Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Book Review — Redshift, edited by Al Sarrantonio

Redshift, edited by Al Sarrantonio

Memorable stories include On K2 with Kanakaredes by Dan Simmons, Black Tulip by Harry Turtledove (probably the best in the book), In the Un-Black by Stephen Baxter, Anomalies by Gregory Benford, Resurrection by David Morrell, Road Kill by Joe Haldeman and Ssoroghod’s People by Larry Niven

On K2 with Kanakaredes by Dan Simmons — A group of mountain-climbers are blackmailed by the U.S. State Department into including a mantispid alien into their group for their attempt to scale K2 in the Himalayas.

Black Tulip by Harry Turtledove — This one was probably the best in the book, and I usually don’t read fantasy — most times, I don’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. (Still haven’t seen or read anything in either the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter series, and have no plans to “remedy” that.) Black Tulip is about a group of mujahideen and a unit of Soviet soldiers during the Soviet war in Afghanistan — both groups come together, and the Russkies wake up a dragon sleeping in the mountain that the muj are based on by firing a few truckloads of Katyusha rockets at the muj positions on that mountain.

In the Un-Black by Stephen Baxter — This is part of Baxter’s Xeelee Sequence. While this series makes for interesting reading (as does the rest of Baxter’s work), it’s ultimately depressing, as humanity spends upwards of 300,000 years in a state of war against the Xeelee. This is akin to an anthill declaring war against you for putting in a new deck in your backyard (humanity being the anthill).

Anomalies by Gregory Benford — I’ve never known Benford to turn out a bad story, but sometimes his stuff starts off a bit slowly. This one concerns the moon jumping a bit ahead in its orbit and then back again

Resurrection by David Morrell — Morrell approaches the subject of cryonics here, as a son puts his father into the flash-freezer at age nine, grows up and becomes a doctor. As the son hits age 55, a cure is found, and the father is resusitated — to re-enter life as a thirty-year-old. The father has to adjust to twenty years of change, and is getting his bearings when . . .

Nahh, I won’t spoil the ending for you. I will note that Morrell has a Myspace page for those interested.

Road Kill by Joe Haldeman — Haldeman is best known for The Forever War. Road Kill is fast-paced, and the story is about a serial killer who thinks he’s an alien soldier stranded on Earth.

Ssoroghod’s People by Larry Niven — This is another of Niven’s Draco Tavern stories, which are always a decent read.


Copyright © 2007 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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