Destinies Volume 1 Number 1

  • Stand Pat, Ruby Stone (Roger Zelany): a story of alien marriage. Interesting.
  • Old Woman By The Road (Gregory Benford): not my favorite author (given he wrote the worst book in Asimov’s Foundation universe, which is a bit of an achievement given some of the others. This story isn’t terrible, it just doesn’t go anywhere. There is a single small plot element, which has been repeated in many other books (for example The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, which predates this story by 12 years).
  • New Beginnings (Jerry Pournelle): a non-fiction column about design choices baked into our existing infrastructure which make it hard for it to be efficient, the failure to save for baby boomer retirement, and our need to be concerned about growing oil use and failure to find alternative energy sources like solar. The scary bit? This article from 1978 reads like it could have been written yesterday.
  • Transition team (Charles Sheffield): are we suited to life on a space station? A good short story.
  • Antimony (Spider Robinson): a pretty good cryonics story. Its a pity 1990 didn’t give me a personal flyer like he promised.
  • Very Proper Charlies (Dean Ing): a novelette about terrorism, specifically how terrorists really need media coverage to progress their agendas. A little dated, but still a good read.
  • Party Line (Clifford D. Simak): a longish story, this one didn’t really do much for me until about half way in. It got better though. What would aliens want from us if they met us?
  • Assimilating Our Culture, That’s What They’re Doing (Larry Niven): short, and good.
  • Science Fiction and Science, Part One (Poul Anderson): a bit dull to be honest.

Overall, this was an ok anthology, although not the best I’ve read. It also wasn’t themed, which I think is a weakness as an anthology. On the other hand, I would have been happy if I’d paid $1.95 USD for this as a magazine, especially given it only cost me $2 in the second hand store. The many, irrelevant, line drawings of naked women are a bit odd though. I guess that’s the 70s for you.

[isbn: 0441142818]