Australian writer Greg Egan presents 18 of his short stories from the early 1990s in this collection. The blurb on the cover says "Science fiction for people who like science fiction," and experienced and new SF fans alike will agree. The ideas and world-building are light years ahead of the pack. |
Highlights include: "The Hundred Light-Year Diary," in which society deals with the mixed blessing of diaries sent back in time to earlier selves; "Eugene," in which a working-class couple decide if, and then to what degree, they should genetically enhance their baby; "The Caress," a science-fiction detective story that will leave you feeling disturbed; "The Safe-Deposit Box," in which the narrator seeks to know why he has spent his life waking up every day in a new body; "A Kidnapping," which throws a new light on avatar crime; "Learning To Be Me," a story that recalls some of the Mind's I essays; "Appropriate Love," in which insurance companies pressure a couple in need of medical care; "The Moral Virologist," a tale of a deranged geneticist attempting to redeem the world through a computer virus; and "Closer," about a happy couple who enjoy using the latest technological gadgetry to learn more about each other ... although sometimes they learn too much.
Axiomatic is a collection of Greg Egan's short stories that appeared in various science fiction magazines (mostly Interzone and Asimov's) between 1989 and 1992. Like most of Egan's work, the stories focus on science and ideas, sometimes at the expense of the writing. But although Egan may lack a certain stylistic flare, he more than makes up for it with his wonderful visions of the future. Some of the more interesting stories include "Into Darkness," the tale of a rescue worker whose territory is a runaway wormhole, and the title story "Axiomatic," which is about a man looking to find meaning in the senseless death of his wife.