From pulp adventures such as Edgar Rice Burroughs's Carson of Venus to classic short stories such as Ray Bradbury's "The Long Rain" to visionary novels such as C. Read more...
From pulp adventures such as Edgar Rice Burroughs's Carson of Venus to classic short stories such as Ray Bradbury's "The Long Rain" to visionary novels such as C. S. Lewis's Perelandra, the planet Venus has loomed almost as large in the imaginations of science fiction writers as Earth's next-nearest neighbor, Mars. But while the Red Planet conjured up in Golden Age science fiction stories was a place of vast deserts and ruined cities, bright blue Venus was its polar opposite: a steamy, swampy jungle world with strange creatures lurking amidst the dripping vegetation. Alas, just as the last century's space probes exploded our dreams of Mars, so, too, did they shatter our romantic visions of Venus, revealing, instead of a lush paradise, a hellish world inimical to all life. But don't despair This new anthology of sixteen original stories by some of science fiction's best writers--edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois--turns back the clock to that more innocent time, before the hard-won knowledge of science vanquished the infinite possibilities of the imagination. Join our cast of award-winning contributors--including Elizabeth Bear, David Brin, Joe Haldeman, Gwyneth Jones, Mike Resnick, Eleanor Arnason, Allen M. Steele, and more--as we travel back in time to a planet that never was but should have been: a young, rain-drenched world of fabulous monsters and seductive mysteries. FEATURING ALL-NEW STORIES BY
Eleanor Arnason - Elizabeth Bear - David Brin - Tobias S. Buckell - Michael Cassutt - Joe Haldeman - Matthew Hughes - Gwyneth Jones - Joe R. Lansdale - Stephen Leigh - Paul McAuley - Ian McDonald - Garth Nix - Mike Resnick - Allen M. Steele - Lavie Tidhar And an Introduction by Gardner Dozois
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-11-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Veteran editors Martin and Dozois (Old Mars) assemble an entertaining array of SF stories recalling the heady days of the pulps while exploring provocative themes of alienation, morality, and discovery. The stories range widely in tone: there’s a Wild West vibe to Lavie Tidhar’s “The Drowned Celestial”; Mike Resnick’s “The Godstone of Venus” is straightforwardly nostalgic; Ian McDonald’s “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” is a neo-Victorian traveler’s tale; and Matthew Hughes’s “Greeves and the Evening Star” is a droll Wodehouse pastiche. Eco-disasters and technical catastrophes drive protagonists to dire straits in Gwyneth Jones’s “A Planet Called Desire” and Elizabeth Bear’s “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson,” while rescue missions reveal the dark extremes of human behavior in Allen M. Steele’s “Frogheads” and Garth Nix’s “By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers.” Martin and Dozois celebrate past imaginings of Venus with unlikely—but entertaining and thoughtful—new notions of the second planet as a land of gritty challenge and exotic adventure. (Mar.)