Saturday, October 13, 2012

Review: The Fifth Science Fiction Megapack

The Fifth Science Fiction Megapack from Wildside Press is a collection of 25 “modern and classic science fiction stories.” It’s also the first of Wildside’s megapacks that I’ve read. At a very affordable price of $0.99, it’s hard not to like. In fact, I only have one negative thing to say about this ebook: The cover art doesn’t really fit the contents. I’m sorry to have to say that; I know the kind of effort that goes into choosing cover art. The floating astronaut connotes, to me at least, tales of hard science fiction – rocket ships, spacemen, and hard science. While the hard stuff is certainly represented, this collection is much more than that in scope.

Ranging from the opening tale of how robots learn emotions to the story of a retired super heroine’s legacy, to the tale of how the grooming of a planet’s cultural development failed, every story is fresh and different. There’s even a good Nazi story, sort of. I finally understood what this collection is all about when I read Peacemaker by Gardner Dozois. It is a dark tale about a bleak and depressing future. When I finished the story, at first I wondered why the editors chose to include it here and not in one of their horror collections. My very next thought was, “Well, it would make one hell of a good episode of The Twilight Zone.” And that thought can be applied to most of the stories here.

The stories are excellent choices for a wide audience. Overall, this ebook is a steal at only a dollar, but more importantly, it’s well worth the read. Now I’m off to read the Cthulhu Mythos Megapack (which I purchased while reading this one), and then I want buy the Macabre Megapack.

Now reading: Necroscope III: The Source by Brian Lumley

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