Victor Kolupaev:Hermit's Swing

I picked up this book purely on a whim, while searching, at my wife's behest, for the new Dean R. Koontz. Let nobody tell you those little "rocket-ship" stickers some libraries put on SF are good for nothing.

The collection is introduced by Theodore Sturgeon, and some of the stories herein have a definite Sturgeonesque feel to them--"The Biggest House", "What Funny Trees"(which calls to mind "The Man Who Lost The Sea")and "The Newsstand" in particular. There's also a slight reminiscence of Bester.

The first and last stories are the most straightforward SF. "For Love of Earth" is about the crew of a starship who find themselves back on Earth, having lost their memories to a greater or lesser degree, and have to piece together who they are and how they came back. "Hermit's Swing" tells of the planet Hermit, and of the bizarre temporal anomaly that tears a colony apart. (It is, however, one of those stories where the characters are much too slow at figuring out what's happening...)

The other stories in the collection don't stick to straight SF--"The Newsstand" is a time paradox story, and "Smile" is almost magic realism.

Collections like this give me the impression that more of the good SF than we may realize is being written in languages other than English. The Quebecois science fiction I've read in translation is also ample evidence of this fact. Most of them no doubt deserve wider recognition than they are getting now, and Victor Kolupaev is among them.

%A Kolupaev, Victor
%T Hermit's Swing
%I Macmillan
%C New York
%D Copyright 1980
%G ISBN 0-02-566350-X
%P 199 pp.
%S Best of Soviet SF
%O Hardcover

Click here to go back to Alfvaen's Review Page.

The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey / alfvaen@gmail.com