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Description de l’éditeur
"Every story of the thirteen reprinted in this volume has, in addition to the science--sometimes rigorous and detailed, sometimes extrapolated and fantastically ramified--compelling human beings (or other sentients) entangled with one another in ways that are psychologically real...There is much to admire and fascinate."--Publishers Weekly
"The twenty-first century, it's often remarked, will transform our knowledge of biology, in the same way that the twentieth century transformed physics. With knowledge of course, comes application. And with the application of all we are learning about genetic engineering come social and ethical questions, some of them knotty.
This is where science fiction enters, stage left. Scientific laboratories are where the new technologies are rehearsed. Science fiction rehearses the implications of those technologies. What might we eventually do with out new-found power? Should we do it? Who should do it? Who will be affected? How? Is that a good thing or not? For whom?
Of the thirteen stories in this book, eight of them are concerned with what might come out of the beakers and test tubes and gene sequencers of microbiology. Not everything in these stories will come to pass. Possibly nothing in them will; fiction is not prediction. But I hope the stories at least raise questions about the world rushing in onus at the speed--not of light--but of thought."
-- Nancy Kress from her introduction
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
A crucial aesthetic issue in SF is how well the science and fiction meld. In Kress's writings, there are never the crude info-dumps or token, thin characters endemic to much of the genre. Every story of the 13 reprinted in this volume has, in addition to the science--sometimes rigorous and detailed, sometimes extrapolated and fantastically ramified--compelling human beings (or other sentients) entangled with one another in ways that are psychologically real. Leading off is the Hugo-winning novella "Beggars in Spain" (1991), which led to Kress's highly regarded Beggars series of novels. From the simple premise of a genetically engineered ability to do without sleep, Kress weaves a compelling tale of factional and personal conflicts in a future meritocracy. Closing the collection is another novella, "Dancing on Air," in which Kress explores the implications of genetic enhancements against the perfectly apt background of stage mothers and their thoroughbred ballerina daughters. This story contains some of the best "alien" POV narrative anyone is likely to see, with the "alien" being a genetically enhanced Doberman. Nearly perfect is "Always True To Thee, in My Fashion," a parodic take on the fashion world in which mood-altering designer drugs go in and out with the clothes. Other stories explore chaos theory, alternate history and, exquisitely in "Summer Wind," the human experience of aging and the passage of time. A recurrent weakness is the crowding of thematic metaphors in a heavy-handed way, so that the plotting at times is greatly overworked. Subplots sometimes converge and provide resonance to the theme as if they created a mathematical proof rather than an organic story. Even in these tales, however, there is much to admire and fascinate.