SYNERGY: Vol. II, New Science Fiction by George--Ed. Zebrowski
Kirkus Star

SYNERGY: Vol. II, New Science Fiction

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Second volume of a twice-yearly collection of new science fiction, comprising five stories, a poem, and an essay. James Morrow weighs in with a fine black comedy about a man plagued by multiple personalities (the personalities multiply to such an extent that eventually they form nations and conduct wars!). Howard Waldrop contributes a piece about futuristic movie-making, à la French New Wave of the 1950's. The problem of old age, medical care, and euthanasia is addressed in telling fashion by Daniel Perlman. Marc Laidlaw and Rudy Rucker team up to present a rather silly yarn about surfing and other dimensions. Robert Frazier contributes a science-fiction poem about the threat of radioactive fallout, and Andrew Joron's essay examines the growing field of sf poetry. But one tale towers above all else here: James Tiptree Jr.'s ""Backward, Turn Backward,"" a bleak, terrifying, piercing love-story/time-travel variant that incorporates many autobiographical elements. It is a fitting climax to the career of one of science fiction's most innovative, provocative, skillful (and, as it turned out, tragic) writers. Overall, a way-above-average anthology--and the Tiptree entry would rate top billing in anyone's book.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1988
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich