I've read this anthology before, or at least most of the shortstories, but to tell you the truth, its been a while and I can't really remember any of them, except perhaps the first one. This then, is my second try and this time around I will write short reviews of each story to better remember them.
This is another review-in-progress and I will review the stories as I reread them, starting (of course) at the absolute beginning. The Man Who Lost the Sea
(by Theodore Sturgeon) is a Theodore Sturgeon story and if you have read anything by that guy, you'll know what I mean. It is the story of an old man lying, sick, in the sand. He sees a boy run past him with a helicopter, and tries slowly to make sense of his world. Why is he here... or even more importantly... where is here
? I love the voice of this shortstory, a voice that invites you into the story. This voice is all its own, and I bet you won't ever find another shortstory written like this. Poetic, beautiful and even at the end... hopeful. It comes highly recommended! (5 stars) March Hare Mission
(by Ford McCormack) tells the story of a very dangerous mission into enemy territory, a mission that has all the reasons to fail. I mean, who would willingly let themselves be captured by the enemy only to be drugged and possibly killed, all for the sake of a secret weapon that needs to be protected. Ok, so I was never in the military and I will probably never understand what it means to sacrifice yourself for your country, but I can still enjoy this story which is well-written and has an interesting idea to drive it. Without revealing too much, this reminded me of a little film called Memento... (3.5 stars) The Earth Men
(by Ray Bradbury) is the story of how man came to Mars, only to find that they weren't really welcome, or worse yet, that the martians thought they were insane. This story just feels wrong. It has the feel of being written for children and not in a good way. It feels like old Ray was just getting lazy as he wrote that story, and for that reason... (0 stars) Who goes there?
(by John W. Campbell) is the story that the movie the Thing was based on. It starts back at camp where the scientists have brought back the creature and tries to make sense of it. What is this creature, where did it come from and more importantly, if they thaw it, will it endanger the entire camp? It should also be noted here that they are not really worried about bringing the creature back to life, but are instead worried about bacteria and a possible virus. Overall, I liked the beginning a lot. The discussion asks as many questions as it answers and by the end of it, we are no further to an conclusion, much like the scientists. However, the story is a bit too long and the end becomes a lot of the same. Perhaps I would have a different view of this if I didn't know the movie, but that... is pure speculation. If you liked the movie, you will definitely like the shortstory. (2.5 stars) In Hiding
(by Wilmar H. Shiras) is one of those stories that just never captivated me, and in fact, I've not finished it. It is about a boy, a shrink and... not sure why it is here in this anthology, as it has nothing to do with science fiction really. Anyways, you might enjoy it, so give it a try. (0 stars) Not Final!
(by Isaac Asimov) is the story of how the Jovians of Jupiter threatened humanity. It is a story that is a little too interested in all the science bits that it forgets the most basic elements of a good story. The reader has no idea what the jovians are, no idea why he should be fearful of them, and in the end doesn't really care about what happens. Not recommended. (1 star)Now that I've gotten this far into the anthology, I must admit that there is no coherency among the stories. A title such as "Towards Infinity" inspires exploration in space, but that is only true for two of the stories so far. It seems very much like an anthology where the stories were thrown in at random, with little thought... sadly. Anyways, onwards towards infinity... And be merry...
(by Katherine Maclean) is the story of how a woman discovered how to beat old age, but also found that there is no way to beat... death. This story has it all. It is personal, yet delves into the science of things and lastly, it asks some of the greatest questions ever asked... If only Mr. Asimov had read this story before writing his own, perhaps then... his would have been better. This story might not explore space, but it certainly explores science and finds some disturbing answers. Highly recommended! (5 stars) The Witches of Karres
(by James H. Schmitz) is what I would call a space-opera. It involves a fairly unlucky captain who finds himself purchasing three witches from the planet Karres. Now, the captain is an honorable man and wants nothing more than to return the three young witches, but that might not prove as easy... This story is well-written, funny and worth every minute spent in its company. (3 stars) Resurrection
(by A.E. Van Vogt) is a mysterious story about an alien race, the Ganae, who finds earth.... devoid of all life except for the trees. Now, the aliens have the technology to reconstruct the dead, and in their eagerness to find out what happened to the planet, does this... This shortstory leaves you with a lot of questions by the end, which in my oppinion is always a good thing, yet... there is still something about the story that leaves me hesitant to recommend it completely. (2.5 stars)Overall, a few excellent reads within these pages, but also a few to be avoided. By the end, more of the stories followed the idea of Towards Infinity, but most still feels out of place here. Anyways, go read the book for yourself and find out what you think!
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