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Engineering Infinity Mass Market Paperback – December 28, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
What about the stories? "[S]ome of the stories are classic hard SF, some are not. [I]t is part of the ongoing discussion about what science fiction is in the 21st century." Since the stories are not related in any systematic way, perhaps the collection is a celebration of diversity. I am never sure what people mean by that, either. Ah, well. The stories are all pretty good, each in its own way. Four stood out for me:
Hannu Rajaniemi's "The Server and the Dragon" has no human characters. But it is rich with motives and emotions that humans have no trouble understanding. From two, one.
Robert Reed's "Mantis" is two stories, edited. A man and a woman exercise and watch another man and woman meet on the street outside. Between the two couples a high tech window subtly alters what they see of each other. Oh, and there's a bug.
In Gwyneth Jones' "The Ki-anna" a fraternal twin investigates his sister's death on a war-torn planet. An accident or a murder or the self-sacrifice of a seasoned anthropologist?
In John Barnes' "The Birds and the Bees and the Gasoline Trees" the growth of a huge undersea structure is investigated by a nearly-indestructible genetically engineered woman who has been recalled to Earth from the environment she was designed for.Read more ›
The thing is, most of the short stories are okay. Some I liked, some I disliked. Same as most short story collections. (Although there were no standouts in this one for me, but that may be personal taste. At the very least, none of the short stories were ghastly.)
But...out of the 15 stories in the book, only one could be classified as hard science fiction. The rest were sociological science fiction or fantasy with "nanotech" or some other buzzword added in to make them sound like science fiction. (Like the story about angels. Like, I'm cool with angels. The story was fine. But...it's not hard science fiction by any stretch of the imagination, unless we're going to use new definitions and classify Tolkien as "hard science fiction" since, hey, why not?)
I'd be fine with the premise if the anthology was sold as "vaguely science fiction-y concepts". But when it's explicitly supposed to be hard science fiction, and yet <10% of the stories are hard science fiction (and the copy on the cover doesn't seem to describe any of the short stories found within), I'm left wanting my money back. Like...I paid for hard science fiction. I want hard science fiction. This collection is *not* hard science fiction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are a quite a few gems in this anthology — those rare short stories that you wish we're novel-length. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JCND
As I have stated more than once in previous reviews, I am a great fan of short stories and they are one of the best means to experience unfamiliar authors. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Willy Eckerslike
Some of the best Sci-Fi, collected together under a common theme.
A combination of hopeful views, some dystopia.
Good for the thinking mind, making the future now.
Wonderful collection of hard science fiction. Reed has put together masters of their craft and taken us all along for the ride!Published on December 14, 2013 by Bill Derbyshire
nice stories about different ideas in space sort of speak. after you read one, and liked it, you know you're gonna like the other one.short does not mean cheap.Published on November 3, 2013 by Björn Wauters
The cover illustration looks like a Giger alien from a distance and the Amazon blurb notes that "hard science-fiction [is] where a sense of discovery is. Read morePublished on February 11, 2013 by Tghu Verd
Surprisingly many of the short stories included in this anthology contain angels in some form.
I liked almost all of the stories very much, and loved some.
So far the stories are uneven. Some are good, but several are predictable and somewhat boring. That can happen when several different authors are put in the volume. Read morePublished on January 21, 2012 by Ronald R. Eckiss