Monday, March 31, 2008

Celebration - A Taster

This year the BSFA have begun publishing a series of Special Editions booklets. The first, arriving with Matrix magazine last week, is entitled Celebration – A Taster, designed as a foretaste of the forthcoming BSFA 50th anniversary anthology Celebration. The booklet contains an introduction to the anthology and three additional short stories.

Jerie is a tale of far future exploration by Adam Roberts and, like my previous experience of his work, is peppered with fabulous sounding pseudo-scientific jargon. It’s an energetic tale of the urge to explore, and where it might take you.

Ian Watson’s A Daffodil Jacket, or The Misadventures of Sebastian in Kyiv is essentially an anecdotal tale of a trip to the European poetry convention in Ukraine. Normally I might have dismissed it is an amusing and pleasant enough little account, but coming hot on the heals of Eastercon gave it so much more depth and made it thoroughly enjoyable.

Who’s Who is Chaz Brenchley’s tale of the ethical dilemmas that develop when money can buy anything and science can do just about anything. It provides a satisfying moral for the characters, without sounding moralistic to the reader. It’s a story that almost feels like you could have seen it on the 10 O’Clock News.

I saw Chaz Brenchley in passing at Eastercon last week, and both Adam and Ian were also there. Of course, with over 1100 people present, spotting somebody in the crowd is quite difficult, especially when you’ve never seen them before, or only seen a small mug shot on a web page! The name badges were quite light too, so they tended to flap about and become difficult to read. There are a couple of authors I’d like to have spoken to, had I had the chance. Maybe next year, if I can make it to Bradford.

1 comment:

GLP said...

I picked up a copy of the complete collection at Orbital. It is very good. So far I have read and enjoyed the stories by M John Harrison and Jon Courtenay Grimwood, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest asap.