Finished this a while back, after lingering on the last couple of stories for a while, so this will not be my usual just after review.
A sequel to Machine of Death.
I don’t actually have a whole lot to say about the collection as a whole. In spite of lingering here and there between the stories where I got distracted by other books, I really enjoyed this. Just as good, or maybe better, than the first one. Once again a great example of proper idea-based science fiction of the best sort. It doesn’t really matter which collection you start with, so if you haven’t read the book Machine of Death you can go ahead and jump right into this one if you want. None of these stories have any connection to each other or to any of the stories in the first one. Heck, you can start anywhere in this collection if you wanted.
The collection has a lot of different types (of ponies! No, the other thing) of stories. A few I enjoyed:
- Sherlock Holmes story
- Military Scifi
- Super spies (James Bond genre)
- Alien Invasion
- First Contact (aliens)
- Murder Mystery / Serial Killer
Several stories bent the rules in creative ways. Which means that not only did they get some creative stories, but the person (or people) admitting stories into the collection was flexible enough to not rigidly adhere to the rules when accepting submissions. Others took things in ways that the rules didn’t even touch that could have been considered against the spirit of the rules. There was a story about a con man. One where the machines are lies. A story in which fate is set at birth, but can be changed before that.
I enthusiastically recommend this book.