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The Diploids and Other Flights of Fancy

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  9 ratings  ·  4 reviews
The Diploids
Defense Mechanism
The Pyramid in the Desert
The Snowball Effect
Pictures Don't Lie
Mass Market Paperback, #G-1143, 192 pages
Published 1962 by Avon
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A collection of short stories that I will inadequately describe as "old-style" science fiction -- very focused on a concept, with just enough character to flesh out the idea, often ending with a clever twist.

I wasn't blown away by any of them, but they did reward full reading. MacLean was able to make well-worn concepts like alien first contact and eternal youth, and even off-beat ones like sewing circles (trust me) memorable.
Eight stories trending towards scifi suspense and uncertainty:

The Diploids: A man uncovers his engineered, remarkable ancestry.
Defense Mechanism: Telepathy works strange wonders in an infant's mind.
The Pyramid in the Desert: An endocrinologist reworks her body, grasping at immortality, but in curing aging is struck dumb with germophobia.
The Snowball Effect: Two researchers unleash the optimal, ultimate pyramid scheme.
Incommunicado: When the 'details' half of a 'big ideas-and-details' team is
Jul 07, 2014 Emily marked it as to-read
Recommended to Emily by: Jonathan Strahan on the Coode Street Podcast Ep 196
Shelves: free-audio
Radio adaptations of "The Snowball Effect" (Ep. 64) and "Pictures Don't Lie" (Ep. 72):

Librivox recording of "Games":

Less good than weird-- her stories come out dense, collapsed and sticky with ideas, like in my favorite, the short short "Defense Mechanism."
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Katherine Anne MacLean (born January 22, 1925) is an American science fiction author best known for her short stories of the 1950s which examined the impact of technological advances on individuals and society.

Brian Aldiss noted that she could "do the hard stuff magnificently," while Theodore Sturgeon observed that she "generally starts from a base of hard science, or rationalizes psi phenomena wi
More about Katherine Anne MacLean...
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