Over at the Portal, Sarah Goslee reviews Argentinian writer Gustavo Bondoni‘s short story collection Tenth Orbit:
Tenth Orbit and Other Faraway Places is a single-author collection by Argentine writerGustavo Bondoni, put out by the small press Altered Dimensions and available in paperback and ebook editions. The twenty-two stories comprising this volume are primarily idea-driven science fiction. According to the author, all were originally written in English, rather than having been translated. I believe at least some of the stories were previously published, but there is neither publication history nor individual copyright date for any of them. I would have liked to trace the development of Bondoni’s writing style chronologically, but was unable to do so.
The opening story, “Twilight,” is reminiscent of Golden Age science fiction stories. The image of a world of robots guarding the relics of their vanished creators is a long-familiar part of the science fictional landscape. This version of the trope invokes more a modern biological understanding, but is otherwise very similar to its predecessors. Most of the back story is filled in using large chunks of dialogue. I didn’t think there was enough new here to justify reusing such a familiar setting.
Some of the collected works are more vignettes than stories, with no character growth or development. “Trained Monkeys” is one such. It presents an idea about, well, trained monkeys, but doesn’t take it anywhere. The whole objective is to present a clever idea. This approach was nearly ubiquitous during the Golden Age, but much modern science fiction has adopted a more character-based style. Fans of early science fiction may appreciate this collection. – continue reading.