100 GREAT SCIENCE FICTION SHORT SHORT STORIES by Isaac Asimov

100 GREAT SCIENCE FICTION SHORT SHORT STORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A hundred shiny little items with all the variety and dimension of a miniature automobile collection salvaged from the breakfast cereal. True, science fiction has always reserved a special niche for the short short story or outrageous gag. But after about ten in a row your eyes start to glaze over. Among the better mini-scenarios here: Edward Wellen's vignette of St. Nick in the land of Big Brother ("Sanity Clause"), Alfred Bester's last representative of Homo Megalomaniacus ("The Die-Hard"), Hayford Peirce's "Mail Supremacy" with its brilliant confirmation of a long-suspected inverse relationship between time and distance in the ways of the Post Office. Maggie Nadler astringently imagines a profitable link between technology and voyeurism; James E. Gunn suggests the mudpie origins of the universe; Larry Niven gives us an Earthside biological probe set down on a not-very-well-supervised Martian children's playground. But all but the brightest of the bright ideas rapidly take on the effect of light bulbs above cartoon panels. And much of the writing has an assembly-line sameness that would vanish in the execution of a larger design but becomes almost unbearable in this format. A pretty well-designed collection for reference or desultory browsing, not for consecutive reading.
Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1977
ISBN: 0380507730
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1977




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