The New Space Opera 2

The New Space Opera 2 was edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan and contains 19 stories by different authors.

It always takes me forever to finish a short story collection. I think I might have finished this one a bit quicker than usual as I’ve decided to read at least 52 short stories this year, but it still took a long time. The result is that when I look through the titles of the different short stories there are some that I can hardly remember. I’m also discovering that it’s harder to look back on stories when you’ve read the book on a Kindle, p-book short story collections are usually full of post-its so I can find the different stories again without too much bother.

Oh well, I still have some thoughts about the book.

As with all short story anthologies I find this to be a mixed bag. There are sad stories, poignant stories, funny stories and some stories that makes no sense to me at all.

My favorite stories were “Utriusque Cosmi” by Robert Charles Wilson, “Defect” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, “Shell Game” by Neal Asher, “Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings” by Bill Willingham, “Chameleons” by Elizabeth Moon, “The Tenth Muse” by Tad Williams, “The Tale of The Wicked” by John Scalzi and “Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz” by Mike Resnick.

My what-what-what? stories are “The Island” by Peter Watts, “Punctuality” by Garth Nix, “Join the Navy and See the Worlds” by Bruce Sterling, and “The Far End of History” by John C. Wright.

So this means I end up with 8 really good stories, 4 I dislike and 7 that I liked but didn’t find outstanding.

All in all this makes for a good collection. The thing about readers are that we all respond favourably to different things and this collection has stories for lots of different tastes. Even some of the few I don’t like seem to be solid work, it’s just that they’re not for me. I do have a preference for real people and spaceships in a good action story and therefore don’t much care for some of the “posthuman” stories. They seem to get so wrapped up in their own weird idea that they leave me not caring for the characters, and I do need to care to like the story. “Posthumans” I can care for I can handle just fine, like Carlotta in “Utriusque Cosmi”, while the planet-personalities in “The Far End of History” leaves me completely cold. Too bad that that’s the last story in the collection. I guess it was placed there because it’s the longest, but for me it would have been better to end the book on a funny note with Catastrophe Baker.

All in all I end up with giving the book 4 out of 5 stars, and I’ll definitely read The New Space Opera 3 if it ever appears.

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About mostraum

Librarian, reader, atheist, blogger, golfer, lesbian, geek.

Posted on February 19, 2011, in Literature/Books, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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