cover image Galactic Dreams

Galactic Dreams

Harry Harrison. Tor Books, $19.95 (222pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85246-7

Few commercial writers are more deserving of their popularity than Harrison ( The Hammer and the Cross ), a fine writer who occasionally reaches brilliant heights. His latest collection boasts moments that rank high, but the overall level is middling. The colloquial ``histories'' of ``Famous First Words'' are never less than quaint and at times hilarious, while ``At last, the True Story of Frankenstein'' stands above most of the myriad variations on Mary Shelley's original. Even in the several pieces (such as ``The Pad'') that seem to have outlived their day, Harrison's wit is an adequate recommendation. But several tales (``If''; ``Mute Million'') rely too heavily on their trick-of-the-tail endings, and the lone new story (``Bill, the Galactic Hero's Happy Holidays'') is one of the least worthy entries. Diverting if not impressive, this collection is still a pleasant read. (Apr.)