59th out of 76 books — 63 voters
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Tales of Old Earth
From pure fantasy to hard science fiction, this finely crafted offering by one of the greatest science fiction writers of his generation promises to stretch readers' minds far beyond ordinary limits. Nineteen tales from Michael Swanwick's best short fiction of the past decade are gathered here for the first time, including the 1999 Hugo Award-nominated "Radiant Doors" and ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 9th 2001 by Frog Books
(first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 295)
Michael Swanwick is one of the more adventurous writers in the already imaginative field of speculative fiction. He is generally an economical storyteller and on occasion I felt myself craving more flesh and a slower pace, but that is not to dismiss an excellent collection. There is not much that Swanwick shies away from, which makes the childish cover misleading, especially considering the sex scene (including vivid and creative foreplay), which takes up much of the story in 'Midnight Express'. ...more
Michael Swanwich seems to have a fixation with dinosaurs. But that's not why I only gave this collection of short stories three stars. There are some very interesting and well written stories in here, but there are also several that seem almost complete wastes of paper. When he's good, he's good. "The Very Pulse of the Machine" and "Radio Waves" (perhaps not coincidentally the opening and closing ones) were my favorites, but I also liked "The Changeling's Tale" and several more. The stories cove ...more
Call it 3.5 stars. This book is a collection of short stories from Swanwick. I came in with mixed expectations, having liked Bones of the Earth but not having been wowed by The Iron Dragon's Daughter. On the whole I enjoyed most of the stories, though I found I enjoyed the ones with a science fiction bent over those with more fantasy elements, but the sheer range of topic covered by Swanwick means that there is something for everyone who enjoys fantasy or science fiction.
More masterful stories by Swanwick, some horrifying, some funny, all brilliantly realised and at least a little bit disturbing and mindblowing. Highlights are the utterly terrifying Radiant Doors and the Tolkeinish Changeling's Tale, but they're all damn good.
Sep 17, 2007 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Swanwick is a terrific,fully realized short story writer. This collection is cornucopia of beautiful and terrifying ideas. Almost all the stories deal with the idea of death and dying but don't expect simple morbidity, but surreality and black humor. Highlights include The very pulse of the machine, Radiant doors,the wisdom of old earth Radio Waves, Microcosmic Dog, Walking out, The Dead, and Mother Grasshopper. Fans of Borges, PKD, Kelly Link need to check out this collection.
This is a gorgeous collection of short stories. Every one takes place in an interesting, skillfully evoked world and presents interesting twists that pose existential questions for the reader to ponder. These aren't light tales--they are twisted and kinked and dark. I happened to watch some Lady Gaga videos in the middle of my reading and they provided excellent imagery for some of the stories. I'm relatively new to Swanwick, but very much looking forward to catching up.
A collection of nineteen excellent short stories. Nick Gevers said it all better than I could, so read his review instead. The stories are haunting and fantastically well written, and if they are not exactly uplifting then neither are they overly pessimistic.