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Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F. Hamilton
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Manhattan in Reverse

by Peter F. Hamilton

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I??ve been meaning to read Peter F. Hamilton for years. I own a few of his books, but I havenƒ??t read them yet. If youƒ??re familiar with Hamilton, Iƒ??ll bet you know why. His books are HUGE, and most of them are part of a series. Every time I look at them on my shelf, they scream ƒ??MAJOR TIME COMMITMENT,ƒ? so there they stay. Thus, I was pleased to come across Manhattan in Reverse, a slim and inviting collection of seven stories by Peter F. Hamilton:

ƒ??Watching Trees Growƒ? ƒ?? This novella was originally published by PS publishing in 2000. Itƒ??s a murder mystery thatƒ??s set in an alternate England which progressed, technologically, much more rapidly than our real world has. There are only a handful of serious suspects, but the investigation takes more than 200 years while Edward Buchanan Raleigh doggedly pursues the culprit as technology advances to the point where he can finally solve the crime.

ƒ??Footvoteƒ? ƒ?? Itƒ??s 2010 and a man named Murphy has opened a wormhole to allow disgruntled British citizens to flee England and start a new colony on another planet. He only wants particular kinds of people (e.g., no lobbyists, no tabloid journalists, and no corporate lawyers) and they have to agree to his constitution (e.g., no weapons, no welfare, and socialized medicine for all). Colin wants to go with his two kids and his new girlfriend, but Colinƒ??s ex-wife is one of the wormhole protesters. ƒ??Footvoteƒ? was published in Postscripts magazine in 2004, but this version has been slightly updated.

ƒ??If at Firstƒ? ƒ?? A police detective is questioning a stalker who insists that he only wants to see his victimƒ??s time-travel machine. This clever story, originally published in The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction in 2007, was my favorite story in the collection.

ƒ??The Forever Kittenƒ? ƒ?? Published as an editorial piece in 2005 in Nature, the worldsƒ?? most prestigious scientific journal, this is a chilling short story about sweet little girls growing up. As someone who was once a teenage hellion and is now the mother of two sweet little girls (and a regular reader of Nature), I can totally relate.

ƒ??Blessed by an Angelƒ? ƒ?? This is a disturbing story about an ƒ??angelƒ? from a ƒ??Higherƒ? culture who makes an illegal visit to some teenagers on a slower developing planet. The angel is caught and dispatched, but s/he has left something behind. ƒ??Blessed by an Angelƒ? was originally published in 2007 in The New Space Opera.

ƒ??The Demon Trapƒ? ƒ?? First published in Galactic Empires in 2008, this novella features one of Hamiltonƒ??s well-known protagonists. Investigator Paula Myo, a human who was genetically engineered to be a great cop, has been called in to find the person responsible for blowing up several sons of Dynasty families. As expected, Paula is smart and efficient, but the unusual culprit brings up some interesting ethical and legal issues that, for now, can only be addressed in a science fiction story.

ƒ??Manhattan in Reverseƒ? ƒ?? This titular story, which also features Paula Myo, is original to the anthology. This time Paula is sent to a frontier planet where humans have been gradually invading the habitat of a species theyƒ??ve classified as non-sentient. When the natives begin to fight back, the xenobiologists wonder if they may have been wrong. This story brings to mind H. Beam Piperƒ??s Little Fuzzy.

Hamilton doesnƒ??t write many short stories ƒ?? in fact, these seven stories are the only ones heƒ??s written since 1998. Manhattan in Reverse is diverse, entertaining, thought-provoking and, at only 272 pages, a great way to get acquainted with Peter F. Hamilton. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
I've read most of Peter Hamilton's novels, and this book of short stories doesn't disappoint. Most are set in universes he's already established, so for me they were very easy to get into; for those that haven't read his work, some of the stories may not make much sense. ( )
  azyre | Apr 5, 2013 |
In his one page introduction, Peter Hamilton notes that he writes about one short story a year, favoring novels instead. Having read these, that makes sense; the least compelling, by far, is the brief 'Forever Kitten". "Watching Trees Grow" is a wonderfully conceived mystery that unfolds across several centuries of an alternative history in which (it seems) Rome never fell. The solution fits the narrative perfectly, but also delivers an unexpected and appalling sting. The book includes two mysteries featuring Paula Myo, a genetically-engineered detective from Hamilton's Commonwealth universe who always gets her man. Even when they include a surprise sting, these stories offer a basically optimistic view that material technology will continue to expand human freedoms and capacities, but that human nature isn't likely to change much (except, perhaps, among the most exotic fringes of our species, on their way to becoming something else). ( )
1 vote bezoar44 | Oct 22, 2012 |
With 3.71 average here, Hamilton shows he is a very fine proponent of the short form when not afflicted with the late 20th century auctorial bloatblight. The new Myo story is rather good, too.

Manhattan in Reverse : Watching Trees Grow - Peter F. Hamilton
Manhattan in Reverse : Footvote - Peter F. Hamilton
Manhattan in Reverse : If at First - Peter F. Hamilton
Manhattan in Reverse : The Forever Kitten - Peter F. Hamilton
Manhattan in Reverse : Blessed by an Angel - Peter F. Hamilton
Manhattan in Reverse : The Demon Trap - Peter F. Hamilton
Manhattan in Reverse : Manhattan in Reverse - Peter F. Hamilton

Caesar murder, by Jupiter.

3.5 out of 5

Exodus rules.

4 out of 5

Rewind personality advantage.

3.5 out of 5

Kid stasis.

4 out of 5

Twin reproduction insurance.

3.5 out of 5

Paula's shared punishment plan.

3.5 out of 5

Protosentient metal detection totem case.

4 out of 5

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2011/12/manhattan-in-reverse-peter-f-ha... ( )
  BlueTysonSS | Dec 28, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter F. Hamiltonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To all the Friday-night-down-the-pub boys, past, present, and future, whose whimsical flights of fantasy go a great deal further than anything in this book.
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'Manhattan in Reverse' is both the title of this collection of short stories and the title of one of the stories it contains - Many of the individual stories, including the title story, have have since been issued as kindle 'Short Read' singles and should not be combined with this edition of the collected stories. Please note 'Manhattan in Reverse' appears to have been published as 'Die Dämonenfalle' in German which translates as 'Demon Trap' and is another of the short stories in the collection. In this case the books 'Demon Trap' and 'Die Dämonenfalle' are NOT the same thing.
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This is a collection of short stories from the master of space opera. Peter Hamilton takes us on a journey from a murder mystery in an alternative Oxford in the 1800s to a story featuring Paula Mayo, deputy director of the Intersolar Commonwealth's Serious Crimes Directorate.… (more)

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