DEALING IN FUTURES by Joe Haldemnn

DEALING IN FUTURES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Haldeman's second story collection (following Infinite Dreams, 1978) comprises 11 stories, three poems, and lots of agreeable--and sometimes illuminating--commentary. The two longest stories are easily the best. One, orginally intended as a section of the novel The Forever War (1974), presents a bleak picture: a future US beset by mass unemployment, poverty, and lawlessness; things are so bad that soldiers returning from a meaningless, nightmarish war in outer space prefer to sign up for a second hitch rather than endure life on Earth. And in the other, some naive anthropologists studying an alien Stone Age culture eschew all advanced equipment and live as the natives do; disaster strikes when their hosts' behavior inexplicably turns belligerent. The remaining tales show a wide range but less convincing development: some amusing wheeling-dealing with easily-offended aliens; a supernatural cowboy yarn; a futuristic private eye and a bevy of clones; a megalomaniac cyborg; an alternate-history yam with a twist ending; UFOs; more supernatural doings, sword and sorcery, and a mad cyborg pilot. A middling bunch, overall, and mostly only so-so on ideas, but enhanced by Haldeman's levelheaded, engaging narrative voice.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Viking