Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Futures from Nature: 100 Speculative Fictions

This is another book sent to me to review, and the editor of it, Henry Gee, has published two of my stories. I think that's all the disclosure I have here.

Honestly, I know that serious publishers don't tend to market serious books as bathroom reading, and for reasons incomprehensible to me, the US doesn't have the same level of book marketing in subways etc. as in the UK. But I think this book would be good for that general purpose: something you want to be able to pick up and put down readily, without losing too much thereby. The stories in it were all the back page Nature Futures stories, so they're a certain set length (about two and a half pages of trade paperback), and they're completely unrelated to each other except that Dr. Gee liked them enough to print them, and except that they're SF.

Obviously when you get 100 stories from 100 authors, there will be some you like more and some less. I found that there were two categories of story I didn't like all that well: the ones that referenced Nature Futures itself, and the ones that were the extremely bare sketch of hundreds of years of a future history with a punchline/tagline at the end. I know it's hard to fit a story into 970 words; I've done it, so I know how hard. But it's worth doing. There were a great many stories that did manage that, and I was glad of them. The ones that didn't--eh, they were only two and a half pages long! There's something else coming around the bend by the time you're sure whether you like the one you're reading or not.]

A few years back, a friend asked me for Christmas present advice for his father-in-law, who had seen his attention span drop dramatically and frustratingly, interfering with his ability to read SF. If this book had been out then, it would have been perfect for him. It still would be, so if that's you or someone you know, now you know what to do.
Tags: bookses precious
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