Universe 16

Terry Carr, Other Doubleday Books $12.95 (181p) ISBN 978-0-385-23389-7
From his excellent Ace Specials to this long-running series of original anthologies, veteran editor Carr has a deserved reputation for spotting new talent. His latest volume, however, is an example of the pitfalls involved in a talent search. Good ideas, striking imagery and evocative settings abound, but these assets fail to develop into stories of substance. Rick Shelley imagines amphibious aliens gathering at overflowing Mississippi levees to await the birth of a new messiah. Martha Soukup looks ahead to a theater in which actors control robotic mannequins. Ronald Anthony Cross depicts postcollapse tribes inhabiting the nooks and crannies of a vast, mechanized hotel. Among better-known writers, Lucius Shepard considers a poet's reaction to translating an alien's writing, and Ian Watson offers a wild, offbeat legend of seven natives seeking the ""true egg of lightning.'' Overall, a weak entry in a fine series. (November 21)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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