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The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories

(College of Mystery #1-3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A mermaid delves into the dark underpinnings of her Utopian society; a dying boy finds himself trapped in a virtual world beyond his wildest imagining; Friedrich Nietzsche meets Wyatt Earp on the dusty streets of Tombstone, Arizona; a gorilla strives to remain relevant among the info-streams and easily distracted eyeballs of a shallow, media-addled culture; a civilization ...more
Hardcover, 1st edition, 300 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Night Shade Books (first published August 2006)
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Peter Tillman
Sept 2020 reread:
Like most of WJW’s work, this collection repaid rereading. Two 5-star stories, four 4-stars, and just three that weren’t quite to my taste — and one of those a Nebula winner! So: if you missed this one, or if it’s been awhile — well. You should check it out. Strong 4-star rating for the collection, highly recommended. In particular, the two 5-star stories are remarkably fine work.
Story histories and details:

• Daddy's World (1999), novele
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book pretty well. I'd already read the lead-off story, Daddy's World, and really liked it. The other stories were also pretty good, if a bit familiar at times -- for example, Incarnation Day felt like a riff on Daddy's World, and the setting of Lethe reminded me of a novel of Williams's that I just read, Implied Spaces.

One thing that's worth mentioning is that these stories are pretty pulpy and I wouldn't necessarily classify a few of them (such as Pinocchio, The Tang Dynasty Unde
Tim Hicks
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I dunno. I *know* WJW is a good writer, and I have enjoyed other works by him. This one just didn't draw me in. A couple of stories felt more like craftsmanship than stories. I found, for example, that while it's an impressive feat to have Nietzsche meet Wyatt Earp, I wasn't a story that made me eager to learn how it ended.

Maybe it's because I was just coming down from reading Fonda Lee's Jade Wars, which is tense and loaded with action. I should have gone to a light fantasy or something next.
Aug 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks that great short sf isn't being written anymore
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
Even though many of the stories in this collection are award-winners, including the title tale (as with the collection Recovering Apollo 8 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch that I also recently read), Walter Jon Williams is still most definitely, as Charles Stross' Introduction has it, an underrated author. Williams writes visceral, versatile and solid prose—and he displays a virtuoso range as well. Within the space of this one short collection, Williams moves assuredly through post-scarcity hard SF (mo ...more
Jim Mann
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Walter Jon Williams' The Green Leopard Plague is a great collection of nine stories, all good, and several award winners. A number involve a post-human future, when people can back themselves up, and real death no longer occurs (though one of he strongest, "Lethe," explores what happens when someone really does die in a world where death no longer occurs). In this future, bodies and even personalities (and emotions and knowledge) can be changed out, removed, and replaced.

In addition to these st
Chrystal Hays
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant anthology, which I went to the trouble to find when the title story came up in discussions of the best conceptual sci fi short fiction.

It's one of 4 stories in the collection set in the same reality, and it definitely provokes thought about the definition of self, self-image, life, death, mercy and the bounds of cruelty. With charm, no less.

As often happens with sci fi, stories written some time ago can feel as if they were written yesterday because they touch on themes mad
Matthew Gatheringwater
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I was surprised by how much I liked this story. It does a lot--there's issues of parental and child relations, representation and simulation, and a kind of classic sci-fi feel where the narrator wouldn't have felt out of place in a story 50 years ago, but the issues discussed feel fresh. I might put it on a course, if I ever get a chance. ...more
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a good collection of SciFi stories from a writer I haven't encountered before. The collection is worth reading just for Green Leopard Plague alone (I really like this story with its surprise twist), but several other standouts are included. Incarnation Day is a story that parents of teenagers (and their teenagers) will enjoy.

I will look for more writing from Walter Jon Williams.
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Uneven collection, but the (very) good make up for the average/bad.
Great - The Green Leopard Plague, Incarnation Day
Good - Daddy's World, Pinocchio
Too whiny to be good - Lethe
Whatever - the rest.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Walter Jon Williams is a severely underrated writer. Very talented. This collection of short works is a treat.
Carleton Tanner,
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic group of short sci-fi. Well written and engrossing.
Tamara Wilhite
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The Green Leopard Plague" contains two stories that are the best representation of how economics would work - including taxes - in a post-scarcity economy. ...more
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Most of these short stories involve one my favorite science fiction tropes -- the ability to upload one's entire consciousness and replicate it in a brand new body which is not necessarily human. I was also pleasantly surprised with Williams' writing style, although I'm not sure I could handle the rapid fire nature for an entire novel. I guess I'll find out when I read The Praxis, which is wending it's way to my local library as I type (thanks melcat). ...more
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-collection
It's weird, I know of Walter Jon Williams, I know he's supposed to be good, I could swear I've read something by him before, but digging through various lists of what he's written, I can't find anything familiar. I bailed out of SW:NJO before he started writing in that series and while I've heard of a lot of his books, I haven't read them. Strange. Anyhow, after reading this collection of shorts, I probably have to track down some of his other work now. ...more
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
An interesting set of stories with a couple of standouts: the titular "The Green Leopard Plague," "Incarnation Day," and "Daddy's World."
I enjoyed the author's interesting ideas about "splitting" ourselves in order to experience more of life, as well as his concept of an economy based on work/calories.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fantastic! I would recommend this short story to anyone who enjoys Science Fiction.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Very enjoyable novella.
Helge Moulding
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection of Walter Jon Williams's short stories. Here's my brief review. ...more
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Strong prose, intricate technologies, and great characterizations. Even some humor. Buy it. Read it.
Darren T
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Peter Hollo
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Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy -Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few - a few are historical adventures, and the most recent, The Rift, is a disaster novel in which "I just basically pound a part of the planet down to bedrock." And that's just the opening chapters ...more

Other books in the series

College of Mystery (8 books)
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection
  • Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny
  • Nebula Awards Showcase 2000: The Year's Best SF and Fantasy Chosen by the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers
  • Modern Greats of Science Fiction: Nine Novellas of Distinction
  • Best Short Novels 2004
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-First Annual Collection
  • Nebula Awards Showcase 2006
  • The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows

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