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Comment: Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€TMll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included.
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Worlds Vast And Various Paperback – Sep 21 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (Sept. 21 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380790548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380790548
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 236 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,057,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Amazon

A collection of short fiction can be an excellent intro to a writer whom you're not familiar with. But--as any Gregory Benford fan would likely tell you--Worlds Vast and Various might not be the best way to get to know this enormously likable and talented author. Which is not to suggest that there aren't some great stories here--there are, like the Greg Bear-edited "A Calculus of Desperation" and the F. Scott Fitzgerald-inspired novella "As Big as the Ritz," to name just two. But like similar hodgepodge affairs, drawn from many sources and stages of a career, Worlds shouldn't be considered comprehensive or representative of Benford's best work. Benford himself admits to including the oldest story, 1969's "The Scarred Man," in part "to show how badly one can write and still get a start." (His other reason for including the short, though, turns out to be far more interesting.)

Caveats aside, these 12 stories do demonstrate what the Campbell- and Nebula-winning Benford does best: tight hard-SF that's plausible for both its science and its characterization. (Or, in the case of the dark "A Dance to Strange Music," the clever and deliberate omission of characterization.) Benford is inarguably one of the genre's big guns, alongside dons like Greg Bear and Paul J. McAuley, with whom Benford shares the distinction of being an accomplished scientist to boot (he teaches plasma physics and astrophysics at UC-Irvine).

Any way you cut it, a collection of Benford stories is going to be worth your time whether you're already familiar with his work or not. But if you're not, consider a longer piece--like Cosm or Timescape--to get properly acquainted. --Paul Hughes

From Publishers Weekly

For readers more familiar with this acclaimed hard-SF author's illuminating and genre-stretching novels (Eater; Cosm; etc.), this story collection is an excellent chance to discover his equally adept shorter work. The 10 stories and two novellas here offer a neat cross-section of Benford's writing career. The gripping "A Calculus of Desperation" demonstrates the brutal lengths to which truly dedicated environmentalists could go to keep humanity from devastating Earth. "Doing Aliens" and "World Vast, World Various" present some of the possible relationshipsAor lack thereofAbetween humans and aliens. For readers who treasure scientifically rigorous settings, "High Abyss" and "A Dance to Strange Musics" offer a fine blend of the exotic and surprising. "A Worm in the Well" is old-fashioned high adventure in space, while "The Voice" keeps its traditional heart closer to home, with riffs from Golden Age writers like Asimov and Bradbury. "As Big As the Ritz" takes F. Scott Fitzgerald out for an SF spin, and "In the Dark Backward" is a lighthearted time-travel story with a nifty twist ending. In a short afterword, Benford writes, "All short stories are strategies. Working in a confined space, one must render the essentials and get off the stage with a minimum of fuss." While faithfully following that advice, Benford (who is also a working physicist) ably demonstrates the falseness of the old literary saw that scientists don't make good fiction writersAor popular ones: Benford always sells well, and this book will, too, though not as well as his novels. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
J. Aaron Bellamy
4.0 out of 5 starsWorlds too vast for the space opera glutton
December 11, 2000 - Published on
Format: Paperback
14 people found this helpful.
3.0 out of 5 starsWorlds Vast
February 1, 2001 - Published on
Format: Paperback
4 people found this helpful.
Steven Woodcock
3.0 out of 5 starsA Solid Collection
June 16, 2013 - Published on
Format: Paperback
H. J. Spivack
5.0 out of 5 starsGreg Benford is getting better
June 20, 2001 - Published on
Format: Paperback
One person found this helpful.

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