Sunday, July 28, 2013

Short Story Sunday: Dinosaurs and Cold Equations

Welcome to the return of Short Story Sundays.  This time around I am reviewing two stories with some similarities (dinosaurs and cold equations).

Title:  Think Like a Dinosaur
Author:  James Patrick Kelly
First Publication:  Asimov's Science Fiction, June 1995
Cover Art:  Todd Lockwood

Check another author off my list.  James Patrick Kelly was first published in 1984.  Somehow I never read any of his fiction before "Think Like a Dinosaur".  I am attempting to read all of the David G. Hartwell "Year's Best SF" and this was the lead story in the first collection.

In many ways this is a modern retelling of Tom Godwin's classic "The Cold Equations".  Kelly took the basic original idea and created his own unique take on the story.  The aliens in this story bare a resemblance to dinosaurs.  They do not understand our customs and question whether or not humanity is ready to travel to other planets.  The dinos finally agree to install the necessary systems to allow us to go to other worlds.  This is the story of what happens when things go wrong.

Kelly does an excellent job with the plot, aliens and characterization.  Highly recommended.

Title:  The Tall Grass
Author:  Steven Utley
First Publication:  Asimov's Science Fiction, June 1989
Cover Art:  Nicholas Jainschigg

Buried in this issue was another great science fiction story by Steven Utley.  With the all star lineup, Utley did not make it on to the cover.

As usual, Utley is a master of the short story form.  It is similar to "Think Like Dinosaurs" in that it features dinosaurs and an uncompromising situation.  Where Kelly's story took place in the future, this takes place in the past.  The dinosaurs in Utley's story are the usual earth bound type we have read about for years.  "The Tall Grass" is the tale of what happens on a journey to the era of the dinosaurs.  To say more than that would ruin the story.

Highly recommended (like Utley's other stories).

1 comment:

Chimeradave said...

I have that copy of Asimov's with "Think Like a Dinosaur." I'm gonna sit down and read it. Thanks for the review!