Everything Is Nice

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

‘Send Me A Kiss By Wire’ by Hilbert Schenck

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A weird selection this. Schenck was a professor of ocean engineering and his story deals with a squid hunt. It is pretty hard – “The officer shrugged. “We’re generating a thirty-megawatt blue-green laser pulse, maybe a nanosecond long”” (p. 202) – but not very SF. Schenck gives us a sour, passive observer as the protagonist which is presumably why H&C describe it as a “blistering satire on academic life” but it is no more satire than it is science fiction.

Quality: *
Hardness: ***

The years have not been kind to Hilbert Schenck. He wrote a string of award-winning short stories in the Eighties – in fact, he won the both the Hugo and the Nebula for two stories, ‘The Battle of the Abaco Reefs’ and ‘The Geometry of Narrative’ – but I’d never heard of him before and critically he seems to have been forgotten. Perversely H&C have included two stories by him (compared to one a piece for Heinlein and Clement) but still didn’t have room for any of his award winners.

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Written by Martin

17 March 2010 at 08:19

2 Responses

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  1. […] a comment » I didn’t much like Schenck’s previous story in the anthology and whilst this better, it is still a puzzling choice. Again it is a story about […]

  2. […] Singing Diamond’ by Robert L Forward ‘Down And Out On Ellfive’ by Dean Ing ‘Send Me A Kiss By Wire’ by Hilbert Schenck ‘The Xi Effect’ by Philip Latham ‘A Descent Into The Maelström’ by Edgar […]


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