Everything Is Nice

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

Sensawunda

with 2 comments

My long review of The Secret History Of Science Fiction, edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel (and previously mentioned here, is up now at SF Site. The introduction is blunt but to the point:

The Secret History of Science Fiction is a very good collection of short stories. It is not, however, a very good anthology.

It is a problem I’ve had more than a few times – the gap between the individual stories and overall of aim of the editor – and it is a problem I’m sure I will have again.

Speaking of which, for the next of my story by story reading projects I’m planning to read The Ascent Of Wonder: The Evolution Of Hard SF, edited by David G Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. It is an absolute monster: just under 1,000 pages. It has three introductions, for God’s sake, one for each of the editors and a bonus one for Gregory Benford. Having read Paul Kincaid’s review of the anthology – in which he takes strong issue with the editors’ definition of hard SF – and sharing similar concerns to him, I suspect this will be another anthology which I find frustrated by its editors. We shall see.

I will start with Benford’s introduction later this week but the whole thing will probably take me until the end of the year.

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Written by Martin

1 February 2010 at 16:14

2 Responses

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  1. Aw man, “The Ascent of Wonder”! I read that at a young and impressionable age, and thus cannot be objective about it in any way at all. I never stopped to consider the definition at all, focusing instead on the fact it contained a load of stories I found awesome. It was this more than any other anthology that turned me into a person who loves the short story form, I’m sure.

    Nick

    1 February 2010 at 23:57

  2. Kincaid has now published his review of The Secret History at Strange Horizons.

    Martin

    19 March 2010 at 11:20


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