This is the second of two companion anthologies that chronicle the history of the SF adventure story. With this book, editor Gardner Dozois is attempting to disprove the old adage that "they don't write 'em like that anymore." Which, of course, they do, as writers like Peter F. Hamilton, Michael Swanwick, George Turner, and John Varley amply demonstrate in these pages. The selections here date from 1977 to 1998, although Dozois has limited himself by omitting subgenres such as cyberpunk, military SF, and even hard SF. While this makes the The Good New Stuff
somewhat dubious as a historical overview of the adventure SF field, it allows Dozois to uncover some real gems that might otherwise have gone overlooked, including a couple of stories first published in the Brit-lit SF magazine Interzone
. It's safe to say that in the hands of authors like Robert Reed, Walter Jon Williams, and Stephen Baxter, the grand tradition of SF is alive and well. --Craig E. Engler
From Kirkus Reviews
Companion volume to The Good Old Stuff (p. 1339), that being a selection of golden oldie adventure stories/space operas from the 1940s through the 1960s. Here, Dozois rounds up yarns in a similar mold from the 1970s on up. Some are already famous or familiar: Bruce Sterling's splendid Shaper/Mechanist yarn, ``Swarm''; Walter Jon Williams's wrenching perversion of religion, ``Prayers on the Wind''; and George R.R. Martin's science fiction Inquisition, ``The Way of Cross and Dragon.'' Maureen F. McH ugh's ``The Missionary's Child'' is set on same world as her recent novel, Mission Child (p. 1421). Most of the other yarns are top-notch too; it's not quality that's at issue here. One problem is a change of style in SF: virtually none of these tales wou ld qualify as space opera or even adventure. Mostly they're too complex to be easily categorized. Another quibble involves the volume's breakdown by decade. Of the seventeen yarns here, two derive from the 1970s, four from the 1980s, with a disproportiona te eleven from the 1990s, these latter no more ``adventurous'' than the others. Splendid yarns, but still, while Dozois's desire to wrap things up in a neat package is understandable, his rather specious justifications grate nonetheless. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.