FUTURECRIME: An Anthology of the Shape of Crime to Come by Cynthia & Charles Ardai--Eds. Manson

FUTURECRIME: An Anthology of the Shape of Crime to Come

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Excellent sheaf of sf reprints (plus three originals) all turning on crime and detection in the future, a truly intriguing premise. With no surprises, editors Manson and Ardai have rounded up the usual suspects as contributors: Robert Bloch, C.J. Cherryh, Alan Dean Foster, George Alec Effinger, and so on. Standout stories include: John Varley's ""The Barbie Murders,"" in which both male and female members of a future religious cult, the Barbies, have nipples and genitals removed and themselves changed into Barbie dolls so that all members have interchangeable features, are nameless, and speak of an egoless ""we,"" never ""I."" When a murder happens, the whole cult assumes responsibility and offers itself as the murderer. The investigating detective, a woman, must become a Barbie (up to a point) to find the murderer--or murderers, since more crimes happen. In Effinger's ""The World As We Know It,"" a Muslim private eye is hired as security for the CR Corp building, a structure in which each floor has a Consensual Reality--i.e., one floor is the surface of Mars, and those who rent space there see themselves as Mars colonists. But there is larceny on Mars! In Alan Dean Foster's ""Lay Your Head on My Pilose,"" a jungle Don Juan in South America helps his explosively orgasmic beloved murder her husband by way of piranhas--but the murderers fall victim to rare jungle vengeance. And Kathe Koja's ""The Energies of Love"" finds a hack writer entering the replicated mind of a great novelist, a suicide, in order to write the missing last chapter of the dead writer's last novel. First-rate despite the weak entries. No one will be disappointed.

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 1992
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Donald Fine