January 28, 2009

Rediscovering David Brin

Posted in Books tagged , , , , , at 11:41 am by myrlinn

I found David Brin’s Otherness, a collection of his short stories and essays in the library the other day, and … it’s good! I’d actually read quite a few Brin novels, even have a few in my collection, but this collection of short stories makes me appreciate David Brin even more. For the questions he makes me ask, and the “answers” which suggests new ways of looking at various scenarios.

Particularly memorable to me is “Piecework” which takes us to a world where the processes of procreation and birth have been co-opted for the making of industrial “parts”, and women routinely give birth to things like filters.  What place does motherhood have in such a world? This story is also unusual in that it has the urban-grunge feel of cyberpunk.

“Shhh” is another story which challenges you to look at: What if we’re faced with an alien race which is overwhelmingly superior in every way? What edge could we possibly create for ourselves in such a situation?

This collection of short stories remind me of why science fiction grabs me. The thought experiments, the what ifs, fascinate me. Now as ever.

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