* Getting to Know You
David Marusek. Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $25 (297p) ISBN 978-1-59606-088-3
Marusek, in a blurb for this superb collection of 10 stories (all the shorter SF he's published to date), gives fair warning when he says he lays his stories "like traps and bait[s] them with shiny ideas." Since the author lives in Alaska, it's no surprise to find that his characters inhabit extreme environments, both physical and psychological. "The Earth Is on the Mend" and "Yurek Rutz, Yurek Rutz, Yurek Rutz" are set in the Arctic, with characters made pragmatic by cold circumstance. Similarly stark is the world of "Cabbages and Kale or How We Downsized North America" (one of several entries that are sketches for his 2006 novel, Counting Heads), where characters fight to stay ahead of change, and one bad decision can topple a world. Marusek's "shiny ideas"—cloned laborers, electronic "proxies," the "boutique economy"—sparkle, but these assured stories also draw on core SF themes: in the face of change, what does it mean to be human, and where do we draw the line between helping ourselves and hurting others? (Apr.)
Monday, February 12, 2007
My story collection got a starred review in Publishers Weekly today. Very cool and a good way to start out. The title above is linked to the review, but you need to be a subscriber.