The Venging

By Greg Bear

Rating: 3 stars

I mostly enjoyed this collection of early-ish fiction by Greg Bear, although I have taken a star off because many of the stories had endings that jarred with me, or seemed abrupt or unfinished. The best example of this is probably Mandala. This is story with a great hook: the living cities of the planet God Does Battle threw out their inhabitants a thousand years ago because they were unworthy. One man is trying to get into a city to be made whole and discovers more than he bargained for. This is a great setup, it’s going at a great pace, there’s several huge revelations, one after the other, and suddenly the story just stops. No conclusion or resolution. I appreciate that sometimes this is the effect being aimed for, but it’s not one that I like. Petra doesn’t have quite this problem, but that story of life trying to continue after chaos has overtaken the world tries to pack too much plot into the last few paragraphs, and that doesn’t entirely work either. My favourite story in the collection is probably Hardfought, which tells of alien communication, an eternal war and over-specialisation. This is a great story, but it also has an ambiguous ending, leaving more questions than answers.

There are also two early stories that Bear has reworked and added to this edition. Those are decent, although I was left scratching my head at one of them. The last one is rather heartbreaking though.

Book details

ISBN: 9780712650519
Publisher: Legend
Year of publication: 1983

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URL

Powered by WordPress