The date range is almost identical to that of the selections in The Best of Gordon R. Dickson: Volume 1 that I reviewed earlier this month. And right up front, I believe we can make an important distinction along these lines. Poul Anderson was simply the better and more influential and consequential writer of the pair…
Archive for 'Paul Di Filippo'
After being more or less defunct for decades, this seems to be Captain Future’s time to be reborn. The Captain’s retro yet timeless virtues both the hero’s personal creed and the narrative stylings are arguably congruent with cultural trends today toward a desired and desirable return to basics and old verities with a useful revisioning.
Dickson began publishing professionally in 1950, and this first volume of his Best Stories chronicles the years 1954 through 1964 with one important exception. Editor Hank Davis has wisely and temptingly kicked off the collection with “Love Song,” the piece that Dickson sold to Harlan Ellison for Last Dangerous Visions, and which has been unseen since.
The first thing to note is that although Mastai might very well have been raised outside strict genre borders, he exhibits a playful fluency with, and is creatively savvy about, all the genre appurtenances and furniture. His does not make a single misstep with his speculations or language.
Lastly, and possibly the biggest attraction of the book, is the sheer language. Like S. J. Perelman writing for the Marx Brothers, combined with Raymond Chandler’s propensity for over-the-top similes and metaphors, Kadrey’s language pops off the page, whether as dialogue or description.
Spinrad revels in the juicy, sleazy, all-too-human Machiavellian machinations of all the parties, the rebels and the establishment alike. His ability to chart thrust and counter-thrust is akin to that of some television political strategist following the twists and turns of national affairs.
David Brin’s The Transparent Society (1998) surveyed the new technology that is driving us towards more and more disclosure, and drew fresh new conclusions about the issues. Now, still cogitating on the ramifications of these issues, and displaying admirable tenacity and dedication to the cause, Brin offers an anthology of fiction on the topic, featuring a stellar lineup of contributors.