Tag Archives: Sheila Williams

Flash reviews — September ’09

Title: The Gold at the Starbow’s End
Author: Frederik Pohl
Year: 1972
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A very decent collection of stories, most of them somewhat long since there are only five in total. Not really a bad story in the bunch; I enjoyed them all, to varying degrees. Nothing here is probably going to strike you as a work of genius, or the best of what the genre has to offer. But all are satisfactory reads, for sure.

Title: Isaac Asimov’s Utopias
Editors: Gardner Dozois, Sheila Williams
Year: 2000
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
This anthology contains stories originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction which ostensibly have something to do with the topic of utopias. My take goes like this: “Mountain Ways” by Ursula K. LeGuin is a halfway interesting look at different marriage customs, but the other eight entries are some of the most yawn-inducing stories I’ve ever read. And the utopian aspect is pretty vague in most of them.

Title: Science Fiction in the 20th Century
Author: Edward James
Year: 1994
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A highly readable account of science fiction — its history, culture, themes, and so forth. It’s probably hard to ever find a book of this nature that’s strikingly innovative; after all, any generalized critical work is going to cover roughly the same ground. But I did like the way the author expresses himself, and I did learn things I didn’t know before, so I consider it time well spent.