The much-delayed follow-up to Future on Fire
, another anthology of the best short SF from the 1980s, Future on Ice
delivers a tight, choice collection from some of the genre's top names--Isaac Asimov, Octavia Butler, Greg Bear, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Kress, and others. SF anthologies live or die by the quality of their ideas, and Future on Ice
doesn't disappoint: editor Orson Scott Card (a genre powerhouse himself) has put together an eclectic and thought-provoking set of 18 stories, from Butler's disturbing but imaginative vision of a burned-out future without language to Martin's Twilight Zone
-esque retrospective on the life of an arrogant author, in which paintings of his characters come to life to haunt him. Other standouts include a classic dreaming android story from Asimov and Bear's galaxy-in-a-grain-of-sand tale, in which a person inadvertently becomes the living host to an entire universe. Card ably bookends the set with a story of his own and a compelling introductory essay on the Force and how sci-fi is really religious literature. (Other authors in the anthology include John Kessel, Gregory Benford, Andrew Weiner, David Zindell, C.J. Cherryh, Lewis Shiner, John Crowley, John Varley, S.C. Sykes, Karen Joy Fowler, and Walter Jon Williams.) --Paul Hughes
From School Library Journal
YA-A popular YA novelist and sci-fi writer has put together a second anthology of 18 short stories by important SF writers of the 1980s. It is just as powerful as Future on Fire (Tor, 1991). Set in places uncannily familiar or disturbingly bizarre, the selections tell of family love, robot ambitions, language and loneliness, misguided political negotiations, and, of course, an assortment of very strange creatures. Card's notes tell in a particularly humorous and anecdotal tone about his encounters with the authors. The book is also worth having just for Card's introductory essay in which he takes an intriguing look at the way religious "ideas" can be and are often explored at some depth in this genre. Thought-provoking and illuminating reading, but best of all, entertaining.Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
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