A few more sci-fi short stories and novellas – Reed, Egan, Le Guin, Chiang, MacLeod

I checked out Gardner Dozois “The Year’s Best Science Fiction” (16th annual, including stories published in 1998).  A smattering of really good reads, but this was one of the first volumes in this series where I was disappointed.  Among the better ones (i.e., authors to follow up with by reading some of their novels).

Ian MacLeod, “The Summer Isles,” Super good alt-history, England under the fascists, and being an aging gay man who knows a secret.  Excellent writing.  Not sci-fi though, just in case you think it is.

Robert Reed, “Cuckoo’s Boys,” An entirely original take on what genetic engineering of humans might mean.  The New Yorker just published an unoriginal and boring story by T.C. Boyle on this theme.  Treisman, get a clue!  Got out and commission Reed to write a dozen stories for The New Yorker.

Greg Egan, “Oceanic,” Wonderful gender-bending, world-building coming of age story.  But the plot fizzles out about 2/3 through.  Maybe it became part of a novel where more was at stake.

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Island of the Immortals,” Not her best, but an engaging story, and the “tour guide” at the end is captured brilliantly.

Cory Doctorow, “Craphound,” A throwaway profile of me if I were an alien.

Ted Chiang, “Story of Your Life,” A reminder of how good reading can be compared with a movie.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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