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Five Fates by Keith Laumer
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Five Fates (original 1970; edition 1975)

by Keith Laumer

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1485127,846 (3.33)3
Member:Theodosia
Title:Five Fates
Authors:Keith Laumer
Info:Warner Books (1975), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:anthology, SF

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Five Fates by Keith Laumer (1970)

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Showing 5 of 5
An interesting contest as Keith Laumer, Ellison,Pohl Anderson, Gordon Dickson, & Frank Herbert finish a short story in their different fashions. It is entertaining but I can't do spoilers, what's the fun otherwise? ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 19, 2018 |
Well-written, imaginative, intelligent, sure. Careful readers will be rewarded.

However, none of the stories meant anything to me - and I got a vibe as if the authors were competing to see just how weird they could get. I mean, if the concept is weird, does the writing have to be, too? It seems like that just makes more unnecessary work for the reader. Ah, but paging through the book again, I see that none of the concepts were outrageously creative - so maybe the writing style is key.

Welp, I never was a fan of the SF of this era anyway. If you are, and you live in the US, I'd be glad to ship this book to you (free). ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
What happens after death? Some of the best sci-fi writers of the 70's come together to explore some possibilities. Ellison is uniquely theologically bold. I enjoyed all the others, too. Probably a special appeal for me because this all comes from an era when I was first discovering science fiction. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
A man dies in the gray anonymity of a Euthanasia Center. This is the prologue; in the rest of the book, five writers take up the why and the what next.

Two of the five stories are disappointing. Anderson takes up the obvious dystopian tone of the prologue in the heavy-handed and mostly mediore "The Fatal Fulfillment". Dickinson, in "Maverick", pretty much ignores the prologue to write a dull combat-based adventure/drama.

The other three are very good or better. Laumer's "Of Death What Dreams" depicts a regimented future society which, though not particularly original, is rendered vividly, and makes for an exciting story. Ellison's "The Region Between" expands its horizons to deal with an entire universe, one populated by marvelously imaginative species that, in another writer's hands, would each have been the material for an entire book. (Ellison's story also features the best use of creative punctuation I've ever seen.) And Herbert, in the short but brilliant "Murder Will In", explores the nature of consciousness through the fascinating and mind-expanding perspective of a mental parasite. ( )
  Audacity88 | May 6, 2010 |
An interesting premise: In the prologue, one William Bailey enters a Euthanasia Center, is injected with the death drug and begins to fade into dying. The five stories that follow imagine what might happen to Bailey following that event. They are quite divergent, but it is interesting to note that in none of them does the entity "William Bailey" actually die. These stories are not tasked with imagining the afterlife.
Most would be completely spoiled were I to divulge any plot points, but I'd like to say that I enjoyed the first the most because I am a Social Worker. The second is the least memorable, as I've just had to refer back to the book to see what it was about, and I've just finished the volume a few minutes ago. I find, remembering, I have nothing more to say, except that it was also the most explanatory. The third story was the most confusing, as I tried to figure out exactly what was going on, but it was also the most emotional and touching. The fourth tale, 'The Region Between' is interesting to me mostly because I just finished "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. Before reading Danielewski's book, I'd never encountered the device of arranging the text on the page (backwards, sideways, upside-down, etc.) to convey and reinforce a message contained therein. This story was written quite some time ago, in 1970, and I wonder if Danielewski was aware of it when writing "House of Leaves." I found the final offering to be the most compelling, and also the most intricate. I was confused by the jargon and customs employed by the characters more than any other story in the book, but I found by the end that I had really internalized these aspects and got into the story so much that I wished there would be more. It certainly had the best payoff at the end. It was an excellent finale for the collection.
Possible pattern gathering: It seems to me that there are also 'five fates' contained within each of these five stories. I might be making that up, but if I'm not, I'm pleased that I caught that. If anyone else reads this book, let me know if you thought that too. ( )
  EmScape | May 20, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Keith Laumerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anderson, Poulmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickson, Gordon R.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellison, Harlanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Herbert, Frankmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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