Note to Self – don’t need books, don’t walk into bookshopsPosted: April 30, 2011
I’m quite lucky. Where I live we have a wide selection of bookshops. In fact I am doubly lucky that I have two great charity bookshops that not only have a great selection but you get that “I’m doing good” glow by buying from them. Cheap too.
I found this gem on the shelf: Interzone – The 1st Anthology.
The reason I picked it up was that I was quite impressed by the authors published in the book. They’re not all who I would’ve thought of for mid 80s SF. It’s quite a list: Geoff Ryman, JG Ballard (!), Kim Newman and… Angela Carter (!!). I am quite surprised by this last one as I wouldn’t have expected to see her listed in a SF anthology*. In fact it was this breadth of talent and reputation and got me to pick up and buy the book.
Now I might be over generalising but it seems to me that, these days, anthologies seem to contain only work from people known within the genre. Perhaps the borders of what constitutes a worthy story are much harder. Or perhaps I am just not reading as many anthologies as I used to.
The first paragraph of the introduction, written in 1985, seems oddly prophetic today:
Here are thirteen stories about the way things are going to be. It has been a long century for the world, and there is much to talk about. In 1985, we have already been told a good deal. We have been told that the fabric of life, having gone rotten in 1914,has been replaced by synthetic fibres, which itch terribly. We have been told that the novel, through which earlier generations learned how to make sense of life, has died, because the stable organic culture it described has given way. No longer, we have been told , can fiction cope with the harrowing speed and indeterminacy and scale of the catastrophes presently shaking this small planet apart.