Feb 06, 09
Read in February, 2009
An astounding short-story collection. Aldiss can be difficult sometimes: his prose is perfectly clear but dense. He packs a tremendous amount of action and thought into each paragraph. Everything moves with stately grace. But sometimes he can get so deep inside your head that he produces a strange sort of gloom, the same gloom that comes after a hike up into the mountains in late autumn. I don't know why this should be.
Some of the best stories in this volume include 'The Worm that Flies', 'The Circulation of the Blood', 'Working in the Spaceship Yards' and 'The Orgy of the Living and the Dying'... But even some of the lesser stories -- which aren't really lesser -- are affecting. For instance, I love 'The Day we Embarked for Cythera', even though I don't have a clue what it's about!