Books : reviews

Brad Linaweaver, Edward E. Kramer, eds.
Free Space.
Tor. 1997

rating : 6 : unfinishable
review : 4 August 2002

This should have been good. Short stories by good authors set in a common future. But for some reason, I found myself forgetting I was reading it after putting it down, reading something else, then tripping over it, and reading another story, only for the cycle to start again. I think the main problem is the stories seem a little forced. Of the ones I did actually read, "Madam Butterfly" is the only one that stays in my mind, and I'd already read that before.


James P. Hogan. Madam Butterfly. 1997
A Japanese cleaning woman rescues a dying flower -- with vast consequences. [And what a brilliant title! Of course, Asimov did the story earlier, with his 1958 story "Spell My Name with an S" (aka "S as in Zebatinsky"), and would have jumped at the chance of such a good pun, had the terminology been invented back then.]
William F. Buckley Jr. Crisis in Space. == Crisis on Soyuz-Apollo. 1975
An alternative ending to the Apollo-Soyuz linkup
Dafydd ab Hugh. Nerfworld. 1997
How to get around those bureaucratic hurdles, at a price
J. Neil Schulman. Day of Atonement. 1997
Animal rights activists protesting religious fundamentalist sacrifices possibly have a bigger effect than planned
Brad Linaweaver. No Market for Justice. 1997
Creeping Statism gets everywhere. [What a beautiful last line!]
William F. Wu. Kwan Tingui. 1997
Kwan Douhak is searching for his long lost sister; Kwan Tingui maybe her; everyone is a different person from in their youth
Gregory Benford. Early Bird. 1995
A prospector and a snooty AI search for wormholes in the sun's corona
Ray Bradbury. Of What is Past, or Passing, or to Come II. 1997
[a poem]
Poul Anderson. Tyranny. 1997
Fighting the Tyranny of machine-enforced freedom
Peter Crowther. The Killing of Davis-Davis. 1997
Victor Koman. Demokratus. 1997
Robert J. Sawyer. The Hand You're Dealt. 1997
Wendy McElroy. How do You Tell the Dreamer from the Dream?. 1997
William Alan Ritch. If Pigs Had Wings. 1997
L. Neil Smith. A Matter of Certainty. 1997
John DeChancie. Planet in the Balance. 1997
Arthur Byron Cover. The Performance of a Lifetime. 1997
Jared Lobdell. The Last Holosong of Christopher Lightening. 1997
John Barnes. Between Shepherds and Kings. 1997
An SF author is having trouble writing a short story for the Free Space anthology, reconciling his own views with the premiss of the collection.
Robert Anton Wilson. Free at Last. 1997