Sunday, November 15, 2015

Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

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(Fantasy) Old Venus contains stories set on the dangerous, watery, jungle-covered Venus of the old pulp stories. (203,900 words; Time: 11h:19m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 2 RSR-recommended stories + 7 others out of 16

"Old Venus," edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, published on by .

Old but Good

It offers sixteen stories, two of which, "The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss," by David Brin and "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan," by Ian McDonald, are good candidates to consider for the best-novellette Hugo.

Twelve of the remaining stories are above the common standard, although how much you enjoy them may depend on your familiarity with the old pulp stories.

Other Reviews: Search Web,
5- & 4-Star Stories: 2; Estimated Time: 1h:36m (29K words)
Recommended By Total Stories: 9;  Estimated Time: 6h:31m (117K words)
Total Stories: 16; Estimated Time: 11h:19m (204K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts By Ida Countess Rathangan by Ian McDonald  Time: 44m (13K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Lady Ida's visit to Venus was memorialized by the beautiful floral papercuts she made there, but this sensational story revels the secret of the real purpose of her visit.
The Tumbledowns Of Cleopatra Abyss by David Brin  Time: 52m (16K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Jonah is a young man in a matriarchal human society hiding at the bottom of an ocean on a far-future Venus whose terraforming seems to be going wrong after thousands of years.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 LTilton NClarke

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Planet Called Desire by Gwyneth Jones  Time: 40m (12K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Wealthy John Forrest has himself transported across space and time to primordial Venus, before it lost its oceans and life.
Bones Of Air, Bones Of Stone by Stephen Leigh  Time: 38m (12K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Tomio returns to Venus to confront his ex-lover fifteen years after she left him following a diving accident that cost him his legs.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:5
By Frogsled And Lizardback To Outcast Venusian Lepers by Garth Nix  Time: 58m (18K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Fifty-year-old Kelvin has a nice business flying shuttle runs on Venus, but the Terran Navy calls him back to service for a rescue mission in the heart of the Roar, the most dangerous place on Venus. A fun, uncomplicated read.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Frogheads by Allen M. Steele  Time: 41m (12K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Ronson is a PI from Earth hired to track down a tycoon's son, who has gone missing on Venus.
Greeves And The Evening Star by Matthew Hughes  Time: 39m (12K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Bartie (accompanied by his accomplished butler Greeves) is shanghaied to Venus by an old school friend who is studying the local wildlife and needs a bit of help.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Planet Of Fear by Paul McAuley  Time: 37m (11K words)  IssueOld Venus 
On an alternate Venus, communist Russians investigate mysterious disappearances and worry that the Americans are behind it.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton GDozois
Ruins by Eleanor Arnason  Time: 48m (15K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Ash leads a team from National Geographic to see unusual megafauna in the Russian part of Old Venus.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: GDozois
The Drowned Celestial by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 37m (11K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Out of cash and out of luck, Colt is playing cards in a Venusian saloon when a dying desperado, chased by robots, breaks up the game and gives him a clue about a sunken treasure.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Godstone Of Venus by Mike Resnick  Time: 50m (15K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Scorpio and Merlin accept a contract as bodyguards for a man and woman seeking the fabulous, priceless Godstone. Except no one else on Venus seems to have ever heard of it. A fun read.
The Heart's Filthy Lesson by Elizabeth Bear  Time: 34m (10K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Fun adventure on Old Venus. Dharthi risks her life in an unexplored part of Ishtar Terra looking for evidence of a vanished civilization that would save her career.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton
The Sunset Of Time by Michael Cassutt  Time: 46m (14K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Jor, a an exile from Earth, manages the Lens project on Venus. Meanwhile the natives are dismantling their cities and heading out to sea in anticipation of a global disaster they insist is coming.
The Wizard Of The Trees by Joe R. Lansdale  Time: 46m (14K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Unexpectedly transported from Earth to Venus, Jack helps a prince and princess fight to prevent a race of birdmen from enslaving the world by getting both halves of a magic talisman.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Living Hell by Joe Haldeman  Time: 24m (7K words)  IssueOld Venus 
The narrator attempts a rescue mission for a group of women trapped at a station on the Venusian equator. A recent solar flare ruined a lot of electronics, so he has to fly the old-fashioned way.
Pale Blue Memories by Tobias S. Buckell  Time: 38m (12K words)  IssueOld Venus 
Astronauts from an alternate Earth where WWII was a stalemate crash on Venus and are enslaved.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Rating: Not Rated

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