Monday, March 10, 2008

Book Review: Futures from Nature: 100 Speculative Fictions edited by Henry Gee

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free book reviews.

This is one of those blind purchases on my part. I knew nothing of the famous Nature magazine nor the kind of stories featured in the pages of this book. This anthology reprints over a hundred flash fiction stories published under the said magazine and features both famous and not-so-famous authors. I'm not a big fan of flash fiction, at least in large doses, so going through this book took some effort on my part--not because of the quality of the stories but rather due to the fact that there's only so much flash fiction, no matter how well-written, one can read before mental fatigue starts to set in. My general impression is that most of the stories are quaint. A few are really, really good and maximizes the medium. The others, because of the brevity, aren't as memorable (always a risk in my opinion whenever you're tackling flash fiction). Nonetheless, it's interesting to read such a different take on science fiction. My best advice is to not go through this book in one sitting and instead read them in snippets. Overall, if the ideas of science fiction are what appeals to you, check out this book as it offers them to you in one condensed package. Otherwise, the stories are too short for strong emotional investment so be warned. On the other hand, if you're looking for a novelty book, Futures from Nature best fits that category.

Rating: 2/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.

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