cover image Escape from Kathmandu

Escape from Kathmandu

Kim Stanley Robinson. Tor Books, $17.95 (314pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93196-4

Robinson ( The Wild Shore ) has expanded a previously published novelette into the title story of this enjoyable collection, and added three sequels. All four tales are about mountain climbers George Fergusson and George ``Freds'' Fredericks, and their supernormal encounters in the mountains of Nepal and the capital city of Kathmandu. The title story is a delightful romp in which they rescue a yeti from the scientific team which kidnapped him; the chase scene is classic, the red herring perfect, and the yeti supplies a few surprises of his own. In ``Mother Goddess of the World'' George and Freds scale Mount Everest to help a llama, while trying to evade a video nut who wants to record their illegal trespass into Tibet. In ``The True Nature of Shangri-La'' the writing turns dark as Robinson vividly depicts the endemic poverty and illness affecting much of Tibetan society. ``The Kingdom Underground'' is lacking in both plot and resolution, but redeemed through its descriptions of starkly beautiful scenery and exotic, appealing people. (Nov.)