Friday, October 1, 2010

Short Stories

Tom’s earlier review of “Wireless” prompted me to think short stories in general. Personally, I find them to be a great way to explore other authors and genres. Here are some of the short story collections I've read recently:

"Metatropolis" edited by John Scalzi

The collectively created urban future of these stories offers a fresh take on what tomorrow’s cities could be. Contributors include: Jay Lake, Tobias S Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, and Karl Schroeder. If you could read only one of the volumes in this post this is the one.

"Gateways" edited by Elizabeth Anne Hull

This volume is a tribute SciFi writer Frederik Pohl, winner of the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer.  Pohl has won many Nebula and Hugo awards along with the SFWA Grand Master Award.
While Pohl fans and SciFi diehards will enjoy this collection; if you’re a new or an occasional SciFi reader I would recommend starting with one of the other collections in this post.

The New Space Opera" & “The New Space Opera 2" edited by Gardner Dozios & Jonathan Strahan
Both of these volumes have many contributors and a varying level of quality. Most of the stories in Vol 1 are mediocre at best. A common criticism of this volume is that the writers assume that readers have already read some of their other works.  Diehard SciFi fans will most likely be familiar with the author’s works while newcomers might be left confused. Noteworthy stories include: Verthandi's Ring by Ian McDonald; an interesting depiction of two galactic civilizations engaged in an epic war. Another is Maelstrom by Kage Baker which tells the tale of an amateur theater company on Mars

Volume 2 is by far a better collection of stories.  It also seems to be more accessible to new and occasional SciFi readers. Gems from this volume include Punctuality by Garth Nix which is a short and sweet. John Scalzi’s The Tale of the Wicked is an enjoyable new take on artificial intelligence becoming self-aware.

All of these volumes include something worth reading so come to the library and check them out. 

Want to read something that's not in our catalog? Ask! It's as easy as calling us or dropping by the library.

Questions, comments, and suggestions are encouraged.


1 comment:

  1. Have to say, I agree whole heartedly with the Metatropolis recommendation. The multi-talented John Scalzi proves once again his skill as an editor and writer. Check out his Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies if you're interested in sci-fi off the page. Tom S