Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Paul McAuley looks at important works of James Blish


A few comments on the stories I've read from the Essential James Blish section at the end of his post:

  1. I've read 4 of the 5 short stories he mentions, all famous ones: "Beep", "Common Time", "How Beautiful With Banners", "Surface Tension" (download MP3).

    First two are essentially about arcane physics & didn't really work for me, but last two are good ones. "Common Time" is one of the very few stories that speculate on time dilation from the point of view of those inside an FTL ship.
  2. I've read his space opera fix up, "Cities in Flight". Good adventure, but only after I mentally learned to ignore his space traveling Manhattan magically uprooted from its New York location & with atmosphere, hydrosphere, etc still viable. I could never really develop the suspension of belief needed for uprooted cities, though, at some stage, I began thinking of them as just other magical ships of space opera.
Related: Stories of Paul McAuley, James Blish.