Monday, September 19, 2005

Locus Awards: 30 Years (an experiment)

The Locus Awards : Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Charles N. Brown and Jonathan Strahan

I will try to write mini-reviews for each of these short stories as I read them, and start this whole little experiment with this: I am growing more fond of stories in their short form and I acquired this particular book from my brother-in-law. He is an undergrad and had an SF Lit class last year and passed the book on to me. I'd wanted to get the book anyway, and I've now gotten around to reading it. Under the guiding editorial hands of Charles Brown (Locus Publisher) and Jonathan Strahan (Locus Reviews Editor) this book has gathered, ideally, the best representatives of the Locus Award winning short stories and novellettes over the past thirty years. A daunting task indeed for these two gentlemen, but

The Death of Doctor Island by Gene Wolfe

I consider myself a fan of Gene Wolfe's writing, I've loved* everything I've read by him up until this point, and I look forward to discovering some of his older classics. Unfortunately, this story didn't entirely work for me. Perhaps because I read it in multiple sittings, I don't know. The narrative seemed a bit more disjointed than other work I've read by him. Of course, the majority of Wolfe's work I've read is his novel-lenght work, including the whole Sun oeuvre, the two Latro stories, the WizardKnight & There are Doors.

It wasn't that The Death of Doctor Island was a bad story, obviously it really isn't since it won a Locus award, but I didn't connect with it the way I would have liked. I feel there were enough interesting things going on that I'd be willing to either try this particular story again in the future, or simply acquire the whole sequence of Doctor Island stories in The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories.

One story down and I'll call this an interesting, if unsatisfying entry.

* I didn't care for The Litany of the Long Sun when I initially read it, but upon seeing such wonderful things about Wolfe's Short Sun saga, I tried again and was greatly rewarded. I'm thinking (and really hoping) this is the case for this particular story, too.

No comments: