cover image The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures

The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures

Mike Resnick. Subterranean (, $35 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59606-435-5

This easy-reading collection of 12 of Resnick’s latest tales, plus his first prizewinner from 1977, ably brings out his classic SF approach to topics like faith and love, often with African settings and perspectives. Signing chimps, robots, and aliens all seek to talk with God, while humans deal with the Devil (“Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders”) and dragons (“The Boy Who Cried ‘Dragon!’ ”). The title story examines how a galactic hero straight out of the pulps would be treated by contemporary psychiatry (poorly, to our peril). Looking for the heart of humanity, Resnick presents its first and last traces (“Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge”), checks with our closest allies (“The Last Dog”), and reflects it in speculations on an extraterrestrial corpse found on Mt. Kilimanjaro (“Six Blind Men and an Alien”). Variously humorous, ironic, and straightforward emotional pleas, these are stories that John W. Campbell would have been glad to publish. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary Agency. (Aug.)