REVIEW SUMMARY: A good collection of original short fiction from a great lineup of writers.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An original fiction anthology containing 15 stories.
PROS: Twelve stories worth reading, two of which were hugely enjoyable.
CONS: One story (the longest in the anthology) did not work for me at all.
BOTTOM LINE: An enjoyable collection of stories.
Editor George Mann opens The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume 2 by explaining the reason behind its publication. In doing so, he captures some of the reasons I enjoy reading short fiction: the jolt of wonder, the single conceit, the bite size morsel, etc. But there’s no denying that it’s common for a science fiction anthology, whose goal is often to present stories of various flavors, to include stories that do not suit a particular reader’s tastes.
And so it was here. The good news is that only a single story failed to entertain. I must fess up to being totally disenchanted with the Michael Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius story. Being the longest story in the book had a noticeable effect on the overall weighted average. Such is the hit-or-miss nature of a short fiction anthology.
The ultimate question, despite some misses, is whether there are more hits. In this case, the answer is a resounding yes. The vast majority of stories in the anthology are good or better. The outstanding entries were “iCity” by Paul Di Filippo and “Sunworld” by Eric Brown. Both of these stories capture the joys that come with anthologies and ultimately help make The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume 2 an enjoyable anthology.
Read the rest of this entry