Everything Is Nice

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

‘Viewpoint’ by Gene Wolfe

with 3 comments

This is really a very odd story and not at all the type of story I would expect Wolfe to write. It is a bit like a version of The Most Dangerous Game: a TV corporation give a bloke $100,000 and then tell him that they’ve implanted cameras in his head and all he has to do to keep the money is not get mugged. Which doesn’t make much sense. Nor does it play out this way; instead he very slowly makes his way to the countryside, aided by a gun dealer. This in itself is boring and confusing but it all takes place against the backdrop of a baffling conservative satire of the US Government where tax is 100% and self-defense is outlawed. Head-scratchingly bad.

Quality: *
Shiftiness: *

Written by Martin

2 June 2009 at 21:14

Posted in sf, short stories

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. I’ve read that in something else – Asimov’s, I think. I thought it was dire. In fact, most of Wolfe’s short fiction is dire – although his novels are very good.

    Ian Sales

    3 June 2009 at 09:34

  2. I read it in Wolfe’s collection, Starwater Strains. Tragically, I remembered it as being one of the better stories in the collection (I didn’t much like the collection), although scanning through the review I wrote for Vector way back when, I see that in fact I only mentioned it in passing.


    3 June 2009 at 16:50

  3. […] the genre can be high literature. So how come the only two stories I had read by him – ‘Viewpoint’ and ‘The Ziggurat’ – where terrible? Was I just unlucky or was everyone else […]

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