Mon, 07 Mar 2005

New Writings in SF7

As far as I can tell, New Writings in SF7 hasn't been published since before ISBNs were adopted. (Hence, no allconsuming link.) It's a collection of short stories from authors that were, in 1966, "major new writers". Like many such collections, some stories are good while others are not. The collection is, on balance, decent.

The first two stories, "The Pen and the Dark" and "Gifts of the Gods" are typical science-driven stories of the era. The main characters are all male and serve merely to advance some particular scientific speculation. The third, "The Long Memory", I found to be too scrawny a story with a too-abrupt ending. From there on, things get better, however. "The Man Who Missed the Ferry" is probably my favorite of the set, with a just-slightly-surreal approach to things. "The Night of the Seventh Finger" is rather moving, and I enjoyed its characterization. "Six Cubed Plus One" was also good, if a little forced at times. "Defense Mechanism" was interesting in its depiction of a future Earth.

It's a thin volume, and I'd say that "The Man Who Missed the Ferry" alone was worth the time taken to read the whole book.

Phil! Gold