New America

New America by Poul Anderson

My initial reaction was...hmm...different, confusing, yet so, so interesting. But it appears I've done it again, i.e. read a set of short stories that I thought was meant to be a novel. They were connected with shared characters, etc., but  I should have known by the lack of flow - the changed focus in each section - that it wasn't a novel. I thought it could be some quirky new writing style; It wasn't nearly as weird as Ulysses and that was hailed as a brilliant new literary innovation (she said with a barely concealed eye-roll).

So, knowing now that these are short stories about colonizing distant planets, followed by an essay on the feasibility of star travel, I can say that it was pretty good. I want science in my science fiction and I found quite a lot of it in these stories. The essay at the end is all science, much of which I won't pretend to have understood, but oh, what fun it was to read. I love this stuff.

The gist of the story is that with earth no longer a good place to live, people have set out among the stars to find something better. The planets they've found are inhabited, setting up all sorts of interesting scenarios and adding to the challenges of adjusting to new atmoshpheres, producing food, and building communities. As these stories begin, the characters are already established in homes and even jobs, so I'm thinking this book might be part of a series I've stumbled into. I really need to start doing more research on the books I read before I read them.  

I chose this one because of the author, whose book Brain Wave I liked, and I do want to try another one, but a full novel instead of short stories. Any recommendations?  


Post a Comment