By Elizabeth A. Hull

Rating: 4 stars

I heard about this anthology, which was conceived as a present from his wife for his 90th birthday, on Fred Pohl’s (rather excellent) blog, The Way The Future Blogs. I was taken with the number of quality authors involved in the project and was delighted to receive it as a present. I haven’t been disappointed with the book at all either. The stories are all new, written specially for this anthology and they are interspersed with a number of appreciations of Pohl from yet more big names in the genre.

Trying to pick out favourites in this collection is difficult, as the stories are mostly all very strong. Cory Doctorow’s Chicken Little and Jody Lynn Nye’s Virtually, A Cat stand out though, with the former being an interesting longer story about power and its use and abuse while the latter is a fun little story about how a software engineer copes without his precious pet cats for two years in space.

There were only a couple of mis-hits for me. While I was initially delighted that Harry Harrison’s contribution was a new Stainless Steel Rat story, I found the story itself uninspiring, with forced humour that just didn’t work for me. And Brian Aldiss’ story about miscarriage and (implied) incest on Mars left me cold as well. But beyond that the stories were of uniformly high quality and the appreciations of Pohl were heartwarming, and I’ll definitely be looking out for more of his fiction.

Book details

ISBN: 9780765326638
Publisher: Tor Books
Year of publication: 2010

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