cover image Platinum Pohl: The Collected Best Stories

Platinum Pohl: The Collected Best Stories

Frederik Pohl, . . Tor, $27.95 (464pp) ISBN 978-0-312-87527-5

Spanning the five decades of SFWA Grand Master Pohl's career, these 30 stories stand out for their gritty, straightforward style and for their insightful ideas about our political, social and ecological future. The opener, "The Merchants of Venus," is an old-fashioned SF adventure yarn, but most of the rest are cautionary tales of environmental and ideological catastrophes. Stories such as "My Lady Green Sleeves" and "Spending a Day at the Lottery Fair" take social attitudes to the extreme and explore what horrible places we might end up and find normal. "The Greening of Bed-Stuy," in which New York City has crumbled to all but dust, shows how a child could still call it home and love it. Not every selection has a point to make. In "The Mapmakers," "Shaffery Among the Immortals" and other "what if" stories, the idea is all that matters. Pohl has won Hugo, Nebula and other major SF awards many times. (Dec.)