Old Venus

Old Venus

eBook - 2015
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Sixteen all-new stories by science fiction's top talents, collected by bestselling author George R. R. Martin and multiple-award-winning editor Gardner Dozois From pulp adventures such as Edgar Rice Burroughs's Carson of Venus to classic short stories such as Ray Bradbury's "The Long Rain" to visionary novels such as C. S. Lewis's Perelandra, the planet Venus has loomed almost as large in the imaginations of science fiction writers as Earth's next-nearest neighbor, Mars. But while the Red Planet conjured up in Golden Age science fiction stories was a place of vast deserts and ruined cities, bright blue Venus was its polar opposite: a steamy, swampy jungle world with strange creatures lurking amidst the dripping vegetation. Alas, just as the last century's space probes exploded our dreams of Mars, so, too, did they shatter our romantic visions of Venus, revealing, instead of a lush paradise, a hellish world inimical to all life.
Publisher: 2015
ISBN: 9780804179850
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Aug 28, 2018

This is such a delicious collection of innovative short stories that I bought a copy of the book. As is said in the forward (please read it!), these are all stories of the old idea of Venus as a lush, wet place not the dry 800 degree hellscape we now know it to be. Several of the stories beg to be novels as they are so richly complex. My absolute favorite is a science fiction story set on Venus written in the manner of P G Wodehouse. Utter hilarious brilliance!!! If you know who P G Wodehouse was, that is. Think “Jeeves and Wooster” on Venus.

Although the Lawrence Library does not have it, there is a “sequel” to this book called “Old Mars” containing stories written about the old idea of Mars with canals and exotic Martians. Look for it as the stories are as fresh, original and thought provoking as those in “Old Venus”.

The middle of this book contains some really nice sci-fi story-telling by a smorgasbord of talented writers. Unfortunately, the bread in this literary sandwich has gone stale and leaves you unsatisfied. And if you bought the book because George RR Martin’s name was in large print on the cover, then you will be doubly disappointed; he doesn’t even contribute one short story or even an introduction, just marketing his name.

Oct 05, 2015

I would prefer that George R.R. Martin write further in his wildly successful "Game Of Thrones" series, but this is a worthy addition to science fiction. Indeed, every one of the stories is individually worthy, and most manage to recapture the old romantic Venus of the earlier Twentieth Century while adding a dash of modern sensibilities.

Steele's "Frogheads" does that very well. A mystery trek among primitive amphibious natives, with the resolution speaking to our modern understanding of addiction and enslavement of native peoples.

McDonald's "Thirteen Papercuts" ends the volume, saving the best for last. At every paragraph on the verge of being overwritten, it tells a Victorian-like tale of landed gentry, foreign adventures, and personal damnation, with the added allure (just discovered) of botanical papercutting. A gem.

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