Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Received...Peter Watts

Beyond the Rift Arriving on my doorstep (actually, the mail carrier rang the doorbell, as he always does when there is a package to be delivered) is the most recent release from Tachyon Publications: the short story collection from Canadian SF writer Peter Watts.

I worked on Beyond the Rift back in June, and you can read more about that in my blog post entitled "Wattsworld," published on June 25, 2013.

The collection includes 13 of the author's most notable stories, including the Hugo Award-winning novelette "The Island." In "This Fall's Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books," Annalee Newitz for io9 writes:
A new book from crazy genius Watts is always cause for celebration — and this collection of short stories brings together some of his greatest work, including his mind-altering retelling of The Thing called "The Things." Known for his pitch-black views on human nature, and a breathtaking ability to explore the weird side of evolution and animal behavior, Watts is one of those writers who gets into your brain and remains lodged there like an angry, sentient tumor.
And author Paul Di Filippo, in his book review column for Barnes & Noble, had this to say about Beyond the Rift:
Canadian author Peter Watts is a biologist by training and a visionary by inclination. His novels are hard-edged yet coolly psychedelic extrapolations of our gene-modded future. Possessing the stern moral acuity of James Tiptree, he also exhibits the intellectual zest of Arthur C. Clarke. His afterword to his new story collection, Beyond the Rift, is one of the best essays in recent memory about the nature of the kind of science fiction that mates these qualities. Watts is expert at inhabiting the mind of the Other, whether it's a Cambellian shape-shifting alien in "The Things," a future soldier high on techno Rapture in "A Word for Heathens," or a deep-sea dweller with mysterious origins in "Home." His killer opening sentences ("First Contact was supposed to solve everything"; "Wescott was glad when it finally stopped breathing") are rabbit holes to strange futures.

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