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Paperback Vanishing Acts: A Science Fiction Anthology Book

ISBN: 0312869614

ISBN13: 9780312869618

Vanishing Acts: A Science Fiction Anthology

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Stories by Suzy McKee Charnas, Ted Chiang, Avram Davidson, Karen Joy Fowler, Paul McAuley, Brian Stableford, and others. The theme of this anthology is endangered species, loosely interpreted to include in some cases the human race. The contents are four excellent reprints and a dozen new stories, including a new novella from Ted Chiang, one of the hottest young story writers in SF. This is a distinguished original anthology fit to put on the shelf...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Worth the price of entry for Ted Chiang alone

While some of the original stories in this volume are weaker than I'd like to see, the longest piece alone is worth the price of admission. "Seventy-Two Letters" by Ted Chiang is another magnificent creation from one of the sharpest and least prolific writers in SF today. Every story he writes is a gem, and this one, a kabbalistic steampunk allegory for the Human Genome Project, is no exception. Other very worthwhile stories include "Links" by Mark W. Tiedemann and "The Thing About Benny" by M. Shayne Bell, and the reprints by Suzy McKee Charnas, Bruce McAllister, and Avram Davidson are great too. But that novella alone makes this book worth your attention.

A mostly original anthology of the highest caliber.

Ellen Datlow has this incredible knack for putting together anthologies of science fiction, fantasy and horror of the highest caliber. If you missed VANISHING ACTS when it first came out in hardcover, you should definitely pick up a copy of this new trade paperback edition. Thematically intriguing, I found many new perspectives on endangered species, a subject near and dear to my heart. Suzy McKee Charnas's "Listening to Brahms" was one of my favorite stories from the old OMNI Magazine, and the new original stories by Ian McDowell, Brian Stableford, Joe Haldeman and others are all works of exceptional quality. The inclusion of Avram Davidson's "Now Let Us Sleep" from 1957 gives a very short blast from the past which is quite memorable. Highly recommended.

Wonderful anthology of speculative fiction!

I think this anthology is worth picking up for Ted Chiang's "72 Letters" all by itself. All of Chiang's stories are superb, and this one is set in an alternate Victorian age turned sideways by the use of Golems in their society. Since the name on a Golem's forehead describes its function, scientists in this age study names to analyze their meaning and power. If you like fantasy that is well thought out and sticks to its own rules, this is for you. Besides Chiang's alternative history tale, I liked Paul J. McAuley's "The Rift", about a hike down into uncharted pre-historic territory. I was a little bit alarmed about buying an anthology with 4 reprinted stories, but they are all good reads, especially Suzy McKee Charnas' "Listening To Brahms", about a group of astronauts who become the sole survivors of Earth and are saved from by extinction by copycat lizard aliens. As the book jacket proclaims, this really is one of the best anthologies of 2000.
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