Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Planet on the Table

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Collection of short stories. None struck me as particularly great, although they were mostly decent, and one that I'd read years before (The Last Strike) had left enough of an impression to stick for years in my mind (in fact I had just been thinking of it recently, in the context of Shambling Towards Hiroshima and the debate over the ethics of the Bomb). The collection is perhaps most interesting for reemphasizing how deep Robinson's interest in history is, showing him tracing connections, immersing himself in the past and drawing elements out with science fiction tropes. It’s this motif that lead him to consider the work more intensely in both the Years of Rice and Salt and Galileo’s Dream, by my judgement the former a lot more effectively than the latter.

Worse than: Poor Folk and Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Better than: Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanely Robinson

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