Everything Is Nice

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

‘The Pi Man’ by Alfred Bester

with 2 comments

Almost, for a moment, I thought I would have to attack the conductor of the Opera Comique, but fate was kind and let me off with nothing worse than indecent exposure, and I was able to square it by founding a scholarship at the Sorbonne.

A sentence like that is worth the price of admittance alone. Our narrator is a “compensator”, providing cosmic balance against his will. He gets into some scraps. The rest of the story is fun but fun of the hectic variety which gives you a bit of a headache. As always, Bester is so much more vibrant than his contemporaries though.

Quality: ***
Hardness: *

It goes without saying that this isn’t hard SF and, as has so often been the case, H&K come right out and admit this: “He was pyrotechnic, self-consciously literary, artificial, and brilliant, and utterly rejected the style and affect of hard sf.” An obvious candidate for inclusion, I think you will agree.

Written by Martin

30 November 2010 at 19:44

2 Responses

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  1. Over the weekend I found a forgotten and unread copy of “The Ascent of Wonder” lurking on my bookshelves. For a moment I was tempted, but only for a moment.


    30 November 2010 at 20:44

  2. […] by Rudyard Kipling ‘The Longest Science Fiction Story In The World’ by Arthur C Clarke ‘The Pi Man’ by Alfred Bester ‘Relativistic Effects’ by Gregory Benford ‘Making Light’ by James P. Hogan […]

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