Screaming Planet

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Bookworm 2013: Crunchy Collections

Posted on | December 28, 2013 | No Comments

Anne C Perry - The Lowest HeavenMuch as Strahan’s collection of short stories was a hit-and-miss affair, leaving an overall sour taste (the hits came early, the misses later, for a downward spiral effect), Anne C. Perry’s The Lowest Heaven collection of stories set around the Solar System was, for the most part, absolutely brilliant. The stories are arrayed in a more-or-less linear fashion, moving from the Sun out towards interstellar space, tackling the various heavenly bodies. There is one that I’ll admit to being unable to finish, simply because it was, in fact, historical Americana needlessly masquerading as sci-fi (Ashen Light, set on Venus), and a few others that felt weak compared to the competition (most notably Magnus Lucretius, with a quasi-Roman colony built around Jupiter), but overall the quality of writing is really incredible, particularly with standouts like The Krakatoan about an astronomer’s daughter and the crackling fabric of the world around her, We’ll Always Be Here about a decrepit and decaying orphanage in the Pluto-Charon subsystem, or Enyo-Enyo, a delirious story set in the farthest reaches of the system, around Eris and Dysnomia. The only thing that kind of poked me in the eye a bit is that an unusually high number of stories dealt with the tragic fate of homosexuals – I am all for gay rights, but this felt like intentional hot-button pushing on the part of the authors, and as such, somewhat forced.

Peter Watts - Beyond the RiftThe other short story collection I should talk about is one I can’t really talk about coherently. I’m such as screaming piss-my-pants-with-euphoria fanboy of Peter Watts that whatever I may say about Beyond the Rift will probably sound suspiciously like insane babbling of a gibbering maniac. Simply put, he is the writer I wish I could be. If you like your science fiction hard, if you like it when it requires use of your brain, and if you like it just ever so slightly dark (okay, I may be understating that a bit), you will love Watts, and this collection of his short work is an excellent place to sample his work and see if you should move on to his dammit I can’t control myself absolutely fucking brilliant novels. Gahh. Well. There you have it.

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  • Goodreads

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time
    The Ophiuchi Hotline
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    Green Eyes
    Crackpot Palace: Stories
    The Fractal Prince
    The Fecund's Melancholy Daughter

    Sebastian's favorite books »