Liviu's Reviews > Shine: An Anthology Of Optimistic Science Fiction

Shine by Jetse de Vries
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's review
Apr 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010_release_read, genre-sf, read_2010, shorts
Read from April 01 to 04, 2010

Shine is an anthology that comes with a lot of hype and an introduction that is utterly misleading imho - or maybe it's me and Mr. DeVries having quite different definitions of the terms sf and optimistic - since what Shine is about is mostly *mundane sf* extrapolated from current headlines, or sometimes even yesterday headlines like carbon trading and such which look more and more like the green version of the Jetsons and which will be dated very soon if not already so - and by optimistic, Mr. DeVries means something that to me is almost Utopian considering what human history teaches us - it's almost like that for the editor human history starts with the glimmers of the computer age so optimism is judged against the expectation of the tech bubble and not against thousands of years of history in which most women died in childbirth or aged prematurely due to such, most children died in infancy, most people were illiterate and never traveled more than a little beyond their surroundings and so on...

This being so, the anthology has two A++ stories that are as good as anything I've read (Stoddard and Powell/de Bodard), two A+ stories which are excellent (Gregory and Barcia - note that J. Barcia has been a very occasional contributor to Fantasy Book Critic but I did not really have many online encounters with him, so I feel I am impartial in a way I could not be were I to talk about say Fabio Fernandes' fiction which I also like ), one A story (H. Phillips) and two very short stories that are amusing and good (Paula Stiles and S. Moreno-Garcia) with another one by Jason Andrew that is also short and has some good stuff though it's too headline based for my taste, but somehow the other eight stories including one from favorite A. Reynolds and one from L.Tidhar of Bookman fame just did not connect with me that much - I guess my total indifference towards heavy metal and the fact that Vanuatu is just a name on a map for me and the authors did not convince me otherwise in their respective stories is the reason in the above named two cases.

So a good anthology and worth reading for the stories mentioned above, especially those four rated A+ and A++ where each can have a novel I would get asap in their universe, but not on par with the Solaris SF anthology line. All in all Shine rates a B for me though again the editorial comments were a big minus imho

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Jason Andrew Thanks for the kind words. :)

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