AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books

50 Books: Book 11

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Starwater Strains
Gene Wolfe

Starwater Strains, Gene Wolfe

This collection of short stories felt a little disjointed to me.  Perhaps because it's simply a collection of stories that all appeared other places and there's no real cohesion.  Without a doubt Wolfe is an excellent writer, but the stories here jump from fantasy to horror to straight SF.  On the one hand, it was good book for a reading a story at a time, but when I wanted to read for a while, it was hard to jump from the headspace of one story to the next.  I think my favorite's here were "The Seraph from it's Sepulchar," "Has Anybody Seen Junie Moon?"  and "From the Cradle."   "Empires of Folliage and Flower" left me wanting more.  It was a nice play on words and ideas, but execution fell a little flat for me.  As did "Mute," which was sort of a classic last-man-on-earth scenario, but didn't have enough substance.  It's hard to say if the characters were the only ones left, or if they'd just made a horrible mistake.  Which I guess was the point but it didn't work for me.  So, I think if you like Wolfe and/or good short stories, this is worth picking up used and keeping around for every time you want just a little bit to read, but it's definitely not a good introduction to the author.

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