jueves, 4 de abril de 2013

Edge of Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan, a review in 10 questions

(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)

My friend Miquel Codony and I have written some joint reviews in the past, so when we found out that, by mere chance, we were both about to read Edge of Infinity we decided to share the experience once again. However, this time we wanted to do something a little bit different. Thus, we decided to write five questions each and then write the reviews as our answers to those questions. Unfortunately, Miquel has had to delay his publication, but while you eagerly wait for it you can, at least, read my impressions about Edge of Infinity, an anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan that I liked quite a lot.

1) Which of the stories included in Edge of Infinity is your favorite?

“The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” by Pat Cadigan is, hands down, my favorite story in this anthology and one of the best among those published in 2012 (in fact, I nominated it for the Hugo Awards). It is just excellent from beginning to end, full of amazing ideas and with a clever and delicious use of language. Highly, highly recommended.

2) Which story did surprise you the most?

I think that would be “The Peak of Eternal Light” by Bruce Sterling. I've read quite a number of stories and novels by Sterling and I have never especially liked his style, but this story is different. A bit surrealist, maybe not exactly science fiction (and most surely not hard science fiction at all) but a very good story anyway. I don't know why, but it reminded me, somehow, of authors such as Gabriel García Márquez.

3) What story would you like to see expanded into a novel?

I believe that “Tyche and the Ants” by Hannu Rajaniemi has the potential to be expanded into a very interesting novel. The author depicts an intriguing society and I'd certainly like to read more about it.

4) Is any of the authors included in Edge of Infinity one of your personal favorites? What did you think of their story?

Alastair Reynolds is one of my favorite authors and I was looking forward to reading his story in Edge of Infinity. I was not dissapointed at all: “Vainglory” is really wonderful and I also included it on my Hugo ballot.  

5) Have you discovered any new author in this anthology?

Not exactly a new author to me, but I'd say that An Owomoyela is an author to follow closely. I've read three or four her stories and I think it's currently one of the more promising names in genre short fiction. 
6) What did you think of the prologue of Edge of Infinity?

I enjoyed it very much and thought it very appropriate. Contrary to popular believe, I don't think that science fiction is dead (or exhausted) at all and it is nice to find out that I'm not the only one.

7) Which of the stories has the more original premise?

There are several stories to choose from, but I'll go again with The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi”. The idea of "going out for sushi" (you'll have to read the story to find out what I'm talking about) is just amazing.

8) In your opinion, which of the story is the hardest in terms of "hard science"? And the softest?

Many of stories included in the anthology can be safely classified as hard sf, but I'd say that “Vainglory” is the one whose plot more heavily depends on a scientific idea (without forgetting about character development). 
On the other hand, I think that “The Peak of Eternal Light” is not even science fiction, as I mentioned earlier. I'd say that it is science fantasy or even magic realism. 

9) Do you think that there is any story that does not perfectly match the theme in the anthology?

No, I think that work of the editor (and of the authors, of course) was just perfect and all the stories are right on spot.

10) Which stories do you regard as the more "plausible" in terms of the probable future of humanity?

Many of them are, but I especially like the way that “Macy Minnot’s Last Christmas on Dione, Ring Racing, Fiddler’s Green, the Potter’s Garden” by Paul McAuley and “Obelisk” by Stephen Baxter tackled the subject of the colonization of the Solar System.

(You can also read this review in Spanish/También puedes leer esta reseña en español)

2 comentarios:

  1. I would have loved to be able to contribute my half of the questionnaire, but... I apologize for this involuntary boycott, Elías. Not that your answers lack any interest, of course ;-)

    I hope that I'm able to say "better late than never" as soon as possible.