Review: Greg Bear, ed. New Legends (sf anthology)

Alan P. Scott - Rants - Reviews

telepathic squid?

Since I value verisimilitude and narrative skill far above scientific rigor in the sf I read, I was a little put off by the foreword to Greg Bear's anthology, New Legends. In it, he goes on for several pages about the strict adherence to plausibility for which he strove - for "hard" science fiction, though he explicitly disavows the phrase. In particular, Bear says, "Each science fiction story has to demonstrate how the reader can get from where he or she is, to where the story is, without magic. A science fiction story has to take place in the universe as perceived by science, or as science might come to perceive it. I wanted to leave the reader with the sublime impression that these stories might actually happen, if not to you and me, then to our children, our grandchildren. Our descendants." [Italics in original.] The image I got from the prologue was that of an equation-ridden gearhead technofest, almost enough to make me put the book down right there.

What a relief, therefore, to find that the first story is about telepathic squid.

And the anthology as a whole turns out to be a fairly good read, after all.

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