Saturday, 7 April 2012

Book #37 All The Myriad Ways by Larry Niven

All The Myriad Ways

I wanted to read All The Myriad Ways by Larry Niven because its titular story is referenced in two physics books I greatly enjoyed Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku and The Never Ending Days Of Being Dead by Marcus Chown. Perhaps I expected too much because the science behind that first story as explained by Chown and Kaku is vastly more entertaining and intriguing than the story itself.

It's a short story collection, but I found it bizarrely difficult to read and I shouldn't have because they were short, but they were often dull, badly written or unengaging. Even those which had great concepts fell flat in their conclusions, I think particularly here of the Inconstant Moon, a short story about the sun gone nova, a great starting point sliding into mundanity.

Another great concept wasted is Man Of Steel, Woman of Kleenex discussing the difficulties Lois Lane and Clark Kent would actually have had making love. Instead of the comic story I expected it reads like an academic essay. 10 for concept, nil for execution.

By far the best short story of the bunch is Unfinished Story #2, which comprises of one sentence!

After the high expectations discussion of this collection inspired in me it was a crushing disappointment. It is not hard to see why it is out of print. 3/10

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