REVIEW SUMMARY: Makes me want to read more of his work.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A collection of 20 short fiction works by Mike Resnick; many of them award winners and nominees.
PROS: 17 stories good or better, 7 of them excellent.
CONS: 3 stories hovering around the mediocre range.
BOTTOM LINE: An above-average collection of stories featuring many award winners and nominees.
Over the past couple of years, I have read a small handful of Mike’s Resnick’s short fiction and every single one of them received relatively high marks. When I realized this, I was eager to dive into some more. (Let alone, for the moment, the longer fiction of his that I’d like to read like Kirinyaga and the Starship series.)
New Dreams for Old is a 2006 collection of Resnick’s short fiction. Together, the twenty stories have won 2 Hugo Awards and 11 Hugo or Nebula Award nominations. (Factoid: According to The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards, Mike Resnick has earned the fourth-highest number of award nominations – behind Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison and Connie Willis – when considering all awards that the Index tracks.) That award tally is impressive and after reading the stories I can see why.
Simply put, Resnick writes “people” stories that carry quite an emotional impact. Instead of far-flung, hard science fiction that deals with impersonal concepts, these stories are endearingly personal. Resnick writes from the heart and with heart thus making an instant connection with the reader.
There are an amazingly high number of top-quality stories in New Dreams for Old. Standouts included “Robots Don’t Cry”, “Travels with My Cats”, “A Princess of Earth”, “Guardian Angel”, “For I Have Touched the Sky”, “Mwalimu in the Squared Circle” and “Keepsakes”. Even the story I least enjoyed – and that only because I did not see the movie Casablanca on which it was based – was not bad.
Reviewlettes of the stories follow, with links to online versions where available…
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