Contented Reader

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Fountain of Age

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Fountain of Age

Nancy Kress

Small Beer Press

I got really absorbed in the short stories in this book.  There’s a lot of food for thought- they are stories to be re-read and mulled over for a while.  Several of them deal with advanced age, a subject I hadn’t noticed I rarely read about even in books by aging authors.  I’m sure there are common themes tying the stories together that I would be better able to reflect on some other day, but I just finished helping my girlfriend move to an awesome new house, and cleaning out her old apartment, and I’m a little too tired for high-level analysis.  These stories were nice company during that process.

The Erdmann Nexus.  Something strange is happening to Dr. Erdmann.  Dr. Erdmann is an aging, thoughtful retired physicist.  He doesn’t believe in psychic phenomena.  But he is having strange episodes.  Episodes that are uncannily similar to those experienced by other residents of the same retirement home.  Meanwhile, a spaceship is urgently trying to reach them before disaster strikes.

The Kindness of Strangers.  One by one, the cities disappeared.  The remaining humans are struggling to make their way in a postapocalyptic America.  The aliens who destroyed the cities walk among them.  Why?

By Fools Like Me.  Everyone knows that it was terribly wrong, the damage humans of the past did to the environment.  They polluted the rivers, they polluted the air, they cut down the trees.  Now, in an environmentally devastated world, everyone remembers how much their ancestors sinned.  No one now would make a car, or cut down a tree.  And it certainly wouldn’t be permitted to keep a found relic of that bygone age, like, for example, a small cache of books.

Laws of Survival.  Don’t worry.  The aliens just need a dog trainer.  As long as you can train the feral dogs in the spaceship, the aliens will have no reason to vaporize you.  These dogs do not behave correctly.


Written by Contented Reader

October 9, 2012 at 6:36 am

Posted in Reviews


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