Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Monday, March 07, 2005

SF Stories in "The Year's Best" Anthologies that Test Strong

There are precious few SF stories that test strong. SF is overwhelming a toxic backwater in the collective unconscious now. The future goes one way, and the past tradition of SF goes another. Genuine prediction is usually unprincipled and not mediated by the dominant moral tone of the world in recent years. The Science Fiction genre lives in the past, where the homosexual rape of a human priest by an alien in Mary Doria Russell's bestselling 'The Sparrow' can spark a reaction and borrow from the granduer of the Jesuit past.

Anyway, that's my rave about sci-fi. On with the strong!

"The Day We Went Through the Transition." This story made me cry :-))

"Slow Life" (which I have already mentioned on this site in December and quoted the magnificent opening, by Michael Swanwick.

"In Paradise," by Bruce Sterling. A sexy impetuous romance that denigrates society while asserting individual integrity.

"Crux", by Albert E. Cowdrey. Not read yet.

"Tendeleo's Story," by Ian McDonald. Not read yet.

Strong Medicine, William Shunn; Send Me a Mentagram, Dominic Green, ditto.

Incidentally, from the 1991 Dozois anthology only one story tests far far stronger than any SF piece I have ever read, and that is 'A History of the Twentieth Century, with Illustrations," by Kim Stanley Robinson.

All but 'Slow Life' and 'In Paradise' rely in flashback extensively, and begin, in accordance with Aristotelian lore, in media res, in the middle of the matter.


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