Booklist Review

Effinger, George Alec. George Alec Effinger Live! From Planet Earth. May 2005. 363p. Golden Gryphon, $25.95 (1-930846-32-0).

Before his untimely death in 2002, Effinger was one of the acknowledged masters of satirical sf and a prolific short-story writer whose prodigious stylistic gifts are showcased in this unusual collection selected by his fellow writers and editors. In tribute to Effinger’s genius, 16 veteran authors, from Michael Bishop and Jack Dann to Mike Resnick and Neil Gaiman, introduce each selection with personal reflections on Effinger’s character and legacy. Particularly outstanding choices include Hugo-Award nominees “The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything,” about a species of ET who are such do-gooders they drive humans to escape Earth for other worlds, and “Everything but Honor,” about a time-traveling black physicist who returns to 1860 to murder a Civil War general and revolutionize the future for black Americans. Constituting a special treat for Effinger’s fans are the O. Niemand stories, here introduced by Gardner Dozois, in which Effinger mimics, without caricature, the styles of such literary legends as Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Twain, while in each tale exploring an sf theme.

— Carl Hays, Booklist, April 15, 2005

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