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He Who Shapes / The Infinity Box

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Science Fiction Double with 2 covers. He Who Shapes: 1966 Nebula Award Winning novella by Roger Zelazny. 107 pages. Flip the book over for the other story: The Infinity Box by Kate Wilhelm, Hugo-winning author. 76 pages.

Description is for the Sept. 1989 Tor First Edition.

Paperback, Tor Doubles #12, 183 pages
Published September 1989 by Tor (first published January 1965)
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May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is Tor Double #12, of a series of 36 double books published from 1988 to 1991 by Tor Books. It contains two novellas, bound together tête-bêche in mass market paperback – back-to-back, inverted, with two front covers and both titles on the spine. The novellas are listed here alphabetically by author; neither should be considered “primary.”

second read – 31 May 2020 - *****. When I recently handled this physical book from my collection, I decided to re-read it. The two stories are linked by p
Jan Priddy
Nov 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
I slogged through Zelazny's novella and thought/hoped Wilhelm's story would be better, but ultimately no. The science is shaky in both, more dated in Zelazny and fantastic (not "good" but fantasy) in Wilhelm. Capable writers in a genre I have read and loved for fifty years. I should have enjoyed these novellas from 1965 and 1971. But really? yuck. These are the precise sort of stories I avoided back in the day. Sexist, dated, mid-century male-gaze and offering nothing forward-looking at all. Sit ...more
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Hard to rate a Tor double novel. Kate Wilhelm’s “The Infinity Box” was 5 stars easy. Another great psychological whirlwind of science fiction. I just love her style and stories. As for Zelazny’s “He Who Shapes”, I give it one star. Just never worked for me from page 1 to page 107.

So, splitting the difference, I should give 3 stars but Wilhelm demands I give more.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Two stars for Zelazny's contribution, three for Kate Wilhelm's. Zelazny's story was the longer one, 107 vs. 76 pages, so the two rating carries the day.

I was surprised Zelazny's novella was so bad. I love his Amber series, but here we have the pretentious Zelazny, the one who writes so artistically he doesn't feel an obligation to make sense. After all, poetry is often too self-referential for outsiders to derive the meaning. Why, Zelazny must have wondered, can't he take similar liberties? Answ
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow - so Zelazny. He's amazing. The He Who Shapes story stuck with me after I'd finished it for many many days (and into my dreams). It made me think. It creeped me out a little. It was good.
I haven't read The Infinity Box yet (July 2018), but I did read that its author, Kate Wilhelm, has passed over the rainbow reading bridge. She won awards, so I'm expecting a good story there too.
These old Tor Double books were a fascinating physical construct, two covers for the price of one! (Also two novellas.)

Roger Zelazny's "He Who Shapes" won several awards, and was later expanded into "The Dream Master".

But this reading, I was mostly interested in Kate Wilhelm's "The Infinity Box", which I don't think I read the first time I picked up this book. It's an interesting enough psychological story, more contemporary fantasy and science fiction, though I never did understand the title.
Gabrielle Zdep
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Focusing around an immersive futuristic psychotherapy technique, "He Who Shapes" is intelligent, imaginative and shows an incredible depth of understanding of human psychology and interpersonal relationships. The intense plotline combined with vivid imagery, sharp characterizations and well-written dialogue make this easily the best sci-fi short story I've ever read. Genre aside, it's also one of the more intelligent and nuanced pieces of writing I've come across in a while. ...more
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mary
I've read a handful of these TOR doubles and this is by far the best pair of them I've encountered so far. Both great stories, though when read together, clearly very anxiety inducing! haha ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
He Who Shapes, still not a Zelazny fan...
Jon Norimann
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: science_fiction
OK standard science fiction short stories. Not taking long to read and about worth the time spent
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Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is A Rose for Ecclesiastes in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels dea ...more

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