06 December 2009

Book review: The New Space Opera 2

The New Space Opera 2, eds. Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan. Eos, 2009.

I love space opera. CJ Cherryh's Foreigner and Alliance-Union series rank highly in my favorites, as does Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series (especially Memory and The Vor Game.) so, clearly, an anthology of 20-ish space opera novellas by some people I'd heard of and some I hadn't was right up my alley.

I'm not going to review each story. Some I liked better than others; that's generally the case in anthologies.

I really enjoyed Elizabeth Moon's "Chameleons," a story about a man hired to protect a pair of pampered children on their way to school, for whom everything that could go wrong, does. There's a look at what it means to be human, as well as classism and prejudice, when they encounter the chameleons.

Another story I liked was Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "Defect," about a spy who tried to come in from the cold, and found it harder than she expected.

Justina Robinson's "Cracklegrackle" is compelling and heartbreaking, the story of a man's search for his daughter, lost (kidnapped?) from a mining expedition.

Scalzi's "Tale of the Wicked" was enjoyable, with the ships having a mind of their own.

Mike Resnick's "Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz" was funny -- if you read it in the style of an old west tale, with the storyteller being at least half full of shit.

Overall, it's enjoyable, and I only skipped a few stories after failing to get into them after a dozen pages. I won't say which ones they were.

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