Item description for Swift Thoughts by Gregory Benford George Zebrowski...
Ranging from hard science fiction ("Gdel's Doom") to alternate history ("Lenin in Odessa") to first alien contact ("Bridge of Silence"), this collection delineates one of the unique voices writing science fiction today. In the tradition of Stanislaw Lem, each of the stories in this collection confronts the big questions of human existence. The detailed notes that follow each story provide insight into the author's influences and include commentary from other noteworthy authors in the field.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.86" Height: 1.16" Weight: 1.17 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2002
Publisher Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN 1930846088 ISBN13 9781930846081
Reviews - What do customers think about Swift Thoughts?
Highly Intellectual Mar 9, 2007
Swift Thoughts (2002) is a collection of twenty-four SF short stories. These short works were originally published between 1973 and 2001 in a variety of venues. While most first appeared in the science fiction (and fantasy) magazines and anthologies, some were written for nontraditional publications such as a Japanese AI journal, Popular Computing, and Nature.
In this collection, The Word Sweep speculates on the consequences of words becoming physical objects upon utterance. Starcrossed concerns a probe ship guided by a cyborg brain. The Eichmann Variations considers an unusual form of mental torture. This Life and Later Ones is a cautionary tale about downloaded personalities. The City of Thought and Steel tells of the afterthoughts and nightmares of a mass murderer.
Godel's Doom conveys a way to prove Godel's Theorem and the possible aftereffects. Lenin in Odessa is an alternate history tale or is it? Sacred Fire is a story about future generations and the way they differ from their parents. Stooges introduces a novel means of first contact. Bridge of Silence conveys the frustrations of first contact with a truly alien creature.
Swift Thoughts is about a Moses who cannot enter the Promised Land. The Idea Trap relates the tale of a misfit who is perfect for a supporting role. Behind the Night provides new insight on immigration policies. Wound the Wind asks whether people should be forced to do something for their own good. Rope of Glass is about a man who isn't sure of what he is doing or why.
In the Distance and Ahead in Time is a side story of the Macrolife chronicles, telling of the differences between those on planets and those who travel the stars. Lesser Beasts concerns a Vietnam War veteran who kills alien invaders. The Number of the Sand is about the alternate histories of Hannibal and Scipio the Elder. Let Time Meet tells of the settlement of the New World by Carthagean refugees. Shrinkers & Movers is a tale of moving to a new home and the problems that can occur.
Augie concerns the problems of raising an Artificial Intelligence. The Last Science Fiction Story of the 20th Century is about difficulties of SF writers in the future. Catch the Sleep Ship: The First Science Fiction Story of the 21st Century tells of the demise of SF and one way of bypassing the problem. The Holdouts is about the results of a paradigm shift in physics.
This collection has an introduction by Gregory Benford and Author Notes following each story. These notes contain a good deal of musing on SF writing and philosophy, as do some of the stories themselves. One most unsettling thought is the decline of SF after a theory of everything is introduced. Naturally, this reviewer must disagree since SF would then absorb every other form of fiction (except pure fantasy) as biology, psychology, sociology and all other natural sciences are reduced to physics.
This collection is not for everyone. The author tends to excessive intellectualization in his short works. Sometimes they are way over almost everybody's head and interests. Too much Zebrowski can be hazardous to your mental health (at least for short works, but his novels are more commonplace). It is time for me to return to more active and less cognitive science fiction and fantasy.
Highly recommended for Zebrowski fans and for anyone who enjoys tales of high concepts, mental conundrums and other intellectual fare.
-Arthur W. Jordin
Packed from cover to cover with unexpected twists Jun 6, 2002
This new collection presents original stories which focus on the theme of evolving artificial intelligences and the questions about humanity versus machine which evolve. From the question of whether a clone of Adolf Ecihmann will ever show remorse for Nazi history to the rationing of speech when words begin to take physical form, [Swift] Thoughts is packed from cover to cover with unexpected twists which will delight both seasoned fans and those who are newcomers to Zebrowski's art.
none May 18, 2002
Zebrowski is SF's thinking man's writer, a writer who can mix and mingle and weave science, law, humor, and philosophy throughout his stories that range from hard SF to Alternate History to first alien contact. Zebrowski is a modern master of SF and "Swift Thoughts" is a thought-provoking collection of 24 masterful tales... Gary S. Potter Author/Poet
An engaging, varied, and enjoyable read May 16, 2002
Enhanced with an informative introduction by Gregory Benford, Swift Thoughts is a superbly presented anthology of twenty-four science fiction short stories written by the undeniably talented George Zebrowski. From an alien takeover of one of the Stooges to the strict rationing of words in an era when speech has physical form, to hardcore sci-fi and tales of excitement and pushing human boundaries, Swift Thoughts in an engaging, varied, and enjoyable read for science fiction buffs in general, and George Zebrowski fans in particular!
A brilliant collection by one of the field's masters Apr 24, 2002
George Zebrowski is one of the most philosophically astute writers in science fiction, and this collection of his insightful, mind-bending tales is long overdue. It's no surprise that one of his stories is a Nebula Award nominee as I write this. If there's a successor to Olaf Stapledon, it's Zebrowski. Highly recommended.