CENTAURUS by David G. Hartwell

CENTAURUS

The Best of Australian Science Fiction

KIRKUS REVIEW

Not the first volume of Australian SF (editor Van Iken’s rather indiscriminate collection arrived here in 1984) but by far the most significant: 20 substantial tales from the modern era, the majority of whose authors will be familiar to Kirkus regulars and SF-story buffs. A. Bertram Chandler (1912—84) offers an ingenious explanation for why Australian Aborigines revere Ayer’s Rock. From George Turner (1916—97) comes an interstellar war/alien contact yarn. David J. Lake’s ingenious time-machine travels only into the future, but his time traveler encounters only civilizations that roll time backward. Sean Williams describes a mine where the deeper you go, the weirder things get. Leann Frahm battles interdimensional invaders; Stephen Dedman’s alternate-worlds yarn is guaranteed to upset the bigots; and Sean McMullen posits a genetically engineered, stable Earth in the future. People develop new perceptions of time in Cherry Wilder’s post-disaster story, and Greg Egan’s brilliant alien-contact yarn, “Wang’s Carpets,” was incorporated into his magnificent 1998 novel, Diaspora. Other prospects include religion and DNA, cyberpunk, a story set in a universe created by Larry Niven, and a genetic lottery. A substantial and impressive showcase. If you considered Australia too remote and sparsely populated to be science fictionally important—well, think again.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-86556-2
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1999




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