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Futures edited by Peter Crowther
(Victor Gollancz, £12.99, 320 pages, hardback; published 19 April 2001; contents published as four individual novellas in 2000, and published in 2002 as two volumes of back-to-back novellas, Binary 3 and Binary 4.)

Come on... What do you expect me to say?

Gollancz take four novellas -- originally published individually by PS Publishing, written by four of the UK's cover scanleading sf authors, each novella already highly and justifiably praised -- and they put them together in what is possibly the most handsome genre publication in recent memory: a well-produced hardback, in an unconventional square format that leaps out at you from the bookshop display. And at £12.99 it's cheaper than most hardback fiction, too!

What would you say?

If you're not convinced, read the reviews of the individual novellas detailed below, and then add this fine book to your collection.

British sf is flourishing at the moment, and almost singlehandedly Peter Crowther, through PS Publishing and through editing this series, has created opportunities for some of our best genre authors to work at what, for many, is the natural length for sf. We should be grateful.

Futures contains the following four novellas:

  • Watching Trees Grow by Peter F Hamilton
    "Echoing the hugeness of scope of Hamilton's recent space operas, but plotted like his earlier thrillers, Watching Trees Grow is, for all its occasional clumsiness of execution, an extremely striking work."
  • Making History by Paul J McAuley and Reality Dust by Stephen Baxter -- a double review
    "...tales with the compact focus of the short novel and yet also possessing the cosmic expansiveness of implication that is the hallmark of their respective space operatic oeuvres ... serious, sharp, intelligently crafted and persuasively argued."
  • Tendeléo's Story by Ian McDonald
    "Yet another excellent original novella from PS Publishing... Tendeléo's Story is a measure of McDonald's own creative evolution, now at a very exciting juncture indeed."

All individual reviews by Nick Gevers.

Omnibus review by Keith Brooke and Nick Gevers.

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© Keith Brooke and Nick Gevers 5 May 2001