The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge
by Vernor Vinge
A book review by Mark L. Olson
Tor, 2001, 464 pp, $27.95
This volume collects all of the short fiction of Vernor Vinge. ("True Names" is apparently considered a short novel and not included.)
It's hard to overrate the quality of Vinge's writing. He hasn't written many stories, but they're nearly all superb. (I'd go into more detail, but I refer you to an essay on his short fiction I wrote a few a couple years ago.)
There is one new story in the collection, "Fast Times at Fairmont High", an excellent novella set in near-future San Diego. (It will be on my Hugo nominations ballot for 2001.) It's a little hard to describe the gist of the story, but they key point is that Vinge seems to be nibbling about the edges of Singularity once more. The high school kids in the story are ordinary kids living in a world which seems to be creeping towards the Singularity. The computer and communications capabilities they have in their hands and the facility with which they use them are becoming just a bit incomprehensible to their parents.
This new story will be one of my Hugo nominations this year. The book is a collection everyone should have.
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