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The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction 2007…
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The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction 2007

by George Mann (Editor)

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166671,708 (3.53)4
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Several years ago, I read and enjoyed volume three of this series, so looping back to the beginning seemed warranted, although "new science fiction" hardly applies at this point. It's a decent anthology, though not as good as remember that later one being. Unfortunately, it doesn't start strong, as I found Jeffrey Thomas's "In His Sights" pretty difficult to get into, with lengthy exposition dumps starting right on the first page, but it eventually picked up for me with a fun time travel story in Peter F. Hamilton's "If At First..." and Stephen Baxter's apocalyptic "Last Contact."

"Cages" by Ian Watson, about aliens who introduce disabilities to the human race, was fascinating even if I didn't understand it and Mary A. Turzillo's "Zora and the Land Ethic Nomads" was a great, personal-level story set on Mars. Those four are seemingly it for strong stories, alas, though there are number of decent ones. Many of the middling ones run afoul of that old nemesis of science fiction: the writer who has an idea, but not a story. I wanted to love "The Bowlder Strain" by James Lovegrove (about a virus that removes your ability to swear) and "Personal Jesus" by Paul Di Filippo (about aliens who give everyone on Earth an iPod that lets them talk to God), but both had these amazing concepts wedded to insubstantial stories.

Special excoriation must be reserved for Mike Resnick & David Gerrold's "Jellyfish," about a Philip K. Dick/Kurt Vonnegut pastiche cleverly named "Dillon K. Filk" who... listen, I don't even know. It's the worst sort of metafiction: lazy, in-jokey, and knowing. I rarely hate stories as much as I hated this, but this was really a complete waste of every one of the 38 pages it was printed on. After ten pages have been wasted on basically nothing, then you get more and more expys of famous authors: "E. A. van der Vogel" (ugh), "Belevedere Atheling" (double ugh), "Robert Goldenboy" (really? are you even trying?), and then a whole page that just lists these I-am-sure-they-are-so-hilarious-to-Resnick-and-Gerrold-and-their-friends parody names of writer after writer after writer, culminating with "whatsisname, that sissy little creep who sold that stupid script to Star Truck while still in college, stealing the opportunity from a real science fiction writer." As if David Gerrold ever crossed the radar of Dick or Vonnegut; dream on, fanboy. It was at this point that I swore violently and went on to the next story, because life is too short. This story and Brian Aldiss's contribution ("The Four Ladies of the Apocalypse") make me think Mann was willing to take any old shit from famous writers to bolster his book.

Wow, I wasted a lot of words on it, but I seriously hated that story, and it remains my strongest emotional reaction to the book. Thankfully, I know the series will do better work later on.
  Stevil2001 | Apr 11, 2014 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1997182.html

There were a couple of stories I liked here - Stephen Baxter's "Last Contact", and Keith Brooke's "The Accord" (which I note were also the two picked by Gardner Dozois for his annual collection) - many which didn't especially grab me, and one awful attempt to channel Kurt Vonnegut by Mike Resnick and David Gerrold. ( )
  nwhyte | Oct 7, 2012 |
Hopes were pinned on Windbag for two reasons. First, its symptoms were less startlingly dramatic than Bowdler''s, and nowhere near as unsettling. Second, by its very nature, Windbag instilled the avoidance of vulgarity. No-one who caught Windbag would resort to four-letter words, not while they were so enthusiastically utilizing fourteen-letter words. The full range of the English language was theirs to command, so what need was there to wallow amid the baser idioms when altogether more refined and elegant modes of expression were available? from "The Bowdler Strain".

My favourite stories were "Personal Jesus", the amusing tale of "The Bowdler Strain" and the poignant "Last Contact", but overall this was a very good selection of stories. ( )
  isabelx | Feb 20, 2011 |
If this is the future of science fiction, the genre is in real trouble. This collection contains several predictable stories and one self-parody by Resnick and Gerrold that is particularly painful. The only story that I really liked was midway through the book, If At First... by Peter Hamilton, a nice twist on time travel. There is an End of the World elegiac tale, Last Contact by Stephen Baxter and two tales of alien intervention, one horrific (Personal Jesus by Paul di Filippo) and one hopeful (The Farewell Party by Eric Brown). Unfortunately both of them were predictable from start to finish. From now on I will stick to the magazines. Yes, there are horrible stories in them, but every so often...a gem! ( )
  kd9 | Oct 17, 2007 |
A new original Science Fiction anthology from an English publisher, which the table of contents does reflect.

Getting a book you want it to be above average, unfortunately this one doesn't quite get there. For 16 stories, this is about what I would expect to get that basic 3.5 out of 5 rating:

10 above average stories, 5 average, 1 below average.

However, we get 8 above average, 6 average and 2 below average, for a story mean score of 3.34. This gives an adjusted score of 3.22.

So, basically this book is a 3.25 out of 5, definitely a bit better than mediocre or ordinary.

There are several good stories, but nothing over 4 that is likely to be remembered for a long time after you read it, as such.

As a comparison to the 3.22/3 out of 5, the first Fast Forward anthology, a competitor, was 3.53 mean score and 4 out of 5.

Solaris 1 : In His Sights - Jeffrey Thomas
Solaris 1 : Bioship - Neal Asher
Solaris 1 : C-Rock City - Jay Lake and Greg van Eekhout
Solaris 1 : The Bowdler Strain - James Lovegrove
Solaris 1 : Personal Jesus - Paul Di Filippo
Solaris 1 : If At First - Peter F. Hamilton
Solaris 1 : Distillation of Grace - Adam Roberts
Solaris 1 : Last Contact - Stephen Baxter
Solaris 1 : Cages - Ian Watson
Solaris 1 : Jellyfish - Mike Resnick and David Gerrold
Solaris 1 : Zora and the Land Ethnic Nomads - Mary Turzillo
Solaris 1 : The Four Ladies of the Apocalypse - Brian Aldiss
Solaris 1 : The Accord - Keith Brooke
Solaris 1 : The Wedding Party - Simon Ings
Solaris 1 : Third Person - Tony Ballantyne
Solaris 1 : The Farewell Party - Eric Brown

The deathly smell of war can leave you feeling Blue.

4 out of 5

Barbed venomous response.

3 out of 5

Historical slave decisions.

3 out of 5

Tower of Babel $!^&*@# sucks! No Batman, either.

4 out of 5

Deusex Mode decimation.

4 out of 5

Rewind personality advantage.

3.5 out of 5

12 step program.

3 out of 5

Ripped off.

4 out of 5

Remade impediments.

3 out of 5

Hi-ho, it is off to work we don't go, because I am just sitting in my house typing four pages. That is if copious amounts of drugs don't make this all too meta for anything to be anything.

3 out of 5

Camera kid clues radiant relief.

3.5 out of 5

Swinging away at the end.

2.5 out of 5

Proxy people.

2.5 out of 5

Pieces of the people smuggling puzzle.

3 out of 5

A walk-on part in the war, a lead role in the Sarge.

3.5 out of 5

Alien Resurrection.

4 out of 5

http://notfreesf.blogspot.com/2007/10/solaris-book-of-new-science-fiction.html ( )
  bluetyson | Oct 7, 2007 |
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The eclectic stories and novelettes in this collection range from futuristic murder mysteries, to widescreen space opera, to tales of contact with alien beings.

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