AUS$/US$ (almost) parity in 2008, I discovered Subterranean Press. They are specialty publishers, putting out limited editions in the horror, suspense, dark mystery, fantasy, science fiction, etc genres. Prices start at US$35-40 for limited edition hard covers that are mostly over subscribed on release.

I have obtained a few short story collections;
– The Best of Michael Swanwick
– Woods & Waters Wild (Charles de Lint)
Worlds of Weber
Summer Morning, Summer Night (Ray Bradbury)
– The Best of Lucius Shepard

Michael Swanwick and Lucius Shepard are 2 authors that I’d not heard of before, and they have been around for ages. I can’t seem to find their works in local book stores.

The Review:
Bypassing the last quarter century of his career, I have been introduced to Michael Swanwick’s writing through this short story collection. It is a chronological journey through 21 stories written between 1980 and 2007, including 5 Hugo Award winners.

The genres range from pure science fiction to pure fantasy – Janis Joplin worshiped as a god, teenagers climb down the edge of the world, zombies, journey across the surface of a planet sized grasshopper, dinosaurs, lunar cities, a train bound for hell, wars across time, etc.

My favourite story was “Triceratops Summer” (dinosaurs invade Vermont) – the writing, in this story, reminded me of Ray Bradbury’s Green Town stories.

All the stories were good – a recommended read

Last Words:
“When I was young, I ran off with the elves to become a writer. And I’ve never looked back.” – MS

www.michaelswanwick.com (home page)
floggingbabel.blogspot.com (blog)





Brandon Sanderson – Firstborn

20 12 2008

I have just finished reading Brandon’s excellent short story at TOR.COM

Nice to see well written Science Fiction, and hope to see a novel, from him, in that genre one day. Read it at..

http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=story&id=10489