Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

‘Anomalies’ by Gregory Benford

with 3 comments

This recalls Timescape in both subject (scientific investigation) and location (Cambridge). An amateur astronomer discovers an anomaly with the moon and promptly informs the Astronomer Royal. Since he is refered to as Martin we are to assume the story is set in the present day. However, it exists in some sort of neverneverland of class caricature. The original discoverer of the anomaly is a doughty working class furniture maker who actually folds his cap in his hands before saying:

Me, I’m just a five-inch ‘scope man. Don’t care about much beyond the priority, sir.

Later he goes with the Astronomer Royal to see a don who serves them tea and “small sandwiches with the crust cut off” before “deftly opening a bottle of sherry”. (Incidently this don is described as a “post-postmodern philosopher” which is what exactly?) And in addition to all this it is told in a grating documentary style.

Quality: **
Shiftiness: ***

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Written by Martin

10 May 2009 at 22:14

Posted in sf, short stories

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. What is it about this blog that so thoroughly brings out the pedant in me?

    “Charicature” … something to do with tea?

    Adam Roberts

    11 May 2009 at 13:28

  2. I tried it as “characature” but that looked even worse so I assumed I must have been right in the first place…

    Looking forward to your review of True Blood on Friday. I hear that the programme is good old fashioned tits and killings which would make a change from the utter dross that currently passes for genre television.

    Martin

    11 May 2009 at 14:03

  3. I’d say it’s more tits, more tits and killing. But yes, a refreshing change. Perfect for all those people who watched the Twilight film and thought to themselves: very nice, and all, but where’s all the shagging?

    Adam Roberts

    11 May 2009 at 16:36


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