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The Portal reviews Gustavo Bondoni’s Tenth Orbit

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.

 

February 7, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

6 Comments

  1. Terrific review. Bull’s-eye.

    Comment by Athena Andreadis | February 8, 2011

    • True, a very fair review. Of course I wish the reviewer had enjoyed the book more, but it’s still cool that she was objective enough to recommended it to people who enjoy Golden Age SF – there’s a reason it’s called the “Golden Age” by everyone who matters, after all!

      Oh, and I’m glad you read the book and are familiar enough with it to be able to comment intelligently on a review! Thanks for taking an interest, I truly appreciate it.

      Comment by Gustavo | February 9, 2011

      • I read all your online stories. Leaden Age is more like it.

        Comment by Athena Andreadis | February 13, 2011

  2. @Athena: Happily, editors disagree in droves🙂

    Pity you couldn’t read the fiction in the book before commenting on the aptness of the review – but I suppose you had your reasons for weighing in without knowledge of the subject matter. Always invigorating to have one’s work discussed, so I appreciate the time you took anyway.

    Comment by Gustavo | February 15, 2011

    • Gustavo, sparring with you is like aiming at a squirrel with Stinger missiles: boring, wasteful of ammunition and unsporting, since you’re so poorly armed. Suffice it to say that, as was the case with Apex, I’ve been invited to contribute to World SF.

      Comment by Athena Andreadis | February 15, 2011

      • Sigh.

        First off, congrats on the invite. I have no issues in sharing the community with you – diverse opinions just make it richer, even – perhaps especially – if you dislike me or my position on one specific subject. It’s your right and I’m fine with that.

        As for being armed, I see no need for weaponry. After all, I’m a bit too busy writing and enjoying real life enormously to worry about discussions with people I don’t actually know. As you may have seen with the Apex tiff, I said what I thought was worth saying, interacted politely with those so inclined and then went about my business, which – in this particular context – means selling plenty of stories and writing articles.

        So I’m not actually sparring with you, just answering your comments on a thread which involves me and letting any readers who come by form their own conclusions about the relative merits of our positions.

        If this is not your idea of entertainment, I guess you’re just attempting to pick a fight with the wrong guy. I’m here on the WorldSF site to have fun and help promote both the WorldSF effort and Volume 2 of the collection (you can read my story “Eyes in the Vastness of Forever” there, so pre-order your copy now!!), and I have no interest in getting into unproductive fights with other members. So I won’t.

        Comment by Gustavo | February 15, 2011


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