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on June 12, 2000
The fiction is wonderful, from the breezy if forgettable "DaVinci Rising" to the earthy, cerebral yet wrenching "A Birthday", the writing is still as good as Science Fiction ever was, which is to say it's pretty terrific. But please, enter more fiction and cut out some essays! If I want essays, I'll hunt them down at a library (I doubt that I'd spend a great deal of money to read this many of them). The point of sci-fi is to read the stories. Some background on the authors and the stories is useful and enjoyable, and the balance is difficult to find, but this volume leaves you aching for more stories, which isn't altogether a bad thing (and may be the intent). Once you're there, though, don't miss the stories. Would you believe a near-future story on abortion that pulls no punches yet leaves you wondering just where the author is coming from? How about an alternate history that makes you believe that a Balkanized America was not only possible, but likely? How about a "protective" universe that kills those that get too close to the truth? You gotta buy this book, you'll like it a lot -- despite all the non-fiction, not because of it, because the fiction is that good. You'll wonder why you don't read more of this.
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on June 13, 2000
Having read several of the previous Nebula Awards compendiums, I expected nothing less than 350 pages of excellent sci-fi. While many of the pieces in this book were excellent (Silverberg's comes to mind) some of the essays also seemed somewhat pendantic and overly emphasized in the volume (it seemed that there were as many essays as short stories). If you haven't read a Nebula Awards book before, I suggest buying a previous volume. Even so, #32 was good enough to merit me purchasing it after borrowing it from a friend.
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on July 23, 2000
I am a great fan of anthologies and science fiction short stories generally.
That said, I am sad to say that this book disappointed me more than any other book in recent memory. There was no discernable evidence of science in any of these science fiction stories. In most there was very little evidence of a story line.
Probably the best description of my opinion is that I gave this book away before my wife could read it so she wouldn't know what I had bought.
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