Friday, 19 June 2015

The Contents of NESFA Collections Vol 4

non-series stories, 12
Psychotechnic History, 4
Technic History, 2
Gunnar Heim, 1
Hoka, 1
Time Patrol, 1
"Directorate," 1
Operation..., 1
verse, 1

In this volume, "Marius," the opening story of the Psychotechnic History, immediately follows "Gypsy," a much later installment of that same future history. "Marius" is a near-future post-nuclear-war story set so close to the present that its characters had been involved in World War II whereas "Gypsy," set in a remote future of faster than light interstellar travel, recounts the origin of the space-traveling Nomad culture. Reading these two works here, there is no way to tell that they belong on the same timeline. The idea is merely to appreciate them as individual stories. "Quixote and the Windmill" and "Holmgang" recount stages of the history intermediate between these two chronological extremes.

I find it impossible to read such a collection without mentally re-cataloguing its contents. It is possible that the fifth volume will contain not a single story that I have not read before. At the same time, even already familiar stories can generate new observations and comments when they have been re-packaged and re-presented.

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