Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias

Kim Stanley Robinson, Editor Tor Books $23.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-85474-4
Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robinson has compiled a potent mixture of prose and poetry to depict futures that reject the popular theory of a machine existence, but instead illustrate life in a more primitive state. Some stories take place in a time very close to our own, such as ``Bears Discover Fire'' by Terry Bisson, where bears learn to build fires and come out of hibernation, discovering that they too can use the basic elements needed for survival. Other fascinating stories exist in a more distant setting and include Gary Kilworth's ``Hogfoot and Bird-Hands,'' the disturbing tale of a lonely woman who, by using a common surgical approach, has pets made from her own body parts. A future in the Cro-Magnon period is explored in Robert Silverberg's ``House of Bones,'' the story of a scientist trapped forever in the past he was sent to study. The most startling in its combination of a technological future with the mysteries of the natural world is ``Newton's Sleep'' by Ursula K. Le Guin, in which a space colony finds that its ``perfect world'' has been invaded by the ghosts of earth. Broad in its appeal, this fine collection should please not only science fiction aficionados but also those with interest in philosophy, archeology and environmental ethics. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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Paperback - 356 pages - 978-0-312-86350-0
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