Keith Laumer & Ben Bova
Reviewed by Theresa Ichino
hort story anthologies offer a chance to sample explorations of themes by many different writers. There is usually a wide selection on any store's bookshelf, but the title
immediately caught my eye, as well as the tag '
created by Keith Laumer
'. As most SF fans know, Laumer's enviable range of talent spans heart-pounding action, thoughtful speculation, and irreverent high-jinks, quite often all in the same tale. Sadly, there is no story by Laumer in this collection, although its twenty-two authors include well-known practitioners of fantasy, science-fiction, suspense, and detective fiction.
he tales run the gamut of classical science-fiction, horror, humour, and at least one candidate for the '
' category in crime. The styles present the same diversity, from stately tales that recall the golden age of science-fiction of decades ago, to the more forthright, blunt language of
. All the stories present a botanical threat or puzzle for the reader's consideration, and many are thought-provoking as well as entertaining. I generally find that I like most but not all of the stories in such a collection (in this case, there was one that I found quite pointless, but others may react differently). One chilling tale that lingers in my memory is
and I will definitely look for other works by its author David J. Schow.
f you're short on time and looking for a quick and easily digestible read, try
. They're not very edible but they will exercise your mental muscles.
The collection is edited by Charles Waugh & Martin Greenberg.
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